Setting Up a Scene

Some paperwork and my Domme hat

Some paperwork and my Domme hat

I was asked to walk through setting up a stand-alone scene involving sex. I am going to give that a shot now. (Remember I don’t  have that much experience outside a dungeon, and my ideas are not meant to be taken as anything other than suggestions.) To define what I mean; stand alone scenes would be those that are not part of a relationship. Both parties have agreed they want to play, but they are not dating.

To start, I like to do paperwork. (Pictured above).

Yes, this can feel really silly sometimes. Paperwork is not the first thing most people think of when they think of sex. So let me explain why I do it.

1. Submissives often feel nervous about telling me what they want and what their boundaries are. In addition, many service-oriented subs are most interested in pleasing the person they are allowing to Dominate them, and so that further complicates things because they’re both shy about talking, and not keeping their own desires and limits in mind. It can make it hard to get solid answers to things. Having a checklist with “yes” and “no” is nice and solid.

2. There is a certain amount of nervousness that is always involved in playing with someone. If you don’t know the person well, that can be compounded quite a bit. Paperwork is a nice way to easy into things. You’re talking about sex and that makes things start to get exciting. But, it’s structured and feels safe.

3. If you plan to hit a person hard enough to leave marks, it never hurts to have a checklist where they said they wanted that (just in case). Most people are sane and nice enough. However, the odd crazy person can slip by and having consent forms and a checklist of things your submissive agreed to may not get you out of trouble, but it sure as hell won’t hurt.

I like to make tea during the whole paperwork experience. This is because it helps calm a person if they are sipping tea, since it’s such a normal activity. Also though, it sets a time limit. You have a cup of tea, but then it’s time to begin the scene. To clarify; I don’t mean a set-in-stone kind of thing. I just mean that in your head you can keep in mind that a cup of tea is about the right amount of time for a scene negotiation, and that when you clean up the teas cups you can sort of lead into play from there. It’s a nice way to naturally transition.

Dressing up helps too, in my opinion

Dressing up helps too, in my opinion

Second; clothes!

Sure, in a relationship you might not care about what you wear. I know a couple who like to play in pajamas because they want to be comfy while they play. That’s totally cool and like I always say; do your own thing! However in a stand-alone scene, I find that clothes can add an air of credibility to something that might otherwise feel uncomfortable. It’s hard to explain why, but it’s one of those things that I have noticed from trying it both ways. My guesses as to why it works are:

1. Big Domme boots and a scary hat and tend to help people find subspace. Playing with someone you don’t really know, it can be hard to feel trusting enough to go into subspace with them. However, there is just something about the boots that gets people’s attention and makes them feel more compliant.

2. I usually slip into the Domme role fine and feel 100% at home there. However some people can trigger a moment or two of nervousness or doubt. The right clothes can really give a person confidence though- as any social scientist will tell you. A big part of having the right head-space is often dressing the part.

Of course there is probably more to it, and it may be different for everyone. I can only speak to my own experience. It just seems to me that clothes make a big difference.

Make sure your toys are laid out and in easy reach

Make sure your toys are laid out and in easy reach

This is pretty obvious I guess, but make sure the toys you plan to use are all laid out. This allows your submissive to inspect them first and make sure they feel okay with everything. They may want to test the size of a ball gag or make sure a dildo doesn’t look too big. And of course, it also makes it easier for you later when you’re actually playing the scene.

I don’t have a picture for the last one. It’s common sense of course, but make sure to avoid leaving anything sharp or dangerous out. You may throw your submissive around. They may stumble. It’s best to make extra sure that all sharp edges and dangerous things are out of your play space. Also make sure there is nothing that will be in your way when you swing a whip or flogger or whatever.

In general, I focus on creating the best experiences I can. That means attention to detail, and it also means being mindful of all the little things you can do to set up a scene beforehand. That way, when you start to play, you’ll have nothing to worry about but the way you and your partner or partners feel.

Scene Negotiation

Everyone likes different things- in the kink universe and outside of it. Personally, I love vanilla candles. 😉

People have different communications styles and some people just aren’t very good at communicating. Here are some tips for finding out what your partner is into:

Trade Porn: I like to do this with everyone I date because knowing what they have been watching can give you an idea of what they would be interesting in doing with you. This isn’t always true. Sometimes people have a disconnect between the porn they watch and what they want to do. I find it useful though, as long as you’re both willing to be mature adults and admit that you both watch porn. (Or at least read erotica!)

E-mail: I personally am a writer, so I find that I order my thoughts better through my fingers than I would through my mouth. I’m not known for being a graceful speaker. Typing out potential scenes gives your partner a chance to think about them before responding as well, so they don’t have to decide right away if they are okay with it.

In person: When people came to the dungeon they didn’t often know what they wanted, so I had a list of ideas prepared for newbies. If you’re going to negotiate in person, be ready to just start listing things off when your submissive gets tongue-tied and isn’t sure how to express their desires. Start with simple things such as verbal humiliation, being tied up, and flogging. Go from there if they seem calm about it.

Over the Phone: This is good because the submissive does not have to look you in the eyes. It can be hard to be in the same room with someone while saying something like “I’d like you to spit on me and call me a dirty cunt.” This method allows the physical distance that can make emotional distance easier. Emotional distance is seems to be the most important factor in being comfortable expressing oneself.

-Worksheets: I know it feels silly to be filling out a worksheet about an intimate relationship, but some people are shy and it’s hard to get them talking. Even when they do talk, they are often unsure about what they want. I find worksheets helpful sometimes, if a person is difficult to feel out.

Note About After care: As you all know, this is the most important part of a scene. This can be accomplished by all of the methods above, but this more than anything else is best in person. Tone of voice means a lot, as well as facial expressions. If you can get someone to be expressive in person, you can get the best idea of how they felt about the various parts of the scene. Make sure to talk about each part. Ask questions like “When you were tied up, did you feel like the ropes were too tight?” or “Did you feel okay with how hard I hit you?” You will both have a better experience if you can communicate better. Resentment can build up in any relationship, but it seems to build up in the most dangerous and dramatic ways in a BDSM relationship. Everyone talks about how important after care is because it is.