Friday, August 7, 2015

Guest Post: BDSM and Negotiation

by Sherri Hayes

I’ve seen a lot of discussion on negotiation in BDSM relationships. The process seems to be fascinating to some, like it’s a new concept, but isn’t negotiation what happens in any relationship? Or maybe I should say, isn’t that what should happen in any relationship?

Whenever I research a topic, I like to go back to the basics. What does negotiation mean exactly? According to the dictionary, negotiation is: mutual discussion and arrangement of the terms of a transaction or agreement.

Seems pretty simple, right? Both parties talk and find common ground.

In vanilla (non-BDSM) relationships, the process is often lumped in the ‘getting to know you’ category. But should it be?

Negotiation is one concept where I feel those that practice BDSM tend to get it right more than those in more conventional relationships. Because of the exaggerated dynamics that can usually be found in BDSM relationships, expectations are more clearly laid out and discussed in most cases. What does each party want out of the relationship? Do they desire something long-term or short-term? What are each person’s hard limits (things they are not willing to do). What do they want to try, experience?

In vanilla relationships this can be anything from getting married to children to career goals for each partner. These same things are often on the negotiating table of a BDSM relationship as well, but it goes a step farther than that. Not many vanilla couples I know talk about their expectations of each other in the bedroom. Many times, sex is allowed to develop ‘naturally’. The problem with this, however, is that the partners can’t read each other’s minds. If communication isn’t there, then how does each partner know that the other is getting what they want and need out of the relationship, sexually and otherwise?

So what does negotiation mean in a relationship? It can actually mean a great many things. There are some couples out there that write everything down. In BDSM, this is known as a contract. Others take a less clinical approach and discuss things regularly with open communication. If one partner is interested in trying something new, they bring it up to the other partner, maybe do some research, and then decide as a couple if it’s something they want to pursue.

I recently read a wonderful blog post from a submissive regarding communication between her and her Sir. They are just starting out on their BDSM journey, and her blog posts always have great insights into the real life struggles of living and communicating in a D/s relationship. Here is the link to her post if you’d like to check it out.http://onbeingsubmissive.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/you-have-to-talk-for-this-to-work/


How about you? How do you and your partner address new facets to your relationship? Do you have a specific time and place for discussion? Do you have a contract that lays everything out?

(Originally posted 10/10/13 on BDSM Book Reviews)

Author Bio 

Sherri spent most of her childhood detesting English class. It was one of her least favorite subjects because she never seemed to fit into the standard mold. She wasn't good at spelling, or following grammar rules, and outlines made her head spin. For that reason, Sherri never imagined becoming an author.

At the age of thirty, all of that changed. After getting frustrated with the direction a television show was taking two of its characters, Sherri decided to try her hand at writing an alternate ending, and give the characters their happily ever after. By the time the story finished, it was one of the top ten read stories on the site, and her readers were encouraging her to write more.

Nearly eight years later, Sherri is the author of eight full-length novels, and two short stories. Writing has become a creative outlet that allows her to explore a wide range of emotions, while having fun taking her characters through all the twists and turns she can create. You can find a current list of all of Sherri’s books and sign up for her monthly newsletter at www.sherrihayesauthor.com

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