You have most likely heard mention of rituals and tasks several times in connection to the world of BDSM, even if you are a newcomer to this kinky scene. In fact, early on in this series, I did a post on rules and tasks. But what are they really? What makes them so important? And why would we need to “find” them? That is what we are digging into today.
As with everything we discuss here on KITM, this isn’t as simple as it first appears. There is a lot to consider and sometimes it requires paying close attention to the details. Some consider tasks and rituals to be the heart of what we kinksters do. I think they are more like the gears inside the clock. They are the components that make it all work, but they are very rarely the reasons why it works for us.
Let’s start with what rituals and tasks are. If you’ve been treading this earth longer than a handful of years, you know that tasks are things we do or things that need to be done. How does it apply to BDSM? Think of it like a grown-up, sometimes kinky, chore list. A Dominant usually likes things a certain way and has some idea of what they want from a submissive. Most of the time they will assign tasks to be completed. These may be one time only, situational, or daily. But they are definitely part of what makes this whole thing work. They won’t always be sexy though. Today alone I have several tasks to complete for Draggy that have zero to do with sexy fun times. I have to write this post and another, and then I have to send him a lunchtime message to let him know they are done.
Sometimes they can be goal-oriented; perhaps one of you has weight loss goals or wants to quit smoking. Maybe they are even habit-starting goals, going to the gym or practicing some skill or reading more. Things that some of us submissives can’t seem to do for ourselves because we are too focused on others’ comfort and care. Dominants use tasks to help us help ourselves more often than most of us realize. That isn’t to say there aren’t sexy tasks. Edging, orgasming, and a plethora of other things have been among my daily tasks in the past. I like to think these are the fun tasks, but the ones that keep our lives running smoothly are just as valuable and important.
Rituals are a series of tasks that have or signify meaning and are repeated on specific occasions. These are the things that reinforce the connection between partners. The act of preparing a Dominant’s after-dinner drink for them and kneeling as you present it can be a heady thing for both parties. I recently found that there is great meaning and reverence in some rituals. Kneeling before my play partner and lovingly kissing his play collar before he places it on my neck is a ritual that has a very deep and satisfying meaning.
But rituals aren’t just for those moments. We use them in many ways. We use them to settle our nerves or put ourselves in a certain mindset. And they don’t have to be a series of things. I have a daily ritual of telling Daddy, Draggy, and my play partner good morning and goodnight. It’s a simple small thing that takes only seconds but it connects me to them and them to me, letting them know that I think about them as I begin and end my days and that I care enough to reach out to them in those moments.
Write Your Own Story
Finding the tasks and rituals that work for you and your dynamic(s) is going to take time. Look for inspiration everywhere, and be creative! In order to get it, you have to be open to trying new things and really communicating about them. If some task or combination of tasks and actions made you feel something deeply satisfying and – for lack of a better term – magical, your partner needs to know that so that they can help to make the dynamic all that it can be. This is where, in my experience, having a submissive journal comes in very handy.
If you keep up with my online submissive journal, Illiana’s World, then you are already aware of my play partner introducing a play collar into our sessions. The ritual of kneeling before him and kissing that collar before he placed it on my neck and doing the same when he took it off had a profound effect on me, but in the moment was not the time or place to share that fact. It would have taken away from the experience rather than adding to it.
A submissive journal is a perfect place to share that sentiment, however. What one puts in a submissive journal and how they use it is ultimately going to be decided by you and your partner(s). But if you are looking for a way to start it, here is what I do: I like to free write my entries. I give it about a day, maybe two, after play so that I can work my way through the rise and fall of emotions associated with an experience, and then I just write it all in a document on my drive. Even though my partner will see it, at the time of writing, it is just for me, and I can feel free to write down anything and everything that comes across my brain about what took place.
Dominants are not off the hook here, though. Finding your tasks and rituals is going to mean paying close attention for both parties, but especially the Dominant. Often a submissive doesn’t notice small reactions when they are lost in the sea of passion and pleasure. Dominants are in a unique position to be able to take note of exactly how we respond and use it later or remember not to.
At the End of the Day…
Tasks and rituals are like the words that make up our BDSM story. We use them in order to create something magical between us and our partner(s). They can be anything you like, but don’t be in too big of a hurry to decide what they are going to be or how to use them.
As always, remember: This is your life; live it your way!