A question of Dominant ethics

Discussion in 'General BDSM discussions' started by sebastian, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

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    I was talking with my sub, Alex, last night, and he told me a story that really upset me. A couple years ago, long before I met him, Alex had another master (funny, didn't think to ask the master's name) who was really into pup play. He trained Alex pretty hardcore--leaving him in a cage for hours, making him wear a tail and a chastity device even when he wasn't around, that sort of thing. Alex really got into it, learned to become very submissive and responsive to his master's desires, and found himself longing to be a dog when he was at work. Alex hadn't recognized his submissive self before he met this guy, but came out craving extreme submission and humiliation.

    But here's the thing. The master seems to have simply wanted Alex to get down into 'pupspace' (for lack of a better term) and just stay there. He would cage Alex, occasionally fuck him, put the tail back in, and then leave him. He doesn't seem to have given Alex any sort of aftercare (when I met him, Alex didn't know the term--I think now he didn't recognize the concept) to help Alex come back up from pupspace. The master eventually moved away and made no effort to help Alex get closure on the whole experience. When his master left, Alex spent a long time playing as a dog on his own. He'd come home from work, get undressed, put his tail in, and spent the rest of the night as a dog (sleeping on the floor, drinking from the toilet, and so on). Eventually the tail broke and that sort of helped Alex climb back out of pupspace. Now, Alex loves the idea of pup play but admits that he's scared of getting lost in pupspace again.

    I'm a pretty new dom, but this story makes me incredibly angry at this master. It seems to me that in pup play, a master has an obligation to end the scene in a way that brings the pup back up to humanity. The fact that the master wasn't providing any type of aftercare that I can recognize seems really irresponsible, and the way the master simply walked away (at least as far as I can tell--he doesn't seem to have made any attempt to help Alex find another master or whatever) seems wrong. This guy seems to have crossed over the line from domination into emotional abuse through a disregard for Alex's needs as a human.

    So what do people think? 1) Am I right in my assessment of this master? Did he treat Alex unethically? Or was he just playing more extremely than I would? 2) Should puppy play aftercare include things to bring the sub out of pupspace, and if so, what?

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    Hmm...this is a weird one for me.

    Yes, I agree that the other master treated Alex badly :mad: Some kind of signal should always be established beforehand, to avoid confusion during play if nothing else.

    My master and I don't do puppy play as much as we used to, and have only been doing it for a year, but in some aspects I find it difficult to get into pupspace, never mind out of it. In the beginning, I found it difficult to do pretty much everything because I couldn't do even the simplest puppy task without collapsing in fits of hysterical laughter, and also I was still talking.

    I have become so much better now, immersing myself deeper into my role, but I'm still having difficulty with barking. I just can't get this noise to work, and it is really frustrating, but I'm hoping that, in time, it will come, and in the meantime resort simply to growling, howling, whining and panting where noises are concerned.

    As for how to end the game, what usually happens with us is that my master will command me to jump up into his lap, and cwtch (cuddle) up, and we just kind of lie there silently for some time, until, eventually, one of us will speak, and the spell will be broken, making me 'human' again. No prearranged signal, but we both just 'know', if that makes any sense.

    Sometimes we do pussy play, where my master dresses up as a cat for me. We were confused as to the best way to end a session of pussy play, because we didn't know if the method we use for puppy play would work just as well, so for this, we do have a prearranged signal. When he has had enough, he will go to the living room door, and I will let him out and shut the door, as with letting a cat out for the night. When he returns, a few minutes later, he is 'himself' again.

    I hope this will be of some help to you :)
  3. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

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    It is, OLP. I've only done puppy play once, and not with Alex, so your example is helpful. I had intended to introduce puppy play fairly soon with Alex, but after hearing this story I think I need to wait a while and have a stronger idea of how to structure it, to make sure it's a positive experience for him. It sounds to me like his master got off on making Alex a neglected and heavily disciplined pup, and I want him to be a happy, playful pup. And I appreciate your confirmation that it's not just me who thinks this master was irresponsible.

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    No problem, I'm glad I could help :)

    I mean, as with a real puppy, you have to punish bad behaviour, but at the same time, you have to make sure to make the difference between punishment and abuse perfectly clear. When I misbehave as a puppy, my master will give me a little smack on the nose or a whack on the arse with a rolled up newspaper, and once threaded the end of my lead through the rails of the bed, and told me I had to stay there to think about what I'd done wrong (biting him, if I remember rightly). But I was only there for about 5 or 10 minutes, and then I was brought back into the living room, and fussed over :)

    If you and Alex want to do this, the best thing you can do is have a good, lengthy discussion about what is expected from each of you. Show him he is worshipped as a puppy with belly tickles or something, lots and lots of affection, to make sure he feels loved in his animal role.

    I'm not sure what else I can say, but I hope that this will be a good place to start :)

    Good luck, and let us know how you get on :)
  5. master jey

    master jey Moderator

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    poor alex....damn it
  6. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

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    Thanks for agreeing MJ. Helps me feel better about my instincts on this.
    OLP: more good advice, and in line with what I had planned. The one time I did puppy play, I had a blast lavishing praise on my pup and petting him. Part of what upsets me about what this guy did to Alex is that it seems to have taught Alex that d/s is about very hardcore humiliation. He keeps saying that he wants me to use him and then ignore him, without regard to his feelings. He doesn't want to be treasured. But at the same time he seems to understand that this guy did a number on him, although he can't say it directly. Last night he said "I don't know whether it was good or bad, but he reprogrammed me almost completely."

    But before people get the wrong picture, Alex is a functioning guy, not an emotional wreck. He's a high-powered business lawyer, a pretty dedicated bodybuilder, and a very confident and aggressive guy socially. He's not completely submissive (we just had a small quarrel last night when he ignored a protocol). He's just got some very dark stuff in his head attached to being submissive.

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    It's fucking horrile, the way this other guy has treated him :mad:

    As long as you make sure to communicate fully with him, and take it slowly, with any luck he should gain the confidence he needs to do this successfully.

    He needs to discover himself as a puppy, if that makes any sense. Just as every human has their own personality and unique quirks that make them special, so does every animal. I'm not sure if my master would agree with this, but I personally feel that I adopt a slightly more different personality as a puppy, more cheeky, I think, and yet more aggressive. Sometimes, as a puppy, I get stroppy, and I expect to get punished for it. And sometimes I am cheeky, refusing to do as I'm told, running away and hiding just to be clever. Plus, I am also very affectionate, and when I am obedient, and gentle, I get rewarded, and get lots of kisses and fusses :)

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    I fully agree with you Sebastian, and I also wanted to throw in that I really admire the thought you've put into making sure your submissive is taken care of emotionally. In my search to find a Dom, I've come across many many many men who are just abusers using BDSM as an "acceptable" outlet. It's Dominants like that who fuel the "abuser/abused" stereotype D/s relationships have-as was mentioned in another thread (I believe by Sparrow?) bad things travel and are talked about MUCH more quickly than good things. It's a shame that poor Alex had to go through this, and it sounds like it changed him. However, there is a silver lining- your journey together will likely bring you much closer :) Well done, Sebastian, and best of luck to you and your boy!
  9. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

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    Thanks IF. I hope so too. I'm a little worried right now, actually. He's shown a few signs of pulling away from me. I haven't been able to get him to open up about whatever's going on yet. I think maybe he's confused because I'm not abusing him the way he's come to expect. The challenge is that if I don't treat him the way he's used to, he'll feel like I'm not the dom he wants. But if I do treat him that way, I can't get him to work through this issue.

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    :( I'm afraid my own experiences don't lend anything to your tribulations right now. I can only wish you the best and support you from here . . . which drives me crazy b/c I'm a "fixer". I try to fix anything and everything, and it's inhibiting most of the time.
  11. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

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    Yeah, I'm a fixer too. I think it's part of my dominant side. Alex's issues bring out the nurturing side of me. Thanks for the support. I'm so new at this stuff, the moral support is very appreciated. It helps me figure out which instincts are correct--my domming ones or my socialized ones (which tell me that trying to control someone is bad)

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    I think the same thing can be said for my submissive nature . . . I so desperately crave to please someone that I throw myself too far and fast into things. . . I'm always afraid of being "that person" who doesn't know when to quit *sighs*
  13. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

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    Hmm. I know what you mean. I'm very persistent, and consider it a virtue. Most of the good things I've gotten in life have come through simply not giving up. But the flip side of that is that I have a hard time knowing when I'm being unrealistic about a situation. Control eludes me? That just means I need to keep trying. Eventually they'll see it my way and give me what I want.
  14. kittengrey

    kittengrey Member

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    Me and my master were just talking about bringing the "puppy play" more into our lifestyle, but he doesn't call it that. I just simply am a dog, no longer human at all when this happens. ever other day I'll get a few hours of human time, along with every morning I have some time to prep myself (ie, going to the bathroom, fixing my hair, eating breakfast) so yeah, while I will be and will be treated as a dog, I will have human time. What his Master did wasn't right, but some people don't treat their slaves/subs with respect, since they don't believe the person under them should be respected. its a true shame, but its the same reason why slavery (I mean old days talking African natives from there land and bringing them here) became a problem. The owners saw them a property, not people.
  15. kittengrey

    kittengrey Member

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    -adding on to last post, to lazy to edit-
    Actually Sebastain, you remind me a little of my Master. He has a very nurturing care-giving side to him, and he always is making sure I am comfortable with everything we do.

    Master, to get himself where he is today, actually went through dominant training. He had a mentor teach him how to be a Master, and how to coop with certain things. He was basically taught that there is no wrong, and he desensetized himself to nearly everything, from child porn to beastuality. Of course, he's not into any of the above, but he doesn't see these things as wrong either. But really, it depends on what point of view its seen from. Most of us see these things as "wrong" because we grew up being told they were. Ok, so most of us, no matter how accepting we are, will probably throw any asshole in jail for killing someone, but then there are some places where they are taught how to kill people. So really, there is no global "wrong", it's all in our own perspectives.

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