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What part of "NO" don't you understand?

Saying "no" often requires more than a one-word answer. It's important to be psychologically prepared for the "lines" that someone may use to pressure you to have sex. Remember, a line demands a comeback that can put an end to the pressure once and for all. Communicate with a strong "No," and the pressure will stop.

Here are comebacks for some of the standard lines you may hear:

"Don't you love me?" "I love you enough to say no."

"If you really loved me . . ." "If you really loved me, you wouldn't ask. If you really care about somebody you don't pressure them to do something they don't want to do."

"Everybody's doing it." "Everybody but me."

"Come on, everybody's doing it." "Then you shouldn't have any trouble finding somebody else."

"Don't you find me attractive?" "I find you very attractive. I like you a lot. I don't want to wreck our relationship -- and that's what getting physical would do."

"Don't worry. I'll use protection." "You're going to need protection if you don't leave me alone."

"I do it with all my girlfriends." "Not this one. By the way, now I'm your ex-girlfriend."

"You mean you're still a virgin. Are you, frigid?" "No, I'm smart."

"Don't you love me?" "Don't you respect me?"

"OK, let's take off our clothes and just be together. We don't need to do anything." "Do I look that stupid?"

"If you get pregnant, I'll marry you." "Why wait. Let's get married now!"

"I'll stop whenever you say." "How about right now?"

"I love you." "Then please prove it by respecting my values."

"What are you waiting for?" "My HONEYMOON!"

"Are you repressed or something?" "No, I'm free from the pressure to have sex before I get married."

"Sex isn't a big deal." "It's a big deal to me, a big deal to my future husband (wife), and a big deal to God. I'm committed to saving sex for marriage."

Although girls can and sometimes do lead guys on, guys are more likely to use these lines to get sex. And, sadly, many a girl has fallen for them. A girl may find it hard to believe that a boy is lying when he says, seemingly with great sincerity, "I love you!"

If you're a girl, you need to know two things: (1) If a boy puts any kind of pressure on you to go farther than you want to go, it shows he loves pleasure and he'll sacrifice your self-respect and physical safety for himself. He's interested only in getting what he wants. (2) Many guys will lie through their teeth, say anything, and do whatever else they have to do to get sex. Here is one guy who openly admits this:

"I learned to maneuver my opponent into a position where she couldn't say no. If I sensed there was a moral dilemma in her mind, I would play any role necessary to reach the point where sex became inevitable."

Rehearse your lines and dress the part (dress modestly so you don't send mixed messages). Learn how to say "No" with your body, words, and behavior. You'll be glad you did! And rRemember, if you're dating someone that's pressuring you to have sex, you're dating the wrong person. And remember, if you're dating someone that's pressuring you to have sex, you're dating the wrong person.

Source: Lickona, T. and J. Sex, Love & You. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 1994.

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