No Is an Acceptable Answer

 Posted by on September 9, 2010
Sep 092010

By AliceSin Aerie

There is such a thing as too much of a good thing and of course – even just a little of a bad thing is way too much. One of the simplest but hardest to master skills in life is the utterance of the magic word “no.” While your kinky life may often offer you a respite from your everyday life or may even come to replace that life – never has a skill been more important!

“Quality is superior to quantity in all things. Better one really good cupcake than a mediocre dessert buffet.” – Sarah Sloane

With the number of events, parties, conventions and interesting sexy people in the kink community it is very easy to suddenly find yourself wrung out of every last drop of energy and desire. As in our culture in general, there is a huge amount of pressure to be the person who does the most rather than the person who enjoys what they do the most. I encourage you to challenge this learned admiration of those who chose the mediocre dessert buffet with a battle cry of “MOAR!” Instead, measure your experiences not in number but with regard to quality. Focus on enjoying each moment and drawing that enjoyment out over time instead of rushing through it to get to the next item on an agenda.

I am a firm believer that you can say just about anything to just about anyone and be understood. When it comes to saying no, this is especially important. Success in managing the expectations of others is a tremendous asset. I recommend you stick with the 3 S’s:

Short – Keep your decline of an invitation brief, in most cases a smile and a “no thank you” will do just fine. Also, do not wait to decline an invitation and keep someone else hanging on for your response. If you are trying to avoid hurting someone by hoping their inquiry will just fade away if you ignore it, it won’t. Like in band-aid removal, it will only hurt more deeply for longer if you drag it out.

Sweet – Do thank people for invitations even if you have to say no! An invitation is a compliment. All compliments should be accepted with an acknowledgement. Your presence and participation is desirable – keep your desirability intact or even increase it by being gracious.

Simple – Do not feel obligated to elaborately explain why you cannot accept the invitation unless you are asked. Even then, keep it simple “Thank you for thinking of me, however I already have other plans.” You may have a perfectly valid reason for declining or you may just not feel up for what is being proposed – it doesn’t matter.

One last thought on the matter of “no”, occasions will arise where “no” is not enough. If someone’s invitations, suggestions or advancements are making you feel harassed, let them know you no longer wish to be asked or addressed in such a way and then remove yourself from their company. There is no reason for you to be subject to harassing or threatening behavior. No one can treat you like a doormat unless you allow them to walk all over you. If you let them know your feelings on the matter and they do not leave you be, bring their behavior to the attention of an authority be it a party host or other administrator. Communities both online and otherwise have structure in place to protect community members, seek them out if you need support.