I’m a creature of habit, I like things to happen in the order I expect otherwise it can throw me off kilter a bit. Don’t get me wrong I’m no so habit bound that I can’t do new things but in my everyday life I find a certain amount of stabalising ritual comforting. It tends to be little things that I find the most solace in, for example the morning ritual, wake up, coffee, excercise, iron, shower, dress, breakfast and more coffee. Simple but if I get out of synch I start to get stressed because I like it to happen in the order I’m used to. I don’t explode or get mad but I do need some deep breaths and a little chat with myself to stop it becoming a problem.
My guess would be that most people are happiest when they can follow familiar patterns and routines. Lets face it we’re are generally tied to the habitual nature of everyday life and our working/leisure routines. It’s not often we break away from those routines except for weekends, holidays or other occasions where we aren’t required to face the daily grind. So it interests me how habits and more focused rituals can find their way into activities that are not generally considered ‘normal’ like BDSM.
When my wife and I first started to experiment with BDSM I developed some personal rituals which became very important to me because I was new to topping, taking control sexually and claiming my masculinity. I would place great emphasis on preparing a scene before hand and walking through it on my own, rehearsing each step. That process became a ritual for me and it included laying out toys in a certain way each time. I would always place ankle and wrist cuffs in a particular pattern, buckles the same, symmetrically aligned. I always indicated I was ready by texting the same message to my wife and so on.
In those early days the ritual helped calm my nerves, allowed me time to settle into my role. It was a space and a process which gave me time to become a top, to draw that side of myself out and feel I was what I was claiming to be. The ritual was a tool but I also enjoyed it, there was a thrill to it which raised my levels of excitement and anticipation. Over time that particular ritual has faded, I no longer need it to become dominant because I’m more confident and comfortable with that side of me. However there is still an appeal, a draw towards rituals and some remain.
There is the ritual of cock washing and strapping on. When I shower prior to a scene I inevitably follow a certain routine that I wasn’t really aware of until I started thinking about it. My cock, harness and other toys must be washed first and laid out ready for when I get out of the shower and I think I would be thrown if I did it any other way. Why? Well partly habit and because I like the familiarity of the routine that I’m used to. But the other reason is to do with having no delay in becoming complete when I get out of the shower. In other words once I’m washed and dried I want to immediately feel whole and that means strapping on quickly.
Minor habits and routines are one aspect but also even though scenes are all played out differently and contain different activities there is a sense of ritual which underpins them. I can feel the ceremony involved whether it’s the rythmn of flogging or the concentrated wrapping of rope. My instinct tells me it’s a vital and valuable part of a scene. That ritual and ceremony enhance, improve and can be wildly erotic, helping to create space and atmosphere. That underlying sense of ritual somehow eases the flow, aids the movement of emotions, desire and power. It feels spiritual, it touches something in me that I can only describe as my soul and so often feels like an act of worship.
Yet I can’t quite pin down where it comes from except that it is a combination of many smaller things. Perhaps every minor detail both planned and accidental combine to make it plus the passion and sexual tension. I know I can guide the intensity, turn it up or down, add to it, utilise it and exploit it but I can’t control it’s existence. The bigger ritual that is the foundation of the scene is created by us but it becomes so much more. That is what’s fascinating, enticing and for me one of the major attractions of BDSM.