Always say “No”

Our posts are mentioned on Twitter (@TheCagedLion). My post from yesterday, “Beggars Can’t Be Choosers,” discussed a very sensitive subject with Mrs. Lion and me: saying no to sex. @IRuleSubsDrool wrote a series of tweets with very good advice:

I had a similar stalemate in a past relationship. We fixed it with something like a type of homemade exposure therapy, haha. I ordered him to ask me for something sexual 2 times a day for 10 days, with the agreement that I would say no (like “nope! Try again later!” Or “no, don’t want to right now, love you!”). Then he would say, “thank you for telling me what you want.”

Having this scripted-out ritual removed some of the awkwardness, & it got me more comfortable saying no without worrying that he would pout or be resentful. Sometimes I would say yes because feeling comfortable grows my libido & being asked makes me feel respected, and it made him feel more comfortable asking because he knew that I had specifically told him to ask, and we both began to learn that “no” was simply my answer to the question about my preference about what to do, did not at all mean that I felt negative or mad about the ask.

When men are told it’s polite to not demand sex… and women are told it’s polite to give in to other people’s desires, I commonly hear about this kind of stalemate in femdom-y relationships even if they both say they agree that they want denial to be a normal thing. We both wanted to remove the feeling of pressure or obligation around asking for (initiating) sexual stuff with the goal of it being as casual as asking, “hey do you want a snack?” or “need anything at the grocery store?” which either party can easily answer no without feeling guilty.

In our particular BDSM relationship, we did end up incorporating more protocols about asking, and me humiliating him a bit if he started asking too much, but only after we both had become comfortable with the status quo of “no sex right now”≠rejection.

It never occurred to me that practicing ask-and-deny would teach us to deal with sexual requests the same way we handle asking if we want something from the kitchen. Sex is such an emotionally loaded subject that we put it into its own category. Just writing about the idea of turning me down as an exercise gives me a funny feeling in my stomach. It doesn’t feel like a new, safe form of humiliation. It feels like rejection when I think about Mrs. Lion just refusing me.

Denial is an accepted part of my sex life. Neither of us thinks twice about Mrs. Lion bringing me to the edge of orgasm and then saying, “Not tonight.” Then why should extend that to “Not right now” feel so scary? If nothing else, it is a sign that sex still needs to be handled with care.

I think that Mrs. Lion will have even more trouble with saying no as an exercise. As our very wise tweeter points out, “women are told it’s polite to give in to other people’s desires.” She will feel guilt and worry about hurting me. It’s no different than how she felt when learning to spank me or tease me. The big difference is that with those things, I wanted her to learn. On a deep level, I don’t want her to learn to reject me so easily.

It isn’t sexy to think about being casually turned down for sex. It doesn’t feel humiliating to me. It just feels sad. That may be the strongest argument for trying the exercise. My current instinct is to stop asking. Over the years, the only times I actually ask for teasing (I never ask for orgasms) is when I’m desperate for her touch.

What if I really need to feel her touch on my penis? Is there a sexual safe word? Can she use it if no really means no this time? Or, is that concept irrelevant.  After all, I won’t die of horniness. There is a real benefit to an emotion-free expression of desire or lack of it for sexual contact. Mrs. Lion isn’t upset if she offers, and I refuse. Why should I be different?

I’m reminded of a touching scene at the National Zoo. I was there with my ex-wife. We were watching a pair of lions in a grassy area. When we arrived at the exhibit, both were snoozing about 100 feet apart. The male woke up and trotted to the lioness. It was clear what was on his mind. He approached her and licked her face. She got up, and he licked her back. She looked at him sharply and growled softly. He sighed and went back to his napping spot. My ex said, “I wish you were so nice about it.”

In fact, I was always nice about it. The message was that she felt guilty if she said no. The answer was for me not to ask. My current situation isn’t different. Mrs. Lion will rarely say no. She won’t be happy about pleasing or teasing me, but she will do it. I sense her feelings, and that kills my mood.

Maybe this exercise makes sense. It will be difficult for us both if we decide to try.

[Mrs. Lion — Maybe, if we try this, the “no” could be accompanied by some sort of touch, whether a quick tug on Lion’s penis or a kiss. That would soften the “no” and provide Lion with the touch he craves.]


  1. This idea is a really good one! I hope you try it and it works well for both of you.

    1. Author

      Thanks, Michael. I’m finding it difficult to get started asking. It’s much harder than I thought.

  2. The kiss, in this case, looks more appropriate than tugging at the penis.

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