Sexual assault

I saw something on Facebook and hope this isn’t inappropriate or leads to anything inappropriate but does feeling uncomfortable saying no to sex does that qualify as border line assault?

I’ve been impaired and assaulted but also been in position impaired and felt uncomfortable saying no and I know that’s inappropriate :upside_down_face: to say to some or borderline sketchy.

Sorry :disappointed: don’t know how to word that or if it’s ok

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I’m not really sure what the question is that you’re asking.

If person A is in a romantic situation with person B and A says no to B about having sex and B respects that, there’s no assault, even if A feels uncomfortable about having said no. That’s something that A needs to work on (feeling comfortable with setting boundaries.)

If, in that situation, B continues to pressure A for sex, that’s sexual coercion, which is a form of abuse. If B tries to force A into sexual activity, that’s assault.

If A is not romantically or sexually involved with B and B is asking A for sex, A feels uncomfortable saying no because that’s sexual harassment.

Anytime someone physically forces sexual activity or touch on an unwilling participant, that’s assault. Anytime someone makes inappropriate, unwanted sexual advances (from a stranger, in the work place, etc) that’s sexual harassment.

These things are defined by the actions that take place and the context of the actions (where they happen and the relationship between the two people.) How someone feels about saying no isn’t a factor, just like how the person making the sexual advances feels doesn’t matter.

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Nagging about wanting sex isn’t coercion or abuse. Trying to manipulate, threaten or force someone to have sex is. Maybe that’s what you meant as well.

Asking for sex is not harassment. Unless it’s in done in some excessive or humiliating/threatening way. And maybe that’s what you meant here too. Just trying to clarify.

I’m not really sure what you’re asking, but if you feel uncomfortable saying no that might be on you, and it’s not necessarily borderline assault. Unless it’s because the other person is manipulating/threatening/forcing you or in some way taking advantage of your mental or physical state.

There are a lot of gray areas in sex and it’s a difficult subject. But if the other person has no reasonable way of knowing that you don’t want to consent, it’s not their behavior that is the problem. But if you, for example, are obviously too intoxicated, have some apparent disability which makes your consent questionable, or were coerced or manipulated into consenting, then that is a pretty obvious (and not borderline) sexual assault.

Sex can still be traumatic or damaging, however, even if nothing illegal happened.


I’m not sure what you mean by nagging. Trying to initiate sex, being turned down, and then trying to initiate again at a later time is fine and pretty normal in a relationship. Sex in the morning might not be on the cards, but sex that night might be. But that’s more of an ongoing negotiation. I mean, no one is up for sex 100% of the time and I’ve certainly been on both sides of that in a relationship.

But no means no, even in a relationship. When someone says no and the other person continues to badger and manipulate them to have sex right then and there and won’t listen to their no, that’s coercion.

If there’s an ongoing issue where one person wants to have sex more often than the other person, that’s something that should be addressed at a time when sex isn’t on the table. Pressuring someone to have sex right then and there is not an okay thing to do, even in a relationship.

Someone who you have had no romantic or sexual involvement with asking for sex is harassment. It’s not okay to ask any random person for sex, and it’s threatening to the recipient. I’ve been harassed at work by coworkers and customers propositioning me, I’ve been harassed by random dudes coming up to me at bars and on the street propositioning me. Less of a problem as I get older, thankfully, but no, it’s not okay to just randomly go around propositioning people for sex out of context, that’s harassment.

I don’t agree with either of those opinions. It depends on the context but being direct or persistent about wanting sex is not at all harassment in itself. Of course I don’t think you should ask strangers on the street for sex, but that’s besides the point.

Wow. That’s not an opinion, dude. Just, wow. (Backs away slowly.)

“Sexual coercion, then, happens when someone won’t accept “no” and continues to try to convince you to change your mind about engaging in sexual activity.”

The above website has many great examples of what coercion looks like.

“Unwanted sexual advances are also known as sexual harassment.”

So you’re into sexual coercion and harassment, huh? Super cool.


I think it is something people have to play by ear. The music differs from person to person. There has to be at least a little pressure by the initiator, otherwise the situation goes nowhere. A lot depends on how the passive person responds, but when a person gives a definite “no!” then the initiator has to back off. But there is so much bad faith in relationships that it is easy to get signals crossed. Personally, I don’t have time for people who try to play with me. I lose interest quickly.

Those links basically say what I said. I don’t know why this is so confusing for you. The second link is almost exactly, word by word, what I said.

First you use a straw man to pretend I’m for sexually accosting people on the street, then you try to attack my character by pretending I’m “into sexual coercion and harassment”. You’re behaving in a condescending and manipulative way. Maybe you have your reasons for overreacting like this, but it’s still not OK. If this topic triggers you, you should avoid it.


This really is a tricky subject for a lot of people. And backgrounds/gender politics do inform a lot of it, unfortunately. In same sex relationships, it is pretty normal for people to actively want sex, but feel guilty for it due to years of being told their desires are wrong/immoral. In those cases, it is pretty common for one partner to need to work with the other on accepting that their desires are good and normal. In a heterosexual relationship, this type of persuasion might be seen as coercive.

If a person in a relationship wants more sex than they are getting, it is probably good for both parties to sit down and talk about how they can each get their needs met. No partner ever owes the other partner sex, and if a previously sexually fulfilling relationship suddenly is not, there might be other factors in play. Trust issues, stress, medical problems, etc. If the other partner actively wants to get to a place where they are mire comfortable with sex, there are therapies and at-hime exercuses to try.

In your specific case, there are a lot of unknowns. If the other person had some sort of power over you, such as a boss, teacher, caseworker, etc, then it would be sexual harassment. Because the person would know in advance that you would be likely to feel mervous about turning them down.

If the person had no power over you, and you were on equal footing, it would depend on whether you communicated your discomfort. If you did, and the other person kept pushing until you said yes, that is a type of assault (though, depending on the laws where you live, it might not be something uou can prosecute). If you did not clearly express discomfort, the other person would have no way of knowing that you didn’t actually want to have sex.

Simply asking someone if they want to have sex is not assault unless the person does not accept a refusal. I cannot tell you how many times I have had someone on a dating site message me with something like “hey would you like to do [whatever sex act they had in mind] tonight with me?” And I would say no, and they would be like “okay then, bye.” I have had similar interactions at bars and parties. It is not assault for someone to express an interest in you. People with a history of having boundaries violated might have difficulty saying no, but that does not mean they no longer have the ability.

I think the mindset of “any guy who hits on you is abusing you because you might not feel comfortable saying no” hurts survivors more than it helps, because it keeps them in a mindset of having no agency or power to assert their own boundaries.


Being persistent is definitely harassment… I had a guy once literally beg me repeatedly for sex and I felt pressured to say yes. I had a girl cry when I said no and I felt pressured to say yes. That’s harassment my dude.


No, being persistent is not necessarily harassment. Is asking for sex, getting a no, and asking “please?”, then giving up harassment?

Is my boyfriend harassing me when he doesn’t immediately back off when I say I’m not in the mood?

It’s not black and white. That’s my point. It depends on context and how persistent it is. If you look at my first post, I mentioned excessively asking for sex as a form of harassment.

We’re not solving any issues by pretending there are no gray areas when it comes to sex, harassment and abuse.

Not taking no for an answer IS black and white though

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It’s not. Don’t make me a victim to further your owm agenda.

People negotiate about sex all the time. People change their minds about not wanting it. Not respecting a no is not OK, and is abuse, but being persistent can be completely normal and fine, depending on the context.

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I’m not? Like if you don’t feel like a victim than that’s fine. I just completely disagree with your assessment that notntaking no for an answer immediately isn’t inherently harassment.

Not trying to get heated here.

Also you contradicted yourself. By saying it’s not black and white but not respecting no is abuse.

Like being persistent in any way is not respecting a no.

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You completely are. I just told you my boyfriend can be persistent, and that it’s not harassment. He’s not guilt tripping me or manipulating me, just negotiating. This is normal and happens in most relationships. It’s not harassment, and you insisting that it is is honestly not helpful and pretty offensive. You don’t get to define this as harassment regardless or context.

Not respecting a no is pretty black and white. As in coercing or manipulating or using force. But being persistent and negotiating is not black and white.

I completely disagree with your use of negotiating here. It’s not negotiating to ask please after someone has said no, it’s trying to.make them say yes.

shrugs agree to disagree at this point.

That’s what negotiating is. Trying to get someone to change their position somewhat.

I get that you’re trying to make a stand against harassment but this position pretty much defines most relationships as abusive. It’s nonsense.

Hmm? I’ve only had two instances where someone didn’t immediately respect my answer for no. If that’s your normal than… I’m sorry.

Jesus. Stop trying to make me a victim. You’re being pretty disrespectful.

This is normal. It’s happened in every relationship I’ve had, and outside of relationships. I’ve done it, they’ve done it, countless of times. No one has been harmed and deserves your pity for it and no one needs to be shamed for it.

It’s just sad to me to see someone accept that kind of behavior as normal. It’s not. And like I said agree to disagree at this point because clearly my opinion is upsetting you so why carry on. This is the last time im.replying.