“It was healthy to have this debate between us”
Aurore, 38, costume designer in Marseille
“It’s easier to say no than when I was 20. Yet it happened to me, not long ago, to be confronted with the embarrassing insistence of my partner. We had been together for several months. One evening, he was urgent when I said no. I held on but had to repeat it. I was very annoyed because he is a smart person. He finally apologized. He was in great pain, because he realized he had crossed a line. It has been healthy to have this debate between us.
→ ANALYSIS. Sexual consent, a taboo concept in the couple
Sometimes, men or women, we tend to think that things are acquired as a couple. There is a form of taboo that weighs on the pretext that we are together or that it occurs after marriage. It is all the more vicious when, in fact, it happens between two people who know each other: we know when the other feels desire or not! “
“The border is sometimes thin”
Constantin (1), 27, entertainment technician
“With the #MeToo debate, I asked myself: had I forced the hand of one of my partners before? I thought about one of my first girlfriends. One evening she said no to me, but I continued and then we both had fun. The border is sometimes thin: was it or not a game between us? I am not a violent person. But I know that today we would not have made love… Receiving a “no” is frustrating. And physically difficult. But that does not give any excuse, under any circumstances! I too sometimes forced myself … But I was never forced, which makes all the difference.
→ MAINTENANCE. Consent in the couple: “We must be attentive to the messages of the other”
With my previous companion, after two or three years, the desire died down. She started to pressure me to have sex more regularly. It was freezing. During our intercourse, I consented. But I didn’t do it for myself anymore. It was just so she wouldn’t be unhappy. “
“In the future I would know how to be vigilant”
Mouna, 21, student
“I’m coming out of a three and a half year relationship. For months, I forced myself to have sex. It did not come from a request from my boyfriend. But I was looking to fulfill a conjugal imperative. I come from a family where sex is taboo, I have no family model at that level. I thought that was it, having a normal married life. These relationships not completely consented, I imposed them on myself by telling myself: I have to make love with my boyfriend because it is the norm.
In reality, I was no longer in love, I was taking the pill, which caused a loss of libido and in front of me I had someone who showed his desire! I was lying to myself and locked myself in there. It was insidious. It took several months after the end of this relationship to understand it. I believe that in the future I will be able to be vigilant and question myself sooner. My partner was not aware of the situation until I told him about it. We separated two days later. “