Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Noisy Scenes and DM responsibilities

Let me start out by saying that I am a person who makes a lot of noise in the dungeon. A lot. 

I guess I should qualify that: by "in the dungeon," I mean whilst scening, and by "noise," I mean screaming. Screaming, swearing, whining, crying...a mixture of all that good stuff.
Good if you're a Sadist who likes to hear that sort of thing. Good if you're the kind of person who gets turned on by listening.

If you're the kind of person who doesn't like to hear those sorts of noises in the dungeon, if you're a person who is bothered by them...or expects all the noise around you to be on the "Low Moan" spectrum of things...ahh, this is where the conflicts start.

Let's assume here we all have the same right to be in the dungeon at the same time. Yes, playing in a dungeon is a privilege, not a right per se...but let's assume your level of "privilege" is the same as mine. There are no rules are being broken, nothing going against dungeon policy, we both paid the same money, etc etc.

My scene is going to involve a lot of noise. Your scene requires...well, not absolute quiet, but not someone screaming right next to you, either.
What to do?
We both have equal right to be there (again, let's assume). We both want the best scene outcome possible for everyone involved.

Sometimes, Cats and Roosters, "Sharing Space" means Taking Turns. 

The longer you're in the Scene—the more time you spend playing inside public dungeons—the more you learn about what works for you and what doesn't. If you're the kind of person who requires quiet, and I mean your scene will be ruined unless you have quiet: you let the DM know. The DM might be able to tell you about that good corner over there for your scene, a place where the sound won't carry.

If you're the kind of person who makes a lot of noise? Again, the best thing is to let the DM know in advance. That way you might be put in a corner where your voice won't carry so far. You might also have to wait to do your scene when the timing is better.

My local dungeon knows of my, shall we say, proclivity toward making noise.
They take steps to ensure the neighbors are not bothered.
They do require a strict policy beyond a certain level of noise. This has nothing to do with me as an individual, though. This is a dungeon rule by which everyone must abide. But it does tend to affect me more than others, because I tend to make more noise than others when I play.
The dungeon works with me to keep the noise—my noise—contained. I, on the other hand, must understand that rules must be followed, and if the DM tells me to tone it down? I tone it down.

Here is the problem I'm hearing more about lately: when some scenes get "preference" over others by DMs, because the louder or more extreme scenes do not seem to be "Sharing Space" like they should.

The people in a "quiet" scene will go complaining to the DM about the noise level coming from the next scene over. They will say they want it quieted down. The DM will go over to the loud scene and tell them to hush up...not because they're breaking policy, not because the dungeon itself can't handle that level of noise, but because for some odd reason, the quiet scene gets priority.
I think this is absolute bullshit and wrong.

And yeah, maybe I'm biased, maybe I'm blindsided by the fact that I am a person who makes a lot of noise—but why should my scene get derailed because the people in the next corner can't handle it?

Because yes, you have to understand: my scene does get derailed when someone walks into it, even the DM. I am pulled out of my particular mode of preyspace to be told I am making too much noise, that I have to change my behavior, that I'm doing something wrong.
A vast majority of the time my scene will get back on track, and I'll be able to sink back into my adrenaline fog of preyspace while my Top ensures my noise level dips down an octave or two. But there is always that moment—that shocking, shameful moment—when I have to "come to" long enough to understand that I have, somehow, fucked up.
Not with my Top, not with my myself, but with the public play space I am privileged to be in.

It's bad enough when this happens because I am breaking policy. I can understand that—it is the DM's job to ensure rules are abided—so I suck it up. As adults, we all have to abide by the rules if we want to play in our local play spaces.

Blessed be that no DM in my local dungeon has ever tried to shut me up or interrupt my scene because "some people playing over there" were bothered by my noise. If other kinksters are bothered by my noise, they should move themselves, or wait until my scene is over to start theirs.

That is what adult behavior is about, too.

It is the job of the DM to enforce dungeon policy, not choose which scenes are more "worthy" to play out over others. There are ways we can all play and get along, if we are all willing to make space for each other. Sometimes it is up to the DM to nip conflict in the bud by making sure all scenes are respected and held sacred—not just the quiet ones.

And since people are prone to give more weight to what they hear last (even when two ideas are presented evenly) I will end this by saying that I realize the job of the DM is incredibly hard, often mentally exhausting, and very seldom appreciated the way it should be. The vast majority of DMs out there are upstanding, honest, respectful people who are just trying their best to make sure nothing horrible happens inside the dungeon on their shift, and nobody ends up in the ER. To all you DMs out there, thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything that you do.

1 comment:

  1. I am a screamer, crier, swearer in certain intense scenes, I sob, snot and beg most convincingly to the onlooker, I have been told. Yet when I am involved with some aspects, which need me to get my head in the right place, particularly if I need to keep very still, needles for one, electricity for another. I just cannot get it on, if an individual is screaming loudly next to me. Some parties, I have been too, which have had a quiet area for this style of scene. My scenes tend to always look unconsensual, due to reactions to such intensity. We have always let the DM know. I feel a tad bad as on one hand I am the screamer, sobbing for my life and may put another off (post scene that is, during the time, I just want out lol, on another I need the quietness, scene dependent. We adapt what we do on the time/place and people. DM`s have always been excellent in understanding, sadly other scene people have not, particularly when I am sobbing and the scene continues (absolutely glorious!) Such is life . . What I do not like, similar to you, is why should I/we not scene as I love/adore because someone else is not happy, we love to scene in public, why should I put us on hold so they can be all peaceful. Sometimes it is the only place I can scream (we are talking intense scenes) as walls are so damn thin at home lol Xx