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Transcribed by [https://fetlife.com/users/282142 Froglett]. Uncertainty in transcription is indicated with [?]
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Latest revision as of 16:28, 5 September 2012

Big Little Podcast Episode 2: Negotiation, Limits, and Punishment

Released Feb 27, 2011

Hosts: Spacey, Mako

Guests: None

Transcribed by Staub. Uncertainty in transcription is indicated with [?]


[Spacey] You’re listening to the Big Little Podcast, a show by, about and for age players of all kinds. Just like the subjects of our show, we expect our audiences to be mature adults. If you are under 18 and looking for upfront advice and answers to questions about sex, please visit Scarleteen.com.

[intro music~! ♪♫♪]

SPACEY: You’re listening to the Big Little Podcast, a show by, about and for age players. I’m here with my brother Mako –

MAKO: - and I’m here with my brother Spacey. Hey everyone!

SPACEY: Hooray! And you’re listening to our second show. And in today’s show, we’re going to be talking about rules, negotiation and limits and boundaries. One of the things … we would like to start off with is, let’s talk about negotiation.

MAKO: Sure, let’s arrange that ahead of time. I guess that’s really what negotiation is, isn’t it?

SPACEY: Well, we sorta did that before we started the podcast. How about we do that in a relationship?

MAKO: Yeah, y’know, let’s tell a little story about that. What happens is - when you negotiate - is before you get down to the business of playing, you talk about what you’d like to do. And maybe what you would not like to do!

SPACEY: Well, it’s not just playing. Playing implies a temporary relationship, but even longer term relationships could benefit from some level of negotiation.

MAKO: Oh, that’s so true. Y’know, I remember when I... before I’d ever had any kind of serious, ageplay relationship, I’d had this idea in my head that I was going to be in diapers all the time! Or like, all the time when I was home. Which is not something that I’ve actually wanted to hang on to over the years. But it’s also way not an expectation that any of my partners have ever had with me.

SPACEY: They didn’t come into the relationship asking you, ‘y’know, I want you to wear diapers all the time, but if you can’t wear them all the time, then just when you’re at home because I love taking care of that stuff’.

MAKO: ‘Right, and I never want time for myself or to be treated like an adult woman!’ [laughs]

SPACEY: ‘That’s right. And don’t forget to call me when you need help with wiping!’

MAKO: Right. [laughs] So, yeah, we’re being all tongue-in-cheek which I guess is kinda gross, considering what we were just talking about. But, this negotiating thing, this is a big, serious deal. And negotiating, it’s not like mental broccoli. It’s actually kinda fun besides being good for you! Negotiation is the time when you get to sort of shop for all the things you think you might want in your relationship! Y’know: ‘ooh, shiny, let’s try this! Ooh, how about we try that?’

SPACEY: Exactly. I would say that the thing is, I think a lot of people build up the negotiation, meaning this has to be some kind of formal give-and-take. ‘Here, we gotta sign my contract that says we’re gonna do these things and we’re not gonna do these other things and if you see something you don’t like, scratch it out but we’ll have to initial it three times.’

MAKO: [laughs] Right - people really do that! They really do write down, like, behavioural contracts, for a set period of time.

SPACEY: Sure, some folks do. I think I’ve seen them more commonly in the BDSM community than I have in the age play circles. But I’ve seen a few in age play circles as well.

MAKO: Y’know, it reminds me of something that my ex, Chris, and I used to do. We referred to our relationship, and the dynamic we had, as that I was ‘toddling’ [?]. It was our version of being collared? Which is, collaring is a very common thing in the SM community, it’s –

SPACEY: Take me, I’m collared to my mommy.

MAKO: - Right! ‘I own you and we will do things in this certain way because we both agree to it’. I think that age play relationships, being power exchange relationships, are like any other, and I think that that kind of… that nature of your relationship can be as formal and written out and particular as you want – or not.

SPACEY: I think the only thing is when you’re negotiating and you’re putting down what your wants and desires [are] and what you’re signing away on paper for an age play relationship, you do it in crayon.

MAKO: You know, I knew you were gonna say that, I could hear it in my head as you were leading up to it.

SPACEY: [laughs] Of course you could hear it!

MAKO: [laughs] You know, I think what happens with negotiation too is that a lot of people think that negotiation is this sort of thing that you do it right at this certain, set period, and then it’s kind of written in stone, and you go with it! And maybe it’s for a month or a year or whatever. And that doesn’t have to be the case. I think that you can constantly revisit your negotiation. I mean...

SPACEY: What? You mean you’re saying that your wants and your desires could potentially change over the course of your relationship?!

MAKO: Oh my goodness, so much so.

SPACEY: And your partner’s could change too?

MAKO: That’s definitely the case. I mean, I can tell you just in the relationship that I have with my wife Missy that, like, that has changed over time. How formal things are and what certain rules would be and what our certain expectations would be - and even how switchy we are with one another. That’s all changed very fluidly over the years.

SPACEY: Mhm, have you had some of that... You mentioned it happened fluidly, I’d be curious to see how much of that you actually had to sit down and revisit your expectations again, and how much of that just kind of- you noticed and started adjusting to over time.

MAKO: You know, it’s funny. Of the two of us, I’m the one that likes to over-analyse everything and talks things to death, okay. [Spacey laughs] Yeah, you’re laughing, ‘cause you’ve experienced it. What I’ve found has happened is that a lot of times we just sort of cruise on by on cruise-control, working on our assumptions and experimenting. And then every once in a while one of us – usually me – will be very motivated to say ‘hey, I wanna try it like this for a while!’ And when Kasey came into our relationship – that’s my girlfriend, my other mommy - that also became kind of a big deal. Like, every once in a while, we’ll sit down and the three of us will talk about like how in our house, for certain things, I am not the boss. But for certain other things, I am kinda the boss! Sort of vanilla, everyday financial decisions, I am like the arbiter. But when my bedtime is – it’s sort of a joint-commissioned decision of which I have sort of like half a vote. [laughs]

SPACEY: Oh, fair enough, that’s more than I would have expected.

MAKO: [laughs] Yeah.

SPACEY: So it sounds like you do have to then involve three people in your negotiations - which is an interesting aspect too.

MAKO: Yeah, y’know, what’s interesting is that I would say that I have maybe slightly different rules or limits with Missy than I do with Kasey. And sometimes there are some things that they both feel very strongly about. Like, I have sleep apnea and so I use this device called a CPAP machine. It pushes air up my nose and helps me sleep – it’s a health thing.

SPACEY: Right. It also makes you look like an elephant, which is awesome.

MAKO: It makes me sound like Darth Vadar, which is awesome too. And really, it’s not a bad thing to use at all. It’s actually very comfortable to sleep with and I sleep really well when I use it. When I don’t, I’m cranky and I get a terrible headache and it’s just a bad thing. So it’s a... de facto but unwritten rule in our house that if I’m sleeping, I’m going to use that device. I have to. And if either one of them catches me not using it, they both rat me out to the other one and they both yell at me and scold me about it. It’s not something that they’re happy about. And that’s funny because that doesn’t sound like it’s a kink thing. And it kind of is and it kind of isn’t.

SPACEY: I think there are so many items that sort of have that spectrum, right. Where they don’t really fall all the way on one side or all the way on the other. They’re somewhere in that grey section and it’s just the level of grey that sort of adjusts.

MAKO: Yeah. You know what it reminds me of? When you’re in the military... you’re subject to the uniform code of military justice, the UCMJ. And one of the things you can get in trouble for is getting a sunburn. Do you know why? Because you’re damaging government property.

SPACEY: Oh there you go. So one of the things that I think Missy and Kasey are also doing is scolding you on behalf of the rest of your body.

MAKO: [laughs] So true.

SPACEY: Which would be me and my sister Penny.

MAKO: You know, if we’re gonna say some hippy woo-woo stuff like that, we probably should explain it a little bit.

SPACEY: Well, we did touch a little bit in the last show about what the Ghidrah was, which is our ageplay family which has Mako, Penny and I sort of as a core triad – but one of the reasons why we have that core triad happens to be that we kind of consider ourselves in some ways, in many ways...

MAKO: Three parts of the same person.

SPACEY: Indeed. And in some ways we’re completely different and in some ways we’re amazingly the same.

MAKO: To the point that it’s actually really creepy at times. We tend to finish one another’s sentences - you’ll hear us do that a lot on the podcast! We like a lot of the same things, we break into song together, we appreciate each other’s really terrible punning humour -

SPACEY: - mm, some more than others.

MAKO: Yeah. And in some really neat ways that lend themselves really well to age play, we don’t have a lot of physical boundaries. We’re very comfy and we’re always touching one another and we’re not skeezed out by each other’s bodily functions. We’re very in each other’s space, so to speak.

SPACEY: [laughs] Yeah well, space, Spacey, it’s all good. So, touching on that, so there are some rules and negotiation which you might say actually stems from the Ghidrah side of the family, right, in that you’re not only going to necessarily get scolded for something by Kasey, or not only by Missy, but you’ll get on the phone later and... I’m gonna pull something just randomly off from the top of my head, but let’s say you had some problems where you didn’t take your contacts out for a really long time-

MAKO: Ugh, I can’t believe you’re bringing that up again!

SPACEY: Maybe you had an eye infection?

MAKO: Ugh!

SPACEY: This is hypothetical now. I’m not saying this would actually happen. But if it did, you can see where we would be upset, because it has an impact on the whole of the Ghidrah.

MAKO: It’s true. Wait- I’m just gonna pay for this until I’m dead, aren’t I? [laughs]

SPACEY: Monthly instalments.

MAKO: [laughs] Y’know, Kasey and Missy are gonna listen to this thing and just smirk. I hear about this probably about at least once a month. It’s the bad behaviour that won’t die.

SPACEY: Well the good news is now you have a recording of it, so they can just play that later.

MAKO: [laughs] Whatever happened to double jeopardy, man, y’know?

SPACEY: [laughs] Well, I dunno, I mean you have to actually finish serving your sentence.

MAKO: [laughs] So clearly, as you can tell by our back-and-forth on this, negotiation is like a living, breathing thing that is really a part of any relationship that you have with someone else where any kind of power is exchanged.

SPACEY: Oh, I completely agree. One thing I’d like to sort of move on with though is to talk about how you get started with negotiation. Because I think sometimes that can be kind of intimidating, right?

MAKO: It is daunting.

SPACEY: Yeah, if you don’t know, if you haven’t done the research about yourself to find out what your own wants are like, or what your likes happen to be, what things you don’t like -

MAKO: Wouldn’t it be great if there was a tool for that?

SPACEY: [laughs] – then you’re gonna have trouble communicating that to a partner, right? You can’t really tell them things that you don’t know about yourself. And partners, similarly, should hopefully be doing the same kind of thinking. Some of this is gonna come out in exploration of your relationship over time. But one plain thing that I’ve found that was actually a really interesting starting point, something that really impressed me. A person that goes by the handle of littlegirllost [?] once put together a negotiation form for age play specifically. A negotiation form is basically a list of things that you can go and look at and say, ‘I’m into this’, and it might have watersports on it -

MAKO: Or spanking...

SPACEY: - or spanking. Or curse words, or do you wanna be degraded, do you not wanna be degraded...

MAKO: Or being sexual when you’re little.

SPACEY: Exactly. And so, it gives you kind of a starting point to think about what those things might be. It might even come up with ideas that you just hadn’t even considered before. What I’ll do is... That original resource unfortunately is gone, the website that hosted it is gone. As far as I know, littlegirlost isn’t responding to queries about it any longer. But fortunately the internet has saved some of that work. And we’ll see if we can get a link to it possibly on the internet way back machine [?] so that when we have some show notes, the folks come look at the show notes and see that.

MAKO: Mhm. It’s a great idea. Y’know, I’d love to hear from you personally brother about how some of your interests have changed over time. Things that were on your inventory as a ‘no never!’ became something else.

SPACEY: [sings] What, never?

MAKO: [sings] No, never!

SPACEY: [laughs] Exactly. Yeah, that’s interesting. A lot of my limits have changed more in BDSM realms than I would say in age play. Although if I think about, like, my very early age play experiences – which were pretty much exclusively adult baby orientated - I found out that I sort of have always had this interest in diapers myself, which lead to this interest in adult baby play. The latter actually being more important to me than the diapers themselves in the long run. But I can see that when I first started, like, the idea of taking on a girl role was actually kind of anathema to me and a really, really embarrassing thought. And of course, there are a lot of folks out there that like to have that kind of relationship with a sissy baby or that kind of thing. Um, it’s something that had crossed [?] my mind perhaps, but I hadn’t really imagined myself personally crossing that line. I would say as I have grown and explored and in particular with one person who, not knowing we were going to do that that night, decided to dress me up as a little girl, and then I discovered that, ‘wow, I’m really embarrassed by this – and it feels good to be embarrassed by this’.

MAKO: [laughs]

SPACEY: That sort of led me to expanding that horizon. Now, again, I would say that really happened sort of outside of a negotiated scene, but it did happen sort of in a safe way – fortunately for me. So that’s one aspect I think that’s opened up. And by the way, today I would tell you I not only do I like to play the little girl who’s embarrassed, but I also feel like I have a little girl aspect to my personality.

MAKO: Absolutely. My brother is my sister. [laughs]

SPACEY: Yeah, that’s right. In fact, my little girl persona goes by the name Angelica.

MAKO: She’s so pretty. I’m biased though.

SPACEY: Aww. Yeah, you’re a lot biased, ‘cause she’s kinda mannish. But otherwise, I love her to death. And mommy seems to love her and that’s one thing that’s really important to me.

MAKO: Y’know, actually that kinda brings up an interesting point for age play. As an age player, I regress, as do you and a lot of us do. And there’s a – and this is a big, fancy word – there’s a dissociative element to that. My little and I, the big Mako, are not entirely the same person. We’re also not entirely different people either.

SPACEY: You have to share a body and a brain.

MAKO: Right. And so part of negotiation is you, being big, speaking on behalf of your little. There are things that I like just fine when I play as a big that I really want no part of when I’m little.

SPACEY: Ah, yes. I think the famous example of that is your taste in beer for instance.

MAKO: [laughs] So true! I guess I should talk about this a little bit. When I regress, I experience things - sensory stuff - in a different way. So while as a big I love the taste of beer – especially magic hat number 9 which is frickin’ delicious – when I’m little, to me it tastes like hot skunk pee. Don’t ask. And so I want nothing to do with it. And I’m very particular about, that if I’m gonna be little and be around someone, they need to know that even though I’m not a kid, I do have certain child-like guidelines that don’t even come from my mommy saying that I need them that way. They come from me. Like, don’t ply me with sugar because I can’t help myself. And don’t give me beer and especially don’t give me pixy stix unless you wanna watch me run around like a maniac.

SPACEY: That was quite an experience when somebody gave you a set of giant pixy stix at a little’s party.

MAKO: Ugh, such a bad idea. Such a very bad idea.

SPACEY: That did not go over well in the long-run, I don’t think. I have a similar thing about processing sensory input. I actually have a couple of roles. So I mentioned of course I have the little side and, like a lot of people, there are actually some foods that actually I can enjoy from a little’s aspect that I would not like as an adult. Some of that baby food stuff is really bland. But on your little’s side, if you’re in the right headspace you can process that differently. Also, I’ve noticed, I also have a puppy side to my personality. Mommy and I have done a sort of puppy trainer kind of thing. And I’ve eaten some dog foods and dog biscuits and that kind of thing when I’ve been in the puppy side. And let me tell you that-

MAKO: it’s just fine right then, right?

SPACEY: Yeah. What is just fine then, I have tasted some of the same things and I would not eat them as a person who was processing stimuli in the same way that I am right now.

MAKO: Right. And you know, all of that leads to this really important point which is that a lot of the time when you go to negotiate, you don’t know how you feel about something until you try it - or how you feel about it might change!

SPACEY: Right. So be careful about saying ‘no, never’. I would consider... Make sure you say more ‘no, not right now’. It’s very popular that ‘never’ means ‘sometime in the near future’.

MAKO: Right, about 90 days... I’ve got some things like that. When I was a kid, once and only once did I ever get my face slapped by my dad but it was such a jarring experience for me that it’s been a big hard limit of mine for a really, really long time. And I dated a woman for a while who really got off on it, so I let her, but every time I would just cringe and hate it. It was just terrible. And after she and I were no longer together, I was like, ‘oh, good, no more face slapping ever!’ And I was talking to someone about it, I dunno, about a month ago and I realised I’d be willing to try it again, with the right person in the right context, just to see how it would go. That’s actually something I do a lot, where I push my own boundaries and intentionally try things that I think I don’t like to see if it’s changed.

SPACEY: I can understand that. The other thing I will say about boundaries changing goes back to my interest in... When I said that first ‘sissy baby’ experience was a sign of humiliating. There’s a phrase for that in BDSM circles called ‘erotic humiliation’.

MAKO: Mmm, love it.

SPACEY: It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s completely sexual but it means that I get very strong feelings from it that are somewhat positive as well as being negative. Y’know, that face flushing. The problem with enjoying being embarrassed is that over time it gets harder to become embarrassed and so there is a limit that changes as you experience more and more of it. So, for instance, the idea of dressing as a little girl today is actually a lot less embarrassing than it was to me then. Back then, my whole face would have turned red, my ears would have started... probably had circles of steam coming off of them. But today it’s something I enjoy doing. I look forward to having that experience, especially with my mommy.

MAKO: I suppose it’s a little bit analogous to the phenomenon of getting leather-butt. Y’know, you love spanking and a hand spanking just makes you go off into the stratosphere. But a year and a half later, someone could hit you with a jokari paddle [?] or a cinder block and you wouldn’t care.

SPACEY: Right. Which has its own benefits and it’s also frustrating.

MAKO: It’s true. It’s also the sort of thing, and I think that both physically and mentally, you can work around. Actually it’s funny because … when I’m big, I have a crazy high pain threshold, especially for thud [?]. [spacey laughs] Yeah, I know you know. But when I’m little, and especially if it’s like a disciplinary thing and it’s actually for punishment, it’s like I’m made out of tissue paper.

SPACEY: Ah, yes. So that would be an interesting thing to move onto. Because some people might negotiate punishments in their relationship or not. And you’ve already discussed some of how you get chastised in your relationship for certain things. Did you negotiate any of those punishments or anything that you experienced?

MAKO: It’s funny - we talk about it all the time. Punishment is one of those odd things. It’s... Let me say that I don’t think that punishment is like a, y’know, introductory or 100 level thing to do in your relationship. I don’t think it’s something that you do casually either. I think that in order to play with punishment, you need to – which that’s a funny phrase in and of itself – I think you need to be in a slightly longer term relationship with someone. Either be in... If you’re dating them or living with them or whatever. Or even if it’s just a play partner or someone that you see regularly. Because the problem with punishment is, is that it means different things to different people and it’s a giant source of emotional landmines and powder kegs. Like, I love a good spanking, but if I was punished with, say, face-slapping, it would destroy me because it was a problem for me in my childhood. I had that one experience and that was enough to set me off. What we do is, we will on occasion sit down and talk about things that we would like for my character, things that are rules for me or expectations for me, and consequences that could happen from them. There’s a whole series of consequences that happen to me if I don’t use my CPAP machine that, well, I don’t even think I need to get into them here on the podcast. But they’re very unpleasant. [Spacey laughs] You know what I’m talking about, brother. [laughs]

SPACEY: Oh, feel free.

MAKO: Nah, y’know, I haven’t asked first, so I’m not gonna divulge anything.

SPACEY: Fair enough.

MAKO: And that’s another thing, too. I think, too, part of the rules of negotiation is being considerate of your partner’s feelings. I don’t know if they want some of those things out on the internet, so I’m going to ask! But not right now.

SPACEY: So let’s talk a little bit about- so we’ve set these expectations, we’ve had some negotiations and maybe intentionally, maybe not, some of those boundaries were pushed beyond where you want them to go.

MAKO: Right, what do you do?

SPACEY: I think it somewhat depends on what the reaction from the pushing, intentional or not, was. For instance, you mentioned having an emotional powder keg about having your face slapped. If, in having your face slapped, you suddenly break down into a ball of goo that can’t continue whatever it is that you’re doing right then, then it’s kind of hard to have an intentional reaction to that that. But later, you need to at least have a conversation about that.

MAKO: Right. Well actually, I’m so glad we’re talking about this. There’s like, five or six things that need to be said about this. The first one is, it’s hard to recognise when you’re having one of those breakdown, watershed moments. You might not know. There’s any number of different emotional things that could happen to you. You could get very sad, you could get very angry, you could just suddenly panic or have an overwhelming desire to just leave. And certainly in any one of those cases, it’s a good idea to know about safe words.

SPACEY: Indeed. I will say the good thing is – typically, I won’t say always, but typically – in age play relationships and dynamics, when those issues are pushed, at least there’s less of a risk of physical harm.

MAKO: Yeah, I don’t think anyone spontaneously erupts into diaper rash. And a paddling can stop.

SPACEY: Well, sure, but an emotional enough response can have very physical repercussions. You could go and have a panic attack, have issues and that kind of thing. So it’s not out of the question.

MAKO: Yeah, I know littles that it’s happened to. Okay, my advice to you, if you hit a powder keg and blow all up and don’t know what to do. Okay, first off: stay cool. And tell your partner -

SPACEY: that it’s time to stop the scene.

MAKO: Right. And tell your partner what’s going on – that you’re very upset, that you’re feeling something, you really don’t understand it. And just pull it back...- I’m sorry, brother, go ahead.

SPACEY: Now I think you should mention the safe words here. What a safe word is, which is a way to stop the scene. Because if somebody is playing with you, they may not realise that they’ve reached the step or that you’ve reached this emotional breaking point unless you give them an indicator. And so a safe word is something you negotiate – it’s a pre-negotiated word that’s out of place in your scene, like ‘kumquat’, that means, ‘we need to stop and we need to stop now’.

MAKO: Right. And let’s talk about why you say ‘kumquat’ or ‘banana’ or whatever. It’s because of this classic problem. Let’s say that you’re getting a spanking over somebody’s knee and it really hurts and you might cry out, ‘ow, no, don’t!’ but what you really mean is ‘this is great! Keep going!’ But your natural response is to fight it. It might even feel hot to you to fight it and to say negative, stopping words, right? It’s like, there’s this joke, it goes: there’s ‘no! Don’t! Stop!’ and ‘no – don’t stop!’ and they’re really the same thing. But no one’s, in the throes of their agony, gonna yell, ‘ahh, banana!’ And so it is like a handbrake for the scene. Very, very common safe words are red, green and yellow. Red meaning, ‘full stop, something bad is happening. My ankle is twisted and hurts and distracting me from my bottom hurting’ kind of a thing. Yellow means maybe, ‘oh, you’re hitting me too hard,’ or, ‘no, you’re stepping on my hair. We need to slow it down; you need to check in with me’. And green, which people do use, I’ve used it myself, means, ‘yes please, and more [laughs] of that sort of thing!’

SPACEY: That’s right. ‘Here’s some more baby food for ya.’ ‘Green!’

MAKO: Exactly. Now the thing is, okay, let’s say you have this powder keg moment, and you throw out your safe word – oh, and by the way, safe words don’t have to be words! If you really wanna be breastfeeding and you suddenly can’t breathe, maybe you drop your pacifier out of your hand. Or let go of that chew toy out of your mouth if you’re being a puppy.

SPACEY: There’s a common - in the BDSM scene - there’s a common universal safety response, which is a quick three-times motion. So like, a ‘one-two-three’. If somebody jerks three times, that’s usually a physical sign of a safe word. Not everybody does it, but it’s very common. It’s sort of considered one of the universal ‘stop the scene’ kind of items. ‘Cause if you can’t speak, you still need to be able to say ‘stop’.

MAKO: Exactly. Now the thing is, so you’ve had the powder keg moment and you’ve done your safe word or sign or whatever it is you’re doing. What do you do next? Well the very first thing that you should do next, in my opinion, is stay present in what you’re feeling and communicate it well. But don’t get hung up about it. If you’re angry, it’s okay to be angry. If you’re sad, it’s okay to be sad. Express how you feel and make it clear to the person you’re playing with, or in a relationship with or whatever, so that your immediate needs and care can be met. If it’s that you have a physical need - that you’re hungry or thirsty or tired - say so and let it get met. If it’s that you have an emotional need, say so as well. Also I think that there’s sort of an implied... when you have these powder keg moments that time afterwards is sort of like Switzerland. It’s a neutral time. You shouldn’t make big relationship choices right at that time. [Spacey laughs] You shouldn’t make sweeping statements about your partner’s competence, or your own. ‘You suck! I never wanna play with you again!’ ‘You’re not my mommy anymore!’ You might wanna say those things. You might say them by accident. That’s okay. Just recognise that you’re not gonna work on the issue you had right then and there. You’re gonna come down from it first.

SPACEY: Right - which is something you might consider negotiating beforehand in case somebody hits one of these powder kegs with you.

MAKO: Right. I can’t tell you that each and every time I play, or each and every relationship I’ve had, that I’ve gone to the umpteenth degree of negotiation before playing. But one thing I do say to all my partners is that I’m human and they’re human and if we make mistakes and bump into one another, it’s okay. And that – I say this to brother all the time – next to doing whatever it is, the next best thing is talking about that thing. Which is why I talk these things to death!

SPACEY: I think that might also be why you’re an author.

MAKO: Yeah, it’s true. But it’s fun to explore these things, and that’s one way to do the negotiation and to sort of approach the powder keg safely, is to talk through them. Whether it’s before they happen or after they happen, but not while they’re happening.

SPACEY: And then so you also need to, after some time has passed, you might want to come to some concrete conclusions. If somebody was behaving in a way that was unsafe, it’s probably time to break off playing with that person in the future.

MAKO: Right. And if there were things that really worked in the play, or things that did not work, there’s all kinds of polite ways to say so without it becoming a harsh critique that – what’s the word I’m looking for - chills your relationship with them. I’ll just use an example, okay, and it’s not out of anyone’s life or anyone that we know. If you’re a woman being tied down and someone is eating you out, okay, not that that’s an age play thing-

SPACEY: Well, it could be, depending on the person.

MAKO: It could be. Right. And they do a thing to your clit that feels really good and a thing to your labia that does not feel really good. You could be all about, ‘hey, that thing you did to my clit – that was really great!’ And if they ask, you say, ‘yeah the other thing, not so much’. But you can focus on the positive and what works for you. You don’t have to browbeat someone with the negative. See what I mean?

SPACEY: Yeah, I agree. I also say that another practise that I’ve seen very commonly in the BDSM community that I would recommend when people are playing together is to actually, regardless of how things go during your first interaction, try to check in with it a day later. Check in together about how it went a day later. Even if things seem to be going swimmingly, it’s good to be sure. And you never know what somebody is processing - and that goes for both the person who’s taking on the age play role and the person who’s taking on the other role, possibly the big role or whatever that is, that they’re interacting with you with.

MAKO: Ooh, brother! I’m actually gonna stomp on you a tiny little bit right now! Being big to someone else is an age play mode.

SPACEY: Oh, I agree.

MAKO: It’s really interesting. I’ve had interactions with people, where I’m the big. And it’s actually really surprised me how it puts me into this strange, tender, nurturing other headspace. Where afterwards, I felt like I was responsible for that person, and that they kinda belonged to me. And that I wanted to keep them safe from harm. And when they go off and be big all by themselves and kinda break the wall of the scene and go, ‘I’m gonna eat this cookie now!’ it actually kinda turned my stomach upside down a little bit. I was like, ‘no, I’m not done taking care of you yet’.

SPACEY: [laughs] Indeed. I think a lot of folks in the BDSM scene call that kind of a ‘top space’. It’s an interesting version of top space.

MAKO: Yeah. Which leads me to say that if you’re a... ‘regular’ SM person, and this stuff sounds familiar, that’s because it’s power exchange just like everybody else does.

SPACEY: Indeed. I think that’s important to point out that I think we as age players have a lot to learn from the greater BDSM community and I think that the greater BDSM community has a lot to learn from age players and the things that we can bring into the scene; that scenes don’t have to be about some of the things that people most commonly associate with BDSM like bondage or pain or that kind of thing.

MAKO: Oh absolutely. Oh, you know what? This might be a good time actually to talk about cake, too, now that I think about it. So, I think that in relationships, alternative relationships of any stripe - whether they’re age play ones or SM ones or what have you, any sort of a place where you have some alternative activity that you do - there’s this funny sort of other negotiation that has to happen. There are these two distinct layers to your relationship with that person. Whether they’re just your friend or they’re your boyfriend or your wife or whatever. And I call it the cake and the icing. The cake is sort of the base; the rock-solid, cemented meat of your relationship. It’s all that regular, vanilla stuff like being an honest and up-right good person. And being affectionate with your partner and picking them up from the airport at 2 in the morning and paying the phone bill on time. And kissing them in the morning even when their hair looks terrible and their breath smells like a sewer - and smiling anyway. Watching old black-and-white movies that they like and you hate just to be good to them.

SPACEY: That depends on how you’ve negotiated that. [laughs]

MAKO: Sure. And all that kind of stuff is cake. And cake is wonderful! It’s supportive and fabulous and constant and steady and... Boring. The problem with cake is that over time, it becomes so dry that you’re not really interested in it anymore. And then there’s icing. Icing is someone putting a diaper on you, or you changing their diaper, or having them put their hair in pigtails and grabbing them while you fuck them. All that hot, crazy, age play, sexy, smack-y, leather, rope-and-whatever stuff that you can do. There’s a problem with icing though, which is that icing has no substance. You can call your boyfriend Daddy and wanna sit on his lap while he’s hard, but if he has no job, sits on the couch all day eating Doritos and the lights get turned off when you come home from your 12-hour-a-day job, you’re not really gonna wanna do that stuff with him. What I think though is kind of interesting, is that I think that you can put icing all over a piece of cake. And you can meet someone, lick their icing, find out it’s really good and see what the cake is like underneath and work on it together.

SPACEY: And vice versa. You can meet someone and find out that you have great cake together and possibly explore some other forms of icing.

MAKO: Right, right. But I think that at any juncture, you have to consider both your cake and your icing. And your partner’s!

SPACEY: Another excellent bakery reference, my friend.

MAKO: [laughs] Thank you. You know, this is my job. [laughs] I’m hungry...

SPACEY: Indeed. I wonder what Mako’s favourite food is. We’ve talked about cake in the last two episodes. At least this cake seems more real to me than the digital cake we were talking about in the last one.

MAKO: [laughs] It’s actually key lime pie, is my real favourite desert. But it’s a terrible thing for a metaphor because I don’t want to talk about my partner’s crust! [laughs] Or green filling. [laughs] Actually, good key lime pie should have yellow filling, but that’s a whole other subject.

SPACEY: Indeed. And while we’re talking about other subjects, let’s talk about wrapping this show up and moving onto our next one. Can you tell people about how they can get in touch with you?

MAKO: Certainly! You can reach me through fetlife.com – a wonderful website - I’m mako on there.

SPACEY: Alright, and I’m also on fetlife, as spacey. We’ll probably be getting a website together for this show, so as soon as we get that website together, you’ll certainly be able to reach us. Probably mako @ that website, and spacey @ that website – that’s probably not our domain name, by the way. I’ll check and see if ‘that website’ is available.

MAKO: [laughs] Absolutely. And I dunno, I thought this was pretty great. Is there any other things floating out there that you wanna make sure we talk about?

SPACEY: I just wanna make sure that we tell people that we’re thankful that they’re listening, and we hope they’ll come back for our next show.

MAKO: Absolutely. Stick with us folks, it’s just gonna get better.

SPACEY: Oh, and one other thing! If you would like to meet some people and talk about negotiation in person, we have a great website to help you find folks in your local area. It’s called littlesmunch.com and right now we have 13 munches listed, all over the United States. More are being added all the time. Occasionally some drop off, but we’re glad that we decided to have more added than fall off the map there.

MAKO: And if you happen to be the host or organiser of an age play munch and you’d like to be listed on littlesmunch.com, just let us know!

SPACEY: That’s right. You can write to me at that fetlife address. You can also reach me at spacey@theghidrah.com. Thanks for listening.

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