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A Yes/No/Maybe List Might Be Just the Thing Your Sex Life Is Missing
If you received sex education at any point in your schooling, chances are you weren’t exactly taught to verbalize your sexual desires, especially if all you learned was Mean Girls style, “Don’t have sex, ’cause you will get pregnant and die.” A culture that conflates abstinence with sex education is one that stifles sexual expression, not one that gives you the space to practice saying “Spank me, mommy!” or “Treat me like a filthy cum dumpster!”

That’s why sometimes in the throes of passion with a Melbourne escort girl and partner—y’know, those times when there are things you really want to say or try—you might feel like you can’t. Whether it’s due to fear of rejection, what your Miss Melbourn partner might think, or sounding unsexy, it’s times like these when you could benefit from a yes/no/maybe sex list: a tool used by kinksters and BDSM practitioners for decades to establish ground rules and spark conversations around sexual needs.

“If you’re nervous about saying to Melbourne female students, ‘I want to put my feet in your mouth,’ or ‘I want to peg you,’ [a yes/no/maybe list] can create a psychological buffer where nos become less intensive and yeses become a jumping-off point instead of a complete sentence,” kink coach Princess Kali, founder of KinkAcademy.com, says.

 

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While traditional yes/no/maybe (YNM) lists are pretty straightforward (think spreadsheet style, with three columns and a simple roster of activities), Kali recognizes this format is limited. A YNM list can help you identify not only which sex acts you want to explore, she says, but more importantly, which emotional experiences you want to have during sex—something she addresses in The Yes, No, Maybe Workbook, a resource she created to help folks find more nuance in their own lists.

But whether it’s a workbook, a spreadsheet, or scribbles in a drugstore notebook, sex educator Lola Jean, headmistress of the 7 Days of Domination school, says the concept of the YNM list provides you and your partners a foundation to build upon in whatever way suits you best. No matter your relationship status, a YNM list is an accessible resource that can illuminate information about your sexual desires in new ways—and help you ask for what you really want, instead of just swallowing it. Unless, of course, what you really want is to swallow it.

 

So, what is a yes/no/maybe list, and what is it not?
Pro dominatrix and kink educator Mistress Shayla Lange, owner of NYC’s largest woman-owned dungeon, defines a YNM list as “a list of kinks or fetishes that somebody brings to the table”—whether they’ve tried them before, read about them online, saw them in a movie, whatever. For example, on the list could be: being tied up, pegging, golden showers, and wax play. Maybe you would say “yes” to being tied up and golden showers, “no” to pegging, “maybe” to wax play, and so on. “Because it’s a graphic format—it’s written—it’s a good way to figure out where you and a partner line up and maybe where you don’t line up,” she explains. “You can say, ‘Okay, this is a green light, this is a green light, maybe we can talk about this one.’”

Kali explains that while the YNM list has its roots in the kink world, it’s a powerful negotiation tool that’s been expanded to encompass “a variety of sexual adventurers or sexual explorers,” not just kinksters. It’s even applicable to relationship styles. Polyamorous folks can use a YNM list to navigate their relationship boundaries. In a sexual context, even folks who are less experimental can create a version of the YNM list that includes traditional sex acts that they are or aren’t interested in.

And within that negotiation, there could be some caveats. Maybe you say, yes, you’re into pegging, but only under certain circumstances or only with certain toys.

One thing a YNM list is not? A binding agreement to do anything in particular, or an excuse to forgo ongoing discussions around consent. “It’s not a consent contract,” Jean clarifies. “Just because I said yes to this doesn’t mean it’s always on the table all the time. It’s not in lieu of a consent conversation.”

 

Is a yes/no/maybe list just for sex acts?
While your list can be a simple chart of Melbourne sex acts, the experts recommend using the space to flesh out your “goal feelings,” or how you want sex to make you feel.

“I do want to feel small, but I don’t want to feel degraded, for example, or I do want to feel slutty, but I don’t want to feel used,” Lange says. “You can absolutely put those on a yes/no/maybe list.”

You could love getting attention but hate feeling pain, in which case, spanking would fall under your “no” column. “You can get attention in plenty of ways that don’t involve getting hit,” Jean explains, “but it can be confusing because it can start out feeling fun and different until you realize you’re putting up with the pain for this other feeling that you like.”

Listing goal feelings can also help you identify the contexts in which you like or don’t like certain acts. “With the example of spanking, most people associate it with punishment,” Kali says. “You’ve been a naughty girl and I’m gonna put you over my knee and I’m gonna punish you. And so that context may ruin something where the sensations are actually desirable, but the context is off for someone.”

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