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The Definition of No

A quick lesson in consent.

Here is what ‘no’ means:

No, adv.

1. Used to express refusal, denial, disbelief, emphasis, or disagreement.
2. Not at all; not by any degree.

 

If someone says no to engaging in any form of sexual activity the conversation should end there. You can ask why, talking openly in a sexual relationship is healthy, but you are not owed a response. Their body, their rules. No matter what you have or haven’t done before.

Here are some things no doesn’t mean.

  • No does not mean ‘I am playing hard to get’.
  • No does not mean ‘keep going’.
  • No does not mean ‘ignore me’.
  • No does not mean ‘I am being a tease’.
  • No does not mean ‘Do what you want anyway.’
  • No does not mean ‘I don’t love you’.
  • No does not mean ‘I don’t find you attractive’.
  • No does not mean ‘I’m a prude.’
  • No does not mean ‘convince me’.
  • No does not mean ‘maybe’.
  • No does not mean- and I can’t believe I even have to say this one- no does not mean yes. 

Here are somethings that mean no:

  • ‘I’m uncomfortable doing that.’
  • ‘I don’t want to’/ I don’t want to right now.’
  • ‘Stop.’
  • ‘I’m not ready.’
  • ‘I’m not sure.’
  • ‘I don’t feel well.’
  • ‘I’m too tired.’
  • Silence and unresponsiveness.

If the last one has you confused, but you’ve noticed your partner doesn’t really seem that in to it, just ask them. Sometimes speaking up can be scary and uncomfortable for them.

Consent should never be assumed or implied, it should be explicitly given. No matter who you are, your relationship to them or whether or not you have had sex with them before.

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