The cornerstone for a very good relationship, D/s or not is good communication. When you've been at this awhile you don't have to think much about it because it already is in place. But when you are new, how do you set up a trusting environment that you can talk in and feel safe with what you have to say? Let's cover what a safe environment looks like from the people present at the physical location you choose to talk in. A good environment takes planning and mutual agreements to work the way it's supposed to. And you thought that you just had to say, "We need to talk," right?
I've been in bad relationships and in hindsight they failed because of bad communication in one way or another. Seriously though, we learn to talk as babies, but we never really learn to talk until later in life. Our voices need to be heard yes, but we need to learn to listen also. Alright so let's get to it. How is this all set up?
First, you and your partner need to be as equals for this talk. Shed your roles and them aside, even if the topic of conversation is your D/s or power exchange relationship. Coming together as equals helps make the atmosphere feel safer and you will likely express what you need to without fear of repercussions or not being in role. For some, a ritual before the talk starts helps affirm that roles have been dropped for the talk. I'd like to recommend that you don't have talks like this immediately before or after sex, in the bedroom or playroom and not while nude or naked. You need to place yourself on equal footing for this safe environment.
What else should you know?
1. Know what you are going to say. You need to really think about what needs to be said if you are the one to request a time to talk. Have your topic and points in mind. Nothing can derail a talk faster than not having your words all together and ready to share them. If you need to write your thoughts down then do it.
2. Set up a date.
Tell your partner that you would like to request some of their time to talk. Do it as respectfully as possible and never demand their full attention right away. Set a date for it. This way they will know you mean business and what you have to say is important. Several couples that I'm friends with have a weekly meeting where they can do all their talking. It works because that time has been set aside just for a safe talk.
3. Remove distractions.
The location that you choose to talk in has just as much importance as the talk itself. You should turn off all music and television. Put your phones on silent. Bring the children to a sitter. Don't do this kind of talking in a public place.
4. Use "I" statements.
Try your best to not attack the other person. One way do to this is to start your feeling sentences with "I feel." So for example, instead of saying "You make me angry when you..." you can say "I feel upset when you...." What this does is turns an accusation into a explanation of feelings.
5. Be honest.
This may seem like a given, however I feel it's important in even power exchange relationships to remind you that honesty is the best, even if it's painful. Bad things always come out of lying.
What creates that safe environment for you in your relationship? Let me know in the comments.