Tuesday, 28 April 2009

training and conditioning

I just want to come back to the arguments I was struggling to make in my earlier post about conditioning. I'm not sure I have managed to express myself well - or can do so any better now.

I think I was wondering whether "training", which is a concept often taken on board in D/s relationship, whilst often appropriate within such a relationship could become a problem if that relationship were to end. I discussed it earlier in relation to conditioning that might be difficult to undo at the end of a relationship. But is that just a risk one has to take within a committed D/s relationship? Is it any different from someone having the name of a loved partner tattooed onto their arm?

I think for me it was the psychological and emotional nature of the conditioning that seemed a problem - but why should this be the case more than a physical modification?

Perhaps in the end if there is a commitment then there may be risks that one has to accept. But I think too that in "training" or "conditioning" - as with instructions for permanent physical change - that a Dom should recognise implication of what he is doing. Permanent modification of any sort is not to be taken lightly - whether it is physical, emotional or psychological.

17 comments:

Sir J said...

I think you had it right before and you do now. Relationships are messy and hard and they all carry baggage whether vanilla or kink. In the end when you are the half of a relationship left you have to deal and move on and sometimes that sucks.

Tristan's pet said...

As ever, you hit the nail on the head: "a Dom should recognise implication of what he is doing." That sense of responsibility is something I value very much in my owner.

Tp xx

Renea said...

I have to wonder how many Masters take into account the long term implications of many of their actions. For example, my former Master once tried to convince me that female circumcision would make me a better slave. It was the only time I was given a choice in our relationship, obviously I said no. But I always wondered, had I said yes, would he have actually gone through with it.

Charli said...

I can't stand the word "training" and I am not sure I find "conditioning" any more palatable, but the fact of the matter is that this is the task a submissive individual takes on, within a D/s relationship. She agrees/consents to be "taught" certain behaviors, whether it be to cum on demand, or any number of protocols and rituals that her D. wishes her to conform to. This is her "job", period; if she doesn't agree with the ethics of it, she should not be in a D/s relationship.

As far as body modification goes, I would hope that the submissive is a thinking human being and not an automaton to the extent that she will "allow" her body to be altered to a point where she feels uncomfortable.

We are all ultimately responsible for our own health and well being. The notion of being completely taken care of and not having to think for oneself anymore might be a nice romantic sexual fantasy, but that is all it should be.

Pygar said...

Thank you Sir J, Tp, Renea nd Charli.

I am shuddering Renea that your Master might have suggested female circumcision. How could he have cared for you and even considered it? I am pleased that he is now a "former" Master.

Like you Charli I have some problems with the word "training" and for myself find "conditioning" even worse. For me training is something one does with animals. That is not to say that it might not be part of fantasy play within a D/s relationship. However I know for many it is much more than that. I suppose I am highlighting the fact that it can have serious risks.

xPx

selkie said...

I'm with you and Charli- the whole concept of 'training' or 'conditioning" leaves me cold and with a bad taste in my mouth (and holy COW, female circumscism - that is BARBARIC as well as ILLEGAL - HIGHLY SO in north american and many, many groups are working hard to ensure it is banned EVERYWHERE in the world) - as pygar says, thank god it is a "former" Master!

Renea said...

That is the very issue that I continue to grapple with. For years I had this man on such a pedestal it was hard for anyone else to make the climb. He believed firmly that slaves were property, and nothing more than objects, at least that's always what he told me.

That also in itself was a mind screw for me. He mentally dominated as well as physically.

Wow, that was a bit of aha moment for me.

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cutesy pah said...

I don't think it's truly to possible to compare a tattoo to mental or emotional training. A tattoo can be removed, albeit a painful removal, but said removal doesn't involve nightmares, or such scarring that one is traumatically affected.

I think the female circumcision is an excellent visual/physical example to demonstrate and punctuate the incredible irreversible damage which can be done by emotional and psychological training or conditioning. Most people simply don't understand what they are doing, much less have the training themselves to understand, undertake, and accept the level of responsibility needed for such conditioning.

I, like others, abhor the idea of training or conditioning, other than preparing someone for a type of sex they might enjoy, i.e., fisting or anal sex, or perhaps help someone build up their tolerance to spanking with an instrument or tool rather than one's hand.

Otherwise, training and conditioning should be taught only by those who are truly educated or certified in mental health, or psychological counseling or even hypnosis. We simply don't understand the mind and the psyche, as much as we humans like to believe othrwise.

Remember the term, "a mind is a terrible thing to waste"? I also believe a mind and self-esteem or self-worth is a terrible thing to destroy.

Imnsho, D/s, DD, and BDSM is about informed consent, and about bringing people together to enjoy each other. I don't believe it is about seeing how far you can tear another person down, and then rebuild them. BDSM is not supposed to be about creating the perfect submissive, or the Bionic Woman, or the Six Million Dollar Man, "We have the technology. We can rebuild him, make him faster, stronger, better."

We are all wonderfully, perfect creatures, designed to be the best "us" we can be. Why can't we all just enjoy that? Why do we have to be changed?

Don't fix me, I'm not broken - Evanescence

my .02 worth. Take what you like and leave the rest. YMMV

Renea said...

I so completely agree with everything cutsey pah has written. Very well said!

Pygar said...

Thank you Selkie, Renea and cutesy pah.

Perhaps cutesy pah is right that if we truly care for someone then why would we want to train them to be somebody else? But then why is such emphasis put on "training" in D/s contexts. Is it just learning certain behaviours as Charli says - or is there more to it than that?

xPx

Renea said...

Interesting. I don't think it should really be about changing the person just because you can. I think it should be more about accentuating the person that lives inside.

If someone has a slight masochistic side, part of the "training" might include that. My past Master viewed women as simply something to possess. He took from me everything that was really me and left me with nothing but himself.

I think the idea of calling it "training" "conditioning" or whatever, is to set the stage for the relationship. Being part of a total power exchange is different however. I think more care needs to be taken then.

However when the relationship ends, there really needs to be some true closure and the bigger question is how does the slave, sub, bottom whatever you call him or her, adjust to suddenly life alone? I think many people feel their relationship will never end, so they ignore it. Maybe it's easier if the slave leaves the relationship behind than the other way around. That said, I think there needs to be an uncollaring. Where it is clearly understood that they are free of the rules, rituals and everything.

I think getting over a D/s, M/s type of relationship is harder than the vanilla ones because they burn so much hotter.

Pygar said...

Thanks Renea. You make some very interesting points.

I will try to come back to them when I have had time to give them more thought. Though I will be away now for a week ... but have scheduled posts to appear here and on Uncle Agony on Tuesday.

xPx

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog, it is very intresting and well writen, I will spend more time here in the future!

I would like to throw in my 2 cents, I am a Dom in a relationship with a long time sub.

I used to have two subs, and I learned a valuable lesson with regards to "educating" (as I prefure that word) When you take power away from a sub completely it doe snothing but make the relationship boring and predictable, when you train a sub to only take pleasure on command or with you alone you strip them of something that makes them exciting, especailly if your relationship involves other people, why would I want to watch my sub take no pleasure at all with another person, what type of power would I get from that, not healthy power.. that's for sure.

I used to treat subs as "objects" etc, and found that failed. Not only did it fail for my sub in her confidence and charisma, it failed for me becuase she failed to be charismatic and became an automation. She has since left and is now happy and I am happy for that.

It helped me learn that lesson, my second sub who stayed with me, I still require her to bow in submission to me and state a daily mantra that stats she is an object in the mantra, BUT, I make sure to never treat her as such, I see it as a "symbolic" submission of her own self to my power with out actually mentally doing it, as I treat her as a person who serves me, not an object that I use as a tool.

Education of my subs for me involves having her self dress as I like, have her hair as i like, etc, things that do not permently alter her for life (A sub may choose to take on my mark as a tattoo upon her but that is somthing that must be earned so it is not taken lightly)

The only sexual education I enforce on my subs is I train them to orgasm as quickly as possible until they become cluster orgasms, as I greatly enjoy watching them almost pass out from immense pleasure. I train them riguriously to orgasm as quickly as possible as many times as possible, but I have never had a complain about that particular training 8*laughs*

As always being Dom or sub is an evolution, I have come along way, and I enjoy reading other sub's opinions to further my evolution, as the sub is the one giving me the honour of service, it is my job to deserve that honour.

Pygar said...

Thank you Anonymous for this interesting comment and for your kind words.

As this post is quite old now I have copied your comment as a blog post so that it receives a wider readership.

- P

Anonymous said...

Well fist off to the women who complained about conditioning or training. What about females who want to demasculate men? Forced fem and all that crap. There's nothing at all barbarian about offering an individual or sub that seeks to be objectufied training or conditioning they seek. Back to the darwin theory about strong and weak. If an individual wants to be lead...lead them. Most of the time subs don't choose people in which they dont have interests that are similar. Yes it is a doms responsibility. The responses are sissfied to me. Ds isn't meant to be a cup of sugar that's not the format in which come from. Taylor it to what you like but don't water down what is an what was meant to be.

Pygar said...

Thank you Anonymous.

I agree when you say, "Most of the time subs don't choose people in which they dont have interests that are similar. Yes it is a doms responsibility."

However I don't agree that the other responses were in any sense "sissy". I think they are trying to respond to the issue recognising that subs and slaves too are human beings and Doms have huge responsibilities.