“To not be afraid to say no when a guy is showing signs of hoping to get
some from me. Like I’m too concerned with making friends in college
that I don’t say ‘no’ but don’t say ‘yes’ either. I just shy away, but
I end up in bad situations.”

The above statement is one of the most common questions students ask.


Tina in our office says:
“She deserves to be respected and heard.  If the only way to make a friend is to ‘give him some’ then he’s not really a friend – sex is not a requirement of friendship.  Friends respect each other and care about how each other feels.  If he is a friend, HE will not put you in a ‘bad situation‘. He will honor your feelings and boundaries.”

I agree with Tina and would add:
By sharing YOUR VOICE (answering “No” when you don’t want intimacy), you discover who IS a friend and who is not. If the person completely respects your voice and boundaries, this is someone you are more likely to want a strong friendship with.

In the above scenario, the person pursuing the sexual activity has the responsibility to REQUEST your consent – to ASK FIRST before attempting to sexually touch you. It is not your responsibility to read your partner’s mind and say, “No” to a question that was never asked of you. Before intimacy approaches, talk to your partner about how you love when a partner asks first for intimacy. Help establish positive boundaries for the 2 of you.

For this article, we are working under the premise your partner has ASKED you for intimacy.

The amount of friends in college is not nearly as important as the QUALITY of friendships. 20 years from today, you will probably be really close with at most a handful of college friends. While in college think ahead about WHO you want those people to be. WHO respects you? Who represents the moral character you most admire? Who does all this and is fun to be around?

As to the element of NOT FEELING CONFIDENT TO SAY “NO” TO AN INTIMATE PARTNER, this is a common fear people share with us.

When I was recently speaking in Canada, 2 students were on stage role-playing a moment where one person says, “No” to the other person asking for a kiss. When the student playing the role of “Chris” asked “Taylor, may I kiss you?”, the student playing the role of Taylor answered with “Sorry, but I’m on my period.” Of course the audience rolled in laughter and the character of Chris responded with shock. For many people, that seemed like an odd reason not to kiss someone. The student portraying “Taylor” said, “Well that’s just an excuse some of us women often use instead of saying, ‘No’ to someone.

We paused the show at the moment to discuss WHY people feel saying, “No” is bad or mean. Many women pointed out how our society teaches women to be “pleasers” – making everyone happy. A common example in a heterosexual couple is how the Mom is often expected to give up her career before the Dad does – for the Mom to stay home and “take care” of the family. Another example is how a man might respond to a “No” with “You got me all worked up, the least you can do is . . .” – implying his partner OWES him sexual activity because he got turned on.

In a healthy, respectful relationship, your partner should only want to have intimacy with you when YOU WANT TO HAVE INTIMACY. Have you ever been intimate with a partner who wasn’t into it? Anyone who has can tell you those moments of intimacy are not fun. For intimacy to be fantastic, you want to have a partner who WANTS YOU as badly as you want the partner!

Audiences of all genders overwhelmingly state they love sexually confident partners. Be confident in your voice, your beliefs, and your boundaries.

To ensure the best intimacy, share your voice. Know that part of what makes you special is you do have wants, likes, desires, and boundaries that are YOURS!!!

Each week when we answer a student’s question, we want you to ADD to the conversation and we will sometimes intentionally leave one part of the question for you to answer instead of us. For this week, please share your thoughts in the COMMENTS SECTION below – including how you would respond to the students reference of “I end up in bad situations”?


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