Yes, no, maybe: A trick to figure out what your boo is into

Much as we’d love to be mind-readers in the bedroom, figuring out what a partner is into can be tricky. Do you ask outright or hint around? Do you tell them what you’re into and hope they’ll do the same?

The short answer: Yes! All of the above! When you’re learning what turns someone on or gets them off, there are a million different ways to go about it. If you’re the fearless, spontaneous type, you can just dive in with words and actions (consensual, of course). If you’re looking for a bit more structure, a “Yes, No, Maybe” list could be a great way to take your boot-knocking up a notch.

What is it? A “Yes, No, Maybe” list is basically a worksheet listing a bunch of intimate/sexual activities. You can find examples online, or write your own, thinking about everything from foreplay to PDA to sex positions to kink.

How does it work? You and your partner each fill out your own list, marking “yes,” “no,” or “maybe” based on your personal preferences and boundaries. Once you’ve both filled out your sheets, trade and compare. You’ll see where your interests overlap and find out what’s totally off the table. A “Yes, No, Maybe” list can also be a conversation starter to help you and your boo talk more openly about sex. By focusing on specific acts, it makes it easy to ask, “What about this turns you on?” or “I see you’re not into ___ but would you potentially be into ___?”

Who’s it for? “Yes, No, Maybe” lists can be equally useful for a new romance or a long-term love. Obviously they can be a great way to get to, ahem, know somebody better, but they’re also a great way for couples who have been together for a while to shake up their bedroom routine. A lot of us feel shy about asking for what we want in bed, so chances are there are things you haven’t shared, even if you’ve been together for a long time.

Which leads us back to you. There’s a bonus here. “Yes, No, Maybe” lists can be a great way to learn more about your own sexual interests and boundaries. Whether you’re coupled or single, you can always go through your list and reflect on what turns you on, what turns you off, and why. Knowing what you like will build your confidence (which is sexy as hell and feels great) and can make it easier to communicate with your partner.

BTW, if “yes” for you involves the kind of sex that can lead to pregnancy, here are some tips for talking to your boo about birth control.


P.S. Today is a great day to fight for your rights to birth control coverage. Text “RESIST” to 50409 to tell your Senators that women’s health matters.

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