Basic BDSM Negotiation

Basic BDSM Negotiation

Are you and your play partner(s) curious about BDSM? Have you thought about what it takes to be successful as a dominant or submissive? Like a diamond, there are so many facets to the world of BDSM. When BDSM first struck our own curiosity, we had no idea where to begin. In the beginning (and also present day), negotiation and communication have played a vital role in every single one our BDSM scenes. BDSM play should ALWAYS be SAFE, SANE, and CONSENSUAL…please be sure to make this your #1 rule at all times.

Below are some key guidelines at building a meaningful BDSM negotiation:

Determine Your Roles

First, each person involved needs to determine their role in a BDSM relationship. There are 2 main roles: the dominant, and the submissive. The dominant is the person who carries out the physical and mental acts upon his/her submissive. The submissive is simply the recipient of such acts. When it comes to being a submissive, believe it or not, they are always in control of the BDSM scene due to setting limits and clear expectations. It’s also important to mention that some people might have a preference to play both dominant and submissive roles (aka a ‘switch’).

Discuss Wants, Needs & Expectations

Once each person’s role has been set, the next step is determining wants, needs, and expectations of each participant in the BDSM relationship. This phase of “discovery” will take a great deal of communication, honesty, and openness. During this time some intense Q&A will happen often resulting in some serious self-reflection and self-discovery. Each person involved should take time to ask (and answer) the “who, what, why, and how’s” of the potential BDSM relationship. The ultimate goal is to ensure that each participant is a good fit for the relationship. Once all parties are certain they’re a good fit, it will help guide other parts of the BDSM negotiation. In some cases, potential participants may find that some are not a good fit for each other. If so, be patient and continue to look for a better match.

Establish Rights & Responsibilities

Secondly, each person should have the opportunity to establish rights and responsibilities that are mutually agreed upon by all participants. Some rights may include the ability, by either party, to terminate the BDSM relationship at any time. Or, the ability for certain participants to have other relationships outside of any predetermined scenes. Responsibilities and rights are very important and should be written down.

Some common dominant responsibilities include:

  • Duty to protect submissive from emotional & physical harm
  • Not misuse their power
  • Have control over her/his Never punish a submissive out of anger.
  • To ensure he/she abides by all established play & safety

Some common submissive responsibilities include:

  • Abide by any rules mutually agreed
  • Honestly communicate experience, needs, desires, &

Set Play Limits

Limits are key components to successful BDSM negotiations and are considered as the rules of conduct in a scene and anyone participating. Most limits are considered to be either hard or soft. A hard limit is something that is strictly prohibited and often varies from person to person. Some common examples of hard limits are: needle play, blood/knife play, and watersports (peeing on submissive). Be careful to never violate a hard limit as it can often end a scene and possibly even the BDSM relationship.

Soft limits are acts that an individual is hesitant, nervous, anxious, or cautious in doing. These limits often require additional consent immediately before proceeding and extra caution while performing. For example, a submissive might be open, but nervous, about being hogtied. During a scene, the dominant may ask the submissive, “May I hog-tie you?” It is then at the submissive’s discretion whether to approve or refuse to be hogtied. If the sub says no, the dominant has a duty to respect the answer and move onto something else.

We recommend sitting down and discussing these limits in great detail. Write each potential BDSM activity on a piece of paper, discuss the activity in great detail, then write “yes”, “no”, or “maybe” next to each activity. Those that are “no” will be the hard limits and anything “maybe” are considered soft limits. Anything “yes” is fair game. Before conducting a scene, ALWAYS review the limits outlined before proceeding.

Create Safe Words or Gestures

Safe words are extremely important and should always be set before play begins. Safe words are code words used by a submissive to communicate their current emotional or physical state. The safe word is used to proceed with a scene, stop a scene, or continue with less intensity. For example, if a submissive is in pain or wants the act to stop, they could say the word “red.” If the sub likes the act, but needs it to be toned down a bit, they could say the word “yellow.” A submissive can also use “green” when they are enjoying their emotional and physical state.

In scenes where a submissive is gagged, it’s also very important to establish gestures to replace safe words. Something as simple as nodding “yes” or “no” is sufficient. Or, wiggling the right foot, could mean “yes”, or, “I’m fine.” Wiggling the left foot could mean “stop”, or, “I’m not okay.” There really is no right or wrong safe word or safe gesture…just be sure that each of you understand what you’ve decided to use.

Develop an Adequate Aftercare Plan

Once a BDSM scene is over, it’s not a good idea to simply untie your submissive and leave. BDSM scenes are very intense, both mentally and physically. Due to such intense experiences of pain and pleasure, the sympathetic nervous system response gets triggered causing adrenaline and endorphins to rush through the body pushing the submissive into what’s known as subspace.

Subspace can be different from person to person. However, many subs (including us) feel like they are in a trance-like state that often includes an out-of-body experience. Many submissives become detached from reality, incoherent, and succumbed by deep exhaustion. It can be very dangerous leaving a submissive in their subspace without adequate aftercare. Be sure to discuss together and write down an aftercare action plan…and stick to it when the scene is over. As a dominant, here are some things you may want to include in aftercare to bring your sub back “down to earth”:

  • Talk to your sub – praise their performance, reassure them they’re
  • Show affection – cuddle with them, give them hugs and
  • Warm them up – wrap them in a warm blanket, sip on warm herbal
  • Rehydrate – drink plenty of
  • Treat impact zones with a soothing lotion or oil (aloe works great for us).
  • Discuss the scene – mutually express feelings &

 Miscellaneous Tips

As earlier stated, BDSM is extremely complex and multifaceted. No two relationships are the same nor are the activities in each scene. There’s such a huge amount of information to be shared that an entire 300 page book could be written. Here are a few more tips to help:

  1. For those that are wanting to make this a permanent lifestyle should create an in-depth contract including everything we’ve previously mentioned above in great detail. Note: these contracts are not legally binding and are simply used to guide your dominant/submissive
  2. In some BDSM scenes, there can be multiple people A dominant could have multiple subs, or a sub could have multiple dominants. In either case, make sure all roles are properly defined, limits are set, and understood/enforced by all participants.
  3. For submissives: upon first communication with an unfamiliar dominant, be sure they have some form of negotiation in place. Discuss limits – if they have no idea what you’re talking about, discontinue the conversation and find someone It’s likely they lack experience and could do more harm than pleasure.
  4. As humans, we often develop new curiosities and desires. BDSM negotiations should have the ability to be updated as the relationship grows and there’s a willingness to explore new desires and
  5. BDSM should be enjoyable to all participants!!!

Well, there you have it! We can’t stress enough how important negotiations can be before BDSM play begins. Diving right into BDSM play without negotiation or an action plan can be very harmful, even if you’re playing with your significant other. The ultimate goal is for any and all participants to find enjoyment and pleasure in safe, sane, and consensual ways.

Liam McKenzie on FacebookLiam McKenzie on InstagramLiam McKenzie on PinterestLiam McKenzie on TwitterLiam McKenzie on Wordpress
Liam McKenzie
Liam McKenzie is an aspiring sex educator and writer of all things relating to sexuality. He is the co-owner of the website Couples Playthings, along with his wife, Robin. Together, they share a passion for sexual exploration and continually strive to promote sexual health and wellness to anyone willing to listen. Both Liam and Robin find sexual exploration to be liberating and their ultimate goal is to help change society’s view of sexuality to be less “taboo” to one that is more socially accepted. In their opinion, no human being should feel guilt, shame, or be held in contempt in regards to their own sexuality, beliefs, and preferences. To learn more, feel free to visit their site, www.couplesplaythings.com.
There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to review.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *