The New Leather Alliance (NLA) has announced a new workshop series that will roll out nationwide, focused on reducing incidents of sexual assault in the BDSM and Leather Communities.
“People have been negotiating their scenes for as long as there has been BDSM, and yet, still we see bad behavior,” said Mistress Malice, a 22 year old Female Dominant from Detroit. “So what we began to realize was that maybe there was a problem with negotiations themselves.”
As a result, a team of Leather activists began to consider the fact that negotiations themselves were part of the problem.
As Master Keith Elway, 23, explained, “Whenever there are problems in the community, we just assume people are doing things wrong. And since people are negotiating and still we see problems occurring, we figured that maybe people are not negotiating well.”
The problem, the group decided, was that there are too many power dynamics in play to negotiate properly. “What people need to learn to do is negotiate their negotiations,” Mistress Malice explained, “we are calling it negotiating negotiation.”
Prior to the NLA meeting there will also be a pre-convention workshop on pre-negotiating how to negotiate negotiation, which will focus on “self awareness, empowerment, and creating boundaries.”
Elway described it as the process of “getting ready to negotiate your negotiations, before negotiating.”
Not everyone was happy with the new protocol. Master Kip Kalway, a 47 year old top from Spokane, believes that making the process more complicated adds an unnecessary level of complexity. “I mean, if we can’t trust our partners to negotiate directly, how can we trust them with a scene?”
Gorn Comrick, a 55 year old rope top agreed, “It seems like a lot of work to just tie someone up,” he said.