Being Blackmailed, Manipulated, or Coerced to Commit ANY Sexual Act is Assault, Culture be Damned

By: Rawan Khalil

Disclaimer: This article contains mentions of sexual assault which you may find upsetting

Let me start by introducing you to what I would label as three assholes.

Asshole A has sexually explicit photos of a girl in his school and he sends her a text with the photos attached. He follows that by asking for a pornographic video of the girl and threatening her by saying that if she refuses he will forward her pictures to the entire school. 

Out of fear she sends him the video.

Asshole B is dating and asks his girlfriend to have sex however she doesn’t feel comfortable enough to have sex yet as they have only been dating for two months and it’s her first relationship. Asshole B uses use wit, charm, and verbal adeptness to manipulate his girlfriend to have sex with him. 

Out of guilt, she has sex with him.

Asshole C wants to try anal sex after reading countless articles on the internet and watching cheap-ass porn. He asks his fwb to have anal sex but she has safety concerns and refuses. He spends two weeks seizing every opportunity to “convince her”.

She is sick of it, they have anal sex.

These three assholes have presented what we call sexual coercion. Sexual coercion is defined as having unwanted sexual activity after being pressured, manipulated, threatened or blackmailed. So, it would appear as if you are performing the sexual activity with full consent, when in reality the only reason you are doing it because the situation you are in has forced you to and whatever the situation is, this kind of behavior is problematic for multiple reasons and let’s break them down one by one based on our stories.

In our first story, the girl was blackmailed which is a more obvious form of sexual coercion then the second two stories. Being blackmailed to send pictures of yourself is probably one of the scariest positions one could be put in because a part of you knows that no matter what these photos will remain in the hands of the perpetrator and he can eventually ask for more. These sorts of actions are obvious cases of sextortion which is a form of blackmail in which sexual information or images are used to extort sexual favors from the victim. It’s a big deal, it’s scary and it’s illegal in most places and if it’s not it should because no one should be subjected to feel that their safety is compromised because of the images they took and sent to someone they fully trust and then they ended up being used against them. We all make choices that feel right at a moment in time and sadly not everyone is deserving of these choices that we make however having to go through the emotional turmoil of dealing with the aftermaths should not involve compromisation of safety and blackmail. We cannot as people tolerate behavior which uses our choice to be or not to be sexually active as a form of threat because our sex lives belong to us and not some creepy ass pedo that for some reason has a picture of me naked, or the horny ass guy in the back of the class that chose to cyberbully me. This is a form of sexual assault. Period. 

Moving on to story number two, the girl is manipulated by her boyfriend to have sex when she did not want to. Emotional manipulation is sweet talk and sob stories. Emotional manipulation is making you feel insecure if you don’t do what you want. Emotional manipulation means you’ll get more attention when you have sex than when you don’t. Men try to abuse the female mind to get them to sleep with them. He will buy you too many drinks and promise to take you home, you don’t want to decline despite knowing that your tolerance to alcohol isn’t too great but the conversation great and before you know it you’re wrapped up in his bedsheets. Being manipulative means that he’ll use your insecurities to make you feel that your self-validation will come from him sleeping with you. Or, he will try to make you jealous by constantly flirting with another girl that you will compare yourself to and guess what you’ve fallen into his trap. Now, convince me that a manipulative asshole that does that is not assaulting his girlfriend. He’s using her emotions against her and causing her to fake consent because of her insecurities.

This sort of behavior leaves women feeling emotionally exhausted and unempowered. It leaves them feeling dirty because they are only well-treated when they open their legs. The idea that someone can get your head and use what you most hate about yourself to get pleasure is disgusting and intolerable. If you are put into a position where you feel like saying no is not an option because of the implications it will have, you are being assaulted. Why are you giving in to an action which is bringing you more pain than pleasure? Only to get some lame-ass good morning texts and a box of chocolates and then not get them when you say no because you have offended his male ego and you also have to deal with the pain of him trying to make you jealous again until you agree again

The third story the girl is being convinced to be part of something she really does not want to be part of, which is another form of manipulation. This can be anal sex, threesomes or even being convinced to have an open relationship. 

The “hey baby please do this for our relationship”

The “hey this will make us closer to each other”

Now, if you want that it’s a choice but if it’s a conversation you are trying to avoid and is brought up every phone call then it’s not consent when you do it. Yes, relationships involve compromises but relationships are not just compromise. If you have to compromise all your sexual desires to fulfill your partner’s because of them convincing you to do so that’s by definition sexual coercion. You do not have to be part of ANY sexual activities that you do not feel comfortable in or that you are not ready to heavy. You should not fully compromise ever. 

All these cases represent sexual assault I don’t care if a person did these things in their right mind because deep down the asshole knows he has pressured, blackmailed or guilt-shamed them into doing it which means it’s not consensual. It’s more of I-will-shut-you up or I’m-scared-to-make-you-angry and these two are not the same thing.

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