SWIPE-Madison – Notes from Negotiations

MADISON, Wisc. – Thank you to everyone who came out to the Madison discussion on “Negotiations” on Friday, December 11th!

Thanks to everyone who shared their personal stories. Those stories are really what make the meetings worth coming to along with the laughter and camaraderie! We will not recount the personal stories here. If some key points of the discussion were missed or you want to add some additional thoughts, please feel free to do.

SWIPE-Madison 2012 discussion notes
SWIPE-Waukesha 2014 discussion notes

Types of Negotiations:

  • Relationship – poly/non-monogamy/monogamy, Dominance/submission, Master/slave.
  • Play for when you know someone or played with them multiple times.
  • Boundaries (not just for play but between play times).
  • Pick- up play for when you don’t know someone well or just met them at the party.

Why negotiate?

  • Proper thing to do.
  • Respect for yourself and others.
  • Communication.
  • Get things in the open.
  • Protection, so you don’t do the wrong thing to yourself or others.
  • Speak the same language – know the meaning of the words you both speak.
  • Personal responsibility.
  • Need opportunities to have good experiences.
  • Builds trust.

Newbie negotiations:

  • Where to touch.
  • Sex or no sex (remember to define sex – oral, vaginal, anal).
  • State of dress.
  • Marks (where OK or if they are OK) – remember when your next doctor or massage appointment is because vanillas may see them.
  • Breaking skin (is it OK or not OK?).
  • Kinds of communication during a scene (safewords).
  • Check in after the scene or next day or so to see how you have processed the scene.
  • Aftercare – do you need it? Who will give it to you, if you do need it?
  • Are you loud or do you go non-verbal in a scene?
  • Medications (both Top & bottom).
  • Medical issues.
  • Mental triggers and/or trigger words.
  • Absence of No is not permission. (“Well, you didn’t say no biting.”)

Experienced Negotiations:

  • Can include all of the newbie stuff.
  • Update any medical info or any changes from the last time you played with that person.
  • Are you in the head space to play?

When Negotiations don’t go as planned:

  • Speak up as it happens.
  • If you messed up, own your shit.
  • Talk about what happened and how to prevent it or change it in the future.


  • Everything is written so you can go back and review it.
  • Forces negotiations – what to put in and take out.
  • Needs to be fluid to make room for changes.
  • Only as good as the relationship.
  • Not enforceable by law.

Negotiate for what you are going to do is easier and the list is shorter than negotiating what you’re not going to do. Plus, you get what you want!
If you are new, it would be helpful to get someone to help you negotiate (an advocate). Having a third person around can help unnecessary “he said/she said” issues.

Our next Madison discussion – Friday, Jan 8th @ 7pm – Consent – What does consent mean to you? How long does consent last? What do you when consent is violated?

Our next Waukesha discussion – Sunday, Jan 24th @ 6:30pm – Play in Your Relationship – What does play mean to you? How does playing or not playing affect your relationship? Do different styles of play have different affects?