A reader, Stan, commented on this post, and asked the following question:
“…making him doubt who and what he is, breaking him down completely and utterly, and building him back up.” How does one completely break down someone and then build them up? How can you tell someone they are worthless and an hour later tell them they are worthy?
This has been edited for grammar, because it was bothering me.
First of all, this quote has been taken rather obnoxiously out of context.
I’m wondering if that’s part of the reason why the question was posed in a different post, rather than the one containing the quote you used. You did this both with this question, and with the other question you asked about a different quote (which will be answered in another post).
Did you think I wouldn’t notice? Did you think I wouldn’t realize that you’d taken half a sentence from an 800-word post and tried to make it about something else?
There is no “reading between the lines” on my blog. There is no insinuation, innuendo, intimation, or any other “in-” words you can think of. I’m blunt as fuck, and I’m very deliberate in meaning what I say. Don’t put words in my mouth. That half a sentence (and the sentences before and after it) had nothing to do with humiliation and degradation.
In this particular case, the quote is taken from this post. And here’s the entire quote, along with the paragraph above it, for, you know, context:
I love a good mind-fuck. Especially when a sub is in that moment, where he’s nice and overwhelmed, his senses overloaded, in the middle of being beaten or fucked, or just generally distracted. In that moment, I love asking complicated questions, trick questions, or anything he’ll have trouble answering. I love making him flustered, watching him get himself into trouble, and basically just talking himself into a corner. That’s awesome.
More than that, though, I love just getting into a boy’s head, making him doubt who and what he is, breaking him down completely and utterly, and building him back up. That’s such a rush.
There is nothing about humiliation or degradation here. That was covered far earlier (and in glorious detail, because humiliation is fucking awesome) in the post.
But, in the interest of educating the masses, I’ll answer the two questions you posed here. Because this quote was taken out of context, the two questions you asked are asking about different things, and therefore have different answers.
How does one completely break down someone and then build them up?
To answer this, you first need to understand subspace and what it is. Subspace is a psychological state that submissives often experience during a scene. It’s difficult to really pin down a unified definition, because every submissive experiences it differently, and the same sub can have different experiences from one session to another.
But it’s caused by the release of a number of chemicals into the body, along with emotional and mental triggers that create a physiological response. You’ve got epinephrine/adrenaline (your fight-or-flight response), endorphins (shit that makes you feel good), serotonin (which is partly responsible for arousal and sexual desire), enkephalins (shit that’s released to help deal with pain), and a rash of other hormones that interact to create a euphoric, floating psychological state.
Many subs have talked about feeling hyper-focused, the Dominant and the session becoming the objects of that focus, and the rest of the world melts away.
It’s very complex, fascinating mental and emotional ride. But, with a little bit of knowledge and a metric fuckton of practice, a Dominant can learn how to manipulate the subspace, manipulate that ride, taking subs deeper, or keeping them out of it completely.
And there is so much about my particular brand of BDSM and D/s that is emotional and mental.
I mean, don’t get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoy beating the fuck out of boys.
Like, a lot.
But anyone can beat someone. Anyone can take a paddle or a crop or a cane or a flogger or insert-impact-toy-here and use it to hit someone else. Anyone can tie someone up and do mean things to them. There’s nothing special about that.
But a boy’s emotional and mental state? That’s where the real fun comes in. And that’s where the real power comes from. That’s what I love, and I use a variety of tools to get the reaction I want.
My goal with any boy is to learn as much about him as I can, as soon as I can. From the very first message he sends, I look at his grammar, vocabulary, tone and mood of writing, I look at his approach, I look at how he addresses me. I look at his profile, I look at how he describes himself, what he feels is important enough to include on it, how he sells himself to potential partners. If he has pictures, I look at those. You can learn a lot about a guy from the pictures he posts (or doesn’t post) on his profile.
When we meet in person, I’m still paying attention. I’m looking at his posture, speech patterns, how he dresses, how he carries himself, how he interacts with bartenders/wait staff, I’m looking at his body language, I’m looking at what he does with his hands, I’m looking at whether or not he fidgets. I’m looking at how he interacts with me in a vanilla conversation. I’m looking at his sense of humor.
Most of the time, I’ll allow him to guide the conversation, allow him to pick the topics. And I’m looking at what he wants to talk about, what he’s knowledgeable about. I’m looking at how he presents himself when talking about something he knows a lot about. I’m looking at how he talks about his job, his family, his friends. I’m looking at the stories he chooses to share.
I do all of this to get a basic understanding of the way he acts and reacts, and his general “default” emotional and mental state. Once I’ve got a pretty good idea of what that is, I can start looking for things that trigger a response that falls outside of that “default” state.
And once that happens, I’m in.
Because I’ve already learned so much about him, I’m able to predict what kind of manipulation he’ll react best to, how to quickly and efficiently take hold of his mind, how to get into his head.
And that’s where my fun starts.
I push him farther into my BDSM world, I push him deeper, I push him darker. I deliberately keep him off-balance, keep him unstable, keep him from gaining any kind of leverage. I find out what scares him and use that against him. I push him (sometimes brutally-fucking-shove him) out of his comfort zone and don’t let him back in. I keep him uncomfortable.
As time goes on, and I push harder and harder, and get deeper and deeper into his head, my control of him increases exponentially. And at some point, I will break him.
How I do that varies from person to person. It’s a very intimate moment, something I’ve been working toward for weeks, months, maybe even years. It’s tailored specifically to the boy I’m with. What would break one boy may be quite enjoyable to another. But there is some act involved, usually after a period of a few days of constant torment, pain, humiliation, bondage, constant mental and emotional manipulation, constant manipulation of the subspace (and subdrop), that utterly breaks him.
Now, this is the point where Dominants can really cause some serious fucking mental and emotional damage. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories, and it can take subs years to untangle their minds from the Dominant’s influence.
But I’m not that kind of sadist. I care about my boys. I respect and cherish my boys. I have no desire to hurt them in that way. The very idea of it repulses and angers me. The fact that some people can be so irresponsible with that power is infuriating.
I don’t do that.
By the time I break a boy, I know him very intimately. I know his hopes, his dreams, his fears, his insecurities, his strengths and his weaknesses. I know what worries him, I know what frightens him, I know what he has trouble accepting about himself and about others. I know his faults, his demons, I know all of those little chinks in his armor.
I use what I know about him to build him back up. And I use his own strengths to do it. I use his strengths to conquer his weaknesses. If he happens to be weak in an area where I’m strong, I’ll use my strength to fill that particular hole.
Again, the process is very different for each person. There’s no real step-by-step guide I can write out. It’s something that must be felt, must be experienced. It’s something intensely intimate, something very private.
But in the end, he’s stronger than he was before. He has fewer demons than he did before. He’s been broken, he’s been brought low, he’s been made to confront the parts of himself that he doesn’t like or is uncomfortable with, maybe even afraid of, and he’s survived.
And it doesn’t “end” there. The relationship doesn’t fizzle once that particular goal has been reached. It’s a whole new level of trust, a whole new level of intensity that makes everything I’ve done to him before seem innocent. Once he’s been broken and built back up, there’s even more of his mind I can explore.
It’s never-ending, and it’s fucking awesome. So that’s how one completely breaks down someone and then builds them up.
Now, for your second question:
How can you tell someone they are worthless and an hour later tell them they are worthy?
Again, much of my particular brand of BDSM is mental and emotional, and I use a variety of tools to put a boy mentally where I want him to be.
Humiliation is one of my favorite tools in that particular toolbox.
But to understand why, you first have to understand how humiliation works.
Humiliation stimulates the same areas of the brain as physical pain. On top of that, humiliation releases a very specific set of chemicals into our bodies that gives us that uncomfortable “embarrassed” feeling. Eroticizing that is no different than eroticizing pain, from a strictly physical standpoint.
But it’s the emotional side that is just so fucking awesome. Everyone reacts to humiliation differently, but at its simplest, eroticized humiliation is consensual humiliation, within agreed-upon limits and boundaries, that is used to create a specific emotional state in both the Domme and the sub.
And those limits are different with everyone. I had one boy who absolutely adored being called things like “slut,” or “bitch,” or “whore,” but didn’t react well at all to things like “worthless” or “pathetic.” I had a boy who loved being made to stay off of furniture or made to eat from a dog bowl, but wasn’t so much into the verbal side. I’ve known boys who didn’t react well to having their masculinity attacked, boys who didn’t react well to having physical characteristics attacked (such as small-penis humiliation), boys who didn’t react well to certain things because of issues of in the past, etc.
Just as limits and boundaries are set with physical pain, they are set with humiliation as well.
But, for those that condemn humiliation play, a) fuck off, because this is my blog and I can say that, and b) while humiliation is generally considered “edge play” because of the intense emotional response, and potential risk for emotional harm, it’s in pretty much every fucking aspect of kink.
Foot fetish? That falls under the category of humiliation play. Cuckolding, feminization, supervised masturbation, eye contact or speech restrictions, wearing a collar, age play and pet roleplay, calling your sub names like “boy,” “slave,” etc., chastity, objectification, and literally thousands of other things fall under the category of humiliation play.
For those of you that insist on people you don’t own calling you by a title or using an honorific, a) fuck off, because this is my blog and I can say that, and b) that’s humiliation play. Hell, even with a boy you own, making him use a title is humiliation play. Once I own a boy, I want him to use a title when addressing me, rather than my first name. I want him to say, “Yes, Mistress,” or “Yes, Domina,” or “Yes, Ma’am,” rather than “Yeah.”
And that’s a pretty fucking common thing. And it’s humiliation play. Using humiliation with sexual stimulation is one of the easiest ways to get a sub into subspace, due to the emotional release that so often accompanies humiliation play.
That’s like, BDSM 101.
So how does that translate to verbal degradation, such as calling a boy worthless? Humiliation and degradation are very large (and fucking awesome) categories, but because you asked specifically about calling a boy worthless, we’ll stick to that.
I thoroughly enjoy humiliating a boy, in pretty much any way, shape, or form. But it’s important to understand that what I’m doing is eroticized and consensual. When I call a boy worthless, it is not because I actually think he’s worthless. It’s because both he and I understand that it’s eroticized, and we both enjoy the emotional responses we get from it.
It’s similar to a sub with a play rape fetish (which, as it happens, also falls under the humiliation category). Eroticized, consensual play-rape scenarios have been carefully constructed to adhere to the boundaries agreed upon by the “victim” and the “attacker.” Often, there’s a safeword. The victim may feel actual fear, may experience a real fight-or-flight response, and may react on some level as if the scene were real. But make no mistake, the victim enjoys the rush they get from that scenario. It’s hot. It’s sexy. The victim is turned-the-fuck-on and wants the scene to continue.
Take away the consent, and now you’ve got something completely different. It’s not hot anymore. It’s fucking damaging.
That’s humiliation play, in a nutshell. Consensual, erotic humiliation is hot. Humiliating and degrading someone who doesn’t want to be humiliated or degraded is absolutely not.
The quote you pulled here is recent, but the other quote you mentioned in another question is from one of my very earliest entries, which leads me to believe you’ve read my entire blog.
Having read my entire blog, do you honestly think I’d play with anyone I didn’t respect? If I genuinely thought someone was worthless, I certainly wouldn’t play with him. And every boy I play with knows that.
I will call a boy worthless because of the emotional and psychological triggers it hits, both in me and the consenting boy I’m playing with. It’s because I know him well enough to know the mental and emotional reaction he’ll have to being called worthless, and I’ll use that to put him in the headspace I want him in.
And, because this is eroticized humiliation, he knows that I don’t actually think he’s worthless. That’s the way it is with all moderate to extreme humiliation, and part of the reason why it’s such an intimate practice.
So, once that knowledge is there and understood, it frees up both parties to be able to sort of suspend their intellectual side and simply enjoy the emotional ride. Kazander can enjoy the emotional response he gets from being humiliated and degraded, and I can enjoy using that emotional response to achieve my own goals.
And it’s important to remember that the act is consensual. Everyone’s brain is wired differently, and humiliation hits on some pretty deep emotional triggers. So different forms of humiliation have different effects on different people. It’s important to at least have a basic understanding of your sub’s psyche before engaging in that kind of play.
If I’m playing with a boy, and I know he won’t react well to being called worthless, I won’t call him worthless. If I do, it will push a deep emotional button in a bad way, rather than a hot, sexy way. It’ll cause him emotional harm, and I don’t want to do that. I care about the boys I play with. I don’t want to harm them.
Some boys simply aren’t wired to enjoy that particular word being directed at them. And because they’re not, I have absolutely no desire to say it to them.
But some, like kazander, thoroughly and truly enjoy the emotional response it triggers.
And I enjoy the effect it has on him, so I will call him worthless. I’ll call him pathetic. I’ll tell him he has no hope of ever being a real man. I’ll tell him he’s a useless piece of shit, and a waste of space, and I don’t know why I married him, and he should be grateful that I allow such a pitiful loser to touch me.
And he loves every fucking minute of it, and begs for more. That’s why it’s hot, because he loves it, because I can use it to manipulate his headspace. If he didn’t love it, if it actually made him feel bad, it obviously wouldn’t be hot, and I’d feel like shit for saying it.
Calling him worthless doesn’t tear him down. It doesn’t break him. It doesn’t harm him.
That’s the way it is for all verbal humiliation. As long as the boy enjoys it, and it’s consensual, everything is awesome.
So that’s how I can call a boy worthless, and then tell him an hour later that he’s worthy. Because I understand his mind and his emotional response to the word. Because I know my boys.