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Posts Tagged ‘negotiation’

I’m answering one question today, since its content seems to have launched me into a complete post about the topic. Given my general long-windedness, this may become a pattern. But please: do continue to send your questions to delilah@dommedelilah.com , or comment here with your kinky queries, and I will answer them in due time!

Dear Delilah,

As a dominant woman, frequently I get approached by guys who think the experience should be all about them and what they want. “I want you to do X, then Y, then Z!” You’ve probably had this experience too. Obviously, I know what I think about it… but what would you say to these guys about why this tactic may not work? What would you suggest they try instead?

This is an interesting question, since it’s more asking me to pass along advice to unnamed submissives than to help you with this problem, which you already know what you think about. But thanks – it gives me a chance to think about this, and pass along my thoughts. Hopefully they’ll be helpful to you as well, but I think you’ll find that answers to this question vary for different people.

For one thing, it is – or at least can be – very different to approach a professional dominatrix as opposed to a dominant in the scene. For me, I rather expect – and even appreciate – a submissive who tells me what he likes and what he hopes I will do to him up front. One of my clients even arrives with a kind of script, which – guess what? – makes my job easier.

However, I don’t like a potential client who approaches with demands and entitlements, which makes me feel like a kinky jukebox and not a human being. Nor do I enjoy clients who pretend that they’re all into only what I like, and then don’t enjoy the session or get upset that I didn’t do x, y or z.

But what you’re talking about is being a dominant woman – someone who lives the lifestyle and only plays that role. As a switch, I can often have a very good time with someone who approaches me and says “I want you to do x, y and z.” I can also imagine that people new to dominance might enjoy the input of a more experienced submissive when planning scenes within a new relationship. But I can well imagine that a “true dominant” would find that really annoying.

So, submissives: some tips – both for approaching professionals, and for approaching dominants in the scene.

Figure out if you really only want particular things done to you, or if you really want to play with a particular person. This can be tricky, since usually it’s a synergy of both. I have often found, both from the dominant and submissive perspective, that I’ve been willing to do something I wouldn’t ordinarily do for the sake of someone I was truly interested in. I have only occasionally found that I really just wanted a particular thing done to me/to do a particular thing, and it didn’t really matter much who the other person in question was.

If you can untangle this, however, here’s what I recommend: if you want acts, go to a professional. A professional dominant is more likely to be able and willing to accommodate your particular kinks and execute them well. When you approach them, however, do so with respect and with an eye to what they might be interested in doing, too. Tell them what you’re interested in, but don’t make it a list of demands.

I absolutely love Mistress Matisse’s page on “slave training.” Read it for a great explication on different types of submission and how to know what you’re really asking for when you approach a professional.

If you want to play with a particular person, well then, that’s a different story: you have to know how to approach them specifically. That’s hard to know, but there are a few rules with which you probably can’t go wrong:

Do not throw yourself at someone’s feet. The last thing a dominant, professional or otherwise, wants is for some yahoo they’ve never played with before to drop to his or her knees and start hurling honorifics like Mistress, Sir, or Supreme Goddess. If you want to play with someone, you need to approach them as a human being first.

Strike up conversation first. How do you know if you want to play with someone if you don’t even know anything about them except how hot they look? Find an opportunity to start a conversation about something ordinary – preferably something that doesn’t have to do with kink. If you’re in a kinky setting, this might be difficult; on the other hand, it might lead into hotter topics sooner if the chemistry is there. If you’re not in a kinky setting, ease into it.

Observe them playing. If you know a person you’d like to play with, and know that they do in fact play, you should find an opportunity to observe them doing so. If this isn’t possible (you/they don’t do play parties or go to clubs), then find a way to slip it into conversation once you’ve opened up to each other a bit. Find out what they like doing. If you can get them talking about it, there’s a good chance of your getting a sense from their tone about whether they’d like to do it to you.

Talk about what you like without demanding it. This is likely to come late in the game, when you’ve already started talking about playing together. Before you start, or when you’re planning your session, talk a little about what you like. This can be difficult and embarrassing, but sometimes that can be part of the fun. I know I enjoy watching a submissive blush and stammer as s/he talks about his or her kinks.

Talk about what you don’t want. As a submissive seeking to play with a new partner, what you don’t want can be even more important than what you do. After all, if you get to play with that hot new person, and you already know that they’re into some things you like, then it’s probably going to be good for you so long as they know what to avoid. Make sure you make your hard limits – things that you absolutely do not want – clear, and also mention things that you don’t generally like, with the caveat that some dominants will enjoy pushing those boundaries for their own amusement.

For further thoughts on this, see this marvelous recent post about communication between kinky partners. Remember that sometimes you have to talk to each other, especially at the beginning, even when it’s embarrassing or uncomfortable; even when it sucks.

It all kind of boils down to the usual: don’t be a dick. Treat other people like human beings, not machines. Have respect for other people’s desires and boundaries as well as your own. But it’s amazing how often some people need those simple reminders.

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