What’s a Yes/No/Maybe Sex List?

When you acquired intercourse schooling at any level in your education, likelihood is you weren’t precisely taught to verbalize your sexual wishes, particularly if all you realized was Imply Ladies-style, “Don’t have intercourse, ‘trigger you’ll get pregnant and die.” A tradition that conflates abstinence with intercourse schooling is one which stifles sexual expression, not one that offers you the house to apply saying “Spank me, mommy!” or “Deal with me like a dirty cum dumpster!”

That’s why typically within the throes of ardour with a companion—y’know, these occasions when there are belongings you actually wish to say or strive—you would possibly really feel like you possibly can’t. Whether or not it’s as a consequence of concern of rejection, what your companion would possibly assume, or sounding unsexy, it’s occasions like these when you may benefit from a Sure, No, Possibly intercourse listing: a device utilized by kinksters and BDSM practitioners for many years to determine floor guidelines and spark conversations round sexual wants.

“When you’re nervous about saying to somebody, ‘I wish to put my toes in your mouth,’ or ‘I wish to peg you,’ [a Yes, No, Maybe list] can create a psychological buffer the place no’s develop into much less intensive and yeses develop into a leaping off level as a substitute of an entire sentence,” kink coach Princess Kali, founding father of, says.

Whereas conventional Sure, No, Possibly (YNM) lists are fairly easy (assume spreadsheet-style, with three columns and a easy roster of actions), Kali acknowledges this format is proscribed. A YNM listing may help you determine not solely which intercourse acts you wish to discover, she says, however extra importantly, which emotional experiences you wish to have throughout intercourse—one thing she addresses in The Sure, No, Possibly Workbook, a useful resource she created to assist people discover extra nuance in their very own lists.

However whether or not it’s a workbook, a spreadsheet, or scribbles in a drugstore pocket book, intercourse educator Lola Jean, headmistress of the 7 Days of Domination faculty, says the idea of the YNM listing supplies you and your companions a basis to construct upon in no matter approach fits you finest. Regardless of your relationship standing, a YNM listing is an accessible useful resource that may illuminate details about your sexual wishes in new methods—and provide help to ask for what you actually need, as a substitute of simply swallowing it. Except, after all, what you really need is to swallow it.

So, what’s a Sure, No, Possibly listing, and what’s it not?

Professional dominatrix and kink educator Mistress Shayla Lange, proprietor of NYC’s largest woman-owned dungeon, defines a YNM listing as “a listing of kinks or fetishes that any person brings to the desk”—whether or not they’ve tried them earlier than, examine them on-line, noticed them in a film, no matter. For instance, on the listing could possibly be: being tied up, pegging, golden showers, and wax play. Possibly you’ll say “sure” to being tied up and golden showers, “no” to pegging, “perhaps” to wax play, and so forth. “As a result of it’s a graphic format—it’s written—it is a great way to determine the place you and a companion line up and perhaps the place you do not line up,” she explains. “You’ll be able to say, ‘Okay, this can be a inexperienced mild, this can be a inexperienced mild, perhaps we will discuss this one.’”

Kali explains that whereas the YNM listing has its roots within the kink world, it’s a strong negotiation device that’s been expanded to embody “quite a lot of sexual adventurers or sexual explorers,” not simply kinksters. It’s even relevant to relationship types. Polyamorous people can use a YNM listing to navigate their relationship boundaries. In a sexual context, even people who’re much less experimental can create a model of the YNM listing that features conventional intercourse acts that they’re or aren’t keen on.

And inside that negotiation, there could possibly be some caveats. Possibly you say, sure, you’re into pegging, however solely underneath sure circumstances or solely with sure toys.

One factor a YNM listing is not? A binding settlement to do something specifically, or an excuse to forgo ongoing discussions round consent. “It is not a consent contract,” Jean clarifies. “Simply because I mentioned sure to this doesn’t imply it is all the time on the desk on a regular basis. It’s not in lieu of a consent dialog.”

Is a Sure, No, Possibly listing only for intercourse acts?

Whereas your listing could be a easy chart of intercourse acts, the consultants suggest utilizing the house to flesh out your “objective emotions,” or the way you need intercourse to make you are feeling.

I do wish to really feel small, however I do not wish to really feel degraded, for instance, or I do wish to really feel slutty, however I do not wish to really feel used,” Lange says. “You’ll be able to completely put these on a Sure, No, Possibly listing.”

You would love getting consideration however hate feeling ache, wherein case, spanking would fall underneath your “no” column. “You will get consideration in loads of ways in which do not contain getting hit,” Jean explains, “however it may be complicated as a result of it may begin out feeling enjoyable and completely different till you understand you’re placing up with the ache for this different feeling that you just like.”

Itemizing objective emotions also can provide help to determine the contexts wherein you want or don’t like sure acts. “With the instance of spanking, most individuals affiliate it with punishment,” Kali says. “You’ve got been a naughty lady and I am gonna put you over my knee and I am gonna punish you. And in order that context might damage one thing the place the sensations are literally fascinating, however the context is off for somebody.”

So, how do you really make a Sure/No/Possibly listing?

When first experimenting with a YNM listing, all three consultants say you need to begin together with your objective emotions, not essentially what you wish to do, as a result of individuals have completely different associations with sure intercourse acts. “Do I wish to really feel degraded?” Lange says. “Do I wish to really feel overpowered? Do I wish to really feel taken care of? Utilizing these feeling phrases may help navigate what actions or actions you are going to put in your listing.”

You and your companion write down all of your objective emotions and the belongings you wish to strive on the prime of your lists. (A pre-existing template model is useful when you’re not coming to the desk with issues already in thoughts.) Then, individually, you’ll place every feeling and act right into a Sure, No, or Possibly column. When you’re each completed, you’ll come collectively and examine lists.

Nonetheless confused? Fear not—we made one for you. Be at liberty to reserve it, print it, kind on it, add extra objects, doodle on the edges…no matter it is advisable to do to speak to your coronary heart’s need.

Khadija Horton

It may be tempting to fill your listing with each single kink and intercourse act you’ve ever heard of unexpectedly, however the consultants advise in opposition to it. Inside every intercourse act or kink, there are completely different layers to discover, and tackling too many without delay may be overwhelming. It’s additionally necessary to be clear about how, precisely, you wish to strive issues out.

Take bondage, for instance. Kali explains that somebody who’s into bondage might like something on the spectrum, from getting tied up with satin ribbons to being mummified with duct tape and solely a tube to breathe by way of. Each qualify as bondage, she says, however it’s necessary to specify what bondage means to every of you—plus which supplies you want and what ambiance feels finest. “Even while you’re utilizing the identical phrases, you will not be talking the identical language,” she says.

She recommends limiting your first listing to simply three issues per column (whether or not it’s kinks, actions, phrases, toys, and many others.). This may help get the ball rolling with out overwhelming you. “Finally you could have six or seven completely different variations of your listing, however you do not have to determine it out unexpectedly,” Kali says.

So I made a listing. Now what?

The consultants suggest tailoring your listing to your particular companion. You’ll be able to all the time revisit your listing(s) by yourself or with new companions to mirror adjustments in what you need and the way you are feeling with them.

“Possibly your listing seems completely different while you’re with a femme versus any person who’s extra masc-presenting, or perhaps it is completely different if somebody’s older than you or youthful,” Jean explains.

When it comes to really sharing your lists, Kali says it’s necessary to carve out a while for a dialogue—not while you’re about to go to sleep, driving to choose up the youngsters, or in the midst of intercourse. And most significantly, be up entrance together with your companion about your intentions.

“Earlier than you launch into the listing, actually say to one another, ‘If I do not wish to do one thing, that is not a rejection of you,’” Kali says. “Then be cognizant of the way you give your no’s. As a result of if I am speaking with my lover they usually say, ‘I wish to suck your toes,’ and I say ‘ICK NO,’ that could be a hurtful no. That’s going to hurt our dynamic, our relationship, our sexual experiences collectively, due to the best way I mentioned no, not that I mentioned no.”

What if I’m terrified of rejection?

For some individuals, sharing a personal sexual need with a companion would possibly really feel unattainable—particularly in the event that they’ve by no means realized to embrace that need inside themselves. In that case, a YNM listing might provide help to in your journey to self-acceptance, however it’s not going to magically soften away a lifetime of societal repression by itself.

“[The YNM list is] not a very good venue to voice your kink with a companion earlier than you’ve got voiced it with your self,” Lange says. “Practising radical self-acceptance is a very necessary a part of this, as a result of if you’re scared of your individual wishes, you are not going to have the ability to talk your boundaries with any person else.”

Whether or not it’s writing them in a journal, sending your self a voice word, or reciting a morning affirmation (“I’m a cum dumpster and I’m proud!”), the extra snug you might be with your individual kinks, the higher you possibly can talk them to a companion. “If you cannot discuss it with your self, […] then it’ll be unattainable to say it to a companion,” Lange says.

A concern of rejection is pure, particularly when round delicate topics like your tightly saved sexual secrets and techniques. However Jean warns {that a} YNM listing isn’t a mechanism to get your companion’s approval for the stuff that you just’re into.

“Regardless of how a lot this different particular person loves you, thinks you are sizzling, desires to f*ck you, no matter, they don’t have to do your factor,” she says. “And that doesn’t make your factor any much less legitimate as a result of they don’t wish to do it.”

What if my companion’s listing and mine don’t match up?

“That is the place the sentiments are available,” Lange explains. Say your companion listed spanking, degradation, and hair-pulling as yeses, however the one factor you might have in your listing that matches with theirs is hair-pulling. Ask your self why you want this one explicit exercise. Is it the feeling? Is it the emotion tied up in it?

“As soon as you discover the sensation, you could find different issues in that very same vein,” Lange says. “It could lead you down an avenue that you just won’t have considered, that is not even on the listing. Or it might provide help to to construct a scene utilizing the issues that do overlap.”

On the flipside, Jean provides, their “no” would possibly simply be an invite to dig deeper. If spanking is in your listing and never on theirs, for instance, ask why. If it’s as a result of they do not wish to harm you, recommend utilizing a furry flogger or a foam bat that can by no means harm regardless of how onerous they hit.

And bear in mind: No’s are opening factors too, Kali says. When you’re into spanking however your companion isn’t, use that as a chance to be taught extra about why, so that you just’re not unintentionally making them really feel no matter it’s that comes up for them with spanking in different methods.

Finally, a YNM listing may help you excavate the exact language to explain your sexual wishes—one thing only a few persons are given the instruments to do once they begin to want them.

“In my 20 years of expertise, I feel individuals do not essentially have a direct fetish or need for actions or actions, they’ve a need for emotional experiences and psychological releases,” Kali says. “And so a Sure, No, Possibly listing can convey collectively actions, emotional contexts, and psychological nuance. And while you marry these issues in a single communication device, that is the place Sure, No, Possibly lists lead us to profitable sexual experiences.”

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