This past weekend, I taught a communications class at the Submissive Safe Haven Symposium, and thanks to starting the class with a Q&A, we ventured into some territory and ideas that I’ve not really verbalized or taught before.
And one was pretty straightforward:
Communicating is simple. But because we’re human, we get in our own way.
The example I gave was:
“I want more buttsex.”
And yet, we don’t communicate that clearly 99.9% of the time. Why?
- We are worried about how our partner might react.
- We are worried that we are asking too much.
- We are worried we don’t deserve it.
- We think we know what they like and don’t like.
- We are afraid of being turned down.
- We don’t want to be greedy.
And so on and so forth. You know your hangups. I’m sure you could feel the sting when you read your personal bugaboos. Perhaps all of them.
So, instead of simply speaking our needs or wants, we hint. Backing up against them and wiggling our butt. Maybe giving the buttsex, expecting they will know that we also want the buttsex and therefore give it back to us (this is a covert contract in action). Perhaps we hint that the buttsex could happen, if they want it…
Which may or may not work. Because, well, it’s not really communicating clearly and effectively.
Or, maybe instead of hinting, we talk all around the point without actually making the point…
“So, remember than night that we had our seventh date, and it was so amazing, and we had such a good time? Would you like to do that again? I really enjoyed it. In fact, I loved it. I mean, it was different than I’ve experienced before, but it was really cool, yannow?”
And while that may seem perfectly clear to you that you’re talking about the buttsex, your partner may think that you’re referring to the date that preceded it, and how you really enjoyed playing Magic The Gathering™ with a bunch of geeks at the card shop.
So, they try to give you more of what you want (cards with geeks), but it’s not what you want (buttsex), and there is sadness and resentment, and possibly angry feelings over the misunderstanding.
Or…perhaps they don’t try at all to give you want you want.
But, you didn’t ask for it, so you really can’t blame them. Or, you can, but then, they can point out that you never did ask for what you wanted, and how were they supposed to understand what you wanted, when you didn’t say it, and if you can’t say it, and they can’t read minds, well, then they take no responsibility, and it’s YOUR FAULT.
And you know what?
Sure, they are probably (at least in this case) being an asshole.
You did, however, give them an excellent get-out-of-jail-free card by not being clear and communicating. That’s on you.
Now, how to fix all this communication fuck-up-ery is another eighteen thousand writings.
And I have a few writings on communication here.
But as G.I. Joe says, “Knowing is half the battle,” so I’m letting you know.
You (and I and every other human in the world, I’m thinking) get in your (our) own gawddam ways(s).