Abuse Warrior may earn a commission for purchases made after clicking links on this page. Learn More.

What Is Sexual Coercion?

* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.

Sexual coercion is a serious form of abuse that involves manipulating someone into having sex. 

Table of Contents

What Is Sexual Coercion?

When consent is not given freely, it means it is sexual abuse, and people who experience being sexually coerced may feel all kinds of negative emotions afterward.

What Is Sexual Coercion

Although it is most likely to occur in existing relationships, anyone can use coercion to get someone to perform intimate acts. 

This article will discuss sexual coercion in more depth, and how you can recover and seek help from it. 

What Is Sexual Coercion?

Sexual coercion is when someone pressurizes someone to have sex with them in a non-physical way. It refers to any form of intimate act and can happen in any kind of relationship. 

Rather than feeling like they want to, sexual coercion is when someone feels they ‘have’ to have sex. Sometimes, a person may not realize they are being coerced into sex as it is not always aggressive or intimidating. 

Other times, however, someone may use threats or violence in order to coerce someone into having sex. 

Examples Of Sexual Coercion

There are several types of sexual coercion, some being less obvious than others. 


Someone may guilt a person into becoming intimate with them. If they have said no, they may try and make them feel guilty for not wanting to have sex and may exaggerate stories in order to change their mind and make them feel guilty. 

They may emphasize how long it has been since they last had sex, and may even state that it is that person’s obligation to have sex as their partner. 


An individual may make up lies in order to convince someone to have sex with them. They may make false promises, lie about not having another partner, or convince the other person that their behavior is normal. 


Someone may repeatedly ask for sex even after someone has said no. If their intention is to wear that person down until they say yes and have sex with them, then it is sexual coercion. 


In order to convince someone to have sex, the perpetrator may blackmail them. This is when they are aware of secret information that holds significant value to the other person. 

An example of this could be nude photos or certain messages. The perpetrator may threaten to release said information if this person does not have sex with them. 

Threatening The Relationship 

Posing threats to the relationship in order for someone to have sex with you is coercive behavior. Someone may threaten to leave the relationship if their partner does not have sex with them. 

They may also play on the other person’s insecurities, and start to suggest they are boring since they won’t have sex. The perpetrator may also threaten to be unfaithful if the other person refused to have sex. 

The above behavior in a relationship may ultimately lead to the other person giving in and having sex. This is a clear example of sexual coercion. 

Imbalance Of Power

Someone of a higher authority may coerce someone into having sex by using their higher position to threaten them. 

They may threaten them with a tarnished reputation, lower performance grades, or even job loss if they don’t fulfill their sexual needs. 

However, this type of coercion can also appear in the opposite way. They may promise a raise, better grades, or better outcomes in their job if they agree to have sex with them. 

Fear And Intimidation

A person may act in an intimidating way in order to get someone to have sex with them. They may use fear in order to convince and pressure someone to give in and become intimate with them. 

Using Alcohol And Drugs

Someone may encourage another person to take certain drugs or alcohol in order to make them more likely to have sex with them. 

However, if sex occurs when someone is unconscious or inebriated, it is classed as rape. 

Is Sexual Coercion A Form Of Abuse?

Is Sexual Coercion A Form Of Abuse

According to REACH, a domestic violence support organization, abuse is characterized as behavior that a person adopts in order to have power over someone else. 

Sexual coercion is a form of abuse, especially if it is happening as part of a pattern. Sometimes, it may only happen just once. This could be the result of someone having a misunderstanding of how sexual relationships work, especially if they are young in age. 

However, if a person does not care that this coercive behavior is detrimental to the other person’s mental health, they show signs of abusive behavior. 

Oftentimes sexual coercion is shown alongside other forms of abusive behavior such as gaslighting and controlling other aspects of their life such as where their partner goes and who they socialize with. 

How To Recover From Sexual Coercion

In order to recover from being sexually coerced, one must acknowledge that sexual coercion took place in the first place.  

This is likely to bring up negative emotions such as anger, guilt, and or sadness. 

In order to process this information safely, someone should make sure they are confiding in a trustworthy friend. They may also consider speaking to a helpline for advice and for someone to listen to them. 

Victims of sexual coercion may also benefit from speaking to a licensed therapist who specializes in helping people recover from coercive sexual assault. 

Joining a support group would also be of benefit to them. This could be in person, or online. 

If a person is currently in a relationship where sexual coercion is not part of a wider set of abuse patterns, then they may consider speaking with their partner about boundaries, and discuss what is and isn’t okay. 

They should also discuss the consequences of what happens when they cross these boundaries. They may express that it makes them feel worthless and not good enough. 

In some cases, these individuals may consider seeing a relationship counselor in order to work through this issue. 

When Should Someone Seek Help? 

If someone feels they have been sexually abused, they should seek help from their country’s emergency number, visit a hospital or rape center, or seek help from a trusted family member or friend. 

Someone should also seek help if they are in a relationship where they are being constantly coerced, their partner makes them feel unsafe and or controls their daily life. 

Even if some time has passed from when the assault took place, they can still report it to the police and visit a medical center in order to check for any injury or sexually transmitted diseases. 

Final Thoughts 

In summary, sexual coercion is when someone feels they have to have sex after they have been convinced, or pressured into doing so. 

This can be done in a number of ways, such as harassing, threatening, blackmailing, abusing their power, and making someone feel guilty. 

Although it most likely happens in existing relationships, anyone can behave in this way. 

Those who feel they are victims of constant sexual coercion in their relationship should seek help from a trusted friend or family member, and consider seeing a therapist or joining a support group. 

We hope this article has provided you with a good amount of information on sexual coercion.

If you need a crisis hotline or want to learn more about therapy, please see below:

For more information on mental health, please see:

If You Need A Crisis Hotline Or Want To Learn More About Therapy, Please See Below:

  • RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) – 1-800-656-4673
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-7233
  • NAMI Helpline (National Alliance on Mental Illness) – 1-800-950-6264

For More Information On Mental Health, Please See:

  • SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) SAMHSA Facebook, SAMHSA Twitter, SAMHSA LinkedIn, SAMHSA Youtube
  • Mental Health America, MHA Twitter, MHA Facebook, MHA Instagram, MHA Pinterest, MHA Youtube
  • WebMD, WebMD Facebook, WebMD Twitter, WebMD Instagram, WebMD Pinterest
  • NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health), NIMH Instagram, NIMH Facebook, NIMH Twitter, NIMH YouTube
  • APA (American Psychiatric Association), APA Twitter, APA Facebook, APA LinkedIN, APA Instagram

Leave a Comment

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