Saying Yes When You Want To Say No
Many women agree to sex that they aren’t too interested in. University of Texas, Austin researchers say the reasons vary. Some want to nurture relationship. Some are doing what they think is expected. Others feel pressured. A few want to avoid a fight. It can be a problem. Or, unexpected benefits may arise. Today, let’s look at the downside.
Some women are pleasers and feel uncomfortable saying no. Ironically, one woman’s religion got her saying yes to premarital sex because her church had kept her naïve and encouraged passivity,
Persistence from a partner, emotional games, alcohol, passivity, and difficulty saying no were all important factors. I felt nervous, unsure and confused. I didn’t want to make the other person angry with me. When things didn’t go the way I trusted them to I didn’t know what to do. These experiences all occurred before age 19, after which I got stronger and wiser.
Some fear rejection. As another woman explained,
I had a friend in high school who made it seem like the only way I could be cool was if I shunned everything I thought was right. I would have sex just so she would have more respect for me. I hated every experience I was having.
More commonly, women fear losing boyfriends, like this young woman,
I was stupid and thought sex would keep my boyfriend around. I was 17 years old and it didn’t work.
Others try to compete with the fireworks of internet porn, which is often distressing.
A few seem more coerced than consenting:
When I was 17, I dated a guy who was 26. I didn’t want to lose him, so when we made out, he would force my head down for oral. He would hold my head there for a long time, even if I was crying. (But I) figured this was part of what I needed to do to be datable.
Agreeing to have sex is a big problem when we feel pressured to perform acts that repel us or that go against our values. Sex that brings feelings of desperation, shame, remorse and self-betrayal only damages our self-respect.
These relationships are best left behind.
All data come from Why Women Have Sex by University of Texas, Austin researchers.
Note: I’m doing reruns for the holidays.
Posted on December 23, 2013, in feminism, gender, psychology, relationships, sex, sexism, women and tagged feminism, gender, psychology, relationships, sex, sexism, women. Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.