Question : I’ve been dating this guy for a month. He’s popular and cool.. I like him but he wants to get more physical and I don’t feel ready for that. We made out a couple of times and I feel uncomfortable when he touches my body. I feel like there’s something wrong with me because my friends have gone to third base and I feel weird about it. Teentalker , 16-year-old
Let’s think about ice-cream for a minute. You like ice-cream. But you only like it in the summer. It’s now winter, and your boyfriend is eating ice-cream, and trying to force you to have some. But you don’t want it! You said no! Imagine if after you’ve said no, your boyfriend takes a spoon of ice-cream and forces it into your mouth. Isn’t that basic disrespect and disregard for your choices?
Why is the ice-cream situation any different from this one? I’m not going to tiptoe around this, because it’s clear what the heart of the matter is: consent, consent, consent!
Here are a few active steps you can take to help yourself:
- Your body, your rules – you decide who can touch you, where they can touch you, when they can touch you and why they can touch you
- You always have the right to change your mind, even mid-way
- Not now, maybe, and maybe later mean NO
- If you don’t want to, you don’t have to
- Tell your boyfriend about consent
- Have a plan in place for if boundaries get crossed – leave, ask him to leave.
Read on to understand how you can do the above.
I want you to know (and chant to yourself everyday!) – your body, your rules. Regardless of the reasons behind your discomfort, the fact is that what you want to say is NO. And when you say no, or indicate it through your body language, your facial expressions, your tone of voice, nobody has the right to touch you in the way you do not want. Anyone who ignores your request for your boundaries and continues (“come on yaar, everyone does it, you’re my girlfriend, it’ll feel good”), is, and I’m going to say this even though it sounds extreme, guilty of abuse.
So how do you make all of this clear to your boyfriend?
One – tell him that you don’t like it when he touches you. Tell him that you need to go at a slower pace because it’s making you feel guilty and not enjoy anything. Just because you have consented to kissing doesn’t mean you’re okay with anything else.
Two – have a plan in place for how you’ll respond if he crosses the lines you’ve set. You always have the right to change your mind, even in the middle of any physical activity. If the lines get crossed, you could get up and leave, maybe you could ask him to leave. If he repeats the attempts, you might want to think about why you need to be with someone who isn’t respecting your choices. Basic respect starts early!
So while that’s sinking in, let’s take a moment to think about why you like this boy. Is it because he’s popular/seems cool to others, or is it because you feel connected and attracted to him? Are you into this person, or are you telling yourself to be into him because you “should be”?
Hope this helps, if you have any other query do connect online for chat between 11am-8pm or drop us an offline message.
Expert Teentalk India