I once negotiated a blackmail scenario with a complete stranger. He would “demand” photos or videos from me in exchange for a promise that he would not do a thing (I’m not going to share what that thing was). As part of the negotiation I gave myself an out. I said that when I got into a relationship with someone at some point, the blackmail arrangement would end and he still couldn’t do the thing he said he wouldn’t do. He agreed to my terms.
And when it was over, it was over – as promised.
I once negotiated a breakup. We’d gone from a long distance D/s relationship to an in-person 24/7 Power Exchange type relationship that crashed and burned within a month or two. The final blow to the relationship ended up happening over text, and I said “we negotiated our way into this relationship, and I think we should negotiate ourselves out of it.”
I asked him to come back to my house for the weekend so we could talk through the logistics of ending our relationship, including what sort of contact we’d have afterwards and which of our mutual friends I would be seeking support from, and boundaries around having the interloping metamour ever contact me again. It was also an opportunity for us to both feel heard and understood as to why the relationship was ending.
It was almost like an exit interview that coincidentally ended with me in the hospital having emergency surgery for something completely unrelated. But, by the time he walked out of my house for the last time three days later, all that had to be said between us had been said, and I’d started to heal from the wounds he had caused.
I once negotiated sexy picture sharing with a friend. For a while, being able to share the photos online pushed that button for me, but then I had someone take some liberties with my privacy and that all ended.
So I reached out to someone I knew decently enough and asked if his previous offer of being a recipient of sexy pictures could be an ongoing thing. He responded affirmatively and asked me if I wanted comments or photos in return. I said I preferred comments. He shared some examples of different types of comments and asked which I felt were appropriate.
I was in negotiation heaven.
Shortly after that, he initiated a conversation about having some “in-person” flirtation protocol so he’d know where my boundaries were and not to cross them.
Those are all examples of why I love negotiation. Even when it was for the purpose of a heart-wrenching breakup, it was important to me that everyone involved had a clear understanding of what our respective roles entailed.
I think most of my fantasies are rooted in the idea that even in my most vulnerable state, no physical or emotional harm will come to me. What I love about consensual BDSM is that I can control how much control I’m willing to give up, and that ultimately – I have the ability to take all my control back whenever I want.
The subject of negotiation came up again recently when I was chatting with my partner about wishing I had more opportunities to play, but feeling like people don’t want to play with me for reasons I can’t quite explain.
I won’t devote more than a paragraph to this. In the distant past, I’d often been told by play partners that I’m “really fun to play with,” But, too often, when I would follow up and/or offer to bottom for them again sometime, they would do the “I’ll let you know” dance and never contact me again. This led me to think they were either lying about my being fun or they were just not that into me.
My response to that was to pretty much avoid all possibility of play with anybody else because I didn’t want that to happen anymore.
On the bright side – ever since I stopped playing with other people, I haven’t been emotionally hurt by anybody. The drawback of course is that I have no idea how many missed opportunities there have been for some seriously good, connective play and hedonistic expression.
So, I kind of want to open myself up again to the possibility of connecting with new partners, and that means having to dust off my negotiation skills. For me, that starts with getting in touch with what it is I really want AND what I don’t want in terms of both physical sensation and emotional experience. Where it gets complicated is figuring out how to convey that information without making a potential top feel like I’m waaaaay too complicated a partner to deal with.
It’s because I don’t want there to be any miscommunication. I don’t want to put a potential top in a position to hurt me by accident because I wasn’t clear on what specific things I don’t want and they just took it for granted that it was okay because most people are fine with it. (This has happened).
And then there are certain things that I know that I do want, but I don’t want a potential top to feel like I’m telling them how to top me. I just know exactly what kinds of sensations I enjoy and I’d like for them to be aware of just how much I enjoy them.
And I want them to want to watch me enjoy them.
And then, how to negotiate around my fears? I have a lot of fear that holds me back from taking most risks until I feel like I can completely trust the person I’m with. Even with my partner, who I trust to the moon and back – there are things we explore for the first time and my only feedback is “I don’t know if I liked that or not because I was too scared of the unknown to fully experience it in a hedonistic way.”
I have a lot of fear around being physically and emotionally vulnerable with someone who I don’t know very well because I am terrified of feeling like I’ve been forgotten as soon as it’s over.
But yeah. I want to get tied up by people, but I don’t want to do suspensions right away, if at all. I want to be able to let go and go completely into rope space, but I don’t want to do it until the person wielding the rope has a very clear understanding of where my boundaries are.
And that brings us back to why I love negotiation so much. There is nothing that turns me on more than that feeling of trusting someone so much that I can drop my guard and sink into delicious spacey goodness without any fear that they’re going to cross any lines. A solid, descriptive, and comprehensive negotiation plays a big role in creating the big sexy energy bubble I want to exist in during our scene.
It’s world-building and creative and intoxicating.
Just wish more people would see it that way instead of a chore you have to get through before you can have fun.
2 thoughts on “Creativity in Negotiation”
Wow…. I really love this post. I’m not into BDSM but every little detail about negotiating is hitting home. The idea of working with someone to END things sounds so good to me, and it is a little saddening that I have at least one person in my life who would not agree to do this, so I cannot get what I think I need as closure. Hmph.
And this, relating to all of my new and existing relationships! “that starts with getting in touch with what it is I really want AND what I don’t want in terms of both physical sensation and emotional experience” – YES!
This was both beautiful, a deep sharing, and great examples of the value of negotiations. Thank you for sharing this and I think you are on point about the value of this type of emotional labor for all involved people. Trauma preventative one could say, in many ways.