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Feminspire | April 19, 2014

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“But I’m on My Period”: Why Do We Give Excuses For Not Wanting to Hook Up?

“But I’m on My Period”: Why Do We Give Excuses For Not Wanting to Hook Up?

| On 25, Mar 2013

Have you ever made up an excuse to ward off a guy who’s trying to hook up with you? While persistence is generally thought of as a positive quality, guys that persistently try to force intimacy upon us are the worst. And since it’s easier and more polite to say, “Sorry, I have a boyfriend” than “I would never, under any circumstance, get physical with you,” it’s seemingly common for women to lie in response to sexual advances.

But isn’t it rather infuriating to think that sometimes saying, “I don’t want to” isn’t enough? We feel the need to give excuses about not feeling well or that we’re involved with other people to make guys understand that we’re really not into it. No one should have to conjure up a semi-believable reason for not being interested in someone! Having to come up with an on-the-spot excuse can be annoying and stressful, especially when you’re trying to remain calm and “nice.” But you can only be so nice to someone whose assertiveness and advances make you feel totally uncomfortable. And you’d think that after telling someone that you have a boyfriend a handful of times, they would begin to recognize your lack of interest in them, but oftentimes they don’t –– they feel as though you’ll eventually give in if they keep pushing, which is completely obnoxious and perhaps a more subtle illustration of rape culture.

The same can be said about issues that arise while you’re hooking up. It sucks when you’re kissing someone and you suddenly realize that they’re expecting more from you. The lines “I have my period” and “I don’t feel well” usually work pretty well when it comes to getting out of sex, but it’s rather absurd to think that we can so easily feel as though we’re obligated to give unnecessary excuses in tricky situations. Not wanting to sleep with someone does not mean that you have to give them a reason. And a guy who shamelessly asks, “why not?” is clearly a person with a warped sense of entitlement, and isn’t deserving of your reasons or your company.

It can be even more frustrating when guys act as though they’re doing you a favor by trying to initiate sex. Saying things like “I just want to please you” or “Why not? We both know you’ll enjoy it” are not sexy or enticing when you’ve already stated that you don’t wish to engage in sexual behavior. Sure, many guys actually do want to make you happy and/or get you off, but no means no, despite their intentions. And incessantly trying to get someone to sleep with you after they’ve said no multiple times does not show perseverance or manliness, it makes you seem like you’re oblivious to rape culture (not to mention needy and annoying).

Feeling as though you need to justify your words or come up with excuses usually indicates that you’ve done something wrong, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting to hook up with someone, and it’s terrible that some guys can be so pushy that they make us feel as though we owe them an excuse or an apology. Everyone has boundaries, and you have the right to say tell someone to stop what they’re doing –– without an explanation –– at any point in time. Flirting with someone doesn’t mean that you have to make-out with them, and making out with someone doesn’t mean that you have to sleep with them.

You don’t necessarily need to blatantly tell people that you’d never be interested in hooking up with them or that they gross you out (unless their advances get too aggressive, of course), but you don’t need to give a sugar-coated excuse either. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, but you should never feel as though you need to explain yourself. If a guy shows that he’s interested in you, it doesn’t mean that he’s automatically deserving of your kindness; that inherent sense of male entitlement might make you think that you should provide a man with a reason for not wanting to be intimate with him, but you certainly don’t. You don’t have to be mean, but you don’t have to be nice, either.

Written by Nicole Woszczyna 

  • nebeg

    Women are overly aggressive too. And, personally I think that they’re worse because they think men don’t have the same boundaries that they do. They tend to think that men only want sex, and that a man implicitly gives his consent just by virtue of being male. How many of you think “men only want one thing.” And that it’s really the woman who controls whether you have sex or not, and the man is generally always up for it? If I had a nickle for every time a woman overstepped my boundaries because of that, I probably wouldn’t be rich but I’d have a lot of nickles.

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  • Julie M. Rodriguez

    I guess I have the opposite problem when dealing with unwanted advances. Like, I could tell that guy trying to get my phone number than I’m married…which I am. But I don’t want to fall back on this idea of being off-limits because I’m another guy’s “property.” It has nothing to do with my husband – he’s not a jealous guy and we have an open relationship. I just don’t want to give my phone number to some random dude. I don’t like giving the “easy out” answers because in order to work, they fall back on some really distasteful ideas about male-female relationships.

    Same goes for using your period as an excuse not to hook up. I don’t really like having sex on my period because I’m usually pretty sore, but I don’t want to give that as an excuse for avoiding sex with someone if the real reason is that I’m not interested. If a guy is freaked out enough by the idea of menstrual blood to make that a excuse actually work, I probably don’t want to sleep with him anyway.

  • Cadi

    “And you’d think that after telling someone that you have a boyfriend a handful of times, they would begin to recognize your lack of interest in them, but oftentimes they don’t”
    - because “I have a boyfriend” doesn’t mean you’re not interested in the other person. It means you’re monogamous and “belong” to another guy. “I have a boyfriend” attempts to use the fact that men will usually respect other men’s ~property~ rather than the woman’s own wants and needs, to deter them.

    “I’m not here to hook-up with anyone” is more clear, but if they’re the kind of guy that doesn’t respect “I have a boyfriend” you could say “I wouldn’t sleep with you even if you were the last man on earth, batteries didn’t exist and I’d lost the use of my hands,” and they still wouldn’t leave you alone.