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Negotiation and Negotiation Forms

Copyright©1998

 

This is a copy of Jay Wiseman's essay on negotiation. You can find several other informative articles by Mr. Wiseman at his site: JayWiseman.com. He is also the author of SM 101: A Realistic Introduction, an excellent book for those interested in BDSM. It is published by Greenery Press.

Jay Wiseman Speaks on "Negotiation"

Hi folks,

I have a "perverse" confession to make: I love negotiation. I'm an absolute slut for it. It's one of my favorite things to do and, when I'm asked to appear before an SM club, it's my preferred topic to speak about.

Negotiation is a "fundamental fundamental" skill. I have found that a skillfully conducted pre-session negotiation almost guarantees a satisfying session. I've further found that such negotiation absolutely does not harm the energy or excitement of the play that results from it. On the other hand, my experience is that rushed or sloppy pre-play negotiations are the single most common cause of a scene ending badly.

I've also found that negotiation need not be overly time-consuming. I can usually complete my pre-play negotiations with another experienced player in five to ten minutes if we're in close agreement regarding what we want to do. On the other hand, if I hit a major snag somewhere, that can be a strong clue that maybe we're not really that compatible (much as my lust would wish it otherwise) and perhaps we really need to talk a bit more before we rush into things.

Over the years, I've found that almost all aspects of a scene fall within one of 16 categories. When I'm negotiating play with a new partner, I cover these 16 points. That can seem like a lot to remember, so I've created a mnemonic device to help me keep track of them -- and it works quite nicely. In the eight years that I've been using this "16 point" approach to negotiate a first-time play date, I've yet to have a bad session with someone if I've first gotten clear agreement on all 16 points.

I'm passing them along to you. On one hand, I don't represent this as a "perfect" approach to negotiation that will work for all people in all situations. On the other hand, my years of experience with it, and the many reports that I've received from other people who've also used this approach, is that it does work pretty well for most people in most situations. Comments and suggestions for improvement are, of course, welcome.

These are the negotiation "long" and "short" forms as they appear in the second edition of my book, "SM 101: A Realistic Introduction" (available from many leather stores or erotic boutiques, or from Greenery Press, 3739 Balboa # 195, San Francisco, CA 94121 or www.bigrock.com/~greenery/ on the web).

While I'm retaining copyrights, please feel free to copy and use these for your own personal sessions, or to pass them along as long as no money changes hands. If you'd like to put them on your web page or otherwise publish them, please contact Greenery Press as noted above for permission.

Regards,

Jay

 

The 16 aspects of almost all SM play are as follows: people, roles, place, time, oops, limits, sex, intoxicants, bondage, pain, marks, humiliation, safewords, opportunities, follow-up, and "anything else?" The first letters of these words, respectively, are: P, R, P, T, O, L, S, I, B, P, M, H, S, O, F, and A. I've devised a saying to help you remember them. The first letter of each word matches the first letter of a negotiation point.

"Placing Ropes Properly Tight Only Lets Sex Intensify. Binding Penises May Hurt, So Only F*** Animals."

Its delightful nonsense-ness helps you remember it. (Please don't f*** any animals. I only put that word in because its vividness will help you remember the saying. I oppose bestiality.)

To review:
Placing
Ropes
Properly
Tight
Only
Lets
Sex
Intensify
Binding
Penises
May
Hurt
So
Only
F***
Animals People
Roles
Place
Time
Oops
Limits
Sex
Intoxicants
Bondage
Pain
Marks
Humiliation
Safewords
Opportunities
Follow-up
Anything else?

Say this aloud a few times. Write it down. Post it somewhere. With only a little repetition, it's easy to remember and use. Here are a few, admittedly _very_ brief, comments about each point. They are covered in further detail in one of the negotiation forms to follow and, of course, in the book itself. (Note: I use the terms "dominant" and "submissive" mainly as a non-slang style choice, not to specify a particular type of play.)

  1. People: Who will take part?
  2. Roles: Who will be dominant? Who will be submissive?
  3. Place: Where will the session occur?
  4. Time: When will the session begin and how long will it last?
  5. Oops: Both parties agree that any accidents, miscommunications, etc. will be handled in a constructive manner.
  6. Limits: Mainly covers the submissive's physical and emotional limits.
  7. Sex: It's crucial to agree clearly and specifically, _before_ beginning the session, about exactly what kind of conventional sexual contact, if any, is mutually acceptable.
  8. Intoxicants: Don't play if either of you is seriously drunk or stoned.
  9. Bondage: Who will be tied up? To what extent?
  10. Pain: How does the submissive feel about receiving pain?
  11. Marks: Will it cause the submissive problems if the session leaves marks?
  12. Humiliation: This can include "verbal abuse," forced exhibitionism, water sports, enemas, slapping the face, spitting, and scat games.
  13. Safewords: I recommend using at least two safe words: one for "lighten up" and one for "stop completely."
  14. Opportunities: Is there anything either person has wanted to try?
  15. Follow-up: What arrangements can be made for the two people to spend "straight time" together after the scene?
  16. Anything else? Is there anything else to discuss or negotiate about before beginning?
 

The following forms are intended for use when two people are meeting to play (a) privately and (b) for the first time. If either is not the case, please modify as needed.

NEGOTIATION LONG FORM

(Recommended for novices) (Please use the back of the form if additional space is needed.)

1. PEOPLE:

Who (only) will take part?________________________________________________

Who (only) will watch?___________________________________________________

Will any permanent record (photographs, audiotapes, videotapes, etc.) be made of the session? Yes_____ No_____

Explanation__________________________________________________________

2. ROLES:

Who will be dominant?_________________________________________________

Who will be submissive?_________________________________________________

Type of scene: master/slave mistress/slave captive age play servant/butler/etc. cross-dressing/gender play animal play other_________________________

Any chance of switching roles? Yes_____ No_____

Explanation:___________________________________________________________

Will the submissive promptly obey? Yes_____ No_____ Explanation:___________________________________________________________

May the dominant "overpower" or "force" the submissive? Yes_____ No____ Explanation:___________________________________________________________

May the submissive verbally resist? Yes_____ No_____ Explanation:___________________________________________________________

May the submissive physically resist? Yes_____ No_____ Explanation:___________________________________________________________

Does resistance equal a "strong yellow"? Yes_____ No_____ Explanation:___________________________________________________________

May the submissive try to "turn the tables:? Yes_____ No_____

Does the submissive agree to wear a collar? Yes_____ No_____

Explanation:___________________________________________________________

The submissive agrees to address the dominant by the following title(s): ____________________________________________________________________

3. PLACE:

Location:_____________________________________________________________

Who will ensure privacy?_________________________________________________

4. TIME:

Begin at:__________ Length:________________________

Beginning signal:_______________________________________________________

Ending signal:_________________________________________________________

Who will keep track of time?______________________________________________

5. OOPS:

Does everybody involved understand that there is some risk of accident, miscommunication, misperception, and/or unintentional injury? Yes___ No___

Does everybody involved agree to discuss any mishaps in a constructive and non-blaming manner? Yes_____ No_____

6. LIMITS:

Submissive's limits: Any problems with the submissive's... heart: yes/no lungs: yes/no neck/back/bones/joints: yes/no kidneys: yes/no liver: yes/no nervous system/mental: yes/no

Explanation:__________________________________________________________

Is the submissive wearing contact lenses? Yes_____ No_____

Does the submissive suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or any related problems?

Yes_____ No_____

Does the submissive have a history of... seizures: yes/no dizzy spells: yes/no diabetes: yes/no high or low blood pressure: yes/no fainting: yes/no asthma: yes/no hyperventilation attacks: yes/no

Explanation:_________________________________________________________

Describe any phobias:__________________________________________________

Submissive's other medical conditions:_____________________________________

Any surgical implants (breast, face, etc.)? Yes_____ No_____

Explanation:__________________________________________________________

Is the submissive taking aspirin? Yes_____ No_____

Is the submissive taking ibuprofin, Aleve, or other non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs? Yes_____ No_____

Is the submissive taking antihistamines? Yes_____ No_____

Other medications the submissive is taking:_________________________________

Is the submissive allergic to... bandage tape: yes/no nonoxynol-9: yes/no Other allergies:_________________________________________________________

In case of emergency notify:______________________________________________

Dominant's Limits: Any problems with the dominant's... heart: yes/no lungs: yes/no neck/back/bones/joints: yes/no kidneys: yes/no liver: yes/no nervous system/mental: yes/no

Explanation:___________________________________________________________

Dominant's other medical conditions:______________________________________

Medications the dominant is taking:_______________________________________

In case of emergency notify:______________________________________________

Is the dominant currently certified in First Aid and CPR: yes/no Safety gear on hand... paramedic scissors: yes/no flashlight: yes/no first aid kit: yes/no blackout light: yes/no fire extinguisher: yes/no

Will the play be in an isolated area such as a farmhouse? Yes_____ No_____

If yes, what will ensure the submissive's safety if the dominant becomes unconscious? no bondage to chair/bed/etc.: yes/no no gag: yes/no silent alarm: yes/no third person present: yes/no telephone/radio/panic button within submissive's reach: yes/no

Other:________________________________________________________________

7. SEX

Does any participant believe they might have a sexually transmitted disease?

Yes_____ No_____

Explanation:___________________________________________________________

Does any participant believe they might have herpes? Yes_____ No_____

Explanation:___________________________________________________________

Have participants been tested for HIV? Yes_____ No_____

Has any participant tested positive? Yes_____ No_____

Explanation:___________________________________________________________

Circle which of the following sexual acts are acceptable:

Masturbation: dominant to submissive submissive to dominant self-masturbation by submissive self-masturbation by dominant

Fellatio: dominant to submissive submissive to dominant

Cunnilingus: dominant to submissive submissive to dominant

Analingus: dominant to submissive submissive to dominant

Vaginal fisting: dominant to submissive submissive to dominant

Anal fisting: dominant to submissive submissive to dominant

Vaginal intercourse: dominant to submissive submissive to dominant

Anal intercourse: dominant to submissive submissive to dominant

Is swallowing semen acceptable? Yes_____ No_____

Is any participant menstruating? Yes_____ No_____

Will sex toys such as vibrators, dildoes, butt plugs, etc. be used? Yes/No

If yes, describe:_______________________________________________________

Which of the above activities will involve birth control pills, diaphragms, spermicidal suppositories, lubricants containing nonoxynol-9, or contraceptive foams/suppositories/gels?__________________________________

Which of the above activities will involve condoms, gloves, dental dams, and/or other barriers?____________________________________________________

8. INTOXICANTS

The dominant can use (only) the following intoxicants during the session: ___________________________________________________________________

Acceptable quantity:____________________________________________________

The submissive can use (only) the following intoxicants during the session: ____________________________________________________________________

Acceptable quantity:____________________________________________________

9. BONDAGE

The submissive agrees to allow (only) the following types of bondage...
hands in front: yes/no
hands behind back: yes/no
ankles: yes/no
knees: yes/no
elbows: yes/no
wrists to ankles (hog-tie): yes/no
spreader bars: yes/no
tied to chair: yes/no
tied to bed: yes/no
use of blindfold: yes/no
use of gag: yes/no
use of hood: yes/no
use of rope: yes/no
use of tape: yes/no
use of leather cuffs: yes/no
use of handcuffs/metal restraints: yes/no
suspension: yes/no
mummification with plastic wrap, body bag, or similar technique: yes/no

Any past bad experiences by either person with bondage, gags, blindfolds, and/or hoods? Yes_____ No_____

Explanation:___________________________________________________________

10. PAIN

Submissive's general attitude toward receiving pain:

_____likes _____accepts _____neutral _____dislikes _____will not accept

Quantity of pain the submissive wants to receive:

_____none _____small _____average _____large

Explanation:___________________________________________________________

Dominant's general attitude toward giving pain:

____likes ____will give ____neutral ____dislikes ____will not give

Quantity of pain the dominant wants to give:

_____none _____small _____average _____large

Explanation:___________________________________________________________

Will the "now" technique be used? Yes_____ No_____

Explanation:___________________________________________________________

Will the "nod" technique be used? Yes_____ No_____

Explanation:___________________________________________________________

Will the "one to ten" technique be used? Yes_____ No_____

Explanation:___________________________________________________________

The following types of pain are acceptable... spanking: yes/no paddling: yes/no flogging: yes/no caning: yes/no face slaps: yes/no biting: yes/no nipple clamps: yes/no genital clamps: yes/no clamps elsewhere: yes/no locations:_________________ hot creams: yes/no ice: yes/no hot wax: yes/no tickling: yes/no

Other types/methods of pain:_____________________________________________

Additional remarks:_____________________________________________________

11. MARKS

Is it acceptable to the submissive if the play leaves marks? Yes___ No___

Visible while wearing street clothes? Yes____ No____

Visible while wearing a bathing suit? Yes____ No____

Is it acceptable to the submissive if the play draws small amounts of blood? Yes____ No____

Explanation:___________________________________________________________

How easy or difficult has it been to mark the submissive in the past? _____________________________________________________________________

12. EROTIC HUMILIATION

The submissive agrees to accept being referred to by the following terms: _____________________________________________________________________

The submissive agrees to the following forms of erotic humiliation...
"verbal abuse": yes/no
enemas: yes/no
forced exhibitionism: yes/no
spitting: yes/no
water sports: yes/no
scat games: yes/no
face slapping: yes/no

Other:______________________________________________________________

Any prior really good or really bad experiences in these areas?_____________ ___________________________________________________________________

13. SAFEWORDS

Safeword # 1 and its meaning:____________________________________________

Safeword # 2 and its meaning:____________________________________________

Safeword # 3 and its meaning:____________________________________________

Non-verbal safewords and their meaning:____________________________________

Will the "two squeezes" technique be used? Yes____ No____

Will the "extended hand" technique be used? Yes____ No____

14. OPPORTUNITIES/SPECIAL SKILLS

Anything either party would especially like to try or explore? Yes____ No___

Explanation:___________________________________________________________

15. FOLLOW-UP

(Please include a note about who will initiate contacts.)

After the session:_______________________________________________________

The next day:__________________________________________________________

A week later:__________________________________________________________

In the event of a crisis:__________________________________________________

16. ANYTHING ELSE?

No____ Yes____

Explanation:__________________________________________

What will become of this form after the session?_________________________

POST-SESSION NOTES AND FEEDBACK

Dominant Overall feeling about the session on a scale of one-to-ten (ten tops)______

Best part of the session and on a scale of one-to-ten how good was it? _____________________________________________________________________

Worst part of the session and on a scale of one-to-ten how bad was it? ____________________________________________________________________

Other comments:_______________________________________________________

Submissive Overall feeling about the session on a scale of one-to-ten (ten tops)_______

Best part of the session and on a scale of one-to-ten how good was it? ____________________________________________________________________

Worst part of the session and on a scale of one-to-ten how bad was it? ____________________________________________________________________

Other comments:_______________________________________________________

 

And finally, for those who don't need quite so much detail, here's the shorter form.

NEGOTIATION SHORT FORM

  1. People___________________________________________________________
  2. Roles___________________________________________________________
  3. Place___________________________________________________________
  4. Time___________________________________________________________
  5. Oops___________________________________________________________
  6. Limits___________________________________________________________
  7. Sex___________________________________________________________
  8. Intoxicants___________________________________________________________
  9. Bondage___________________________________________________________
  10. Pain___________________________________________________________
  11. Marks___________________________________________________________
  12. Humiliation___________________________________________________________
  13. Safewords___________________________________________________________
  14. Opportunities___________________________________________________________
  15. Follow-Up___________________________________________________________
  16. Anything Else?________________________________________
 

That's all for now. Happy negotiating, and happy playing!

Regards,
Jay
http://www.greenerypress.com/

Copyright © 1998 Jay Wiseman
Please visit Jay's page JayWiseman.com

 

Greenery Press: Reading for the Sexually Adventurous
http://www.greenerypress.com/

 

Copyright issues footnote: I wrote this article with the hope that it would be widely read and distributed, and without any particular expectation of financial compensation in return for writing it. Therefore, I consent to the following uses of this essay:

  1. It's fine with me if you read it.
  2. It's fine with me if you send it, in unaltered form and including this copyright issues footnote, in private e-mail to appropriate others.
  3. It's fine with me if you post it, as mentioned in point # 2, to newsgroups and closed mailing lists.
  4. If you put it up on a private, no-fee-to-access, website, please put it up as mentioned in point # 2 and include a link to the Greenery Press website (http://www.greenerypress.com/).
  5. I do require that you get my specific prior permission before putting this article up on a pay-to-access website, putting it in a book or periodical offered for sale, or otherwise charge for any sort of access to it.

Copyright © 1998 Jay Wiseman

 

For more about negotiation, also read Negotiations by Sir Bamm!

 

More Articles by Jay Wiseman

 

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