If it’s a maybe, it’s a no


Janna Denton-Howes, Desire Coach for Married Women

“Do you want to try anal sex?”

I stared.

My body felt weird.

Inside, my heart was screaming NO but what came out was “maybe”.

If this had been an isolated incident, perhaps I could chalk it up to the topic or the time of my life or any other random factor but the reality is that it happened all. the. time, especially during the sexual experience with my husband.

“Should we buy this sex toy?”

“Do you want to try this position?”

“Can you give me a blow job?”


Now that I’ve worked with hundreds of other women as a Sex Coach, helping them want and enjoy sex more in a way that feels 100% comfortable, I know that I wasn’t alone.

Saying “no” as a woman feels terrifying.

Will I hurt his feelings? Will he emotionally abandon me? Am I weird? WHY don’t I want this? What’s wrong with me? If I just force myself to try then maybe, just maybe I’ll like it.

Do we even know that we can say, “no”?

If we’ve been taught to be accommodating and put other people’s needs first, stay quiet and small, and don’t rock the boat, I honestly don’t think so.

This extends far from the bedroom as well.

As I write this, I’m at a campsite with my family. My husband has a bad back and, because of this, he bought a soft foam mattress topper for our bed in the trailer.

I KNEW this wasn’t going to work for my body since we’d had a similar set-up in the past and I spent the night tossing and turning, my hips and neck aching.

And yet, I told him “maybe it’ll work.”

I ended up trading places with my older daughter, at 3 am in the morning.

(this just shows you how POWERFUL this message is because I’ve been working at this for a very long time now)

The list of the times when I did this are inexhaustible: 

  • working a horrible “maybe” job for a year (years of insecurity to overcome).
  • eating a gluten-filled “maybe” meal at a friend’s house (sick the next day).
  • taking a “maybe” course that went nowhere (mad at MYSELF for a poor decision).
  • going for a “maybe” walk-in bear country (terror…).
  • having “maybe” house guests when I longed for alone time…. (resentment and overwhelm).

I’ve concluded that the only way to make sure that we, as women, are making decisions that will not only benefit ourselves but those around us is this:

If it’s a maybe, it’s a no.

We will push ourselves so far in the opposite direction that this is the only sure-fire way to make sure we are living in alignment with our true desires and needs.

And that is the BEST WAY to overcome resentment and disconnection within a relationship- physically and emotionally.

Sometimes I’m asked this question: “But what about being open to new experiences? Isn’t that necessary for growth and a healthy marriage?”

Let me give you an example of how this works.

My husband is Mr. Adventure.

When we first got married, he took me on a “maybe” hike that ended with us scrambling up a rock face without helmets, ropes, or even a cell phone.

Thankfully, we avoided the falling rocks and mountain goats and made it home in one piece although my emotions were a mess. I had nightmares about this for weeks.

My safety, comfort, and emotional wellness were put at risk- I had gone along with my “maybe” without considering any of the needs I had during that day.

Fast forward to now (almost 20 years later) and my husband has taken up fishing. The ocean where we live is considered the wild, west coast version with large waves and unpredictable tides.

In order for me to TRY fishing with my husband, I need a few things…

  • A calm, wind-free day.
  • Lots of warm clothes.
  • Staying close to the land.
  • A clean boat free of fish guts and chip bags.
  • No pressure to continue if I am feeling anxious.

THEN, maybe I could move into the “yes” category and I would be able to try something new.

The next time you are contemplating a request or decision, I want you to consider this: is this a maybe? If so, consider it a “no” unless you are crystal clear on your needs, which would make it a 100% yes.

If women are always pushing themselves to accommodate other people’s wishes, we won’t be spending our valuable and precious time on what we do best: creating a joyful, peaceful, and equitable world.


If you find yourself WANTING to want sex with your husband but just not (for whatever reason), I have a free class this week only. “The Real Reason for a Lack of Desire and the 6-Step Solution to Connecting Again”.

My popular online program, Wanting It More, is opening up soon! Click here to learn more and sign up before the doors close. Connection is just around the corner.

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