The Ask: Kinky Edition

Apparently I have a superpower: I can ask for what I want with minimal fear.

It’s not a super power, really. It might be why I’m well-suited for my job (asking people for large sums of money to fund a charitable organization).

Here’s the trick: I ask for things people pretty much want to give. If I’m in your house or at your office and I’m asking you for $100K in support of my charity, I’m doing so because my research and our prior conversations have led me to believe with reasonable certainty that this amount is not beyond your capability or intent.

Of course, sometimes my research is flawed, and whether or not you can give it is sometimes problematic, but based on our excellent communication prior to this meeting, I know your willingness to do so usually isn’t.

Telling somebody you want something is not the same thing as demanding it.But, you having the freedom to express a desire (whether it’s a want or a need) works best when you give the person you’re talking to the freedom to respond honestly to your request.

There. That’s the trick. That’s what makes it easy for me. I am giving information. “This is a thing I want.” I am giving the person the opportunity to respond with “I can make that happen,” “It would be my pleasure,” “It would take work, but that is not unreasonable,” or “That’s not a thing I’m interested in.”

“Oh, phi! But that last one! I HATE REJECTION!”

OK. Rejection sucks. You know what else sucks? That evil little voice in your head that tells you that if someone doesn’t come up with the same idea you do without you telling them about it that it means they don’t care about you.

News Flash: Mind reading is also not a common superpower.

You know what I mean, right? You see that Jane in the cubicle next to you gets flowers delivered to the office on her birthday. You’re like, “Aww, shit, that is sweet. I want flowers. Maybe my partner will send me flowers on my birthday.And, because you don’t want to leave it up to chance, that night you go home and snuggling up with your partner after a beating and some marathon anal, you say, “So, Jane at my office got flowers for her birthday today. Isn’t that sweet?”

“Mmmhmm….” they reply. And YOU think the message has been received.

Three weeks later, it’s your birthday and every time the door opens to the office you’re expecting the flower delivery person who doesn’t appear.

Guess what you didn’t do?

You didn’t tell your partner what you wanted.

You hinted at it. That’s gambling with your wants, people. Gambling doesn’t always pay off.

What if you had been more direct? Perhaps not laying in bed post-anal, but over breakfast the next morning….after the coffee had been poured.

“Jane in my office got flowers for her birthday yesterday at the office. I thought that was really sweet. Do you think you might be willing to surprise me with flowers sometime?”

And your partner looks up from their phone, where they’re browsing Fetlife, probably, and will either say something like:

You’d like that? Yeah, I could do that some time.

or

That’s not really something I’ve ever done, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable.

or

Noted.

or

Uhh…I don’t know about flowers, they’re kind of expensive, but I’ll see what I can do.

I mean, I guess they might say “No” or try to convince you that what you want is unreasonable, but then at least you’d know not to expect flowers that day.

Which makes it all the better when they arrive anyway because this is my imagination and that means your partner is super romantic.

Now, here’s the difference between saying something like “I want you send me flowers on my birthday,” and “Would you be willing to send me flowers sometime?”

In the first example your’e pretty much giving somebody little choice. “I want this.” Their response options are “Okay.” or “I’m going to disappoint you.”

In the second one, you’re asking them to consider your scenario. It’s very easy to agree to consider something.

By the way, this is like the fundraising 101 right here. I was taught, when you go in for the big ask, you phrase it as such:

“Would you consider making a gift of $100,000 in support [this program] of the [organization] for the purpose of [programmatic mission]?”

You’re not asking them to give. You’re asking them to consider giving. You’re giving them the power to make the decision for themselves.

It’s a little less scary that way. For both the asker and the askee. During the silence while the question hangs in the air, what they are doing is considering. (That, by the way is why you don’t say ANYTHING after the ask is made.)

What’s an example of something you were afraid to ask for?

Here’s an example from CatG’s recent blog that inspired this:

Option A: I want you to check up on me after you’ve assigned me a task to make sure that I’ve done it.

Option B: I thrive on positive feedback. Would you consider checking in with me periodically after assigning me a task so that I know you’re pleased with my performance?

And here’s the thing….in that example, if the person we are asking says “no, that’s not something I’m willing to do,” then right away you know that, at least in this area of a D/s relationship, you are going to be incompatible. That puts the ability to consider the benefit of engaging in D/s with this person back in your court.

But if you’ve already done your research and communicated effectively with your partner, then they will be neither surprised nor put off by your request, and (more than likely) grateful for your ability to express your wants directly.

Yep. Grateful.

Like when my donor thanked me profusely and gave me a big hug as she handed over a check worth twice my annual income.

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