Not so long ago I saw a discussion where the original poster asked if it was possible for him to have limits and still be a good sub. On one hand I can understand how someone would come to think that was a question he needed to ask but on the other hand HOW IS THIS A QUESTION?!!!
Having anything even vaguely resembling a survival instinct is still in, I promise you. Aside from really obvious limits about serious bodily harm, what on earth is supposed to be attractive about not having the sense to know that not every kink is your kink? Or the profound self-absorption to think that no woman will ever be into kinks that you’re not? For god’s sake knock that shit off.
Even leaving aside the blatant misogyny of assuming dominant women couldn’t possibly exist for any reason other than to service your boner and the willful and carefully maintained ignorance it takes to deliberately avoid finding out that kinks that turn you off exist, the idea that good s-types never say no is deeply, deeply fucked up.
First of all, it’s damaging to the people we supposedly care for as dominants. Believing that a good sub never says no leads people to force themselves to tolerate things that are bad for them because they want so badly to be “good.” Now obviously that’s dumb and a dom who wouldn’t want to know about it if they were harming their sub is trash you should run from as fast as you can, but people don’t deserve to be harmed just for being naive and kind of dumb.
Second, it’s insulting as hell to d-types to assume we’re such fragile flowers we can’t ever handle being told no. I am a grownup and I want to know if my idea is terrible or if I’m about to do something stupid. And yes, it’s possible to disagree respectfully. If you can’t understand the difference between telling me “Stabbity, I think that’s a bad idea because of x and y” and “That’s stupid, do it this way,” come back when you grow up. You’re not ready for kink if your communication skills are that bad.
Come to think of it, not understanding the difference between a respectful and disrespectful no may be a big part of why people get the idea that good s-types just don’t say no at all. If you don’t realise it’s possible to say no and still be respectful, of course you’d think it’s not okay for s-types to say no. Not recognising a respectful no or a soft no as a no could also screw up your ideas about whether it’s okay to say no.
If you’re not sure how to say no respectfully, I recommend looking at articles about how to say no to your boss. If you read a few of them, you’ll see a common theme of explaining why you can’t do the thing they want and asking how they want to handle it. The conversation part may be another reason s-types don’t feel like they should say no. If you think of “saying no” as a single, blunt “Nope, not gonna happen” instead of a conversation, of course that seems disrespectful.
If there’s just one thing you take away from this post, take this: it is always okay to say no. It doesn’t make you a bad sub, it makes you a person who has the sense to look after their own well being.