Saying no

A post was started the other day in the FetLife group “The Spanking World: Good Vs. Bad,” that I contributed to, but left me thinking I had a lot more growth to go through. The topic was “How many times do I have to say ‘no’?”, and is about going to spanking parties (which many of us do on a semi-regular basis) and having the same guys repeatedly ask you to play even though you’ve said no before. Or — having to make a snap judgment and decision about someone whom you didn’t expect to ask you to play.

I’m a person who was, to put it mildly, not popular growing up. In fact I was either ignored or verbally bullied on a regular basis in school. So I’m sensitive to “trying to be nice” to everyone. At the same time I realize that it is impossible to be nice to everyone. The “nice” way of turning down a potential partner by saying “maybe later” quickly comes back to haunt you.

The standard advice is to tell players, “If you mean no, say no.” I wrote on the board that that’s all well and good, but I resented having to be the person turning someone down when I gave no indication to this person at all that I was interested in the first place. I wrote, “How about those doing the asking do a little honest assessment about the situation? Was the person making eye contact with you or smiling before you approached? While you are standing there, has she turned away from you, not really looked at you, perhaps backed up a few inches?…”

Another spanko, a female bottom, responded to me: “The problem I see with this is — it’s akin to saying, ‘well, if he doesn’t do it, then I am not gonna do it!’ One of my favorite quotes is, ‘Unable to govern events, I govern myself.’ I can’t control whether or not someone else is able or willing to do an honest assessment about a situation, but I can control whether I am clear about my answer or response to them.”

Good advice! For me, when I ask, I actually prefer a euphemism like “maybe later” if a guy is turning me down. I don’t want to hear “no”! But I do admit that honesty makes it clear to all involved.

And the message is sent out to potential spankos (usually men) that they have to develop thicker skins about rejection.

But perhaps I have to have a thicker skin as well. When someone asks ME to play and I don’t want to, I tend to feel down about myself when I say no. I hate saying no; I hate seeing someone’s sad eyes across the room after I’ve said, “No, thank you,” especially if it’s someone I’ve played with before. That’s never a good feeling for the person doing the asking, to think about the wonderful time you had with someone the last time–to assume he/she also had a wonderful time–and now he/she doesn’t want to play again.

I was just thinking about the fact that I could spend several hundred dollars flying somewhere, paying for a party and a room, and there may be three or four people I want to play with who make the expense worthwhile. The rest are usually fun as well, and I get to see girlfriends I haven’t seen all year, too, but those three or four really “make” your party. They “get” you, they know what kind of play you need, they get you going.

If a friend approaches me for play and he’s not in that category, I may or may not have the energy; I may be reserving my skin for a harder scene; there may be other reasons. And I have many friends that I really love playing with, but I still might say no at a particular time. And that’s hard, because they are friends.

There are then … and I hate to say this … “third and fourth tier” levels of spanko acquaintances. You might like the person fine, but he’s really an “ass man” — he spends a lot of time stroking you, which isn’t really your thing. Or he’s not hard enough. Or maybe he’s too hard, and you don’t share the kind of connection that you need for that kind of play.

Then there are other players that you know; you’ve seen them at many parties before, and they’re fine, but … you’re just not attracted in the way you need to be attracted. Or they may fawn over you when you really want them to take charge. They say they are dominant but they don’t act that way.

As a switch, there’s the other problem of too many male bottoms, too few female tops. I choose to make myself available when possible, and in most cases (not all) I’m usually a service top. This requires a different kind of energy, and, again, because of this I have to pick and choose my partners. I want to give something back to the community and that’s a fine motivation. But at the same time, I need to enjoy myself and play with people I enjoy. If I’m faking my enjoyment, it’s not fun for the other person, is it?–I don’t think so.

I could state any number of reasons why someone “doesn’t make the cut.” And I’m not talking about the blatant, obvious ones like “b.o.,” or “inebriation,” or “rudeness.” He could just look depressed, which is a turn-off. Or he’s too heavy or too thin. I prefer heavier guys, but not extremely obese. (If I’m bottoming to you, it’s best if you have a lap… not a deal breaker; I’m just saying…)

Maybe all of us need to work harder at friendship at these parties. By that I mean, not looking at everyone of the opposite sex as a potential partner,  but seeing them as a person. Even if you don’t want to play, even if that person doesn’t want to play with you, maybe there can be a good friendship based on other qualities.

Food for thought, as we begin “the spanking season.” Boardwalk Badness is approaching…


  1. loretta

    great post. As a person who does not play with others, I like to see friends I’ve made, and make new ones. I love to watch my husband play, and we love the atmosphere where there seems to be no judgement. We have spent vanilla time with people we have met in the scene, and hope that these friendships last our lifetime.
    Hope to see you and Rad in the near future.
    TripleD and me

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