Scene (activity)

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A bondage scene in progress

A scene is a series of one or more BDSM activities in which two or more BDSMers engage. A scene typically has a well-defined start and end. There is often one principal activity with other minor activities thrown in along the way.

For example, a bondage scene would involve a bottom being tied up (the principal activity), with nipple torture and tickling or sensation play added in for good measure.

As another example, a flogging scene might involve using a wide range of different floggers on a bottom, followed by sex.

Along with the sense of a clear-defined start and end to a scene it's important to note that people don't just dive in to challenging or demanding scenes with no lead-in or warm-up. Likewise, a heavy scene doesn't just suddenly end and the participants light up a brandy and drink a cigarette and say how wonderful it was.

Instead, a scene will often begin with a discussion or negotiation about what is going to be done and by whom.

Then, before the main action starts, there will often be warm-up period, particular in the case of impact play and flogging, where the participants prepare themselves physically and emotionally, for the intense activities which are to come.

Once the action winds down at the end of a scene there will be aftercare---taking care of any bumps, scrapes or bruises (physical or emotional) which have occurred during the scene.

Where they happen

A scene in a dungeon
© Raimond Spekking / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0 & GFDL

Scenes commonly occur in BDSM dungeons. These are rooms which are often specially equipped for physical BDSM activities with places to anchor rope and a selection of other useful equipment.

Because not everyone has a fully-equipped dungeon, scenes are common at BDSM play parties which are commonly held at venues or people's homes which have good dungeon facilities.

Play parties can also provide a couple of extra bonuses for those who wish to engage in a scene:

  1. They provide the opportunity to perform in front of an audience, which can be important for the exhibitionistically inclined, and
  2. For people who have only just met, play parties are safe places to explore a new partner knowing that there will be plenty of other people around to help ensure that things don't go awry or too far.

Why they happen

People engage in BDSM for a variety of reasons (see motivations) and scenes may present the only was of satisfying their wants and needs. For example, someone who enjoys flogging is simply not going to be able to experience it without it being part of a full scene.

On the other hand, scenes provide a well-defined time frame in which a person can surrender to their BDSM wants, needs, or feelings, after which they can return to their "normal" lives. This can be convenient for some who want to clearly separate their BDSM from the rest of their lives.

On yet a third hand, scenes at public play parties can provide a safe context for play with a new partner, or can provide a metaphorical podium on which a person can present themselves to their BDSM peers and stand equal with them.

When there's no scene

It's important to mention that not all BDSM occurs in scenes. Service, for example, can be ongoing rather then having a start and and an end. Master/slave relationships, and many dominant/submissive relationships, are based on the idea that one person (the master or dominant) is constantly in a superior role over their submissive or slave partner. Thus, this BDSM aspect also tends not to have a start and end even though the people involved may still engage in recognisable scenes within this overarching BDSM relationship.

See also