There is very little that you can say to me in bed that will offend me more than “Come on.” It’s an insult to my intelligence, my desires, my experience, and the art of debate.
Let’s say you ask me to engage in an activity. Lets say that activity is (oh god, something random) kissing my fingers. You really want to kiss my fingers and for whatever reason I don’t want you to. It goes a bit like this:
We’ve been kissing and you put my finger up to your mouth and I realize what you’re going to do and pull away. An act of Non-Consent.
So you say “I really want to kiss your fingers.” Negotiations initiated.
I don’t want you to kiss my fingers so I say, “No, I don’t want that.”
And you say, “Come on.”
And I get up and walk out the door.
Here are a list of things that are wrong with “Come on.”
- It tells me that your entire argument is “But I want it.” I thought I was in bed with an adult, not a toddler. I guessed that you wanted it when you asked for it, but thanks for restating the same information in a whiny tone.
- You think that your wanting of the thing is more important than my not wanting of the thing. That might be the most selfish and scary part of all.
- It tells me you’re bad at discussing sex, and probably sensitive subjects in general, lowering my general opinion of you.
- It forms no argument. You’re giving me no new information so I have nothing to argue with. Phrases that would be more effective include but are not limited to:
- “It’s the only thing that gets me off.”
- “You just look so beautiful when you do it.”
- “I saw it in a movie once and have always wanted to try it.”
- “I just love the dynamic.”
- “How about a hand massage with a few kisses on your palm?”
- “Too rough or too gentle?”
- “Sorry, I’ve actually never done that before but your hands are just so perfect I suddenly wanted to.”
- “Would you be more comfortable if I did it first?”
- “Can I kiss my own fingers?”
- “Can you kiss your fingers in front of me?”
Warning: This can turn into coercion if you’re not careful so tread lightly and listen to your partners rejections because coercion does not lead to consent.
These are all the beginnings of a negotiation over the course of which one of us may actually change our mind. You may say “I’ve never wanted to kiss someone’s fingers before but yours just smell so amazing” and I may say “Oh, that’s because I just washed the dishes. I didn’t want you to kiss them because I thought they might still have soap on them and get you sick. I could wash them real fast.” Voila! We solved it! You get to kiss my fingers you lucky son of a gun!
There’s one phrase that is the antithesis to the dreaded “Come on,” The sentence that symbolizes everything that “Come on” isn’t. Unsurprisingly it’s a question. When I was in high school a guy asked me to do something, I said “no,” and he said, “No pressure, but can I ask why?”
No one had ever asked me that before. Lying there naked together we talked about it. It might have been a little awkward at first trying to put it into words but hearing him talk about what he thought was sexy about it… was sexy. And we came up with a compromise that made both of us happy and then I surprised myself by seeing the thing he thought was so sexy in it and giving just a little more than what we had settled on.
“Come on” shuts down all discourse and shows your partner that you don’t have any respect for their needs. If you think you’re going to convince me to do something using the words “Come on” then you’ve got another thing coming and it won’t be either of us.
“What I’ve come to learn is that the world is never saved in grand messianic gestures, but in the simple accumulation of gentle, soft, almost invisible acts of compassion.”
– Chris Abani (via splitterherzen) [x]