2017 Is The Year I Say No (A Surprisingly Positive Post)

2017 Is The Year I Say No (A Surprisingly Positive Post)

By Cara Sutra

No is a negative word by definition. That’s not to say no can’t ever be positive, however*. Saying no to some things can mean saying yes to others, meaning more control over your life, a more manageable schedule and less stress. That’s my main goal this year, my new year’s resolution if you like. 2017 is the year I say NO.

Over the last few years I’ve found it very difficult to avoid stress. Not just from the impact of my work, but through changes in circumstances, family life, life in general. I feel that a lot of my happiness depends on being able to at least minimise if not completely eradicate stress from my life.

Saying yes to happiness means learning to say no to things and people that stress you out.
– Thema Davis

What I’m Saying No To In 2017

2017 Is The Year I Say No to putting undue pressure on myself. I simply can’t do everything – and that’s ok. What I should do instead is set myself reasonable and realistic goals rather than coping with a constant feeling of bewilderment and inertia from the overly high expectations I have of myself.

2017 Is The Year I Say No to feeding trolls on social media, and no to becoming overly absorbed by and bogged down by social media negativity. I wrote about the impact of social media recently, including some recommendations for minimising stress from the top offenders. Often I’m itching to get involved with a conversation on social media, but at this point I know it’s just not worth the hassle and emotional expenditure.

Courtesy of xkcd.com (click to enlarge)

Don’t worry: if there is something I feel I really need to say, I’ll blog about it.

2017 Is The Year I Say No to being pushed into attending events. I find attending industry events very stressful; there’s the expectations put on me to be this… industry persona, to provide freebies in whatever form (tangible goods or free consultancy at the bar) and to be honest, events are incredibly expensive. Not just expensive financially – although goodness knows I’d rather spend the few hundred pounds minimum it costs to get to London and back on a trip with my family instead) but also expensive in terms of time and energy. Even if an event is ‘only’ one day, ‘just’ one afternoon, I still have to prepare, research, travel; then when I’m finally home there is the photo editing, the write up, the formatting, the marketing… as well as physically recovering from the trip. I do find it all exhausting.

Don’t need this kind of pressure + negativity BS. PS: events are not my “job”

2017 Is The Year I Say No accepting products for review (those products which are sent for me to review personally, I’m not talking about the Pleasure Panel here) without remuneration. In the past I felt that being paid for product reviews would mean a biased review, but I was wrong. By paying my fee for a product review, a company isn’t purchasing a guaranteed positive review or promotional copy. Instead, that fee covers my time and research during the testing and reviewing process. Reviews take a lot of time. I’ve set a nominal fee for my product reviews but if I charged my hourly rate they would cost several hundred pounds each.

In the same vein, 2017 Is The Year I Say No to working for free (oh, or “exposure”, that magical currency my mortgage lender & utility companies have sadly never heard of). I offer valuable services, I have the relevant skills and experience; I also have bills. Be prepared to pay the rates set out on my rate sheet if you require any of my services. This website is not a free marketing noticeboard for the adult industry, and neither are my social media feeds. You can read more of my thoughts on this subject here.

Courtesy of The Oatmeal (click to enlarge)

2017 Is The Year I Say No to accepting marketing commissions where I don’t genuinely believe in the company and/or product. This is part of my ongoing work ethic – but it’s always good to remind myself.

2017 Is The Year I Say No to simply pushing out new articles all the time when there’s a shit ton of work I want to get done behind the scenes on my website. There’s seriously a LOT of admin for me to catch up with, because I’m always trying to keep up with my writing and reviewing tasks on the front. Sometimes you’re just going to have to cope with me being very quiet or seeming offline. I know, it’ll be terrible for you.

-hears thousands of party poppers going off in the distance-

2017 Is The Year I Say No to feeling frumpy, fat and unfit. I’ve not been happy with where my body is at for quite a while, and 2016 The Year of Stress didn’t help. I feel like I’ve totally let myself go. Please don’t for a second take this to mean I think larger/curvier body types are bad or wrong or shameful. I don’t. But I am not happy with the way my body is and it’s affecting my self-confidence and happiness. Therefore I’m doing something about it, as a determined, assertive woman who knows her own mind.

After all that saying “no” I feel decidedly and resolutely positive. Saying no to all of the above is saying “yes!” to a calmer, happier, more confident me. I believe it’s good to determine our personal boundaries in all things, to draw some lines in the sand – and what better time than at the start of a new year? This public statement is setting the standard for my year ahead, the year I say no. It’s not exactly a new year’s resolution; more like a personal realisation with some reminders thrown in for good measure.

Questions to Consider

What is your personal statement for 2017?

What are you saying no to this year, and what are you saying yes to?

What 3 things do you hope to have achieved by the end of this year?


2017 Is The Year I Say No A Surprisingly Positive Post

This article does not contain affiliate links and is not sponsored in any way

*Not least of which is the ability to voice your lack of consent – or in a completely different situation, your preference for consensual non-consent (by using another safeword) in your sex life.


  1. So when you talk about only doing paid reviews – is that regardless of if it’s from a retailer with an affiliate program? I’ve already started telling a few manufacturers that if they want their product reviewed by me, it’ll cost unless their product is for sale at Shevibe. So far no company has taken me up on it but they’re also probably all small/new companies. Or they don’t think I’m worth what I’m charging. Could be either because I nearly never hear back!

    I hope that more folks start to take a stand against “free” toys being the only remuneration – but only if it means that these compensated reviews are also as honest as the rest of the person’s reviewing. While I’ll probably feel guilty giving a really negative review to someone who has paid for me to review, I’ll still be negative if it warrants, and meh if it’s meh. No sugar-coating, haha.

    • Hiya Lilly,
      Yep, if a company wants me personally to review a product then it will cost them my £60 fee. Even if they have an affiliate scheme. However, it’s a little different here because companies have the option of having the product reviewed by the Pleasure Panel.
      Affiliate monies are only potential payment too – if and when they ever come in they’re a bonus rather than a reliable source of income, and I don’t view them as ‘payment’ for anything I do. I stick the links in if I’m an affiliate and if people buy, they buy.
      Totally with you on the honest reviews means honest reviews (I make it clear to the company that they’re paying for my time/research, NOT for guaranteed positive review/promo copy) – in fact the two reviews I’ve published today are paid reviews (as mine all will be from now on) and they’re a 7/10 and a 2/10. If something’s shit, it’s shit. Interestingly I’ve seen the same product given a glowing review by another blogger who was undoubtedly paid to review it… I guess it all comes down to how much your readers trust what you’ve got to say. I don’t think you’ve got any worries!
      (PS. Companies should totally pay you what you’re asking, unless it’s like a billion dollars which is probably a bit much).

Please share your thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.