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Why Every Couple Needs a Yes/No/Maybe List

Why Every Couple Needs a Yes/No/Maybe List

Posted at May 16, 2023 11:28 am By Castle Megastore / Category:

Although there are exceptions out there, most couples don’t talk about sex nearly often enough or openly enough. Much of that has to do with the way our society still treats sex like something dirty that no one should be talking or thinking much about in the first place. Many people also grew up in households where that was the case or had partners who were.

They wind up taking that reluctance into their relationships with them, and it can’t help but affect the quality of the sex they’re having. Communication is the key to sex and relationships that are healthy and mutually satisfying on every level, so it’s worth learning to do well and regularly.

Yes/no/maybe lists can be great tools for getting the ball rolling in the right direction and becoming more comfortable with making sexual discussion an ongoing part of your lives together.

What Is a Yes/No/Maybe List?

In a manner of speaking, yes/no/maybe lists are a bit like to-do lists for your sex life. The idea behind making one is to really think about what turns you on and off, as well as what actual activities you might like to try with your partner sometime. The activities you come up with are then accordingly categorized as yes, no, or maybe.

Lists like these are also about opening up a sexual dialogue with your partner so that you can learn more about each other as sexual beings. Talking about topics like turn-ons and fantasies can be hard to do if you’re not used to it, but yes/no/maybe lists can give you something to focus on until you get the hang of things.

How to Make a Yes/No/Maybe List

You can’t talk frankly with your partner about what makes you tick sexually until you understand it yourself, so each of you should start by filling out individual lists on your own. Don’t worry about what your partner will think of anything you include. At this point, it’s a simple self-exploration exercise and nothing more.

Be honest

The whole point of filling your lists out separately and on your own is to give yourselves space to think and be real with yourselves. So be honest. Really consider your desires, fantasies, boundaries, and limits.

Know what to put in each column

A yes/no/maybe list isn’t meant to be an exhaustive account that includes every possible sex act known to man. It’s merely a tool to help you figure some things out.

    • Yes: These items can definitely be things you’ve always fantasized about or wanted to try. But they can also be things you’ve already done or actively enjoy.
    • No: This is where you put your hard limits and boundaries – things you don’t consent to under any circumstances and aren’t interested in doing at this juncture.
    • Maybe: This is where you put everything else – things you’re perhaps not actively eager to try but are curious about or open to. This is also where you’d list any acts, you’re willing to try conditionally or only under specific circumstances.

If you feel intimidated by the idea of starting with an empty list, consider downloading and printing a readymade one complete with starter ideas. There are many available online.

Be as specific or vague as you want

There are no hard and fast rules here. You might find that some things you want to add to your yes/no/maybe list are vague ideas, while others are wildly specific. Both approaches (and everything in between) are okay.

Edit your list as many times as you need to in order to feel like it’s an accurate reflection of who you are as a sexual being and where you’d like to take your sexuality next.

Comparing Lists with Your Partner

Once you and your partner have your individual lists completed, take as long as you need to feel ready to start talking about them together. And once you are ready, promise each other that you’ll listen and discuss without judgment.

How you share with each other is up to you. Is it easier to simply exchange lists and read silently before starting the discussion? Do that. Would you rather take turns verbally tossing out items from your own individual lists? That’s cool, too.

Once you’re done, compare notes. Obviously, anything on either person’s no list is now off the table entirely. But there’s probably a lot of overlap between the collective yes and maybe lists. Those are the items you may want to discuss further and explore in the bedroom together.

And now that the lines of communication are open, actively keep them open. Making a list like this once can be a helpful exercise to jumpstart discussions, but it shouldn’t be considered a substitute for ongoing communication.