30 Days of D/s – Negotiation is a Fancy Word for Talking

Negotiation is an important cornerstone of BDSM in many ways. From pickup play to scene planning to creating a long-term relationship together, there needs to be some level of negotiation.

I’ll be the first to admit that this is an area I lack some skills in. I don’t do a lot of pickup play so my skills aren’t as sharp as they could be. Having a poor memory doesn’t help since I can forget things. Thankfully, I have played with excellent tops who have taken the time to prompt me in certain areas and ask me specific questions. I am working to improve my negotiation skills and learning how to get better at it.

In the meantime, I have cultivated a checklist that I’ve used, passed out, and taught with.

I created it around the same time Daddy and I were negotiating a play-partner relationship. It gave us a starting point to figure out each other’s experience and knowledge and what activities were on a never list, a maybe list, and a definitely list. I made a point to fill mine out with him as the partner in mind. There were some activities that I did do, but only with my dating partner at that time. Just like now, there are things and language I consent to have my Daddy do or say to me but would move off the table with a casual play partner.

The checklist allowed us to find common ground and figure out what we could do together. Eventually, we renegotiated both the relationship and activities and moved into a power exchange dynamic. Currently, we’re renegotiating our contract into a more structured power/authority dynamic and it’s taking a lot of time, a lot of conversations, and a lot of reading. It’s very precious to us so we’re spending a lot more time and energy on this contract than we have previously mostly because we’re outlining protocols more specifically.

There are a lot of ways to approach negotiations and I think it’s important to keep in mind what you’re negotiating and why. Negotiating a scene is very different than negotiating a relationship and the skills for both are important to cultivate. If you’re negotiating a relationship, I think it’s important to write some of your thoughts down – even if it’s not a full-out contract – because you’ll want to revisit them later. What’s not working for you? What is working and why? What sort of things do you and your partner want to change and adjust?

The more we learn about what relationships can look like and learn about different ways to navigate different situations, the better we get at nailing down exactly what we want in a relationship. Sometimes the way we previously described what we wanted – say, an Owner/pet relationship – isn’t what we’re living now – Master/slave – and it’s time to renegotiate.

Read the rest of my 30 Days of D/s posts here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *