Jul 21

Communicating like a Kinkster: Use Your Words

  • Sharebar

The other evening I was at a gay bar with some lady friends. Gay bars have long been the perfect solution for girls who just want to dance and have their shoes admired without getting hit on by skeevy bar guys. Turns out skeevy bar guys are a little more canny than anyone suspected and now flock to gay bars in droves to have their pick of the unguarded women. (Sorry for ruining your bars, gay guys.)

I don’t dance, so I was standing to the side overseeing my flock of women when one such skeevy guy approached them. He grabbed one of the girl’s hips from behind without so much as a how-do-you-do and tried to dance with her. She twisted out of his grip and wiggled away. He followed. Another girl blocked his way so he tried to dance with her instead. This crazy polka went on and off, with different men, the entire time we were there.

The thing that really struck me was that no one said a word. There were no ‘Can I’s or ‘No thank you’s. There was communication, but it was entirely nonverbal, which just isn’t good enough when dealing with anything remotely sexual. People, there is a better way.

TL;DR No means no, yes means yes*, but neither means anything if no one says them.

Society raises us to accept that flirting and mating rituals are this big game that we have to play but can never talk about. The guy pushes his luck and desperately hopes he doesn’t push too far; the girl puts up with the pushing and doesn’t speak up when she becomes uncomfortable. Both parties try to communicate their desires nonverbally, but both parties are so busy trying to emote they aren’t paying attention to what the other is saying.

There’s a very easy solution to this problem that everyone should have learned when they were toddlers:

Use your words.

Want to do something to someone? Ask. Be specific. If you ask to dance with them, you are only asking permission to dance with them. If you want dancing to lead to making out to lead to sex, ask permission before each escalation. Don’t just sneak it in there like maybe they won’t notice. You’re not a sex ninja, okay?

Likewise, if someone asks you to do something, it is your responsibility to answer them truthfully. Actually take a second to think about it. Answer honestly and fully. If they ask you to dance and you’d really like to but you’ve already observed that their version of dancing is a little too dirty for your comfort, say, “Yes, but please don’t touch me below the waist,” or whatever will make you most comfortable. If you don’t want to dance, just say, “No thank you.” No further explanation necessary. Don’t be afraid to remove consent retroactively, either; if you agreed to dance with someone thinking it would be fun but it ends up making you feel uncomfortable, at any point you are fully within your rights to stop and say, “You know what, this doesn’t feel right. Thank you for asking me, but I have to go dance by myself now.”

This transparency is something that throws a lot of people off when they first join the kink community. It’s a difficult thing for people to get their head around. I’ve heard new girls say that kinky guys are too aggressive, but that’s mistaking aggression for honesty of intention. If a kinky person wants to dance with you, they will ask to dance with you; no games, no other agendas. A lot of women are afraid to say no to anything because we’re raised to believe that saying no means you’re a bitch, a prude, or a slut (what’s up with calling someone who won’t have sex with you a slut?) so there’s this subconscious feeling that if we say no, we are being bad. This is clearly ridiculous, but still a difficult mindset to break.

Probably 95% of the kinksters I’ve turned down have actually thanked me and gone on treating me with the same respect they had previously granted me, if not more. No one likes to think that they’ve accidentally made someone feel uncomfortable, so transparency is a valuable gift.

Give it a try. Next time you want to have a little fun with someone, ask them in plain English if they would be up for it. And the next time someone asks you to do something, really think about it before answering. The only wrong answer is a dishonest one.


*Unless all parties have clearly predetermined that no means yes, yes means yes, red means no, and you little fucker don’t you dare… means I love you.


  1. Kikilicity

    Next time I will use my big girl words and say No thank you I came to dance with my friends not you! Thanks for reminding me :)

  2. Gahnzz

    Yay for using the language that we’ve all agreed on! From the male point of view, it’s refreshing when I get turned down because a) I know that she is honest and direct and b) I can refocus my energies elsewhere.

    Also – loved the term sex ninja. Bravo!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>