Are you feeling pressured into sex, doubting your partner’s trustworthiness or just not feelin’ it? There are a number of things that can prevent you from wanting to jump under the covers with your lover.
If you’ve heard your partner utter the lines below, it’s totally okay to say no thanks to nookie – and it also might be time to rethink the relationship.
1. “Let’s use ‘withdrawal’ method as a contraceptive”
It’s been proven time and again that this method – also known as the ‘rhythm method’ – is the least effective way to prevent pregnancy. Not only are you at risk of the lady falling pregnant but also of contracting an STI or HIV in the process. Share all this info with your partner, give him or her the benefit of the doubt that they were passing notes that day in health class. Make sure you’re clear on your desire to be risk-free.
Still insists on pulling out? That’s a dealbreaker.
2. “We don’t need condoms. If you love each other, you must trust each other”
Explain to your partner that it’s because you love each other that you should both care enough to protect one another from risk. A partner who truly loves you will respect your wishes. Remind them that you’re not saying they’re not totally trustworthy but that’s possible to be infected with an STI without even knowing it. Some STIs (especially Chlamydia which can lead to infertility in both men and women if left untreated) show little or no symptoms and can lie dormant in your system for years.
Insists on no glove love? That’s a dealbreaker.
3. “Condoms don’t feel as good as skin to skin”
Just like the advice in #2 you need to make your dude or dudette understand your priorities. Unplanned pregnancy, STIs and HIV are much bigger problems than a little latex. But hear them out and see if a few little tricks can help improve your lurvemaking. Lube, lube and more lube (on the outside, yes but a few drops inside will really get things going), female condoms which can be inserted hours earlier to allow for spontaneity and warming that rubber up between your palms (still in the wrapper of course) can all make the condom conundrum a little easier.
Tried all this and your love bunny still wants to rub rubber free? That’s a dealbreaker.
4. “It’s okay if you fake it”
If your partner isn’t making your toes curl with pleasure, you need to take the initiative to guide them through how to get you excited. Done in a fun and encouraging way this can actually add to the thrill of your sexual encounter. Faking your orgasms isn’t doing either of you any favours. Your partner doesn’t know what works for you and you’ll end up in a orgasm-less rut unless you take charge and show ‘em the ropes.
Got a guidebook to your netherlands and still doesn’t care you’re putting it on? That’s a dealbreaker.
5. “Surprise! I’m kinky!”
Kinky is relative and getting kinky can often be a surprising amount of fun but it’s always key to talk about it first. If you’re into something a little out of the ordinary, find some low-stress, non-sexy time outside the bedroom (over breakfast, cuddling on the couch) to lay out your kinks and ask your partner to try them out together. If it’s your partner who you think might be into the rough stuff, dress up or maybe a little baby talk, create a space for him or her to share this with you and see if you feel comfortable trying it out (starting slowly!) together if you’re keen.
Sprung the whips and chains on you without notice? That’s a dealbreaker.
6. “Sorry, I’m smelly”
If your sexy thang is smelling less than fresh, suggest taking a sensual bath or shower together. If it’s someone new don’t feel obligated to jump in the sack with that stench, lay it out as gently as possible, let them know how sexy you find a scrubbed-up partner and reschedule for a better time.
Refuses to wash and still wants to get down ‘n dirty? That’s a dealbreaker.
7. “I cheated on you, again!”
There’s that old expression that once a cheater, always a cheater. But that seems unfair. Everyone is entitled to make mistakes, it’s the folks that refuse to learn from them that are the real problem. If your partner slipped up but fessed up (and used condoms to make sure they didn’t bring anything home) then you can weigh up your options and consider taking them back.
But if your guy or gal is a serial cheater or worse has put you at risk of an STI plus a broken heart, that’s another story. Actually, that’s a dealbreaker.
8. “If you loved me you’d do it”
Playing the love trump card is the oldest trick in the book. Tell your partner if you need more time or aren’t feeling ready. Make sure you let them know you think they’re great and it’s not something they’ve done to turn you off (if it is you would have left already right?) as it might actually just be wounded pride that’s inspiring them to push. Once you’ve explained your desire to pump the brakes a good would-be lover will slow down to your speed.
Still insists on rushing? That’s a dealbreaker.
9. “Are you going to just lie there?”
Staying dead still and silent during sex can be a major turn-off – not to mention a little creepy. Your partner might not feel ready to go full porn star (especially not if parents, kids or nosey neighbours are nearby) but encourage them to show a little enthusiasm. Ask your partner to let you know if they are having a good time with sexy gestures, soft moans or saying your name.
But guys pay close attention to this one, as girls who don’t always feel comfortable saying no to sex might be using the silent treatment as a way to tell you she’s just not that into it, or you. Check in with your partner and see that they’re having a good time. If not. STOP. Immediately. It’s not as simple as “no means no” but more importantly “yes means yes”. Ask for a yes all along the way.
Doesn’t care about consent? That’s a dealbreaker.
10. “Oh, oh, oh (insert their ex’s name here), oooooo”
Getting called by an ex’s name in bed stings. But try not to freak out. During an orgasm everybody goes a little porridge-brained. Plus loads of people fantasise while they’re in the sack (it’s totally normal) and might even reflect on a little mind-blowing memory or two. Talk it through and feel free to admit if you’re partner’s wandering mind hurt your feelings. If you’re fairly certain it was an innocent mistake, put it behind you.
Asks you to wear her ex’s old rugby jersey or spritz on some of his former gf’s perfume before getting busy? Now, that’s a dealbreaker.
Get tested for STIs and HIV (preferably together), and schedule time for contraception consultation to ensure you have dual protection against STIs and HIV and unplanned pregnancy at your local Marie Stopes centre, doctor’s office or public health clinic. And then? Hit the sheets, avoid all the dealbreakers above and find the moves, or even the fabulous new lover, that have you uttering the best words to say in bed: “More please.”