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2. What is a "scene", and what is "negotiation"?

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This article is from the Bondage FAQ, by numerous contributors.

2. What is a "scene", and what is "negotiation"?

SM has definite connotations of theater. The fact that you are a
submissive while you're playing sexually does not mean you are a
pushover in real life, nor does your being a dominant while playing mean
that you are an overbearing egotist. These are roles that you can play;
you are in some sense an actor.

Hence the concept of a "scene". A scene is a particular interaction
between a group of players, usually revolving around a bottom. It's not
a formal concept, just a handy way to describe the action. "That was
the hottest whipping scene I've ever seen!" "Our last scene really
pushed me, Master; I've never felt like that before." Usually a scene
has a momentum of its own: you (a top) will begin
fucking/whipping/sucking/whatever your bottom, you'll both be
fantastically into it, one or both of you comes/peaks/starts getting
tired, and you wind down and rest for a while and talk about what worked
and what didn't, about how the scene was for you.

Novice SM players may profit from actually taking this loose description
and using it to structure your first scenes. If there's something you
want to try, first negotiate it with your partner; discuss what you want
out of the scene (bondage? orgasm?), what your limits are (no fucking,
no tickling), and what safeword you want to use (see the next question).
Then get "into scene"--assume your roles (if any), put on the collar
(or whatever), get into the mood to play... and play! And after the
scene is over, take time to discuss what the scene felt like for each of
you. Make sure to listen to your partner and learn how they felt, and
thank your partner for playing... after an intense scene, it's really
nice to cuddle and connect, rather than stopping abruptly and going
home. A scene has a beginning, middle, and end; all three parts are
very important. (And not necessarily disjoint; talking about how you
feel and what you want can continue right through the whole process!)

This "negotiation" concept in the SM community simply means open, honest
communication about what you do and don't want. Negotiation in this
sense is not a bargaining process, where one person is trying to get
something at the expense of someone else; it's a win-win technique where
you're both talking about what you've done and what excites and doesn't
excite you, so you can feel more comfortable and turned on together.
It's completely legitimate to talk both about your fantasies and your
boundaries--about what makes you wet, _and_ about what makes you cringe
and tense up. Telling your partner about things that you _don't_ want
them to do is valuable, as you deserve to have those limits respected...
and if you don't tell your partner those things, they may do them, and
neither of you will enjoy it. (If you do express your limits, and your
partner ignores them, that's nonconsensual, and you will want to think
hard about whether you can trust your partner. Negotiation can bring
these issues into clear focus, which can help.)

If you're just getting into SM, or just into a new relationship,
negotiation is a VERY valuable process. It can be as upfront as "I'd
really like to kiss you, does that sound good?" or as nasty as "Tell me
your deepest darkest fantasy or I'm going to stop rubbing your cock!"
Talking about what you want from your sexual relationships can be
difficult at first, but the more you do it the easier it gets and the
more you get out of it! And note that none of this is necessarily
specific to SM; negotiation is useful on all levels in all
relationships, whether they involve SM or not. Consent is much more
than a simple "yes"--any relationship, and especially SM relationships,
will do better with lots of honest talk about what you both want, and
why, and how much, and what you _don't_ want.

There are some who feel that negotiating--talking--"ruins the momentum".
The image they seem to have is of the lovers who need say no words;
every touch, every action, is perfect. That's great when it happens,
but it doesn't happen automatically. My personal experience is that
talking upfront makes me feel much better about whoever it is I'm with,
and much more confident that they won't do something I'm not ready
for... this in turn means I can throw myself wholeheartedly into
whatever we've negotiated. Plus, as you get to know each other better,
you'll know what you like and don't like... because you'll have
negotiated it! THEN the momentum REALLY gets rolling!

The other connotation of "scene" applies to the whole B/D/S/M
population; sometimes someone will ask another SM player "Is X in the
scene?" or "I've seen Y around the scene before." If you want to get
into the scene in this sense, look up one of the organizations I've
mentioned at the end of this FAQ list--especially the NLA, which may
well have a chapter in your area! Doing this can be very worthwhile;
you can make new friends, get lots of good ideas, and find a community
that shares your interests.

 

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