This post was written in response to a friend who inquired about the concept of “scene” in kink.
Ok, so this is not to be confused for any sort of authoritative understanding about the kink world. These are only my personal observations as to what others I know have done, as well as to what ZG and I have done. One of the most important things that I have noticed is that, while the whole community is obsessed with labels, no two people have the same definition of anything. All you have to do is look at the various different relationship labels to get an idea of what I mean. That being said, I will tell you what I think is meant (generally) by some of the terms and what play looks like.
The first thing to do is to divide the kink community into two general groups: those that are in it for the sex and those that are in it for the kink. If you think of this as a scale with nothing but getting laid on one end of the spectrum and nothing but kink on the other end, most people fall somewhere along that line. Separately there is the spontaneity vs. planning scale and while the two are interweaved like the double helix of the BDSM world, they are not the same for any two people, let alone any two situations.
That being said I will explain our play style as an one example among many styles. Many people that play are into imaginative, twisted and non-obvious turn-ons. We like creating “situations” and will work to create a situation for a couple of different reasons: for the escapism of the imagined scene, for the isolation of a single or small group of feelings or for the greatest shared pleasure.
Escapism often comprises fantasy and role playing. There are people that use props and sets to create as real a sense of scene as possible (using desks and uniforms for teacher student role play, using religious vestments and churches for sacrilege, etc.) but there are others who simplify the process to simply use titles. Age play is a good example of this. We have friends that age play and, while they are not always acting as Daddy/daughter, she does call him Daddy all the time. It is a term of endearment, but it is also a way for them to remain in character even while going about their daily lives. But escapism is not the only reason for creating a scene.
A large number of people use scenes to isolate emotions that they want to explore. The use of a scene allows for a safe environment for one to feel things you may not feel on a regular basis. The scene that ZG had with P was a prime example of this. P and I had talked about what it was that ZG wanted out of this adventure and came to the conclusion that she wanted to be pushed and degraded, given that in most of her day-to-day life she is respected and looked up to. Also, the idea of taking this classy, well put together facade that is very hard to maintain 24/7 and tearing it down was an attempt to free her from the pressure of being perfect — if only for a little while. She wants to be taken out of her comfort zone and left to deal with a situation that she has no control over. The freedom of not making a decision is very alluring. So the scene is roughly sketched out with an idea of what emotions you want to address (jealousy, humiliation, anger, powerlessness). Sometimes the emotional state will be worked on before hand by having required tasks or seeded thoughts to create fear or anticipation. Sometimes the scene is started cold and built from nothing. A carefully crafted scene is difficult because you have to plan it for a person without letting that person know what they are going to be put through. The more the mind knows, the more it can avoid delving into real emotions, so the Dom usually keeps the sub in the dark as much as possible. The challenge is that even the best laid plans will often miss the real emotional trigger, so a good Dom needs to be flexible and keep the scene at least somewhat fluid. These can be the most intense scenes, and are often cathartic and beautiful, but also not something that you can do in a regular basis.
By far, the most common scene type is built out of the kinks and interests of the people playing. We all have different kinks and preferences and a good host will figure out the games and things that each person likes to do and try and figure out a way to play on all the different perversions. An example of this would be when we had our friend M over the other night. She likes to be disoriented and screwed with, and ZG loves the girl-on-girl time, so what I did was took the two of them and blindfolded and bound their hands behind their backs. I threw them in the bathroom with the fan on to create as much white noise as possible. Then I took them one at a time into the next room where I stripped them and started toying and playing with them. I would get one naked and throw her back in bathroom and then get the other naked and throw her back in the bathroom. They were confused by the time alone, punctuated by the rough use and disorienting walks between the rooms. After a couple of trips back and forth I finally brought them together and let them cling to each other in contrast to the rough handling I had given them. The end was a sweaty mess of fucking and sucking that was fun for all involved. The scene was successful partially because of the built scene, but mostly because of the willingness of all parties to enjoy the scene and roll with it, no matter what came.
So there you have it, a general understanding (as far as I know it) of what is meant when we talk about scene. It is not black and white and often it does not mean the same thing for the different participants but at least it is a starting point. It is a way to approach this monolith that is the mangled wreck of your emotional and sexual desires without the years of therapy. Don’t get me wrong, you will not be saving any money. The truth is you will spend more on toys, lube and condoms than you could have spent on three shrinks, but it will be money well spent.