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How to Negotiate a BDSM Scene

Negotiation is the process where people discuss and agree upon the details of a scene or dynamic. This can include everything from hard limits (activities that are off the table) to soft limits (activities that might be considered but with caution), as well as preferences, desires, and consent for specific actions or roles.

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Negotiations are extremely important within BDSM. How much you negotiate will depend on how well you know the other person. A long term relationship will obviously require less negotiations for a scene as opposed to playing with someone for the first time. Don't base your negotiations off of anyone else. I like very deep and thorough negotiations when I play with anyone new or even shift the type of play I'm doing with someone.


Negotiations are going to be unique to each person. This is directed more towards people who are newer to negotiations, but could be a great refresher for everyone!


The Building Blocks: Trust and Communication


Trust is the bedrock of every successful BDSM negotiation, providing a secure foundation for both parties to freely explore their desires. This trust is cultivated by creating open and candid communication. During negotiations, everyone should feel entirely at ease expressing their needs, voicing concerns, and outlining their boundaries without any apprehension of judgment or undue pressure.



The Negotiation Process


Initiating the Conversation:

Negotiations begin with a conversation between parties. It's important to choose a comfortable and private space where both parties can openly discuss their desires, expectations, and limits. We have a table or couch in the back of the Dungeon that you’re welcome to use for that purpose.


Checklists and Questionnaires:

You can use checklists or questionnaires as a starting point for negotiations. These list various BDSM activities, allowing everyone to indicate their interest level, experience, and boundaries for each. Kink Academy has a few awesome books for this purpose:

The Yes No Maybe Workbook https://amzn.to/3FkxRh2

A very extensive list of kinks for you to go through and think about if you are interested, might be interested, it's a soft limit, or a hard limit.

Authentic Kink https://amzn.to/3ZW9YGr

A workbook for you to keep track of scenes you've done, things you liked about them, things you would change, and any other notes you want to keep track of.

We have our form available for any member to ask for, or grab.

I have included that form and the cheat sheet that is above as a pdf you can download below.


Negotiations forms
.pdf
Download PDF • 876KB

Safe Words and/or Non-Verbal Signals:

Negotiations also include touching on safe words. In our space we prefer the traffic light system so everyone is on the same page. But this can change in private play. If you are participating in a scene where one party can’t speak, create some type of non verbal signal for both the participants and the Dungeon Monitors. These can be a bell, dropping an item, raising a hand, etc. Safe words allow anyone to stop or slow down the scene if they become uncomfortable or need a break.


Limits and Boundaries:

Clearly define your hard and soft limits during negotiations. This ensures that both parties have a clear understanding of what is and isn't acceptable within the scene or dynamic.


Health and Safety:

Discuss any health concerns, allergies, or medical conditions that may affect the scene. Example: If you have low blood pressure, suspensions can be hard for you. Or a latex allergy and you’re storing your toys in a bag that has latex in it.


Aftercare:

Negotiations should also include aftercare to ensure the well-being and emotional support of all parties involved. Make sure you are clear about what you will or won’t do. If you are not a cuddler and you are playing with someone who needs that, see if you can find a middle ground or play with different people.



Consent and Negotiation


In BDSM, consent is explicit, informed, and enthusiastic. All parties must willingly agree to any activity, without coercion. Consent can be revoked at any time, even mid-scene, with your safe words. If you continue a form of play after consent has been withdrawn, you are now committing assault. Here is one of my favorite books on consent if you'd like to do a deeper dive.

The Art of Receiving and Giving: The Wheel of Consent https://amzn.to/45CRv2C


The Role of Consent Violations


Consent violations are serious breaches of trust in the BDSM community. These occur when an agreed-upon boundary is crossed without consent. It's crucial to recognize that consent violations are unacceptable and can lead to serious consequences within the community, including expulsion. If you ever feel like your consent is violated and need a neutral 3rd party involved, please reach out to our Consent Response Team. The contact info is in the bathroom or you can reach out via our website and we will give you the link.


Negotiation and D/s Relationships


Negotiation isn't solely for one-time scenes. In (D/s) relationships, negotiation extends to establishing the dynamics and rules that will guide the relationship. In these cases, negotiations might cover everything from daily protocols to long-term goals and expectations.


In Conclusion


Negotiations are a vital piece of what holds our diverse and dynamic community together. They foster trust, ensure consent, and provide a roadmap for safe and enjoyable experiences. Open and honest negotiations ensure that both parties are having their needs met.


TL;DR

Negotiations are important. Talk to the person you’re negotiating with honestly and clearly. Don’t do things not negotiated. Check the cheat sheet graphic included above.


Thank you for joining me! Let me know what questions you have about negotiations in the comments. Or any other topics you'd like me to cover in upcoming posts!




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Thank you, wonderfully explained & love the links/

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Thank you. Very helpful.

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