Reasons You May Say “No” in a D/s Relationship
Two things to get out of the way immediately.
No is a complete sentence. It does not require anything else. Just…no.
Second, no is complicated in a power exchange that’s predicated on one partner controlling the other in a consensual way. But that doesn’t mean the word “no” isn’t allowed.
Clearly we can’t cover all of the reasons you may say no in your D/s relationship, but these are some of the top reasons. (As always, your results may vary.)
A Basic No.
You don’t want to. You’re not interested. Stop. Cease. Desist. No.
A basic declaration because you don’t want to do something.
You’re not calling that Twitter Dom “Sir” or “Master”
You’re a submissive, but not this rando person’s submissive.
You have no interest in the submissive throwing themselves at you in DM.
Frankly, when I’m approached by the online wannabes (usually in DM), I look at the message and say, “No” to myself and ignore the hell out of them.
Hard Limit “No”
When a suggestion or idea hits my boundaries or walks into my hard limits, I use my safeword (even in normal conversation). Because for us, “No” is “Yes” in play. So when I really, really don’t want to do something, you’ll hear, “Red! RED!”
But when something is a hard limit, I’m not afraid to say, “No, I won’t do that.” Because John Brownstone has my trust and we’re in a long-term relationship, I’ll talk about why in depth. (You are not required to this with a rando online, at a munch, or anywhere else. No matter how much they beg for a reason.)
Kinky Fun “No”
As a sexual submissive, I’ve been known to beg for an orgasm or to use a sex toy or to have a spanking I’m desperate for. Being the sadist he is, John Brownstone’s idea of fun is to watch me squirm and then say, “No.”
FUUUUUUUUCK. And also, yay, because it’s a kinky thing we’ve negotiated into our relationship.
He’s got the power, and I clearly want something. What I enjoy is the control of his denial. Eventually I get what I’ve asked for…often in ways I couldn’t have imagined and always on his terms. For us, it’s kinky and sexy AF.
The Time to Think “No”
No might mean never or it might mean, “Not yet.” This isn’t a “not yet” you should feel pressured into agreeing to eventually. Instead, it’s one that you choose to give. Right now, you’re a no, but with time and a little research, you might become a “Yes.” This no leaves the door open for that possibility.
Maybe your partner just told you they’re kinky and want to be kinky with you. Or maybe they want to try edge play and you just got comfortable with spankings. No sets your current boundary but it doesn’t have to be permanent.
The For Your Own Good “No”
This depends on your power exchange and the amount of control a Dominant has over a submissive. Asking permission for certain things and being told “No” could be because it’s in your best interests — or so your partner believes.
You need to negotiate this level of control before it’s used. You both need an idea of when, why, and how this may get used and in what context. If I ask John Brownstone for permission to have dessert or to stay up late, I also have to be prepared for the possibility of a no.
Which is why I tend to only ask when I think there’s a better than likely chance of a yes. He may still surprise me, but at least I don’t have to deal with as much disappointment.
Red Flag “No”
Not every no you hear is a legit no and it’s not always stated as a simple “No.” Most often, it’s from a “dominant” who believes they can decide anything and everything for a submissive — without communication and consent. When they happen, they’re definite red flags.
“Because I’m the Dominant.” (Sexy and delightful when consented to. Scary and creepy when it’s a unilateral decision by a “dominant.”)
“I can do this but you can’t.” (Often heard in “open” relationships with a male Dom denying their submissive partner other relationships.)
The other, less talked about red flag no often comes from submissives. It’s a complicated topic because it depends on multiple variables, and we should always take a “No” as a “No” unless otherwise consented to. This “no” can be a type of manipulation or simply an inability/unwillingness to follow the consented power exchange.
No one should continue a D/s dynamic if it doesn’t suit them, but when you say, “Yes I’ll do these things” (or not do them) as a submissive, and then say no every time you’re asked to do it, it’s a sign of a much larger problem. It certainly doesn’t help develop trust with a Dominant partner.
In the vanilla world, “No” is sold as a simplistic idea. “No means no” and all that. But in a kinky power exchange where one partner gives up control to another, “No” becomes a lot more complicated. In the wrong hands, it can show a clear lack of consent. In the right hands (with lots of consent), it can be delightfully kinky or one part of the path of your D/s journey.
Now it’s your turn…why have you said “No” in your D/s relationship before? Or have you never said “No” before — and how do you feel about that?