Valentine’s Day, huh? Well, I’m not a huge fan of the holiday. My socialist leanings tell me it’s a manufactured holiday meant to increase wanton consumerism after the feeding frenzy of Christmas has died down.
However, I do think it can be a good time to check in with those you love to remind them of ways that you love them. As we all know, one fantastic way that people in romantic relationships can show love is through sex!
In my experience (with evidence to support it), nothing makes for better sex than open, honest communication. I’ve talked about it as I detailed my views on sex, and I’ve stressed the importance of consent.
However, one thing I’ve learned is that it is not always easy to start such an open, accountable, honest conversation. Then, thanks to The Consensual Project, I discovered Yes, No, Maybe Charts! Essentially, a Yes, No, Maybe Chart is a list of sex acts and topics related to sex with a space for you to express your comfort level with a simple Yes, No, or Maybe. Yes, No, Maybe charts are a great way for you to check in with yourself about your wants, needs, desires, and comfort levels in various sex acts and things related to sex, and when done with a partner, they are a great way to start a conversation about what your sexual relationship can, does, and should look like!
When I brought up this idea with my male friend, his response was, “Do I ever just say things that completely blow your mind? Because you just told me that you sat down with a girl and filled out a survey about sex.” He was pretty unsure about the whole thing, but after a while, he admitted that it could be sort of great.
While this is not first date stuff (though filling one out for yourself before a first date could be a great idea), it is a good way to start some important conversations with someone with whom you’re considering starting a sexual relationship. It even can be great for couples that have been together for a long time! Not too long ago, I was talking with a couple who had been together for 11 years, and they recently decided to fill out Yes, No, Maybe charts together. They discovered a few things that one partner wanted to try and the other was comfortable with trying but that neither had ever expressed for fear that their partner might think it was weird or out there!
Essentially, it’s time we get back to the good old Salt N Pepa Adage: Let’s Talk About Sex!
If after all of this, I have you convinced that Yes, No, Maybe charts might just spice up your sex life and make it healthier, more communicative, and more fulfilling, here are a few resources:
If you want to download a chart, print it out, and get started, I’ve compiled a great Yes, No, Maybe chart and have it available in .pdf format.
If you want to tailor your chart to your specific relationship or needs (as maybe you’ve already talked about some of the things on my .pdf version), here’s the same form in .doc format so you can edit to your heart’s content.
All of these come from Online sexual health and education site Scarleteen, which has a great and comprehensive list of Yes, No, Maybe topics that are well-paired with The Consensual Project’s Yes, No, Maybe blank chart!
More than anything, though, if you’re planning to have sex this Valentine’s day or any day, make sure it is happy, healthy, consensual, and communicative!