In My case I ponder the little nuances of what might be occurring in the scene, before the scene or after the scene…what may be occurring as part of the relationship or even as part of being play partners.
Does one party play classical music in the background of a scene, almost automatically? If they pondered this ritual would they find that their mother or father put on Chopin to calm a wild bunch of children? Or maybe the simple soft light of a dozen candles sets the mood, but after further introspection does one find that there might be childhood memories of their parents spending many a happy night by candle light, bringing calm and comfort to the home.
Maybe a ritual that has been part of a person’s life regardless of the relationship or the scene, done without thought, brings a climatic end to the climax, because it brings happiness to one of the party.
For example, I have always had, bacon, two eggs over easy, hash browns and toast after any sex or scene as part of a ritual which is now a habit…where did this come from? After much thought, I realized that as a child we did not have bacon and hash browns in our house at all, no one made or bought the hash browns and bacon was out, but when we went out to eat, especially breakfast, this was my order…
It was a treat, a treat that brought with it happiness…so looking at the connection as an adult to the end of good sex or a good scene, it is like the cherry on top of the sundae…it brings the final dose of happiness to the scene.
There is much positive in D/s and we often focus on the terrible or harsh things that drive us….sexual abuse, sexual pressure, sexual repression, rape, incest, and a whole slew of negatively charged hyperbole, looking to explain why one enjoys being hurt or dominated. It is a rare moment that we actually see the quieter aspects of this culture brought forth into the public eye.
What we call “scening ” in this subculture, evokes the theatrical, the cirque du soleil of “eros” that is this “alternative” ,and for core players, in depth exploration of desire outside of the socially constructed norms of acceptible sexual expression…rife with ritual and esoteric value.
This takes place between individuals who bring not only (sometimes) a historical understanding of what this subculture means, but a personal unique history of the erotic as it pertains to self.
Self and culture are constructs that meet and merge.
For those on the outside of the culture, and indeed, many on the inside, there is often a search for explanation in the roots of pathology..childhood trauma.
However, it is far more complex than this..what drives someone to embrace identity as Dominant or submissive, sadomasochist, sadist, or masochist…
Pleasure and pain are at once symbolic and literal, iniations, repetitive, that derive in part from both social and individual contexts.
As regards pleasure and comfort, the release of dopamine, and the feelings of sanctuary, or being at home within oneself or with another..it is not solely the feral acts that carve themselves into fetishes, it is the fore-scening and after scening rituals, some well known, such as presentation, methods of addressing one another, ect, some highly idiosyncratic, and practiced between the two that share, explore and commit to them.
Acts that serve to heighten the anticipation, and acts that serve to de-escalate and bring any particular “scene” to an end.
Call it bracketing. It is just as important, it is all part of ritual, this is a culture embedded in ritual, like religion..perhaps it is a religion of sorts..
With its own theology, litanies, sacramental symbols, and promise of salvation.
In discussing this with Lucifer, I realized that there are rituals that bracket the act of scening, that derive from non trauma, that derive from pleasurable memories, both childhood and later..
and that these rituals and rites, the laying out of clothing, the use of scent, the preparation of one’s body or the body of of the beloved, …the desire to be blanketed and perhaps bound as a sub when leaving the endorphin high of subspace, the Dominant’s needs for music, or desire (often a high), I have observed in Dominants for music or activity, or meditative quiet..
can be traced back thru time on occasion to those very things that gave us comfort as a child…warmth, space, security…
I have a enjoyment in the preparation of my body for a scene, adornment, attention to aesthetic and mood.
I have a need to be bound or held after a scene, to be able to navigate as would a shaky sleepy child at bedtime, comforted, and then to sleep. ( a good childhood memory of mine as a small girl)
But then I am a submissive.
I cannot speak for Dominants, what I have observed is a feeling of satiation they have in terms of accomplishment, and a drive to express that thru some personal focused activity, or “flow’ outlet. Celebration in eggs over easy and hashbrowns. Smiling …
For me, some of what constitutes ‘fore-scening’ and “after-scening” ritual absolutely in part derives from the things that gave me both a push into the unknown as a small child, but with a trusted parent behind me, and the wind- down ritual at night, where I was assured all was right and safe in my little world…
Not all that we do in Bdsm and D/s is feral..much of it is a drive for human connection, acceptance, and intimacy…and the ways to get there…this bracketing of a scene..are as unique as the people participating.
It is interesting to engage in an exploration of what your own personal rituals of comfort and celebration are..and rewarding to share what you discover with the partners you dive with.
“Whether in or out of a scene, we are creatures of routine as well as change. What are some of your core comfort rituals and habits and where do they come from?”
Lucifer and cat.