One of the pivotal concepts that BDSM and poly intersect on is Negotiation.
It is an unfortunate observation I have made is that in some vanilla poly circle the idea of negotiation is feared because of the theory it blocks organic growth.
Now I’m not afraid to tell you that that idea is rubbish.
Negotiating is a part of communicating boundaries and breaking down personal fears. It means you’ve become self-aware of your needs, wants, and your limits as a person.
But let me let you in on a secret. All of those things can change. It can change daily even. That is why people renegotiate.
Even in 24/7 power-exchange many people have it built in that people change so you may need to renegotiate. A submissive, especially a slave, however, realizes that they could end the relationship or dynamic. But there also lies the understanding that a relationship is built on consent to dealing with compromises and taking responsibility for your actions, even those that affect others.
What makes negotiation and renegotiation healthier are that you know your limits or boundaries and don’t allow yourself to be swayed in changing who you are. You take time to look into yourself when making a compromise to be sure that it does not leave you feeling as if something was taken. You’ll feel content or you need to revisit.
We are whole individuals. Our relationship rules, negotiation, and boundaries should never leave us feeling less than that.
And yes every relationship has boundaries. Its the result of negotiations. Even telling your partner they can’t control your interactions is a boundary.
And boundaries aren’t this negative scary thing.
They should be a reminder that in alt relationship communities, we are literally creating something from scratch. Our relationship is what we make it. It is the work we put it. And it’s not easy.
That is why many find it hard to make their relationship a reality. They have the fantasy in their head, but they don’t know how to deal with real people to break the walls and predisposed inclinations we have built into us.
Polyamorous folk and BDSMers redefine every term. We don’t fit the norms of what family and relationships look like because of that, even when we mask ourselves to be palatable.
So why let a fear of words keep you and your partners from reaching your true potential? From teaching you to be your authentic self? To keep you from being able to emotionally process in various ways. That is something for you to explore.
Negotiation brings forth organic growth. It only prohibits you if you let it.