Many college students have decided to be single and just have casual sex. This is fine if the other person is aware of the boundaries and willing to have sex with no strings attached. But what if someone isn’t being honest with you? Without that awareness, can you be a willing partner? Not really, and this is what starts to cause drama. Even though drama might be what you are trying to avoid by not being in a relationship in the first place.
Alcohol is one way to manipulate and eliminate someone’s awareness. If you decide to use alcohol to loosen someone’s boundaries you compromise their judgment and awareness. You may think you are having sex with a willing partner, but if that person is intoxicated, they can not consent to sex. When you remove the awareness part of the equation, you also remove the willing part. This is defined as rape or sexual assault. Make sure alcohol is not involved if you are just wanting to “hook up” with someone.
Another way to blur the boundary line is to lie. Many people lie to get what they want. They withhold the truth or deliberately say something untrue to get you to agree to have sex. For example, some people won’t tell you they are already in a relationship with someone else. You decide to have sex with them based on the information that they are unattached. If you knew they were dating someone else, you wouldn’t engage in sex. Some people are honest and admit they are only looking for something on the side, and that gives you the option of getting involved with them or not. Be aware that not everyone is honest about their current relationships status. I probably don’t have to spell out how many problems this lie can cause.
Another manipulation is to tell you what you want to hear to get sex. They may tell you that want to be in a relationship with you when this is not the case. Some people have no intention of following through with those promises of going out in public on a date or hanging out with your friends. This can cause problems if you develop feelings for this person and they use those feelings against you. You may keep having sex to keep them around in hopes that someday they will want more.
Coercion is another form of manipulation, but it is just one step away from a threat. This person uses persuasion to get you to do what they want. Usually a guilt trip is involved. They may come to you saying how lonely they feel. Or open up to you about some other problem in their life and then convince you that you are the only one who is there for them. Soon sex is brought up. You may feel guilty saying no and being the next person to “reject” them. If you do say no, they may threaten to not hang out with you anymore or may put you down in some way. If you are a people pleaser, then it isn’t too hard to imagine giving into this person to make them happy. At first you may feel good that you were there for them in their time of need, but afterward, you may feel very guilty for giving in.
Be smart. Recognize that not everyone is being honest with you. But don’t get down on yourself if you realize later that you made a mistake. It is hard to always know what other people are thinking. Learn from your mistake and use that experience to help you make a better choice in the future. We all live and learn. Some people are just living in the moment but when that moment passes, they feel regret. Be honest about what you want and realize that it is okay to change your mind. If you have made up your mind to have casual sexual relationships, be sure to be open and honest about that so you don’t hurt others who may want something different. And if you are the person who wants more than sex, don’t settle for less. You may have to let something or someone go to be able to find what you really want.