Sunday, March 2, 2014

Formality in the Lifestyle

I notice that there is always a lot of emphasis on negotiations in this lifestyle. Even the first people I ever played with went on and on about negotiations, but I can't really say that I've ever negotiated a relationship.

Most people who know me know I dislike the concept of references, applications, and interviews when it comes to relationships. I'm of a mind that it's a relationship, not a job interview. As much as I hate applying for jobs, I don't want to expand that into my personal relationships.

I'm not a formal person. I'll make a homemade manual for gardening and homesteading and all that junk. I'll create elaborate outlines of cultures for a story. But the idea of sitting down and writing out a contract is just all sorts of meh. I'm a creature of routine, but not exactly ritual or protocol.

Okay, definitely not protocol.

I enjoy rules, but not the arbitrary trappings of high protocol.

It's actually a rather odd combination, the stringent need for explicit instruction and resistance to change of routine that comes with my particular disorder while hating these formalities. But I am infinitely practical if not entirely rational, and if I can find no practical purpose to a protocol, I find it silly. I also prefer natural instinctual action and reaction, hence my identifying as pet and primal. Protocol feels stilted and awkward and more of an artificial response on my part. Of course, that is in my personal relationships. I am resistant to protocol with outside persons for a whole slew of other reasons.

Because of my desire for organic reaction, I have never found a practical purpose for contracts in my own relationships, as things are constantly changing and evolving and trying to encompass all acceptable action in one document would be exhausting. Sure, I write rules down and whatever tidbits I find useful to remember, but it's not something I would use as a communal reference for the relationship. Besides, I write that shit in IPA and he can't read that. lol

I didn't really negotiate with either of my partners in any significant way. "Negotiation" with my ex was a series of afterthoughts. I mentioned hard limits in the beginning, but even then, that was the beginning of the beginning when such things were murky and theoretical at best at that stage in my life. Some of the minor ones may or may not have been summarily ignored on occasion, not that I've ever been vocal enough with my men to mention such things. Even safe words were an afterthought. Several hours into play did I finally remember safe words were a thing. And for most of the relationship it was simply "safe word" and never used.

Negotiation wasn't really a thing with Daddy either. We've known each other for years and at a distance, most things are theoretical. I'd also moved into the M/s circle of thought by then, and, in the beginning, it was nothing more than a temporary distraction for the both of us. Discussions were mostly ineffectual at the start, as he would answer questions within the context of how they pertained to me in that temporary construct. Things evolved over time, complete with discussions that were little more than casual conversations about a subject we'd discussed so many times before. We discuss things when they come up, but there's never been any conscious negotiation or bargaining, with, perhaps, the small exception of the practicality of certain rules at specific points.

So, I have a hard time answering questions about negotiation and "what do you ask a potential partner" and all that jazz, because I've yet to be in a situation where I had to approach a relationship in such a way.

I'm a planner in a literally obsessive-compulsive kind of way, but I can't bring myself to approach relationships that way. Or rather, it never occurs to me to do so.


  1. I think D/s or BDSM relationships aren't that different from other relationships, there is no "one fits all" recipe, some people enjoy a lot of protocol, others don't. Whatever floats somebody's boat is fine.

  2. I've had one D-type try that route with me and it surprised the crap out of me to find out that that is not the way I see relationships either. I'm pretty rational, practical, and analytical that's why it surprised me ....