Let’s talk about Negotiation

Let’s talk about Negotiation

Negotiation is a Fancy Word for Talking

Negotiations aren’t a one time thing either. You’ll come back to this over and over again in your relationship. Will you have a contract? Do you need a checklist? What exactly does a negotiation sound like? 

I think negotiations start very early on. As the idea for today’s “30 Days of d/s” says, negotiation means talking.
While one major subject to negotiate is limits, I will not talk about those too much, as I feel limits will be a separate topic within the coming month. Also I believe that negotiation is about more than just limits.

When I hear “negotiation” in the d/s context, I think of a certain type of talking. It’s not talking about every day events or sports. It’s not work-related. It isn’t a discussion about politics or worldview.
D/s negotiations are different. They can be a way to get to know each other better or be an evaluation.

Before writing this, I had a short conversation with Michael on that matter. He said that he often feels that negotiation means the dom wants something and it’s negotiated how that can be achieved.
While I certainly came across people who believe exactly that, I have had the experience there’s a belief out there that negotiation is something that happens in the beginning of the relationship and won’t be discussed again.

Obviously both thoughts are not how things should be.
The negotiations in the beginning of a d/s partnership are a way to get to know the partner, how they feel, what they want or don’t want or would like to do.
Later on rules and habits and all that need to be evaluated again and again. How does a certain task make both feel? Is it still working for both? What could be changed/added/improved?

Michael and I do that every now and then. Sometimes he’ll ask me how I feel about the rules we have or a recent add-on we made. And he offers his opinion. It’s not that we sit down and have a serious conversation every time. Often it’s during a call or a chat. It is simply one of the things we do.
There have been things which we started doing, but somehow they didn’t catch on and were abandoned. Without any talk at all.

And then there are those times when he suggests something new or I express an interest in whatever it is.
The most recent example is Meal Control. He mentioned it and we talked. I had a lot of follow-up questions and I’d say we are still in negotiations on it.
What we usually end up doing it we give it a try. A trial-week.
Rules are set and even throughout that week, rules are adjusted. One can’t think of every possibility. Because of that, nothing can be set in stone. And after the week we revisit all that happened, how we felt and decide where we go from here.

Negotiation is indeed a fancy word for talking. It makes it sound so formal. That is not how it should be. Talking is always very important, in every relationship. I won’t say it’s more important in d/s than in other forms for relationships, but at least as important.
If a contract is what works for you, go for it. I know it’s not for me. Just think of all the rewriting we’d have to do all the time….
It doesn’t really matter what the negotiations look like, as long as there’s communication on those important subjects.

Learn more about the 30 Days of D/S at LovingBdsm

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  1. Negotiation is fundamentally different from conversation. The conversation can be empty chatter about nothing. Negotiations always have specific goals and end with the achievement or non-achievement of these goals. Further relations are based on the results of the negotiations. Therefore, it is important.

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