Learning How to Say No


Learning How To Say NoOK, I'll admit it…I have a problem saying “no”. Now before you get too excited, I'm not talking about saying yes to everything (not that there's anything wrong with that). What I'm talking about is saying no to unwanted advances (typically at a club or party) in a way that makes me feel good about myself instead of feeling mean, stuck-up, or prudish.

If someone were to ask me how to say no, my advice to them would be “All you have to say is no, no thank you, I'm not ready, not right now, just girls, just guys, or whatever you find appropriate for the situation that is definitive, honest, and not cruel. Saying no and hurting someones feelings is much better than doing something you don't want to do, and if the other party takes offense to you politely saying no, it's their problem, not yours.”

However, having said this out-loud, I still can't seem to completely own that answer. Maybe it's because I can't get completely past the hurt looks I've seen on many occasions, or because I don't want to cause a scene (and I've unfortunately seen a few), or perhaps it's just that I'm caught off guard and don't know what I want at that exact moment. But, whatever the reason, it's an issue that I will keep working on until I resolve it.

So what am I doing about this? First, no matter how uncomfortable, if I mean no, I say it. I haven't gotten to the place where I never feel the slightest bit bad about it, but I'll get there. Second, I tell myself the following “No one else has the right to make me feel bad”. That little mantra has worked quite well for me lately both in and out of the bedroom. It doesn't always help me when I'm in the moment, but later, it helps redirect those bad feelings away from me, and to the person who was insecure and immature enough to think they had a right to be mad at me.



  1. Miss Rose O on

    Very Nice and Very True! It is always a good reminder that you have a right to say No and that No Means No Always! We were at a party last weekend and a guy reached out to touch me, saying “May I” as he moved forward – I said “No”. He, fortunately, backed off immediately. I recently heard a story from someone who was at a party and, After the mini orgy, one of the women said “wow, I really didn’t want to go down on that guy but he kept pushing and I didn’t know what to say”. All the women looked at her and said “Say No!” It is hard because we don’t want to come across rude or bitchy but… it is our choice!

    thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • Thank you Miss Rose 🙂

      I’m still working things out, but I’m getting there. Like your friend, I had the most trouble while playing in big groups. I would be open to playing with a group of people I knew, but then in the middle of playing, would be approached by people I didn’t know (sometimes without even being asked!). When they were polite it was no problem, but when they were pushy or offended I let it ruin my night. I even stopped going to parties with even the slightest chance of that happening because it was easier for me to not go than to be put on the spot like that. But, eventually I realized that not saying no was my problem, and not taking no was theirs. I hope your friend now knows that too.

  2. If I may offer an alternative…

    By all means, a crude, unwelcomes advance should be responded to by a firm, “No!”

    However, sometimes the person you are trying to dissuade isn’t entirely objectionable, but rather, their timing may be off, or you don’t like them in a physical manner. Still you don’t want to hurt this person necessarily and, being as you all are in a swinging situation, his or her advances would not be out of the ordinary.

    I think that in these situations, rather than blithely saying “No” offer instead a lesser level of engagement. For example, you may suggest that the person join you for drink, either then or at a later time.

    You’ve put the ball in their court and they have the opportunity to back away with dignity. If they decide to press on, then they have demonstrated themselves to be unworthy of such polite treatment and you should feel free to tell them to go fuck themselves. 😉

    • Thanks Mr. Swap Fu!

      I can definitely see your point. People can be sensitive and it never hurts to err on the side of caution.

      I also agree that if you think you might be interested at a different time, a different place, or in a different way, then by all means, say that. Arranging a later drink is a great idea (though possibly awkward if you’re in the middle of a room playing with someone else :-p).

      Saying “not right now” is how I used to avoid saying “no”, and when I’m unsure, I still use that today. It’s definitely gentler, and an easy out for me too. However, I can’t count the times I’ve heard “I wish other couples would just tell me they weren’t interested instead of not emailing back, saying we’ll get together later, canceling, or pretending to be busy”. Shouldn’t that sentiment hold true in person as well as over email?

      I don’t think that rejection (assuming it’s given politely and as privately as possible), should be embarrassing. Sure, no is hard to hear at first, but over time it gets easier. As a swinger you should be able to say no, and take no, with equal grace.

  3. I don't have a good advice here because I'm almost the same way as you. Difference between you and me is that you are working on your problem (not sure if "problem" is a word here but..) and I started to isolate myself from other people. Mastur999

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