BDSM/Turning a dom into a sub
QUESTION: I am a 43 yr old male switch. I have five years experience in BDSM with long-term monogamous female partners. All were role play only not lifestyle. We were both switches. Though all three females leaned toward submissive. All were also monogamous relationships well known to our families other than our kinks.
I recently spotted a posting by a female on a "hook-up" web site where she stated that she was looking for a dominant master to punish her and put her in her place. We have corresponded virtually and have now met for our first encounter. I work only in scenes with check-ins and safewords. Outside of scenes we are two equal adults worthy of respect and dignity. In scene she is my property to do with as I wish. We have a written agreement with our hard limits. However, she has a very strong will and dominant nature. She is bi-sexual and has her own female slave that she plays with regularly and seems to punish harshly. This has the potential to develop into a M/S/s arrangement. during our first session she was able to climax simply from being spanked. She was very happy with the result and is eager to continue. She is a novice at the well known rules and customs of this type of play. At one point as punishment for her defiance I placed her in bondage and ignored her while I smoked a cigarette. She told me after that was a turn off. She wants me to break her will so that she will obey me without question and enjoy the pleasures of complete submission. I am not a sadist. I simply enjoy BDSM as role play. I have brought previous play partners to the point of cumming at my command, but this one presents a challenge. I do not want to cross a line into abuse, but she has a pain threshold unlike any woman I have ever seen. We are not leather and would never go public. My corporate career makes that impossible. Any tips on how to proceed would be helpful.
ANSWER: Boy are YOU sophisticated and lucid. "Corporate career" speaks loudly through your logic and syntax.
Well, I'm a little anxious that she's new to the scene. I'd probably "punish her" by making her read at least the first of our two new books -- BDSM Mastery: Your guide to play, parties, and scene protocols. That will give her a thorough grounding in the culture of BDSM and safe play. the second book in the BDSM Mastery series concerns D/s relationships.
The "break me" scenario is disturbing. Here is a section from the BDSM Mastery book that speaks to this:
Section title: Don’t get involved with someone who wants to break you
Occasionally, someone asks me how to psychologically break down a submissive in order to build the person back up in ways they wish.
Every so often—particularly on the less-sophisticated Internet hookup sites—you’ll find ads for people seeking to be “broken.” I strongly suspect that most of these people are living in the Internet world of fantasy-BDSM, but who knows? Perhaps they’ve just seen movies (such as The Pet) and/or read fiction about using physical force and terror to strip a person’s ego-defenses in order to retrain them to behave and react exactly as the trainer wishes them to.
Couple of things. First, psychological brainwashing is, by definition, non-consensual. Second, even if they were a licensed and credentialed psychologist or psychiatrist, it is unethical to break someone like that. Those professions are for healing, not molding someone to their own will.
Please be clear: the way I’m using the word breaking in a BDSM training context is different than behavior modification as psychologists mean it. As few people know much about psychology, many new Tops and bottoms ask these kinds of breaking questions because it’s part of the stereotype that BDSM is about breaking someone’s spirit/will, presumably based on the other stereotype that BDSM is about pain and punishment.
Someone who is considering engaging in an unsafe non-consensual activity with another person either…
• realizes the risks and is willing to proceed anyway (suggesting sadistic behavior that may turn out to include criminal intent), or
• does not understand or appreciate what they are contemplating, and thus has an altered sense of reality—a classic definition of insanity.
NOTE: It may be hard to tell that someone has an altered sense of reality, particularly if they are well-versed in the jargon of our culture. Again—caution is the byword.
One conclusion I draw from you letter is that she may actually be a risk for you. She does not understands the mental risks of being put through a successful "mindwashing" program and even if she got you to do such a thing, you'd be putting yourself at some level of legal liability: as in, she could decide to sue you for whatever reason she wished to make up. Remember: "breaking someone down" to reform their underlying personalty is really tricky. It may render her unemployable, for example. No telling.
I appreciate what you're saying about her high pain tolerance. My partner is also a heavy bottom. When we started, our play level escalated to the point that I confided my concerns to a very senior Leatherman who advised us to back off before we ended up in real medical/legal problems. You're in charge, so her play style is completely secondary to your wishes. If she's disrespecting your authority, then you have a different issue going on.
I'm happy to continue this discussion after you've digested this bit.
And -- you have written to me in "public" mode. There is also a "private" mode that is not searchable.
Wishing you well,
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: I want to make it clear that breaking is probably not the right word to use, but was what came to mind. As I stated I ONLY play in scenes. I have something written into our agreement I call the Prime Directive (lol guess where I got that) it states:
Prime Directive: Neither Terry nor Marie will engage in any activity that jeopardizes the physical, emotional, mental, or financial well being of the other. As Terry and Marie are engaging in this relationship in secret neither party will take any action that will risk confidentiality. As such rules set forth shall not be followed if it will result in discovery by outside parties.
So she's a natural fighter (not in the physical sense) and wants to experience the joys of submission. If I can succeed in my mission I think we'll end up in a gratifying M/S/s with her slave. I just have to figure out how best to go about it. I know I was not able to surrender my will to my mistress until we fell in love. Only with that level of trust could I obey her every command because I knew it would not result in permanent damage.
It's a bit late for us: we broadcast one of our bi-weekly webinars this evening and both of us are a little bleary-eyed.
Master had two quick comments. First, Prime Directives may backfire. I once had a question on this site from a man who asked my opinion about drawing up a pre-agreement holding him harmless should anything go awry with the gun-play scene they were working on. Not being an attorney, I sent the letter on to Jay Wiseman -- who IS an attorney. His response (and this little story) are also in the book. In short, he said, "You've just provided the prosecution with the written evidence of pre-meditation and you'll go to jail." So: be careful about your Prime Directive. Second, Master comments that even though we recognize that you're only scening, the consequences of personality-altering "adjustments" would, almost of necessity, cross over into aspects of her/their life/lives.
Personally, I'm so drained from the last 90-minutes of live broadcast (I'm 70) that I can't think straight, but I'll reengage your question in the morning.
(I love engaging with really smart people: thank you for that.)