OK, I'll admit it…I have a problem saying “no”. Now before you get too excited, I'm not talking about saying yes to everything (not that there's anything wrong with that). What I'm talking about is saying no to unwanted advances (typically at a club or party) in a way that makes me feel good about myself instead of feeling mean, stuck-up, or prudish.
If someone were to ask me how to say no, my advice to them would be “All you have to say is no, no thank you, I'm not ready, not right now, just girls, just guys, or whatever you find appropriate for the situation that is definitive, honest, and not cruel. Saying no and hurting someones feelings is much better than doing something you don't want to do, and if the other party takes offense to you politely saying no, it's their problem, not yours.”
However, having said this out-loud, I still can't seem to completely own that answer. Maybe it's because I can't get completely past the hurt looks I've seen on many occasions, or because I don't want to cause a scene (and I've unfortunately seen a few), or perhaps it's just that I'm caught off guard and don't know what I want at that exact moment. But, whatever the reason, it's an issue that I will keep working on until I resolve it.
So what am I doing about this? First, no matter how uncomfortable, if I mean no, I say it. I haven't gotten to the place where I never feel the slightest bit bad about it, but I'll get there. Second, I tell myself the following “No one else has the right to make me feel bad”. That little mantra has worked quite well for me lately both in and out of the bedroom. It doesn't always help me when I'm in the moment, but later, it helps redirect those bad feelings away from me, and to the person who was insecure and immature enough to think they had a right to be mad at me.