In the world of BDSM, partners must have very open communication and engage in a dialogue before any activities. This is clear to those that participate properly because many scenes center around things like power and control, or bondage and restraints. Once in a “scene” the Dom is controlling the sub; but only within pre-determined boundaries. Therefore, it is often said that the sub is truly the one in control! And how do these partners determined the scene and its boundaries? Negotiation!
I open with this description because I’m learning that sexual negotiation is not a common thing outside BDSM – and it should be. Allow me to elaborate.
I recently heard some young women that I know discussing current struggles in their lives. One of them, somewhat shyly, said:
“I’m tired of dudes getting off and not even making the effort to try to get me off as well!”
The conversation then covered how women shouldn’t allow this, how they should insist on their pleasure first, and what actions they should take in bed to assure their own satisfaction. These are all accurate, but I argue that these are “too little, too late” in the cycle of a relationship to be most effective. Withholding or insisting are sure fire ways to trigger conflict instead of open dialogue.
My proposal is simple, yet putting it into action is not. Before getting into bed with a new partner, there must be a sexual negotiation. Let me acknowledge – this will be difficult and uncomfortable at first. But it will also be worth it. And it will build bonds and bridges rather than create obstacles. Negotiation is one part of the open communication Jeannie and I have highlighted time and time again on this blog. It has also brought us so much more intimacy, too!
The basic premise is this: if you are comfortable enough to give your body to another person, you must be comfortable having a sexual negotiation with them before diving into bed. Discuss what sex acts you want or desire or would rather avoid. Oral? Anal? PIV? If you aren’t monogamous, have you both been tested recently? What protection will be used? These are pretty basic and most partners cover at least some of these already.
Men are like microwaves. Women are like ovens.
Here’s where is quickly goes off the rails; and I’ll use the specific example of the discussion among my female friends above. Men are easy to please. For a man to get off, well, that’s wonderful, but it isn’t all that challenging. And even if they don’t, they’ll get pleasure from nearly any touch and any physical interaction. Women don’t have it so easy. My friends’ used the analogy that men are like microwaves (instant and reliable) while women are like ovens (need preheating, but damn hot once prepared properly!) I think this is super accurate and even if men just do the preheating, women will be so much more satisfied.
So how do we negotiate? Ladies – tell your man what you want and what you need. In your mind, you are prepared to withhold sex until you get what you need first. But you shouldn’t have to explicitly say that either. Say things like, “In order for me to have satisfying PIV sex, I first need you to touch and tease me. And I’d also like you to go down on me and get me really aroused. In fact, if you get me really aroused, I’ll reach a point where I’m practically begging you to fuck me! But if you can’t at least try to get me there, we just cannot proceed.”
This is just an example, but I think you get the idea. My point is simple – ALWAYS negotiate what you want and need. I know that many people (especially the women that need to lead this conversation) will say, “But this seems so awkward! What if they don’t want to talk about it?” Well, if you can’t TALK about sex with a partner, you shouldn’t be HAVING sex with that partner. Sure, it definitely will be awkward sometimes. But you can also have fun with it and explore and even laugh over it, too.
Trust me, communication can be really hot, and negotiation is, well, non-negotiable!