Home Featured Does The “Power Of No” Really Work?

Does The “Power Of No” Really Work?

"No Barney, you're never gonna get it."

Jennifer Lopez guest starred as Anita on “How I Met Your Mother.” She played the author of a popular book. When asked to summarize her book, she responds in one word: “No.” By saying “no” consistently, Anita argues women empower themselves while making men just desire them more.

Many women believe that you can motivate and discipline men by using the word “no” effectively. While this statement might be accurate for some men, there’s a fundamental flaw within the theory. Using the word “no” to control someone is only going to work if they are desperate. Women aren’t attracted to desperate men unless they’re desperate themselves.

The men who are desperate know this is their only chance at ever getting something in life. But you know what ladies? You don’t really want this man, do you? There’s no glory in finding the only chap who would wait on your hand and knee, bark like a dog, and respond to your beck and call. None whatsoever. Therefore, the only way this situation works is once you’ve decided that you’ve given up on finding the man of your dreams, or even a man that fits your profile. This situation only works once you’re ready to settle. Settle for a man who is willing to put up with you.

See Also:  Do Men Ever Step Up Without A Woman's Expectations?

That leads me to my next point.

I told a friend the other day that saying “no” to me doesn’t make me want it more. It just makes me move on faster. If you’re going to say “no” to a guy, you better make damn sure you’re the best option that he has. Take for example this Drake lyric: “She ain’t trying to pop that sh*t for pimp okay well nevermind.” Drake puts most women on alert that trying to approach him on your terms will likely get you a response of “Interested, but not that interested.”

As much as it pains me, I have to pass.

Other women don’t know when to stop saying “no.” For the average fellow who sits in the middle of the spectrum of desperation, he’s willing to try and wait it out for a while. However, if you keep saying “No, you’re never gonna get it, never ever gonna get it, my lovin’,” he’ll quickly lose interest and walk away. This leaves the woman sitting in a room trying to understand the man’s logic. Yes, she had always planned on giving it to the man, but she didn’t want him to lose interest after she did. She held out for too long and he made his next move his best move. If you don’t show a man the finish line, he’ll eventually stop racing.

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This post started out because I was explaining to a friend how I have never really been motivated by someone telling me “no.” I don’t really have problems with rejection. To me, rejection is a timesaver. I didn’t want to come across conceited, but it goes back to everything I believe about being a man. A man has to believe that he can do whatever he puts his mind to, and that’s the only way life will work. He has to believe that the world is his playground. When a woman tells him “no,” he’s got to think that something must be wrong with her. He’s also got to have it in his head that he can still go find the woman of his dreams. There’s plenty of fish in the sea; I’m one of the men that recognizes that. I think that I’m pretty awesome and dope. If she doesn’t like me, I’ll be okay. It’s certainly not the end of the world.

– Dr. J


  1. "Drake puts most women on alert that trying to approach him on your terms will likely get you a response of “Interested, but not that interested.”

    It is statements like this that make me wonder how it is that men EVER think that women have the upper hand in the dating game…..

    1. They do though Amaris… I put my boy on last night. Women are exploiting interest for thirst.

      1) If you don't do exactly what a woman says, she will screenshot you on Twitter. For those that don't know, Screenshotting is when a chick takes a screenshot of a text message conversation between the two of you that exhibits your thirst. For example, "I've been thinking about you a lot lately, when can we hang out?"

      2) Women still continue to hold ninjas hostage for quality sex. I'm all the way 100 with people, can a man have sex whenever he wants? Hell yeah. Is it quality? Hell no. Moisture and friction causes orgasms for men, it really ain't all that serious. But when we looking for quality it's presentation, skill and ambiance. The women with that, they'll eat/drink you out house and home.

      3) EVERYBODY IS FRONTING! Men nor women are immune to fronting. Women seem to benefit from this the greatest because they really only asked to being a few things to the table. A man who's broke, you gon find out before the weekend get finished.

      1. Imma have to beg to differ. For example (pardon the breaks)….

        1) I have NEVER met a male "relationship blogger/expert/advice columnist" that does not extol the "relationship benefits" of time-of-the-month fellatio. "Do this for your man, and he will (insert relationship benefit here)- besides, a "man is going to want it when he wants it". This is pure manipulation. There is NO benefit for women. NONE. What exactly do men do for women that will have NO direct sex benefit, whether now or in the future? Upper. Hand.

        1. 2) The ENTIRE "women should approach men" rediculousness of this century is COMPLETELY for men's sex benefit. How? Because all men know that women will NEVER grow on men, despite the reverse being true (Because we all know No from a man is the end of a conversation, but from a woman the beginning of a negotiation). Walking up to a man without knowledge of his interest has NO benefit for women, yet we are still encouraged to 'take charge'. Why? Because, whether he's interested or not, it IS nice not having to go thru primary rejection stages to find a girl that is interested enough in you to let you smash. Upper. Hand.

        2. 3) At the end of the day, the only thing we have the upper hand in IS sex-EXCEPT that sex benefit ISN'T a priority for women. RELATIONSHIP benefit is. Men initially date for sex benefit, but women almost ALWAYS date with relationship benefits in mind- and in that, MEN have the upper hand. It is the MAN that assigns the "titles", or decides when the relationship is exclusive. It is the MAN that proposes, or decides if marriage will happen. There may not be countless 'experts' explaining to men how to get more chex, but there are blogs, movies, 'experts', reality shows-& tons of dollars spent- towards women trying to figure out how to negotiate better relationship benefits out of men. We have JUST as much thirst-if not MORE-except we are chasing different things.

        3. Speak on it, Amaris…

          Although I don't think women use the power we do have effectively…which is what really creates the imbalance.

        4. @Amaris: "At the end of the day, the only thing we have the upper hand in IS sex-EXCEPT that sex benefit ISN'T a priority for women. RELATIONSHIP benefit is."

          That's all you need.

        5. The indomitable wisdom of Married With Children:

          Steve and Marcy Rhoades get into a fight because he grew a beard and Marcy wants him to shave it. Steve stays with the Bundys until Marcy accepts his beard. Problem is Steve hasn't got any in a while. Al and Peggy offer advice:

          Al talking to Steve:
          "Nature played a cruel trick on us…one that keeps us men from ruling the Earth. Men have an urge, but women have the answer. That's not much, but it's all they need."

          Peggy talking to Marcy:
          "Nature played a cruel trick on men. They gave them a source of pleasure, but in order for it to work, the blood has to leave the brain. It leaves them confused, disoriented. It wants to enter into negotiations. The brain needs the blood back. It needs it to go to work to pay for all those things agreed to a moment before. We may not have upper body strength, but we do have sexual kryptonite!"

        6. "Married With Children" was hands down my favorite tv sitcom growing up. I've seen every episode at least twice I think, lol. As a proud self-appointed member of N.O. M.A.A.M , I agree with your example here Hugh and co-sign.

          Can I get a whoa Bundy? lol!

        7. Preach It Amaris……..(now that's a word right there) Can somebody say "Chuuuuuuuuuuch"!
          <waving my church fan high sangin cumbaya>

        8. Amaris, I love you like a play cousin but there's a 1,000 and 1 flaws to this logic and I gotta call BS on this one. *throws review flag on the play* lol

          1) Are you suggesting no man, ever, has done anything, ever, for a woman without desiring the benefit of sex? Besides that being a sweeping generalization of all men, it doesn't make any sense. It's not even accurate. Honestly, the whole time-of-the-month fellatio seems a weird example to choose out of all the examples you could have chosen from. Men make sacrifices for women all the time. So do women. That's what a relationship is – a good one anyway – two people making necessary sacrifices for one another. Not everything in life has to have an equal and opposite return, especially not in a relationship. Last I checked, sometimes you do something – whatever it may be – for the simple joy/knowledge/sacrifice of making your partner happy.

          2) …………WHAT?!? If you don't agree that women should approach men, that's fine. But your example makes no sense. I've had women approach me – I turned some down. I turned some on. That's the nature of approaching. Basically all you're saying is you like the current gender roles; whereby men approach men and women dictate who they will entertain when approached. That's fine. But just call it what it is…gender standards and the status quo. Don't make a generalization that sweeping as if it applies to all men and women everywhere. Men turn down women they're not interested in and vise versa. Women like to use the approach as the cause for the effect when maybe he just wasnt interested in you. You don't win every game you play. That's life.

          3) I've never understood this logic and I guess I never will. If you don't want to have sex. Don't. Yes, you will lose a few men but to suggest that you will lose all men speaks very poorly on both men and women because you are essentially saying all we can offer each other is sex. Beyond sex, we have no connection what-so-ever? It's that kind of defeatist mindset which is WHY men are getting sex so easily and women are giving it up so easily. The former begets, the latter. They are not mutually exclusive. If women are the gatekeepers of sex and men are the gatekeepers of relationships, this should be an equal relationship not an inverse relationship.

          Sorry. I kinda felt like you were buggin here and only Hugh was speaking up, BUT I still love you doe girl.

          *hugs and daps*

        9. See, this is why I hate my interner settings. To expound (pardon the breaks)

          1) The reason I picked time-of-the-month fellatio? Because I had to find an example as extreme as the screenshot. That is some seriously young ish on a woman's part, and I have little respect for women that play games. I have never done it. I don't know anyone who has done it. HOWEVER, if we are pulling out crazy things that people do in the sake of thirst, and women's thirst is relationship-centered….and it's not something that a woman would JUST do in a relationship but for the sake of PROMOTING one (just like the 'thirsty' text that was made fun of…)… just trying to explain where I'm going here. Women will do JUST as many crazy things to get a man in a committed relationship that men will do to get a woman in the sack.

        10. 2) So you are going to COMPLETELY ignore that whether a woman is initially interested or NOT, a man can spit game and change her mind (or persuade her to change her mind over time) but if a man isn't interested, game DONE, pass go, don't collect $200 bucks?

        11. 3) You are arguing a point that I never made. Some would say tha modernism unfairly tipped the balance b/c you can have chex w/o a relationship, but only in some cases a relationship w/o chex….but I never said that. What I DID say was what men and women seek at the onset are very different, and to suggest that one has an upper hand is unfair, because at the end, we are both thirsty (and will perform great feats, leap over buildings & ish)-it just with different goals in mind. AT THE BEGINNING. In the end, on point three, we actually agree.

        12. 1) Ok, I misunderstood that you were being extreme on purpose.

          2) I see what you're saying and I even see your point, but I do not agree. I feel, "whether a woman is initially interested or NOT, a man can spit game and change her mind," is a very bold assumption to make. Also, if we're talking about "game" then the same can be said for a woman. A woman with game can game a man, too. That's what game is. I think men who have been languishing in the infamous friendzone would disagree with you about their ability to game their way with a woman who is not interested.

          3) That's fair. I do think men and women typically have different goals in mind; however, that seems to apply there are men out there, even at the beginning, who are not looking for a relationship. To be honest, it also implies there aren't women out there, even in the beginning, who only want sex. And well….that aint true.

          Also, I'd argue that two men/women looking for a serious commitment actually have the same goal in mind – granted they may have different time lines for achieving that goal, which is a different discussion.

        13. The point I mainly argued in 3 is that men will date a woman because they are attracted, and enjoy her company, and will see where it goes from there. Women (and I don't agree w' it but have been guilty of it) will date a man because they are attracted, enjoy their company…and will see how fast they can get them to a title. With different goals, neither has the upper hand, really. Yes there are exceptions, but this rule is the entire premise of 80% of the relationship books geared towards women.

          On 2, I will agree to disagree. I have ended up dating men who have repulsed me on first meeting, and all my friends pretty much have a similar story. I have a lot of guy friends and can count on one hand the number of similar stories I have received in return. I just don't have enough stories of a woman who has "charmed her way into a man's heart" to think different. **shrug** Until then, I will continue to "agressively make my interest known"-and maintain appropriate proximity of course-and let dudes approach from there.

        14. Wis, I think what your not realizing is that you and your boys that are like you are the Exceptions, Not the rules. Maybe you know a lot of women who have been lucky enough to get "good men" who knew men who wanted relationships and weren't pressed about sex at all. They are the Exceptions too, Not the rules. I've dated quite a few men who wanted more than just sex and wanted relationships and marriage and babies and all the things most women want…..but at the end of the day the all wanted SEX sooner than later.
          Even the nicest, sweetest, most honest, sincere, God-Fearing, church-going "simp" ie man I knew/dated let a good woman go because she wanted to wait until marriage to have sex. As nice of a guy as he was, he was also "A Man" with the same sexual drive and desires and any other young, virile, hot blooded man and he knew he couldn't wait that long to have sex with a woman he was in a relationship with and attracted to.
          And yes there are women who do just want sex but they are far and few between. And some of those women u think just want sex would gladly be in a relationship with a man they wanted if they knew he wanted more than sex from them.
          Also let's be real…men simply have more options when it comes to women due to ratio and since the beginning of time it was permitted for a man to have more than 1 wife. These are not applicable to women. Most times it is the man who sets the tone for what the relationship will be just by his actions. If he stays and says he is your man and acts like he's your man, then he is your man. If he acts like he is your man when it suits him and says he is your man then he may very well be for a while, until he leaves and moves on to the next one.

  2. Great post Dr. J. I agree with what you said about saying 'no'. I believe whether it's a man or woman hearing that word it truly doesn't matter. It's more so about the person. Some people can deal with rejection…and others can't. Like you stated, it's a spectrum of desperation.

    To be honest, the last paragraph held the most value for me. I've never been a man who's dealt with rejection well. I've been more likely to avoid it rather than becoming immune to it and moving past it. I like what you had to say about not allowing 'no' to control the way you feel about yourself. The focus should not be one what I did wrong or what I was lacking. I just need to view it as a timesaver. She knew we weren't a fit and saved me the agony of wasting my time and energy on her. That makes a lot of sense. Thank you for the insight.
    My recent post Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man?

  3. I think it also depends on age. A woman saying "no" to me at 19/20 is waaay different then a "no" at 32. That "no" at 19 might be followed up with a "why?/why not?"…at 32 i could care less

  4. As women, we have egos and nothing helps a low self esteem than to see how far someone will go to get at you. But this is horrible for all parties: the desperate types who may be entirely genuine will become bitter a**holes, the confident men will keep it moving, and the immature dudes will air you out to his circle, then you find yourself by urself. I think its good to set boundaries but you know within the first few minutes how you want it to progress so why front?

  5. Dr. J: "Other women don’t know when to stop saying “no.” For the average fellow who sits in the middle of the spectrum of desperation, he’s willing to try and wait it out for a while. However, if you keep saying “No, you’re never gonna get it, never ever gonna get it, my lovin’,” he’ll quickly lose interest and walk away."

    Some people don't understand the law of diminishing returns. Saying, "no" will work for a while, and only occasionally.

  6. Naw, thats not the way to draw a man into "the chase", lol.

    You can remain a bit mysterious…challenging…without using the word "no". You just gotta know when and what to give…and when to chill.

  7. Reading Ms. Acosta replies, I almost have to agree with her. The world is a high value man’s oyster. I’ve heard of and ran into women who give it up just so they can show interest, because they know that if they don’t men wouldn’t pay them any mind. They may want the sex, but they are more interested in the guy. If they say “no” or make men wait they run the risk of us losing interest and moving on. On the flip side, if they aren’t smart or make sure we are truly interested in them and not just their goodies, then they run the risk of getting game ran on them. Touched and left.

    The game is twisted both ways. I tell my little sister, who turned 21 yesterday, if a man is truly interested in you, he will pursue. I don’t mean facebook and text messaging either. The more time he spends or tries to spend with you, the higher value he has for you. That doesn’t always weed out the dudes who want to smash and leave, but it helps.

  8. "No" shouldn't be used as a control tool, but is fair game when used for valid reasons. If a woman is still worried that he's going to leave her if she were to give it up to him, then I'd argue that they shouldn't be sleeping together.

    When I say "no," I'm not trying to play coy. It means just that, and I dislike when people act like I'm frontin', disregard it, and/or take it as a challenge to try to wear me down.

  9. So if i am relating to a woman and it gets to the point of sex which i would project was mutual…and i get a no? Because you dont trust me enough yet to stick around and you want to keep my intrest? So all my time spent,dating,courting,displaying interest, conversation, food,gas, and relating to you which is accepted im guessing is still null because of the last guy(s) screw ups or wins in their case, or the generations of bad advice given? Power plays like that dont work if thats the reason behind them. Besides, theres always that other girl that i was ready to drop for you until you told me "No".

  10. I say no when I mean no, but I do say maybe when I am unsure. If a guy has potential, I let him know what is necessary for the conversion of a maybe to yes. From my experience with men, most of them seem to want to know if what they are doing is efficiency. How to reach the goal the most effective way possible. Either a woman is going to offer substantial challenges or friviolous ones, but nevertheless let him know this is the end result of these actions. Some will stay, some will leave but if your ego is not attached it's not a biggie, just life.

  11. As a woman, when I say no it means I’m really not interested. I’m not flattered when men keep on ‘chasing” me after I’ve told them no. Not only is it super annoying it’s makes you look desperate. Great post. I totally agree.

  12. Never really understood why you ought to say no if you actually want to have sex. Or why you ought to say yes if you really don't. The times I've had sex have been because I wanted to, and I didn't care whether it was the first date or whether he should pursue me more or whatever else. If I want it and you want it, let's go for it. Whatever happens afterwards, happens.

    It's all about choosing the men you date correctly. If you choose douchebags, they're gonna be douchebags, regardless of whether you give it up on the first date or the seventeenth.

  13. Exactly Vee……imo you shouldn't do it until your good and ready.If you say no there should be a good reason for it. Whether the other person understands and accepts that or not is on them.
    Women I know use no as a test to see if a man is sincere and nowadays especially it doesn't work all the time.
    There are other ways to know if a man is sincere and honest or not.
    Unfortunately though, no is part of the game people play…even married women use no and sex like pawns in a chess game.

  14. The only thing that bothers me about this article is that it bases the decision on a question of "will he like me if …." and I think that's the wrong way to go about it. I mean, if I'm with you and we only take it to that level cause you was afraid of leaving me that it'd make me think you were pretty shallow, or at least thought I was pretty shallow. I figure, you should say no until you're ready. If that drives the desirable (wo)men away, then so what. S/He probably wasn't right for you anyway.

  15. I think men who feel they have to move on after they hear a "no" has some type of issue— or they weren't that interested in the first place. With everything we do in life we're encouraged to "Go hard or Go Home". "If at first you don't succeed, try and try again" "Anything worth having is worth fighting for". But when it comes to a woman, it's "that's fine, on to the next"? Yeah, that screams emotional baggage or some type of rejection issue. Don't mess around and miss out on the woman of your dreams because she's not (immediately) saying what you want to hear.


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