As someone who identifies on the submissive/bottom side of the tilted fence, I really enjoy it when a partner has that take-charge and confident sort of attitude, especially when it comes to negotiation. Kind of like how it’s an indication that a restaurant serves really good food when they bring out fresh-baked still-warm bread from the oven over stale dinner rolls, the way a top conducts a scene negotiation is usually an indication of their experience and talent in leading the scene itself.
The riggers I’ve played with tend to be the best when it comes to scene negotiations. I think it’s a byproduct of them having to take classes in order to get any good at the thing they do. It’s kind of built in – understanding safety, questions to ask, etc. – and it totally inspires confidence in me to be able to let go and let them lead the scene.
And, while there are definitely classes for things like spanking, flogging, and other fun impactey things – it’s kind of a skill you can learn on your own without the benefit of learning from many others’ years of experience.
No, not all tops are created equally, and frankly – some of them are quite mediocre at scene negotiation.
So, as much as I would really dig for a new top to be a fuckin’ pro at this stuff, sometimes I’m the more experienced one in the scene and I have to lead the negotiation myself, or risk getting hurt in a bad way.
That’s not really a risk I’m prone to taking lightly. This being my body and my emotional well-being, I’m kind of the head honcho in charge of taking care of it.
So when a super cute dude asks me to play and I’m like, well….hell yeah. I want his super cute hands to be all fondling and grabby and stuff – I have to be prepared to deal with the possibility that super cute dude has been a “dom” for about six hours and needs a little guidance.
Here are some things that have helped me be more comfortable in leading the scene negotiations.
1) Remembering that I hold the highest responsibility for my safety. It is absolutely okay to ask someone how long they’ve been doing X, what their experience is in Y, and asking to inspect and approve each and every toy they want to use on me.
2) It is absolutely awesome for me to look at a toy and say “nope, not that one.”
3) If they try to convince me at that point that the toy I just noped out on is “not that bad” I can absolutely end the scene before it starts.
4) I have written out my list of limits and requirements and I have them pretty well memorized. It is okay to tell a new play partner “do not bruise me.” It is okay to tell a new play partner “Don’t hit my feet.” It is okay to tell a new play partner “I like to untangle the rope at the end of the scene as part of my decompression.” Everything from what gets used to what my needs are for aftercare are absolutely awesome to discuss up front.
5) I can control whether or not I let myself go into subspace. If I’ve found myself having to lead the scene negotiation, it is absolutely okay for me not to be the worlds greatest and most responsive bottom so that I can stay alert and keep tabs on what the top is doing. I can still have a fun time without going into orbit.
6) It is absolutely super-duper cool for me to correct a top mid-scene if they are going too hard, hitting the wrong spot, touching something they didn’t ask to touch, or doing something I’m kind of uncomfortable with. It is absolutely okay if he or she fucks up and I correct them and they say “Oh, sorry” and doesn’t do it again. Their next bottom will thank me.
7) If they don’t like it, they can go find someone else to play with.
Any other bottoms have some tips on handling scene negotiations from the bottom? Any tops out there learn from something their bottom has brought up that they didn’t think about?
I’m a big fan of the “exchange” part of the “power exchange.” Can you tell? ,k