So my gf (I’m a girl too) is a survivor and anti-rape activist. She’s awesome. Except somehow she doesn’t realize that she’s bad at accepting my ‘no’. Sometimes I just want to make out, but not full out sex. She often gets mad at me and tries to pressure me to continue. She knows it too because she says I “shouldn’t start it then.” Since she’s a survivor, the Last thing I want to do is make her think I’m calling her anything even close to a rapist. I just don’t know how to talk to her about it.
I can see why you’re uncertain how to talk about it with her. That said, this is not a healthy or fair situation for you. As someone who is an activist against rape culture and for survivors, your girlfriend knows this kind of behavior isn’t acceptable, and in fact is sexual assault. It’s can be more difficult to recognize problematic behavior in yourself than it is in others. In relationships, it also becomes a question of whether you are expressing your frustrations to your partner (as you have the right to do), or whether you are attempting to coerce them. She may think she is doing the former, but to you it feels like coercion, and that’s a serious problem.
If you are not comfortable framing this discussion in a sexual assault context, then how about a communication one? It’s upsetting for both of you when this happens, because you feel pressured, and she feels angry. You need to tell her that it upsets you—and ask her to help you resolve it. Maybe you can try letting her know up front that you only want to make out, so you guys are on the same page from the start. Ask her why it upsets her when you don’t want to have sex. Does it make her feel rejected? You can’t know for sure because instead of telling you—she’s getting angry and blaming you for asserting what you want.
Even though your girlfriend is a survivor, I don’t think there is anything wrong with saying, ‘sometimes I feel pressured to have sex when I don’t want to.’ That’s what happens. I understand you love her, and you want to be sensitive to her past, but it’s also not right for her to do this to you. Her behavior has to change, and hopefully, having a discussion about it can help. But if you need to spell it out for her that she makes you feel pressured, then that’s what you need to do.
Maybe some of our followers have more advice for you. Anyone want to chime in?