from the Submissive Guide Newsletter 7/11/15
Often enough, rituals are reserved for "serious" M/s relationships and D/s that has gone 24/7. At least that's what I pick up from the multitude of threads I read online and the people I talk to in groups. If you've read anything on this site before you'll probably know my stand on that. It's completely false. We live such unique and interesting lives that each dynamic is different and wonderful for the people involved. If they want ritual, there will be ritual. In fact, I find ritual to be very prevalent in long distance and online-only relationships. So, every relationship can be enhanced by ritual and also every person in the exchange can get something from ritual. It's not hard to get started either.
Let me take a step back then and cover what ritual is for those of you who are curious but need to understand the basics before you would consider adding it to your already busy life. Ritual is a meditative, focused activity or set of behaviors meant to connect with a specific feeling. Ho you interpret that and include it into your life is up to you, but some ideas can include having a mantra or phrase you are required to say before getting up every morning. Kneeling and reciting a mantra or kissing your partner's feet. It could be purely verbal, in that you have a call and response between the two of you.
"Who owns you?" "You own me, Master, body and soul." "Why are you here?" "To provide you with pleasure, Master, always and in all ways."
Ritual isn't for everyone, and I don't expect everyone to adopt a ritual just after reading this article. Perhaps though, you will consider how it could be considered important to a lot of relationships to have these moments of ritual and connection, and understand that it's not at all fancy and time-consuming (although it can be). Relationships that adopt ritual find it very important to reaffirming who they are to each other, whether that be because they are apart, live long distance or perhaps just to reset from a busy day at work or with the kids. Ritual has a way of slowing you down and bringing you back to a focus on each other.
Here are five ways that using ritual can deepen your sense of submission and the connection you have with your Dominant.
1. Deepen the Connection with Your Submission and/or Your Partner
One of the main reasons ritual is used in power exchange dynamics is to deepen the connection between the people involved. Often a ritual helps to reaffirm the roles you've agreed upon, opens up the mind to the mindset needed for the power exchange and provides a special meaning between the people involved. It's powerful when done right and ritual can reconnect you after a long hard day at work, a mistake and subsequent punishment period or when you just feel off-kilter.
2. Awaken New Desires for Kink or Power Exchange
In some instances, using ritual to explore new things adds a sense of purpose and safety to the activity that may not be there without the meditative focus that ritual includes. For example, if you are interested in starting anal play, you could begin with a ritual cleansing or gentle use of a butt plug with a direction to think about pleasure or praise or to chant a sexualized phrase to embrace the experience.
Also, if a mantra or kneeling meditation is a part of your submission already, you could find that your mind focuses on different things during your meditation that you could bring to your partner at a later date as something you'd like to try or perhaps add to your dynamic. For me personally, it's often ritual that drives me to want to add more protocol or ritual to my everyday.
3. Provide a Connection Activity When You Are Apart That Affirms Your Place in the Dynamic
As I said above, a lot of ritual tends to happen in relationships that spend a time apart, or are long distance or only online. The reason for this is to provide that connection to one another when you can't physically be together. For online only relationships it may be one of the most important things a couple can do to keep their dynamic alive when you aren't talking to one another.
When a couple is apart, even if you are vanilla, you'd have something to remind you of your partner and the connection you have when you can't be face to face. It could be as simple as touching your wedding ring when you miss them, to kneeling at the foot of the bed and chanting your mantra for 10 mins everyday.
When KnyghtMare and I are apart I still have all my rules to follow and when we talk to each other as required it becomes ritual when we use call and response things to reaffirm that we are still Master and slave even though miles separate us. It brings us closer together.
4. Keep You in The Right Mindset or Help You Get There When You've Slipped
Often, ritual is used to keep the dynamic simmering just below the surface so that you don't lose that powerful connection with your submission throughout the day. One of my favorite things about the rituals I have is that if I'm feeling a bit disconnected from my submission I can do a ritual and feel rejuvenated and reconnected to it.
There's a simplicity about having a ritual that you can do without your partner that is there to help you get back on track. And rituals don't have to be done with the other person; especially if you just need a jolt of submission and a mindset focus. Something that I like to do is read submissive poetry. A few good ones are the Submissive's Prayer by Screamer Girl, Submissive Quotes and an Example of a Slave's Rosary.
5. Learn Better Habits and Behaviors
In some occasions, you might find that a ritual can help you learn a new behavior or work on a bad habit. When you take a simple task or behavior and add purpose and focus to it the task becomes more important, easier to follow and a stronger influence to your mind.
Let's take, for example, biting your nails. You've been tasked to stop biting your nails. Now the ritual you need to have to work with this needs to deflect yourself from chewing your nails so let's say you have to get up immediately and go to the bathroom when you catch yourself chewing them. In the bathroom you have to wash your hands and soap each of your fingernails while thinking something like, "My Sir likes long pretty nails. It is my task to make them presentable for him. My body is his to enjoy. I will not bite my nails."
In the example, you are trying to break the habit and reaffirm something positive about why you shouldn't bite your nails, in this case that your body is his and he likes pretty nails. For some people this could work better than a punishment and reward system of behavior modification.
So whatever you do with rituals, be that just exploring all you can do with them or applying them to certain parts of your life I hope that you will start to see the wide variety of ways that ritual can enhance your power exchange dynamic without having to be a "serious 24/7 dynamic". Rituals can even be done as a part of a personal protocol situation if you are single! Spend some time exploring how rituals could be added to your dynamic or continue researching the internet or buy a book. It could be the piece of the puzzle you've been looking for.
Thoughts to Ponder
- Do you have any rituals in your relationship? If not, are you interested in rituals? What rituals interest you?
- What is a favorite ritual of yours or one you like to witness?
- Can you think of any everyday rituals that we do as a part of society? (example: the process of raising and lowering of the US flag)