Make me cry please Master! All about cathartic scenes
What is a Cathartic Scene?
In the context of BDSM play, a cathartic scene is one wherein the players achieve a certain level of emotional release (catharsis) from the giving and receiving of pain and sharing in a power exchange dynamic. Often times, this will involve pushing against boundaries and soft or hard limits provided that fully informed consent has been given beforehand. Not all scenes in BDSM play are necessarily cathartic. Some scenes are for performative purposes, some scenes are purely for the ethos of pain play, and other scenes are for nurturing or role-play scenarios, just to name a few. The distinction of a cathartic scene can be made in that the play often (but not always) is of a more heavy or intense nature. The end goal is to inspire some sort of emotional expression on the part of the players, which can be anything from crying to screaming and beyond. Everyone is different and therefore no two scenes are completely alike. There are, however, many common intentions behind the execution of a cathartic scene.
Why Do People Do Cathartic Scenes?
The purposes and methods of a cathartic scene will vary from player to player but there is a great deal of overlap to be noted. Often times, those engaging in a cathartic scene have experienced some sort of trauma and, in playing with the intention of achieving a catharsis, can use BDSM play to process their emotions in a controlled environment. For example, if an individual has recently experienced a loss in their life, the tools of BDSM play can allow them to grieve in a manner that is both outside of conventional methods and also tailored to their specific needs. Cathartic scenes are not the one and only means by which one can achieve an emotional release of course. Participating in a cathartic scene is simply another way for those who are inclined towards a BDSM lifestyle to deal with pent up emotional energy that could otherwise manifest negatively elsewhere in their lives.
How Can I Negotiate a Cathartic Scene?
There is no right or wrong way to do a cathartic scene; however, there are some key elements to which attention and care should be paid. Because of the nature of handling trauma and grief, it is important that the emotions of those involved are handled delicately. Engaging in a detailed negotiation prior to beginning the scene is crucial as is an understanding of potential triggers and how far is “too far”. It would be irresponsible to go ahead with a scene if the potential for emotional damage is greater than that of emotional release. Make sure that all parties involved are truly ready to process their emotions in such an intense manner. Confirm safewords first and watch for signs of distress during a scene in case it is necessary for anyone involved to stop the scene and go straight to aftercare. An incredibly important part of culminating a cathartic scene is the attention paid during aftercare. For example, if your submissive is crying and in a highly emotional state, it is your responsibility to comfort and reassure them. To put someone through the paces of a cathartic scene and then leave them in a vulnerable state without any aftercare is negligent. Players, be sure to care for one another, especially within the context of a cathartic scene. The fragile vulnerability inspired by heavy play and pushing boundaries is not to be taken lightly. When done improperly, a cathartic scene has the potential to be damaging. However, when care is taken to see that the scene is done right, beneficial and liberating emotional release can be achieved.
Please make me cry, Master. It creates beautiful bonding between us and makes me feel wonderful!
One thing some male D-types have trouble with is shedding the mainstream societal expectation that a man should never strike a woman. In this community, so long as it’s consensual, it’s something sought after by many. I don’t mean to say that this issue isn’t possible for female D-types or male s-types, just that the male-hitting-female scenario has the more prevalent stigma. Add to that some streaming tears? Oh boy. Makes it that much more difficult if you are one of the D-types I’m referring to. Now you’ve hit (in this case) a girl AND made her cry?! You should feel bad, right?
Not necessarily. However, it can be very difficult for D-types and s-types to understand why some s-types want to end up in a puddle of tears. For many s-types who are looking for, or asking for, a “cathartic” scene that allows them to break down and cry it is a major stress reducer.
For many it is very difficult to allow ourselves permission to cry. We grow up with the idea that we must be “strong” and in order to be strong that means we shouldn’t break down. We shouldn’t let ourselves cry, especially in front of others.
So many of us “strong” s-types have demanding jobs, family obligations, children, etc. We can’t afford to stop and “let it all out”. So going through a scene, being physically hit and pushed to limits (with consent of course) is our way of finding permission to let it all go. Thoughts like, “crying due to stress or an emotional issue isn’t ok – but it’s totally understandable if you’re getting beat.” Now, of course that’s not true. It is absolutely ok to cry in response to other things in life. However, like I said, at times it may not feel appropriate or “worthy” of tears.
Are there other reasons why someone would want to have a cathartic scene? Yes of course, however, I believe this reason is a pretty common one for many.
So what do you do if it’s tough for you (if you’re a D-type) or your partner (if you’re an s-type) to bring you to tears? Obviously you have to communicate about it to one another. Start slow. It may not end in tears at first, but perhaps a slow build up is what will work best. For some D-types they really don’t want to be responsible for their s-types tears and will, therefore, allow the s-type to do a cathartic scene with another D-type whom they trust.
With whichever way you choose to handle it, usually after it has happened and the s-type can show the D-type (whether it was them or another trusted play partner) that it was a positive thing. That it did relieve their stress level, put an extra spring in their step, etc., that the D-type will start to feel more comfortable with it. Keeping in mind that the biggest difference between play and abuse is consent.