Communication is key - I say it in every article, but it becomes no less true. Communication is imperative to any relationship, especially one in which your physical and mental health are at risk.

This week I have had trouble. Master is very interested in entering into a poly-dynamic. While this initially sounded very attractive to me, the more I thought about it, the worse I felt. Though I want my Master to be fulfilled and happy, I also cannot walk around feeling horrible like this. I had to talk to him. I used "I statements" to express my concerns and to try to find a medium between what he wants and what I felt comfortable with.

The unfortunate thing about frustration is that it tends to snowball. Once you become upset about one thing, all the other things that bother you begin to surface and you want to bring them all up at once. For all making my partner upset, might as well get it all out there at once. This is not a great way to approach the situation. I feel guilty afterward knowing that I upset my partner and then I end up negating anything useful that I brought up before.

So I sat down and I thought about the times when I successfully brought issues up. What did I do that elicited a better outcome than today? I planned. I wrote out in my journal how I was feeling ahead of time. I let myself explode on paper because no one could be hurt by those words. Then once I had all my thoughts down, I was able to sort through them and see what issues were really issues worth bringing up now, and which one's were less mandatory. Note: no issue should ever be ignored entirely, but when I am talking about the big move in our relationship towards a poly-dynamic, a tendency to not follow through on his word to do the laundry sometimes is slightly irrelevant and can be brought up at a later time.

I then was able to take the points I wanted to bring up and prioritize them and thought of ways to say them that were not antagonizing. The best way to do this is using "I-statements". For example, "I feel nervous about entering into a poly relationship due to past issues with trust in the past." I could also then map out sample solutions to the problem that I could suggest.

One thing that I often notice myself doing, however, is that sometimes I assume that my solutions are the only way to solve the problem. When Master suggests alternatives I shut them down without really listening. Part of this is just me being dumb, but a major part is that I never want to feel like I made my Master sacrifice anything. I often feel that I need to give and give and give and never ask for him to give anything in return. This is not healthy. So writing myself little reminders not to back down from what I need, no matter how guilty I feel for starting a fight is important. I brought up the issue for a reason, and if I drop it because I am uncomfortable, the issue will never be resolved.

Psychologically when dealing with confrontation women and children will become incredibly passive, because throughout evolution this was the only way which women and children could survive. In contrast, men typically fight or flee. This can create a disconnect if you suddenly become very passive because the fight is intimidating you or you feel bad, your partner may interpret it as the issue has been negated and all is fine. Therefore, even though it is very challenging, it is important to stand your ground. Make sure your needs are being met. Make sure your partner is hearing what you are saying. Just because you are a submissive or a slave does not mean that you should have to give and get nothing in return. If you feel that your needs are not being met, then you need to fight for that fulfillment,

Your partner cannot read your mind. If you are not practicing open communication, then they cannot know what is bothering you, even if they know you very well. If you plan out what you are going to say in advance, then things are much more likely to go smoothly. Communication in-person or face-to-face is also much more effective than texting. Many words and tones can be misconstrued through text which can make tensions increase and tempers flare.

Remember how important you are. You are 50% of the relationship, make sure that you feel comfortable with it. If you are not comfortable, make sure that you speak up. And never forget, regardless of if you are a sub or a slave, you always have the right to leave a relationship.