A Trauma Informed Yes No Maybe List

A yes/no/maybe list is divided into three parts. The Yes section is full of things you like to do – indicate whether you like to give, receive, or both. The Maybe section is full of things you think you might like to, or things you’re willing to do if your partner likes it, but maybe they aren’t your favorite – be careful to indicate which is which. The No section is full of things you do not like to do, would not like to try, or feel triggered or traumatized by. Some folks divide this up into “Soft No” and “Hard No”. A “soft no” is something that you maybe didn’t love in the past, but might be willing to try again under the circumstances, or things you’d like to wait to discuss until you get to know each other better. A “hard no” is something that is off the table completely. Write your lists separately and then compare! Use this as the starting point for a conversation about what you think is sexy and what you might like to do together.


Your biggest sex organ is your brain and good oral sex starts with good aural sex. Consider putting language you do and don’t like on this list! Do you just hate certain words but other words really turn you on? This is an excellent time to exchange notes about these sorts of things! It will make you even more cunning linguist if you can learn exactly how (and how not) to turn your partner on.


The following pages include word banks to help you brainstorm your list. Everything on this list will not apply to everyone. Conversely, not everything you wish to put on your own list will be on this word bank. If you can think of items that should be included that you don’t see here, please add them! This list is also kink-aware but not as exhaustive as a kink/BDSM specific checklist might be. If you’re negotiating BDSM, check back in, that list is in the works!
Following that are some journal pages to help you lay out your list(s). Take up as much space as you want. Print out as many of these as you need to get the job done. Some folks will choose to use to another format like a digital file, excel spreadsheet, their own diary… you’re limited only by your imagination.

Remember all of these resources are just tools to help get you started on your own journey of communication and exploration. Also remember that you can change your mind about any of this at ANY time for ANY reason (or no reason at all), so come back to these as often as you need to update and adjust.

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