Yes, No, Maybe: A Sexual Inventory Stocklist

Updated: Jun 10



(Note: This zine and blogpost is a collaborative work between us at Scarleteen. The information and some of the text from this article have been cited and/or adapted from Scarleteen's original blog post titled, "Yes, No, Maybe: A Sexual Inventory Stockiest.")


Starting deep and honest communication about sex can be daunting, but it is essential.

We need to communicate our needs and boundaries, and to have them communicated to us. Communication is so crucial and yet we’re very rarely given tools to communicate our needs and wants to ourselves, let alone a partner. Due to our sex-negative repressive culture often, folks end up having sex well before finding out what they actually want to be doing with partners or themselves.


That’s where this amazing tool from Scareleteen comes in to help us figure out our “yeses” “nos” and “maybes.” We are so excited to share a zine from our latest collaboration with one of our favorite inclusive, comprehensive, and supportive sexuality/relationship resource for teens & young adults. Scarleteen has been a huge inspiration to us in our journey as educators, and as people who have sex and relationships! We turned one of their most popular articles/communication tools into a zine!


A sexual inventory stocklist is a useful tool to support clear, truthful, and open communication about sexual wants, needs, and boundaries. This blog post is the result of a collab between Queer Sex Ed CC and Scarelteen (scarleteen.com), the text is a mix of this blog post and our input theirs, and a zine visualizing the activity. We are thrilled to share it with you all and to have had the chance to work with such an amazing influential organization as Scareleteen!



This list is not an end all be all of despise and boundaries, rather, lists like this are starting points for evaluating your own sexuality and boundaries, or for facilitating deeper conversations with someone else. This exercise is just the beginning of a lifelong exploration! It is totally normal to have your answers change with different partners, in different situations, and at different points of your life. That’s why it is a great idea to utilize this tool often, your answers represent one snapshot of your sexuality which is always ever-evolving.




Remember, there’s no “right” and “wrong” way to do this activity, feel free to add your own, skip around, or anything which makes you feel more comfortable. If doing this with a partner, remember, this is a lot of very personal information for anyone to give or ask for. That’s why when doing this activity together it’s crucial to have trust and be ready to hear your partner for all their truths. It would be a great idea to come up with some agreements before doing this activity to make sure you and your partner(s) know how to respect each other in this vulnerability and intimacy.


Tips and tricks for this activity:

  1. First, do this activity alone. If you want to use the stocklist with a partner, fill it out separately before discussing it together. (And only share what you feel comfortable sharing.)

  2. Remember: None of these answers are a commitment, as mentioned your answers to this list can and will change over time.


Remember to do this activity with an understanding of active enthusiastic consent!


Coding Guide

Y = Yes

  • A yes is an "I want to" or "I think I would"

N = No

  • A no is "I don't want to" or "I don't think I would"

M = Maybe

  • A maybe is an "I might," either only with certain people, at certain times, or in other specific circumstances

IDK = I don't know

  • If there's something where you just have no idea, that's an IDK

F = Fantasy

  • People often confuse what someone fantasizes about with what someone wants to actually or potentially do, you can fantasize about things you never want to do, and that’s okay!

  • Recognizing the difference between “fantasy” and “yes” or “maybe” is important and can also take a lot of pressure off sharing fantasies.

N/A = not applicable

  • N/A is for the things that just don't apply to you


Body Boundaries


Body boundaries describe what is or is not comfortable when it comes to touching, showing affection, being naked, or talking about bodies.


The types of questions to ask when thinking about body boundaries:

  • What helps me feel most comfortable being naked with someone?

  • What ways a partner does or may talk about my body make or could make me feel uncomfortable?

  • What do I "count" as sexual touching and what do I consider affectionate touching?

  • “Off Limits”

  • Do you have “off-limits” body boundaries like:

  • I am not comfortable looking at, touching or feeling some parts of another person's body?

  • I am triggered by (have a post-traumatic response to) something(s) about body bound

Examples:

  • A partner touching me sexually without asking first

  • Being completely naked with a partner with the lights off


Words & Terms


Words and terms have to do with what kinds of terms feel comfortable or preferable when discussing parts of your body and identity.

The types of questions to ask:

  • Are certain words okay in some settings or situations but not in others?

  • How flexible am I with what a partner might want to call something I like calling something else?

  • Why do I use the words for my parts that I do?

Examples:

  • I prefer the following gender/sexual identity or role words (like man, woman, boi, femme, butch, top, etc.) to be used for me:

  • I prefer my chest or breasts be referred to as:

  • I prefer my genitals to be referred to as:

  • I prefer my sexual orientation and/or identity to be referred to as:

  • Some words I am not okay with to refer to me, my identity, my body or, or which I am uncomfortable using or hearing about, with or during any kind of sex are:


Relationship Models & Choices

A relationship model refers to the way you chose to structure your relationships, including behaviors, boundaries, and structures.


The types of questions to ask:

  • What kind of agreements do/would I want with the kinds of relationship models I want or am interested in?

  • What are my personal values with relationships and simultaneous sexual partners?

  • Examples:

  • Some kind of serious or ongoing open romantic relationship

  • Some kind of serious or ongoing open sexual relationship


Safer Sex

Safer sex refers to sexual activity in which you and your partners are being conscious/prepared to protect each other from what each defines as a risk. Remember this is subjective- for some, pregnancy is a “risk” but for others, it’s a want! Some tools for safer sex include barrier methods (condoms and dental dams), contraception/ birth control, and regular STI testing!


The types of questions to ask:

  • What does "safer" sex mean to you?

  • What makes me feel some risk is worth it, while another isn't?

  • I am activated by something(s) around sexual safety, or need additional safety precautions because of this?

  • Are sexual history conversations loaded for me?

  • Do I have any double-standards with safer sex, testing, or other safety?

  • What makes me feel some risk is worth it, while another isn't?

  • I am activated by something(s) around sexual safety, or need additional safety precautions because of this?

Examples:

  • Using emergency contraception

  • Parenting with a partner

  • Terminating a pregnancy (abortion)

  • A partner terminating a pregnancy (abortion)

Overall Safety Items and Behaviors


Types of questions to ask:

  • What parts of sexual response make me feel vulnerable or exposed?

  • Am I putting any pressure on myself or my partners to respond a certain way?

  • Am I activated by certain sexual responses of my own or those of a partner?

Examples

  • Wrestling or "play-fighting"

  • Being unable to reach orgasm, with a partner

  • Masturbating in front of/with a partner

  • Viewing pornography, with a partner


We hope you enjoyed this article and zine collaboration. We’ll end on a quote from the original source: as Scareleteen says: “Clear, truthful and open com





munication is a must with partnered sex. It's the best way to assure everyone is fully and freely consenting as well as physically and emotionally safe; to help s3x and s3xual relationships be as satisfying, positive, and awesome as they can be. We can't just know or guess what we or others want or need, like or dislike, are or are not okay with: we need to communicate those things and have them communicated to us. We can't just know or guess what we or others want or need, like or dislike, are or are not okay with: we need to communicate those things and have them communicated to us.”
 To us at Queer Sex Ed CC, that is why this activity is so important, feel free to go try it out.


Check out the original article here: https://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/yes_no_maybe_so_a_sexual_inventory_stocklist


¿Prefieres leer en español? Tenemos "Sí, no, quizá” aquí: https://www.scarleteen.com/node/7959?language=es


As usual, we’d love to hear what you think about this or any other content or if you’re interested in collaborating, feel free to slide into our DMs or shoot us an email at queersexedcc@gmail.com!




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