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Protect yourself

It's not your fault if someone oversteps your boundaries. But if you want to minimise the chance of that happening, the following tips could help:

Tips:

Make sure you’re safe
When you go out, go on a first date or are travelling alone:

  • Take a charged up mobile phone with you.
  • Make sure someone knows where you are and what time you plan to be back.
  • Maybe take a friend along when you're meeting someone for the first time.
  • Arrange to meet at a place you can leave easily if it doesn't feel safe; like in a café or a park.
  • Leave in time if it doesn't feel right.
  • If necessary, think up an excuse to leave. Say you have another appointment, for example. Or arrange to have someone call you at a certain time, then you can always say you have to go.

Know your own mind
Do you know what you do and don't want with regard to kissing and sex? The more you're aware of that, the easier it is to make it clear. Think about what you want in advance, so you don’t have to think it up on the spot. For example, consider beforehand if you want to kiss on the first date, whether you want someone’s hands all over you.

Be clear from the start
The sooner you make clear to the other person what you do and don't want, the better. “Have a drink together” can mean all kinds of things. If you really only want something non-alcoholic , then just say so.

Don't promise anything in advance
If you’re going to meet up with someone, don't promise anything beforehand. For example, don't agree in advance that you're going to kiss. You can't possibly know ahead of time if you're going to want to.

You are allowed to change your mind
Sometimes you might feel like kissing and other times you won’t. There's nothing wrong with that. And if you thought you were ready for sex, but then decided to wait, that's perfectly fine too.  

Agreeing to one thing doesn't mean agreeing to anything else
Sometimes you want to kiss, but don't want to be touched intimately. Sometimes you want to have a coffee, but don't want to go home with him or her. Completely normal. Be clear about it and tell the other person. Don't pretend you want something, when actually you don't.

Talk about sex
Talk about sex with your partner. Indicate what you do and don't like doing, both before and during sex. How do you approach that? Read more on Talking about sex.