Why I Can’t Say Yes To Sex

I am visiting South Africa. I’m staying in a beautiful apartment overlooking the ocean, and I am all alone.

I’ve been stupid horny. Like, masturbate-twice-a-day-with-various-household-objects horny.

I figured it would be nice to go on a date with a guy from Okcupid, maybe have some casual sex, and never see him again. I searched, found many possibly eligible men, but none who I really liked.

And so I spent nights alone, drinking wine on an empty pussy.

Why couldn’t I get laid? Why wasn’t I letting myself get laid? Why did I have these impossible standards about who I fucked when it didn’t really matter in the long run? I would obviously enjoy it while it was happening. I was cockblocking myself and I hated it.

It got me thinking, and I came up with a theory. I want to make clear that my following explanations for my behavior are not describing a conscious decision, but rather an idea of what must be happening behind the scenes.

For me, saying no to sex is a form of power. A lot of men want to sleep with me, and saying ‘no’ to them all is kind of primal, because it means A: Men want me, and B: I’m too “hot” for them – for all of them. I am sexually superior to them. I only say ‘yes’ to men I find sexually superior to myself. If a popular, handsome, and charming movie star – say a generic Chad McMuscles – came around and paid attention to me, I would probably at least start out with sexual interest, because he would be the most sexually superior mate. I assume I must be very motivated to have superior mate in my pussy, because I assume I’m programmed to try to produce the best baby, and settling for an inferior mate is just not great for my line of DNA.

This means that when I say yes to Chad McMuscles, I’m essentially telling him that he is the hottest/smartest/most intriguing man who’s paid attention to me – but more importantly, I am admitting he’s the best I can get. I’m submitting my sexual power, in a way, and it’s a very vulnerable position to be in.

This might be fine, because fancy moviestar Chad McMuscles is pretty high hanging fruit – but the problem is my subconscious brain doesn’t think so. My subconscious brain is an asshole.

“Are you sure you can’t do better?” it whispers to me (usually on the first date when he asks if I want to go back to his place). “Are you really going to let him know he’s the best you can possibly get? Your power is in saying no. You’re about to say yes. Are you sure you should be saying yes? Is this a good choice?  You know you lost all your superpowers, right? Is this worth it? Is it?!?

Of course this is very silly. I frequently just ignore this stupid voice because I am an adult and I like sex. I also frequently ignore it because the kind of people I like and respect as individuals are people who aren’t generally very good at triggering the primal side of me, and if I want to be intimate with them, I have to shut myself up, usually with copious amounts of alcohol.

But I do think this has had an effect on what I like in bed.

I like forced sex exclusively (and consensually, of course). Forceful sex is the only way I can get out of my head and feel the way that other people talk about feeling in sex – passionate, involved, ecstatic. It’s almost the only way I can orgasm. In relationships I typically have an agreement that they must never ask me for sex, because I will always say no. If they want sex, they have to take it from me. Before you feel offended by this, lots of men really like this sort of arrangement.

And I think it feels so freeing because I no longer have to worry about whether or not I’m giving up power.. Feeling a hand yanking on my hair and a smack on my ass is a weird soothing message into my subconscious that I did not say yes to this. I am not giving up power. There is nothing wrong with my sexual value because I neither asked for it nor allowed it. Really, it just reaffirms my ideal view of the world – of course a man would want to have sex with me so bad that he would ignore my ‘no’.

I trick my primal brain into believing this, and then it allows me to enjoy sex.

Now, I’ve been followed and chased twice before – one involved chestkicking a man out of my apartment door when he tried to shove in after me, and the other involved a man trying to grab me in a dark alley in the middle of the night. Both were absolutely terrifying and horrible and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody.

But… I masturbated to it later. I felt fucked up because it turned me on, like it shouldn’t, like I was betraying some sort of moral code, or admitting a victory to those horrible men, by allowing myself to fantasize about it.

At some point I just have to throw my hands up. I’m not going to judge myself for the things that get me going. I engage in safe, consensual play. I in no way condone actually forcing anybody into a sexual experience against their will.

I don’t know how many other women experience this sort of mindset. Part of me wants to think it’s widespread, because a lot of women like rough sex, and the idea of a woman having sexual value by being approached by men and then saying no to men is a
huge
part
of
our
culture.

Men don’t really get the same message. Generally you don’t hear them bragging about how they said no to all the women. Men get the message of sexual value by getting lots of women to say yes (cue every single music video of rappers coated in a writhing blanket of womanflesh). When men do brag about being “too sexy for you” it’s almost always done for comedy.

(disclaimer: this seems to be the case regarding initial dating or flirtations with the opposite sex, or pure sexual desire. Messages about love and relationships are a whole different category.)

It doesn’t seem like too big a leap to hypothesize that maybe this emphasis on a woman’s sexual value in rejecting leads to anxiety about accepting. And in a world where rejecting sex is celebrated as a status symbol of value, this may be what leads to slut shaming – where those who accept too much are viewed as having given up their status symbol.

So… maybe we should stop celebrating women who say no?

9 comments

  1. webspidrman says:

    This article gave me a lot to think about and reaffirmed some of my own observations about other people. I identify as genderqueer (agender specifically), but I am male-bodied. I have had a lot of problems dating because I don’t enjoy the game you’ve described with the people I’m attracted to (female persons but in practice mainly women because that’s what most female people identify as) at all. I don’t like being dominated yet I don’t like dominating people whatsoever or being an aggressor, and I don’t like playing along just to get people to have sex with me.

    Ironically, I am extremely passionate person with a libido towards the extreme high end, but because this gaming doesn’t make me feel sad rather than sexually aroused, regardless of how it makes other people feel, I just don’t play, which also means I’ve had almost no sex (I’m still technically a virgin with regards to penetration, although I’ve been at least fortunate enough to have engaged in other kinds of sex). I’ve been told many, many times that I am extremely attractive by conventional standards, and I have also been told many times I am also ridiculously intelligent, and beyond that I also have extremely high self-esteem. In theory I’m a prize catch even by cynical standards. And yet I have remained very sexually frustrated in my life (though my life satisfaction is high in other respects), but if potential sexual partners (and people generally) were more assertive about their sexual desires towards me and at least equally willing to share the burden of initiating encounters then this certainly wouldn’t be the case.

    With regards to my own desires, I believe I would enjoy a more chaotic world sexually in which all people, especially women, felt very comfortable asserting themselves sexually and engaging in sexual touch and sexual behaviors with other people without explicit yes’s, as long as such behaviors are not harassing, violent, or result in forced pregnancy such as unwanted penetration, especially because a lot of those behaviors (again speaking of my own desires) come from a deep-seated desire to bring pleasure and joy to other people rather than the traditional assumption that they are born solely from selfishness or worse the desire to cause harm. I also wish that there were as many women who enjoy initiating and having lots of sex as there are women who feel like you do (and of course every shade in between). Some day! 🙂

  2. throx says:

    “I don’t know how many other women experience this sort of mindset. Part of me wants to think it’s widespread…”

    It is.

    The catch is the man has to know this without saying anything. What do women want sexually? The only answer is “If you have to ask, you’ll never know.”

    When I finally figured this out (reading “My Secret Garden” was an eye opener), I saw a completely different side of women I’d never seen before. It’s like they completely lose their fucking minds during sex. I’ve had women tell me the dirtiest and craziest things, and some of the most “depraved” sexual fantasies all the porn I’ve watched couldn’t hold a candle to.

    Women really enjoy being dominated. I’ve also found they usually get even more turned on when they find out they can trust that you won’t judge their “depraved” fantasies. A lot of men, for some reason, seem to be extremely disturbed by women’s private sexual fantasies that can involve any number of taboos.

    But on a hindbrain level women are no more in control of their sexual desires than men are (note I said “desires,” not “behaviors”).

    They are what they are. You can either make a game out of it and enjoy a lot of raw sexual pleasure together or you could just compulsively isolate yourself and masturbate to porn of the kind of sex you could’ve had.

    I’ve done both. At this point in my life I can’t say which is better.

  3. Mr H says:

    How about you get off your high horse? Narcissistic, conceited, blah blah blah. just another pair of tits. Men that are “superior” to you. sexually, professionally, whatever, don’t want you. They are better off finding someone who isn’t natz

  4. Doug says:

    Wow. I really like how you break things down from a female perspective. You write REALLY well on these topics. I don’t even know what to say in response. I thank you for posting this.

    -Doug

  5. Quarterstone Comics says:

    I’d wager there’s extenuating circumstances underlying these feelings too. We are enculturated from day one, the only innate behaviours are suckling and grasping. So, in my experience, delving into the formative experiences with people I usually find a catalyst for future behaviours which build on themselves.

  6. Gee Evergreen says:

    This is an incredible level of psychological clarity, so kudos on your self reflection.

    It is also horrible, empirically, that this is the case. That we live in a world that at the same time has this and third wave feminism is the surefire recipe for the destruction of it all.

  7. Swiggy says:

    i say no to sex all the time. Partly because it makes me feel powerful, reminding me that im not an animal, i have free will. But mostly because im terrified of all the emotional, obsessive and destructive behaviour that it could unleash in me.

  8. Zhaddie Grey says:

    Wow! I’m an attractive young woman, also a camgirl, and I’ve never quite been able to put my issue in as good words! I’ve always thought of it as a weird fetish, I like to be forced into sex too, or least lead unwillingly. When my bf says “want to have sex” i am immediately turned off. My favorite and most rewarding form of sex is when he asks to massage me and then ‘accidentally’ rubs my clit a few times until i get so horny it is pretty obvious. However when it is very obvious that I’m horny, I get less horny. I dont want him to know that I’m enjoying myself. Sometimes this gets us into trouble because I keep saying no to sex.. He knows I like to be forced but sometimes he is not in that mood and wants to feel wanted.. I don’t have that for him or any man! ( I should mention when sexually involved with women this is not a problem at all!) I want to be wanted, and I dont want to have to want him I just want to get fucked really good and then go back to normal roles in our relationship. I am actually very cuddly and loving but when it comes to sex, something changes! I related to this a lot, so thank you!! Also sorry about this jumbled mess of a comment, I’m not as good at writing as you unfortunately

  9. […] Why I Can’t Say Yes To Sex  – On what it means to say yes to having sex as a woman […]

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