When I was 19 years old, right before that birthday actually I had started contemplating breaking up with my boyfriend. I posted about the situation anonymously, with how my boyfriend was on a regular basis throughout the entire relationship (so ages 16–19) would guilt trip me into having sexual activities with him, having zero regard for my own thoughts/feelings as well as ALWAYS ignoring my OBVIOUS discomfort with him.
Literally 90% of the many places I both posted online and asked about in person, you know the response I got? “It’s just something all guys do.” Like it magically was not abuse. Like it magically made everything okay. Like it was ok for a vulnerably then-almost-19 year old who is CLEARLY asking for help to suggest to them that their thoughts and feelings don’t mean anything and the “man” of the relationship is always supposed to have a sexual slave in the relationship, despite how sexual activitity clearly makes the girl very uncomfortable.
My parents didn’t even acknowlege the relationship existed. I didn’t even learn about “sexual coercion” until after I broke up with the guy (which happened about one month after my 19th birthday). I happened to learn about it through browsing the internet one evening, and it was like the puzzle pieces clicked in my head with what happened during the relationship.
Sexual assault and abuse sucks, period. However, PLEASE, let’s talk about sexual coercion. There’s more to sexual abuse than just rape.
So, in case you needed this today:
- No, it is NOT okay for a boyfriend to guilt trip you into phone sex (“moan over the phone for me baby” or anything similar)
- No, it is NOT okay for a boyfriend to make you watch him as he masturbates over live video chat
- No, it is NOT okay for a boyfriend to touch you in places without your consent first
- No, it is NOT okay for a boyfriend to say things like “Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve masturbated because of you” or anything “guilt-ee” sounding to make you feel bad about not enagaging in sexual activity with them
If this is happening to you, this is sexual coercion! This is sexual abuse! It is NOT something “all guys do”!