author of A Field Guide to Creepy Dom*: It can be really hot, at first, because let’s face it– none of us fantasize about negotiations and limits.

me: First of all, speak for yourself, but second of all — what if we did, though?  What if we changed how we think about “negotiations” and “limits”?  What if we were no longer conceptualizing them as an un-fun technical obligation, a thing for getting over with?  What if we centered and celebrated and embraced communication about preferences as a treasured part of getting to know your partner and yourself?  What if that was something to look forward to?  What if that was part of the fantasy?  What if I wrote a flash fiction piece that was just about a couple discussing what they wanted?

*cw for rape and abuse narratives

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33 responses to “

  • Sieketya

    Write it.

  • Calum P Cameron

    I realise the author was probably thinking of a very specific KIND of “negotiation” and “limit” when they wrote that, but, still…

    …have they never met a socialist?
    Or a pacifist?
    Or basically anyone who is at all pro-diplomacy?

    There are reams of people who only get through the day by constantly fantasising about a hypothetical future world full of negotiations and limits where currently there are none or few.

    And, okay, it’s probably not a SEXUAL fantasy for most of them, but it’s fairly often tied to the same sort of notions of thrill and longing and transcendence and so forth.

  • Libris

    …yeah, I was also gonna be like ‘speak for yourself!’.

    (That is actually the most irritating flaw I find in writing about kink shit, whether it’s supportive, critical, or anywhere in between – whether or not I agree with their overall ideas, a lot of the time the writers write in generalisations, and I stare at them like ‘uh? no?’. It’s a very common fallacy, but one that stops people relating to a thing nonetheless.)

  • Klaaraa

    Okay I only recently learned what Flash Fiction is and read two pieces and was meh about it, but I too would very much like to read yours, on the subject you mentioned.

  • queenieofaces

    (…I also have written multiple pieces of fiction just about relationship negotiation. *THUMBS UP*)

    • Coyote

      share share share share

      • queenieofaces

        A lot of it is suuuuper self-indulgent and/or poorly written, but this one is publicly accessible and I can look at it without cringing too much so: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LvDPKxbUxh9wpptvy3gpbHmlU0N0QuQUEmRiIXn8w9U/edit?usp=sharing

        • Coyote

          I’m on my phone and kept trying to scroll after “Yeah, I guess” (about a second time) but it won’t let me scroll further.

        • luvtheheaven

          That one you (queenieofaces) linked to about kissing was SO good. ;) I hope you don’t mind me checking it out now that it was here in the comments. I really enjoyed it a lot and the “Yeah, I guess” seemed to me like the perfect way to end it.

          (I relate to it strongly, too, which I guess adds to how amazing it felt to read it… )

          Both of you two (Coyote and queenieofaces) are impressive/talented writers in general, whether creative nonfiction, or fiction, or whatever it is I’m reading by you!

          • queenieofaces

            Oh gosh, no, that’s probably my best fiction piece by a MILE. Most of the other stuff is pretty cringe-worthy. I stopped writing fiction for a couple of years because I realized that I’m waaaaay better at non-fiction.

          • queenieofaces

            :(
            When I showed it around to people in my writing community, a lot of people commented on how cute and uplifting it was, and I was like, “…did…did you read the story I wrote??? It ends on a PRETTY DOWNER NOTE???”

          • epochryphal

            it’s prettY FUCKING DOWNER, YEAH, hahahahaha. important, and good and i don’t regret reading it. but Like. like. y’all. y’all did you miss the sinister

        • R.

          Well, that was subtly rage-inducing.

          (Well done.)

          • queenieofaces

            Thanks. I’m appreciating what a different response it gets from people in ace communities–it makes me less convinced that I somehow botched the execution enough to make people think it’s adorable. >.>

          • Coyote

            Your writing group has some scary people.

          • queenieofaces

            TO BE FAIR, they also thought That Danged Vampire Novel was totally 100% completely fine, so I think it’s less that they were scary, and more that they were…kind of clueless.

          • luvtheheaven

            To be fair, I’ve been making fanvideos for a decade and you can do the most angst-filled, depressing, angry, etc vid ever, dark song, violent or tearful scenes, etc, and consistently you’ll get “That was so sweet and cute!” as a comment. So I’ve learned to ignore the people who completely MISSED THE POINT.

            With your writing group, I wonder if those people even read till the end? I wonder if they understood ANY of what was in that story? I can ALMOST stretch and see two people fumbling through the start of a relationship with an awkward conversation as something they could assume was SUPPOSED to be cute, but you wrote the uncomfortable-ness SO well, it’s so NOT cute… So again I think back to those ridiculous comments on my fanvideos that at one point made me want to yell at people through the computer screen, and with time I learned to not let faze me.

          • luvtheheaven

            Sorry; I was writing that comment for a long time before I hit post and didn’t realize queenieofaces would post a “to be fair” reply right before mine LOL! Whoops.

  • doubleinvert

    “none of us fantasize about negotiations and limits.”

    Seriously, dafuq? Why wouldn’t we fantasize about that? Who’s the “us” this person is talking about?

  • code16

    Reblogged this on Sometimes pain, and very rarely unexamined and commented:
    [Not an essay or anything, just – some thoughts that showed up having seen this which I am trying to put into words and not doing very well.
    Did not read linked article]

    I’m very much one of those ‘communication and negotiation and discussing and etc our kinks with my partner is something I value and really want to do not just for utilitarian use but as its own thing which I love’ people. Like, I’ve had literal communication fantasies and everything.

    I often don’t and haven’t felt space for this. From domism, certainly and very much (not going to go further into this right now). But also in general. For talking, for having all the thoughts on myself and sharing them, for the other side of this. I don’t see it represented. I receive the idea that it’s not OK. I receive the idea that talking is a burden and a chore and no one actually wants to do it. I don’t see representations of a positive place for it. (And, to be clear – if someone *doesn’t* want to listen to mine, isn’t interested in/would not want doing that themselves or sharing, I wouldn’t want to do that with them or etc. This is something I’d *only* want to do with someone who also wanted it. But socially received ‘not OK’ for me feels like the idea that no one would want this and it’s bad/imposing/presumptuous for me to think someone would etc. Which is where this hurts me).

    And, I definitely get this feeling when I see quotes like this. When things like this are just taken for granted etc. (I also get it when I run into ‘negotiation can be sexy!’ type things that again don’t leave space for wanting not-that. (Like seeing a lot of things going ‘it’s ok, bread can totally be made to taste like pastries’ when I like bread and and would like to have bread. (Which, to be clear, wanting your bread to taste like pastries is *also* a valid want and thing to want materials on.)))

    I think there’s fairly clearly a typical mind fallacy thing going on here. I’ve read writings about how things work for them by people who write quotes like this, and this is very much a how-it-works and experience etc that exists and people have and etc, and it is valid to be/have. (Even as my experience also exists and I have it and this is valid). (Note, this is different from ‘negotiation is boring so let’s just do things and I don’t care if I hurt my partner’, which is not at all valid. Or ok. It’s valid for negotiation etc to *not be a thing people are in and of itself into and excited about*. Much like I don’t have to be excited by obeying safety traffic laws, but I very much have to abide by them. If I can find a way to make this fun for me, I can be happy about that, but if I can’t, then I need to either do it un-funly or not drive (general I, not specifically-I-I.))

    And I wouldn’t want to do the typical mind fallacy thing in return – much like there are things other people like and are excited by and I don’t and am not, there are things I like and am excited by that other people don’t and am not. And I can and do want more representation and material and etc re how it is for me (the what-ifs of this post give me yes feelings!). But I don’t want to act like everyone is or should be like me in this.

    Which makes me think, also, that this can be useful to conceptualize as one of those things where people for whom something is utilitarian have different needs in materials etc than people for whom it’s a/the thing-they’re-into. (Even as there’s the important difference caused by the fact that the ‘utilitarian’ purpose of negotiation is *trying to not hurt or violate your partner*). Just like people who are into bondage don’t have the same needs in materials as people who have found that they keep almost falling off a table when doing their actual target activity and would like to try restraints to solve this. But, for instance both groups need to know things about not cutting off circulation with restraints.

    (I also very much want more material with negotiation, and really wish it was out there more and I could find it, because that’s not one of those things I just automatically knew or know how to do, and examples, aside from validating OK-ness, are also really major for that. (And I’ve gone looking before, and haven’t found nearly enough, so.))

  • R.

    Yes I fantasize about negotiations and limits-setting because otherwise I will have no idea what to do or where to go, which I find distressing. Because there is another human being involved trusting me and I would rather not abuse that trust.

    (Grumbles to self)

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