BDSM Domains: Part 3 of 4

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The Domains identified are Activity, Relationship, Persona
The Three Domains

This is the third part of a series which reviews each of “domain” of BDSM.  To review, in Part One I introduced the notion that I have found there are often three thematic groupings of activity, or Domains, within most of BDSM and related alternative lifestyles.  We then examined the first and most common element of BDSM, that of the Activity DomainPart Two, we took a look at the Relationship Domain.  Now we continue with the Persona Domain.

The Persona Domain

Human beings are complex creatures, yet very similar when considering the core concept of our existence.  For the most part the needs are very much the same in terms of basic physiological priorities such as air, water, food, clothes and shelter.  Psycho-emotionally, we are also very similar in that humans crave to satisfy basic emotional needs such as acceptance, understanding, companionship/belonging, and love.  Those needs which are most primal and expressed urgently in our youth are one of the few constants in the world, even if the form may change slightly from person to person and culture to culture.

Yet, for all of our commonality, the way we express these wants and needs can be quite different.  Humans are also multi-faceted creatures, consisting of many “micro-personas” based on our interests and experiences.  It is normal for people to wear many hats or masks – embodying many roles throughout daily life.  One person can easily be daughter, sister, mother, employee, senior manager, teacher, mentor, student, and practitioner all within a given day.  However, the emotional and mental energy is very different between these aspects of self. While switching back and forth between these roles is something we as human beings are adept at doing, it’s exhausting.  To try be everything to everyone also tends to leave parts of our inner selves rather ignored or unable to engage, so there is a need to let some of our most inner and hidden parts live while the others rest.

submissive female appears in her kitten persona
submissive in her kitten persona

Examples of Persona domain may include ones role as Master (or Mistress) or slave (e.g. power exchange relationships), Bigs & littles, animal & pet play (kitten, puppy, pony, etc.), furries, etc.  It also includes objectification modes of being, such as a mannequin, dolly or sex doll, a piece of furniture (hassock, table), etc.  All of these Personal based modes are centered on exploring an aspect or facet of our being and multitude of personalities.  As one might intimate, persona based dynamics are often about some measure of intra-personal transformation.

I believe that Power Exchange is an aspect of the Persona domain, but which extends into both the Activity and Relationship domains to varying degrees. There are plenty of examples of those in daily positions of power and responsibility who are seeking to submit and obey, and/or be objectified. This can also be true of those who live largely independent lives, or have significant burdens or struggles.  There is a strong lure to the ability to give oneself up to another so that someone else can hold the reigns while they themselves mentally “check-out”.

The Persona domain of engagement provides for a psychological and emotional outlet. What’s more, it usually does so in a healthy fashion by compartmentalizing or “time boxing” our alter egos and aspects. Just important as it is to let parts of ourselves breathe, there is much value in allowing our other aspects to rest and remain behind for a time.  Therefore, persona domain activities are more often role-play oriented or transformative in nature.   Allowing a persona out and quieting others can be short duration oriented, or part of a long-term relationship dynamic or lifestyle.  Such longer-term transformation can even involve a complete change in daily identity (such as through a restructuring of self-identity) and reprioritization of life goals.

 

In the next post, BDSM Domains – Part Four,  we will examine some of the qualities of these domains and conclude the series.

 

-Sir Vice
Copyright 2018 Limits Unleashed

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