What is Layering Communication
Layering communication so that you reveal instructions one by one allows you to lead the scene and take your partner with you, but this is not something that seems to be explained very often. Over the past 10 years I have spoken to many people about aspects of play in a D/s context. As you can imagine there are a lot of angles and approaches to this based on personal preference. One common theme that comes up is communication before play starts;
- Being told during the day that you will be playing later
- Reminder that it is play night
- A hint of what you will be doing
- A list of things the sub needs to prepare
All of the above are generic and not exhaustive of course, however, they all relate to what is coming. Now I know some subs that like to have a lot of information before play starts and I always assumed that this was an aid to getting them in the right head space. However, having discussed this recently at length with missy, I now see a different perspective.
An Everyday Example
If you were to say to someone that you were making coffee, and would they like one, the answer would be a polite yes or no. It’s a simple question that you may have been asked a thousand times and requires no real thought other than any added milk or sugar? D/s play is obviously a long way from coffee, although you may well have been asked about play equally the same amount of times! So where does this need to sometimes have more information come from?
Layering and Play
Two of the main reasons we ask questions is to acquire knowledge and eliminate confusion. The latter of the two, confusion, can be described as uncertainty about what is happening, intended, or required. The outcome of such feelings will be the need to ask more and challenge what information being delivered. How many people reading this I wonder have been in a situation where a Dom has said that he wants to play in a certain way, and the sub either asks lots of questions, or more destructively, starts to alter the original plan that the Dom had in their head. For a Dom this feeling like undermining their position and for the sub it most certainly does not make them feel sexually submissive.
How to use it
One of the ways of avoiding such a situation is for the Dom to get off on the right foot. If you want to play on a particular day, then make it known. Throwing a ‘let’s play’ with no warning in a typical domestic environment doesn’t work. There are too many things to be doing and therefore time has to be created. I will add to that by saying at 22.30 on a school night announcing a role play scene isn’t going to land as well as it could have done when you have time. A large part of D/s is making time for each other and valuing that time; shoe-horning someone in at last minute doesn’t really convey the right message I would argue.
Let us assume you have given said notice of play. Have you considered all the obstacles that might concern your partner?
- Time of day and availablity
- Their workload
- Current things that are causing stress
- Distractions like children or guests
- General frame of mind
- Is the play going to be loud and if so how does that work with other people about?
- Has the lock on the door been fixed?
- If it’s new play, have you done your homework?
- Does my Dom know what their are doing?
- Will the heating still be on?
- And……………..the list goes on.
There have been few occassions where none of the above really mattered and that is where we were in a hotel, together alone, doing things that were done before and enjoyable. That accounts for about 2% of our lives! The rest of the time you have normal life to contend with.
In order to get over this I offer the opinion that setting the scene is the largest hurdle you have to over come. To achieve that doesn’t mean you have to tick everybox and read them off to ensure confidence. Try this..
- State your intention to play in good time and the right time
- Provide sufficient information that will sell the idea
- I want to play and when
- I have it planned it all out
- It is going to be (state the general theme – impact, orgasms control, role play etc)
- Ask is there anything that might impact on the play taking place?
One of the triggers I have discovered that causes the boat to rock is giving up too much information. The information you give up, the more your sub will have to deliberate and can cause PPS, or Post Play Stress, which is something I created just a secind ago! Joking aside, think about it for a moment. Imagine adding this to your initial request:
- I want you to wear sexy underwear
- Wear nice shoes
- Do your hair nice
- I was thinking you would look good tied up
- Maybe we’ll time for anal?
Obviously the definition of sexy and nice are a little vague and will depend on the time of year, time of month sometimes and how the sub is feeling generally. Be specific or instigate an underwear conversation a day or two ahead so that you can say what you want. You’re also going to be using rope, with sexy underwear and maybe anal!! Already you are on a hiding-to-nothing for sure.
Layering communication during play is about adding layers in an engineered and transparent way, just like a windscreen. Once you know where your journey is going, you can then add layers during play. Maybe the aim is to force orgasms, however, that is the end result, how will you get them there? What layers are you adding to get there? If you tell your sub all the attractions before you arrive at them there is no taking them deeper. They will be waiting for that to happen and have expectations. What if you decied not to put in a butt plug that you said you would? Will your sub think you have forgotten or is something wrong? Communicate, add a layer and repeat.
To take a human being beyond their everyday autonomous life requires a lot of focus and an environment that allows one to slow sink into a world they would not openly admit they enjoyed to average people. There are obviously exceptions to every rule, however, my opinions on this subject are based on a lot of failed scenes on my part and that of those I have spoken to. Familiarity and laziness are poor bed fellows, whereas planning and orgasms are!
Other posts about scenes, planning and communication are: