Fifty Shades got some things right – negotiation was one of them, althought the follow through wasn’t quite there IMHO. Negotiation is a term used to explain the discussion before play. These negotiations can be as simple as saying “I like this but I don’t like that.” to a formal contract clearly defining soft limits, hard limits, and safewords. In my own personal relationship, my husband and I have been together for so long he knows my limits better than I do myself, as is the case with many true dominants. When just beginning a relationship, however, communication is paramount. DO NOT HESITATE, even if you thought you’d be okay with something but it turns out you really aren’t, to use your safeword. One sure way to lose the trust of a submissive is to effectively silence her or him, to wave away any negotiations (even in the form of a simple conversation), or (the ultimate betrayal) ignore hard limits and safeword. D/s is not a dictatorship. It is, actually, a democracy. The submissive always has an equal voice. Actually, when the safeword is invoked, the submissive has the final voice. The dominant is the lead, but a submissive can always stop the dance.