They (yes/no/maybe lists!) help start a healthy conversation about boundaries.
Usually, the dissonance between the sex you’re having and the sex you crave is fear of rejection or deep-rooted sexual shame. If you struggle to communicate with partners, Jesse Kahn, LCSW, CST, and Director/Sex Therapist at the Gender & Sexuality Therapy Center, advises to first explore why you’re having trouble: Is it because of fear or shame? “When we get clear on the subtext and meaning informing our struggles, we can start understanding and talk to those parts of ourselves with love, compassion, and support,” says Kahn. “It also creates space to understand the feelings as part of ourselves and part of our experiences, rather than all of ourselves.”
They can be used in the context of your masturbation practice.
While these lists are most often discussed in the context of partnered sex and enhancing consensual communication, I find them incredibly healing for individual practice as well. The longest and most important sexual relationship you will ever have is with yourself. That deserves the same attention you would give a partner. “[A yes/no/maybe list] can help distinguish between what we want versus what we think we're supposed to want, which is often an obstacle in creating satisfying and pleasurable sex,” explains Kahn.
They allow you to see your own growth over time.
“When we are self-aware of our own sexual desires and boundaries we can communicate them and engage in co-creating a satisfying and pleasurable sex life that is informed by one's desire,” explains Kahn. Sexual self-awareness not only eases the ability to communicate with partners but ensures that you don’t get stuck in a rut of having sex you are no longer excited by.