Excerpt: Archetypes, Symbols and the Mythic Psychological Structures of D/s- BDSM

This week we are switching gears from our regular erotica to bring you an excerpt from sex educator Galen Fous’s latest book Decoding Your Kink. Enjoy!

I believe a Fetishsexual’s deepest fantasies are shaped from the interplay of erotic plot lines, archetypal personas, and symbolic elements embedded within their sexual psyches. If not yet conscious, these sexual personas and their attendant mythic stories are lurking in the background during our sexual engagements. Bringing these subtle but potent elements into conscious awareness can open us to explosive Erotic intensity, deep-seated emotions, and can ultimately strengthen intimacy and trust between partners.

The challenge can be to acknowledge these deeper, more vivid dimensions of our fantasies. They are often obscured by the shame, fear, or trauma we may have grown up with. No one has ever taught nor encouraged us to look at our sexual expressions with curiosity, hunger, or excitement. Too often the most wild, intense, authentic, and perverse dimensions of our Eros never see the light of day.

To help in this regard, there are certain tools and techniques you can use that support you in discovering and inviting in what is personally authentic and meaningful to your sexual expression.

Before I go into to the details about the mythic, archetypal, symbolic structures of D/s-BDSM, I want to speak further about various techniques to access and how to fully experience them in a healthier, conscious manner.
Learning these techniques, sometimes called ritual practices, can begin to open the internal Erotic pathways you seek to experience. They can help you gain awareness of the physical, emotional, and ecstatic sexual undercurrents within your own experience and with your partners.

These tools, techniques, and practices can bring you into a deeper connection to your intention, embodiment, intimacy, and communication between yourself and a partner. Each of these aspects is critical for the journey into a conscious D/s-BDSM exchange.

Creating a clear intention for your relationship, your life, or a single scene is a very important practice. I view a stated intention as rock solid truth. I know it is true because I created it from an aware place. If I get blown off course to one degree or another, it is my anchor I come back to and begin again.

“My intention is to be as conscious a man as I can be.” Is that true? Yes! Undeniably! An intention describes an ideal state. I know I cannot achieve my intention to perfection. I can only move down the path towards it. There is no perfection to attain, but I can make strides in the direction I am aiming. Having a clear intention allows me to create personally meaningful practices or rituals that support my intention and diminish what resists my intention.
A couple in a D/s relationship could create the mutual intention, for example, to aspire to the highest ideals of their respective positions as Dominant and submissive and bring these qualities to the relationship. They could design practices and protocols that are meaningful to both that support their intention. For example they might establish a protocol to have a respectful, supportive, forthright review of their progress once a month. This creates an opportunity to share experiences and struggles and to renew their individual and shared commitments to each other and their intention. Rituals such as this can be a process that connects each partner to the aspects of character or soul they each aspire to. It can be a most intimate and loving way to share vulnerabilities and deepen bonds.

Rituals are simply tools to focus our attention. They help bring our aspirations to a deeper, consistent awareness. They offer the potential to help us discover and heal reluctant, protective, traumatized unconscious parts of us that may be holding us back or resisting our aspirations.

Developing a practice that encourages honest, vulnerable communication between partners can go a long way towards helping each partner resolve these inner conflicts and bring a sense of empowerment for both.

Some places along this journey to authenticity may inevitably be of a complexity best worked through individually with a skilled facilitator or therapist that understands how to work in these realms of personal inner conflicts.
If my intention as a Dominant is to be in integrity (walking my talk), accountable for my actions, or be a wise leader, I have to be aware of, acknowledge, and examine all aspects of the ways I may not be in integrity, accountable, or in leadership. I need to learn to examine and address the underlying reasons why I may be falling short in these regards.

To better stay on my path, I find it helpful to have personal practices that support me to be more focused and committed to my intention. I have a regular regimen of personal practices to help keep me embodied, present, and engaged with my intention. These consist of various movement, mindfulness, and imaginal techniques. I try to use communication and listening skills that allow vulnerable honesty for both my partner and myself. This encourages us both to own mistakes and make corrections, to apologize, to ask for support or forgiveness when due.

For me, these are lifelong practices. I look at it as being on a journey not seeking the destination. My intentions are ideals that I will never achieve to perfection, but I can keep moving towards them and renew my efforts when I stumble. And while I still stumble often, it is a much smoother path to get back on track with my intention.
These types of practices are generally simple to understand and easy to put into practice. They are meant to be personalized, shaped in a way that makes them meaningful and effective for you. There is no magic in them other than the results produced by consistent practice. The challenge is to remain consistent in one’s personal practices, similar to how one might approach a personal workout regimen.

Another important potential of using ritual techniques or practices is accessing what I call the realm of the sacred, or your own soul.

In my view, something is sacred when it has tangible meaning for me personally. I can feel it, it moves me, it activates strong emotion or bond. What is sacred in my view is entirely personal. It does not come from following dogma or a tradition.

For something to be sacred, it needs to be meaningful to the individual in the present time. It must resonate from a deep place within oneself. Our relationships to our partner’s, children, families, communities, professions, creative passions, aspirations, advocacies, activist efforts, and more can be recognized as sacred vows or bonds for many of us.

Because the sacred is personal, it may be quite different for different people. The sacred can only be experienced through feel-ing tangibly connected physically, emotionally, soulfully, and/or spiritually to another person, experience, practice, aspiration, symbol, or artifact that is personally meaningful. In other words what is sacred is only defined within your own context. But it often merges, as well, with a similar sense and reverence for the sacred within others in the gene pool. This is how tribes are formed.

I believe it sacred to allow everything that is true about myself both dark and light, to have a safe, welcoming place to exist, to be witnessed, encouraged, explored, expressed, honored, healed, and loved in a way that respects the rights and humanity of others. I believe the word I give to others and the agreements I make are sa-cred. I believe following the codes I honor as a man is sacred.

When you understand what is sacred to you, then you can de-velop practices that support your mission and intention within your relationships, and in life.

In the realm of sexuality, I consider it sacred to engage and encourage my desires and those of my partner fully, free of shame, fear, or judgment by others. It is the grandest celebration of our souls to express our sexuality honestly and passionately.

Another important concept to consider is that of a “container.” In a ritual sense, a container is simply a specific space you create to hold a part of your experience you want to focus on. A container can be created within your consciousness or it can be an actual physical space. In the general hubbub and tumult in the “container” of our everyday life, it can be more challenging or even impossible to deeply focus on the things we desire and aspire to. Creating a distinct ritual container, separated from the hub-bub, offers an environment that through its design, intention, and ambiance, allows you to explore things in a more focused, fully present way.

The concept of a container can be used, for instance, for the space where you hold your sexual expression of D/s-BDSM. This “container” is the real physical space you create to contain your sexual explorations, distinct from other spaces in your environment. Depending on how much space you have, you can physically develop your ritual space or container in the moment, or more permanently, in your home. It does not need to be perfect in any way. You want it to feel as “safe” and private as possible. You make the container able to be “sealed” as tightly as possible, so un-necessary or unwanted things or energies don’t “leak” out or in.

You fill it with personally resonant ambience – lighting, aroma, sound, music, and texture that will enliven your senses. These resulting sensations help activate more of your body, bringing your natural presence to your awareness. You can adorn your space with personally sacred objects – things that symbolize your passions, what or who is important to you, what you aspire to, or a memento of a meaningful experience or transition.

These sacred objects/symbols in your ritual space will resonate with corresponding aspects that reside within your unconscious or with your conscious intentions that chose them. This resonance can also bring you to a deeper state of aware aliveness. The right ambiance can help shift you from a scattered, distracted, or anxious state to one that feels more soothed, calm, and aware. You can fill your ritual space with the ambiance that encourages your conscious intention to heal, grow, express, explore, connect, or whatever your intention may be.

All of these ritual tools can help you to be more creative, connected, embodied, and insightful during your sexual excursions into D/s-BDSM play, or to engage in a heartfelt, honest discussion about an important issue with your partner.

There is an important distinction to be made here between the paradoxical way the Dom/sub relationship aspects and BDSM Erotic aspects of this lifestyle operate. Understanding this sublime paradox of the sacred/profane dimensions they represent can allow an exquisite dance between partners.

The D/s side of the paradox holds all the day-to-day inter-actions, negotiations, protocols, agreements, and practical real world considerations for the relationship. This D/s aspect can also represent the protocols and commitments that would allow a mythic, noble, sacred connection between Dominant and submissive to convene.

In this mythic sense the Dom can be aspiring to their personal ideals of the good King/Queen or similar archetype. For thousands of years of human history in the traditional mythic stories of all cultures throughout the world, the archetypal figure of the King/ Queen is universal, as is the servant or devotee.

The mythic heroic stories of a culture and the archetypal personas of King, servant, and numerous others populating the story are like a template drawn from the collective mind. They gave a sacred blueprint for an individual or a culture to follow to be in accord with that time and place. It appears that each human carries versions of these universal, archetypal templates within their own conscious/unconscious structures that are personalized when expressed.

The noble, good King/Queen archetype generally symbolizes a leader who blesses, protects, inspires, is wise, makes clear agreements, holds boundaries cleanly, is in integrity, accountable, just, responsible, and many other qualities.
The submissive, the loyal devotee, the one-in-service archetype represents the powerful ideals of surrender, devotion, obedience, service, selflessness, and more.

In support of these aspirations in the D/s aspect of the relationship, and to symbolize the shared bond between Dom and sub, bestowing a new name/identity on your submissive can be a potent ritual to perform. Renaming can represent an alchemical act of transformation, turning the lead of previous identity into the refined symbolic gold you desire and now possess. It is a meaningful expression of your authority, your domain, your province to choose an identity for your submissive that is most meaningful to you, but more importantly to both of you. The name should come from the inspiration your submissive’s very soul evokes within you. A new identity can also symbolize removal of the mask that one hides behind to protect vulnerable, secreted parts of their sexuality or other aspects of their being. Energetically, this aligns in a similar way with ancient spiritual traditions where a guru gave a new name to a devotee to symbolize the shedding of their old identity.

Many Dominants and submissives in the scene also take on a symbolic name before they are partnered. While this is often for protection of privacy, it also represents some aspect of character or an existing mythic figure they aspire to emulate.

I bestowed the name Angeluna on one of my partners, based on aspects of her being that I experienced. The Angel aspect denotes her qualities as my fierce devoted guardian, the miracle of her sweet presence in my life, and the ephemeral mystery of her spirit. The luna aspect holds many powerful meanings. The moon is the feminine principle that effects the tides and creates the ebb and flow of life. The moon has a dark mysterious side and a light reflective side. The moon waxes and wanes eternally as do the cycles of life and relationship. Angeluna combined brings the sense of spice, the heat and sexual passions of the hot-blooded tribes. A woman on fire, wild and explosive in contrast to her cool-headed moon woman.

There, of course, can be the shadowy counterparts to any name given or other names and qualifiers utilized in the inner chamber of Erotic-BDSM that may annihilate and reduce one’s identity to the basest level.

As in a collaring ceremony, a naming ceremony can be a meaningful ritual that bonds Dominant and submissive together in a deep and meaningful way. Like any ceremony, make it creative and personally relevant to your own way of being, not a formula you read about.

Having the intention to be in my nobility as Dominant to my submissive, brings all the ways I may not be being so noble into closer view as well. The parts of me that withhold, hide, mask, project, or act out unresolved feelings or desires are what I consider my shadows. These shadow parts of me, and their associated behaviors are not consistent with my values and my intended conduct in the day-to-day relationship.

If I show up in my “Tyrant” (shadow of the King), in the day-to-day aspect of the relationship, then I am being out of integrity with my stated code of conduct. If I am projecting something onto my partner that is not about her, that is bringing out my irritation, impatience, aloofness, or harshness, then I am no longer being present or in integrity. Our shadow behaviors are generally designed to protect or deflect attention from some wounded or vulnerable part of our psyche that we have not yet dealt with in a conscious way.

When I am triggered into one of my shadows, I am no longer objectively listening. I am misinterpreting data and weaving it to fit my negative “story” inside. I am unconsciously projecting some past experience that wounded me onto my submissive, in the present situation.

I want to constantly work on myself to heal and resolve my own stuff that I may be bringing into the relationship and not project my issues onto my submissive. I want to have my walk and talk in alignment with my intention to be a noble Dominant.

With mutual and aligned intentions, my submissive and I can both support being in integrity with each other, and with ourselves, and experience this sense of the sacred vows we have made as Dominant and submissive.

Not everyone may be interested in this level of the journey. But if you go very far down this path you will be facing these same conflicts, paradoxes, and old psychological wounds carried since childhood and the shadows around them. It is helpful to be pre-pared to do some form of personal work to deal with your own interior conflicts that might be blocking your path somewhere along the journey.

The profane side of the D/s-BDSM paradox, the Erotic BDSM side, holds all that is dark, taboo, forbidden, painful, cruel, et al. in way that carries a potent Erotic charge for both partners.

To allow for risk aware, pushing-the-edge explorations of these profane energies, the Erotic BDSM aspect can be thought of as being protectively held within the all-encompassing noble codes each partner adheres to in the D/s side of the relationship. These sacred codes of the D/s aspect protect and sustain the soulful, lo-ving, intimacy between D/s couples, and allows them to safely shine light into the dark, forbidden underworld of their edgiest fantasies.

This deep central connection allows the partners to enter the enticing realms of the taboo, the forbidden, into layers of pain, suffering, cruelty, degradation, sadism, and others in a way that does not traumatize the core body, heart, and soul of each, but in fact increases trust, intimacy, and fierce erotic ecstasy.

These two metaphorical and paradoxical aspects of D/s-BDSM are the interior landscapes where you hold, protect and nurture yourself, your submissive and the relationship in ways both Light and Dark.

It is my experience that these two aspects of D/s and BDSM are joined in a way that is paradoxically sacred and profane. Sacred and profane are the yin/yang of D/s and BDSM. Both aspects need to be untangled from each other and allowed separate contexts so that both aspects can fit tightly together, express fully, and not be diminished or inhibited by the other. This can allow them to flow seamlessly back and forth as is right for the moment, with clear negotiation, without confusion or emotional harm.

This why there are the two “containers” required, as I approach it, to hold the moral, ethical, soulful, and spiritual paradox of the sacred (D/s aspects) and profane (Dark Eros/BDSM aspects) of this lifestyle. The two separate, but concentric containers, allow both the sacred and profane energies to coexist together, in their full polarity, in a way that is honoring, safer, more clear, transparent, enriching, and authentic for both.

To use a male Dom/female sub lens, there can be rich and meaningful protocols, ceremonies, and rituals created that connect to your and your submissive’s deepest yearnings. Others can be designed to help resolve your deepest fears and begin healing old psychological wounds. You have the power to create personally meaningful rituals that tangibly feel sacred and soulful. Rituals can be fashioned that are healing, honoring, and empowering to both the Dom and sub. Rituals can also be powerful ways to explore and examine parts of us that have been disowned, unresolved, feared, wounded, and significant insights might be revealed from our unconscious through ritual that were previously flying under the radar.

Embracing a D/s container as a practice for a relationship to develop in is immersing the relationship in a romantic, erotic mythos that exists beyond the relationship. The myth of the noble, regal, powerful, benevolent Lord (King/Master archetype) and the devoted Lover (Devotee/Loyal Servant/Slave archetype) is an elegant “yarn” to weave a relationship with.

There is no adequate expression for me as a Dominant that captures the feeling of being treated with total adoration, humility, and respect by my submissive. Both in the way it feels physically, emotionally and psychically to be held so highly, as well as in my ability to break past my own internal resistance (my shadows and wounds) to receive it.
There is a deep, personal, soulful, physical, emotional, alive connection to this feeling for me, as well as a connection to the collective mythos where these archetypal personas of King/Queen and devotee/one-in-service, and all variations, exist metaphysically.

These mythic stories and personas have been known and used by humans in ritual, and as a mainstay of cultural literature and cosmology, for thousands of years. The universal, collective nature of archetypes and myths has been an integral aspect of all human experience since recorded history, as has been well noted by Carl Jung, Margaret Mead, Joseph Campbell, and many others. These multitudes of major archetypes and mythic symbols and stories are shared in common by diverse cultures all over the world. They are part of the human software already embedded in our unconscious.

We may not pay attention consciously to this symbolic dimension of our experience, but we do respond and resonate to these myths, archetypes, and symbols in ancient or contemporary form, as we do to symbols of all sorts coming from our inner and outer worlds. Think of how the pixels on the two-dimensional surface of a screen in a movie theater can be arranged into symbols and stories that evoke authentic laughter, tears, anger, and other passions.

Each small ritual act you perform, to high-protocol, ritual ceremonies you create with your partner can, by design, be rich in meaning to both. These meaningful, emotionally-charged rituals help your relationship connections approach the mythic level of the physical, romantic, emotional, mental, spiritual embodiment of Dominant and submissive.

Imagine a protocol you create that requires your submissive to kneel upon entering your space. They are instructed (and have agreed) to be naked, adorned only in a leather collar. There is no eye contact allowed. They are to crawl and kneel before you, when given permission, head bowed at your feet, ass up, in silence until given permission to speak.

Consider all that may be going on consciously and unconsciously from this simple yet highly symbolic scenario between Dominant and submissive.

The imposed but voluntary adherence to protocol by the sub-missive entering the Dominant’s realm exactly as instructed is rich in mythos. In this brief scene as Dominant and submissive, we are both immersed in a number of archetypal pairings and counter-parts, dancing together on a number of levels within the psyche.

Embodying and expressing these mythic D/s pairings can strike deep chords that seem to be right from the core of my soul. It is through physical embodiments and gestures that things we feel deeply are expressed. The body is naturally imbued to send and receive these Dominant/submissive signals and physical gestures as part of our instinctive natures.
When I experience this level of surrender from my submissive, I feel beheld in a mythos beyond our personal mythos of D/s. It is a familiar feeling, like I know about this, but not from conscious experience. It feels sacred. It is physically, emotionally, spiritually authentic, real, and tangible. It is rich in symbolic nuance. These meaningful and intentional ritual symbols a D/s couple invoke can activate strong emotional connections within both partners.
First there is the symbolism of the submissive crossing the threshold of her Dominant’s realm (container). The threshold is an important place. It divides the container into what is outside and what is inside. It is a place of choice. It is a place for the submissive to pause, take a breath, and connect deeply with her intention in crossing the threshold. The threshold is a place to invite in what will support the submissive’s intention and exclude what does not. It is a place to be in gratitude for what awaits across the threshold. Here the submissive can do a small ritual meditation protocol – to pause, breathe, get grounded in intention, let go of unnecessary, distracting thought before entering and kneeling.

Witnessing my sub’s impeccable obedience and devotion as she respectfully enters my realm resonates a deep sense of trust within me. Her surrender symbolizes and consequently generates the emotions accordant with being honored through the keeping of agreements, even challenging ones, with grace and style.

There is no resistance. Only devotion and the desire to please are evident in my sub’s body language, crawling to kneel and bow before me. Part of me feels physically and emotionally disarmed, tender, even awed. I feel the tremendous trust my sub displays so vulnerably and a sense of the sacred responsibility that trust implies.
There is the relief, ease, and satisfaction of knowing my sub is surrendered and will not require correction or discipline, won’t act out in a way that disrupts the intoxicating flow and romantic beauty of complete power exchange.
The way her body moves towards me in its crawl evokes an animal nature. This grace of movement and the physical vulnerability of the final ass-up pose, stirs my own animal nature. Some primitive, predatory Eros is in play in my body and soul.

Seeing the shape and pose of my sub’s body at my feet is a powerful, visual symbol of her surrender. It is a classical but profane embodiment of prone devotional gestures, organic to human nature and protocol in temples, churches, monasteries, and castles of the realm for many ages past. The ass arched in sexual submission, offering an invitation, is another potent image. To be treated so reverently, to have my sub totally, vulnerably available for use, nurtures and enlivens my sense of power and control.

My submissive is fully exposed and vulnerable at all levels, at my whim, pleasure, and mercy. I feel appeased. This humble pose by my sub, on the floor before me, represents one in devotion, service, and Eros. This resonates with the counterparts of these aspects within me. I take in the truth that I am worthy of this devotion, that I AM the one above, being elevated, the one being served.

The deepest feeling for me in the acceptance of her offering is one of humility and grace, not inflation. My body, emotions, and soul feel imbued with the birthright of my Dominance.

Many Dominants (myself included) and submissives carry un-resolved parts within the psyche that may be blocking them from more fully experiencing their chosen place in the relationship. Ritual practices I use help me to get closer to allowing more of these powerful emotional and physical feelings to flow into my body and awareness without restraint. This is the experience of being present, authentic, and alive in the truth and intention of the moment.
Making it a conscious practice to pause, breathe, open and receive this offering from your submissive can lead to a deeply satisfying sense of empowerment.

Sometimes it is helpful to notice unconscious, subtle resistances (feelings of shame, unworthiness, past traumas) that limit fully embracing one’s Dominant, submissive, or attendant sexual natures. Depending on the complexity of what resists your intention, professional sex-positive, kink-friendly guidance may be the best choice to resolve some of these conflicts.

My submissive, when bowed in surrender at my feet, also embodies and symbolizes the physical energetic of the beta, or of prey. In the animal world there is a natural point of surrender between predator and prey—a transition where fighting for survival/control by the prey transforms to a physical embodiment of surrender and vulnerability.
The Dominant and submissive are reenacting nature’s ritual of predator/prey and/or alpha/beta mammalian pack rituals. Resistance and the fight have ceased. The “prey” or beta instinctively exposes vulnerable parts of the body. The eyes are cast down. Any physical movements are meek, stripped of all expressions of aggression or challenge. The Dominants’ body language will express this same attitude from their side of the instinctual equation.

How deeply either experience this instinctual psychological state depends on how deeply each has resolved the unconscious restraints in the physical and emotional body. These restraints hold back the natural authentic expression of what is being felt. They are actually the counter embodiments and physical resistance of deep psychological shame and fear, masking and literally holding back the instinctual response.

The instinctual postures expressed in D/s-BDSM are part of our biological, psychological heritage from reptilian forward. The body language gestures conjured from these ancient aspects of the psyche are pre-wired in the autonomic nervous system. Each partner’s body instinctually responds just like any other predator and prey would in nature. It is not thought about. It is instinctual.

In my experience, I can feel these aspects of my evolutionary heritage alive in me. My animal instinctual nature is still an inherent part of me. The symbol of my submissive posed before me rouses this instinct; it feels powerful and sacred to be aware of, and embody, these aspects of my psyche.

These wild, untamed, primitive, instinctual aspects of who we are still reside within us. No matter how civilized we might consider ourselves to be, these instinctual responses in our bodies and unconscious are very much intact and operate in us daily.

The submissive can also represent an object. As Dominant, I have the negotiated power to make my submissive a sacred or pro-fane object.

As a sacred object, I am moved to treat my sub with a certain reverent tenderness. My desire is to bless and protect, while also expecting to be royally served. This is not just some abstract concept in my head. I am connecting emotionally and physically with these inherent archetypal erotic personas.

As a profane object my submissive becomes the symbolic counterpart of my darkest urges. In the realm of Dark Eros, these urges are linked to taboo mythic stories alive in my unconscious that can be called up. The lead characters are paired in a sharply polarized relationship. They can range across a pantheon of potential Fetish pairings such as Daddy or Mommy/daughter or son, teacher/student, rapist/victim, Tyrant Master or Mistress/worthless slave or many other dyads.

One tangible embodiment that I have experienced is the archetypal persona of “Daddy.” It is strongest in me when the counter-part is also alive in my submissive. In one example of this mythos, there is an aspect that transcends the taboo Erotic content. The Daddy’s little girl totally loves and adores him. She knows she needs to be obedient and is eager for Daddy’s love and affection. She gives affection freely and generously. My “Daddy” persona feels drawn right from my soul in a ritual moment like this. I may not shift the core of my energy or embodiment as her Dominant, which would be quite possible to do, but a significant portion of my embodied content may be channeling this Daddy archetype.

Connecting with this “Daddy” part of my psyche is emotionally powerful and enriching. On the one hand, the feeling of tenderness and love evoked is authentic and intense. Who could Daddy love more than his little girl, especially when she is being so devoted, adoring, vulnerable, and pleasing?

The point is, the feelings and experience of the archetypal Daddy/daughter dynamic is authentic in the moment. Even though this embodiment is not intended to be considered true in the reality of everyday life, in the ritual container, both Dominant and submissive can have exquisitely potent experiences of the Daddy/daughter mythos together.
Accessing this Daddy archetype has served at times, as an unanticipated gateway for me to reconnect with my true tenderness and affection. Deep feelings of tenderness and care that I may have been holding back or disconnected from in some way in day-to-day life can flow more readily.

To be clear, I am talking about imaginal ritual archetypal experience only. In absolutely no way am I condoning, real life sexual interactions between parents and children, or any adult and children.

Connecting with these internal archetypal parts of our Erotic psyches in ritual with our partners is a sacred act, as I view it. If done with transparency and intention, there is the potential to transform and resolve ways we may be holding back our deepest feelings for each other. It can help open up emotional blockages and allow deeper levels of emotional intimacy and free expression.

But the tender aspects I can experience as “Daddy” can also shift into the dark taboo edge of Daddy/daughter interaction. This is the Erotic BDSM space where I can embody my tyrant, sadist, predator, and other dark archetypal forces, that thrills into turning my “daughter” into a whore, a rape-toy, a pain slut, and other degrading and inappropriate depictions.

When done in a way that is negotiated clearly, with awareness of emotional, physical, and spiritual safety, the verboten excursions into the dark edges of forbidden desire can offer both partners an experience of exquisitely charged Eros.

Beyond the Daddy/daughter dynamic within the Erotic BDSM realm and with negotiated consent, my submissive can be totally objectified, stripped of rights and entitlements, a target of pain, de-gradation, brutality, and cruelty. Within the safety we have created through our sacred D/s protocols and agreements, I can unleash my own shadowy dark desires as superior, all powerful, ruthless, disdainful, disrespectful, asshole, motherfucking tyrant and any other energies that I carry in me.

It is an astoundingly liberating psychological and emotional experience to allow these dark aspects of my soul to be witnessed and expressed. To shine the light on them, to no longer hold them back, after having regularly regulated and suppressed them in everyday life, offers me an indescribable sense of integration and wholeness.

The fact that my submissive is able to hold space for these shadow parts of me, and even beg for them to be unleashed, leaves me feeling awe at this intimate, taboo level of surrender. So that even in the midst of some cruel rampage upon my sub’s body and persona she is entwined with me in the Light. I am at moments so awed by this paradoxical tenderness I feel for my partner. To be so loved and honored and encouraged to show all of me, even these darkest edges, is the ultimate intimacy.

Another level of symbol and imagery in the scenario I described earlier connects to the carnivorous animal heritage still present in our instinctual body and psyche. Letting your wild, savage, beast hunt, take down, bite into the back of the neck, or overpower activates survival level, eat or be eaten instincts, emotions, and body language. These are a predator’s natural responses to hunger, and the need to dominate its hunting grounds to survive.

To feel these instincts alive in your body and psyche is awakening deep connections and awareness of how complex and layered our experience can be. The wild, primitive, “uncivilized” and predatory responses within our psyche can be consciously exercised/ exorcized in the ritual container of Erotic BDSM.

These inner instinctual explorations can also help bring greater awareness of how we let these shadowy energies loose in the outer world, in many unconscious, non-consensual ways. Understanding and coming to terms with these paradoxical complexities stirring in our inner realities can lead to more transparent communication and potent interactions in our relationships, in our edgiest sexual explorations, and in our interactions in the everyday world.

There is also an important note I want to make clear. Except for the mildest forms, humiliation and degradation are what I consider edge-play. Degradation and humiliation edge-play requires a lot of self-evaluation, communication, trust, and deep connection between the Dominant and submissive. There are real emotional traumas many of us carry around self-worth, intelligence, competence, confidence, body image, and more. These aspects require clear boundaries to be defined to protect their unresolved energies from being released unintentionally.

Humiliation and degradation play is not a place to rush into or take lightly. If you do find areas of consent that feel safe and choose to explore these edgier places, these scenes can carry an intense emotional, physical, sexual catharsis.

One of the keys here is to negotiate clearly about use of language and personifications agreed on in your Erotic BDSM explorations with your partner.

This means inquiring about any language boundaries your partner may want. The areas to get clear about will generally include language around body image, worthiness, intelligence, gender, femininity, race, religion or other.
Some submissives can be wildly turned on by the explicit degrading language invoked in any of these areas. Others will inevitably carry real life experiences of abuse, bullying, or trauma in one of more of these categories. In these cases, certain languaging can easily re-trigger emotionally wounded and sensitive areas for your submissive. These are places to take care and caution.

The intent is to heighten and maximize the Erotic charge through pitch-perfect explicit dialogue, body language, et al., not traumatize and wound your partner emotionally.

You may be surprised at how edgy your partner craves this level of degrading language. It may be very focused on some aspects, but off limits in others. Negotiating this territory with precision can keep you both safe, and open you to the depths of psycho-sexual ecstasy you both crave. Again, a good principle to follow is to start slow and ease into this complex, but compelling terrain. And of course have extensive and explicit negotiations about what is, and what is not, in bounds.

Certain submissives can find intense degradation play a gateway to an intoxicating freedom. There is a blissful transcendent feeling for many, derived from surrendering control of all the efforts generally applied to maintain the ego identity. “My Dom made me do it!” can be a liberating refrain. Letting go of the façade that one often hides behind, and works so hard to maintain, can be a tremendous relief.

Our ego-identity also includes all of the civilized psychological structures in place intended to separate us from our mammalian/ reptilian instinctual identities. We are all so civilized after all!

Descending to a sub-human state opens us to the potent instinctual embodiments of our animal heritage. These fierce physical gestures, primitive vocalizations and emotions of fighting back to exhaustion, defeat, surrender, and acquiescence are leading to an exquisite sense of physical and emotional depletion. This is the paradoxical state of bliss that animal prey are considered to experience when they surrender to being devoured after the fight/flight option has been exhausted. This bliss can be indescribably visceral, and blended with Eros, intoxicating.

Another theme to consider is the barely noted characteristics of the “Sex Creature.” Many, if not all, humans carry this persona as a distinct part of their psychological character. I experience it and have witnessed it in many others as a completely separate persona that lurks in the background of our everyday persona. It has its own POV. It embodies in an entirely different way from our everyday personas. It has its own body language–the way it looks at someone it is revealing itself to, tone of voice, way it speaks, dresses, and all manner of personification. It has been astonishing to witness this transformation in many of my own experiences when the Sex Creature morphs the everyday body. It brings meaning to the shamanic concept of shape-shifting. The life force, the glow, the sheer Erotic invitation evoked by the body brings about a stunning attraction and beauty far beyond the range of the everyday persona.

There are so many treasures to be experienced when we open to the psychological depths of our Erotic experience, far beyond the boundaries of conventional friction sex.

If you feel stirred by any of what you learned here, take that as a sign to begin your own intrepid journey into your Erotic Wilderness and start resolving all that has held you back.

About Galen Fous MTP – Kink Sex Educator, Author, Psychotherapist & Sex Researcher: For nearly two decades, Galen has helped hundreds of men, women and couples in workshops and his private practice who sought to embrace their authentic sexuality, particularly around Kink lifestyle dynamics. He has lectured at Universities and Grad Schools on Conscious Kink practices and the psychology behind D/s-BDSM. Past presentations include DomConLA, The Stockroom; Living in Leather, The Eulenspiegel Society, NYC; The Wet Spot (CSPC), Seattle; The ISTA Conference, Sedona, AZ; and others; Galen is KinkAcademy.com educator He has been active and “out” publicly in the Fetish community since 1998. He is the author of the highly acclaimed book “Decoding Your Kink – Guide to Explore Share and Enjoy Your Wildest Sexual Desires”. An important component of his research into the nature of Fetishsexual and Kink desire is the development of the Discover Your Personal Erotic Myth Survey . This ground-breaking and ongoing research survey with over 2500 participants so far, is the first study that begins to document the mythic archetypal aspects of Fetishsexuality and the mapping of the sexual unconscious. You can take the survey here.

Galen also designed and markets the Tetruss 3 in 1 Portable Dungeon, Suspension Bondage Rig, and Sex Swing to the global Fetish community since 2000.

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