BDSM and Mental Control

By Aramock Nanucl

      September 2005

 

The human component most powerful and receptive to the BDSM lifestyle is the mind.

 

The Mind

The mind is where the cravings, desires, and emotional limits exist. A slave's intellect, reason and emotions are the playground of any real dominant and the point of maximum submission for all who view themselves as a slave. The brain, therefore, is in effect our most impressive sexual organ or gland. Essentially, to be in control is less about the physical than mental, for:

  • No steel shackle or restraint is stronger than the ones in a person's mind,

  • No cell darker or more foreboding than the ones we make for ourselves,

  • No bond stronger is stronger than the emotional, spiritual, and intellectual commitment to serve without regard for impact or personal effect.

 

Dominants take control and wind themselves through the mental and emotional landscape of the slaves forming invisible threads so resilient that even if the dominant is not present, the connection never breaks. Time and persistence allow a Dominant to challenge the submissive's will and ability to decide. The constant correcting and negating the submissive's decisions adds to the factor of dominance. Over time, the reaction causes the submissive to question themselves and their choices, surrender the ability to decide to the dominant, resulting in evaporation of resistance and independence.  Effectively dominants apply the same factors apparent in the Stockholm syndrome to the full extent in a very intimate and personal setting.  Most slaves, when in "sub"-space is virtually traced like and would deny nothing to their dominant.

 

Trust, Respect, and Love

An actual dominant needs to build a state of complete trust with a submissive so that they would not even consider alternatives to the guidance, instruction, or activities the dominant lead them through.  Success requires a combination of factors, some of highlighted below.  In the end, the intellectual capacity to challenge their dominant evaporates in the submissive.  However, the dominant must always build, re-enforce, and continuously build on that trust.

 

For trust can never flourish in a soil barren of the primary nutrients to grow.  Empathy is an expression of faith by understanding another's perspective is one of the most decisive factors. Supporting the emotional connection necessitates the ability of the dominant to place themselves in the position of the submissive and view activities from their perspective. A dominant must never deceive or fail to meet the "trust-expectations" of the submissive.  

 

Many dominants are weak or too damn lazy regarding the "empathy quotient," They can quickly lose a submissive to another dominant by being vulnerable if the challenger has a strong empathy link. The genuine difference is in turning a submissive into a slave.  But again, it also requires RESPECT and EMOTIONAL commitment.  Also, with the slave's sense of personal worth tied to the respect and dedication that they have to their dominant, nothing is beyond their reach; no limits honestly exist, for the fulfillment comes in the service, respect, and care (yeah, even love) given by a dominant to the slave.

 

Commitment and Reprogramming

Dehumanization is one aspect of control most people overlook.  It is necessary to form a situation where tying the individual's value to the respect and attention given by the dominant to the submissive. Referring to others in the group as "IT" and the submissive you are with as a person raises their stature.  The reference, though, always leaves the slave wary of becoming another "IT" in their dominant eyes. Often, we must make a clinical choice as dominant of how much attention to give to maintain a close balance between the slave and its humanity. Thence the idea of mind control has profound parallels to computers, and the obvious question is not "If" but "How" do we reprogram the mind? Reprogramming has two distinct aspects to it, and each must occur to fully integrate the individual into a system (or group into a community); this is especially important in a poly setting:

  • Reprogramming a submissive,

  • Reprogramming others in the group, and

  •  Reprogramming oneself

 

The ultimate goal in the reprogramming within the lifestyle should be for:

  • Greater happiness,

  • Fulfillment in self-actualization and image,

  • Realization of role distinctions and position,

  • Total domination (TPC, Total Power Control), and ultimately

  •  Harmony within the group.

 

Always being very difficult in real life, dominance and submission entails dedication and focus well beyond those who play at this to have "kinky sex."  It is ultimately about building real life (not style) that is fully engaged in the BDSM thought processes and lifestyle.  Mind games are not for the faint of heart or the casual dominant or submissive. Those committed to this lifestyle or aficionados take the time and effort to develop the requisite skills required.

 

Difficulties

Many dominants practicing cognitive control concentrate on the "how" rather than on the core aspects of the "what." They function on the precept that they do not need to KNOW how the brain works but apply techniques they have read or more likely glanced at over on the web. Many conceivably operate under an assumption that with the proper techniques, it will all become straightforward. This insincere approach leads to the misconception that a submissive will act and feel more or less how the dominant wishes. Without understanding the underlying mental process, gender, cultural and racial differences, a formulaic approach never truly works.

 

Worse and more ominously, the roller coaster effect takes over, and the dominant feel they control a situation when it is the slave. The submissive will respond to play out of a sense of "fun,"… taking calculated risks and measured challenges in an exhilaration way while deceiving or directing the dominant. "Topping from the Bottom"  is a role reversal, where the "dominant" is NOT in control but provides the illusion (sometimes to themselves) of being so. Would-be mind control freaks face several additional serious obstacles in reality.

 

No Roadmaps

We know that language, visual, physical, and sensual stimuli all combine to form a conditional pattern forming the basis for mental conditioning. A severe obstacle but able to overcome the mind's interface to the real world is largely undocumented. This difficulty is more serious than a computer because (unlike any software) the structure of the mind is evolved along chemical lines and has shades or aspects that affect it, including situations, experience, cultural, and social. So no clear and repeatable roadmap applies to all people equally. Playing with a mind is more of a hack than a programming effort.  This complexity in how mental processes execute forms the basis of the personality. There are several other intractable challenges to programming the mind.

 

The Human-Computer

The human brain lacks a precise analog of software, further complicating modification or the "reprogramming" of behaviour. Managing and actively manipulating the neural responses created during either developmental or crisis periods is essential to maintaining the state of power exchange or control. There is a clear distinction between the hardware of the brain and the nonphysical stuff that it represents. A precise engineering analogy here is between the signal processor and signal. As an autonomic response to stimuli, even a worm can adapt (be programmed) in its behavioural reactions to the environment. However, it is not learning in an intellectual sense.   Intellectual learning is not the same as programming. Learning is a fundamental factor of the human mind, but they are not easily programmable as the intellect interferes with the primary instinctual, emotional, and autonomic responses.

Myth of Multi-Tasking

The human mind's design was never good at multi-tasking, even though many women would challenge this.  The people who appear to multi-task, actually perform high-speed task switching. Context switching is very contrary to programming a person.  If there is a precise and repeatable (almost mind-numbing) process, this tends to become embedded in the psyche. Repetition is fundamental to having slaves develop a "sub-space" (a near trance-like) state when subject to intense, sensual and stimulating activities. Therefore, some behaviour is hardwired, challenging to alter, for example, emotional (i.e., fear) learning in the amygdala (for instance, fight/flight responses, pain sluts and sub-space, nymphomania and masturbation, etc.) etched into the psyche. 

 

Psyche and Safety

The abuse potential of the human psyche is the primary lowest level (almost at a genetic level) which needs close monitoring to ensure the effective locking of the changes to human thought processes.  Practical domination finds a natural balance between pushing limits and the personal need for safety/security. Self-preservation (safety and security) remains firm in all individuals except those who exhibit self-destructive tendencies. Behaviour control is effectively the realization of mental control. Social psychology experiments, such as the Milgram and the Stanford prison experiment, show the surprising ease of inducing most people to do things outside the socially accepted norms merely by asking appropriate social stimuli.

 

Many of the acts in BDSM are considered revolting by mainstream society and hence shunned. Many of the lifestyle act on these acts because of the selfish response or elemental primal energy derived. Regrettably, to external viewers, these are interpreted as a lack of moral judgment. The replacement of "social norms" by lifestyle norms is one of the main reasons for reprogramming by dominants of their submissive.

 

The goal of many dominants is to break down the social constraints and functional limits held by the submissive. Humans function in a social context; changing that context to fit the BDSM lifestyle effectively supplants the desires, needs and emotional responses of the submissive with those aligned to ones established by the dominant. Focusing on the willingness to comply with the instruction of the dominant that a submissive does not understand mandates a "trust" relationship. Thereby, the submissive will follow instructions without requiring intellectual or social justification.  The exchange nurtures a submissive to become a slave and do the things that in a traditional social context would not.

 

Evolutionary Contingency

Many submissive resist the reprogramming of their values system; overcoming this is the source of the question. Hence the apparent acts of reprogramming are not going to work in most cases but require subtle manipulations over a very long period. Even in fiction (Manchurian Candidate), the effort of wholesale reprogramming requires vast energy, focus, and repetition over time.  Most dominants lack the time or focus on carrying this out and tending to be dependent on others to do this on their behalf or find a submissive who has the experience and this motivation. Removing the submissive's desire to choose what they will consciously be replacing their will with that of their dominant.  Most people do not respond that way, so external conditions, life trauma, extreme poverty, prior abuse, or the overtly submissive tendency have to form the basis of building the transition. 

 

The best situation is where multiple factors can be evaluated and brought together that form stimuli and the dominant manipulate responses to ensure the control while having the submissive aware and conscious of the manipulation.  The illusion of free will remains, but the mere thought of differing with their dominant subsides over time.

 

Replace Reason with Emotion

Evolutionary change requires an entire lack of conscious thought, replacing it with tuned emotional responses and mechanisms. This tuning reinforces the submissive's natural tendencies allowing them to see that the best choice is made for them by a safe and sane dominant. The expectation is that the dominant's only goal is their best interests, not their visceral pleasures.  At that point, the reprogram-ability which no sense and disregarded intellectually. The changes act at a deeper emotional and spiritual level to replace both will and free thought while maintaining the subject's intelligence. While dynamic reprogramming can produce remarkable results, it is never long-lasting without the intellectual adoption and reasoning of the slave.

 

Slaves do not automatically submit simply because of a conscious decision but because of the unconscious imperative that compensates for traditional belief-states. It is instead conscious adherence so as it merely becomes an extension of the automatic response. Those not in the lifestyle make gut judgments about these relationships struggling to explain the basis of their fears or conclusions in a rational way. While the submissive accepts it with the certainty of the same sense of purpose of a religious fanatic.

 

Free Will

The idea of mind control and conditioning makes no sense without constraining the conscious free will. A submissive must almost feel an intellectual pain when making choices contrary to their dominant, often requiring the not-so-subtle reinforcement of punishment when such challenges happen. The connection is not directly driven by the dominant, but the submissive subconsciously link the events, acts, and decisions with the pain due to temporal proximity. The response must be immediate, proportional and directly relevant to the corrected infraction. Then they feel as the choice is NOT theirs to make.  This results in increasing difficulty for the slave in acting, as they choose without the dominant instruction. The targeted unconscious layers doing most of the mental processing.

 

Approach on How to Dominate Another Person

 

Direct Approach      

Reprogramming the mind by talking is like trying to reprogram a mall information kiosk through the touchscreen. Exploiting other human interfaces such as pain receptors, sexual stimuli, or social deviation results in many mental collisions. Overloading the intellectual processes with more visceral experiences  (back to the lack of multi-tasking capability) in an orchestrated way allows breaking many barriers more quickly and effectively.

Appreciation, emotional, and spiritual stimuli used with the above help overcome socially "pre-programmed" sensibilities and allows for the fulfillment of deep-set yearnings to feel fulfilled, challenged, exhilarate, or even loved.

 

Indirect Method       

Meditation, hypnosis, and spiritual counselling fall into this category. Reflection somewhat resembles Denial-of-service hiding all external stimuli or noise filter. Meditation also removes the need for fast task-switching or multi-tasking and allows time to focus on a single item at a time. The problem, issue, desire or need and addressing the fulfillment in isolation to the other things occurring around the subject. Complementing and reinforcing meditation are physical acts like massage, yoga or Tia Chi, and tricks such as sweat lodges and fasting. There is a marked increase in effectiveness when it includes the denial of sexual stimulation. Erratic urges cease to creep in on the thought processes resulting in a holistic change in the person's view quickly.

 

Hacks and Wacks

The last primary method is to overload the mind with such intense external stimuli, so the brain has difficulty processing more than one moment at a time, usually in a combination of:

  • flogging,

  • intense sexual acts,

  • humiliation;

 

The result is effectively the runner's high of BDSM, where pain replaces the stimulus for and erases the ability to provide conscious decision making.  This method requires a level of intensity that very few dominants (except sadists) can muster. It effectively strips humanity from the person and against which they become an object to exercise.  The submissive becomes a receptacle for focus and delivery. When combined with the previous states, it moves them into a nonrational zone where suggestion becomes the command and fulfilling the ultimate desire of a submissive. That is, we may need a hardware intervention such as drugs or genetic engineering. Though mainstream psychopharmacology carefully distances itself from such radical views, the goals and the means are the same.

 

Success Driven by Comprehensive Approach

Given the limitations and side-effects require a blend of all three for a comprehensive effort to reprogramming the mind. The Level Confusion in an assumed Mind/Body Dualism can render results ineffective. Once we concede that the reason arises from the body, it is clear that any intervention to have any meaningful effect must necessarily change the body's physical state. Equally valid is the application of verbal therapy with drugs. The trinity of approaches advocated in "The Happiness Hypothesis" results in fulfillment deriving from submission, making decisions difficult if not downright painful.