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Jess~ Offline
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I feel guilty for saying no - January 20th 2018, 09:59 PM

Ever since I was raped in 2016, I have had a serious internal conflict whenever it comes to saying no. There are times where I feel physically incapable of saying the word, and I feel like it's my fault for even wanting to say it at all.

The biggest moment where I feel like I can't or shouldn't be able to say no anymore is when a guy is already turned on and hard. There have been times where I've been on first dates and strictly told myself before the date that I wouldn't do anything sexual (after being raped that was a problem for me, so my counselor told me to practice establishing boundaries with myself before a date). But then, as the date progressed, the guy would want to kiss, which I'd be hesitant to do but eventually give in, thinking it's only a kiss. That would then lead to making out, which I justified as being fine as long as it didn't go any further. But then lo and behold, before I knew it, he would be trying to guide my hand to places I didn't want to go and would be confused about why I was resisting.

This makes me feel like it's completely my fault, because if I didn't want to touch his dick, why would I have kissed him in the first place, right? I feel like, once the guy is hard and horny, it's on me because it's my fault he got to that point in the first place. If I would've just said no to the kiss, it wouldn't ever progress to this point, so now this is my problem, not his.

I don't know. Now, I do have a problem with saying no even for little things, like kissing. But it just seems like after a guy is obviously turned on, it amplifies my concerns about saying no. I think it's because I feel like when it's just kissing or something small like that, he will be more receptive and use more common sense if I don't want to do that and say no. But after he's turned on, I feel like all common sense goes out the window and all he can focus on is that he wants to move to the next step. I know it sounds like a gross generalization and I am hoping that it's not true for most guys.
(Just to show how this isn't merely a little worry in the back of my mind sometimes, and that it's actually a pretty severe problem that takes over whenever I'm in that sort of situation, I experienced a great deal of anxiety over the course of simply writing those last two paragraphs. Just describing the situation made my body shake and my heart rate increase and my chest tightened up really badly. I just wanted to say that because I've had people tell me I'm just overreacting. If I could stop dealing with this shit, I would have stopped already, I'm just acting how my body and mind tell me to in these situations.)

I already feel really stupid about writing this, and I know my concerns are probably childish and immature and all I need to do is grow a pair. Growing a pair isn't exactly an option until I can understand how to deal with this and reason with myself first.
So what I'm really wondering is how can I practice saying no and even force myself to say no in situations like that, without the fear of being forced to do something? Being raped is always the number one concern in the back of my mind during these encounters. If my only concern was that I would be disappointing the guy or that he would never want to see me again, I could deal with it better. But my biggest fear from saying no is that he'll either get angry and hurt me or get pushy and force me.

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Re: I feel guilty for saying no - January 21st 2018, 12:39 AM

You're not overreacting at all and anyone who has told you that is completely wrong. Given what you have been through it is understandable to be guilty or afraid to say no especially because you lost a lot when you were raped.

Something to think about is that you can't control a guy's body. So, if he gets aroused then it happens but it's not something you made happen; his sexual arousal isn't your fault. It's just the body's natural response.

You're not being immature either. If someone doesn't like you or doesn't want to see you again after you say no then you're better off without them. Try to remember that you're exercising your right to say no when you say it and there's no guilt in that. The guilt belongs to the person who raped you.

It must be difficult to fear that a guy will get pushy or force you into sex but know that not all guys are like that. Many are respectful. You said you worked on setting boundaries for yourself in therapy. Have you set them only for yourself or have you let guys know what they are? Maybe you could let them know so they are aware ahead of time how far you want to go and where you don't want to go.

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Re: I feel guilty for saying no - January 21st 2018, 09:42 PM

I agree with what's been said. When a guy gets aroused, it's just the body reacting, which no-one really has much control over. Also, kissing can just be kissing- it doesn't mean that you want or it has to lead to more sexual activities. And it certainly isn't 'your fault' that the guy got aroused.

I do understand your concerns though. Kissing can just seem pretty innocent, and yet when a guy gets aroused it can feel like there are expectations, and that in that moment, logic goes out of the window. But as you realise, that is generalisation and whoever you are with should always take into consideration what you want or don't want to do, regardless of how aroused they might be.

Understandably, after being raped and trying to figure out boundaries and being in this situation with a guy, it can cause you to panic. Especially if you are worrying about turning them down and them reacting angrily or forcing you to do things. You aren't overreacting or being stupid at all. I agree that it can help to talk about your boundaries before the date, even if you start off with just a text message, and then if need be, talk about it in person.

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