You’ve educated yourself on the pleasures, and possible perils, of BDSM play.

You’ve equipped yourself with a gloriously kinky assortment of toys. You’ve found the perfect place to play.

You’re found a consenting and enthusiastic playmate, one who’s also extremely well-versed in the pros and cons of what you’ve mutually agreed to do.

The stage is set, the toys are cleaned, the participants excited to begin. But before the first act begins, you find yourself facing a severe case of D/s stage-fright.

How, you ask yourself, can I use this gear, all this knowledge, a consenting submissive to create a cohesive, dynamic, creative, and even erotically powerful scene?

The answer could very well be trying on a new persona: a scene-self that’s one part theatrical performance and one part controlled manifestation of your most rooted, darkest pleasure-hungry Id.

Read: Making a Scene: How to Create the Hottest BDSM Encounters

Say Hello to Your New You

Let’s take a moment to get a little more in-depth on why assuming a different persona can add an extra-special something to your D/s play.

Top of the list is: creating a character can be an entertaining, and arousing, glue to help hold your scenes together. Instead of just going from one toy to another or each separate element of a domination session, you can use your persona to structure whatever happens, including juicing things up with some provocative language, mannerisms, and the like.

Next would be a parallel to this: A role can bring a level of creativity and even spontaneity to your play. If, for example, you’re mutually agreed to a bondage and light flogging scene, by adding a kinky tea party aesthetic—say with one of you being Alice and the other the Red Queen—you can not just set the stage, but make it a playfully erotic wonderland, where exciting things can happen at any time. As long as they’ve been negotiated beforehand, of course.

Read: BDSM 101 Tutorial - What Is BDSM?

Know Yourself—and Your Other Selves

As with anything BDSM-related, safety should be your first and foremost thought. In the case of forging a new dominant role for yourself, the most common concern is losing control: when this persona takes on a life of its own, sometimes to the point where physical and emotional limits may get tossed out the window.

Another crucial universality about kink is to take things slowly and carefully. In this spirit, you not only can get familiar and comfortable with your new self by easing yourself and your partner(s) into but can also help develop an awareness of when you might have let your leash on it slip.

A great way to do this is to take your persona out for a few initial spins in a controlled environment. Trying it on all on your lonesome—just yourself in your home or apartment—is a great way to start. Then, as you get more and more used to it, let it come out with a friend or partner—but not in a play situation.

Back to safety for a moment, I heartedly recommend a goal of a role that compliments your personality rather than overrides it. Again, the significant risk here is that who you think you should be, or want to be, gets in the way of staying in constant and non-obscured communication with those you play with.

If you find a new persona questioning things like negotiation, limits, safewords, or emotional and physical safety, then tell it to take a hike and develop one that does play well with others.

Read: Consent in BDSM: Navigating Heightened Emotion

Casting Your Kinky Production

So for where to find inspiration for your persona(s), look no further than what you already enjoy. Alice and the Red Queen I’ve previously mentioned but, what about trying on Holmes or Irene Adler, or Sherlock or Moriarity—especially the Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss interpretation?

On the dominant side, I’m particularly fond of Hannibal Lecter. Not the “fava beans and a nice chianti” Anthony Hopkins take—no insult to the amazing actor—but the controlled and delightfully frightening Mads Mikkelsen version.

Staying with the Brits, I also adore James Nesbitt’s Mr. Hyde from the BBC series, Jekyll—who’s child-like, ferocious, and likes to play “lions.”

For submissives, there’s no reason why you can’t take Moriarity, Hannibal, Mr. Hyde, Nurse Ratched, Cruella de Vil, Hela, Harley Quinn, Maleficent, Catwoman (Eartha Kitt, of course), Loki, John Drake (or The Prisoner) and so many others and flip the script. It can be extremely hot to knock characters like these out of their comfort zones.

Again, while you can be charged up by these kinds of characters, rather than becoming one, instead shoot for being inspired by one. Besides, unless you’re a skilled actor, staying with any character that isn’t somewhat close to your real personality can be extremely challenging.

So you might find your persona in a mix of Pee-wee Herman, Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh), “The Dude" Lebowski, and Villanelle (Killing Eve)—with a wee dash of Emma Peel, or John Steed, for extra style.

Read: How to Find Inspiration for the Hottest BDSM Scenes

Lights, Camera … Kink!

Beyond all this, finding, developing, and nurturing your D/s persona can come with another, possibly more powerfully life-changing joy.

It’s addressing a question that philosophers have been wracking their brains over for thousands of years, maybe even when humanity first realized he had brains that could be wracked: "Who am I?"

I doubt that playing with personas will provide a real answer, but what it can do is give treasured insight into your mind, personality, and overall self. Just as we like to say that your choice in entertainment, companionship, activities, and sexuality say a lot about us, so too can the pleasures you find in transforming, if just for the length of a scene, into someone else.

So take your new self out for a drive, but as you do also take an in-depth, long look at why this character feels so arousing, or just comfortable, to wear—and maybe provide a powerful key to not just kinky pleasure but to understanding who you truly are.



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