There were far more people there than I anticipated. Despite arriving at 6.50pm for the 7pm talk, the room was already at club levels of business. I pushed through the crowd to get a drink before doing a quick lap in the hope of spotting the couple of people who had messaged me earlier in the day to let me know they would be attending.
This wasn’t my first Feeld social event. My previous one was an enjoyable experience, despite going alone and having to make inevitable small talk with strangers. But I did meet a guy who I’ve now seen at three subsequent events – the start of a friendship I hope. I’ll refer to him as B.
This event was very different. The venue was smaller, and upstairs room of a pub in Angel but still packed in around 200 people, eagerly awaiting the kink talk and workshop on consent to be run by Master Peter, a professional dominant.
I was curious how a workshop on consent would work in a room this size, as most workshops I’ve been to are thirty max, so there’s plenty of time for exercises, group discussions, and feedback.
As I survey the room, I spied my friend B chatting to a man and a women. I went over and said hi, then as a group discussed our experiences of Klub Verboten, and whether we preferred it to Torture Garden or not. With so many kinksters chatting around me I found myself straining to hear the conversation, but nodded along, catching a few words here and there.
Eventually B’s companions left us, and we chatted some more.
At that moment my play partner R arrived. I gave her a wave as I saw her enter the room, and she pressed through the crowd to come meet us. I introduced her to B, immediately after which the compare got up on a stage at the opposite end of the room to us. She introduced Master Peter, and the workshop began.
I won’t describe the entire workshop, but it was very informative. Lots of exercises and moving with our feet to get the crowd going. One particular exercise involved negotiating how we would like to greet the person we’d just met. After 4 minutes of negotiation we had to give the person that greeting.
Due to the crowds I stuck with R. We negotiated I’d kiss her on the lips, pull her hair with one hand, and slide my other down her back before finishing the kiss with a squeeze of her bum. I’d done this a million times before, and negotiating with each other that we were fine and dandy about doing all this wasn’t really necessary. We’d already negotiated a lot of these things through communication on our dates, and lengthy discussions about what kink stuff we enjoy.
The second part of the exercise was to do the same, but with fewer words, closer to how a natural negotiation might go at a play party.
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Master Peter also touched on the Wheel of Consent, and useful framework developed by Betty Martin.
Just because someone agrees to do something, it doesn’t mean they are getting pleasure out of it. I may agree to take the bins out when asked, but I don’t enjoy it. Likewise, I may ask someone to give me a massage, and they do, but they are giving and I am accepting it.
I’m sure you can recall a situation where someone asked if you wanted something, and you didn’t really, but said yes because you wanted to make them feel better. But in reality they only offered to give you that something because they thought you wanted it. In that situation, both people have ended up doing something neither one wants to be doing!
And the moral is this can easily happen in relationships, during sex, or in play parties.
How do you get around this?
Rather than say “Do you want to go down on me?”, which is open to interpretation regarding who is giving and who is received, instead ask in this way: “I would like you to go down on me. Would you be open to that?” Now the person being asked the question knows that you are asking because you want to receive, and it is up to them to say “yes”, putting them in the Serve quadrant of the wheel (even though they might want to have sex with you too), or “No” and the interaction ends. I would be in the Accept quadrant because I am benefiting from the actions of someone else.
Here’s another example. Say I ask someone “May I pull your hair?”. I’m placing myself in the Take quadrant of the wheel (because I’m asking to do an action which will result in a benefit for me), and if the other person says yes, they are in the Allow quadrant (because they are allowing me to act as I want to).
I highly encourage you to Google the Wheel of Consent or watch the video above for more information.
The talk was about an hour and it flew by. Not only was the content interesting (although I’d come across it before), but I was enjoying (Accepting or Allowing, not quite sure!) a few back scratches from R as it went on, as well as engaging in a few cheeky snogs.
Sadly the main people who would benefit from a workshop like this are the ones who would never go to a workshop like this. On the whole, kinky people tend to be more familiar with the importance of open communication due to attending many play parties, reading up on it, or being involved with multiple people at the same time and trying to do it in an ethical way.
The guys who grope women in normal clubs and need to be taught this stuff probably aren’t attending kink talks.
All in all, another interesting night organising by Feeld. Check out their monthly events and buy tickets on Eventbrite.