An important part of negotiating a scene is discussing what you want out of the scene. Sure there are a lot of really thorough BDSM checklists that you could fill out if you don't want to really think about what turns you on and drives you crazy with pleasure. BDSM checklists all live under different names. You can call them limit lists, negotiation lists, negotiation checklists and perhaps ones I've never heard. They are all based on a similar idea. If you make a list of the things you enjoy or don't enjoy you can easily share them with the person you want to play with to find out if you can build a scene that will satisfy both of your needs and desires.

The kind of list that I really like is the Yes/No/Maybe list. It doesn't require you to look up terms you don't know or try to figure out if you'd be into something you've never heard of. This list is a living document and can go in your training resume to be updated as you grow and develop in your submission. I feel that this list will give you a better view of your desires and limits than a list where you rank things by number or leave you questioning if you really are kinky by the number of question marks you put down on things you don't know.

The YES/NO/MAYBE List

Today I'd like you to get your Yes/No/Maybe list together. Even if you have a limits list already written up; start fresh. See what you can come up with on your own.  First, take a big piece of paper and make a list of all the sexual and BDSM activities you can think of, including the ones you wouldn't choose for yourself.

After you finish with the big list of all possible activities, take a regular piece of paper and make three columns. At the top mark them YES, NO and MAYBE. In the YES column, write all the items that you know you like or that you definitely want to try. The NO column is for the things that are out of your limits at this time or things you definitely don't want to do.  The MAYBE column is for things you might like to do with the right person or if you were turned on enough or interested in but not sure of the safety around it. This is the exploration list.

And just in case you didn't think of them, here are a few things that end up on the NO list of many experienced players:

  • Temporary marks
  • Permanent marks
  • Play with urine or feces
  • Play with guns or knives
  • Sexual or genital play or penetration
  • Unsafe sex
  • Breathing constriction
  • Use of drugs and alcohol
  • No touching areas or sensitivities
  • Triggers ( like "Don't use belts, they remind me of childhood abuse.")

Now that you have the lists finished take some time to look at the YES column. Go through each item and mark it with an 'N' if you need it to have a good play session. You can mark the rest with 'W' for want, including some in the MAYBE column. These are the icing on the cake items, the things that make play fascinating and challenging and fun.

Now that you have this list you can look for a negotiations checklist from online or in books. These lists have important information areas like health issues, triggers, medications you are on and so forth. Each list ranges in detail so find one that meets your needs. You can use the lists you find to help you fill out your own list, but don't add anything so out there that you forget what it is.

Enjoy your explorations!