Everyone wants to rush right into the sexy fun times. Sexy fun times are the best! Yes, it is boring mood killer to lay out limits and rules ahead of play. But without taking the time to lay a proper foundation, your house of sexy fun times can crumble and crack. Proper negotiations and communication are the foundation that will keep your house of fun standing up for decades to come. So how does one do proper negotiation without it feeling awkward? Here are some handy tips!
How Can A Submissive Get Better At Communicating Boundaries?
“What advice would you give to a submissive who has difficulty setting boundaries with partners because they worry about disappointing the person they are playing with? How do I start that conversation?”–Wants To Please
Being submissive comes with its own set of challenges, as does every role. One of the main challenges is being able to stand up for yourself and your needs, as many submissives have a burning desire to please others. Consequently, it is very easy for submissives to get locked into a pattern of putting others desires first.
Yes, standing up for yourself and your needs can be very challenging and scary. However, if you are going to be playing safely you need to do it. If you are unable to do so frankly you have no business playing in the first place; it is too easy for things to go wrong.
Take the time to sit down and get to know yourself and what it is that you are looking for. Write it down if that makes it easier for you. Whenever you interact with someone for the first time, do not allow anything to happen until you have gone over your needs and limits in a clear and direct way. Any partner worth interacting with will be okay with you doing so. If they are not, you should not be doing anything with them and it is no big loss.
Once you are regular play partners with someone, you have to be vigilant that your innate desire to please doesn’t cause your boundaries to weaken. Therefore, always be checking in with yourself. If you find yourself in the position of doing something that you are not comfortable with, sit down and calmly have a discussion about it. Any partner worth having, regardless how dominant, will be willing to check in with you and listen to feedback.
What Limit Negotiation Should A Newbie Make For A First Time Scene?
“I am just getting started in the lifestyle, and I don’t feel very confident in my negotiating skills yet. What are some specific limits I should set up when negotiating scenes for the first time?”–Negotiating Newbie
When we first get started, it is easy to feel like a kid in a candy store–we want to try all of the things and we want to try it now! So many of us want to jump straight into the deep end without adjusting to the temperature first. Having been there myself, I would counsel starting slowly. You can always add things as time goes on and you get a better idea of what it is you are looking for.
It is much better to start slow and then ramp up as opposed to rushing into something that ends up not working for you. As far as negotiation for first time scenes:
- Don’t go right to an elaborate and challenging suspension.
- Don’t do heavy impact.
- Don’t agree to any sexual contact you are not completely comfortable with.
- Don’t interact with people that can not respect limits and pressure you into things you don’t want to do.
- Don’t meet people off the internet in a private place, always meet in public to feel them out first.
I like to do “get to know you” play sessions with no fluid exchange, no blood, no bruises, light and minimal bondage. I much prefer to interact with people that do public play–because you have the safety check of the whole room and it is much harder for things to go off the rails. Once I know someone better and have a good read on them, I feel more comfortable in progressing into heavier play. Only you will know what is right for you. Let your gut be your guide. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
What Should I Look For During A Negotiation Conversation With Potential Partners?
“While I know negotiations are crucial for good scenes, I don’t know how to have that conversation with potential play partners–how do you negotiate and what red flags should I look for? What are the warning signs I should be aware of?”–What To Watch For
Negotiating your needs and desires is the first and most important step in your journey. Without proper negotiation, the possibility of having a scene go wrong skyrockets. And nobody wants to be in a scene gone wrong, no matter which role they may happen to be.
Without sitting down and getting to know yourself and exactly what it is that you are looking for, you will never be able negotiate properly. Additionally, if you don’t know what you are looking for, you are putting an undue burden of mind-reading on your partners. Not even the most skilled players out there are mind-readers.
Be wary of people that do not listen to you, that are dismissive of feedback and push limits. Any partner worth having is one that treats you as an equal worthy of respect. Even if you are a submissive with a strong humiliation fetish there should be the expectation of mutual courtesy. If things don’t feel completely “right” (and you will know in your gut when something is off) do not move forward.
I strongly believe that if you are meeting prospective play partners for the first time, you should do it in a public place and have a safety check-in call set up. Someone should know where you are and how long you are expected to be. Once you have met and feel comfortable with someone, ask for references. I only move forward if I can check-in with other play partners that have interacted with them–since anyone worth playing with will be able to provide references.
The more you get to know yourself and your needs, the easier the negotiating and vetting of prospective partners becomes. And yes, it does get easier over time. Like most things, practice makes perfect.