When No means No

What particularly troubled me was a quote from a Religious Leader, casting blame on the Lady, about how she was possibly provocative, and should have been more respectful, this also echoes what a lot of people think when we hear stories like this, the default excuses our society comes up with;


Text size

Interracial couple holding hands

Hey people, Toolsman here welcoming everyone to another awesome week. So let’s kick things off with another exciting announcement. Allow me to introduce yet another addition to the TNC team (boy, are we growing so fast). Some of you may know him, he’s been featured here in the past but now he’s going to join the team full time to run the MondayRush section with me. Please welcome the one, the only @JCphoenixx.

Ok, so he’s just going to jump right into it and kick off this week with his first official post, please show some love at the flip side and share your comments, remarks etc. Cheers.


No matter how much you try to distance yourself from them, ignore them, focus on your little sphere of influence, interaction and interests, there are some stories capable of moving you, from thousands of miles away. One such story of such personal impact to me is the story of “Damini”, in India.

We live in a fast changing world. Some things are changing for the worse, others are getting better. One such thing, most of us assume, is the right to self determination of women. growing up surrounded by strong women, I admit, as a man, I take it for granted sometimes how hard it can be to be a woman, living in an environment where you’re still considered second class by default to men, expected to be deferent, without a voice. The vast majority of us are guilty of this at some point in time, but every once in a while, a story comes along that stirs such outrage in you, one begins to imagine how our loved ones must feel.

Rapes occur in every corner of the world, not just India. As a matter of fact, Nigerians are all too familiar with stories like the one that caused such outrage in India. Think ABSU, think the countless number of videos that surface every other month showing some girl stripped naked, with sneering, glad-to-be-here young men “fondling” her, and someone throws in the narrative “oh she stole a phone” or something.

What particularly troubled me was a quote from a Religious Leader, casting blame on the Lady, about how she was possibly provocative, and should have been more respectful, this also echoes what a lot of people think when we hear stories like this, the default excuses our society comes up with; “why was she walking home at such a late hour” or “oh, that’s so sad, but why was she dressed so provocatively?”

Or the main question behind this post; why did she come to my house if she didn’t want to have sex.

Anyone who’s been in this situation can tell you firsthand about the thin line between foreplay and sexual harassment. At the risk of trivializing this issue, I want to get a male and female opinion about this. A girl you’ve gotten quite comfortable with, say second base, wants to come over to your house to “hang out” and you’re making out, then she stops you at the most absurd point and says, “No.”

A man I know used to say “sometimes no means NO, sometimes no means yes, sometimes no means try harder”

Most of us get some variation of this saying drummed into our heads early on in life. If not through advice, from experience. It’s the reason why you keep calling that girl when she’s told you short boys are not her type, the reason why you still send Champagne bottles over to her table 5 minutes after she pours a drink in your face and tells you your money might be impressive, but your face never will be… and sometimes we know, that these things work out, through sheer persistence.

This “Prime Hunter” mentality might just be most dangerous thing in male-female relationships, and a major reason for the tragic occurrences we’re complaining about today, I don’t know. The sense of entitlement, of ownership, what’s the difference between “well she came round to my yard at 11pm so of course she was down” and “she was wearing a mini skirt unaccompanied on the same bus with me at 11pm so of course she was down”. I feel the former has probably led to more assaults on women than the latter, and the two are just rungs apart on the same ladder. a lot of people have these experiences but they’re still so hard to discuss even in open society.

Today I’d like read your thoughts on this  “sometimes no means NO, sometimes no means yes, sometimes no means try harder”. When does one cross that almost invisible line that separates foreplay and sexual harassment? Please go ahead, use the comment box to express you.



  1. Gracie
    No most times means No. Am a woman and I can tell haven been in such a position. We either want it or we don't.. If through sheer persistence we come around to a Yes, it might be due to the fact that there's something we think we like that we saw or just out of 'hey, he's been at me for awhile, lemme see how it goes' or even that he plainly respected our 'No'… So plz, some men should learn to know when we don't want to go all the way and not cross that thin line
  2. Renegade
    First and foremost I believe it's insensitive to create of cocktail story on the Indian rape&homicide case and the issue of men failing to take NO for an answer. Yes, the both touch sexual abuse against women (and men), but in the Indian case the men were bent on taking a life (2 actually) and NO had nothing to do with anything.

    Re: sexually abusing a female who expressed a lack of interest in furthering an erotic situation, one can blame it on hormones, blatant disregard for others' rights, lack of empathy, sociopath mentality…the list goes on

    I have to admit I have also previously mistakenly assumed that a lady who wanted to spend some alone time with me was definitely interested in the D (pardon my French). I have also experienced situations where acute negotiation skills ere needed to change a NO to a very willing&ready YES.

    This is one discussion that has gone on for ages, so I'll spare myself the misuse of space. When it comes to encroaching on the personal space of another, be it physically or emotionally, be they male or female, it all comes down to doing unto others as we would like done unto us.

  3. niyoola
    Most of these issues crop up when parents don’t define boundaries with their little boys.
    You teach the girl to be modest, quiet, pretty but you happily tell your friends that your son is so naughty and troublesome, he beat someone up in the school yard.
    Parents and soceity unknowingly teach boys to be aggressive, why are we surprised when they start perpetrating violence.

    For me, No is No. I am not one to form; if I like you, you’ll know I like you. I have never indulged in all those “forming/acting like u don’t like him so he tries harder”.
    In a soceity where the lady is blamed for being raped, where coming forward and naming your rapist doesn’t guarantee he’ll get prosecuted, where your parents try to hush up the rape case so you don’t bring shame to your family, where a guy can brag to his friends he raped the girl bcos she had been forming and taught her a lesson, it’s up to you babe to watch out for yourself.

    Let your no mean no, don’t be blowing hot and cold while and leading a guy on, telling him you don’t like him and going to his house in bum shorts.

    That’s the truth. Note that I am not blaming girls for being raped, but in a soceity that doesn’t penalize rapists, then pls look out for yourself.

  4. tobicomm
    The fact that a lot women love to play hard to get so as not to come across as being cheap also makes this confusing and a lot of guys usually find it hard to tell which is which.

    Just thought to put this out there.

  5. Rubicon
    But we do agree that sometimes and I mean sometimes, when a girl says no, she is actually putting up a front? It takes a man who knows sex isn't a price to back down. Yes, better for her to call him a slacker than for him to risk misinterpreting her signals.

    Oh of course let's not lose sight of those of us who like it rough…'borderline rape'.

    Bottomline, we (women & men) are contributors to the abuse & deprivation of women by the way we act, take and the boundaries we set. When we do these things innocently, we forget that there are those amongst us who have no idea what 'personal boundaries' mean.

  6. Miss A
    I know a girl who got raped recently cos she went to a guy's house(he assumed she wanted it) and he forcefully raped her after beating her after she repeatedly protested.
    He was caught ofcourse but persecution is far from it as the case has died a natural death.

    I have this to say, As a human being, let your No be your No and your Yes, be your Yes.
    If youre over at a guy's place and he's asking for Sex, Say no then stand up and go. Dont stay No and stay cos that just sends the Wrong message and we dont want that.

    I always say if i ever get raped , forget persecution, last last he'll get a measly 2-5 years(max sentence for Rape in Nigeria).
    That guy is going to get beaten up good and he wont rape another next time.

    1. SMH
      Wait ooo….

      Your message is twisted in several ways. It doesn't even follow the story you just told us. She repeatedly protested, and he BEAT her into forced sex. And then you go ahead to say that she should have stood up to leave immediately. That doesn't make sense at all, and also, he did not ASSUME. To say that a person assumed implies that their conclusion was an innocent one. Beating someone into sex is not an assumption. That's called force.

      Also, if you think you're getting a wrong signal (such as when a girl says no but still stays in your house), then you ask her."Okay, you just said no. But you're still here. If you really mean no, can you leave please?" Afterall is it. not your house? Ask her to LEAVE. Don't beat her and them rape her , and use the "I assumed she wanted it " logic.
      She leaves, you know she meant it. She stays, then MAYBE there's something going on. Maybe not. Whichever way, now there are no mixed messages.

  7. Mrs P
    No means no. If she stops you during a make out session, even if she's naked and she forcibly says no it means no. Its just better to take her word for it. I've been in situations where I've said no politely to guys but they kept being forceful until I became aggressive and rude.
      1. Say What?!
        Uhhhh…. yes you can. And obviously you completely missed the point , or chose to ignore the point, of what the writer was saying. The right to say no exists in EVERY situation.
  8. Claire
    Sensitive topic…..No still means No, no matter how much people try to analyse, justify or translate it. But what about instances where the victim is not given any opportunity to say "no"? & to think that any guy will boast about raping a girl to "teach her a lesson" just makes my blood boil. Who made him a teacher?? Guys like that should bear in mind that they will have a daughter someday, will u happy for someone to "teach her" that kind of horrid lesson?
    For me, any rapist deserves to be casrated & burnt alive….._/
  9. Claire
    Sensitive topic…..No still means No, no matter how much people try to analyse, justify or translate it. But what about instances where the victim is not given any opportunity to say "no"? & to think that any guy will boast about raping a girl to "teach her a lesson" just makes my blood boil. Who made him a teacher?? Guys like that should bear in mind that they will have a daughter someday, will u happy for someone to "teach her" that kind of horrid lesson?
    For me, any rapist deserves to be casrated & burnt alive….._/
  10. thisboyperforms
    This is a very sensitive topic to say the least. That being said, we live in a society where we teach girls (or women) to ensure they don't get raped instead of teaching the boys (or men) that rape is a heinous crime.
  11. nextmissrandom
    I'll share my story. I once had this 'friend' he was interested in me and all but i was still bent on keeping it on the friend's level for some time. So one day hesaid he wanted to take me out. Happy me now, he came to pick me up. Only for him to head for his place. I was confused oo.. so i asked if this was the 'take me out' he meant….he then went on to say we cld chill by the pool n invite my frnds. Anyways i grudgingly entered his house o..u know as per lets sit in the living room,watch tv and talk as friends. Next thing, nepa decided to be bitchy with the electricity and my guy just came over to my side to kiss. I was stunned, almost. I told him i had not reached that stage yet and he shld take chilling pills mehn…out of nowhere, this guy was hard already. I knew there was trouble coz they aint no way that thing would enter me at my own will. So i panicked and dude started fighting me…in short he wanted rape me

    At that point, there was nothing i could do. He was stronger than me. So i decided to calm him down. Surprisingly he yielded to my plea of letting me talk first b4 sex….i told him my story of how i was raped at 6 and goodness me, he shared a similar story to mine. That made him sober and that was how i escaped rape that day o. Hmmmn

    Now what say you? This was in broad daylight, i wasnt wearing anything provocative. Except you want to say going to my friends house was wrong.

    Sorry for the long story. Now to today's post, i can only and only blame the guy. He had it planned out in his mind that sex was DEFINITELY going to happen. He then gets disappointed but still didnt want to accept he lost and results to rape instead. So you see, if only guys would minimize the rate at which they think that sex is the price for everything, the world would be a better place.

  12. kankey
    no means no till she says yes. parents should make conscious efforts at training their male children. They should respect and protect the opposite sex and not the other way round no matter what.
  13. amala pupa
    all I’ve got to say is… K, Niyoola spoke my mind.

    U shouldn’t lead a guy on, aggravate his “agro” by allowing foreplay then say no and expect him to just switch off…

    Not supporting violence in any form, but it’s way easier on both parties if the “no” is right from d very start.

    1. Mrs. P
      What a silly thing to say! You ARE supporting violence. YES a man should "switch off" when the lady says NO whether he's been "led on" or not. No excuses.
  14. Nonmiincer
    Very tricky subject we have here. First of all saying Yes or No and expecting a clear understanding of the word(s) is completely relative to the situation at the time and the events that led to the situation and time. In the heat of passion our thoughts, feelings and ultimately behaviours can sometimes be to akin to those of animals. So if a girl knows the guy wants to get down, and she doesn't, why stir up his natural hormonal animal like sexual passion with late nate visits in short,see through, leaving nothing to imagination type of clothing and still hang around after saying NO?
    It could mean she doesn't know or isn't sure what NO mean. So u really can't blame the guy for tyring albeit harder. But if she says 'No I don't want this and get up and leaves then fine that's a valid NO!'

  15. Tip
    Ladies, yeah I know this is absurd but I think you should stop going to a male friend’s house without your friend(s) if you have no plans to shag. We can argue all day about friends you trust & all but let’s start from being overly careful, a lot of girls are suffering in silence. What’s worse than being raped? When the rapist goes scot free with a smirk on his face.
  16. ebk01
    No means no.. Until she says yes. I don't think d ladies are to be blamed . Fine, dey may dress provocatively n send the wrong signals but we all know dat out of d abundance of the heart ,d mouth speaketh. If she says no,den she means no
  17. .
    6 years ago I had My first boyfriend,I was 16 and proudly a virgin he was 22(dnt even ask how we met) I went to his hostel to hang,and the next thing he wanted the D,I said NO and meant NO but he wouldn’t heed, he tried to penetrate and almost succeded -at least that was what I thought- till I managed to slip from under him with my tiny body and run to my hostel,I rushed to have my bath and found blood all over, virginity= lost, how epic! Don’t worry the guy is still alive….but not for long 😐

    Guys please respect women, NO means NO, not yes or maybe. Better to be safe than sorry so you don’t end of on someones black list too. Ciao.

  18. RILEY

    Xup bitches? N by bitches Riley be meanin dem suckers who be raping lil' helpless bitches, cuz if u rape a bitch, u is a bitch nigga. feel me? Damn rite you do cuz its true n cuz riley so too.

    Now, riley aint saying a nigga gon just pull back once a bitch say she aint in fo sum good lovin' no mo cuz thats a bitch move ma nigga. Riley gon persuade that bitch that a dicking be in her best interests: mayb rub on her titty, try to get d bitch wet n shit.

    riley got a simple 3 strikes rule: if u try three times, u done touched her specail places, u don laid down yo sweetest lyrics n u done asked politely like real nigga do, n the bitch still say no, then u gatta to call it a day n av some self respect, nigga. All this raping bitches aint good fo the pussy market. Y'all bitch niggas best be acting right from now on.

    In summary:
    1) Only bitch-niggas rape bitches
    2) Real niggas gon try max of 3 times
    3) If she aint down after 3 , u gotta call the dick to order and step back my nigga.

    Riley, out.

  19. mizRissoto
    It’s rlly sad that drawing the line is such a task for some men. Provocative or not, if you cant ignore it yourself, your just as weak. I’m usually taken aback by rapists who give the excuse “I jst couldn’t say No”..more like you just couldn’t hear-No.

    No is No! If you wanna persevere it has nothing to do with force. I think men can sense fear and no matter how strong we are as women, we must realize that they have the strength, we as well need to avoid compromising situations.$
    So if you don’t want to have to explain the word ‘No’,let’s keep the initial meetings to public places and safe zones… Rape isn’t going to all disappear, but I think its one of those vices we can attempt to ‘contain’

  20. Mariaah
    Rape is such a touchy subject.. No should mean NO!! There are girls out there that will gladly open their legs for guys. Why go after that one that says NO..
  21. Dinma
    I guess this is a world where events have to be in order, simple n explanable so that people can have peace of mind and feel safe. If a prostitute gets raped, nothing is disturbed. It seems logical. It makes sense. If its a sister mary on the other hand, it becomes serious. When we sense no justification for it, we fully empathize without judgement because we feel threatened. Besides, there's a self-righteous, self-congratulatory feel to it. A thinks, 'B got raped. Must b sometin she did. I've moved up d moral ladder.
    NO is NO. Women shd b trusted with their own brain chemistry. Its a misconception to think that those of men are more steady. They rarely get raped because of d muscles.
    Nothing against consensual rough sex btw adults. Tho, i believe its tricky. Someone has to bear d abusive blunt of the objectification. In our society, sadly, its always d woman. No thanks to porn n rap music.
    Men n women shd be held to d same standard of accountability. I hope, one day, 'SHAME' would b stamped not on the forehead of rape victims (whoever they may be: nun, mistress, man.) but on those of their attackers.
    1. Dinma
      felt compelled to point dat out. Ive come to realise dat ones opinion here automatically represent their life n not their outlook on life. Must account for all d mimicry, even tho d site is billed as a 'safe space'.
  22. Dinma
    wish i can take back d last bit of my reply above. That was disrespectful to a whole community n a disgrace 2 d spirit of diversity. As i cant, i apologize. D shame is mine.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *