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Content appropriate for readers 15 and older

Sex! They want it - you don’t

How to handle unwanted attention

You might find yourself in situations where someone wants to have sex with you, or even just fool around, and you don’t want to. They may suggest it, nag you or even try and force you. It could be a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, teacher, family member or someone offering you money or other gifts. But if you don’t consent (agree) to have sex, then it’s not sex at all - it’s rape.

Learn how to say ‘No’
The word is short and sharp and it means business. Practise saying it in a firm manner and follow through with your body language. If you’re giggling, you’ll not be taken seriously. But if you put up your hand to block the person, make eye contact with a stern look on your face and a serious tone in your voice and say ‘No’, it’s a different story.

More than ‘No’
Sometimes a stern ‘No!’ is not enough. This is when you have to explain your reasons about why you don’t want to have sex. It could be that you want to wait to lose your virginity until you’re ready. Maybe you don’t want to risk falling pregnant or you want to avoid getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). If the person refuses to listen to you, the best thing to do is remove yourself from the situation and leave if you can.

Don’t give in
Whatever your reason for saying ‘No’, remember this: it’s your choice, your right. You make your own rules. You may end up having sex with someone for the wrong reasons. Maybe they're blackmailing you, buying you nice presents, threatening you, harassing you or taking advantage of you while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. But if you don't want to do it, don't. You'll feel better about yourself - on this day and every time you remember this day - if you say 'No'.

Saying 'No' will get easier as you get older. But remember that if you say ‘No’ and they force you to have sex anyway, that’s called rape. And rape is never the fault of the victim.

Giving in sexually does not mean you love this person or that they love you. You make your own rules about if, when and where you say 'Yes' to sex.


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