You might be in a relationship where you find yourself pressured to be sexually active. It is possible not to give in to pressured sex and to say “No”. Different people use different tactics to try lure others into having sex even when the other person is not willing. They may say things like:
• It’s just this one time
• If you really love me then you can prove it this way
• Really, you won’t get STIs or HIV from me
• You won’t get pregnant the first time, you don’t need to be scared
• Everyone else is doing it
• It’s either we have sex in our relationship or I dump you
• I know you really want to
But you can say “No” to the pressure! You do not need to sacrifice your values. If someone really cares for you, they shouldn’t pressure you to abandon your values or lose your self-respect. Abstinence does not mean you are weak or immature but could mean you are simply waiting for the right time and with the right person.
You can give reasons for practising abstinence when experiencing sexual pressure. For example:
• I am not ready to be pregnant
• I choose to break my virginity only after I get married
• My values and beliefs do not agree with sex before marriage
Make sure that your behaviour supports your decision. This means not doing the opposite of what you say otherwise you will not be taken seriously. Therefore:
• Avoid being in compromising situations where you may be pressured to be sexually active
• Surround yourself with people who share similar beliefs
• Avoid going back and forth on your decision
If you decide to change from a sexually active lifestyle, it is possible to practice abstinence:
• Let others know such as a friend or adult about your new decision. They may help to keep you accountable
• Find out about any health consequences that may have occurred as a result of sexually active behaviour and take action
• Speak to the person you are dating about your decision and get reassurance that they will abstain and not coerce you into having sex with them.
If you need to speak to speak to someone about sexual pressure, do not hesitate to visit DeKUT counseling centre.