This post comes from a question on FetLife, as many of my blogs do, if you care to explore.  The question was basically what should a submissive be able to communicate during negotiations?

I am a Dominant sadistic Daddy type. I think that should be stated first.  Those readers here probably know that already.  I stated what my orientation might be because it is necessary to understand that before I begin to advise a submissive.  Advice from a submissive might be a bit different.

Negotiations depend a great deal on your intent. Is this negotiations for a scene, a short term exploration, or is it aimed towards long term slavery?  Remember, negotiations happen before a scene or relationship.  While they certainly continue in a long term relationship, you do not become someone’s submissive/slave and then want to go into negotiations.

It should go without saying that Honesty and completeness of your answers are paramount.  I want to know as much of you as I can and trust what you tell me.

This is what I would want to see and hear:

No matter what the intent, I want to see confidence. I want to see a deep level of introspection and understanding about your desires not only in play but about yourself and views as far as what relationship you desire.

If this is a first time negotiation with someone you have never met (done in a public place with no intent to play after, and park far away so you will know if you are being followed) you will understand and talk about safe calls and possible chaperons or people to come with you.  I know it is recommended by some to have someone come along through negotiations, but I tend to feel that if you are looking to someone else to do it right, you will be missing things.  This is your responsibility.

If D/s is to be an element in the scene I want to know what YOU view as Dominance and submission.  I want to hear about your desires and experiences, both good and bad. I want to hear where your experience is from.

Any health (both physical and mental) issues which may concern us should be considered, any possible trigger points that are there, any chronic conditions, diabetes, allergies particularly to Latex?   Do you have any history of mental issues, physical issues? Have you had major traumatic events or any history of abuse?

Do you have anyone who can recommend you, talk about your style of play?

If the negotiations are for a scene, just to bottom to me, or something very short term, I want to know what is it you want to get out of the event?  Is it to float, go into subspace, push your limits or cum a lot?  What are your thoughts about aftercare?

What are your safe words, what do they mean to you.  Is it the ultimate “Stop” or do you have a “Ohh, slow down a bit, this is getting too intense.”?

Hard limits and hard needs, what things MUST you have? What things MUST be avoided.  Soft limits, be sure to mention if the prospective Dominant likes something about which you are, at this time, a bit hesitant.

If this is to be negotiations for a long term relationship, then there is in addition to the above, all the Vanilla areas, what do you like to eat? What kind of music, hobbies, recreational events, travel, TV do you like. Would you rather invite people in or go out? Tons more on this, but basically what do you want to tell someone with whom you are planing on living 24/7.

I would want to know your views on polyamory, if other partners, even short term partners are to be considered.

What does it mean to you to please someone?  How do you feel about your Dominant doing things specifically to please you?

What reading you have done. Have your relationships been primarily on line, real time, or long term? Are your attractions more towards service, play, bondage, protocols or sex? What elements do you NOT want in a relationship?

Do you feel that in exchange for your service or sex your Dominant is responsible for your food, housing, clothing, health care, education and/or transportation? If not now, is this a goal?

What qualities do you have that would add to the relationship, what talents do you have? What elements of yourself are you most proud, most ashamed. What is the path you see in order to get the relationship you desire.  How do you learn?  Are you a listener, a reader, a practicer?

What brought you into the scene? If through fantasy, what were they? If you have been trained previously, with what intent?

What do you know about me?  Have you done research?  Why are you even considering me?


In reading this again, I know it sounds very demanding and probably a little pompous. But in actuality, while I want to know all of these things, I accept that much of it may not be known, and “I really have not made up my mind on that yet.” is a perfectly acceptable answer to most questions. This is a conversation, after all, between equals. No relationship or protocols have been established.

What I DO mean to emphasize is that this should be a LONG conversation and the subjects should probably be hit repeatedly. But the MOST important part of all of this is that the submissive should demand the same from any prospective Dominant.  Until you freely accept and negotiate a relationship where you give authority to another over any aspect of your life, you are responsible for yourself and what you get out of life.  Think about that.  You will get what you ask for.  If, after your negotiations, you still feel concerned, if your questions have not been answered, or if you feel that the Dominant in question has not been forthcoming, accept that, and no matter how hungry you are, ask yourself if perhaps waiting a week, talking with others, or just saying no might be best.

Finally, just as a side thought, I know that some of the things I mention are pretty specific to a Dominant and submissive relationship with possible kinky element of sadomasochistic play, if you look at them closely, not as many as you might think and perhaps any relationship could use a bit of intelligent negotiation as well.  More on this here.

The Eroticist