When Can I Say No To Sex?

It can feel difficult to say no before and during sex, but you should be able to stop whenever you want

As #MeToo sweeps across social media, the topic of sexual consent is being heavily discussed. One crucial question surfacing from the discussions is the issue of saying “no”.

So when exactly can I say no to sex? Whenever you want. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a relationship or something more casual. You can say no. 

Here are some specific examples of times when you may change your mind.

Before The Bedroom

This may seem obvious, but it can be difficult to remember at the time.

You may have invited someone back to your place and you’re both heading upstairs.

You change your mind. It happens to all of us!

You can say no.

If the other person doesn’t respect your feelings and gets angry, you made the right decision to say no. A person worth your time will respect your decision.

Why would a decent person want to continue if you don’t want to continue? Sex is about mutual pleasure!

During Foreplay

Things have moved up a notch between the two of you.

You were enjoying it at first, but now you’re not feeling it anymore.

Don’t panic! It happens.

You can say no as soon as you feel uncomfortable.

If this person is worth your time, they’ll understand and prefer that you are honest.

During Sex

Sparks are flying. You decided to get down and dirty with that special someone.

It felt good at first, but now you want to stop.

That’s okay. You can say no.

Again, if this person is worth your time, they’ll understand. Everyone changes their mind at some point.

When Can I Say No?

In summary, you can say no to sex at any point.

Your body belongs to you. You are the only one to decide who touches it.

If you say no and the other person continues to force sex with you, this is not consensual and it becomes rape.

It’s irrelevant whether you’re having a snog on the sofa or you’re already getting down to business. It doesn’t matter whether you met the other person five minutes ago or if you’ve been married over five years.

You don’t “owe” anybody any kind of sexual activity, regardless of the situation or your relationship status.

What If Someone Says No to Me?

It’s simple. Listen and stop.

Remember that you are not entitled to their body, just as they aren’t entitled to yours.

It’s natural for the rejection to sting a little, but don’t take it personally. Be respectful and have a chat about it, if both of you want to.

No is not maybe. No is not yes. No means No.

There will be other opportunities to get freaky in the sheets. Wait for that all-important, enthusiastic “yes”!

For more on consent, check out Blue Seat Studios’ video: It’s As Simple As Tea. Brook also has a useful page with more reminders about dealing with sexual pressure.

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