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Documenting Your Dynamic: Why It Matters


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I’m always surprised by the experiences of others I come across, including here.

When it comes to BDSM, what I’ve found is that communication matters.  If you think about it, BDSM is nothing but communication.

Even the first quasi-testimonies of BDSM that we’ve relied on throughout history, Philosophies of the Boudoir and Venus in Furs, were full of examples of communication and themselves a form of communication (books).

Your first time in a BDSM club, you’ll see activities, but you will witness so many types of communication going on that your brain will reach overload.

For the more adventurous, taking a class at a BDSM club or organization (shout out to KinkRx in Seattle!) here at Fetish, or even the more academic courses out there, you will continue to receive confirmation of communication as the key to all that screams kink.

That’s why I pause when I read accounts of dynamics that did not have proper communication levels.  I get confused by this.  It makes no sense to me why people are having communication breakdowns that they experience.  I’m much like Spock on this; it’s just not logical.

One of the methods I employ to ensure that communication is always clear with a Submissive is a notebook.

I buy fancy ones that I pay to have honorifics etched into them, but you don’t have to do this.  A simple college-ruled notebook will be perfect!

How do you start documenting a dynamic? We begin at what we have defined as, well, the beginning.  There is a step between being introduced to a Submissive and the notebook I’ll get to in another post.  With the notebook, we’ve already done some cursory communication around kink.  We’ve established that we are interested in pursuing a dynamic together, whatever that may be. 

The notebook starts with a Purpose Statement.  Typically, I make this a general, one-sentence statement of what we are doing.

Next, I list honorifics, or names, that each person will answer to.  You should list names acceptable in designated play spaces and those proper in social settings.  I know some people don’t separate these, but if you do, it's best to do it in this section.

Then a preamble connects back to the Purpose Statement, which gets more specific as to what the dynamic is meant to model, and then incorporates two of the acceptable honorifics.  For example,

“This dynamic between Sir and Slut is intended to focus Slut on service to Sir, as well as ‘f*cktoy’ use.”

Next, we list safe words.  I like to set up a word to confirm things are going well, one for slowing down/checking in with the Submissive and one that halts everything.  And I defer to the traffic light method: Green, Yellow, Red.

Once these things are agreed upon and documented, you can move into writing the following: Activities that are to be integrated into the dynamic, soft limits (activities the Submissive wants to be challenged by at some point), hard limits (those things that are entirely off the table), goals of either person that are relatable to the dynamic.

Next, you should list all injuries, allergies, and other physiological issues that could be agitated by play.  Believe it or not, you can accidentally introduce something to a scene that can cause a problem for your partner.  And if they are restrained, you can find yourself in a very tough spot, mainly if you haven’t discussed these things beforehand.

I wrote half a sentence about goals, but I want you to know that these are the essential part of a dynamic and the subsequent documentation.

While we all may understand how to play with specific ropes, floggers, blindfolds, and whatever else, and that play is crucial to our actions, we must have goals in the dynamic. 

The activities we pursue need to be taking us somewhere.  Otherwise, we are just playing around.  And typically, people aren’t looking for that.

Either person can list a goal.  It may relate directly to the play involved or more to that person’s personal growth.

It can seem counter-intuitive, but the fact is that dynamics are a great space to focus one another on our goals, in the space we engage in, and in our life.

As you list these things, you may find something that needs to be explicitly addressed, and after these sections have been answered, you can add those specific sections related to your dynamic.

Some may see this and say, “This sounds like a contract.”

You are right; this layout is A LOT like a contract!  But the difference is that this notebook becomes a living document.

And that is because, every time something needs to be adjusted, and at minimum, every 90 days, you should revisit these topics, ensuring they accurately reflect what both parties agree to and continue to support consent.

Because what this notebook does is force you to review the consent you have in place.  A contract ends where the last sentence is placed.  And often, I have read stories on this very site where Submissives have felt violated, but in the same concerning post have written something like the following:

“…it was in the contract, but I didn’t agree to it.”

As someone who craves structure and order, I can only feel pain and sorrow for such a statement.  One can assume a lot about how that situation came to be, but one thing is sure: Submissive was not heard.  Even if they had agreed to that thing before, at some point, they did not want it anymore.  And some Dominant felt the contract obliged the Submissive to indulge in something they didn’t like.

But that’s not how a dynamic works.  Or at least, it will never work, so long as you don’t treat it like the thing it is, a living, breathing entity.

Between these reviews, I use the notebook to document assignments I have given my Submissive, with the deadline, of course (brats don’t stand a chance!), impact charts (which I will discuss in detail in another post), scene setup, along with how the scene went and other activities that crept up (because when you’re seating on the couch eating popcorn, who knows what may come up, right?)

Consider this template for a notebook, a place for you to start from.  Please use it to your advantage in your dynamic, present, or future, and please let me know how you improve what I have outlined.

I always enjoy positive feedback!


Popcorn on the couch is nice and all but I prefer to snack on pickles! : )
12 hours ago, askaugust said:

Popcorn on the couch is nice and all but I prefer to snack on pickles! : )

I'll have to keep that in mind.

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