He said it's not sex if it's just the tip. Yet, you are feeling violated and used the next day. Today we learn how to recognize and address sexual coercion to put an end to toxic rape culture.
What Is Just The Tip Excuse
Olivia is dating Steve and it's magical. Steve is a perfect gentleman. He never fails to ask about her day or bring her favorite Starbucks drink on his way to pick her up. But although they've been going out for a while now, Olivia is still not quite comfortable enough to get physical.
One evening after a really romantic date at the restaurant, Steve drops his lady off at her place. Olivia invites him over because it's still early, and she wants to enjoy the company of her new boyfriend a little longer.
Steve is more charming than ever and it soon becomes clear that he came up for more than just some cuddles. "Common, just the tip," he says. Olivia is hesitant: what should she do next?
Just the tip is an extremely common excuse to take a romantic relationship further. Whenever the guy is impatient to explore the area below the belt, he might try several sneaky tricks to make it happen.
This is a very clear sign of sexual coercion, an act of persuading another person to engage in any form of a sexual act.
Just the tip is only the tip of an iceberg, no pun intended. The common "But I really love you" and "We've been going out for so long" go right into that list as well.
So why would Olivia say no? Maybe she is still a virgin?
Are You Still A Virgin After Just A Tip Went In
You probably know at this point that virginity is a social construct. This means that every culture has their own view of what makes someone a virgin.
The majority of the population associate virginity with regular penetrative sex, aka the penis-in-vagina. By this logic, just the tip doesn't mean much since it won't physically replicate a full-on sexual act.
But there are two major issues with this way of thinking.
First, every person has their own perception of virginity. While some are perfectly comfortable with an everything-but arrangement, others are as conservative as not allowing kissing before marriage.
And second, virginity has nothing to do with sexual coercion being invasive and harmful. Even if you've slept with a hundred people before saying no to just the tip offer, you still have a full right to do so.
Plus, it often happens that just the tip turns into a whole thing very quickly. Sex is very hormone-driven and it can be rather hard to fully be in control of your body in such scenarios.
So, "no" means no, but does a "yes" always mean yes?
The Real Problem With Sexual Coercion
It is hard to find a reason to decline someone you care about in a harmless activity, such as just the tip. And that's why sexual coercion is so much more dangerous.
A guy who is offering to get a half an inch closer already knows that you will most likely agree. Moreover, he also knows that once that tip is in, it's just a matter of mere moments before he can conquer your world.
This type of behavior is both manipulative and narcissistic: a man who only thinks about his needs and desires will not make a good partner.
For centuries women everywhere were treated as property. Opinions on topics such as consent, sexual desire, opportunity to wait, and so on were not considered in the slightest.
And unfortunately, in many places across the globe, the situation hasn't changed much. We still have girls who feel obligated to put out after a certain number of dates or believe that true love has to always include sex.
Women are only beginning to gain a voice and there is a very long road ahead. At this point, what we can do is learn about everything in our power to correctly identify sexual coercion and cut it at the root.
Just The Tip? I Don't Think So
First things first, it is time to learn to say no loud and clear. To anything, for that matter, it doesn't even need to be sexual. Remember that oldie-but-goodie Meghan Trainor song? The answer is no, no, no!
A colleague is taking advantage of you by dropping a pile of tasks into your inbox? No.
A best friend is pressuring you to attend a party with a lot of strangers and you don't feel comfortable going? No.
Or your own mother suggesting you should lose weight in order to look more attractive? NO.
You don't need to explain yourself: whatever causes discomfort does not have a place in your life. This applies to just the tip as well as to all other sexual coercion tricks.
But are there ways to spot red flags prior to actually facing the manipulative scenario? Actually, there are some.
Sexual Coercion Red Flags
As already mentioned, sexually manipulative people often happen to be narcissists. So, in order to shield yourself from any type of uncomfortable situation, start by learning to identify covert narcissists among individuals you deal with.
This includes our Steve and Olivia example from earlier: masters of manipulation have a tendency to wear masks to lure victims into their webs. Don't let your guard down around men who seem fairytale-ish. There might be a dark side to that smile.
Then there is a category of guys who fail into patterns of sexual coercion due to a need to dominate. Such behaviors might come from unhealthy parental relationships back in early childhood or problematic experiences with previous lovers.
Whatever the reason, if he makes it clear that he is the one at the steering wheel: stay alert.
For example, he insists on kissing you at the end of the first date. And even though you pulled away several times, he keeps getting closer and tries to sweet talk you into locking lips.
The most obvious, yet the hardest, way out is to voice your concern. Something along the lines of: "Hey, I see what you are doing, but I'm just not fully comfortable with kissing you at the moment. Maybe next time?"
The "next time" card is your life jacket in case the person in front of you is dangerous in any way. Notice the signs of obsessive or harmful behavior? Remove yourself from the situation and consider reporting to the authorities.
Even if you avoided trouble, the next girl he goes out with might get into it. So, our job is not only to spot the red flags of sexual coercion but to act on them accordingly as well.
Just The Tip Guy Type
Interestingly enough, just the tip suggestion is not always used as manipulation. Some guys, usually the younger ones, genuinely don't see any harm in letting their members take a peek.
In this case, you should consider educating the poor fellow on a simple yet so hard to grasp the subject that states: women are people. I know, shocker.
And as people, we would like to be in control of who enters our bodies and to what extent.
No need to go into an hour-long lecture on female rights and the significance of sexual consent, although you can if you want to. Just focus on outlining your own view of the situation and suggest another activity to shift the attention to something less invasive.
Your mental and physical health is at stake, which means you should concentrate on finding the most optimal solution to avoid becoming a victim of sexual coercion.
It will be hard at times because we often overlook manipulative behaviors due to our own feelings or cultural obligations. But the important thing is to remember that you are the one in charge of your body. You and nobody else.
Hit The Road, Steve
Let's sum up. How do we deal with an offer to have just the tip inside?
Do a quick check-up first. Start by getting in touch with yourself to see if that is something you want to do. If your answer is no, try to establish why you are uncomfortable and what can be changed to get you in the state of mutual desire.
Screen your thoughts and feelings not to be prepared for being sexually active with your partner, but just to get the right idea of what to tell in response to any type of sexual coercion attack.
Going back to Olivia, she can tell Steve that it is still too early for her to be fully trusting. He can stay a little longer to have a chat, but she won't be comfortable with too much physical contact right now.
There are two possible scenarios here. Either Steve understands Olivia's point of view and keeps respectfully patient until she's ready. Or he gets pissed off and ghosts her. In which case it's "Boy, bye!"
Just The Tip Of The Iceberg
Sexual coercion is a serious matter that goes far beyond childish requests such as just the tip. Our mission is to respect our own bodies enough to decline access to anyone who is unwanted.
Date, boyfriend, or even husband: if "no" doesn't mean no — it's time for him to go.