How do I tell him?

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I just started dating a guy and he seems really into me. I know it’s not going to be very long before he wants to have sex. My question is, how do you go about telling someone about your sexual assault?  If I tell him I don’t want anal, what if he asks me why? I don’t want to scare him off, but I definitely do not want anal sex again after what the last guy put me through. 

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  1. mkyuellig

    Hi rosebud.
    It’s nice to hear from you again.
    You do not have to talk about anything you don’t want to disclose until you are ready. Also, if this guy respects you saying that you are not interested in a particular kind of sexual activity should be enough for him to stop pressuring you. You do not know anyone your story as an explanation for why you aren’t up for certain kinds of sex. I think you can say something vague if you feel comfortable saying that, but you definitely should not feel like you have to go into details. Anyone who is worth sticking with is going to be patient, gentle, and understanding – and will never pressure you to do anything you don’t want to do. I hope it goes well for you!

    Stay strong and be gentle with yourself,

  2. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi rosebud,

    Thank you for coming here to share. That is very exciting that you are dating someone new! New relationships are so much fun. One thing to remember is that you don’t need a reason to not want to do something sexual with another person. If you don’t want to do anal he should respect that, and you can just tell him that you have tried it and don’t like it at all. That should be reason enough. He should understand that it is your body and you have every right to not want to do certain things. Being honest about your past is probably the best thing. Know that building trust with a new person can take some time, but once you have it, it’s a beautiful thing.

    Stay strong,


  3. colton95 Volunteer

    I think that being honest is always the best thing to do, but only at your own pace and comfort. If this guy really is trustworthy, then he should be understanding. If not, then sadly he’s not the one. I hope that everything will work out between you and him and I hope you are doing well.

  4. Jess Volunteer

    Thank you for reaching out to us. Usually, if you’ve found someone you trust, then being honest is the best route to go. Someone who is worthy of your trust will respect any boundaries you set. It’s perfectly okay for you to not feel comfortable with telling the entire story to him – you should be able to tell him what you’re comfortable and uncomfortable with, and he should respect that. Building that trust can take a long time. Be patient. Do what you’re comfortable with and try not to push yourself too hard. If you need anything else, please reach out. We are always here. <3

  5. Julia Mandel Volunteer

    Thank you for reaching out to us. I think when you feel comfortable enough to talk about it, you should just try to be honest with him and tell him what you are not ok with doing. Telling anyone about being assaulted is very difficult and takes lots of time and trust. If you don’t want to tell him the entire story yet, you can always just say you are uncomfortable with doing something and he should respect that and not ask questions. If he is a good person he will not try and rush you or question you on what you are ok with doing or not ok with doing. You should not do anything you are uncomfortable with. We are here for you always; stay strong <3

  6. Marissa Day Captain

    Hi rosebud,

    Thanks for updating us. I don’t think you necessarily need to say exactly what you’ve been through (unless you’re comfortable with that). You saying you don’t want to do anal should be enough for him to back off until you’re ready. Honestly, if he pushes you to do it, I say you should leave him behind. If he doesn’t respect your wishes, he’s not worth your time. I know how hard it is, trying to balance between not scaring them off and only doing what you’re comfortable with. It’s really important to put yourself first, though. Your feelings and urges are important, too. Please only do what you feel comfortable with.

    Stay strong. You’ve got this. I’m wishing you the best of luck with this new guy!


  7. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear rosebud,
    Thank you for letting us share in your good news:) It is wonderful to have a connection with someone. Sex after being assaulted can be very tricky. Go slow and be gentle with yourself….sometimes, we feel like we are ready, but in the moment, our body goes into fight or flight and responds way differently than we expected it to. This isn’t something that you can control and it can be very shocking when it happens, so if possible, you may want to talk with your potential partner and let them know that something happened to you previously (you decide how detailed you want to be) and you are little bit nervous. In one of my previous relationships, he is the one who brought us something that happened to him and he told me his boundaries which opened the door for me to share mine. Many times, we allow fear of rejection to hold us back and it ends up causing so much hurt and confusion. If you don’t want to give an explanation, just set the boundaries; no questions, no explanation.
    Sending you love and strength,

  8. Breanna Grunthal Volunteer

    Hi rosebud,

    I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through in the past, and I’m happy to hear you’ve found someone you have a connection with. Ultimately, this is your decision that you can do when you’re ready. And you can choose to what extent you talk about it. It is your story and you can choose who knows it and how much they know. You can tell him that you just don’t want to do it, you can say you’ve been assaulted but don’t want to talk about it, or go into some detail if you are comfortable. I hope that he responds supportively and respectfully. We’re here for support!


  9. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi rosebud,
    I’m glad that this guy seems interested in you! As for telling people what happened, it can be difficult to gauge how they’re going to respond. You can share as much or as little as you like, and you don’t have to tell him the details if you don’t want to. The right people will respect that, and they’ll accept the boundaries you put in place. This is your story, and you can decide who gets to know about it.
    Thank you for updating us! I hope things go well with him. We’re here to listen and support you, and please write back if you need anything!

  10. Mary Volunteer

    Hi rosebud,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry for what you went through in the past. As far as this new guy goes, it is completely up to you whether or not you tell him what happened to you. If there is something that you do not want to do sexually, then a simple, “I don’t want to do that,” should be enough. If he can’t accept that, then he isn’t respecting your boundaries. If he does push and ask why, you don’t have to tell him anything other than that you just do not want to. He should be willing to accept that. Don’t feel obligated to tell him what happened to you unless it is something that you want to share with him, and definitely don’t feel like you have to do anything with him that you are not comfortable doing. We’re here for you!


  11. Samantha Harris Volunteer

    Hi rosebud,
    I’m glad you found someone you’re interested in! Your past experience is your story and it’s totally up to you when to share it. In my experience, if someone asked why I didn’t want to do something, I just said that it was a personal experience that I wasn’t ready to share yet. It’s completely up to you how much you want to share with him. If he really cares about you, he’ll understand your boundaries regardless of your reasoning. I hope things work out with your new relationship. Feel free to keep us updated, we’re always here to listen.

  12. Shannon Volunteer

    Hey rosebud,

    Thanks for coming back and writing to us. That’s awesome that you have found someone! As for how to tell him, it is all up to you and when you are ready. It is your story to share and the best time is whenever you are ready and comfortable. If he asks why you don’t have to give an explanation if you don’t want to. Be kind to yourself and stay strong.


  13. Brianna W Volunteer Volunteer

    You don’t have to share anything you don’t want to. You owe no one an explanation if he’s not okay with what you want then maybe you need to think about what’s best for you. Relationships are about compromise and understanding each other he should respect you and your wishes or he doesn’t deserve you at all .


  14. Amysue43 Volunteer

    First off, you do not owe anyone an explanation. If he asks you why and you don’t feel comfortable sharing just yet (or ever), then you don’t have to. He should have patience for you and the relationship. He may become frustrated and overall angry with you, but you do not owe him an explanation or sexual favors in return for his patience. If he’s the right one, he will be patient and respectful of your wishes. It may take a hot minute before he realizes it, but such will come. There is no timeline as to when you should share your story. You will have a feeling of comfort with the person/people you decide to share with. It’s when you think you’re ready. You are truly strong, and I believe you have the strength to overcome men that might be less patient or less respectful than what you deserve.

    I hope these comments serve you some reassurance. We support you deeply!

  15. grothkat8 Volunteer

    Relationships can definitely be tricky, but I would wait until you’re comfortable to open up to him. It’s entirely up to you when you want to share your story, and if he is the right person for you, he will understand that. Talking about sex can be a little scary, but you’ll know when it feels right.


  16. Jordan Volunteer

    Hello rosebud,
    Talking about what you like and do not like, or what you are comfortable and not comfortable with, regarding sex can always seem a bit nerve wrecking because we are never completely sure how the other person is going to react to what we say, especially when there is trauma behind it. I’m so sorry that you had a bad experience with the person you were with previously. I agree with Natalie below, that it really just depends on how comfortable you are with him and when you feel like it would be the right time to express what happened to you to him. If you are not comfortable with doing this act that he may or may not ask to do with you, you could just simply explain that you are not into that but maybe would be interested in trying something else? You don’t necessarily have to tell him the reasoning behind it right away. If he is a genuine guy, I hope that he would be understanding regardless of how much or how little you tell him why you do not want to participate in that. Trust your gut feeling, you will know when the right time will be to express this to him.
    I wish you the best with this new relationship and if you ever need anything else we are here for you no matter what. Thank you for sharing your story with us and again, I am so sorry for the previous experience. I hope this new relationship brings good memories for you 🙂 <3

  17. Natalie M Day Captain

    Hi there rosebud,

    Thank you for coming here to share a bit of your story with us. It can be very difficult to find the right time and the right way to share something that has happened to you with a new person. It is your choice when and how you would like to tell him. You don’t have to share right away if it is a new relationship, unless you are comfortable. You are and always will be the most important person when dealing with sharing your story. Don’t rush it. My advice would be to wait until you are ready and comfortable. You will never have to explain why you do not want to do something. You have the choice to say no or yes to whatever you would like. I hope you remember that. We are here for you and we support you whenever you feel is the right time to share. You are welcome to come back here and update us or share more if you would like. Stay strong! You got this! I hope things work out for the best in your new relationship!


  18. Lizzi

    Hi rosebud,
    That’s such a tough situation to be in, and it’s hard to always know the best way to tell someone what’s happened to you. I would hope that if he’s a good guy and does really care about you, he’d be understanding of what you decide to tell him. Only you can decide how much you want to tell him, and you don’t owe him an explanation to why you don’t want anal unless you want to tell him. I agree with other comments that if he gets scared off by the fact that you were previously sexually assaulted or that you won’t do anal, he’s not the right guy for you. But it sounds like you’re excited about this guy and I hope it all works out for you!

  19. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi rosebud,
    I’m sorry about what happened. I think that if your new boyfriend wants to have sex with you and you are 100% ready to have sex I think that it is okay to do it. Just remember to use protection and be safe. If he asks about anal just tell him no and if he asks you can just say I don’t feel comfortable with doing that. If you want to tell him that you were sexually assaulted, you can. Just don’t feel like you have or that it is going to scare him off. He if he really loves you he would be understanding and considerate of the fact that you were sexually assaulted. If he gets scared he isn’t the one, but you will find someone who will understand and love you want to be with you forever. I hope this helped. Thank you for trusting and sharing your story with AVFTI.

  20. candyappleb Day Captain

    Hi Rosebud,

    That’s awesome that you’ve found a partner and things are going well. What you choose to share with him about your assault is entirely up to you. I know it can be difficult especially at the beginning of a new relationship when people may seem hurt or offended with out an “adequate” explanation, but you’re under no obligation to share your story unless you feel comfortable doing so. A simple no or not interested is all you need to convey your lack of consent toward sexual activities.

    Best of luck! We’re here for you,

  21. Graciegrace22


    I am hearing your concerns and worries about the new guy and the potential to come. I am wondering when the conversation comes up about having sex could you mention to him without disclosing fully what happened something like anal makes me uncomfortable and I prefer to avoid that. If you feel comfortable with the person and are okay to fully open up and tell him than go for it. I would keep in mind your level of comfort in the conversation and try to set boundaries. Setting boundaries is caring for your self which is okay to do. I hope you are able to come to a agreement with the new guy.

  22. Leximcclelland Volunteer

    Hey, thanks for opening up!
    If you are not comfortable with something, the person you are with should have enough respect to be okay with that. You don’t need an explanation or a reason.
    Boundaries in all parts of a relationship, but most importantly sex, is healthy and starts a good form of communication.
    I think once you are comfortable, and can feel that this person has the respect for you that you deserve and you want to open up, then you should. But not before you’re ready and comfortable. Your story is yours and only yours until you are comfortable enough to share it.
    Thank you for sharing your story and I hope to see an update from you! Stay strong ????

    – Lexi

  23. rkr18 Volunteer


    Thanks for sharing. I would say that when or if the situation arises you should tell him I not comfortable with that. He should respect that. As you get closer or more serious, then when you are comfortable you should start the process of going more into details. This is what I did, and the person, which is now my spouse respected my feelings. It really comes down to what you are comfortable sharing. I hope this helps. Please let us know if you need anything, we are here for you.

  24. Thomas Volunteer

    Hi Rosebud,

    First off, it’s imortant that you don’t need to have any additional reason. You being uncomfortable with anal or anything else is a sufficient reason. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Someone who doesn’t respect this or tries to pressure you knowing you don’t want to do it, isn’t someone who is disregarding your feelings and that’s not good. Setting boundaries is healthy, normal, and necessary for any good relationship.

    As for disclosing your story to him, I think you should simply tell as little or as much as your comfortable with. You can tell an incomplete story, say more later on, or even wait a while. Again, it’s about doing what is the most comfortable for you.

    Thanks for posting and please let us know how else we can help. Stay strong and remember you are not alone.


  25. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    I think every victim has this discussion in their head, and I know that this can be scary to set boundaries with your partner, especially when the relationship is new. I will say that setting boundaries related to sex is completely healthy and normal no matter if you are a victim or not, and every couple should be doing this. Anyone who doesn’t understand or care about your boundaries is someone who doesn’t care about you. If you aren’t ready to disclose your sexual assault, you can simply just tell him that you don’t want to do anal sex because you just don’t want to. No other explanation is necessary, unless you’re ready to disclose.

    I’ve told my previous partners pretty early about my trauma history-but not necessarily all of it. I’ve told what I’m comfortable telling, and they’ve either responded well, or not. Those previous partners were not for me, because they could not support that part about me and what I needed. I’ve put my healing needs first-and you should, too, and you don’t have to apologize to anyone for that. We support you. We are here for you. Let us know how else we can help you.


  26. Solongago Volunteer

    Well, I don’t know nothing about this sort of thing, but what I think is that you should come out and tell him in a situation that is not a sexual situation. Somewhere you can be private, but not your house or his house, which could easily turn into a sexual situation, or be misinterpreted as such. Maybe on a drive, somewhere, like a trip to an amusement park or water park or something you both like to do, an hour or two away, so one drives, and you can have some real conversation.

    Come right out and say it: “I like you a lot, and I think we have a lot in common, and I hope this can turn into something wonderful. There is something you ought to know though, and I figured it is better to talk about this when we have a little time and won’t be interrupted. I was in a relationship that turned ugly, and the guy assaulted me. Now, I am a little hesitant and maybe I will need to go slowly or won’t be comfortable with some things.

    I wouldn’t say anything like, “I won’t do anal.” Because, that may not be true. Maybe when this guy and you grow into a very special relationship, he will be that person who will let you proceed at your pace and the connection will be such that you will want to try everything with him

    I wouldn’t worry about scaring him off, because if he hears what you say, and decides that your not the gal for him, then he’d be a dudd anyway, and the sooner you find that out the better. But, you don’t have to make the relationship sexual until you BOTH are ready for that. I don’t know what the hurry is. Of course you don’t want to meet someone on Tuesday and tell him Friday that you were sexually assaulted, unless you are in a group for survivors. A better idea is to get to know each other, so that you have MANY important conversations before you consider having sex with him.

    Do stuff with him, see what kind of a shopper he is. See if he will go horse back riding or white water rafting or riding roller coasters, or having fun at a fair. Go with him to book stores and restaurants and coffee shops and talk about him, talk about you, talk about your (plural) dreams/ideal for the future. Talk about politics, and work, and school, and what you both think about families, having children, and so on. What do you have in common? Drinking? Dancing? Hiking? Dogs? Bike riding? Bible study? Reading? Swimming?

    If you have a bases for a relationship without the sexual component, and THEN, you discuss what happened, and what worries you now about it, then he has a lot more to go on — instead of him thinking, “Gee this girl I just met has a lot of hang-ups,” He’s thinking, “She’s fun, she’s funny, I love doing stuff with her, time just flies when I am with her, so she had a bad time with that guy, but we can make this work out.”

    But then, I would fit in ok in the stone age where you’d need an engagement ring before that first kiss. LOL!

    I’ll just say this though, when we let ourselves be known to others, sometimes it lets them allow us to know them. Survivors often have trouble with trusting others. Sometimes we can’t trust people at all. Sometimes we trust people too soon, people who are untrustworthy. The former feeds our loneliness and keeps us there, and the latter sets us up to be victimized/hurt again, and again. I know that isn’t very helpful. Maybe you can share something with him that is less significant and see how he does with that, before you become more vulnerable.