BDSM Basics: Scene Negotiation


Playing Out Loud

One of the most rewarding and fun aspects of BDSM is that of power exchange. Giving and receiving that degree of trust and vulnerability is sacred and the responsibilities that comes along with this exchange are not to be taken lightly. You may have witnessed scenes before where it would seem as if words are wholly unnecessary or that the players just know each other on such an intimate level that there would be no need for any form of “check in”, safeword, etc. Though it’s nice to idealize such play, it is little more than a fantasy. There is so much more than what meets the eye including what goes on before and behind each scene as well as what happens during and even after.

Communication is key in BDSM play. It is essential to conduct a thorough and thoughtful negotiation prior to play, to keep an open dialogue during play to indicate a “go ahead”, “ease up”, or use of a safeword when necessary to call the end of a scene, and a debriefing combined with some form of aftercare at the end. Going through with a kink scene without the aforementioned forms of communication in place can be at a great detriment to all parties involved. The fact is that no one is a mind reader and if you and your play partner(s) can’t share openly with each other when something is right, wrong, sticky, fun, uncomfortable, arousing, etc., then you may want to reevaluate your playtime.

Words spoken aloud aren’t necessarily the only way, though. Sometimes there are gags or other accouterments involved in a scene that would otherwise obstruct one player from speaking clearly. There are many different methods by which scene participants may communicate with one another, but it all starts at the very beginning.

Negotiation Beforehand

Prior to the start of a scene, it is prudent for play partners to discuss what is about to take place. Going over hard limits and soft limits is especially important in order to avoid any potential mishaps. Agreeing on a safeword or some sort of symbol to call the scene’s end is a great way to ensure the safety of all players involved. There are a variety of “Yes/No/Maybe” lists available online for free, which, if you’re just starting out or playing with a new partner(s) can be helpful to get the ball rolling on the conversation of interests and limits. If you’re not sure about something, ask. Always. If you’re curious to try a new type of play, make it clear that it is something you’ve never done before and make sure that you have a full understanding of what it entails. Further, and this can’t be overstated, clarify any kind of medical, physical, mental, or emotional limitations you might have. You might not know what could trigger you during a scene, so it’s best to keep aware just in case and know how to end a scene if something does not feel right.

Communicating During Play

The most standard safewords mimic that of a stoplight. Red means stop, yellow is slow down, and green is go on or go harder. Again, safewords come in all shapes, sizes, and forms so it is important that all players involved understand what the safewords mean specifically. If any accessories are used that would obstruct a player from speaking aloud, doing something like a hand squeeze or foot stomp is also an excellent nonverbal cue to signify your level of comfort. There is always an inherent risk in BDSM play. After all, it creates a headspace of emotional and physical vulnerability. As stated above, you may not know if or how something – especially a type of play that is new to you – might trigger a negative reaction. This is why communication between all players is so vital. It’s not just for the submissive to say “stop”, “slow”, or “go ahead”, but the onus is also on the dominant to check in with their submissive and make sure that the scene is progressing in a safe, sane, and consensual manner. It can be something a simple as meeting each other’s gaze and nodding. It really just depends on what has been agreed upon beforehand.

Aftercare

When the play of a kink scene is over and done with, it’s not quite over just yet. There is still a very important part of the BDSM dynamic to be addressed and that is aftercare. Aftercare is a perfect time to cool down, debrief, and discuss the scene prior, provided that all players involved have returned to a sort of baseline of headspace. It is an opportunity for players to suss out what worked, what didn’t, and what could be improved upon for next time. It is a chance to reset, refresh, and reconnect.

Communication may seem like a daunting chore, but the alternative will only reap negative results. Making sure that everyone involved in a BDSM scene is on the same page and in consensual agreement will make the play go that much smoother and that much more fun. It takes responsible and self-aware individuals to share so much of themselves with one another in the context of kink play, so take that responsibility with honor and care and, of course, don’t forget to enjoy yourselves!


About the Author

Dee Voyse is a proud kinkster who has been active in the BDSM scene for over a decade. She enjoys sharing her experiences in order to inform and educate and, at times, titillate.

Comments

  1. whipmeblue says:

    So genuine and true!

  2. kinknproud says:

    excellent write-up

Speak Your Mind

*