Thanks for reaching out. In a safe and healthy relationship, both parties feel comfortable with the level of sexual activity, whether that means holding hands, kissing, touching, and/or having intercourse. If consent isn’t given then it’s a NO, and it’s not ok to persist until you get a YES.
I loved your question because it does make it a bit tricky when you don’t know if it’s okay to ask again. Communicate with the person. Consent is all about communication! When both people check in and talk about what they want or don’t want to do, it keeps everyone safe and happy.
Coercion happens when someone won’t accept “no” and continues to try to convince the other person to change their mind about engaging in sexual activity. Coercion can take any number of forms. In short, someone who makes you feel pressured and uncomfortable after you’ve said no may be trying to coerce you. If you feel like you want to talk to someone, find a trust adult in your life, or you can call the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 for free and private counselling (available 24 hours a day, but there can be a wait to get through). They are happy to talk about anything that’s on your mind.
You might also find it useful to enrol in our online respectful relationships program which explores how relationships work, things that work well and what to do if they aren’t working so well. Click this link to enrol in the program https://rizeabove.org.au/courses/rize-above-the-relationships-lab/.