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Negotiation for scenes, and finding a partner

27 July 1997

This discussion took place on #SanTara on Sunday, the 27th of July, 1997.

This discussion covers two main themes: negotiation and limit-setting for scenes, and finding a partner (with a side discussion about the significance of age difference).

The principal participants were:

  • Arved
  • Flynn^
  • frogaroo, a Dom, with his submissive Alycia
  • warrigal
  • LordMilz^
  • spider_doll, a new submissive
  • Alexa^^, a Mistress, with her slave dina
  • BlackPrince, a Dom, with his slave Destiny
  • lois-lane, a slave

Abbreviations used
LM LordMilz^
Frog frogaroo
BP BlackPrince
VL Virtual-Life. Used to describe a relationship conducted other than in person. Eg. via IRC, email or by telephone
RL Real-Life. Used to describe a person-to-person relationship
24/7 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week. Used to describe full-time way of life rather than a "play" life-style
yo as in 24yo, 24 years old

<Alexa^^> tonight's topics are: scene negotiation and finding the right Dom/sub

<Alexa^^> we have posted some discussion points to the list and will begin tonight with scene negotiation

<Alexa^^> the best point to start with, I guess, is limit setting

<Alexa^^> I open the floor with the open question ... "what are some safe sane limits?"

<Alexa^^> would anyone like to start us off tonight?

<warrigal> negotiate safe words

<Alexa^^> yes LM..

<LordMilz^> well, at a minimum it is safe and sane to agree not to break any laws

<frogaroo> laws of nature?

<LordMilz^> no - laws that you can be prosecuted for

* Alexa^^ smiles ...

<Alexa^^> ok. Hard question to answer ...

<Alexa^^> maybe: what limits would YOU set for a scene with a new/old partner? ...

<Alexa^^> well, for me I have to understand my own limits as regards what tools I will use and where

<spider_doll> it depends on the partner *soft smile*

<warrigal> no-go areas

<LordMilz^> I don't know if it is the limits themselves - or the actual fact of doing the negotiations with each partner. It will be different as spider_doll says

<LordMilz^> yes - you have to know your own limitations - but that is part of the bargaining itself

<LordMilz^> what about this: what part does the sub play in the negotiations?

<Alexa^^> there are no 'right or wrong' answers to this question. What we are looking for is comments, personal experiences, suggestions, etc.

* frogaroo thinks the sub holds control in the negotiation

<warrigal> any pre-existing ailments that could cause a problem

<Alexa^^> such as warrigal?

<warrigal> for me this means soles of feet are a no-go area , any breathing problems that could affect a scene. These are mainly concerning a new partner of course, but injuries can affect all of us

<Flynn^> I would think that the sub has equal input in any negotiations since it is for their safety (in general) that such negotiations exist

<Flynn^> also ... I would be very careful with things like back injuries etc., or anything which meant serious trouble in sustaining a position

<Alexa^^> thanks Flynn ... anyone else?

<spider_doll> i think the Dom's part is very vital as sometimes a sub does not even understand their limits, that certain things may even trigger such powerful good or bad responses

<frogaroo> Alycia says injuries could be mental ...

<LordMilz^> as spider_doll says - many scenes are about extending limits so maybe it is more important to look at the physical reasons why there may be problems and then leave the other parts to safe-wording (or the equivalent if gagged, etc.)

<frogaroo> limits may vary from scene to scene depending on mood, etc.

<Alexa^^> anyone like to add anything?

<Alexa^^> ok ... Well that leads to the next point: how do you ask for what you want?

<warrigal> honesty is the only policy here. Use plain English or whatever other language you are comfortable with. It is in your own best interest

* BlackPrince nods ... I agree. Be open about your needs and interests

<Flynn^> I think you need to be honest and open about your needs, about what you want and what you want done to you. But you have to start slow and test things out without being critical of each other or each other's needs

<LordMilz^> there is another question here: how do you know you are both speaking the same language? Especially with one experienced person - and an inexperienced one?

* warrigal nods

* spider_doll agrees with LordMilz

* Alexa^^ nods good point ... BP?

<BlackPrince> There is another matter that you should consider in discussion. It has to do with boundary pushing ... You need to discuss this as well. While you may find common interests during early discussion, often things can go sour, if you as a Dom or as a sub don't discuss which boundaries you want to push or which need pushing

<Alexa^^> thanks BP ... spider doll?

<spider_doll> it is important that both feel the freedom and trust to communicate ... and that both listen ... with more than just their ears ... that is why this lifestyle is about more than just sex ... for all need to understand a great deal about their partners and their own expectations and needs and this takes time and trust ... to build up the ability to communicate in this manner

<warrigal> very true, spider

* Alexa^^ smiles great!

* Alexa^^ relays from dina that she writes down what she can't speak out loud and find it helps her

<Alexa^^> she has trouble speaking openly about what she wants so she writes what she thinks down and shows it to me

* Flynn^ nods

* BlackPrince nods ... Yes, if writing works for you, that's OK

<warrigal> that is a great idea. Sometimes it is easier to write things down than to say them

<Alexa^^> would anyone else like to comment? ... Frog?

<frogaroo> Alycia tells me that for her, it's not so much negotiation but more a state of permanent trust ... but we are in a full-time relationship

<Alexa^^> thanks Frog ... BP?

<BlackPrince> Destiny often writes me e-mails, even though she is no more than 3 feet away at the time ... It gives her the opportunity to think through what she wants to say in detail

<BlackPrince> Use whatever communication medium WORKS for you

* frogaroo agrees wholeheartedly

* warrigal agrees

<Alexa^^> For me as a Domme, I have limits too that I have to make sure my sub knows of ... there is a lot of emphasis on sub limits but I find very little on Dom limits

* Alexa^^ smiles...

* BlackPrince agrees with Alexa ... yup!

<Alexa^^> There are certain things I wont do ... and I have to make sure it is explained clearly in the initial stages before either one of us falls into the emotional traps and then feels guilty about saying no to things

<warrigal> that is something that most people don't think about

* Alexa^^ nods

<Alexa^^> but as a Dom it is my job to make sure that my sub fully understands what will be done

<warrigal> communication must be a two-way street

* BlackPrince observes he is as acutely aware of his own boundaries as he is of his sub's boundaries

<LordMilz^> yes - this issue of what a Dom/me will and won't do is important - and it may change from situation to situation

* spider_doll everyone has boundaries ... and everyone is in need of growth

* warrigal nods to spider

* BlackPrince smiles

* frogaroo scratches his ear

<Flynn^> I think that being honest with yourself to ask for what you want, having your partner honest with themselves enough to ask for what they want and then both having the courage to say yes or no or, perhaps, we will try it once--with a special safe-word to say, "no, it isn't happening", or at least this part of the scene isn't happening but go on ;)

* warrigal nods to Flynn^

<BlackPrince> One of the problems on the 'net is that you often find people trying only to satisfy their own needs ... It is selfishness and ultimately that doesn't work in BDSM

<BlackPrince> On the 'net is is too easy to forget that there are REAL people pushing the keys on the computer

* spider_doll nods in agreement with BlackPrince

<Alexa^^> that leads us to the next discussion point: VL scening. Are the responsibilities the same or different to RL?

<BlackPrince> Personally, I don't often scene any more online ... BUT ... when I do, I concentrate as much as I can ... I only use one window and I try to make it as real as I can ... in that sense it is still a pale approximation of RL

<BlackPrince> BUT I believe I owe it to the person I am with to be as concerned as I would be in real life

<BlackPrince> The reality is that VR scening cannot be as intense as RL, but you sure have the responsibility to try

* warrigal nods in agreement with BP

* Alexa^^ nods ... What about emotional responsibilities VL and RL? Can anyone comment?

<LordMilz^> in regard to the original point, there is always the possibility of getting to a spot where you want to bring things into RL; if you are not REAL online then there are great dangers that could be encountered. These need to be limited as much as possible. Hence - be real online - so you have the option of being real in RL

* BlackPrince nods agreement with LM ...

<spider_doll> VL allows you to taste in some ways the sensations the same event might trigger in RL so it needs to be undertaken with some care and thought ... that is, if both are even interested in RL

* warrigal nods

<Flynn^> When you scene VL, you have to treat it as if it is real life, even for just the time that it is

<Flynn^> you have to be as sincere and honest and open as if the person were standing next to you. This is because of a couple of reasons:

<Flynn^> one: you can tell,

<Flynn^> two: text is so limited that even the slightest poor choice of words may lead to spoiling the scene

<Flynn^> From my point of view, I try and do absolutely everything I can to create the atmosphere for the person I am with to make them happy and pleased and above all safe with what I am doing to and with them

<Flynn^> in a great sense, their happiness is my own

<frogaroo> With VL the danger is that there is no way to comfort your partner in case of a hitch ... which a big hug can fix in RL ... And VL hurt languishes

<BlackPrince> Destiny comments "She is lucky that she found me exactly as I portrayed myself online". That is the crucial point

* Flynn^ nods

<BlackPrince> One more problem is that once you have done RL after VR, VR is never the same again

<warrigal> the main thing here as i see it is that it is a mind trip and the mind is equally active RL or VL so equal care must be taken

<LordMilz^> I think that the RL/VL thing never being the same again is not necessarily true - it depends on what has happened - RL can bring something back into VL if it has gone stale

* warrigal nods

<Alexa^^> For me a lot depends on if my VL sub is obeying RL commands or if it is a purely fantasy "mind-and-text-play-scene" My responsibilities differ depending on the circumstance

<BlackPrince> Both Destiny and I disagree with that LM ... the problem is that you go from intense close personal communication on a moment by moment basis to the relative handicaps of the computer screen

<LordMilz^> you can disagree - but I have found that for myself I can bring things back into the VR from the RL - my experience is that it works ... at least for me - so it may for others

<Alexa^^> would anyone like to add anything before we move on to the next topic?

<Alexa^^> ok. Then we move on: "finding the right Dom/sub" ...

* Alexa^^ smiles ... first and obvious question being: where?

<BlackPrince> There is no "where" ... anywhere is the answer to that. The key is patience; time and communication and a good sense of humour!

<BlackPrince> Even the clubs are not an easy place to find anyone

* Alexa^^ nods and smiles ... but there must be a hidey-hole!. Any ideas, people?

* BlackPrince chuckles ... In the office!

<Alexa^^> We know about clubs ... but what about for the single guys who cant get in?

<spider_doll> just as there is no perfect formula for a D/s relationship ... so their is no perfect right pathway to finding One to take this journey with; but you must be willing to look and experience rather than just give up

* warrigal nods

* BlackPrince nods agreement with spider's comment

<frogaroo> I have found that in the last ten years or so, every partner I've had has shared *some* D/s with me

<Flynn^> speaking as a single guy, clubs which don't let single guys in mean that single guys are on the outer and that is most

<Flynn^> but by the same token, I don't think clubs are the place to meet if you are serious

<Flynn^> I think that as a meeting place IRC is excellent. For one thing, it is bucket-loads safer. You can meet, talk, express your feelings and not be ashamed

* warrigal nods in agreement with Flynn

* BlackPrince agrees also with Flynn and observes that is why the 'net and ABIS and meetings like this are important

* spider_doll nods in agreement ... as a single female clubs are kind of daunting to one very new to all this

<Flynn^> I don't thing that there is any one place to meet ... but having the courage to come out and say it ... there is the issue

<frogaroo> yes, I think that D/s is natural ... normal, for *some* people, that every relationship is a form of D/s

<BlackPrince> If you do get to do the club thing, one thing is quite crucial: that is the normal social skills about talking to people ... Just sitting around drinking gets you nowhere and hitting on what you perceive to be single females is a sure way to disaster

<BlackPrince> You have to talk to people ... not necessarily about BDSM, just normal social things. The BDSM stuff will come

* Alexa^^ nods would anyone like to add?

<Arved> are there places other than clubs and IRC to find people?

<Alexa^^> would anyone like to answer?

<BlackPrince> It is VERY difficult ... That's why people devised hanky-codes and wear discrete symbols (sometimes not so discrete), but it is difficult to bowl up to someone at a "normal function" and say, "Hi there. I am into BDSM. Care to share?"

* BlackPrince grins ... You are likely to get some rather strange looks

<frogaroo> I think BDSM is in EVERYONE. And we do not always need toys ...

* BlackPrince nods in agreement with frogaroo ... BUT it is still hazardous to advertise TOO openly

* Flynn^ nods

* warrigal nods at BP

<Flynn^> very hazardous, depending on your career

* BlackPrince wears leather all the time and the keys on the left ... even that draws snide comments

<Arved> assuming you find someone interesting, how do you then breach the topic of BDSM?

<frogaroo> You will breach it thru sexuality, maybe. Or long-winded sentences ...

<frogaroo> Sexuality can be very AFFIRMATIVE

* BlackPrince grins at frogaroo ... Yes it can, but not everyone feels comfortable doing the sexuality thing too openly, and BDSM sexuality is still a definite social no-no

<frogaroo> I meant meeting ... discovering ... not necessarily playing

<Alexa^^> thanks Frog ... next point: "is age important?" (not meaning legal consenting ages:)

<warrigal> i think that is like saying are looks important. We are all different and like different things. Some prefer an older or even a younger partner, others don't

<Alexa^^> (comment on the last point ..we have found many BDSMers advertise in the contact directories in each state)

<Arved> is the question physical age or mental age?

* warrigal nods to Arved

<Flynn^> i was wondering; well, my thoughts are that you meet where there is openness and trust and you have to be prepared for knockbacks

<Alexa^^> I think that physical age is an important issue, but superseded by emotional maturity ...

* warrigal nods

<lois-lane> my Master is 38 and i am 22 and we share a wonderful relationship and i am currently living with him as a 24/7 so, no, i do not think that physical age is generally an issue ... but, then, eh ... i am biased

<Will-> I think that the limits (other than the obvious legal ones) boil down to your own individual sense of responsibility or even morality ... ie. as a dominant, I've been in a position to wield some fairly massive influence over some of my partners. I think how benevolent a dominant you are can really determine this

* Alexa^^ nods and agrees ... thanks Will ... LM?

<LordMilz^> I could say many things, I suppose, but what about a 22 yo Dominant with a 45 yo experienced submissive?

* Alexa^^ nods thanks LM ... for me it is my responsibility as the Domme to determine my subs capabilities. I have found many who think they can do something but when faced with the reality are not emotionally able to carry it through or handle the emotional consequences

<Flynn^> I notice lois tells us she lives as a 24/7

<lois-lane> yes?

<Flynn^> I wonder how much other interests ... away from BDSM come into the relationship ... do you have a lot in common away from BDSM ... or ... does that not matter?

<Alexa^^> Lois ... if you would like to respond?

<lois-lane> Flynn ... for us, and me especially, a BDSM lifestyle was about variety ... closing off no possibilities ... to have no other interests and to not live as an individual outside of that would be defeatist

<lois-lane> we both work as professionals and share common interests and still do fun things in public that vanilla people do. We do not live in our bedroom

<Flynn^> that is what I thought ;)

* Alexa^^ smiles thanks Lois ... warrigal?

<warrigal> some Dommes at 22 can have more experience than a sub at 45 or vice versa. It depends completely on the people

<warrigal> if it works for your relationship it works and thats all

* Alexa^^ nods thanks warrigal ... Would anyone else like to comment before we move on to the next point?

<Arved> for a successful D/s relationship should there be a strong "normal" relationship? i mean to say, does BDSM have to take the whole relationship?

<Alexa^^> I must stress the individuality of BDSM for each couple, Arved. For some what is *normal* is not for others

<Will-> well, I'm married to my favourite slave ... so here goes ... I don't think you can have a relationship at all without the many and diverse interests that feed that relationship. A complete DS relationship, if such a thing exists, would probably be a very shallow experience ... at least for me

<Alexa^^> (checking the time) we must close shortly ... Would anyone like to add anything before we close?

* Alexa^^ would like to remind everyone that this discussion has been logged and will be edited and placed on the ABIS web site under "IRC discussions"

<Flynn^> I am grateful and pleased for the opportunity to discuss these questions with other Australians ... so thanks ;)

* spider_doll smiles, agreeing with Flynn

* Alexa^^ smiles ... Ok, then I would like to thank everyone for coming and supporting this meeting tonight

<Will-> is this a regularly scheduled discussion? if so, when?

<Alexa^^> meetings here are held every second Sunday beginning at 9.30 pm

<Alexa^^> topic are posted to the AusBDSM mailing list and advertised here also

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