What is it?
It’s being persuaded to have sex when you don’t really want to.
Sex is a big decision. It should always be YOUR decision. Someone may try to make you feel that you HAVE to have sex or that sex is the right choice even when you have doubts. THIS IS SEXUAL COERCION.
Not all relationships are created equal.
Some people try to control you. For example, your feelings may always come second to what your partner wants. Or, there my be a professional imbalance. For example, between you and a teacher or a boss.
How can unwanted sex hurt you?
IN ALL SORTS OF WAYS!
Having sex is ALWAYS risky.
It can lead to:
- Pregnancy- no birth control method is 100% effective.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases- some STDs can make you unable to ever give birth or, like HIV, can cause serious lifelong health problems.
- Emotional Problems- having sex when you are not ready can lower your self-esteem and cause feelings of anxiety, guilt, and shame.
Staying in control helps you avoid these risks!
Don’t let sexual coercion wreck your life!
Recognize it to resist it.
Talking the talk
- “Everybody’s doing it.”
- “It shows you love me.”
- “You’ve had sex before, so you can’t say no now.”
None of these are true!
Crossing the line
Your partner my threaten to hurt you, break up with you, or spread rumors if you don’t give in. A boss or teacher may say your job or grade is on the line. Remember, being afraid is not a reason to have sex. It’s a reason to seek help.
If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may be having sex-or considering to have sex-for the wrong reasons. You may even be experiencing sexual coercion.
- Do you feel pressure from your partner, date, or some other person to have sex?
- Will you do anything to hold onto your partner-even have sex?
- Have you ever had sex without a condom because your partner didn’t want to use one?
- Are there times you don’t want to have sex, but feel like you can’t say no?
- Have you ever had a sexual experience that left you frightened or feeling guilty?
When in doubt, trust your feelings.
What do your instincts tell you? If you feel uncomfortable with a situation, or think you are being sexually coerced, say NO firmly and LEAVE. Get HELP, if needed.
OUTSMART SEXUAL COERCION
YOU CAN-when you stay in control!
Here are more tips!
Alcohol and other drugs can really mess you up. They can
- harm your judgment and communication skills
- make it difficult to resist a sexual situation
- make your partner more aggressive
- confuse you
- blur your memory
- lead you into situations you may later regret
- make you black out (especially if a date rape drug is slipped into your drink).
Don’t let a party go to your head.
Steer clear of alcohol and other drugs.
- Alcohol and other drugs can lead to unplanned, unprotected sex.
- Alcohol affects a woman’s body faster than a man’s.
- Avoid drinking games
- Avoid heavy drinking.
- You will be safer with trusted friends-don’t go off alone.
- Date rape drugs can be put in unattended drinks.
Know your lines.
Be ready for sexual pressure. You could say:
- “I really like you. I’m just not ready to have sex.”
- “If you really care about me, you’ll respect my decision.”
- “I said no. I don’t owe you an explanation.”
IT’S YOUR BODY-SET YOUR LIMITS
If you have concerns about your relationship or situation:
- talk with a parent
- talk with a teacher
- talk with a counselor
- talk with Victim Services
- talk with a trusted adult