“But doesn’t a small part of you wish … to be so totally enraptured with someone that you don’t even want to say no, much less think it.”
“If you could have a total brainwashing with anyone as the mistress, who would it be?”
I was asked these very intriguing questions within an hour of each other, by two friends who happen to be SL hypnodommes. There’s a hidden assumption in these questions, one which highlights a very interesting difference between the traditional BDSM world, and the hypnosis community of Second Life.
Are you a Submissive or a Slave?
First, let’s think about submissives, and the kind of relationships they seek. In traditional BDSM (and I love being in the kind of weird sub-community where I’m able to call BDSM ‘traditional’), two very general types of relationship are well-known. There are links at the end of this post for more detail, but for this post, all you need to know is:
- A submissive gives themselves to a dominant partner, but always retains the right to say no. In fact, the submissive is the dominant partner in defining the limits of the relationship. The owner only has the right to enforce obedience in those areas and in those ways to which the submissive has consented, and only as long as the sub continues to consent. Some submissives give themselves in very narrow ways, and some give of themselves almost completely – but all retain the final authority over their submission, even if they never use it.
- A consensual slave gives themselves to an owner, and from that point on, the slave gives up the right to say no. Their satisfaction comes from knowing that their owner will mould and reshape their life and personality to fit what owner’s desires, even if they resist. They can say no, and object and argue, but ultimately, they know the dom/me has the right to use whatever means they choose to bring the slave to heel – persuasion, coercion, punishment, hypnosis…
In the real world (and that includes SL), people use terms very loosely. Someone who is a submissive under these definitions may enjoy being called a slave, and call their dominant an owner. But for clarity, in this post (and probably more generally, in this blog), I use the terms slave and submissive as described here.
We Are All Slaves!
In traditional BDSM, submissives are by far most common, and true slaves are rare. But in the Second Life hypnosis community, this situation seems to be reversed. The prevailing, if not quite universal, assumption among both subs and dom/mes seems to be:
- If I am a submissive who enjoys hypnosis, I must be seeking the most absolute form of submission – to have my mind and will completely taken over and controlled by another. My greatest desire is to be programmed for absolute obedience, losing my free will and even the ability to think freely.
The mind control fetishists among you may be too distracted by the erotic thoughts raised by that point to read on. I know that I find that idea very exciting! Focus, people!
The thing I find so fascinating, is just how common that assumption seems to be. Many people really do seem to be seeking that most absolute form of submission – they want to be truly ‘mindfucked’, in one way or another.
Sometimes, when I tell people I’m not seeking that level of control, they think I’m weird. That is pretty weird when you think about it.
Maybe it’s because Second Life is a roleplaying environment. That makes it the perfect place to explore and live out the most extreme fantasies. You can do things you’d never do in real life (and, in fact, experience things it may not even be possible to experience in real life). So maybe that’s why so many submissives seek more serious forms of submission, and push their desires further than they would in the so-called real world.
We also can’t ignore the influence of dominants. By their nature, they want control over their subs, and maybe the roleplaying environment encourages them to go further than they would in real life. They too can live out their more extreme fantasies, and subs – who like to be led – will often adapt to suit the dominants.
Are you a submissive or a slave? Are you a dominant partner, or an owner? Do you think this attitude is more common in SL hypnosis communities, or am I seeing something that isn’t there?