Our theme this week is warming up and cooling down so I wanted to focus on how this works within a D/s play relationship. These thoughts are based on my own experience so should be taken as suggestions only, as different things will work for different people. However, in my opinion, just like with exercise, a warm up or build up to a scene will really add to the experience, as will having some sort of cool down or aftercare.

During exercise, a warm up gradually revs up your cardiovascular system by raising your body temperature and increasing blood flow to your muscles. Warming up may also help reduce muscle soreness and lessen your risk of injury. Similarly within a scene, building up or providing some sort of notice of what you plan to do will aid a submissive with being in the right mindset and allow the physical responses to come more easily. It will also enhance the emotional connection between you and allow an increase in trust.

Creating a sense of anticipation is also really important as it can keep the sub feeling aroused and expectant. At the same time they may be nervous and excited which will mean that they are thinking about what is going to happen. This will not only arouse them but also heighten the senses so that when play begins, they are highly attuned and responsive. Being prepared mentally will also mean that they are less likely to have an issue with negative triggers.

A build up can take a variety of forms and within play, couples will reveal more or less information depending on what works for them. It may be that the sub is given some instructions about how to prepare for the scene including things such as grooming in a particular way, choosing implements or toys, arranging props or selecting various items of clothing. The build up can start days before the scene, or it may be that it is left until much closer, but having some sort of warm up will really help.

Another thing that can work really well is making sure that the submissive waits in a certain position before play begins. This could be kneeling or something more vulnerable but it will allow them to focus their mind and think about what is going to happen. Inspections are another tool that can be used to make sure that the submissive is feeling vulnerable and also to allow the Dominant to set the dynamic for themselves as well as for their sub. A reminder of safewords and protocols will be another way of not just checking in, but also of reinforcing what is about to happen.

In exercise terms, cooling down after your workout allows for a gradual recovery of pre-exercise heart rate and blood pressure. Again, with play, this is a crucial part which, if missed out, can make things really difficult for both the top and for the bottom. During a scene the submissive may go quite deeply into their submissive space, as well as experiencing the effects of the chemical changes which take place in the brain, particularly if play is intense.

The rush of adrenaline and endorphins can send the submissive on a real high, so there can be a genuine chemical ‘come down’ to follow. Aside from that the submissive will likely have felt emotionally vulnerable at various point. The heightened trust in the Dominant will create an intense connection between the two and may lead to a feeling of neediness or dependency. This is something which can be a really positive part of play, provided the aftercare provided it is effective.

Aftercare may involve using soft blankets to make the submissive feel safe and warm as they come down from subspace. Having drinking water to hand is always a must and some people might like to have something special to eat, such as chocolate.  Close physical contact to the Dominant is probably the most important thing as this will reinforce the feeling of safety and the strong emotional connection. Part of aftercare may include talking through some of the play that took place and the emotions and feelings which go with it.

If a cool down doesn’t take place after exercise it can lead to sore or pulled muscles later on and in the same way, if aftercare is not given, it can lead to a feeling of being tired, physically unwell and emotionally upset both for the submissive and sometimes for the Dominant. These posts on sub drop and Dom drop deal with these feelings in more detail.  As long as aftercare is given, the aftereffects of an intense period of play will hopefully be minimised. As with anything, being aware of what can happen will always make it easier not only to prevent, but also to deal with if it does occur.

The sort of adrenaline high experienced during a BDSM scene has been compared before to the type of elation that people can feel after extreme exercise, such as participation in a marathon. While we are not going to be in training in the same way, some preparation will really help, as will some good aftercare following play.  The effects can be both physical as well as emotional so being ready mentally is really important as it will help you to have the best possible experience.

 

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.

We thought it might be useful to have a post about scenes and play which covered both our perspectives. Clearly the roles for Dom and sub are quite different with regards to the input you have at each stage of the process, but we have both found that there are things that we can do which will help it to be the sort of experience we want it to be. 

Setting the Scene

HisLordship

When you are first starting out planning is key. It may seem a bit forced, and not as sexy as the Dom found in fiction, however, you have to assume that they have planned their scene as carefully as you will be preparing yours!  Looking at it in simple terms, imagine a road trip that needs planning. Decide where you both want to go first, that involves a discussion, and probably one of many if this is new to you both. If you don’t know the exact place on the map, agree at least on the general region. Will this scene involve an orgasm for you, or me or both of us? Many scenes (or just play over a shorter period) do not have to end in an orgasm. Just be clear what each of your needs are and you will be fine. Now that we know how it will end, as orgasms tend to slow things down, let’s look at the prep work for the Dom. 
Location, location, location is important. Comfort for both of you, address any sound issues that may be made which could scar your kids or neighbours. Most people at home use the bedroom, and why not? The bed makes a nice play space and all your tools are close by.  If you are going to use those tools be specific on their use and avoid getting them all out just because you haven’t played in weeks. Pick the ones you want to focus on and have them near by. Get your lube warmed up as well as any other metal or glass tools that maybe used. Consider music as it is great for providing atmosphere and to drown out heavy breathing. 
Now you have your outcome and tools, you can think about how long you will play for and how you can bring it together.  Don’t try to pack a lot into an hour, do what is achievable with time to spare. The same applies with even two or three hours, give yourself some wiggle room to enjoy the experience. Finally, walk through the scene in your head. How will you relax her and draw her into the world you have created? Better to hit an obstacle in your head rather than when she is tied to the bed waiting for your next move!  If you get a bit stuck, discuss it with your sub. She is the one who allowing you to dominate her and therefore plays a valid part. Please do not get hung up on the fairy-tale Dom who can’t make a mistake and has women fainting under his control. This person usually has a dragon and lives in Toy Town; in other words they are fiction and you should not measure yourself against them.

Missy

Being a submissive, prior to the scene I don’t usually have anything to prepare or plan as such. I get the easy job – turn up and enjoy. There are certain things that HL will expect me to have done, however. He has requirements of personal grooming so I will make sure that I am clean and fresh and neat and tidy. My nails will be done and I will try to make sure that my skin feels soft and my body is ready for him. Sometimes there will be specific requirements for me to wear something particular or to do something differently for him. The biggest thing I have to do really is to make sure that my head is in the right place. Of course this won’t always work as planned and so if there is something that I think will affect my ability to give him my full attention, I will communicate this beforehand. I used to have loads of questions – oh the questions! – but that has eased a bit and usually now I can run with whatever direction he wants to take us in.

 

Lights up

HisLordship

They say a journey starts with the first step, so in this case make it a strong one. Exerting my authority in a calm and caring manner by verbalising my needs to reinforce what you agreed on will take control away from missy, and this is very important. She will submit to me, and wants to, as this is our agreement.  Telling her to wait for me to arrive is always a good start. She must be in an exposed position to take her mind away from day to day events. She needs to be focussed on me. This can be quite hard sometimes as both of us were probably being active parents not 20 minutes earlier. Either way, I have a sub who wants to be dominated and I need to turn on the Dom in me and let her feel safe and excited.  Do not rush, be calm and if you find it hard, try to pretend she doesn’t know you, or the other way around as it can sometimes help move away from your traditional family roles. Show her your tools, tell her what each one will do or tell her what you hope to acheive with them. Don’t give any opportunity for doubt in her mind. 

Missy

Once the scene has begun there is really very little for me to do. Once my preparation is done, I will usually be told to wait in a certain position or in a certain place. Although we have not begun to play at this point, I would consider it to be part of the scene. This is the time for me to clear my mind and get my head where he wants it to be. This can be tricky at times and it is often a case of swiping left and right in my own mind in order to try to overcome the thoughts that ask to be considered. The position and situation I am waiting in can ease this process greatly. Some of his requests will make me feel so submissive that my mind is already being led by my body into wherever it is he is going to take me. For example, if I am asked to wait naked on my hands and knees, arse in the air with my legs spread, I will feel the air on my skin and burn with the humiliation. The same will happen if we start with an inspection or something of that nature. Basically something that makes me feel vulnerable will make for the ideal start.  

 

Centre Stage

HisLordship

You could start with spanking, caning, flogging or even just touching. Whichever you chose, think of it as adding a thin layer of sexual weight that will pull her deeper down each time you add to it. Add too much too quick and she will slip though your fingers and out of your grasp. One area which can be a challenge is verbal communication during play. Some say they feel awkward, as though it is not their usual voice or choice of words. My response to that would be that no one is telling you what to say or how to say it. Have your own voice by expressing what you see or how you feel. Your sub is likely to be in a position where she cannot see the thing you do!

Missy

When things are in full swing, I am not really thinking about anything. By then I am feeling the impact of whatever he is doing and I am becoming his, slipping further and further down the rabbit hole with him. That is a delicious feeling and one which is quite addictive. I do need to be aware of my own triggers and limits and communicate those with him if necessary, but he is very good at reading me, so this is not something that I would have to do a lot. I do find that to verbalize my thoughts at this time is quite distracting and can pull me out of my submissive space which is counter-productive, but hearing his voice talking to me and asserting his control over me keeps me firmly there. I know that once I let go, I tend to make more noise but this is not a conscious thing and is something that I would rather not acknowledge, although for him to do so will add to the humiliation and actually push things forward for me.   

 

Curtain Fall

HisLordship

Some scenes or play can be quite short and therefore require little recovery. Equally we have been known to play for hours and this takes a toll physically and emotionally. Most, if not all our scenes are sexual and if my sexual needs have not been met during the centre part of the scene, they will be at the end. This produces two positives based on heightened arousal and need. I am aroused having watched and played with missy’s body over a prolonged period of time, and she is very needy to be fucked. It can’t be put simpler than that. The two combined meet a greater need and that is to be joined together with the intensity you lay exhausted from. Aftercare is important for both of us to recover and to spend time just reassuring each other that the red welts across her bum are okay to be there!  At some point later on we will discuss how things went from start to finish. There is always room for improvement, and that’s what makes next time something to look forward to!
Try to take and give feedback constructively. This may be difficult as there are a lot of emotions involved and a simple observation could hit nerve. If something hasn’t gone as well as expected, talk about it and create a new way of doing it. D/s is, after all, a journey! 

Missy

Once the scene is over, I tend to crash a bit. This is when HL will provide aftercare. I have a huge need to be as physically close to him as I can, often pressing myself into him as much as possible. If I could literally climb inside him I would. Although this is a quiet time, it is a huge part of the process as we are sharing the same emotional space. Following this, at some point, we will talk about what happened and how it went etc. We have sometimes called this roses and thorns as we try to look at what worked as well as what didn’t work quite so well. This is not meant in a critical sense but rather as part of the learning process. This is important for me too as I learn a lot about myself from my own reactions and responses to things and this will help to inform what we choose to do next. It is also time to listen to HL and to look for the responses he likes, the things that he enjoys and the way that various things have made him feel.

The topic for Thursday’s chat this week is the best scene ever so please join Lars and slars in the Dungeon from 8pm EDT to share all the juicy details and top tips.

Please note that timings for this chat are in Eastern Daylight Time.

The topic today is playing with your Dom. We spend a lot of time talking about the things that the Dom does for and to the sub but what are the things that the sub does for and to the Dom? How do you build this type of play into your dynamic so that both parties know that they are wanted and desired?
Join us in the Dungeon and share the things that work for you.

 

 

 

Dominants will be referred to as male and submissives referred to as female in this post because that’s easiest for me to write about.

Tickle torture which is also called knismolagnia or titillagnia or knismophilia. Tickle torture is where the Dom tickles the sub to reinforce his dominance and her submission or to punish the sub. It causes the sub to lose control of herself and provides a continuous sensation compared to other types of play. The Chinese used tickling as a form of torture to get information from soldiers from other lands. Continue reading “Tickle Torture”

This week’s topic is a toys show and tell.  Please come along to share your favourite toys and tell us how you like to use them. If you bring a few options then we should end up with a good virtual toybox by the end of the chat and not 6 of the same thing!