Sex Under Pressure

When I was in college, my then boyfriend really wanted to try something sexually with me that I really didn’t want to do. But, wanting to be the “good girlfriend” (more on this later), I brushed off his pestering with excuses, hoping he’d just drop it. Since he’d told me at the beginning of our relationship that he wanted to whisk me off to Hawaii for the weekend sometime, I told him that if he ever did, I would go along with his request, for anal sex, then. (Not exactly smart, but it was the only way I could get him to shut up about it.)

Then, our two-year anniversary came along, and he’d rented a really nice hotel room for us. When I got there, I saw that he’d decorated the entire place: There were leis, grass skirts, a coconut bra and water bottles in the shape of pineapples. He told me that since we couldn’t actually go to Hawaii right then, he’d recreated it for me. Of course, this was more of a means of convincing me to give him what he wanted, and less of a sweet, romantic gesture.

After fighting about it for a bit, I agreed to let him just do it. It was our anniversary. He’d spent like $500 on the hotel room, I was sick of arguing about it, blah blah blah. After he got in about an inch, my entire body recoiled. The feeling was surreal: It was like each cell in me was screaming “NO.” I told him to stop and he did, but for the rest of our relationship (which lasted longer than I can admit without being embarrassed), he’d harass me about doing it again. Since he didn’t get in all the way, it “didn’t count.”

Years later, I realized that my now-ex wasn’t exactly the greatest of guys: As a general rule, it’s a big red flag if your boyfriend pressures you into doing something sexually that you say you’re not comfortable with. Looking back, I see that I should have walked away right then and there. As it turned out, not only was there was more sexual-guilting to come, but this guy’s selfishness soon extended beyond the bedroom.

Whether or not you and your boyfriend have been intimate yet, sex (even theoretically) is a very important part of a long-term relationship. It’s how couples express love and, really, have a unique kind of fun together. And it requires respect and trust in order to remain a positive part of your bond.

Ladies, know that you don’t “owe” your boyfriend, or any man, anything when it comes to sex, whether it be giving him your virginity, enacting out a fantasy of his, or doing something he requests in bed. While I do encourage you to try new things with your guy when you’re comfortable and ready, you have a right to say no to any act you don’t want to perform. Period. A real man will respect that.

More than anything else, my experience taught me what being a “good girlfriend” really means. I need to be good to myself, first and foremost, not someone who goes along with a guy’s wishes in order to please him, compromising my comfort in the process. I know now that a man who truly loves me wouldn’t ask that of me.


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About the Author,

For more advice from Natasha, Meagan and Julie check out their dating guide, The Little Black Book of Big Red Flags: Relationship Warning Signs You Totally Spotted ... But Chose to Ignore, which they developed from their dating and relationships blog