Have you ever been pressured into having sex? Begged, badgered, manipulated, or threatened? Then you’ve experienced sexual coercion.
Even where there is no overt use of force, persistent requests for sex to wear the other person down into giving in is coercion, and these experiences are all too familiar to many women. Often, we don’t even realise that we’re pressured into sexual acts against our will until much later. “Please I need to nut” when the other person has said no to sex, claims of “blue balls” that desperately need easing and repeated non-consensual touches are examples of coercive acts.
Coercion is an insidious form of control that can affect anyone, regardless of gender. However, women are disproportionately affected by it, and it often goes unrecognised and unacknowledged. In this article, we’ll be exploring the stories of women who have experienced coercion in their lives and the impact it has had on them. By sharing their experiences, these women hope to shed light on the issue and help others recognise the signs of coercion, and ultimately empower women to take control of their own lives.
He Told Me He Couldn’t Resist
He invited me over and I told him I wasn’t interested in anything if I did come over. He promised and begged, and said he wonders why women think that every guy that invites them over wants sex. He said he was a different person and just wanted to talk. He even went ahead and said whenever his female friends came over, they usually undress and walk around freely. He went on and on, and for some weird reason, I believed him and went over. You can guess what happened when I got there. He kept trying to kiss me and hold me. When I confronted him later about it, his response was, “You’re so beautiful, it drove me crazy, I couldn’t resist.”
He Offered to Pay for a Staycation
He was in Lagos for a business meeting and offered to pay for a staycation because I was stressed. I was wary, but he had reassured me there was no need to be because he wouldn’t even stay at the hotel with me as it was unnecessary, and I just needed rest. After our dinner date, he got comfortable and even slept over. All night I had to make do with unsolicited touches. I told him that I wasn’t comfortable. He left me alone for a while, but still came back and proceeded to keep touching me. I just got overwhelmed and eventually kept quiet.
He Tried to Penetrate
I went to see a guy, who I had been talking to. Barely 5 minutes into stepping in, he moved in to kiss me. I was okay with it so I indulged him. The next thing I knew, he started tugging at my shirt. I said no, and he responded with “It’s okay.” But he didn’t stop, he just kept tugging at my clothes. I got tired of shaking my head and holding his hands, so I gave in. However, I immediately snapped out of the moment after he tried to penetrate (without a condom.) I was so pissed off, I quickly pushed him away, put on my clothes and left.
He Touched Me While I Slept
My ex used to pressure me for sex, and I didn’t realise I was experiencing coercion. I would tell him no many times, but he would keep asking for sex until I finally give in. There was a time we were sleeping, and he started touching me inappropriately. He had sex with me while I was asleep and I didn’t know what that was back then. I cried in the bathroom after it happened because I felt like he had sexually assaulted me and just used my body for a nut.
He Said, I have Blue Balls
A man I went to visit, asked me to stay over and I did without thinking it through. In the middle of the night, he started pestering me for sex. This man was bothering me so much that I eventually obliged because I couldn’t sleep. We had sex but I stopped him before he ejaculated because I started to feel some type of way, and wanted to go back to sleep. After a few minutes, he started begging and said he had blue balls. I was pissed, so I went downstairs to chill until I was able to book a ride back to my home.
He Fondled My Breast, While I Slept
I was friends with a guy who wanted more, and I went to his house to chill and sleepover. He tried to make passes at me and I declined. When I fell asleep, he fondled my breasts and I felt disgusted but didn’t know why. It didn’t click that it was sexual assault till three years later.
Sex or He Cheats
My boyfriend in the university coerced me into having sex with him if I didn’t want him to cheat or leave. Same time every week for a year, in very dangerous circumstances. I patiently waited for him to graduate, only for him to have an extra year and he continued to visit every week. I was so miserable.
He Told Me, I’m Now A Big Girl
I’ve had too many experiences of sexual coercion to recount them all. When I was a child, a priest who was our neighbour would touch my breasts through the fence and tell me I was now a big girl, and they were now growing. He would invite me to his house repeatedly and promise to give me things if I went. I never went because even though I didn’t know how fucked up what he was doing was, I just knew that it felt wrong because he was a priest, like, vow-of-chastity priest. When I was 19/20, I think most of my sexual experiences were coercive. I’d visit men I thought were my friends, usually because they’d invite me to chill and smoke. Now, I know that’s a red flag 9/10 times. They’d beg their way into sex and I’d feel horrible but I somehow convinced myself I was having the time of my life. Thank God for growth.
He Offered To Pay Me
He begged me to have sex with him even when I told him I didn’t want to. He then offered to pay me. I declined, then I eventually gave in.
Nobody is entitled to sex or sexual acts from you if you’re uninterested, no matter how hard they beg or try to change your mind. “No” conveys a complete message, and it is nothing short of a violation for refusal to be met with persistence.
The stories shared by the women we interviewed demonstrate the devastating impact of coercion in relationships. Whether it is in romantic relationships or friendships, it is a violation of our boundaries and can leave us feeling powerless, isolated, and traumatized. It is essential to recognize the signs and understand that it is never acceptable. Coercive behaviors can include emotional manipulation, guilt-tripping, threats, and physical force, among others. We must learn to identify these behaviors and speak out against them.
To address the issue of coercion, we need to create a culture that promotes healthy and respectful relationships. This includes teaching young women about consent, healthy communication, and boundaries, and promoting the value of respecting others’ autonomy. As we continue to raise awareness and have conversations about coercion, we can work towards creating a safer and more respectful society for everyone. We thank the women who shared their experiences with us for their courage and hope that their stories can help others recognize the signs of coercion and take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones.