BDSM Negotiations: Do’s and Don’ts

Here are some practical tips to get the most out of BDSM negotiations with your partner.

Negotiation might not seem like the sexiest activity in the world, but when done right within the context of BDSM, a fruitful back and forth could be considered a form of foreplay.

Think of negotiations as conversations between risk-aware individuals who explore wants, needs and expectations prior to a BDSM scene. Negotiations establish clear lines of communication and consent with your partner, and they will help you relax and immerse yourselves in the experience of BDSM (bondage, discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism).

Tips for successful negotiations

Follow these simple do’s and don’ts for a thorough and enjoyable negotiation process.

Don’t delay. Don’t wait until the action gets hot and heavy to start negotiating. Some spontaneity can be fun, but unplanned additions to a BDSM scene can open the door to consensual gray areas. This is an extremely important point because participants may find it difficult to provide consent once they have entered a submissive/dominant space.

Keep an open mind. Your partner may not agree to everything you want to do, and vice versa. That’s OK. Be willing to accommodate any recent injuries or past traumas for yourself and your partner(s).

Stay sober. Negotiations are conversations about consent. You cannot consent to kink, edgeplay or other sexual activities while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Use “I” statements. Make suggestions such as “I want to feel vulnerable” or “I would like to use this toy.” Not only will this leave room for some creativity, it will also put the ball in your partner’s court. They won’t feel pressured to do a laundry list of actions to you. (Unless you have a fetish for lists, of course.)

Don’t yuck their yum. If your new potential partner suggests doing something that really turns you off, gracefully decline. Appreciate the level of trust and vulnerability it took for this person to tell you about their desires. Don’t shame them.

Always negotiate with new partners. This is not negotiable. However, once you’ve played together a few times and become familiar with one another, it might not be necessary to negotiate every single scene.

Don’t be pushy. If your partner does not consent to your desired kink, do not coerce, persuade, manipulate or guilt them into doing it. You need their ongoing, enthusiastic consent to keep the scene fun.

Be straightforward. Use clear language when describing your wants, needs and expectations. Beating around the bush (pun intended) could lead to unfortunate mishaps.

Do your homework. Educate yourself on the risks involved with your chosen kink, and research those risks to understand how they could affect you personally, as well as your partner(s).

Cover your bases. Bring up topics such as hard limits, what’s completely off the table and safe words. Negotiating by exclusion might be a better way to go about discussions if you are just starting out and don’t yet know your preferences, or even if you are an experienced fetishist with a lengthy list of interests.

Don’t forget about aftercare. Talk about how you want to unwind once your kinky fun is done. Aftercare can be just as important as the BDSM scene itself and should also be discussed and agreed upon.

Advocate for yourself. Step out of your roles during negotiations to create a space where you are both partners in this endeavor. Even if you are normally submissive in your relationship, you have every right to voice your needs during negotiation; it may be especially important for the submissive partner to express needs and wants.

Don’t be afraid to walk away. Trust your instincts. If you sense red flags while negotiating, remember that you can always choose to end the conversation and not proceed with the scene. This can be difficult when physical attraction is involved, but your personal health and safety should always come first.

Information is power

The more informed you are going in, the more comfortable you will be with the negotiation process. Remember, these do not have to be completely formal conversations. You can flirt and even use some dirty talk if you’re into that. The possibilities are endless.

By putting everything on the table, so to speak, you allow yourself to fully explore the depths of your kinks with your partner.

Read the full article on Giddy.

Posted by

Experienced writer with a background in performing arts and creative collaboration.