Informative post #2: Negotiating a scene and general scene rules
Warning: The following text is for those 18 years of age or over. This is not, I repeat, NOT meant for minors. The following text presented is advice from personal experiences and shouldn’t be taken as gospel.
Ok, so, in the beginning, this was a podcast. However, I noticed I tend to ramble needlessly, going off on tangents and whatnot. In text format, I hope what I have to say will make more sense, and will allow people to come back and reference if needed.
OK! You made it through a kink event or two, and now you’re ready to play! But there’s something you aren’t 100% sure about: how to tell your top what it is you need or want, and when. Well, that’s where negotiating starts!
Negotiations post-scene will help the bottom and top discern how the playtime will progress. Sometimes a top will have an idea or two, or they might let the bottom direct how it goes prior to the scene. In each case, however, the bottom has absolute sole right to end a scene before or during play. A BOTTOM CAN END A SCENE BEFORE IT STARTS! Do not forget this!
Negotiations should cover everything, from the activity, to hard and soft limits, to safewords, and aftercare. Note that some playspaces have a default safeword, like RED, but if the bottom has a specific word, use it. Negotiation also very much needs to cover any medical issues both parties may have in order to help mitigate risk.
Here’s an example of a negotiation:
TOP: So, what do we feel like today?
BOTTOM: Rope, and lots of heavy impact play, especially on the butt, thighs, and maybe some tickling.
TOP: Hard limits I should be aware of?
BOTTOM: Absolutely no canes, um, slapping is off the table since I have a meeting, and my face marks up easy, no intentional blood, and nothing plastic. It stings too much.
TOP: Any health concerns?
BOTTOM: I have a shoulder injury that never healed right, so depending on how I’m tied, take it easy on the right arm. I’m also hypoglycemic, so if my lips turn blue, I’ll need a breather and a soda before I can keep going.
TOP: Do you have your own safeword, and will I need to provide aftercare?
BOTTOM: Red is fine! And if you’ll just give me snuggles under the blanket I brought, I’d appreciate it!
And there ya go! A quick rundown of pre-scene negotiations. Over time, if you play with a partner regularly, this will go by quickly as the partner will know what to expect. However, don’t be afraid to go through everything in the negotiation with regular partners, and needs, wants, and even limits change regularly.
I also wanted to cover some basic scene rules, especially for out in the play area. They are really common sense, but you would be surprised how often people either don’t know or are just oblivious to everyone’s space.
1: Give players room, especially if they are using items like floggers and whips! Don’t walk right through the middle of a scene unless it is completely unavoidable, and even then don’t do it unannounced.
2: Don’t engage players without permission! Everyone in the scene is in a happy headspace. Wait out of the way to be acknowledged, and make whatever you have to say short and sweet. If it can wait until after the scene, then it can wait.
3: DON’T TOUCH! Don’t touch the players, don’t touch their toys, DON’T TOUCH! Asking before or after a scene is fine, in most cases, but DON’T TOUCH until you have the OK.
4: Clean up your space! Once a scene is done, you can clean up before or after aftercare. But try to, at least, put the toys somewhere and wipe down any surfaces so the next players can use a spot. If no one needs the space after the scene, give the area used a good clean. Some playspaces will have cleaning solution, paper towels, and even sterile gloves to use.
5: Safeword means stop! But it does not mean the scene is 100% done. Cease your activities and check on the bottom. If they’re finished, start getting them untied. DON’T CONTINUE THE SCENE AFTER A SAFEWORD OR OTHERWISE AGREED STOP ACTION HAS HAPPENED! You will, most likely, be pulled aside, the bottom untied, and your stuff is given to you on the way out the door. You may also be told to not come back. Lots of playspaces have a zero tolerance policy on people who continue a scene after a safeword without checking on the bottom first. Don’t be a dick.
And there we have it! A longer post than intended, but this is necessary information to have! Next post will cover more on limits.