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Ask the Expert: Ways to Say No

Q: If I haven’t had sex before and my partner is pressuring me to have sex, how do I tell them I don’t want to and have them understand?

A: No matter what you've seen online or read, not everyone your age is having sex! If you don't want to have sex, set limits before things get too serious. Never let anyone talk you into doing something you don't want to do. Open and honest communication is important in any relationship, especially one that involves sex. If you don't know what to say, here are some suggestions:

  • "I like you a lot, but I'm just not ready to have sex."

  • "You're really fun to be with, and I wouldn't want to ruin our relationship with sex."

  • "You're a great person, but sex isn't how I prove I like someone."

  • "I'd like to wait until I'm older before I make the decision to have sex."

Check out these important things to know about consent:

For tips on healthy relationships and communicating your needs, visit:

Check back weekly for more answers to your FAQs!

Amy Weiss, MD, MPH, adolescent medicine specialist at the Ybor Youth Clinic

Medical Director, TGH+USF Adolescent Bariatric Program and Interim Chief, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, USF Health

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