SWIPE-Madison – Recap of Communication in Your Relationship, Dec. 12

MADISON, Wisc. – Thank you to everyone who came out to the Madison discussion on “Commuication in Your Relationship” on Friday, December 12th!

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 2011 discussion notes
SWIPE-Waukesha 2013 discussion notes

Types of Communication

  • Instant Message
  • Text
  • Written communication (emails or online postings) – poor spelling can be a turn off
  • Non-verbal – body language, about 80% of communication is non-verbal (Non-Verbal Communication); often, non-verbal communication is used in a scene.

When being asked or asking a difficult question, how can you tell if the person is being honest?

  • Be specific in your questions.
  • Tell the person that it’s ok to be honest or shy or embarrassed.
  • Let the person know you are feeling shy or embarrassed or at least, how you feel.
  • Be conscious of non-verbal cues – eye contact (or lack thereof).
  • Be consistent.

Communication for newbies (and even for the experienced):

  • Jay Wiseman’s Negotiation Form
  • BDSM Play Partner Checklist
  • Be specific with newbies; they don’t know what they don’t know and what they don’t know what they like or won’t like. Sometimes things sound better/hotter than they really are.
  • If you’re new, try specific things with a “specialist” (ask around to see who that could be in your community), i.e. want to try wax play, find someone who is “known” and respected by others for this type of play.
  • If someone asks you to do something that you don’t like or might be uncomfortable with, it is OK and good for you to say “No, thanks.”
  • Give feedback so others can learn.

How much should you reveal about yourself when talking with a potential partner?

  • Determine what priority kink has in your life and prioritize it in your relationship.
  • Start with vanilla stuff to make a connection.
  • Be open with the big stuff (married, open relationship, etc).
  • Your profile is a tool to begin communication.
  • Writing a good profile communicates a lot.
  • People troll with lots of different bait.
  • Most people can hide themselves for about 3 months; once the barriers are dropped, you can see the real person in highly emotional situations. How do they react to happy, sadness, or being sick?

Communication works better with a common language.

Sometimes people’s tone can come across:

  • Defensive
  • Accusatory
  • Abrupt

However, the speaker may not actually mean it that way. Ask the person to clarify what they mean: I hear your tone as being defensive, are you on the defense?

Communication also includes:

  • Listening skills – listening to hear the other person, not listening to respond.
  • Understanding.

Improvements to communication:

  • Try to phrase things in a positive way.
  • Please and Thank you go a long way.
  • Space to talk freely without consequences.
  • Bring up issues right away and try to resolve.
  • Don’t keep score.
  • Own your screw ups.
  • Apologize sincerely when you do screw up.
  • When you start to run out of things to talk about, share 3 things that happened during your day and how you felt about them.
  • Make little daily connections – texts to say “Hi, I’m thinking about you.”
  • Humor helps.
  • Change the routine (this is so hard and so worth the effort).
  • Write out what you want to say first.

How to bring up messy topics?

  • Be in a good headspace to talk.
  • Don’t bring it up when you’re highly emotional.
  • “Brain dump” – fair warn your partner before you do this and let them know anything that comes out during a brain dump is up for discussion.
  • It’s OK to tell the person you need time to process.
  • Accept that the person may need time to process.
  • What’s your goal? Do you want resolution or to just vent?

Road blocks to communication:

  • Afraid your thoughts are not going to be accepted.
  • Embarrassed to say what you’re thinking.
  • Different styles between partners (animated, stoic, humor, literal).
  • Disproportionate priorities (important to one but not the other).
  • Fear.
  • Brain-to-mouth filter is broken (no tact).
  • Intense emotions.
  • Talkative partner with quiet partner.
  • One person invests more into the relationship than the other.

In order to get a quiet person to talk:

  • Ask specific questions.
  • Let them know that no one can read their mind.
  • Ask a mediatory to assist.
  • Let them know you care enough to listen.

Our next Waukesha meeting is Sunday, Dec 28th @ 6:30pm – Physical & Emotional Boundaries – We set physical hard limits; do you set emotional boundaries as well? How do you set boundaries? What happens when your boundaries are pushed or broken? How do you mitigate triggering issues or breaking boundaries?

Our next Madison meeting is Friday, Jan 9th @ 7pm NOTE: New time and new place – Prioritizing Your Relationship(s) – What does Prioritizing Your Relationship mean to you? Work, family, friends – How do you prioritize your relationship(s)? What are some things you can do to help you prioritize your partner? If you play with others, how do you prioritize your relationship(s)?