Categories Lifestyle

The Art of “No”

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“The Art of ‘No'”

Michael Love by Michael Love

Rejection… next to jealousy it is perhaps one of the touchiest topics in our lifestyle. We all fear being on the receiving end of rejection, but we all also loathe that moment when we’re faced with someone who is desiring us, that we simply are not feeling it with. Some people seem to navigate these waters with ease… While others struggle.  My biggest fear is that I will end up getting jiggy with someone who isn’t really into it… but didn’t know how to say no.

The first thing we should talk about is consent… What is consent?

The University of Michigan Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center has one of the best definitions of consent I’ve found. They define consent as  “a clear and unambiguous agreement, expressed outwardly through mutually understandable words or actions, to engage in a particular activity.” Consent can be withdrawn by either party at any point. Consent must be voluntarily given and may not be valid if a person is being subjected to actions or behaviors that elicit emotional, psychological, physical, reputational, financial pressure, threat, intimidation, or fear (coercion or force). Consent to engage in one sexual activity, or past agreement to engage in a particular sexual activity, cannot be presumed to constitute consent to engage in a different sexual activity or to engage again in a sexual activity. Consent cannot be validly given by a person who is incapacitated.

I think that “a clear and unambiguous agreement” is vital… this means if it is not a “HELL YES!”, then it is a “no.” I mean, who wants to have sex with someone only to find out later that they really didn’t want to, they just didn’t know how to get themselves out of the situation for fear they might hurt your feelings?

If they waffle and drag their feet, or say “maybe” or “not now”… It is a “no”. It might be a no for now… but it is still a no. A good and appropriate response is “I hope my request didn’t make you uncomfortable, I like you and I respect that you’re not in that place.” Don’t pressure, don’t make them feel guilty… Be classy, be respectful, and maybe… just maybe… You might get another shot.

What if YOU are the one who is in that situation… That you don’t really desire this person, but don’t have the words to say no. I’m a huge fan of practiced lines. At times when you’re not faced with someone, practice your vocabulary. If they can have a pick up line, why can’t you have a “let down” line? It truly is a good idea… And when you have words you feel empowered, and when you feel empowered, you will be more likely to stand for what you desire, and will be better equipped to pass on those things you don’t desire.

So what does that look like? Most of us don’t want to be disrespectful or hurtful toward people. Ours is a VERY small community with overlapping and intertwining circles. It doesn’t take much to get a reputation that you’re a jerk… Then no one wants to deal with you. So how do you do it?

I recommend being endearing, vulnerable and with a strong finish that establishes boundaries and leaves them feeling respected.

Let me give you the greatest rejection I’ve ever had. From the moment I stepped into the lifestyle, I had my eye on this girl. She’s incredibly beautiful, funny, fun, exciting, incredibly sexy, curvy, and brunette with that gleam in her eye that just melts my heart. She’s also the most positive person I’ve ever known and I’ve loved her for ages… As time went on, we became good friends, flirty friends. My heart soars when she flirts with me, rubs my face in her boobs, she loves when I come up and watch while she dances in the cage… Serious flirting game going on. So I got cocky… I’m thinking… tonight is the night, I’m going to have my way with this girl. She will probably fuck me to death… but its happening.

I happened to be spending the day with her as she occasionally has modeled for me. At one point, we were talking and I let slip my assuredness for the plans I had hatched for later that evening. She looked at me and said, “Oh Michael, I adore you, I love the fun, friendly friendship we have going on. I love our fun flirty ways, and the way we carry on, and I never want that to change, but sex between you and me… Isn’t going to happen. I hope that we can keep the friendship we have and the way we are together because I love it and I don’t want it to stop.”

At first, I was devastated, and I could tell she could see it on my face. She apologized, and we had an awkward moment when she felt bad. Then I realized the gift she had just given me. She told me that she wants our flirting to continue, but she released me from that expectation that we would ever have sex. That meant that I could still enjoy the fun, flirtiness we shared… And all of the exciting fun that she gives when she is at the club… but she set my expectations in such a way that I now know that it isn’t going to end up in a room somewhere. Which then frees me up to focus some of my attention engaging in chase with someone who might be a “yes”.

One of the best parts of her rejection of my advances was that she set boundaries.. She said… this is where I like us… This is an aspect to our relationship I like… And want it to stay that way. This mixes in some good, with the bad news, and softens the blow in a very respectful way.

I think it is good to be clear about your wants, desires and intentions. So many times, I see people say “not right now”. Then the guy (or girl) comes back later, and again it’s “not right now”… And they keep coming back, thinking they still have a chance… Soon they’re labelled as the guy who doesn’t get a hint.  It’s better for you to say something like, “You know? I like you, I just don’t think I’m feeling that sexual chemistry with you… Perhaps that will change as I get to know you more, but for now, you should assume its a no. I hope we can still be friends and that it won’t change our friendship because I enjoy {insert something you enjoy about them here} with you.”

Perhaps the person you’ve been propositioned by is a stranger… A simple “No, thank you” is sufficient, but maybe try something more endearing “Aww.. I’m flattered, thank you… I hope you find what you’re looking for tonight, sadly, I’m not that girl/guy tonight.” Who knows?… The conversation you generate may change your mind. I’m a firm believer in not closing doors forever… You never know when your desires will change.

I think the most important thing to remember is that the person who is on the other end of the conversation, is someone who got the intestinal fortitude to ask you, which was probably not an easy thing for them to do. The least they deserve is your kindness and respect. After all… isn’t that what we’re all about?

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