Consent in Relationships

1845 4
1845 4

Picture 4As we have been growing, we have had people join our efforts as volunteers. Most of them come to us locally in Cincinnati and help us at events, help with research or help promote the cause. Jacqui joined us from Massachusetts. She found us on Instagram, and has been helping to spread the word about us in her home town. She made a short video explaining why she wanted to help us. Recently, she submitted the following article about consent in relationships. Thank you, Jacqui! Jacqui is an AVFTI volunteer and a college student who is part of a group called Campus Educators on Sexual Assault. You can read some of her poetry here.


coupleWhen you’re with someone that you love, few things can ruin that. You start to finish each other’s sentences, have set days to hangout, their family feels like yours, and you can tell what they are feeling just from the look on their face. You feel like you are floating on air. Especially once you’ve had sex. You feel that your bond is impenetrable and all you want to do is make your lover feel happy. You can probably tell that one of the best ways to make them feel happy is by having sex. It feels great for you too! But sometimes, you just aren’t in the mood. We all have the days when we are just too tired, cranky, or just don’t feel like it! There is NOTHING wrong with that! But sometimes, we give in to our lover’s pleas of sex, even when we don’t want to. And that’s not okay!

Some things they might say:

“Come on babe! I’d do it for you!”

“Just a little foreplay! It won’t go any further.”

“But you look so sexy!”

“You were totally into it last night!”

“You wanted to this morning!”

“It’s been days! I need some release!”

“There are plenty of others who would give it to me.”

While these might be true, their sexual frustration is NOT your responsibility. It’s your body and you have control over it! Just because you wanted to before, does not mean you HAVE to do it. You are in control.

It’s important to remember-There is no such thing as roll-over consent. Just because you’ve had sex before, doesn’t mean you always want to! Consent must be given every time, and you don’t have to give it every time someone wants it!

Ways to combat their pressure:

“I love you too, but I’m just not feeling it tonight. Maybe tomorrow, but no promises!”

You don’t want them to think you will have sex tomorrow, you might, who knows!

“No. I don’t want to and I wish you would respect my decision.”

Sometimes you have to be blunt! Make it clear that you are not happy with them pressuring

you.

“I feel like you are trying to pressure me into something I don’t want to do and that isn’t okay with me.”

Once again, make it clear! You care about them, so you don’t want to attack them- so use “I” statements. “I feel” “ I think” ,etc. This makes it clear that it is how you are feeling.

“I’m not in the mood, let’s watch Family Guy.”

Suggest something that you BOTH will enjoy. This way you are both happy.

While relationships are about compromise, you never have to have sex because someone else wants to. You are in charge of your body and get to make all the decisions. Remember, it’s okay to say no. Be clear and communicate with your loved one, and if they don’t listen or respect how you are feeling, then it might be time to find someone who will!

In this article

Join the Conversation

4 comments

  1. thatjacqui

    Thanks love! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it! Consent isn’t just sexy…It’s mandatory and I hope people realize that!

  2. pinky

    Jacqui, I think this blog is so incredibly necessary because it touches on that grey area of sexual encounters that might not be clearly identified as rape or assault, but certainly weren’t wanted by both parities. I think also that a person should realize that just because they are guilted into consent, doesn’t mean they weren’t taken advantage of. You were so on point when you said that having sex with someone in the past, or even being in a current relationship with someone, does NOT obligate you to have sex with them on demand. I can’t tell you how many times I fell into this trap in my first few relationships. This is something that I think needs to be addressed more with young women, as they are getting to the age of serious dating. Thank you so much for bringing this topic to light here.

  3. Becky

    Very important reminder – thank you! My favorite response to my husband when he occasionally gets like this is to say, “Just for tonight, I’d like to be loved for everything about me and our relationship that doesn’t involve sex.”. Or…”Sex and intimacy are not the same. Tonight, I want intimacy.” 🙂

    1. Mark

      Becky those are great ways to approach that situation. I hadn’t thought of those angles but they are clear, loving and any level headed lover would think “Oh you’re right, sure thing” It seems hard to not potentially hurt someones feelings. Sexual rejection at any point in a relationship can be a let down, but explaining it that way just makes sense for everyone!