‘I’m pretty sure that the majority of my sexual experiences in my teens and 20’s were done out of politeness’ says Maya, 28. ‘You end up in a situation where you’re worried about offending someone if you don’t go ahead – whether you’ve led them on or what they’ll think about themselves if you back out at the last minute. And in relationships, I’ve had sex when i definitely did not want to but just kind of felt bad about not doing it – what if the other person thought that i thought they were crap in bed or didn’t fancy them anymore?’
Maya’s story was echoed over and over again by the women I spoke to. ‘I didn’t want him to be upset’ ‘We’d got that far and it seemed pointless to stop then’ ‘I didn’t know him well enough’.
There are hundreds of reasons why, but they all boil down to the same thing. We’re nice girls. We’ve been raised to be nice. Sweet. Don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Don’t disturb the peace. You’re sugar and spice and all things nice, remember?