I try to pay attention when messages come at me from widely divergent directions.  If a business partner and romantic partner both remark on the same kind of behavior, it is probably a pretty valid comment.  On a more metaphysical level, if consistant information comes to you from discontinuous and unrelated sources, the benevolent universe is telling you something.

I am currently reading several books in parallel, as I tend to do, and within two days of each other I read the following passages:  “Give them a stake in the outcome by making sure they participate in the process.  If they are not involved in the process, they are hardly likely to approve the product.” and “Yes, you are ‘in charge,’ but leadership has everything to do with team building.  Team building has to do with cooperative action.  You can’t get a teammate to feel very good about cooperating if your calling all the shots without her input and support.”

This idea, of involving someone in the decision making process, of leading by building a team, of getting their input, applies to all levels of relationship; business, commercial, familial, sexual, and definitely Dominant and submissive.  Entering into any moment of negotiation with the all decisions made and the attitude of “My way or the Highway” will usually result in a lot of time alone.

Understand, I am not suggesting that you should not hold to personal limits.  No one, on either side of the relationship, should feel they are expected to go against their core values.  But without a feeling that you are involved, that your input is of value, it is difficult to see that you will enjoy holding to a possibly difficult change in behavior.

By the way, as to the quotes above.  One came from “Getting to YES:  Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In” by Fisher, Ury and Patton in the chapter on Separating the People from the Problem, a valuable, but older volume on business negotiations.  The other came from “Squirms, Screams and Squirts: Handbook for Turning Great Sex into Extraordinary Sex” by Robert Rubel, PhD. in his chapter on Cunnilingus.  I will let you guess which came from which.

The Eroticist