Your partner wants sex. You are not in the mood. What do you do?
You are on a first date with a lovely new prospective partner. They lean forward to kiss you. You like them, but it feels far too soon for you to be physically intimate in this way. How do you respond?
When you say ‘yes’, but really mean ‘maybe’ or ‘no’, you lose the intimacy of authentic communication. You also lose trust and safety with yourself.
“I didn’t want to hurt his feelings,” says Sasha. Many women – and men too – say the same.
But what are the true consequences of NOT communicating truthfully? Would YOU like it if your partner agreed to something, but in reality they weren’t enjoying it? And what happens to your heart when you know you are enduring something that you don’t really want, and that in addition you are not being truthful with your beloved?
‘Yes, No, Maybe, Please’ Exercise:
This exercise is to practice authentic, in-the-moment, intimate communication safely and playfully. It also enhances creativity, joy and spontaneity in intimate partnerships. You can engage in it for as little as 20 minutes, and as long as 2 hours. You will need either a love partner or a friend.
Agree a time frame. For half of that time one of you will be the ‘initiator’. Then you will swap. The one who is not the initiator is the ‘active recipient’.
The initiator sits facing their partner, and initiates intimacy, whether it’s a hug, kissing, touch or simply holding hands, being in eye contact or lying together. The active recipient notices their own responses. If you are enjoying what’s being initiated, you say ‘yes’. If not, ‘no’. If you are unsure, ‘maybe’, and if you are really loving it, ‘please’. The initiator hears and recognizes their partner’s responses, but has no obligation to act in any particular fashion in return, other than, if you hear a ‘no’, to refrain from that particular action in that moment (you can always resume that action a little while later, which may give rise to a different response). The important thing is to follow your impulses that arise IN THE MOMENT, rather than pre-determined agendas originating from the mind. This gives the initiator freedom to safely express themselves fully, knowing where they stand. Also the ‘no’ is not a rejection of you. It’s feedback regarding a particular action at a particular time. In this way the fear of rejection can be diminished, and greater freedom discovered.
After the prescribed time, swap roles.
At the end, take 5 minutes each to talk about your experiences in both roles.