This post is part of an effort to provide a glossary for novice submissives of words commonly seen across this site and in the BDSM community.

A very commonplace word in BDSM discussions is the word ‘scene’ but rarely do we define what that is with novices. Also, experienced people take for granted some of the vocabulary. Here’s one such word.


In BDSM, a scene is the stage or setting where BDSM activity takes place, as well as the activity itself. Also used as a verb, as to "scene" with someone implies that you have been or will be involved with someone for the scene. A BDSM activity can, but need not, involve sexual activity or sexual roleplay. A characteristic of many BDSM relationships is the power exchange from the bottom to the dominant partner, the top, and bondage features prominently in BDSM scenes and sexual roleplay.

The physical place where a BDSM activity takes place is usually called a dungeon, though some prefer less dramatic terms, including "playspace," or "club."

The term is also used in the BDSM community to refer to the BDSM community as a whole.

So, essentially, the playtime, or the period of time where you engage in kinky play is called a scene. I often compare it to theatre, in that you set the mood, the stage and the lighting and then you start the act - the scene. When the scene is over you resolve the scene.

More Resources

The BDSM Scene and Aftercare - This Tainted Soul of Mine

How to Set Up a Scene Constructing a First Scene - videoSetting a BDSM Scene - pdf