Since officially becoming a sexual therapist 3 years ago, I have had more and more submissive clients coming to talk to me about their kink related issues and traumas. In these conversations a common thread among the different stories is appearing to me – many subs are struggling to exercise their right to say no and are having troubling experiences as a result, some even walking away from their sessions with the feeling that they have been violated in some way.
It’s an incredibly difficult scenario to process, a common complaint from subs in these situations is that they feel they have no way to overcome the trauma and move on from the negative experience because the Dommes in question are not being held accountable, but even disregarding the fact that in this unregulated industry it’s actually very difficult to hold anyone accountable anyway (at least for a “bad experience” if not a physical injury) – how do you hold someone accountable for something they never even knew was an issue in the first place?
It might seem crazy to some that there are people who struggle to refuse or reject things they don’t want, but if you look at things from the perspective of a submissive it’s actually not that difficult to understand. Most subs report that they fear saying no to their Domme, or using safe words for 3 main reasons:
1.They don’t want to disappoint their Domme.
2.They fear that the Domme they love will refuse to see them again.
3.They fear that in saying no to one thing, they could be punished with something much worse.
When you consider the very strict, no nonsense attitude that a lot of Dommes convey, these reasons start to make sense, but the reality is, strict or not – most humans actually struggle to say no to a person they view as an “authority” figure and studies have been done to prove this.
The human tendency to comply.
Some of the first experiments on human compliance were conducted by Stanley Milgram of Yale University in 1961. His study aimed to answer the question - how did Nazi authorities manage to get so many Germans to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience?