Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lather, Rinse, Repeat: Rituals vs. Routine

Ritual seems to be a fairly common topic when discussing M/s or D/s relationships. It's understandable I suppose. I notice popular depictions of power exchange always involve some sort of ritual. For me, high protocol is a type of ritual. I've recently watched the entirety of The Tudors, and, my oh my, if protocol and ritual gets you hot, you should watch that show.

Okay, I'm mad they didn't make him fat at the end, but
seriously, those man necklaces are bitchin'.

One of the journal prompts from Submissive Guide, asks what's the different between ritual and routine?

I don't see my dynamic including lots of rituals. Rituals to me are special actions done to deliberately enforce or solicit a specific head space. Routine is something one does repeatedly because it is a necessary action or a habit one has developed. It's a deft action, without any express thought. It's not something one goes out of their way to do in order to cultivate certain emotions.

Rituals were never something I felt any compulsion for. I tend more towards habit. With Daddy, we have what I call games that I make him play with me. One is the "Mine" game, where I'll claim a body part as mine and he'll ask "whose?" or eventually say "my Rabbit," claiming the whole thing as his. I enjoy possessiveness, so this just makes me happy. The other one always occurs at the end of a phone call. He'll say he has to get off the phone soon, and I'll go "awwwwww" and basically refuse to get off the phone until he goes "d'awww" back. I've always been stubborn about getting off the phone and usually say either "nooooo!" or "awwww" several times before hanging up. At one point he started doing it back, now I won't hang up unless he does it. And if he hasn't after a couple times, I'll say "you have to play the game."

I wouldn't call them rituals, because they weren't developed for any specific purpose. They were just habits we developed over time. They don't enforce my "place" and he doesn't do them for any reason on his part. They are just things that make me happy. I initiate them always.

Rituals are part of that whole formality thing that kind of puts me off.  If it's not something I would do naturally, I feel awkward in its practice. I'm very much into routine in certain situations, comes with the OCD, but, again, that comes in the form of habit and ritual is not something one does out of habit.

And I think that's why I tend to favor more traditional styles of belly dance over tribal styles. Tribal styles look and feel like ritual dances. I believe it's the reason why tribal dance is often linked with the themes of "goddess" and "priestess." The traditional Middle Eastern styles feel more natural to me in how my body moves and feel more sensual.

 I think it would be easy to attribute this to my primal identity. I operate on the basis of action and reaction. What I do with a partner (with the exception of buying gifts) is not done in an overly calculated manner. It's more instinct and impulse, which is expressed in my dancing as I mostly do improvisation.

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