August 1, 2004 EhBC Online Discussion

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<ModBot> Welcome to or regular Sunday night discussion. Please refrain from sending "hi" and "bye" messages until after 10 pm. Also note that the discussion is being logged. If you wish to remain anonymous, you should change your nick. Tonight's discussion topic is "How to Negotiate a Scene with a New Partner". The discussion is unmoderated. Enjoy!
<catsbrat{CM}> hi dana^^
<lorraine> hello dana^^
<camBian> Hi all.
<BernieRoehl> So... negotiation. A popular topic of discussion on various lists
<BernieRoehl> Negotiating with a new partner is an interesting process. Anyone have any experiences to share, good or bad?
<Symmetre> lol ... the type of negotiation that happens beforehand .... where answers other than "yes sir, yes sir, three bags full" count for something
<kimochi> my experience is somewhat limited
<kimochi> to date, i haven't found a need to use safe colors/words
<BernieRoehl> Not everyone uses them, but when I play with someone I don't know very well, I like to know that they're there if the submissive needs them
<Symmetre> I think one of the biggest sources of problems comes from defining exactly what it is one wants. Something like "humiliation play" can mean different things to different people. It's important, I believe, to be clear from the beginning about exactly what it is we're after
<Symmetre> and to make sure the other person interprets that the right way
<BernieRoehl> Humiliation play is a really good example of where things can go very wrong if they're not negotiated thoroughly beforehad
<kimochi> the level of trust one has with a new partner is important
<Symmetre> absolutely, kimochi
<kimochi> in fact, i'd be so bold as to say that the level of trust is more important than negotiating fine details
<BernieRoehl> So how does one go about establishing that level of trust, particularly with a new partner?
<dana^^> i have very set limits for a playpartner and different ones for a deeper relationship
<kimochi> i go by my gut instincts
<Prathen> I go with who ever does not run away from me
<dana^^> lol
<Prathen> I just need to find that someone ;)
<Symmetre> the first time you play with someone, it's a good idea to pay particular attention to how they respond and to make a point of checking in on them more than you might normally. It's better to go conservative and develop a feel for what they like
<kimochi> lol - yes, my first play scene was quite conservative *g*
* BernieRoehl generally agrees with Symmetre on that, but can think of situations where that may not apply
<kimochi> everything is relative, of course
* BernieRoehl laughs @ kimochi
<Symmetre> which goes to developing trust ... and to ensuring you're both on the same page where defining certain things is concerned
<kimochi> it's a bit like playing a piece of music in some ways
<Symmetre> how so, kimochi?
<kimochi> to over-read means losing a lot of natural creativity
<Symmetre> hmm
<kimochi> but to be underprepared - well - no one will know what you're playing, much less yourself
<BernieRoehl> For example... I used to travel a lot for work, and would check out the scene in various cities I visited. There were therefore a lot of "one time" opportunities to play. In that situation you want to make sure the scene is satisfying (for both of you), and going too conservative can work against that.
<kimochi> but in that way, being prepared to scene with someone new takes personal preparation more than inter-personal preparation, i'd say
<Symmetre> true enough, Bernie
<BernieRoehl> I also find those scenes had a different "flavour" or "energy" to them than scenes with people I might well start playing with on a regular basis (where being conservative at first is definitely the way to go)
<kimochi> is it always, though, Sir?
<MasterBaiter> So Bernie, you're willing to take more risks with someone who isn't going to become a regular partner?
<kimochi> i mean, what if You meet a person with whom a conservative approach doesn't "feel" right? (i.e., someone you might play with regularly)
<BernieRoehl> Being conservative? Generally, yes, but knowing a bit of how you got into the scene I would say you're a bit of an exception to the rule.
<kimochi> fair enuff
<BernieRoehl> No so much take more risks, but be a little less conservative.
<kimochi> sometimes it can be more risky to be conservative
<Symmetre> I think if you've seen the person play previously ... that helps you negotiate ... you have something to go on at least
<Symmetre> it's harder if you don't know much about them
<BernieRoehl> That's a good point, kimochi. I almost wonder if the word "conservative" is a bit vague, and we're all using it slightly differently.
<MasterBaiter> Agreed, Symmetre. Or, if someone you trust knows them.
<BernieRoehl> Yes, Symmetre -- if I've watched someone play, I usually have a much better sense of what works for them.
<dana^^> i think it also depends on how the session is going... once into it you do rely on the Dominant to watch your reaction... perhaps intensive the scene
<Symmetre> the big question is, how do you negotiate going someplace where you're not sure the other person has been
<arhiannah> ask them?
<kimochi> two ways i can think of - ask them, or take them there
<dana^^> in negotiations perhaps discussion how you react to the activity before.. what to look for
<kimochi> i prefer the latter myself
<bridgeit`> when two people meet and play for the first time at a venue similar to a DAL how long would they spend negotiating
* arhiannah grins...that's a good way to go too kimochi
<BernieRoehl> So is there something about the negotiation that takes the edge off, kimochi?
<kimochi> umm - i can speak from experience on that bridgeit - it took about 2 minutes of negotiation for me
<kimochi> 1 minute to realize the cuffs were being put on my wrists, and another to comprehend what that meant
<dana^^> im not sure what you mean by someplace they other hasnt gone... shouldnt you talk about the session before hand?
<kimochi> i think so, Sir - i don't want everything spelled out
<arhiannah> i've spent weeks talking to people online & such to get a feel for them....and i've spent as little as half an hour...for an event like the auction
<bridgeit`> how about for playing with a partner who is playing for the first time
<BernieRoehl> I know other submissives who have said much the same thing -- negotiating makes it less "edgey" for them
<kimochi> of course, i'm coming from a somewhat "newbie" standpoint in that i dont (didn't) have a base of experience for most forms of play, so i was & am willing to find out firsthand
<kimochi> i couldn't have said "well, i'm not so sure about a single tail, Ma'am - it sounds stingy" since i had no experience to tell me if i'd like it or not
<kimochi> and, more to the point, that opportunity wasn't offered LOL
<arhiannah> lol
<Symmetre> the process of negotiating that first scene is different when you're talking something at a play party ... or at home in private ... in what may become a long term situation
<dana^^> exactly Symmetre
<arhiannah> exactly Symm...
<`abi> an whether or not the person you are about to play with is a 'known' commodity .. I wouldn't recommend kimochi's approach to someone who was about to scene with a virtual stranger
<Symmetre> lets face it ... there's a limit to what you can do and how far you can go in a bar
<kimochi> true abi
<kimochi> that's where i rely more on gut instinct
<dana^^> or would want to share with a playpartner...
<kimochi> but i also ask around
<kimochi> find out what others' impressions are
<BernieRoehl> So what about other submissives here? Do you like to negotiate in detail what will happen, or do you prefer the edginess of putting your trust in the Dom?
<dana^^> if its working toward a relationship... the Dom would know where i needed to go... so its more about following His lead... with a play partner its more defined...
<kimochi> how do Dominants feel when a submissive prefers to leave it to the Dom?
<camBian> I'd rather negotiate in more detail. See what may be used on me and have the option of saying if a certain item is a Red or not.
<Prathen> I rather know what I am doing, and what is OK to do for the first few times
<dana^^> nods with camBian... and discuss how you react to different tools...
<BernieRoehl> Personally, I get a bit of a rush from the trust being placed in me. On the other hand, it leaves me completely in the dark as what will work for that particular submissive.
<kimochi> how much does "reading the sub" come into play then, Sir?
<`abi> does it cause you to be more conservative as a result Bernie?
<BernieRoehl> Yes, abi -- which is in some ways unfortunate
<Prathen> That would be a problem for me
<Prathen> as well
<BernieRoehl> Reading them moment-to-moment is still applicable, kimochi, but... (hang on a sec)
<BernieRoehl> (too many windows...)
<camBian> Exactly. I'm terrified of needles so anything that would make me think it's a needle is a bad idea. I would flip out the that would end the scene right there. At the very least.
<BernieRoehl> ... but planning the scene generally becomes more difficult.
<BernieRoehl> For example, if someone needs humiliation, and I do a caning scene with them, neither of us will find it satisfying
<BernieRoehl> If I know literally nothing about the submissive, I pretty much have to pick something at random that I think will work for them. Knowning a few basic things (whether it's from the sub herself, or someone who knows her) is very useful.
<kimochi> adaptability is a good thing methinks
* Prathen nods
<Prathen> Experance is too
* Prathen hunts experance
<Symmetre> that's one major reason Igenerally don't play with people I don't know, Bernie ... it's way too hit and miss
<BernieRoehl> Exactly, Symmetre
<Prathen> The one reason I don't is cause they hide from me
<kimochi> hitting is ok, missing isn't
<BernieRoehl> Sometimes, there are clues. If someone is wearing a schoolgirl outfit, an over-the-knee spanking would be a good starting point, for example
<Symmetre> miss, more often than not
* Symmetre drools .... mmmmmm ... school girls
<Symmetre> oops ... sowwy
* BernieRoehl drools over schoolgirls too
<dana^^> lol
* Prathen does as well
<Symmetre> as long as ya wipe it off ...
<Prathen> Japanese ones
<MasterBaiter> I have a question for the room: what's the consensus on re-negotiating limits in-scene with a new partner? Even if the bottom seems willing to go with something that was previously set as a limit, does the top have a responsibility to respect the first negotiation, as the bottom may not be completely "with it" while in scene, or is anything up for re-negotiation?
<kimochi> hmmm - interesting question
<BernieRoehl> The odd time I'll push a boundary a bit, but generally no -- if she said "that's a limit" beforehand, I won't take advantage of her altered headspace to get a different answer
<DarkAngel^{a}> MMm quiet ,,,,
<BernieRoehl> Besides, there may be reasons for the limit that I'm unaware of (health issues, etc)
<Symmetre> I guess that depends on exactly what it is, and what kind of state the sub's in at the time, MasterBaiter ... if it's along in the scene and I question her judgement ... I'll save it for next time
<kimochi> i've had the good fortune to date of trusting the Dominant with that - if She wants to take me there, She does, end of story
<DarkAngel^{a}> I have had a few say afterwards "you could have gone harder" ,,, but I preffer to have stuck to agreed upon limits ,,,
<Symmetre> better that than the other .... dammit, I said that was a limit
<camBian> *nods*
<DarkAngel^{a}> I know I can go harder the next time ,,, like Bernie mentioned
<dana^^> i tend to enjoy the fear excitment factor and just follow even if its not where i wanted to go... good or bad ive trusted in the Dominant
<BernieRoehl> It's a bit like the old show business adage -- "always leave them wanting more"
<DarkAngel^{a}> lol
* Prathen chuckles
<MasterBaiter> But would you trust an apparently lucid bottom who said "yes, I know I said that was a limit before, but now that we've played a bit, I trust you"?
<camBian> LOL Yep!
* kimochi moans .. moreeeeeeeee leatherrrrrrr
<MistressSarcastica> But the question was "if the bottom seems willing to go." So consent is not the issue, nor are health issues. Does the top always lead or do we also sometimes follow?
<BernieRoehl> I would take that as a "green"
<MasterBaiter> So, what I'm hearing is: re-negotiating within a scene is possible, but it involves reading the bottom's state of mind. Kind of tricky with a new partner, which I why I've been thinking of this question for a while.
<Symmetre> deciding to let it go to next time ... or deciding to go ahead .... isn't a matter of following at all. It's making a choice based on the info you have to go with
<MistressSarcastica> But following the bottom's lead.
<Symmetre> nope
<BernieRoehl> I think it's important to distinguish between following the bottom's lead, or listening to their responses --- which may not always be under their conscious control
<MistressSarcastica> and what do you say is the difference, Bernie?
<BernieRoehl> If I do something that wasn't negotiated (i.e. not discussed at all, so not an explicit limit) and the submissive responds, I'll build on that. If I had asked them about that specific thing before the scene, they might have said "no", but their body is clearly saying "yes".
<DarkAngel^{a}> MistressSarcastica ,, if the bottom is clearly allowing an expansion of the agreed bounderies ,, it is within the power of the Top ,, to decide if he/she wishes it - OR their decision if the request is within THEIR bounderies
<DarkAngel^{a}> not following ,, but a relaxation of agreed bounderies ,, egreed = both decide
* `abi can attest to the fact that signalling 'just hit me dammit' does not always result in being hit harder
<DarkAngel^{a}> LOL ,, I have stopped scenes myself ,, with a slave begging for more ,,,
* kimochi can vouch for that, too, abi
<dana^^> lol
<Symmetre> lol
<dana^^> and ouch isnt a safe word...
<kimochi> and "just stop hitting me" has a similar outcome
<kimochi> nor is "no no no"
<MasterBaiter> I think what MistressSarcastica was saying was, the bottom was first to "go" to a place, i.e. a limit, so if the top goes there, he/she is "following". As in arriving second. Being guided, somewhat. I know it's attacking a sacred cow to imply that bottoms have any role in conducting a scene, so we should just move on.
* DarkAngel^{a} Demonic Chuckle ,, stop kimochi ,, you are getting me excited
* kimochi grins
<Symmetre> lol DA
<kimochi> bottoms have an equal role in conducting a scene
<DarkAngel^{a}> I disagree MasterBaiter ,, bottoms do have a right to steer scenes ,, as do submissives ,, as do swiTches ,,
<kimochi> different, but equally importnat
<DarkAngel^{a}> of course my slave doesnt ,,, LOL
<dana^^> i think so too kimochi... more so than if you were the Dominant's submissive or slave
<Blackvelvet> hello everyone
<kimochi> it's like a dance - someone has to lead, but someone has to provide a "frame" to follow
<kimochi> and limp-wristed dance partners rarely make it easy to lead
<Blackvelvet> was attracted by the canadian flag
<dana^^> lol
<DarkAngel^{a}> and since we are discussing a scene with a new partner ,, I assume , for the discussion, we are not talking about a relationship (fully formed) ,, but a single negociated scene
<dana^^> i think so DA Sir...
<DarkAngel^{a}> Blackvelvet ,, check out the info provided by the ModBot
<Blackvelvet> ok
<MistressSarcastica> A question I have for the group: when negotiating with owned property, do you (after negotiating with the owner / Master / whatever) also negotiate with the bottom, or do you take your limits from the top only?
<kimochi> in my experience, if it's an M/s relationship, Top only
<BernieRoehl> I don't, MistressSarcastica -- if the sub has an owner, I negotiate with the owner
<dana^^> would think that you take the limits from the Top...
<DarkAngel^{a}> now ,, recalling back to my last casual play ,,, I was asked to do certain play ,, and not too hard ,,,, - but I was never asked to stop if the sub was orgasming ,,, of course I DID order her to ensure she begged first *innocent grin*
<DarkAngel^{a}> I did take it to a place she wasnt expecting
<BernieRoehl> It often makes it better for the sub as well -- they have no idea what to expect
* kimochi nods nods nods
<dana^^> smiles...
<kimochi> oops - showing too much enthusiasm again
<dana^^> lol kimochi
<DarkAngel^{a}> in theory , Owner (Master or Mistress) ,, in practice ,, I would never play without also talking to the person
<DarkAngel^{a}> the Owner sets the UPPER limit on play
<Blackvelvet> the hard limits
<`abi> I would think that would set up some potential conflicts DA ... Top says "cane the bitch", bottom says "anything but a cane"
<BernieRoehl> Exactly, Blackvelvet
* kimochi was wondering the same thing as abi
<DarkAngel^{a}> LOL ,, well serious conflics `abi ,, I would check back with the owner
<BernieRoehl> That's why I usually just go with what their partner says, rather than having the sub second-guess their Dom
<DarkAngel^{a}> Oh I would be asking the Owner first ,, of course
<MasterBaiter> Conflict like that, 'abi, and I would walk. Those two obviously need to get some stuff straight.
* BernieRoehl agrees with MasterBaiter
<kimochi> and if the sub was trying to top from the bottom, that's a suitable punishment methinks
<`abi> not necessarily MasterBaiter ... a submissive who is being asked what she wants, assumes that she is free to give her opinion
<dana^^> nods and nods...
<`abi> it might well differ from the opinion of the Top ... who is differently motivated in terms of what s/he wishes to see come out of the scene
<ModBot> There are only about five minutes left in the formal part of tonight's discussion. Does anyone have any last-minute thoughts on the subject?
<BernieRoehl> Simply being touched by a complete stranger is a rush for some submissives, so negotiating (or even communicating with them before the scene) would take the edge off
<dana^^> but abi i would tend to leave the negotiating to the Dominants...
<MasterBaiter> Last minute thought: communication is key.
<BernieRoehl> The less of a stranger I am to them, the less of a rush they get -- so all the negotiation is with their owner
<`abi> so would I dana...which was my point
<DarkAngel^{a}> I would ask such things as ,,,,, has your ass been already used hard ,,,
<DarkAngel^{a}> or ,, has your owner used a cane on you before ? - as I would need personal Owner permission before using a NEW toy on a sub
<dana^^> sorry.. i got confused... with the submissive saying no canes.. that always throws me.. grins
<DarkAngel^{a}> similarly ,, I would NEVER alow someone to use a toy on my slave first ,,, without my prior knowledge and permission
<Blackvelvet> reading his/her slave contract, just a thought
<DarkAngel^{a}> if it be something I am not framiliar with ,, or had used on her
<`abi> even if they have one Blackvelvet, they don't likely carry it with them
<Blackvelvet> unless negotiating is done more than a few minutes before the scene
* BernieRoehl remembers a part where the submissive had a list on her back of things that her Dom allowed anyone to do to her (sort of like a sophisticated version of a "kick me" sign)
<Symmetre> rotflmao!
<dana^^> lol
<Prathen> Ohhh, cool!
* Prathen chuckles
<Symmetre> I love it
<BernieRoehl> She spent the entire night having people swatting her ass, grabbing her by the hair, etc -- and she knew hardly anyone at the party
<kimochi> fun fun
<Symmetre> that's classic
<Prathen> With my luck the fine print would make it not aply to me ;)
<dana^^> grins...
<DarkAngel^{a}> maybe it is a pet peeve/concern of mine - within the aspect of continually training my property - I CONTROL any time she is exposed to a new sensation, a new toy, a new feeling
* Symmetre makes a note of that one
<MistressSarcastica> see, DarkAngel, that's where I got into trouble. I negotiated with the Owner. They set out the limits. I talked to the bottom. They said, "kewl!" and we went ahead. Unfortunately for the Owner, the bottom and I did things the Owner hadn't even *thought* about and so could not have said they were a limit. So negotiating with the Owner first ended badly for the couple.
<BernieRoehl> It was a great way for her to get to know a new group of people quickly
<ModBot> Well, that's it for the formal part of the discussion. The discussion log is now closed. It should be processed and uploaded to the website soon. Please feel free to continue chatting informallly. Have a good night, everyone!
<ModBot> Thank you to everyone who participated in the discussion.