Gimme Some Oral Skills!
Sidebar: college students told us they wanted some tangible skills for navigating sexual or potentially sexual situations, but men and women expressed different concerns. Remember that though the guy is often the pursuer/instigator of sex, this doesn't mean a woman can't be the one, that the context is necessarily heterosexual, or that both people can't be concerned about avoiding a non-consensual situation. These communication skills apply to all kinds of adult situations and sexual orientations.
As far as checking-in language goes, the best advice is three-fold:
1) Be yourself.
Links to Tips below:
Tips for Asking | Tips for Speaking Up | Setting Clear Boundaries | Sidebar for Women
Tips for Asking
Use your own language. Ask in the way that you would want to be asked. It might feel awkward but, hey, sex can feel awkward at times, yet still be fun. If you have no clue what to say, consider trying something along these lines:
"I'd really like to kiss you. Would that be okay?"
"Is this all right with you?"
"Hey, are you comfortable with this? Just checking."
"Do you want to keep going or stop here?"
"Would it be okay if we went further? If not, that's totally cool."
"It seems like you want to go all the way, but I want to be sure it's okay. What do you want?"
Probably the most important things here are to communicate beyond the silent cues you think you're sending each other, and to make sure you understand the answers the other person gives you. Because, again, silence can mean a lot of things besides "yes," and sex requires that both people are actively consenting, not just "not saying no."
By checking in, you show the other person that you respect them and their wishes. Even if you're disappointed, even if the answer is no.
Tips for Speaking Up
If you are being pursued by someone whom you think wants to have sex with you, remember that you always have the legitimate prerogative to opt out at any time. You do not have to take care of the other person's ego, or to make their friends think you're cool, or to be nice. What matters most is that you feel safe and comfortable. Any other kind of sex, even if it's "just" something you regret later, is not worth it.
When it comes to sex, sometimes people are clueless. Sometimes they ignore your cues until you lay it out for them in words. Sometimes they just get awkward about talking. Sometimes they use manipulation to ignore what you want.
Don't let it be up to the other person to decide what's going to happen. Here are some examples of speaking up language:
"I think you're cute, but I only want to kiss, okay?"
"I want to wait until we know each other better."
"This is moving a bit fast for me. Let's stop here for now."
"You're very sexy but I don't want to go any further."
"Wait, I'm not sure I want to do this. Let's stop."
"I'm not interested in having sex with you."
"I'm not going to sleep with you, so stop trying to get my clothes off."
"Hey, slow down."
Setting Clear Boundaries
An important thing here is to be assertive and unambiguous about what you want. Set your boundaries clearly and firmly, in whatever language feels natural to you. Don't worry about getting some kind of "sign off" or "okay" from the other person. It doesn't have to be an open-ended conversation where they get to argue with you. Your "stop here" is enough, and you don't need to defend it.
I was making out with this guy and he kept saying, "I really want to make love to you," over and over. So finally I said, "Thank you, but I don't want to have sex with you."
If the other person tries to argue you out of your boundary, repeat it and let them know that the conversation's closed. If they don't seem to get it, you may want to leave. You never have to feel bad about being clear.
Sidebar for Women:
When you're with someone sexually or think you might want to be (or they might want to be), your proactive, verbal skills in the moment can serve you beautifully.
I was at a party and I was dancing. This guy came up to me and asked if he could show me his place. I said, "sure." He was cute, so we went to his place and he started kissing me and we went out on his balcony and he asked if we could go to his room and "try out the bed." I said that I thought that might be pushing it a little too fast and that I just wanted to talk. And that was fine.
And guess what? It's not your job to please everybody, including the guy(s) (or girls) you hang out with. You don't have to worry about whether they feel rejected if you shut them down, or whether they're going to be embarrassed, or what their friends will think about you. All that matters is that you're taking care of yourself, that you feel comfortable and safe all the way. You never have to do anything you don't at that moment absolutely feel like doing. Ever.
I met this guy at a party and we decided to go for a drive. We ended up in the mountains and laid in the back of his truck looking at the stars. We eventually started to make out and eventually things progressed. Without discussion he started to try to put himself inside of me and I stopped him and said "No," that I was fine making out with him but didn't want to have sex. As we kissed a little more he tried again, and I said "No" again. I made a joke that he would remember me as the only girl that kept saying no to him, to which he replied that he could be a lot more forceful than he was being. I changed the subject then we just laid there and talked. Soon after we got back into the truck and he took me home.
If you feel threatened do whatever you need to - in any situation - to feel safe. That may mean doing something out of the ordinary, but that's okay too. If it means shutting a person down, do it. If it means leaving, great. If it means punching him in the face or kicking him in the crotch, so be it. You have every right to defend yourself with anyone, even if you're dating the person.
From: http://www.whynotask.org. Produced by the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
For more information e-mail Hotline@vsdvalliance.org. E-mail is not a secure form of communication. To ensure confidentiality please call the Family Violence & Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.838.8238 (V/TTY).