How To Negotiate a Scene
I am going to approach this from the standpoint that two people be they top/bottom, dominant/submissive, sadist/masochist, or whatever term you are comfortable and identify with have already gotten to know each other to some extent. I do not condone any type of play or power exchange between two people who have just met.
So… you have been going to munches and have met someone of interest, you have had an online relationship for a few months and are ready to meet in person, or you have a desire to learn about or experience some type of play and have been introduced to someone in the community who is skilled and trusted. Now what?
Questions asked by the top:
Where can’t I touch you on your body? – This simple question will save both parties a hell of a lot of grief. Not where can I touch you, where can’t I. This immediately tells the top where they can’t go. If genital touching is okay, ASK about penetration. they are not the same thing.
Are you familiar with the green, yellow, red system? – Unless you have played before you need to use this code for safe wording. Unexpected things come up. Past traumas can be brought to the surface, a sensitivity to a certain kind of impact can arise. I recently did electric play with a woman who loved the Mylar pompom when used all over her body, but after we played awhile with my fingers, the metal claws, and other assorted items, I went back to the pompom and she loved it like before, except for two areas on her body that were suddenly red zones. We aren’t sure if a build up of electricity suddenly turned these areas into red zones, but they were. Everywhere else was still green with every check-in, but not these two areas.
Do you have any health issues? – Diabetes, seizures, Fibromyalgia, arthritis, poor circulation. The last is very important if the bottom is to be bound with their hands elevated or their feet tied. Check for good circulation often by touching the fingertips and toes to make sure they are not cold.
What do you think is going to happen when we play? What are you expecting?
Have you ever been (flogged, single tailed, paddled, used electricity, been tied up, etc.), before? – If so, did you have any negative reactions?
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your pain tolerance level? – boundaries can be pushed later. I recommend simply getting to know your bottom during the first play session. It might not make for the ultimately stellar scene, but it is important to get to know your partner before you add the higher level play.
Do you know what type of aftercare you need? – Some need blankets, some a piece of chocolate or candy for the drop in blood sugar, some need to be held until they are able to take care of themselves.
As a rule, check in often when using different implements, strength of impact. Talk about humiliation beforehand. It isn’t always wise to pull out the whole “Dirty little slut” stuff until you are partners who have communicated about humiliation and degradation.
Questions a bottom should ask:
What will you do if I use my red safeword?
Will my safeword be respected IMMEDIATELY?
Have you done ______________ play before? Insert type of play.
I have health issues of ___________________________. Do you know how that might affect my physically during play?
_________________ Can be a trigger for me emotionally and cause panic attacks, emotional trauma, etc.
Do you plan on pushing my boundaries? I don’t advise this first time around but know plenty of Doms and Dommes who think this is okay. Please communicate about this first. Telling your top that you will safeword if the test your boundaries is perfectly okay, especially the first time you play. THIS GOES FOR THOSE WHO HAVE HAD AN ONLINE RELATIONSHIP AS WELL.
Do you provide aftercare?
Will you do check-ins during play to make sure I am okay?
Will you provide sips of water during play?
Do you understand that you will forfeit my consent if you touch me in a place I have said is not okay?
Will you stick to these negotiations regardless of what I may say during a scene? – People often say and do things in subspace that they have not consented to. An ethical top will respect preset limits.
1. Make certain each of you knows where it ISN’T okay to touch and if penetration is acceptable.
2. Try to play in public the first couple of times preferably somewhere a dungeon monitor is present. It doesn’t hurt to give a heads up to them that you are new as partners and what the scene is going to be. This can save a top’s ass as well as a bottoms. No one wants to feel as if consent was violated after the scene is over.
3. Make certain health issues are discussed including mental health ones that may be triggered.
4. Using a safeword is not a sign of weakness, does not mean you don’t trust your top, and doesn’t have to stop the scene 100%. If things can be talked about or changed and you can resume then great, if not, that’s okay. There is no shame in a safeword.
5. If your potential top has no idea about the importance of checking in or fails to ask about touching or health issues, speak up or look elsewhere.
6. I tend to think it’s a good idea for both the top and the bottom to be known by someone you know.
7. If sex and penetration are going to be involved, be frank and adult, and ask about sexual histories and make certain safe sex is followed.
Asking questions is not disrespectful. Anyone who tells you that you are being disrespectful or topping from the bottom during pre scene negotiation should be avoided. Turn and walk away. They are more concerned with their ego that your safety and peace of mind.