Depersonalisation and Humiliation
(Original article from http://kinktoychest.com/index.php/castle-realm-archives/136)
In this essay we will be talking about the controversial topic of depersonalization. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, it is a word that describes a wide range of practices generally under the heading of "humiliation." It usually means that the dominant asks that the submissive assume a role that is very different from their normal role.
It usually takes on two different aspects: becoming an inanimate object, such as a footstool or ashtray, or a lower form of animal life; a puppy or a pony, for example. Just why some people engage in such activity can be very perplexing to many, so we hope to help you at least understand why they do.
Depersonalization--The Dominant View:
Depersonalization is one aspect of the lifestyle that seems to have no middle ground: We find people who like it and we find people who hate it. Our goal isn't to pursuade you one way or the other. It is only to inform.
For the dominant, depersonalization offers a means to take their role as the sub's master/mistress to the ultimate extreme of the power exchange. It renders you as abolute owner of your submissive, requires of them a degree of submission that generally isn't part of your day-to-day life.
Whether you choose for your sub the role of animate or inanimate object, there can be an intoxicating and very rewarding degree of pleasure in knowing that you hold, at least for a short time, that much power and that your submissive is willing to please you to the degree where they surrender absolute control to you.
Depersonalization to me, as a submissive, means slipping out of the role I've always had in society. To understand that better we have to think about how society views us as a person. In my case, I'm a young, female adult with very feminine tastes and appearance.
For the most part, I've enjoyed a few benefits from being viewed as a helpless, sweet little girl or gained a few advantages by using my feminine wiles when dealing with people in control. Depersonalization takes me out of the role of "jade" and casts me as a new creature, one with fewer advantages. It means having no power...no control...at least for the moment.
What Are the Benefits?--The Dominant View:
For some dominants, having an opportunity to move into a role far outside of the social constraints placed on them allows them to very effectively reinforce the nature of the relationship: Owner and the owned, the true master, decision-maker, and holder of complete control.
Few of use would be able (or even desire) to base our entire relationship on depersonalization, since it forces us to divorce our feelings of affection and tenderness toward our charge. But for the short time we do, it drives home deeply the foundation of this lifestyle--the exchange of power.
I suspect that most dominants experience a wide range of "dom/me-ness"; that is, if you imagine a spectrum from least to most dominant, we spend most of our time in the middle (whatever that middle is for you). At times you will be at the far end of the "most dominant" spectrum, though, and need to have an outlet for that. For some, depersonalization can be a beneficial expression of this extreme.
What Benefits Do I Get--Submissive View:
I get a great deal of pleasure knowing that I am being placed in a position where I have little or no ability to use my natural instincts as a submissive female to influence the person who is in control of me ... my Master. I'm able to put aside all the trappings of my femininity and be viewed as an object or creature that exists only for His pleasure and enjoyment.
In a sense, I feel free. I'm freed of all control that I hold, simply by being His submissive. I'm stripped of all the trappings that nature has provided as tools for protection and made to feel extremely vulnerable and helpless in my situation. Becoming a "toy" or an animal that has no input or demands is liberating. There's no concern for "self" and all that remains in focus is obedience.
As a pet, such as a pony or puppy, you surrender your rights and needs to the Master who literally has complete control over you. You respond because you must, you've been conditioned to react, trained to perform. You have no voice, you lack human emotional appeal and you feel released from the need to adhere to rules that a "lady" must follow in our society.
This discipline releases an animal lust that is hidden behind the modesty and protective screens that humans have developed to keep their sexual responses in control. It's much the same when you become an inanimate object, such as a footstool. It expects nothing other than to be used for its owner's pleasure. It has no restraints other than to be what it was intended to be...a footstool.
The Role of Equipment--The Dominant View:
Depersonalization can take many forms and is limited only by your imagination. Some require nothing other than verbal instructions to fulfill. Others might include elaborate equipment or clothing.
When we use equipment, its purpose is to reinforce the roles we are assuming and help us make a transition into them. Donning your English riding gear is more than just another way of dressing: It can help you to cast off the role you take in your everyday life and assume the role of your pony's owner.
Not only does it complete the scene you are trying to create, it also sends a clear signal to your submissive that during this time you are the unquestioned master. Dressing them in the gear you choose likewise allows the submissive to make the transformation from cherished sub to something with no say-so in what is to transpire.
It can be particularly difficult for the sub to give up their status as a loving, caring person and become something less than human, no more than property or a piece of furniture. The proper equipment for the scene can be immensely beneficial in helping them become this...it sets up the right frame of mind.
Visually speaking, seeing your submissive wearing this equipment can also be intensely gratifying. It symbolizes their ulitmate surrender, service to you, and willingness to please you in whatever form you've chosen.
Equipment and Its Effects--Submissive View:
The most common equipment used in depersonalization is usually found in the realm of the ponygirl/boy. Its design is tailored to bring out deep-hidden emotional responses in the submissive. The first response it evokes in most submissives is humiliation. Starting with the halter and gag, the intent is to remove control from the submissive and give it to the dominant.
The bit gag renders the submissive speechless and detracts from his/her appearance. As a female, you become less seductive and attractive as a woman. The halter is confining and controlling. The body harness is very restrictive and often is designed to pinch or press very sensitive areas of the body, such as the labia or nipples. A tail, connected to a buttplug, is used to add a greater feeling of loss of control.
The submissive's body is made to respond to the slightest whim of the Master's hand. A tug or snap causes an explosive reaction when the proper equipment is in place. Movement of limbs is restricted and often forced into very vulnerable and exposing positions. This permits the submissive to experience a sense of surrender that is not possible in any situation other than one involving depersonalization. Humiliating, yes, but oh! so enjoyable.
As an object, the limbs and head may be totally immobilized and this can send the submissive into a space-like state of mind. Helplessness frees the mind of the awareness of anything other than sensory stimulation. Every nerve awakens and sends throbbing messages to the brain and there is nothing the submissive can do but experience them and go with the flow. After all, you have no control...you are not responsible for what happens...you can only please the Master and enjoy the pleasure that brings.
Obstacles--The Dominant View:
If you choose to include depersonalization in your relationship, you should be aware that you may have to resolve emotional issues that crop up.
Guilt: I love my submissive dearly...how can I treat her so indifferently? Society has taught you what relationships are supposed to be, and this certainly isn't it.
Remorse: Following a session, you may find yourself feeling strangely sorry for having done exactly what you both desired.
Clearly, prior negotiation is essential when it comes to depersonalization. You need to know your submissive well, just how far you can safely go, exactly how much is too much and how much is not enough. Forms of humiliation can be extremely volatile territory because you are probing deeply into the psyche.
It's easy to get carried away once the "beast" is released and you must take extra care to remain in complete control of yourself and not let the scene overwhelm you. The temptation will be there: recognize it.
To help you both benefit from the experience and resolve emotional conflict, take some time before the scene and afterwards to reinforce your true feelings for your submissive. Reassure them that no matter how you may behave during the scene, it doesn't reflect your true emotions. Treating them indifferently for a couple hours a month so that you can both deepen your relationship doesn't mean that you will suddenly begin to do so the other 99.9% of the time.
The Obstacles--Submissive's View:
The greatest obstacle that most submissives have to overcome is the loss of their identity. You are no longer the cherished, protected and sometimes-pampered submissive of your Dominant.
You are an animal or a thing and this causes quite an internal struggle for some of us. It's not easy to give up your sense of identity but when you are able to overcome that obstacle you gain a freedom from self that you've never experienced before.
Another mental block is fear. You are vulnerable and made to be very aware of the fact. Loss of control means risk, and unless you have complete trust in your dominant this is going to be one very scary ordeal.
Another consideration in the fear factor is the knowledge that your dominant will be extremely into His/Her own sense of self. They feel the power exchange at its fullest and their own "beast within" has been awakened.
It adds to the sense of vulnerability you already feel. You know that you are not being seen as the tender little soul you normally are but are being viewed as an animal or object and that is enough to put your feeling of helplessness foremost in your mind. What a catalyst to total surrender these feelings can be.
Humiliation is another hurdle for some submissives. The act of becoming a pony or a sex doll is seen as degrading to society and your own social awareness is going to be dragged to the surface for you to deal with. You are no longer sheltered by concern for your comfort or modesty--shyness has no place in a pony's life. You'll feel as though your soul has been bared to the world.
This stripping away of the protective shell of our embarrassment and reluctance is a difficult process but the benefits are tremendous. You'll soon see the things that hinder your submission and surrender to your Dominant. The things that prevent you from giving yourself totally will be forced into view and give you the opportunity to vanquish them and find a deeper, richer relationship with the person to whom you've hand over the reins.
Depersonalization is one of the more advanced practices that we see in our lifestyle. It's not for everyone. I've no doubt this topic has brought strong feelings at both ends of the spectrum. Keep in mind that limits, by their very nature, are things that tend to expand as our relationship with our partner grows. I recall a time not too very long ago when the idea of depersonalization wasn't of any interest to jade and me.
As we grew together, though, we came to realize that it could be a means for both of us to express our deepest needs to surrender and assume power. It's allowed us to deal with emotional issues that we'd become very good at suppressing, sometimes afraid to reveal them to the other for fear of loss of respect.
Perhaps you are ready to add this to your relationship. Perhaps you already have. Others of you are not ready for it yet, and still others never will be. I hope we've been able to at least shed some light on why some find the practice beneficial and what it's attraction is.