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On Negotiations and Knowing

Great! Somehow, you managed to meet a fellow kinkster who likes you enough to tie with you and you’re both ready to jump in with all your lovely toys.

But before we rush in, it’s important to have a talk with your partner—and good news: it doesn’t have to be grim, business-like, or formal (unless you’re into that)!

Even as a casual chat between friends, negotiation helps us focus on having a good time because clarifying where we draw the lines lowers the chances of nasty accidents, misunderstandings, and violations.

Pictured: Dee and @keeyara_ being grim, business-like, and formal. Jk! We were exploring how even the way someone sits can play into the mental power dynamic in a session. Photographed by @fineartnudemnl

Breaking the ice

How can we start getting to know our partners?

  • Let’s talk about ourselves, what we like about kink, and the quirks of the bodies we’re bringing into the picture;
  • Let’s talk about your desires and wishes, and the extent that you with to explore them;
  • Let’s talk about the things you’re certain you don’t want to do.

People who’ve been in relationships for a long time may learn these details through their time together, but it’s still a good idea to clarify these when you plan a session because we might’ve misunderstood and people’s preferences can change anytime.

After all, them consenting to things before doesn’t mean they’re consenting to them all the time.

Pictured: “How flexible are we? What positions are feasible for us? How long can you comfortably hold that pose?”

Getting to the kinky stuff

When you know your partner better and you feel comfy enough to play, it helps to figure out what that play will involve:

  • What ties do we want to do? Can we safely execute it together?
  • Do we want it to be sexual or non-sexual? What does sexual mean to you?
  • Are we here to study and practice or are we trying to stay chill and relax (maybe enter into kink space)?
  • Do we prioritize taking good photos or making the bondage feel good/painful?
  • What does kink dropping look like for you and what aftercare do you need after a session?

You could even be discussing how much nudity is acceptable to you! In this instance, @keeyara_ and @fineartnudemnl sought to collaborate on a nude Shibari photoshoot, hence their state of undress. But if you’re not comfortable stripping for Shibari, that’s perfectly cool too!

These are just examples of the questions we as partners could be asking.

You don’t have to specify everything down to the last detail, but having a clearer idea of who’s involved, what your goals are, and what a “good session” means to you both is going to be a big help.

Pictured: “Breathe.”

Interested in learning more?

Visit our resources section to read more about Consent & Communication or Session Negotiation!

If you’d like to try your hand at experiencing Shibari with good friends, you can join our Shibari.ph Saturdays which we host every 2nd Saturday of the month!

Image Credits:

Behind the scenes shots of a collab with @keeyara_ and @fineartnudemnl, plus me in my kimono-style cardigan from Onegai Kimono PH.

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Shibari.ph is a hub for Japanese Rope Bondage enthusiasts and practitioners in the Philippines!

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