I think I should address this issue again: The problems with saying “no” to play. Or “yes.” Or in some cases, “maybe” or “maybe later.”
I had a long conversation with three female spanko friends of mine at Saturday night’s Strictly Spanking NY party in Manhattan. Two of them were bottoms, one was a switch like me. All of us agreed that the longer we are in the scene, the more selective we have gotten — but yet we also were well aware that no one wants to be labeled a bitch, a tease or a mean person.
Of course the solution to avoiding these labels is to play with anyone who asks! — Obviously, I’m being facetious. Even someone who wanted to play with anyone who asked would come across situations where that was impossible. For myself as a switch, I get requests from tops and bottoms, so it more than doubles the times when I have to make a decision.
Here are some reasons I might say no that have nothing to do with how I feel about the person:
- I’ve agreed to play with someone else, and I’m waiting for him to arrive
- I’ve just played with someone else and I need a break
- I just want to be social (or be by myself) right now
- I’m pacing myself, and I know you are a hard player.
- I’ve promised my husband “first dibs”
And here are some other reasons why I might not want to play:
- I don’t know you and you haven’t properly introduced yourself
- OK, you may have introduced yourself, but I know nothing about you other than you want to be spanked — and really, I’m no one to you beyond a woman who spanks or gets spanked.
- You are a switch that I have topped in the past; now you are asking to top me — and I don’t wish to switch sides. There are people I play both ways with, but there are some whom I will ONLY bottom to and others that I will ONLY top.
- I feel no chemistry with you
- You are asking to top me but you don’t seem very “toppy.”
- I don’t believe our play styles match — you may want something more sexual or sensual than what I’m looking for, or you may want to play much harder than I’m willing to submit to.
- You wish to switch during the scene. For me it usually needs to be one or the other for it to feel “real” to me.
- You are socially awkward or lack confidence. I suppose this is more important when I’m deciding whether or not to play with a top, but I appreciate confidence in a bottom just as much.
A couple of instant deal breakers:
- You haven’t bathed sufficiently
- You are noticeably drunk or high
- You’ve touched me inappropriately (grabbing my arm or letting your hand linger on my shoulder or back count as inappropriate)
- You have asked me repeatedly in the past and I’ve always said no.
- You have stalked or done something inappropriate to me or one of my friends.
So the conversation on Saturday night was that there were many reasons why to say no, and it’s very hard to say no. I do wish to be as nice as possible, but I don’t have to give a reason why I said no. It is not my job to let someone down “easy.” If I say, “Maybe later,” or, “I’m too sore right now,” or “I need to give my hand a rest,” etc., I expect the guy to understand that I don’t wish to decide yes or no right then, and I’m trying to be polite but I’m leaning toward no.
I don’t need to give a lesson in reading body language, right? If a potential play partner is not looking you in the eye, is turning her body away from you, is glancing at her watch, or is not really engaged in the conversation, read the signals and back off.
Everyone wants to have fun at a party, and for me that’s playing with people I know will give or take what I enjoy. Still, even among my favorite players I have to make choices. And then there are new people that you just hit it off with, increasing your potential play partners … and increasing the number of folks you have to turn down.
I sometimes preach the gospel of jumping right into the fray, letting go, trying new things and saying “yes” to someone you’ve just met. Not everyone wants to do that and even I don’t always “jump in.” But when I do, I’m not saying yes to someone who makes me uncomfortable or someone I don’t find attractive. I try to say yes to someone fun, confident and appealing.