There's a fine line between hurt and damage. Be it mental, emotional, or physical. A bit of hurt is alright, it reminds us that we are alive. Damage takes you to places that are scarring and difficult to recover from.
Recently, one of my favorite blogs (whatiwonder over there >>> ), did a post about humiliation. Which got me to thinking about the subject a bit more in depth. The teasing and mocking are pretty much a part of daily life at this point (have I mentioned how much I absolutely hate being mocked? It really brings out my most disagreeable and predatory tendencies). Anyways, Alpha seems to view some of my insecurities as free game--my jealous tendencies, certain tones I use, my need to fit things into little boxes, etc. Other insecurities He, generally leaves alone, like how I view my body or family issues. But that isn't the stuff that comes to mind when I think about humiliation. It's one of those tricky arena's where there's a fine line between pushing the limits and all out damaging the person being humiliated. It strips away pride leaving you pliant and vulnerable. Exposed in more ways than the physical. It fucks with your head and takes you places you would normally never dare to tread. I think it's one of those areas of exploration where it's really easy to actually cause mental damage if it's done carelessly.
Since damage is on my mind today (see how gracefully I transition ages--totally stable and upbeat as my birthday approaches), physical harm is the most obvious and easily avoided. I'll pick being choked as my example because it's one of my all-time favorite experiences.
Personally, I think hands are the best way to go. For one, I just enjoy the sensation of His hand wrapped around my throat, for two, I think it's easier for Him to gauge when to let go. Obviously, it's not good for your brain to be deprived of blood and/or oxygen and that's a big part of the high that comes with being choked--your brain is not getting the things it needs to continue functioning. That's why actually being choked out on a regular basis is quite unhealthy, you're killing off brain cells. Of course, that's a huge part of the appeal too--someone literally has your life in their hands. It's an easy way to do serious physical damage if you aren't careful.
There's many paths to damage whether you live vanilla or...not.
Sometimes I wonder, what are the drawbacks to being Dominant? Because I can think of some downsides to being submissive like fucking when you want to sleep, doing things you genuinely don't want to, not getting the final say, etc. If I, as a submissive, had to say what I think is the most difficult thing about being Dominant, I would choose avoiding truly damaging one's sub. Because there's a fine line between playing on the edge and pushing your toys over the edge of no return.
Now, if you will excuse me, I'm going to go try not to damage my children while they attempt to avoid the responsibility of cleaning their room.