content note: discussion of ‘almost’ sexual assault
In NO (Part 1), I talked about how my mother taught me to assert my boundaries when I was I was a little girl. She taught me to say “No!” or “Stop!” loud and clear, with a straight face and a deep, firm voice as if I was talking to a misbehaving dog. When I grew up, it clicked that I could apply this loud, forceful ‘Dog-voice No’ to asserting my sexual boundaries. Furthermore, I took the principle of using firm serious body language and removed the loudness to create what I call the ‘Soft No’—a more palatable, but still potent I-mean-what-I-say signal.
Fortunately, I haven’t had to use the Dog-voice No or the Soft No very often. I am lucky enough to have spent most of my life surrounded by people that listen to my words. Nevertheless, every now and then my boundaries are overstepped. As promised, here’s a few examples of when I have used the Dog-voice No and the Soft No in sexual situations: