Expressing Desires and Communicating Boundaries with Want, Will, and Won’t for better sex.

Sometimes it’s hard to communicate what you do (and don’t) want…especially when it comes to sex. Expressing these things can be tied up in shame, fear of judgement, or being worried you’re going to disappoint a partner. If we can work through these fears, we can start to communicate in ways that will help us have better, more connected sex. So, how do we start? I like to use “Want, Will, and Won’t” (or W3), which was inspired by “Yes, No, Maybe” I learned in the kink world…with a twist.

Getting Started
Wants are things that you want to do most of the time. It can be solo, or with partner(s)…in fantasy, or reality;
Wills are things that you’re not quite sure of, but willing to explore;
Won’ts are things that you’re not interested in doing.

Creating your own W3 list gives you the opportunity to think about different acts or situations. It also gives you a ready-made list that you can compare to a partner’s. Do you both really Want deep, intimate kisses to be a part of sexual encounters?…great! Have you both decided independently that you’re not interested in (Won’t) penetrative anal play?…wonderful! Finding areas of overlap in your W3s can help you make requests of each other in the moment with confidence.

What happens when Wants, Wills, and Won’ts don’t align?
This is perfectly normal… and actually an opportunity to have a great conversation. Having a discussion about our W3s lets us explain to our partners why they’re Wants, Wills, and Won’ts. Something may be a Won’t because you’re afraid you’ll be judged or the expectations are scary or intimidating. Maybe your partner can help address these concerns. You can share the things that make a Want sexy to you, which can lead to some amazing discoveries with a partner. Most importantly, these conversations allow us to help each other create a context of safety, trust, and curiosity…which is a wonderful place to play and explore!

What’s the Twist?
Here’s the twist I mentioned in the beginning —our Wants, Wills, and Won’ts aren’t static. They’re constantly evolving. They change depending on the situation (our own internal states, the world around us, what partners we’re with). Knowing this gives you permission to have your desires change (because they do) and helps you explain to others why they do. It gets you and your partner in a space of open communication (“where are you now?”) that takes a lot of pressure off of the individual parties and encourages play. This shift feels amazing.

Pro Tips
Make sure to have your conversations both in and outside of sexy situations. That way, if you need to dig deeper into something, you won’t have to pause the fun.
Practice talking about W3s that are not sexual. You can experiment with anything from restaurants to the types of clothes you wear

Remember, Wants, Wills, and Won’t are flexible and constantly evolving, so make your list, be inquisitive, be experimental, and have fun! If you want some inspiration, check out the fun and playful dialogue in Political Pussy Pounding, by Allie Oops.


Brian Gibney