Have you gotten a sexual invitation or proposal that doesn’t work for you? Here’s some ways to say No:
Red. (or other safe word)
No, thanks I am not interested in that.
That doesn’t sound fun/appealing/exciting/comfortable/etc to me. So No.
That’s not my thing.
I love you but I am not going to do that.
You are going to have to enjoy that without me.
No. But I would love to do ______.
But what if you are kind of intrigued. Not sure yet? Here’s some ways to say Maybe:
I’m not sure, let me think about it.
Let’s talk about this more; I have questions.
Hmm…I might want to. But something is still holding me back. Let’s talk about it more.
Something about that makes me uncomfortable. Tell me what excites you about it and maybe that will change my perspective.
Slow down; I might want to stop. I will let you know.
That might be ok if we avoided ____.
I don’t feel ready for that now but I am willing to revisit it in a few months.
I can’t consider that until we know each other better/until we have our STD results/until we are monogamous/until _____
Not right now, but let’s see how I feel after we …..
Let’s start by watching some porn or reading some erotica like that and I can see how it affects me.
I don’t want to do that physically, but let’s talk about it as a fantasy and see how that feels.
In dance class recently, my teacher invited us to move in a way that was uncontrolled, NOT out of control. This felt like a really important differentiation to me, and one I hadn’t really considered before. To LET our self be uncontrolled is very different from an experience of being out of control.
Being out of control can hurt us. We have no ability to gauge our own limitations and sensations or to do anything to mediate them. We have no choice. Being out of control, for good reason, is scary. Many of us have had experiences of this and want to avoid it. So we try to be in control at all times, moderating our responses and playing it cool.
But choosing to be uncontrolled - Well, that is a beautiful thing. Letting go of control, temporarily, means we have assessed that we are safe. That we can trust the environment, our body, our own capacity to feel and respond. Being uncontrolled means we can see what happens, without needing to shape it or prescreen the ending. We open our self to sensation; we allow our response.
In this state our body can let the involuntary impulses come through, shudders and twitches and slowly rolling undulations and sighs. We shake it all out. Or more accurately, we let it all shake out because we are not doing it, we are letting it happen. There is a moment, now and then, that you can reach in dance or sport or sex or breathing that it feels effortless, like the movement is arising, simply taking you along with it. But you are there, awake to it, saying “Yes”. Uncontrolled. Not out of control.
I think we have been taught to equate the two states as the same. We have been invited to fear the feeling of being uncontrolled, to avoid it and see it as a state of weakness. But really, the ability to choose to step in and out of being uncontrolled is a source of so much strength. It is a way we learn to trust our self and to know that we can be flexible enough to move in the way that calls us in the moment. The more I dance that way, the more I know my body has an innate ability to take care of me. The more I open to that impulse or orgasm, when I have created safe space to do so, the more I understand the powerful energy that is available to me, inside of me.
You don’t have to be afraid of your ability to let yourself be uncontrolled. You can be proud of it. You are not losing control in those moments, you are learning about the dimensions of it. You are releasing the burden of constant control. It’s significant when you understand the difference. Feel it in your body. Let it take you there.