The “Not a Checklist” Negotiation Sheet for BDSM Bottoms

by Tornus

I’m a big fan of the fantastic one page negotiation checklist created by @amothtotheflame. It’s succinct, well-organized, and does a great job of summarizing what you actually need to know during casual pick-up play.

I’ve found, though, that this sheet doesn’t really meet my needs when I’m negotiating with a new partner, especially someone who’s fairly new to kink. What I really want is not so much a list of activities, but rather a peek inside their head: what makes them tick, and what would it take to make them tock?

Here’s a first stab at creating the tool that I’ve been looking for but haven’t found. It’s primarily meant for bottoms, and is doubtless more than a little idiosyncratic. Hopefully you’ll find it to be of some use.

This isn’t meant to be a checklist: don’t go down the page putting 1s and 4s and NOs next to each line, or circling things in red and green ink. Rather, look at this as a collection of ideas that may be useful to you in understanding yourself, or that you may want your partner to know about you.

Rather than giving your partner a filled-in version of this list, consider giving them a short list of the sentences that most resonated for you. And, obviously, feel free to add / modify sentences as you see fit.

What I want from this play session

  • I just want a fun play session.
  • I want to connect with you.
  • I want to try something new to see if I like it.
  • I want to do something once, to say I’ve done it.
  • I want to learn / practice a new skill.
  • I’m looking for catharsis.
  • This scene will be a success for me if…
  • Fundamentally, I want you to do what I want.
  • It’s important to me that you do what you want without worrying about what I like.
  • I’m nervous about…

What I want between us

  • We play, then we’re done.
  • I’m looking for an occasional / ongoing play partner.
  • I’m looking for a relationship.
  • I’m secretly auditioning you as a play partner / lover.

When we’re done

  • I’ll see you later.
  • Let’s snuggle and chat.
  • I want to spend the night.
  • Pamper me.
  • I want to express my gratitude by…
  • Call / text / email me the next day.

How you treat me

  • I want you to be loving / rough / gentle / angry / mocking / strict / demanding with me.
  • I like it when you call me slut and whore, but don’t call me bitch or cunt.
  • I want you to praise me. Tell me I’m beautiful / strong / sexy.
  • Make me earn your approval.
  • I need you to be always confident and in control.
  • I need to see your human side.
  • Treat me like your equal.
  • Keep me guessing and off balance.
  • Don’t play games with me.

What happens in my head

  • I want to feel beautiful / exposed / vulnerable / safe / competent / in control / loved / sexy / desired / powerful / afraid / overwhelmed / …
  • I want to stay present and in control.
  • I want to not have to be in control for a while.
  • When play gets intense, I can become non-verbal. When that happens, I need…
  • I sometimes get triggered by… You can recognize it by… When it happens, I need…
  • I do / don’t want to know what’s coming next.
  • I want to prove how tough I am.

Pain

  • Hurt me.
  • Hurt me until I cry / scream / beg for mercy.
  • You’ll know I’ve had enough when I…
  • I want pain that is predictable and manageable.
  • I only want certain kinds of pain: …
  • I do / don’t want pain during sex.

Intimacy

  • I want our play to be fun but let’s keep our distance.
  • I want our play to feel intimate.
  • I want to cuddle / kiss / make out.
  • I want to get to know you as a person.
  • I want you to touch me in intimate but non-sexual ways.
  • I like it when you stroke my hair, kiss my forehead, …

Sex

  • I want our play to have sexual energy, but I don’t want to have sex.
  • I want to have sex.
  • I might want to have sex in future, but not this time.
  • It’s important to me that I have an orgasm.
  • It’s important to me that you have an orgasm.
  • In order to reach orgasm, I need a vibrator / to have my legs straight / to go inside my own head / …
  • After I have an orgasm, I want more orgasms / a quiet cuddle / to serve you / hard fucking / …
  • I’m embarrassed about having an orgasm in front of you.
  • It can be hard for me to reach orgasm. I need you to keep at it until I come.
  • It can be hard for me to reach orgasm. Don’t pressure me to come.
  • I likely won’t have an orgasm, and that’s OK.

Dominance and submission

  • I want you to dominate me.
  • I want to submit to you voluntarily.
  • Force me to submit to you.
  • Tell me what to do with your words / by force.
  • I want to be a brat / a good boy / a slave.
  • I want you to be strict and demanding / loving / a supportive coach.
  • I want a clear start and finish to our d/s.
  • I want an ongoing d/s connection with you.
  • I do / don’t want our d/s to be strictly limited to our play time.
  • Put a collar / leash on me.

How you feel about me

  • I want you to love / value / need me.
  • I want you to be proud of me.
  • I want to feel safe / owned / used / exposed / vulnerable with you.
  • I want to be your slut / toy / pet / prized possession.

Punishment and training

  • Punish me for something I did in real life.
  • Punish me for something make believe.
  • I want to work for your approval, knowing that I only get it if I succeed.
  • I want to work for your approval, secure in the knowledge that I will succeed.
  • Train me!
  • Your disapproval / disappointment would be painful and damaging to me.
  • Punish me, but don’t…
  • Be fair with me.

Consensual non-consent / rape play

  • Rape play isn’t sexy to me: don’t go there.
  • “Rape” me.
  • Use real / make-believe force.
  • I want to fight you and have a chance of winning.
  • I want to fight you, but I want to lose eventually.
  • I want to feel physically overwhelmed by you.

Daddy / little

  • Eww, no. Seriously, not for me.
  • Be my loving / strict / mean / bad / indulgent / protective daddy.
  • My little persona is… years old.
  • When I’m a little, I need / want…

Humiliation / degradation / objectification / shame

  • Humiliate me for wanting it.
  • Show me how hard / wet I am.
  • I want to be mocked / teased / taunted.
  • Break me.
  • Break me and then put me back together again.
  • Humiliate me, but don’t call me fat / ugly / worthless / stupid.
  • Make me ask / beg for what I want.

Download this sheet as a PDF

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

TornusTornus is a polyamorous top from Seattle in the US. Along with a partner, he runs Suspended Animation, a Burning Man camp dedicated to full suspension rope bondage. He also teaches and performs rope bondage, and instigates all kinds of rope-related mischief. Check out what’s in his toy bag and enjoy his writing on his site Sex with Matt.

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