There are some obvious red flag behaviors when it comes to sex—you wouldn't sleep with a guy who flat-out refuses to use condoms or has a history of sexual violence. But sometimes, the signs for someone who might turn violent in bed are there, and you just can't see them because they're disguised as fetishes or odd kinks. In a column for the Toronto Globe and Mail, Debra Soh, a doctoral student in psychology at York University, uses a combination of anecdotal evidence from women who've dated sexually violent men and research to highlight some everyday behaviors that can be red flags in bed.
Of course, as Soh writes, "it is never someone's fault if they are sexually assaulted and it is certainly never a woman's responsibility to prevent an assault from happening." Highlighting these signs isn't meant to say violence is your fault if you continued seeing a guy who exhibited this behavior—it's a way to show that sexual preferences are more complicated than we might think, and don't just go away with time.
1. He's a bad boy who doesn't think any rules apply to him. A guy who DGAF might seem cool and edgy and hard when he's blowing off work to be with you, or yelling at that rude guy who bumped into you at the store, but as Soh writes, "a man's behavior in the bedroom is (perhaps unsurprisingly) not terribly different from his behavior outside it." The bedroom is one place where you definitely want your partner to follow any rules you set, and a bad boy might not think those rules apply to him.
2. When he hit on you first, you clearly rejected him but he just kept trying harder. This is tricky, because so many romantic comedies are centered on a man's tireless pursuit of a beautiful woman who keeps rejecting him, and the man is ultimately rewarded for his persistence because he gets the girl in the end. Soh warns against this kind of behavior though, because it can be a sign of sexual coercion—or a sexual preference for forced sex, or rape.
3. He has a fetish for humiliating, degrading, or physically painful sex acts. This isn't like BDSM, where degradation or pain is totally consensual and agreed upon to be sexy for both partners. This is like when a guy gets off knowing he's caused you pain. Soh writes that preferences like that (which are known as "paraphilia" or unusual preferences) don't go away—if a guy is into humiliation, it "will be his primary sexual interest over the course of his life."
4. At parties, he keeps to himself and is generally antisocial. The quiet guy in the corner who's sort of socially awkward in a cool, charismatic way is usually also the guy who has no regard for social conventions. Soh sees that as an indifference to the well-being of others, and that can be a predicator for sexual violence.
5. Instead of getting turned off when you're not in the mood for sex or are resisting, he seems to get even more turned on. This doesn't have to be as obvious as you saying "no" and him straight-up ignoring you. Most guys back off, or are turned off by, obvious signs of resistance to sex. But guys who have an inclination toward forced sex or sexual coercion are actually turned on when you resist their advances, and that can be a dangerous response.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.