Key points to know when writing about feral states
How does a Dominant teach a sub not to fear their aggressive side? How do you keep control?
This is a really tricky and slippery slope and every Dominant has their own take on it; however I will say very few Dominants will venture into this realm PURPOSELY especially with an alpha male sub. It’s not only emotionally taxing it can be very dangerous as well. Most Doms will tap into this realm accidentally. Sadists may seek this realm purposely.
I’m not going to talk about the nature of a slave as I want to discuss the aggressive side. In this discussion I’ll use slave/sub interchangeably. This is not a topic I discuss in my books as it’s not something I ever want a newbie to try and do. Not to mention, there may be legal risks involved as well since you’re actually playing in the psychological realm when you go feral and in many ways the individual disconnects with their conscious self. Anyway, forgive me if I bounce around a bit, this is one of those topics that is so convoluted, I only discuss with experienced Dominants and only those that actually experience it or are Sadistic and purposely seek this realm. As always, it’s easier for me to address the issue as if you’re the one embarking on this journey. Please note I am not talking about mere aggression and someone being hardcore; I am talking about the feral side of a slave…the beast within or as a slave I know calls it, “his monster.” (Please note, I am not speaking of roleplay in which someone pretends to be a cat or an animal.) This is a state of being that is very scary to the slave/submissive as it means they’re out of control. I’m going to concentrate on alpha sub males at this point however the same can be true of alpha female submissives; and though they’re rare, they’re out there. I know one who reminds me of Zena and going up against her in aggressive mode is intimidating…in feral mode, let’s just say you want her tied to something since she’s lethal. Also not all slaves/subs will ever reach this state; and your quiet ones don’t venture here. It’s the alpha slaves which are more prone—or rather more likely to stumble here. Or a Dominant male who’s being submissive to another male or Dominant woman. However, beta subs/slaves can also achieve this state.
Anyone can crash into a feral state whether from impact play or emotional play/stressors.
Feral states can happen to anyone (slave or Dom—male or female) if the play reaches a point where the person taps into their primal identity. A great book on feral states is Extreme Space by FRR Mallory. It’s a bit hard to find, but if you do, get two copies. (Though Extreme Space focuses more on subspace than Domspace it has great tips on what to do when things go really bad in a scene.)
A Feral state is when someone has crossed over from their submissive state. Their conscious logical mind isn’t functioning and they are at their primal state. Normally feral states are reached when you’re doing heavy impact play however it can happen on command and when you’re engaging in psychological or edge play. Examples of these are: Interrogation scenes, kidnappings, edge play, breathe play and anything that’s very edgy.
During feral states, the slave may not be coherent, may become violent, may talk in a foreign language if they know any—even one they barely use—or don’t know. (The brain is funny that way.) The individual will be pumped on adrenaline and endorphins –yes, it’s like they were drunk and doing speed at the same time so their strength will seem like it suddenly multiplied by ten. Their facial expressions will change, their breathing changes, and they may even become very predatory. They may react violently or become very still and quiet like a lion waiting to pounce as soon as you turn your back on him or release him if you had him/her tied up. And you’ll know when they’ve hit feral state because the hairs at the back of your neck will stand up.
Never release someone who’s in a feral state from their restraints! You’d be putting your safety and theirs on the line. I’d only recommend release—as a last resort—if the individual was causing injury to themselves while being tied down. Ie: pulling against the restraints so much he’s cutting himself or breaking bones. Yep that can happen. They’re feral. Think of a wolf caught in a trap and gnawing his own paw off. Try to calm them down prior to release.
Never try to fight them unless you know you can subdue them! Pitting your strength against theirs is like adding gasoline to the fire. What you want to do is take control physically in such a way you tap into their submissive core. For instance, grabbing them by the throat and squeezing. Talking to them and refocusing them. Get them to look down at their toe because “it’s green”. Yes, I know that sounds silly but believe me, it works. It’s like short circuiting the brain. Sooth them. Talk softly to help calm them, to help ground them, and make them fully conscious and alert to you and themselves.
I knew one Dominant woman who’s slave got loose from his restraints during a feral state and stated he was going to kill her. She used the green toe example. She kept saying it over and over, asking him, “Why is your toe green. Look at it. It’s green.” until he finally looked and it confused him and it made him stop for a moment—the short circuit effect. She then redirected him into playing with his rope which helped him to calm down since it was a strong fetish for him. You don’t want a feral sub binding you.
Another Dominant purposely called out the beast in her slave. He was reaching subspace and she put her arm before him and told him to bite. He immediately went feral on her; biting her arm almost to the point of breaking skin. She then took control of him, making him submit once more using breath play to push him higher into subspace and then releasing his beast once more. She repeated this pattern several times until he stopped and started on command and you could see his mind struggling to keep up. This was a very emotionally intense scene. And when she finally brought a stop to it, the slave actually knelt before her and cried begging for forgiveness for hurting her when he saw the damage he’d done to her arm and thanking her for taking away his fears. (The slave had been afraid he’d injury her because of his background and figured she wouldn’t be able to control him if he became aggressive—something he often did when playing with others—men and women.) He was also known for turning the tables on Dominant women and controlling the scene. She proved she could stand toe to toe with him and still retain control. She wore long sleeves for over a week. And though he wasn’t “tamed” by any definition of the word as he’s still wild and causes trouble (laughs—he has quite a reputation here), you can see the submission in him and admiration he has for her when they’re together.
From an emotional/psychological level after the encounter the sub can feel:
*terrified (coming face to face with your primal self)
*may retreat – run away and then return (or not)
*become very emotional and cry inconsolably
*become withdrawn and introspective.
*have extreme trust in himself and especially the Dominant
*feel a sense of wholeness
From a Dominant perspective:
*aggression (drawing out the feral part of a person can be very erotic and invigorating)
*pain (yep, you can get hurt)
*fear (it’s scary tapping into the beast within—especially if you didn’t mean to—and if you’re a Sadist and you have a masochist you’ve got major synergy going on and one feeds the other so this can be very scary because the Dominant is tapping into their own beast and things can get very dangerous. And yes, some individuals have gotten seriously hurt—thus risk awareness is essential.)
*a sense of peace and wholeness. (or as I love to say, “it quiets the voices”.) The trick to surviving feral/primal drop-ins is to remain calm. If the Dominant panics, things can get really ugly. Assert control either physically or mentally. Though remember mentally the person in primal/feral states is not there so re-directing/re-focusing is imperative and essential. I would never recommend a novice Dominant (male or female) purposely tap into a sub’s feral state. That’s just stupidity! I also wouldn’t recommend someone just starting into a relationship attempt to engage that level with another. There’s no real trust established and no real control/dominance in place to ensure control of the beast. This will lead to injury and/or a sense of betrayal by the submissive.
Yes, the scene can be hot and erotic as hell; however there are dues to pay afterward both physically and emotionally for both Dom/sub. The last thing you want to happen is that the slave feels guilt or shame for injuring you or you injuring him to keep yourself safe; or having him injure himself because he was trying to break out of his restraints.
I wouldn’t recommend this type of play with someone who’s got blatant PTSD issues. You’re just asking for hospitalization at that point. Nor anyone who is not able to give conscious –intellectual—consent
As for Aftercare, this is one of those times that taking care of the Dominant may actually be the Aftercare the submissive needs especially if he’s feeling guilty. Then again, the sub may simply “crash” and the Dom is left to pick up the pieces and clean themselves off.
What I mean by “crash” is that the sub hits subspace so hard and the endorphins kick in so fast that he may actually pass out or not have motor skills for a while. Emotionally the sub may not be able to do anything but “hold onto” the Dominant while crying or withdrawing into himself.
These are just a few points that I think are the most important to know; however there are many others. For those that have reached this level of interaction and/or witnessed it, please feel free to share your opinions and experiences.
Ok, I think I hit all the highlights at this point. Feel free to ask questions, make comments, etc.