Negotation or agreement (in BDSM or kink-play)

BDSM & Swinging

Question:

kinkawarecoach_negotiation-or-agreementI hear about negotiation all the time. What should I negotiate and what should I get from these negotiations? And how do I prevent us from talking the fun to death?

Answer:
Personally, I am not too fond of the use of the word “negotiation” in relationships and (BDSM)play situations. It is very often promoted as the good thing to do before any play, it is the political correct thing to do… even though a lot of people don’t.

Negotiation??

If you look for negotiation on the interwebz you’ll find that the word “negotiation” is often used in sentences that also have the word “winning” or “tricks” or “need(yness)”. That is exactly why I personally dislike that word in the stage where two (or three, or more) people are coming to an agreement about the things they are going to do together, to explore together, to play with together.
If I am in the process of negotiating I probably am geared toward the things I will get out of this negotiation. I am trying to get some. And of course I know that I should be willing to give a dime to earn a buck. But in negotiation I will try to ‘win’.

But being the one that is busy “winning” in a relationships often ends you up as being the looser. If I try to get more from my partner than I put into the relationship i probably won’t get half as much out of that relationship as when i would have tried to do my share in making that relationship work. If I am committed to someone I will try to give my best to that person. And I will try to invest in the relationship with that person. Oh sure, on a short-term scale I could perhaps get more out of it. But if I am committed to a real relationship, I will invest in the relationship an I will want to know how I can make my (play)partner happy and fulfilled. If that is a joint effort the results will be much more satisfactory for both parties (and most likely both parties will want to repeat that hot date in the future) so you’ll will get more out of it.

Instead of relationship-negotiation or play-negotiation I would rather propose words like “agreement” and “arrangements”, or relationship-words like “commitment” or maybe even “friendship” (with all of its benefits) 😉


Contents

The next point we could talk about, is the question “what we should talk about” while agreeing upon arrangements?
Often I summarize this with:

  1. Why
  2. What (and Who)
  3. Nots

Why (and How)

I would advice you to start with the “Why?”
Why would you? What is you goal?
Are you into play for a short hot date, are you looking for a long term relationship, dor you want to experience a certain technique and learn your reaction to it? Or do you want to learn the technique? Whereas I often compare BDSM relationships to a gateau-model, where you have to have create a good equivalent cake first, a cake that can sometimes be wafer thin (“are you in for a steamy hot night?”), sometimes multilayered (a longtime BDSM-marriage with kids and flu and taxes). And if that cake is clearly established then you can safely start applying all the topping 😉 (pun intended).
One could even say that the intended actions within the topping define how strong the equality in the cake should be to carry that topping.

The inequality in the BDSM-scene has to be carried by the equal responsibilities of the relationship-goals

If all parties are perfectly clear on the “Why”, then the “How” is often included. So I often advice to start the agreement phase with thinking about the goals, both in the topping and in the cake.
These things do not have to cost a lot of words.
“I think you are hot and I would like to have a hot night with you where you can do whateverthefuck you wanna do with me but I do need a bit of aftercare” is a clear statement on both levels. “I am looking for a long-term relationship and I would like to be learn more about your submissiveness and I don’t do tenderness” can perhaps be a bit short but clear on both levels as well. If followed by “and why are you interested in having sex with me?” and a bit of honest interest in the answer to that question could cover the Why and How.

What (who)

The “What” is about the things you want to experience.

What are the things you are going to make happen together (and Who is going to be involved on what conditions)…

Often people just talk about “the What (and Who)” but because the “Why” is unclear problems will arise. “I want to whip you”, “I want to do needleplay”, “I want your sex”, “I want rapeplay” (and I want to call for the help of Sir Darkwhip and Lady Spankalot, to do so thoroughly). Those are all perfectly good “what’s” if the why is clear. And again: no need to waste a lot of words on the What (unless of course if you like dirty talk) if you dear to speak your (dirty) mind (because having the courage to speak for you fantasies is not that easy for beginners and even for a lot of the more experienced).
And remember, you both are equal in this phase. So “no” is a perfectly good answer that does not even need to be explained if you do not feel like it.

Nots

Where we have arrived at the limits of play. Your biology has limits, your emotional life too. And that is OK. In the “Why” is most likely some reason like “because it will make me feel good/happy/fulfilled”. So you are responsible to be geared to that end-effect.
You do not have to be able to do everything, you do not have to be able to take everything, you do not have to like everything.
You have the right to have your own personal minefields -difficult area’s that you do not want to be touched, both physical or emotional or areas of our BDSM-playground that you do NOT want to cover.
You do have the obligation to yourself however, the responsibility to yourself (and your playpartners) to be clear about your minefields to make the chance smaller that you both stumble upon them during play.

“You can call me a slut and a pig… but you can NOT call me fat”

The NOTs are also arrangements such as the safewords (both the two stopwords, and maybe a startword too) you both want to agree upon and will remember in the heat of the moment. Agree upon the start but also agree upon the end, upon the dislikes and hard limits you do not want to cross. Do talk abbout the things that will cause you to have to use the ultimate stop word that will end the scene in mid-air.


Better your Play-communication

I hope to have added to the communication and preparation of you playing, added to the quality of your dreams and scenes, the quality of your relation(s).
I hope to have added to the quality BDSM can have in your life and how it can add to your relationships.
I hope to have added to fun.


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