Originally posted on Fetlife.
I’ve been writing a lot about emotional masochism lately and discussing it with quite a few people so it’s probably time that I bring up a term that I have used frequently in my previous writings on the subject: The Darkness.
In some cases I will talk about “going dark.” In others, I will speak of “dark dominants.” In the first case, it means I have entered the darkness. In the second, it is in reference to people who act within the darkness.
For me, the darkness is an abstract concept that refers to crossing the boundary line where emotional masochism goes from play to real. As I referenced from some writings earlier this week, EM play’s safety zone is remaining within the sub’s perceived truth.
If play with emotional masochism relies upon making it feel like the truth, entering the darkness involves driving the truth home until it is the sub’s reality. It tears open their vulnerability, preys upon their deepest fears, and forces them to face the ugly, agonizing truth that resides within them.
It hurts because they deserve it to hurt. They suffer because they exist to suffer. They become meat in the presence of a carnivore. When a sub enters the darkness, things feels exactly like they know it is supposed to be. They feel shame because they are truly shameful. They feel used because they are there to be used. They cease to want because what they want has no relevance or value. Within the darkness, only one thing matters: giving the dominant what they want.
If the dominant wants tears, they give them tears. If the dominant wants sobs, they give them sobs. They endure every agonizing hardship and act of cruelty because the only thing worse than suffering this way is to be a disappointment to their dominant. If that happens, they become truly useless. So they endure, even if it breaks them. Breaking them doesn’t matter because they were already broken.
It’s really difficult to describe this type of situation to people who aren’t heavily into emotional masochism and sadism. It’s hard to convince them that this can be done safely and that it is okay to go there. Many can’t understand why anyone would even want to do this and risk damage or it drifting into abuse.
If you ask anyone that lives to play within the darkness why they do it, they will probably answer with something like this: “Because it’s hot as fuck.”
I know that’s how it is for me. I also crave it deeply because the darkness is the only time that my “reality” matches the “truth” that I feel about myself.