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© Copyright 2002, Jim Loy
Important: This is a serious article about sex (marital and extramarital). Please read no further, if such an article is of no interest to you.
A friend of mine says that sometimes a woman says "no" when she means "yes." The theory is this:
The woman wants to have sex, but doesn't want to admit it, either to her partner or to herself. Saying "no" relieves her of responsibility and blame. It is his fault. So she says "no" and that may mean "yes."
And so, it is full speed ahead.
Does that make sense? Does any of it make sense. "Yes" and "no" are the simplest of human communication. And if "no" means "yes," then there is no communication. That is the situation, right? There is no communication above, nor is communication desired (by at least one of the participants). The woman has no control over the situation, whether she wants control or not. But, morally and legally, she should have a great deal of control. Morally, legally, and linguistically, "no" means "no."
So, "no" means "no." Believe it. If she says "no" and means "yes," then you must stop, as frustrating as that might be for both of you. The alternative is rape.
I received this email:
Sometimes "no" does in fact mean "yes" and it isn't rape. The reason I say this is because body language is far more powerful than verbal language, plus, as you mentioned, a "no" might simply be a blame-shift mechanism due to Catholic (or other moralistic) upbringing that associates guilt with feeling good (sex). Your final assessment that "no" always means "no" made me feel as if your girlfriend edited your article: "no" always means "no" seems too moralistic and black and white for real-world situations. It was the politically correct way to end the article, and keeps you from receiving flame-mail, but is it the real or only answer? I doubt it.
"No" means "no." And you and your girlfriends should learn that. I don't see why people say the opposite of what they mean (and not trying to be ironic), and still think they are communicating, when they are just causing further confusion. I ask someone, "Where would you like to go?" And the answer I might get is, "I don't care?" And then I hear complaints about my choice. They will soon learn that they should choose a more truthful response than "I don't care." Isn't the truth better? Almost always?
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