In discussion with Majeste over IM and we agreed that the most important thing to giving a good dominant scene was confidence. In yourself (as a person, as a dominant person), in your physical skill set, in your subject and being able to manage whatever they or the situation might throw at you.
If I have a recurring problem or blocker as a dominant is that I am cautious. I tend to go in slowly and gently, both with the play itself and with selecting partners. I know what is driving this, the thing that drives almost all barriers to progress: fear. Fear that I will actually hurt someone. Fear that I won't be good enough or interesting enough or exciting enough.
The cure for fear? Confidence. Easy to say.
Last night was a wonderful example of how confidence operates, different aspects that come together and really make a scene work. I had my first actual play session with Boy Wonder and am walking with a spring in my step, grinning wolfishly whilst replaying that expression of bleary eyed joy on his face.
I'm going to use this post to run through the practicalities of scene arrangement, then run through the scene proper in another. This is because the two headspaces are very different and distinct to me. There was a sense in which, once everything had been done and put into place, the scene itself happened on rails: naturally, fluidly and working out better than I had anticipated. I am reasonably convinced that this was because I'd put in the groundwork to really think about what I wanted to deliver.
We've been in very casual public play contact then in spiralling diary re-scheduling since Christmas and I was both excited but at the same time concerned: new play partners create new sets of working parameters and I always feel that it is more likely that something will "go wrong" in this situation. Fear. Not mind-numbing amounts of terror, but some fear nonetheless.
I combat fear (garner confidence) by taking control, which is a nice dominant trait (the alternative when I'm submitting is completely ceding control - I am a control freak either way I switch, it seems). The first thing was the recognition that he wanted me and was excited, and when a good looking boy wants to play with you, there's a burst of confidence right there. Add to that the fact he was also somewhat nervous too. Good. That means I'm worth being nervous about - games of pain and power involve ensuring that the submissive is at least a little twitchy about what might happen. It's a balancing act of excitement: to keep them agitated but not in complete call-the-police panic.
We'd been in email conversation and I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do - make a mummification fucktoy. It was a good choice for a first time because it's "quiet" submission know and love mummification: restrictive bondage and objectification are two very big buttons for me as a dominant (it's controlling, depersonalising and dismissive - what's there not to like?). It was also something he'd never done before so that meant I could take a cherry and had no comparisons that could be drawn. All bonus points.
Next stage was space. Preparing a space to play is a therapeutic exercise in itself. The area needs to be clean and attractive (lit candles, fresh sheets, no dirty socks on the floor). Playing in my own house is not ideal, frankly - it's the space where I live my "normal" life and I am always hesitant about inviting people back because it is a soft space, full of the noise and chatter of the complete me rather than the part of me I might want to present. Also, I share a house, so I am not in full control of the entire space, which means play happens in my bedroom. Again, not ideal. Bedrooms can imply human warmth, intimacy and loving sex which are things that I might not always want to convey, especially when the plan for the scene is objectification.
Then I laid out the toys, making sure that everything I needed was ready and to hand, including the vitally important pallet wrap and the less obviously important but really useful fluffy towel and bottle of water. Finally, I prepared myself. I made sure I had a good half an hour to sit down and to run through in my mind what I was going to do. Little things like making sure I was comfortable in what I was wearing, apply perfume. Relax.
The doorbell rang. I felt prepared. Walking slowly to the door with a slink to my hips and a half-smile. My mind slipped from "concerned preparation mode" and into "dominant" space. I was ready.