Talking. Talking before the ropes wrap and the whips fly — this is where the fire starts. The deep friction is not about the bits rubbing together, it’s about your desire stroked by another’s desire. Exquisite conversations edge the minds towards a heightened presence, and the bodies towards delicious collusion.
The collusion of desire — this is the essence of consent.
Consent is so often presented as if it is some dry contractual negotiation. In reality, it is a conspiracy of yearnings against the doldrums of daily banality.
If I ask you to kiss me, and you full heartedly agree by replying with a “yes”, you have just agreed to connect with me in ways that no one else is connected to me in the now — and you haven’t even kissed me yet. But my body is in full readiness to receive your lips.
If you ask me to bind you, and I say “yes”, we have just agreed to journey into pleasure together — and I haven’t even bound you yet. But our bodies are ready for the embrace beyond mere embrace.
Talk to me – turn me on.
Talk to you – turn you on.
As we talk together, our desires fuel our encounter.
This is what negotiation can be.
There is an art and unique pleasure to the pre-play conversation of BDSM.
If it hasn’t been like this for you, let me share some tools so you may explore a better place of heightened pleasures. There is an art and unique pleasure to the pre-play conversation of BDSM.
First, before you begin with your lover or partner, look within yourself and face your hunger.
This isn’t about the specific tools or activities.
This is about the rawness of your passions.
What emotional state do you want to sink into?
What is the rawest part of you feeling a need for?
Do you seek to belong? Do you want to possess? Want to be possessed? Do you crave the vibrancy of sensations?
Sometimes these hungers are not desires that are considered appropriate in polite company. Ok, well, most of these hungers aren’t… and that’s the case for most erotically interesting and sensually curious people. If your desires are a little off kilter, a bit odd, craven, dark or lascivious, that’s ok. You just need to have a sense of what you’re genuinely hungry for.
Perhaps you have several different desires at once. That’s good. It gives you options and flexibility. Remember that you might not get those wants fully sated, but if you can’t name them and seek them, you’re sure as hell not going to get anywhere near to them.
Once you’ve had a sense of your desires and have a feel of the moods you might want to seek out, then we can use our mouths for those important oral pleasure skills — talking, wanting and desire building. It doesn’t have to take long, but if you like a slow simmer — an arousing, maddening build up — you can do that too. It’s all in the words, combined with smoldering glances, and welcomed touch.
Practical Tips & Questions To Ask
Start the conversation with an offer.
Something like, “I’d love to play with you, if you want to play too.” Figure out your wording on this. It’s best if you state a want and an offer, but not as a demand. Demands to play are a huge turn off to a lot of people.
For BDSM scenes, I often like to start the conversation by asking what sort of activities they might be interested in. This is not because I want to do what they are initially imagining or asking, and this is not about one person catering to another’s list of fantasies. If I did that, I might be ignoring my own truth. That’s not collaborative, and really hot BDSM is collaborative.
People tend to speak of BDSM in terms of toys used or techniques deployed, but that’s usually just an awkward way to ask for a feeling they want to experience — or a ‘hunger’ as I described above. By default, and lack of better information, we attach unspoken expectations of emotional, physical or erotic state to a tool or an activity. If someone asks for bondage or a spanking, they have some expectations that they may have not articulated yet. They ask for the “thing” in hopes to get the rush they imagine it will bring. When that doesn’t exactly happen, they wonder what, or who, went wrong. This isn’t a good foundation for maximizing the potential of joy.
Let me share a story. Recently a student of mine asked me for advice:
Girlfriend: “See these hot rope bondage pix! Do this to me.” (Shows him a beautifully styled and shot photo of super intricate rope bondage on a woman.)
Him: (Feeling suddenly intimidated because he can barely tie his shoelaces.) “Okay”
She goes to the bedroom, and undresses, waits on bed, glowing with excitement and anticipation.
He stares at the image she sent him. Then, he frantically Googles for instruction.
He goes into the camping supplies in the garage to find rope.
He fumbles through the scene.
Afterwards, she thanks him but… she’s sort of sad and generally disappointed. He feels… well… not good for letting them both down.
I gave him some practical lessons; a little bit of a rope lesson, and a big chunk of homework to build better scenes through better pre-play conversations. Here’s his homework, and a possible flow of conversation for next time. You can try your variation of this too.
Girlfriend: “See this hot rope bondage pix! Do this to me.” (Shows him a beautifully styled and shot photo of super intricate rope bondage on a woman.)
Him: “Oh I’d love to play too! You know, I’m not good like this photo — in fact I’m totally new to this — but if you’re good with me being new to this, I’m really excited to tie you up!”
Now for the series of questions he needs to ask her (and you need to sexy talk with your sweetie.) These questions are designed to set up a mutually fulfilling experience, reduce that unsexy feeling of uncertainty, and make the mid-scene communications and adjustments easier.
“Tell me, what about this photo that you like?” (Don’t rush your partner. Let them talk it out. You’re looking for clues here.)
“What do you think getting tied up will feel like to you?” (This is a clue on what they’re hungry for.)
“Are there things we do that start to get you to feel like that?” (These are the things you’re already on the right track with, and you are encouraged to do more of.)
“What kind of mood do we want to go to tonight?” (This is another way to figure out the state they wants to transition to, aka their hunger. If this matches or dovetails with your desires, we’ve got a potentially great night ahead! This also helps them to step away from high expectations, allowing you both space to breathe and experiment. Now, both of you can be focused on the joy and action ahead, rather than trying to navigate unspoken expectations and guess their internal experience.)
Here are some other really useful questions to ask before playing, and weave it into a conversation full of wants and desires.
Aftercare: What do we each need today for aftercare? (Aftercare is just what people need to return to functioning equilibrium of their everyday selves. The appropriate aftercare for each individual can really affect the lingering impression of the scene.)
What do you look like and sound like when it’s good for you?
What do you look like and sound like when it’s not good for you?
What’s your “no-we-can’t” for today? (This could be something as simple as when you need to be done by, or no marks in certain areas.)
As for your sexy body and health, what would you like to share with me today on how you’re doing and things I should know about?
How will you let me know when you want more of something?
How will you let me know when you want less of something?
For all the questions you ask them, make sure to share your own answers. This creates a greater depth of connection, trust, confidence, and potential for hotter scenes.
Try these out! And remember to keep the focus on the hungers and appetites and shared pleasure! This is all about the collusion desire and collaboration of joy.
Enjoy your adventure!