Specific Narrative Kinks: Transgressing an official morality for a person-based one
What do I mean by this:
An official morality in this sense is a morality about order. It’s about things like obeying one’s commanding officer or other authority, doing things according to some set of rules, etc. A person-based morality is a morality about human life and wellbeing – saving and helping people. preventing death, etc. So the situation here is that there was some kind of conflict where acting according to one morality meant violating the other, and the person who had this choice chose to violate the official morality in favor of following the person-based morality. (The most common version of this I’ve seen is where the person’s commanding authority, usually due to incompetence of some sort, tells them to follow a course of action that would get people killed, the person realizes this, and chooses to disobey instead). The person is then punished for their transgression of the official morality.
The way this works out can vary pretty widely (including between being a positive and negative dynamic) depending on how the transgressor and whoever they’re accountable to feel about this kind of situation. Basically, each of them can either feel (1) that person-based morality is supreme and therefore if there’s a conflict, official morality is just not important, or (2) that official morality is still important and transgressing it deserves punishment, even though following the person-based morality was correct. Finally, the punisher could feel that (3) official morality is more important, and person-based morality is not a good enough reason to violate it.
I- If the punisher feels (3), while the transgressor feels (1), this turns into an altruism-based negative dynamic. The transgressor feels that they absolutely did the right thing. That they then have to suffer for it is an injustice, but it’s an injustice they’re willing to endure for the sake of what they did.
II- If the punisher feels (3) while the transgressor feels (2), this turns into another form of non-consentual consent. The punisher is still seen in a negative light, but the transgressor also feels that they ought to be punished for what they did, even though it was the right thing.
III- If both of them feel (2), this can be a positive dynamic with a lot of respect in it. Both of them agree that the transgressor did the right thing, both of them agree that punishment is needed. The punisher has a lot of respect for the transgressor’s strength in making the right decision and then facing the consequences. The transgressor respects the punisher for their proper leadership despite its weight.
IV- Finally, if the transgressor feels (2) while the punisher feels (1), the transgressor then carries both weights from III – not only of making a right decision they will suffer for, but also of being the driving will behind their punishment being carried out, of insisting that even though the punisher would actually have let them off, this cannot be allowed to happen, and the punishment needs to be carried out. (There’s an amazing story with such a dynamic here, which is in fact what inspired me to write this post).
(In the interest of thoroughness, to mention the other two combinations: If both of them feel (1), then there isn’t going to be any punishment or conflict, so that wouldn’t hit this kink for me. If the transgressor feels (1) while the authority feels (2), this also wouldn’t hit this kink for me, and is also a kind of interpersonal conflict that I don’t really enjoy at all).
Fantasy and reality:
I wanted to note here that even though III and IV both work out as positive dynamics, I think that having these kinds of situations in real life is a very bad idea. In real life, prioritizing person-based over official morality is both a very important thing, and something that all too often and too easily doesn’t happen. Putting any kind of penalty on it, adding any kind of deterrent to it, is therefore something that should be avoided as much as at all possible.
However, in fantasy, where I get to play with characters who absolutely will do the right thing and won’t be deterred from it, and therefore I get to watch all the feelings and power twists that these situations create, I like them quite a lot. And since this is fantasy, and no one is actually going to get hurt, this is perfectly OK.
Both I and II would totally be situations I’d be interested in doing roleplays of. They have a lot of very great material, but are similar enough to roleplay settings I’ve already done that I feel a lot of comfort with the idea. III and IV are more complicated. As I’ve mentioned before, the last (and only) time I tried doing a CP scene with a positive power dynamic setup, it didn’t go well, specifically feelings-wise, so I have some wariness about trying it again. Also, I think these situations, especially IV, might not work very well for whoever was on the other side of the roleplay with me. I think if I knew someone who was interested, I’d be interested in trying it with them, seeing if we can find ways to make it work. Otherwise, I think my feelings say this isn’t something I would be likely to pursue, at least with the feelings I have right now.