Dominance and Scene Building For Beginners

In our previous article, we flipped the script and discovered the submissive actually has the control in BDSM. It’s the submissive’s job to determine their own limits and desires, communicate them to the dominant, and tell the dominant when their limits change or are reached during a scene.
The dominant’s job, on the other hand, is to understand the submissive’s desires and boundaries, match them up with their own, and put together a scene that adheres to everyone’s guidelines. A good dominant needs to be creative, a thorough planner, able to think on their feet when unexpected changes arise, be proficient in whatever techniques they use, and be familiar enough with the submissive’s mind to play with it in just the right way. They also must be considerate, caring, empathetic, respectful, a great listener, have excellent self control, and always be willing to learn and grow. Most importantly, submissives and dominants must trust each other completely. Becoming a good dominant takes time and patience.
Wow, those are some pretty big shoes to fill! If you’ve never constructed a scene as a dominant before, where do you begin?

Don’t Focus On The Sex

It’s a common misconception that BDSM is all about sex. Some incorporate lovemaking in their kinky play and others don’t. All kinky scenes, however, involve our biggest organ, the brain. It’s important not to lose sight of the fact that BDSM is first and foremost about the mind-fuck, not the physical fuck.
While orgasms can be wonderful, they aren’t the sole focus here. Your submissive partner is ultimately looking to get something else out of your scene. They want to go on a mental amusement park ride. Perhaps they crave the twists, turns, and surprises of a large scale roller coaster. Or maybe they want a slow, soothing float down the tunnel of love. It’s your job as the dominant to custom build that brain ride.

Building Your BDSM Roller Coaster

I introduced my BDSM Yes/No/Maybe list in our last article. It helps partners talk about their boundaries and desires. The submissive’s answers to those questions and the discussions that result are the key elements of your kinky roller coaster blueprint. These pre-scene negotiations let you know if your submissive likes upside down loops, vertical drops, dark tunnels, or corkscrew twists. Your challenge is to assemble all of those elements in a way that flows nicely, builds in intensity, and keeps your eager rider in suspense.
We like to be on the receiving end of BDSM for many of the same reasons we enjoy watching scary movies or going to real amusement parks. The anticipation and excitement gets our juices flowing. Our adrenaline spikes, our endorphins soar, and we enter an altered state of consciousness. Research has found this natural high is very similar to the “runner’s high” marathoners experience. When we’re on an actual roller coaster we logically know we’re in a safe, controlled environment but sometimes we still feel like our car is going to fly off the rails. That off-the-rails feeling is what we’re after.
As a dominant your goal is to mentally replicate that feeling for your submissive. Although you are in complete control of what’s happening and your scene is planned out, you want to make your submissive feel they may be riding in a runaway car and have no idea what’s coming next.

In Practice, What Does This Look Like?

Suppose in your negotiations you learn your submissive likes bondage, blindfolds, being verbally reprimanded, light spanking, and sensual touch. They are also open to creative role-play and have mentioned a medical play scene might be fun. Provided you feel comfortable doing these things, they become the loops, drops, and twists of your BDSM roller coaster.

You Might Build The Scene, a.k.a Roller Coaster, Like This:

You are a dentist. Each time you see this patient they always have more cavities. Although you’ve gone over proper brushing techniques with them countless times, they obviously haven’t listened. You’re at your wits end with how poorly they care for their teeth. This visit, once and for all, you’re going to make sure they learn proper oral hygiene in a way they’ll never forget.
Start the scene verbally reprimanding them about their brushing technique. As your frustration rises bend them over your knee for some light spanking. After composing yourself ask the patient to lay down for the exam. Rather than breaking out real dental instruments go with the creative roleplay here– caress and tickle their lips, have them suck your fingers, etc. as part of the exam. Because they can’t sit still enough, you eventually tie their hands so you can examine their mouth without distraction. When you find evidence of some serious plaque build up you become angry again. You say, “I show you how to care for your teeth every time and it doesn’t sink in! I’m done with SHOWING you,” you put the blindfold on them, “maybe you’ll remember if you FEEL it!”
This is where the sensation play comes in. You can rub their body in all sorts of ways and places to mimic brushing technique. Rub their skin with objects made from various materials and textures pretending they are different types of dental tools. How about running toothbrush bristles over their nipples or teasing their genitals with the flat, smooth end of a vibrating electric toothbrush you purchased exclusively for this scene? Giving your version of a deep dental cleaning can be fun too– especially if they have to rinse and spit at the end!
That was hot, wasn’t it? See how you can turn just a few parameters into full length kinky roller coaster ride? You can create countless scenarios with them too.
Now that you have a taste of how to construct a scene, think about some different erotic situations you can devise with the same set of guidelines. Remember to have your scene build in intensity as it unfolds. If you can do that, congratulations, you’ve learned how to construct a basic BDSM scene!
Next time we’ll go over play types and techniques. I’ll also tell you which beginner toys you can find right in your own home. If you haven’t read my previous articles in this series you can find them here and here.
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Sunny Megatron is a sexuality educator, sex and relationship writer, media personality, and pleasure products expert. She’s also the host and executive producer of the groundbreaking, sex-positive Showtime original television series, SEX with Sunny Megatron. Her approachable demeanor and infectious humor puts audiences at ease in her sell-out sexuality workshops and university guest lectures. Named one of the 6 most savvy sexologists in North America, her work has been featured in Cosmo, Playboy, Jezebel, Buzzfeed, and CNN. Sunny’s popular sex ed youtube channel features sex tips, tours of interesting sexy places, and plenty of reviews of the latest pleasure toys. Recently nominated for XBIZ 2016 Sexpert of the Year, Sunny’s passion is helping people become their authentic, sexual selves by learning to overcome shame and shed inhibitions. As a lifestyle BDSM enthusiast, much of her work centers around normalizing alternative sexual practices and ending sexual stigma.


  1. This is, by far, one of the most (if not the most) comprehensive articles about building scenes that I’ve ever read. And believe me, as an aspiring pro-domme, I’ve been on the hunt. I’ve read a couple of books that are more like guides to starting in the industry, but they usually don’t give examples of play like this. Thanks very much for the guidance! I’m definitely saving this.


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