Sub Frenzy and Compulsive Behavior ⋆ Rain DeGrey

Dirty Talk Advice ColumnSub Frenzy is a state many newbie submissives enter when they first join the lifestyle. It emerges from the excitement of finally getting the chance to indulge in long fantasized experiences. Unfortunately, individuals gripped by sub frenzy find themselves engaging in risky behavior and ignoring red flags. I certainly experienced a strong case of sub frenzy when I started exploring kink.

Today’s topic comes from a reader who finds themselves trapped in a frenzy they don’t know how to get out of. What does one do to break the fever of a sub frenzy? Thankfully they have already taken the most important step; being aware that one is in the grips of a frenzy is the first step to addressing the situation. Let’s see what else we can do to help.

“Can you experience sub frenzy for a prolonged period of time? If so, what can you do to wean yourself from it?

I have never had a Dom before. I met mine at my first event, when I was new to the community. I knew even then there was some psychological trickery. Nevertheless, I felt this connection & still do a year and a half later. Does sub frenzy last this long? The problem lies in the fact that my fondness and devotion is not returned in the same way. He can be cruel in the way he treats me emotionally knowing I seek to please him. But Doms withhold care/affection for power & control right? This guarded heart approach only adds to my sub frenzy. I am starting to think this isn’t the healthiest relationship. I’ve tried to quit him before but I fail every time. What do I do?”–Frenzy Is Long Lasting

There is no specific timeline for how long a frenzy can last FILL, and you are trapped in a classic one. Even you can see that all the red flags are there and waving—the majority of your letter is one red flag after another.

This Is A Textbook Toxic D/s Dynamic

Toxic D/s TextbookMeeting your very first Dom at your very first event and getting sucked into an unhealthy dynamic is textbook. I hesitate to make the absolute statement that no good Dom worthy of the title would lockdown a brand new submissive at their very first event, but it is close enough to be a truth. There is a reason that a certain type of Dom goes to events looking for complete newbies—people that have been around the lifestyle for a while may be less receptive to what they are offering or more aware of their red flags. Creating a dynamic where a newbie does not get to experience anything other than you is a very isolating technique that rarely pans out well.

Additionally, withholding care and affection is NOT how a Dom establishes control and power. That is what manipulative people that are using the title of “Dom” as a shield for abusive behavior do. Someone who is Dominant establishes power and control by simply standing there. That’s all they have to do. No fancy flogger or manipulative psychological games or disrespectful behavior towards others makes a Dom. Care of a submissive is the bare minimum for a healthy dynamic. Any so called Dominant that is withholding care and affection should be given an extremely wide berth.

Your Sub Frenzy Has Led To An Unhealthy Relationship

You are “starting to think this isn’t a healthy relationship”? You’ve known this wasn’t a healthy relationship from day one. You admit that from the beginning you were aware of some psychological trickery but here you are a year later still unable to extract yourself from this relationship. What advice would you give a friend if she described this situation to you? You would tell her to get the hell out of a situation like this post haste, would you not? So why are you struggling to extract yourself from it? There are a number of reasons. Let’s break it down one by one.

Sub Frenzy Dopamine CravingMainly it’s attributed to the hard wired association of your brain’s dopamine reward pathways to this person. This isn’t an uncommon phenomenon, humans get a pleasurable dopamine hit from all sorts of actions and behaviors. Unfortunately for you, like a rat pressing a lever, you just keep coming back for more, even when you know it is not in your best interest. You have developed a classic habit.

His non reciprocation actually makes your conditioning and frenzy deeper by strengthening this habit. You have entered into what is known as a variable reward schedule. This is the most addictive system and one of the hardest to break. It is the same system that hooks gamblers and is behind many popular apps. He started out by giving you attention and habituating you to interactions with him. Now he has withdrawn the affection you have learned to crave. You pour your energy and focus on him hoping for a reward that may never come or happens so infrequently you never know when it will materialize.

You have become trapped in the dopamine dazzle and have convinced yourself this person is the only person who could possibly deliver it. Nothing could be further from the truth. This man is not the only source of dopamine payoff in the lifestyle. Far from it. There are significantly more healthy options out there, but you are not allowing yourself to access them because you are trapped in this cycle. So how do you break yourself of this habit?

Break Yourself Of This Harmful Habit

Break Chains of a HabitThe best way to rid yourself of a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. Every habit consists of three main parts: a cue, a routine and a reward. When you identify these three things you can begin to recognize them when they come up and guide yourself to a healthier behavior.

Look at the triggers that keep you coming back to this Dom. You have stated that you have a desire to please him. Possibly your trigger is the need to feel wanted or useful? Maybe it’s to be recognized for the value you bring? If this is the case the community is full of volunteer opportunities that would love to have your valuable contribution.

Then look at your routine around this. What do you do when you are triggered to act in this way? Do you pick up the phone to call him or go to his house? When you are mindful of the routine you can begin to change it. If you’re feeling lonely reach out to family or friends instead.

Finally there is the reward which always comes back to the pleasurable dopamine response. If it’s interaction and play you are looking for, I am certain that there are plenty of ethical Doms that would love to play with you after you properly vet them.

But the main thing you need to do is give yourself permission to leave this bad situation. The truth is, you are close to freeing yourself from the situation. You can see everything that is wrong with it and you have gone as far as to write into me for advice. The toxic tether you have with this person is starting to fray, even if that deep desire for that dopamine payoff still keeps you coming back. Give yourself permission to exit this unhealthy dynamic.

The community is large and supportive and there is no end of valuable information on healthy D/s dynamics. Explore More online. Take more classes. Read more books. Read more articles. Join more discussion groups. Attend some online munches and play parties. Expose yourself to your wider community and not just this one person. Before you know it, you are going to find someone that is a much better (and healthier!) fit for you, I promise! Best of luck FILL, I know that you can do it. Please write back to me and update me when you have.

Keep it Kinky My Friends,

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Rain DeGrey

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