Verbalization in scene and other mysteries.
Verbalization in scene and other mysteries. avatar

Something I see on a lot of beginner’s forums in the BDSM community is the question of how to get a sub to tell you what she wants.  I also see subs asking how to tell her top what she wants.   These aren’t really the same question, but I’m going to deal with them both here; as well as the corollary question of how to tell your top/sub what you want.

Both SAM and I  talk a lot on here about communication.  Without it, what we do borders way too closely on abuse.  Being able to openly discuss uncomfortable, embarrassing or scary topics is a part of what makes our relationship as solid as it is.

There are two different places where communication is important.  In scene and out of scene.   In scene both of us need to be able to tell the other what is needed, to communicate mood, arousal, ideas, etc. Out of scene we must be able to talk to each other about what went right, what we enjoyed and most importantly what we didn’t enjoy or what went wrong; even if it wasn’t a safe-word situation.

One of the most difficult things to do when SAM and I started our relationship was to get her to talk to me during scene.  If I pushed too hard it pulled her out of scene, usually ending things for the night.  When in scene she goes deep into herself and it’s difficult to get her to talk about what she wants, what she needs.

Talking about these things after a scene is important.  Asking questions such as:  “You weren’t able to tell me what you wanted at this point in the scene, can you tell me now?”  or her asking me:  “You seemed to be disappointed with my reaction to that, am I reading you right?”.  These kinds of questions can be scary at first, but very quickly, they become the foundation of the trust any good relationship needs.

The act of talking about those verbal lockups or inhibitions makes it less likely that they will happen in scene the next time.   I know that with SAM and I, that lockup is often a fear based one.  “If I tell him that I really want him to stop with the gentle stuff and just fist me, damn it, it might interrupt his fun and end the scene”  or “if I tell her at this point that I want her to crawl to me on all fours and suck on my big toe it might make her laugh at me..”

These are just examples, and in reality, I have no interest in her sucking my big toe.  The fisting?  Yeah, that one happened.

There is also the fear of rejection behind a lot of our verbal blocks.  “I know he asked me if I liked what he was doing, but if I admit it, it makes me a bad person” or “I know she knows it’s only play but if I ask her to strap on a dildo and fuck me silly, she won’t respect me as the Dominant one in the relationship any more.”

Ultimately what it comes down to is fear.  If I say the wrong thing at the wrong time something undesirable or bad will happen.    Talking through these things afterwords makes it much easier to talk about them before the fact and that makes it a simple and easy thing to talk about them during the scene.

I could go on and on and on with examples of how SAM and I have and do deal with this in and out of scene.  But I’m not going to.  I’m going to ask you, gentle and not so gentle readers;  How do you and your partners deal with getting from  the “innocent fearful doe-eyed expression that we all love so much” to “that sultry, sexy, aggressive, ‘fuck yes!!’ expression that we all love so much?”


  1. Reply
    flamedryad November 16, 2010

    well one of the biggest problems with communication for me is that it kills the fantasy if when subbing i have to tell the top everything. well just so happens i met a guy that had a way around this him and me played a bit reving my engine so to speak and asked me what i wanted while i was recovering
    then he sent me on my way with out letting me cum. so when my mind came down i was far away from him and had forgotten. the next day he does exactly what i had asked him and i had no clue till hge told me after that i had told him all this the day before.

    TLDR: if you worryed revealing things will take out the spice tell them and let them know to wait a bit so you can forget that you told them and they will look amazing

    • Reply
      Happy Sadist November 17, 2010

      It depends on the fantasy for us. If it’s a take-down or abduction scene, SAM can get fairly verbal within the context of the scene. If it’s a slave-auction or some other similar scene, not so much.

      Even when we’re not role-playing something with that level of specific ‘plot’ the essence is the same. It comes down to how aggressive or submissive she’s feeling at the time.

      As for my verbalization, it comes down to my overall emotional state. If my hind-brain is still focused on the bills, work, traffic, etc.. I tend to be somewhat non-verbal out of fear of letting the mundane bleed over into the scene.

  2. Reply
    K'La Albertini November 17, 2010

    Verbalization during a scene is something I have a big problem with. If I’m deep into a scene, I pretty much lose all verbal skills, and requiring me to talk will almost always bring me out of a scene to some degree.

    I’ll have to admit, I was very spoiled very early on… my first husband, who was also my first top, was almost psychically attuned to what I was feeling at any given time during a scene… he could interpret every moan, every gasp, every whimper, and responded accordingly, without moving out of scene. One of the things I liked best was, when he noticed something was too much, he’d growl something to the effect of “Shut up and take it, bitch!”, while simultaneously easing up on what he was doing, or switching to something else. This kept me deep in scene, but met my needs as far as limitations went, at the same time. I didn’t know much of anything about BDSM as a movement or community at the time… the thought of a safeword would have been completely foreign to me at that time, and there was never an occasion where I would have wanted one… which isn’t to say that he didn’t push my limits now and again, because he did.

    Outside that relationship, though, in the few scenes I’ve had since then, it became obvious that no one else could read me like that. It’s been disappointing, although it’s certainly a more realistic view of BDSM than I had in the idyllic scenes with my first husband. (Believe me, sex was not the reason we divorced… if I didn’t feel so dirty about it afterwards, I’d still be having some form of sex with him today.)

    I think the only way I could work around this particular hangup would be to be in a long-term relationship that included BDSM, as well as a great deal of non-scene face-time. Sadly, that was something you and I were never able to have, given our conflicting schedules. The scenes we were able to do were fun, no doubt, but we never had the time to do a lot of dialoguing about them, and not having had much experience beyond my first marriage, I wouldn’t have even known where to start.

    I’m in a different place, years later, where I’ve done more research, more talking, and most importantly, more growing, in regards to my sexuality. But my experience hasn’t kept up with my knowledge. Logically, I understand the necessity of what you discuss in your post. How, or whether, that knowledge would translate into action if I were in scene in person with someone again… remains to be seen.

    • Reply
      Happy Sadist November 17, 2010

      A lot of what I wrote about above has come about, with me personally, over the last 3-4 years. I am much more capable now of talking about what I want and don’t want than I was when you and I last played.

      The lessons I’ve learned with SAM over the last few years have torn away a lifetime of almost paralyzing fear of rejection. There were so many things I wanted to do, but had no way to bring myself to physically say them.

      One of the things that SAM did early on was convince me that not only is slapping her, in scene, OK, but something she really wanted and helps put her into the right head space.

      Slapping was one of the major ‘freeze’ points with me. “you just don’t do that!” kind of thought. Once I got past that, it was easier to broach the next topic and the one after that was even easier etc.

      The best advice I can give is to pick one thing and work on that. Pick something simple, or fun but that tends to freeze you during scene. See how it works out then move on to another one. Rinse, repeat.

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