Story-lines and narratives can be a useful part of play, whether this is sexual or non-sexual. In it’s simplest form this may include playing games together where you use your imagination. For example when HL and I are out and about sometimes we make up details and stories about the people we meet, their lives and what they might think and feel. In some ways this can help us to explore things that we might not otherwise be able to and use our empathy to experience a different range of emotions than we usually would, even though this is only on an imaginary level. We can use this to test things out with each other and get ideas of what might, or might not, be a good fit.
The interesting thing with using narratives and story-lines is that although the situation or scenario you construct may be imaginary, the feelings that you experience as a result are real. I have a bad habit of imagining myself into a doom and gloom scenario sometimes. HL may be later back from somewhere than I expect and I can go catastrophising though the whole response where I finally get a knock at the door to say that something has happened. I can live it all to the point where I experience the feeling of shock, and the fear, and the nerves. The tears that fall will be real tears even though they are brought on by a journey down the road of an imagined situation.
Clearly this is not something enjoyable or pleasant but it does illustrate the power of the mind to allow us to experience something beyond our own reality. I am not one to get particularly involved with characters from TV and films, but books will get a reaction. A well constructed character in a plot I can relate to will leave me feeling what they feel, despite the fact that I know that they are simply words on a page and it has all been born from the author’s imagination. Thoughts are not truths, but the feelings which arise from those thoughts are real responses, even to imagined pain, pleasure, excitement, loss etc.
One way that this can be explored through sexual play is through the use of a role. Having a role will lend itself to becoming someone outside of your own experience, even if only for a short time. Within the safety of a secure relationship, it can leave you free to explore the feelings associated with things that you may not be able to do, or want to do, in real life. Usually this can work well if you tap into something that is already there as a part of you, which you can do by using a role which you can relate to. You are not that person and have the safety of knowing that, but as them you can think and feel and respond in a way which may not fit your usual personality.
Once you have adopted a character then you have the freedom to follow a narrative which would apply more to them than to you. This can be discussed beforehand or the details can be fed in as things progress. Some people may be able to improvise comfortably, where others may find it easier to have a story-line to stick to so that they can interact within that. To do this as part of play means that you can imagine details which may not actually be accurate. There can be an audience, or a confidante, or an accomplice. A scene in your own bedroom involving just the two of you can be transported to a different time, a different place and involve people who would not usually be there.
Many people use fantasy as a way of initiating and/or sustaining arousal which is not a surprise given that the brain is the most important sexual organ. Most fantasy will involve the use of a narrative or a story-line. While this will often be a private thing which is not spoken aloud, to share it between you and allow that to take you to new places together is just moving this on a step. A lot of BDSM play is about experiencing things in a different way. Focussing on the senses means that reality is often suspended for a time, and this leaves you free to choose what your reality will be. Using mindfucks might also be part of this.
Another way to incorporate this into play might be to use actual stories to take you somewhere new. Beth explains that “when we first started out if someone had suggested using a narrative to me I would have thought “role play.” I’d read about scenes like naughty student and strict teacher, Master and slave, spy and interrogator, etc. Those stories sounded fun but I’m no actress and role playing doesn’t appeal to me. But Mister Man can spin a good story and erotic stories help me get in the mood and away from my mundane thoughts. I lay in his arms and he whispers in my ear. He’s perverted a few fairytales into kinky stories. With a few tweaks Goldilocks And The Three bears can be used for a gangbang story, Little Red Riding Hood becomes force or coerced sex, Cinderella and the Prince sneak away for a garden tryst. We can explore things that we wouldn’t be comfortable doing in real life or with other people.”
You may choose to build the use of narrative and story-line into your play through the use of stories, through roleplay, through fantasy or use parts or all of them. What it will allow you to do is to explore experiences and feelings, reactions and responses which might not have been possible without it. There is no limit to where you can go and what you can do, other than the limits that your own imagination allows you to have. To quote George Bernard Shaw, “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.” And so they all lived happily ever after. The End.