It would be nice, wouldn’t it, if our needs matched up nicely with things we’re good at?
I realized on the way home tonight a big piece of my play puzzle – specificity related to aftercare. In order to the kind of aftercare I need when I’m in that small, low, worn, tired space, I need to be invited to it. Explicitly, verbally, invited. Otherwise? My brain whirls away into how much of your time I’m taking up, how tired you must be, how anxious you are to get onto the next thing. It doesn’t matter if I can feel your breathing slow when we hug; or that you welcome my nuzzle into your neck, or that you’re stroking my check with the most beautiful, peaceful look in your eyes…my brain whirls until you say stop. Until you say stay.
I’ll question my worthiness, your pleasure with me, your sense of duty. And if you let me, I will bolt – because asking at this point, when I’m already low? It’s too much.
I have a really hard time asking for care. This is a thing that is, and no matter how able to do -all-the-things I would like to be….. reality is what I have to live with.
This, dear reader, is the stuff that now gets added to the negotiations portion of my encounters. And by negotiations portion I mean all the things I need to communicate to my partner(s) before it becomes too late to say those things.
Why such strange language? Because the style of negotiations I learned when I first came into the scene (meet, negotiate, play, part) doesn’t really work for me. Traditional negotiations were a great place to start when I had no other model, but it turns out I do better negotiating on the fly. I used to be so concerned with what I thought I should say (gotta cover the checklist: likes, dislikes, physical limitations, known triggers, honorifics, etc) I would provide a lot of unnecessary information, making the process a lot longer and more intense then it ever had to be for the type of play I was doing. Plus, without fail I would forget something along the way and get stuck in my head while I tried to decide if I should bring it up, if I could bring it up – and then dealing with feeling like I just failed negotiations 101; all while trying to keep playing. And all that? Not even remotely conducive to being present in your play….
Funny thing mind you , I kinda was failing at Negotiation 101. Not because I needed to do negotiations the right way, but because I was trying to conform to what I had learned, instead of taking what I had learned and conforming it to how I do.
Ten points for experience and knowing myself. Ten extra points for continued learning and knowing how to apply what I’m learning.
Ten more points and I’ll get to cash them in for a prize…I mean, that’s how this works right?