Negotiation Checklist

 Questions for both Top/Dom’s and bottom/sub’s

By Professor-X and SpottedZebra

This document was created for Hampshire College Edu.Kink’s workshop, Coffee to Kink. This was written as a resource for college students, but we urge you to adapt it to your specific needs. You can use this checklist for your negotiations whenever you are playing with a new partner. Go through the whole thing each time you’re with a new partner, and take notes if you need to. For ongoing or recurring partners, you can also use our shorthand template at the bottom of this document. Printable versions are available at the bottom also.

Please let us know if there’s something you think we should add!

This document should also be supplemented with scene-specific information. Check our rope checklist and hypnosis checklist links at the bottom for a guide more specific to those types of play! Also, use common sense, please, and uncommon sense if you can find it.

State of Mind
How are you today?
How do you feel about playing with me today?
Are you happy and in a good mental space to play today?
Have you ingested any drugs and/or alcohol and/or any other mind altering substances?

Time Constraints
How long are you imagining this scene will go?
Do you have any time constraints?

Participants
Of which parties is this scene comprised?
How many people are in this scene?
Are other parties allowed in the scene (if so, who)?

Safewords
What safe words do you like to use?
Do you like the stoplight system?
What does “red” mean for you?
What does “yellow” mean for you?

Language
Are there any words or phrases that I should avoid? (Stupid, slut, mommy, coward).
Are there any general areas of topic that I should avoid (racial slurs, family, etc.)

Physical condition
Do you have any injuries or physical limitations that I should be aware of?
Are you on any medications that I need to be aware of (ones you have to take soon? Blood-thinners?)
Have you eaten and are you hydrated?

Clothing
What clothing needs to remain on?
Should I take it off you, or should you?
What clothing needs to remain intact?

Physical contact
Can I touch you?
If so, where can I touch you?
Above the clothing or below?

Sexuality
Would you like to have an element of sexuality in this scene?
If so, what are you comfortable with? (Kissing? Hands and/or mouth on external genitals? Fingering? Penetration? Vaginal? Oral? Anal?)

Fluids
What fluids are you ok with in the scene? (Saliva, sweat, tears, orgasmic fluids, blood, urine).

Protection/STIs
Do you have any STIs?
When was the last time you were tested?
What protection would you like to use?

Specific play
What kind of play are you looking for today? What are you interested in doing? (Impact, Bondage, Hypnosis, Sensation, Role Playing?)
What role would you like? (Top, bottom, Dom, sub, Inspector, puppy)

For Any Pain Play
What is your experience with pain?
What are your pain limits like?
Tip: develop pain-scale system to use with first time partners. What is a ten? What is a five? What number would be your max for the scene?
What kinds of pain do you like? (Thuddy, stingy, scratchy, hot, cold, pinchy, bitey?)
How do you warm up?
What toys can I use?

Marks
Can I leave marks?
If so, where is ok?
How long can they last?

Soft Limits
What types of play would you like me to check in about mid-scene?
What types of play could be brought up depending on how the scene goes?

Hard Limits
What types of play do you absolutely not want to do now or possibly ever?

Sub Space
Do you go into subspace?
Do you anticipate going into subspace?
What should I do if you go into subspace?
What is your communication like in subspace?
If you start crying, what should I do? (Or, shaking, inability to stand, talk).

Aftercare
What kind of aftercare do you need? (Cuddles vs. space, food and water, blanket, discussion, decompress)
Will you need transportation somewhere after?
What kinds of interaction do you need in days to come? (Check in, privacy, space, photos of marks)

Short Hand Negotiation Checklist for Ongoing Partners

Use this if you’ve already played with someone a few times.

State of Mind
How are you today?
How do you feel about playing with me today?
Are you happy and in a good mental space to play today?
Have you ingested any drugs and/or alcohol and/or any other mind altering substances?

Time Constraints
How long are you imagining this scene will go?
Do you have any time constraints?

Safewords
Check in about safewords

Physical condition
Do you have any injuries or physical limitations that I should be aware of?
Are you on any medications that I need to be aware of (ones you have to take soon? Blood-thinners?)

Clothing
What clothing needs to remain on?
What clothing needs to remain intact?

Physical contact
What are you comfortable with for this scene?

Sexuality
What are you comfortable with for this scene?

Specific play
What kind of play are you looking for today?
What are you interested in doing?
Interested in pain play?
Thuddy or stingy? (Impact, Bondage, Hypnosis, Sensation, Role Playing?)
What role would you like? (Top, bottom, Dom, sub, Inspector, puppy)

Limits
What are you not interested in for the night?
What might you be interested in?

Sub Space
Do you think you’ll go into space in this environment?

Aftercare
What kind of aftercare do you need? (Cuddles vs. space, food and water, blanket, discussion, decompress)
Will you need transportation somewhere after?
What kinds of interaction do you need in days to come? (Check in, privacy, space, photos of marks)

Note:

If you’re playing with someone for the first time, it’s always a good idea to make sure you have a buddy in the space, and/or make sure your partner has an emergency contact number for you.

PDF Printable Long VersionPDF Printable Short Version for Ongoing Partners

For a Rope Scene…
Check out this link by SpottedZebra:
Rigger and Bunny Rope Scene Checklist

For a Hypnosis Scene…
Check out this link by Professor-X:
Erotic Hypnosis Negotiation and Ideas

copyright Professor-X © 2013 – No portion of this article may be reproduced without the written permission of the author.  Original essay on FetLife