Communication failures lead to problems in all kinds of relationships. In the lifestyle, however, communication is utterly critical given that the feelings of four (or more!) people come into play when determining the desires and needs of all parties. Not too long ago, a friend of mine sought me out for some advice on a matter she was trying to navigate. She had recently decided that she and her husband wanted to bring a third into the bedroom, but couldn’t get any answers when she asked others how to go about pursuing it.
The first thing that I noticed was how she was asking. As we sat there sipping cocktails, naked in their hot tub, she looked at me and said, “I need to ask you a question about something.” Naturally, I tensed up a little, thinking I knew where this was leading, having been on the receiving end of a few propositions in the past. She took a sip of her beer and went on to tell me that it was a fantasy of hers to bring another woman into the bedroom.
After a rousing game of twenty questions, she explained to me this was more for her husband to enjoy while she just watched and then she could enjoy her husband while the other girl looked on. She didn’t want to have contact with the girl, but wanted to be present. She continued to tell me that she needed advice on how to approach someone, but every time she asked friends, they changed the subject or said they didn’t know. I laughed. It occurred to me what the problem was – it was her language that was leading to her communication failure.
It seemed that when she asked people for advice, she was asking in a way that seemed like she was propositioning them. She also wasn’t being clear on what she wanted in the bedroom. It took me a barrage of questions to get the details of this fantasy threesome she pined for. If I hadn’t asked, I too would have assumed I was about to get whisked into the bedroom with them, even though she was only asking for advice. When it comes to specific fantasies, you have to be, well, specific. Everyone has a different idea about what they want in the bedroom, and if you don’t communicate your ideas the right way, you’re not going to get the resulting fulfillment of your desires.
For instance, say you’ve always wanted to get tied up in the bedroom. While you’re thinking silk ties and a blindfold, you could end up suspended from the ceiling, ball gagged and handcuffed in a straight jacket; Houdini style. To avoid unwanted scenarios like this, you have to properly convey your ideas by painting a picture with your words; be specific to the style and severity of what you want and always leave room for questions and comments. Don’t leave up to conjecture what might end up being something frustrating like having a boundary misinterpreted, or something horrible like having it ignored altogether. Be honest, be open, and directly address what you’re looking for when communicating your desires to your potential partners.
Another important thing is to remember that this is likely the first time they are hearing it as well, so proceed with cautious detail as to not scare away potential partners. Also, if you’re just looking for advice from a friend, lead with that. You don’t want them getting the wrong idea that you want them involved with your future kinky endeavors when you were just looking for their opinions and ideas.
Just like with traffic lights, mixed signals can lead to unwanted accidents.