hey fun fact, not only are you always allowed to say “no” to sex, you are absolutely allowed to say “I’m not ready for sex” even if you’ve already had sex with that person, even if you’re in a committed relationship that involves regular sex!
sometimes you know you’ll probably want it later, but right now…. Maybe you feel too distant or hurt and you need a little more time for reconciliation first. Maybe you just want to feel closer to someone before you’re ready for sex. Sometimes you might be busy or distracted or stressed.
Maybe you’re wrestling with some personal stuff about what sex (or this particular sex) means to you, or maybe there’s some trauma feelings or body issues cropping up that need to be dealt with before you’re in the right headspace for sex. Maybe you have a sunburn, or a stomachache, or, yes, a headache. Or maybe you just feel like things are moving faster than you’d like tonight and you’re not warmed up enough to really enjoy it.
Consent is always conditional - every “yes” is a “yes, if”. Yes, if I feel emotionally and physically ready. Yes, if we have privacy. Yes, if I feel safe and comfortable with you. Yes, if we use protection. Yes, if we’re in a committed relationship. Yes, if it’s this kind of sex and not another kind. Yes, if we can kiss for awhile longer first.
Other people can say no to your conditions (or to waiting until they’re met and then continuing), but you are allowed to say no to continuing without those conditions.
You’re allowed to say no if the conditions for your consent aren’t met, even if you’d otherwise say yes. Even if you’re aroused, even if part of you wants it, if your actual decision is to not have sex right now (or at all), people need to respect that decision.
Pressuring someone into sex is always wrong, even if they would have said yes anyway if circumstances had been different.