Episode 112: "What if my partner calls me a tease, because I don't want to have sex?"Support the show
On today’s episode, we’re answering a question from local teens about being called a tease.
This is Jessica Skultety, Outreach and Prevention Manager at Safe+Sound Somerset. We are Somerset County, New Jersey's lead domestic and sexual violence response organization, providing services at no charge to survivors for over 40 years.
Today's question from local teens is: “Dear Ava, what if my partner calls me a tease, because I don’t want to have sex?”
This is question we’ve been getting a lot more recently, and it’s also a message some media sends. Some TV shows, movies, and songs, for example, send the message that if one person wants to engage in sexual activity and the other person doesn’t, there must be something wrong with the second person. Even more, some people say that the second person must be leading their partner on, or being a tease, because they said “no.” This is not true.
We want to be clear: every person who can consent to sexual activity, no matter if you’re in a relationship or not, has ability to say no to anything, at anytime. Even if you said “okay” to a sexual action, it is 100% okay to change your mind. If your partner is calling you a tease or blaming you for leading them on, that is not okay.
When you have power and control over yourself, some of the things you can do are: make decisions for yourself, set boundaries, and give or take away consent or permission for anything, which includes sexual activity. If your romantic relationship is healthy, both you and your partner should still be able to do these things on your own, which creates a balance of equal power and control. This can be for any relationship, if it’s casual, serious, just hanging out, it doesn’t matter.
If your partner is blaming you or accusing you of leading them on, that takes some of your individual power and control away. Over time, if it happens more, this can lead to someone feeling isolated, or feeling like they have to give in to their partner, even if they don’t want to. That isn’t a healthy, safe balance of power and control.
Remember, you always get to make decisions about your body. Set your boundaries, and if someone crosses them, it is not your fault. Crossing those boundaries includes complaining, pressuring, threatening, or forcing someone into sexual activity.
To speak with an expert about relationship or sexual violence, call or text the Safe+Sound Somerset 24/7 confidential helpline at 866-685-1122 for supportive listening, information, and safety planning.
Want to “Ask Ava” a question? Visit our website at www.safe-sound.org/ask-ava. Thank you for listening today. Join us next time here on Ask Ava.