A Friend Keeps Asking Me to Do Sexual Stuff. How Do I Make Him Stop?
My friend and I are close, and we've known each other for 4 years, but he keeps trying to get me to let him lick me "down below" and I say no but he doesn't leave me alone. What can I do to make him stop making me uncomfortable? He always says it would be funny and I won't get an STD, but I don't want to and we keep getting angry at each other. Please help! - Terry*
When someone pressures you to do something you're not comfortable with, you have a right to say no — whether it's about something sexual, or about anything else. A friend should respect and accept your answer.
You can feel proud of yourself for knowing what doesn't feel right for you, for saying so, and for sticking to what you believe is right. It takes a lot of self-confidence and self-respect. Well done! Standing up to this kind of pressure isn't always easy to do, but it's the right way to keep feeling good about yourself.
It can be hard when you do the right thing but still find yourself in a tough situation. Your friend keeps pressuring you to get what he wants, even though you've said no. It makes you feel uncomfortable, and maybe even disrespected. But the more serious problem is that your friend has crossed a line. Whether or not he realizes it, what he’s doing can be considered sexual harassment, even if you are friends.
Try having one more serious conversation with your friend. Tell him that what he's been saying makes you uncomfortable. Be calm but assertive. Tell him he needs to stop bringing it up. Say you mean it, that it's not funny, and that friends don't use each other or pressure each other. Tell him if he ever brings it up again, that you'll walk away without discussing it. Be strong, clear, and confident. Try not to get angry or apologize.
Your friend may need to learn that he can't get what he wants at someone else's expense. If he is a true friend, he'll realize how his pressure is affecting you. Healthy relationships — both friendships and romantic relationships — are about mutual respect. A true friend wants you to feel secure, respected, and treated right, not used or manipulated. By pointing out what crosses the line, you're helping your friend learn what it takes to be a better romantic partner — and friend.
One final note: People with STDs don't always know they have them. Your friend can't "guarantee" that he is STD free. That's why people who decide to have sex should always use condoms every time, even for oral sex.