So no matter how far you've gone with someone, you always have the right to change your mind and decide not to have sex or stop what you're doing at any time. It's up to you whether you have sex or not and up to the other person to respect that. Read our page on consent for more detail about this.
But if you're under pressure to have sex, it can be hard to know how to deal with these situations, so here are some tips and ideas that might help:
Here's what you told us:
At first I wasn't ready. He asked me and I said I'm not ready. A couple months later he started pressuring me saying 'I'll make you ready, etc. la la la…'. He didn't force me but he was verbally pressuring me. It made me feel like he wanted to use me, so we ended up breaking up. In my relationship now I felt like I was ready when we did it and he didn't mind waiting until I was. Jessica, 17
I was in a relationship with someone and I wanted sex but she didn't. We spoke about it but in the end we ended up waiting because if you like the girl, trust her and believe in her then it's worth it to wait. Nathan, 18
There are lots of things you could say to get out of a situation. It can help to plan in advance what you might do if things get tricky. Some ideas are:
Sometimes someone might just not be getting the hint, no matter how nice you've been or how much you've tried to let them down gently. At this point you might have to be firmer to get your message across.
Showing you're upset with your tone of voice and body language will make your message stronger. Saying the word "no" can also help get the message across, as can saying why you want them to stop. Repeating this if they're not listening can also help.
It's not always easy to show that you're upset or angry and you may worry about hurting their feelings. Remember you have the right to say no if you don't want to do something. Sex must involve consent (agreement). Sex without it, is rape. People should respect you and your wishes and if they don't then they are the one with the problem. You are not doing anything wrong refusing something.
It can help to practise doing the above on your own, practising what you might say or running through it in your head. It may feel a bit stupid, but that way you're more prepared for if the situation does ever come about. Here are some tips:
Generally, if someone is putting pressure on you or not listening to what you want, it's unlikely that they're respecting you. If something like this happens, it can help to talk to people you trust about it.
If you have been in a situation where you were forced into sex you didn't want then you can find more information here.
If you feel in danger in any way or feel that you might be forced to do something you don't want to do, then you need to get away from the situation as soon as possible.
Content reproduced with kind permission from University College London's Sexunzipped website.
Page last reviewed: August 2015
Next review due: August 2016