1. Complain about contraception
The pressure: “Condoms are the worst, it completely ruins it, I can’t feel anything!”
No matter how you feel about condoms, they’re basically the safest form of contraception. If someone consents to sex with a condom, then that's the type of sex you’re having. If you try to not use a condom, you’re pressuring that person into sex they haven’t agreed to.
The response: “That’s fine! We don’t have to use a condom, we just won’t have sex!”
2. Downplay other sexual acts
The pressure: “We don’t have to have sex. We can just do other stuff. Because that’s not ‘actual sex’. So I can pressure you about it.”
Pressure for any sexual act, is still unwelcome pressure. ‘Sex’ can mean a whole lot of things - intercourse is not the only thing someone might not be up for. Have a conversation about what you and your partner do and don’t want to get in to, but keep it pressure-free.
The response: “I’m not comfortable doing that either. I’m not comfortable with [insert ANYthing you’re not up for], and you need to respect that.”
3. Beg after getting a ‘no’.
The pressure: “But we‘ve started now – we’ve gotta keep going!”
Consent means ongoing consent, not just consent to start with. Both people have to be clearly willing, comfortable and enthusiastic from ‘start to finish’. Remember, anyone can change their mind for whatever reason. It is never too late to say no.
The response: “Nope, I’m really not feeling it and I said I want to stop, which means we're stopping.”
4. Emotionally manipulate
The pressure: “If you really loved me, you would do it.”
“If you don’t, I think our relationship might be over.”
“If we start having sex then we can start dating.”
Nobody should ever feel manipulated into having sex. Emotional manipulation can make someone feel like they have an obligation to have sex with another person, even though they do not.
The response: “If you really loved me, you wouldn’t use a line like that.”
“If that’s really how you feel, then you’re right - our relationship is over.”
“That’s a sweet offer, but I’m really not that desperate.”
5. Try to ‘sell it’.
The pressure: “Come on, please, I really want to, let me just get you in the mood.”
Make no mistake, when someone says no, they mean no. No is not a challenge to try and get a yes. No is the end of that conversation. If your partner isn’t in the mood, a heartfelt plea from the ‘Yes team’ isn’t going to get them in the mood.
The response: “Well, I don’t feel like it, and it’s not fun when you try to change my mind”
You decide whether you want to have sex and what that sex looks like. It’s up to your partner whether they feel the same way.