Constricts Who are Not Defiant

As noted in the defiance post, aside from different kinds of scenarios involving defiance, there are also many scenarios in which the constrict is not defiant to begin with. Alternatively, some constricts start out defiant, but become compliant, while some are defiant sometimes, and compliant other times. Either way, however, since non-defiance is an absence of something, and not a presence, it doesn’t so much determine the scenario as originate from a state of mind.

So, an exploration of some states of mind that lead to the constrict being non-defiant:

1)    The threat of the principal. The power dynamic between the principal and the constrict means that the principal holds the potential for hurting the constrict. The constrict is probably aware of this, either just due to the situation, or to something more explicit- perhaps the principal has a reputation they have heard about, or has actually threatened or hurt them or someone else (If the constrict starts out defiant, this can also be an outcome of #3 on the defiance list). The constrict wants to avoid getting hurt, and so complies with the wishes of the principal. This generally manifests in one of two emotional ways (which can be mixed together in varying ratios).

  1. Terror. The constrict is afraid of the principal, and this fear is in control of them. They might be shaking, crying, begging, etc. It’s unlikely that they’re even thinking about defiance. Some principals enjoy this manifestation- in fact, for some it is their goal in whatever they are doing. Other can find it irritating.
    • This is the dynamic that I have actually roleplayed. It is a lot of fun, involving both a threatening principal, which I enjoy, and very ‘active’ acting.
  2. Pragmatism. The constrict may still be afraid (and often is), but they are controlling this fear enough to be thinking more clearly. However, being aware of their situation, they come to the conclusion that defying/antagonizing the principal will harm them more than benefit them, so they refrain from it. Alternatively, this can be combined with limited amounts of defiance- the constrict decides that some things are important enough to them to be worth suffering for, but everything else is not, and they save their energy for the important things. This is then very compatible with #2 from defiance.
    • I generally really love this set-up, and would like to try roleplaying it. However, this would be a very different kind of scene- this situation is largely in the constrict’s head, and would need to be brought into the scene with dialogue. (For example, the principal might ask the constrict why they are not defiant). I do not at all think this is a bad thing though.

2)    Acceptance/acquiescence. In this situation, the constrict does not need to be intimidated into complying, because they already agree, for others reasons, that complying is what they ought to do. Again, this generally takes two forms.

  1. Attitude toward the event. For whatever reason, the constrict agrees that the negative things happening to them should, in fact, be happening to them. This is most common in a punishment dynamic in which the constrict agrees the punishment is deserved.
    • I would love to play this as well. This situation would also need to be expressed in dialogue, but for here, I think this could happen very naturally, and again the idea of such dialog appeals to me a lot.
  2. Attitude toward the principal. The constrict has feelings for the principal (love, loyalty, devotion, etc, often in rather twisted forms) in such a way that anything the principal wishes them to endure, they will accept enduring.
    • I think this would be interesting to try. Again, it is a ‘mostly in the contrict’s head’ situation, and would need to be treated accordingly.

A note on #2) in general: some constricts have or develop these feelings on their own. Others are mindscrewed into them. The first version appeals to me generally, while the second has absolutely appealed to me in some instances, but can also very much be the kind of unappealing where I want nothing to do with it, so thought and care would be required in any scene involving it.

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Defiance in Narrative Power Dynamics

Ways defiance scenarios can happen in a narrative power dynamic, and my thoughts on roleplaying each way (generally as the constrict, because I have other issues with the idea of playing the principal):

(Note: ‘Defiance’ in this case means any kind of purposeful behavior by the constrict that the principal doesn’t want them engaging in. This includes insulting the principal, not obeying orders, breaking rules, etc.)

  1. The constrict is defiant. The principal tries (in whatever way) to make them stop, but is unsuccessful.
    • While this kind of situation can be very enjoyable to read about, I don’t think I would want to roleplay it. It basically makes the principal helpless and powerless- all they can do is rage futilely- and this is non-conducive to the feeling that they are powerful or even self-possessed. I don’t want that in a scenario I’m playing in.
  2. The constrict is defiant. For every defiance, there is a set punishment, and the principal delivers that punishment. The constrict continues to be defiant, knowing they will be punished each time, and they are.
    • I like this dynamic a lot, and would like to try playing it. It requires a rather self-possessed constrict, and a principal with the ability to be dispassionate. I very much like the former, and the latter is what keeps the principal from becoming pathetic like the one in scenario #1.
  3. The constrict is defiant. With some combination of consequences and threats, the principal ‘convinces’ them to stop it.
    • I think this would be interesting to play, but it would need to be planned out ahead of time. Basically, if I play the constrict, I would need to decide ahead of time at which ‘point’ I will break and become compliant. The reality of this scenario would be impossible (for me, at least) to play out in a safe and consensual manner, because if I’m actually being pushed to the point of breaking, I wouldn’t start complying, I would safeword.
  4. The constrict is defiant. They are physically prevented from continuing this. (So, if they’re refusing to walk across a room, they get dragged. If they keep insulting the principal, a gag is used. Etc. Note that this is not possible for everything- if they are refusing to, say, cook dinner, this method can’t be used (#3 could, though)).
    • There would be two ways to play this one. One, like in #3, C decides ahead of time at which point to be ‘overpowered’. Two, they actually fight and are actually overpowered. Both of these actually interest me, but the second would require a lot of care and thought about safety, both physical (making sure P doesn’t hurt C more than C is alright with, and, if C is actually fighting, making sure C doesn’t hurt P either), and psychological (How OK is P with physically coercing C? Does C feel safe enough with P to allow this?).
  5. The constrict is defiant. The principal acts in a way that demonstrates to the constrict that they are worthy of respect and obedience. The constrict comes to believe this, and stops being defiant. (Note: I actually didn’t think of this one when I thought of the other ones. It was sparked by a reading I did later).
    • Honestly, this is a dynamic that I’m not particularly interested in. While I do enjoy positive-authority dynamics as well as negative-authority ones, I prefer a positive authority to have a cooperative constrict. Also, I am rather bad with characters who are dynamic (change how they are) in this way.
  6. The constrict is not defiant. This is obviously then not a defiance scenario, but it belongs here as an acknowledgement of its possibility/reality. At some point, I might do a closer examination of its subcategories too.
    • This is the only dynamic I have actually roleplayed, and I do enjoy it.