Negotiation

Negotiation

Negotiation is an open, constructive discussion which takes place before a Shibari scene. Participants must express clearly and specifically their interests, desires, comfort levels and boundaries. In the end, negotiation sets the terms for a commitment between partners. It is, therefore, very important to keep communication open and honest during negotiation. This is the only way in which the outcome will be satisfactory for all parties.

The newer the partner, the more thorough negotiation should be. You should discuss everything that will come into play during the scene. This might take time, but it is worth it. Not only will participants get to know each other better, but it is also an opportunity to open up and strengthen the emotional exchange that is the mark of a true Shibari scene. Empathizing with each other before such an intense experience is, by any means, a good idea.

Some of the questions included in negotiation are, for example, the role assignment. If a person doesn’t feel good playing rigger or bottom, the others shouldn’t force them into doing so. Also, the power dynamic must be clear for everybody. Remember that Shibari involves strong emotions and vulnerability, so it is very important to make it clear how you are going to handle them. 

How erotic or overtly sexual the scene is going to be is also a very important point to discuss. A Shibari scene can emphasize the aesthetic element, or its eroticism, or it can be a complete sexual practice. You must decide together what kind of scene you are designing, so that there will be no unpleasant surprises for anyone involved.

Finally, safety should always be a top concern. Participants have the right to ask whether all precautions have been taken, and this should not be taken as distrust or offense. There must be an agreement of what to do in case of an emergency.

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