People have different communications styles and some people just aren’t very good at communicating. Here are some tips for finding out what your partner is into:
–Trade Porn: I like to do this with everyone I date because knowing what they have been watching can give you an idea of what they would be interesting in doing with you. This isn’t always true. Sometimes people have a disconnect between the porn they watch and what they want to do. I find it useful though, as long as you’re both willing to be mature adults and admit that you both watch porn. (Or at least read erotica!)
–E-mail: I personally am a writer, so I find that I order my thoughts better through my fingers than I would through my mouth. I’m not known for being a graceful speaker. Typing out potential scenes gives your partner a chance to think about them before responding as well, so they don’t have to decide right away if they are okay with it.
–In person: When people came to the dungeon they didn’t often know what they wanted, so I had a list of ideas prepared for newbies. If you’re going to negotiate in person, be ready to just start listing things off when your submissive gets tongue-tied and isn’t sure how to express their desires. Start with simple things such as verbal humiliation, being tied up, and flogging. Go from there if they seem calm about it.
–Over the Phone: This is good because the submissive does not have to look you in the eyes. It can be hard to be in the same room with someone while saying something like “I’d like you to spit on me and call me a dirty cunt.” This method allows the physical distance that can make emotional distance easier. Emotional distance is seems to be the most important factor in being comfortable expressing oneself.
-Worksheets: I know it feels silly to be filling out a worksheet about an intimate relationship, but some people are shy and it’s hard to get them talking. Even when they do talk, they are often unsure about what they want. I find worksheets helpful sometimes, if a person is difficult to feel out.
Note About After care: As you all know, this is the most important part of a scene. This can be accomplished by all of the methods above, but this more than anything else is best in person. Tone of voice means a lot, as well as facial expressions. If you can get someone to be expressive in person, you can get the best idea of how they felt about the various parts of the scene. Make sure to talk about each part. Ask questions like “When you were tied up, did you feel like the ropes were too tight?” or “Did you feel okay with how hard I hit you?” You will both have a better experience if you can communicate better. Resentment can build up in any relationship, but it seems to build up in the most dangerous and dramatic ways in a BDSM relationship. Everyone talks about how important after care is because it is.