Kink Tools: Negotiation Venn Diagram

Created by Isaac Cross for the Colorado Center for Alternative Lifestyles

When negotiating kink play, especially as a person or couple generally new to kink, numerous tools are available across the internet to help, such as checklists, quizzes, and workbooks. But most of this tools address the desires of a single issue, but don’t address how to reconcile two different people’s desires. This tool is designed to help you with that.

The graphics in this post were created by Isaac Cross for the Colorado Center for Alternative Lifestyles (ColoradoCAL). ColoradoCAL has a total of 12 hours of “Core Curriculum” that covers the essential information and ideas necessary for those exploring alternate lifestyles for the first time. This graphic and the associated content can be found in their class entitled “All The Kinky Things”. Check for offers, both online and in person, on the ColoradoCAL page at

Step 1 is to lay out the things each of you are excited to do, the things you actively want.

From here, the obvious place to start is the overlap in those two circles, the things both of you are excited to do. But what about everything else?

Step 2 is to zoom out and identify the things each of you is willing to do, even if it’s something you aren’t super excited about.

Now that there are four circles on the grid, there are multiple zones of intersection, which present new opportunities.

The “indulgence” sections are great places to play because one partner is, at least, willing or curious and the other person actively desires it. Consider taking turns. Tonight do something from the “bottom indulgence” section and tomorrow do something from the “top indulgence” section. Or, you could include one of each into the same scene.

Another place to explore is the “mutual curiosity” section. Neither partner actively desires the things here, but as someone who still discovers kinks I never knew I would enjoy, I encourage you to give this stuff a try. You never know when you’ll find your new favorite thing.

And the last section asks: “What about all the things one partner wants, but the other isn’t willing to do?”

Well, you need to be at least a little non-monogamous for that.

If each person is allowed to seek play from other people, it provides the opportunity to explore the kinks you are interested in that the person you are negotiating with isn’t willing to participate with.

And when negotiating with that other person, you’ll start this over again and identify all these sections with them and figure out your mutual desires, indulgences, and mutual curiosities.