Specific Narrative Kinks: Uniforms

What do I mean by this:

Another one of the pretty self-explanatory ones. Also one of the narrative kinks I have that is an ‘established’ kink where a lot of people recognize it and everything. The actual interesting part for me, and hence the reason for this post, is that I recently figured out I have very specific tastes in uniforms.

How do I like it:

As far as I can see from having run into things about uniform kinks, a lot of people have a thing for ‘shiny’ uniforms – dress uniforms, the medals and polish and fancy hats.

Mine doesn’t work like that.

For the principal, I like utilitarian uniforms. I have guards, soldiers, police, etc. in a lot of my stories, and I want them to be wearing the kind of uniforms that they could effectively fight in (and, more to the point, can effectively beat someone up in). (In a relevant vein, incidentally, I actually don’t like business suits very much).

For the constrict, I have two preferences for two situations.

For the constricts who are going to get beaten up, who are going to get dragged and thrown and curl up on the floor and sob,  (for a more ’emotional’ dynamic) I like rough tunics, usually in light colors. Probably torn in places, fraying at the hems, somewhat dirty, etc. Shorts under tunics work if I’m in a more ‘modern’ world and want less of a sense of not being totally dressed. This style, to me, also carries the mental effect of focusing on the constrict currently ‘in action’, with the others, if they exist, only as vague background.

For the constricts who are in situations more about the constant presence of a power dynamic and interactions within it, and less about pain (for a more ‘stern’ dynamic), I like longer tunic-style jumper dresses on top of long-sleeved shirts, and maybe leggings under. Maybe a head-covering, maybe an apron. This style also carries the mental effect of giving more focus to the ‘background’ constricts as well.

There’s also a bit of an ‘axis’ here – a constrict in a raggedy tunic and leggings, or with something extra on top of the tunic (I’d prefer something loose, with sleeves, and that closes at the front, especially if it doesn’t have any fastenings in front and the constrict has to close it around themselves) is, to me, good to get beaten up, but also carries some of the feeling of the second type (with the leggings giving more of this feeling than the extra top).

Incidentally, the above constrict uniform styles are for girls only. By default, I don’t tend to imagine the clothes for the boys. If I think about it, I generally see long sleeved shirts and pants, but while this is consistent, and other things feel slightly off, it doesn’t really carry any ‘charge’. (The uniform style for the principal, on the other hand, applies to everyone).

Actionable counterpart:

Yes, yes, yes. I’ve done all my scening thus far in larger T-shirts (sometimes on top of shorts and/or leggings) specifically to have the tunic-thing.

I bought myself a khaki jumper and have a bookmarks folder for school uniform jumpers I was looking at online. And if I’m ever doing a scene of the second type (I never have, since due to my very eager masochism, getting hit with things tends to be a very big part of my scenes), I’d love to wear it or something else like it.

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Some More Thoughts On Punishment

I have a punishment kink. I figured this out in an articulated manner not so long ago – from things in scening, and from things like reading scene ideas and my reaction changing from ‘hmm’ to ‘ooh!’ at bits about ‘and if they don’t do this, they get punished’ – but I’ve clearly had it for much longer.

I recently read a really interesting essay on a distinction in discipline (here). Basically it’s about guilt versus shame, which could also be termed as internal versus external – the distinction between the constrict feeling that they’ve done something wrong and wanting to be punished for it, and the principal feeling that the constrict has done something wrong and imposing the punishment.

This made me think of several things.

First, I come down very strongly on the guilt side. I really like guilt – when the author of the essay talks about “reluctant tops, and begging not to stop” there’s a part of my mind going ‘YES, please!’, and I giddily devoured the guilt-discipline stories linked in the essay.

In fact, I come down so strongly on the guilt side that I have a tendency not to notice the other side at all. To me, when the principal says things like ‘think about what you’ve done’, that’s not about them, that’s about the constrict’s guilt. And I completely didn’t think about this other side when writing my ‘Reasons for Punishment‘ post, and left it out. (I’ve now edited the post to add it).

Second, I think there are also punishment dynamics that involve neither of the things in the essay. One of them I’m also going to add to the ‘Reasons for Punishment’ post (I think in the essay the author grouped this one with shame, but I think it’s actually pretty different, though overlap is possible). Another two are the ones that are interesting to me.

As noted, I knew as soon as I saw this articulation in the essay that guilt-punishments are very much a thing for me. However, they are not my only thing. I also have a thing for punishment dynamics that are not about feelings at all.

First, there is administrative punishment, militaries, prisons. This is when the punishment is an official, formal thing to enforce the rules and the structure. There’s no trust that was violated for the principal to be upset about, and no one cares about how the constrict feels, as long as they get the message.

I very much enjoy this kind of dynamic. I like the formality and officialness of it. I like how it can be a standing threat. It can also actually be coupled with guilt – I have a story series that, I now come to think of, is based around exactly such a combination – but very often it isn’t. And I like that too.

Second, there is punishment used as torture. This is when the principal makes a ‘rule’ knowing the constrict won’t be able to keep it, so that when they hurt them more for breaking it, they get the bonus of pointing out the failure, of the constrict’s dread and doomed struggle and feelings of weakness and self-blame. And I like that too.

Creative Counting

For me, counting (while being hit with something, that is) is one of the kinks that is both an actionable kink, and a narrative kink for a somewhat more limited set of dynamics. Narratively, I like it both when the principal is counting and when the constrict is, actionably I’ve only tried the latter but suspect I would like the former too.

Basic counting is very straightforward – 1, 2, 3, etc – and is definitely something I enjoy. However, sometimes variations are fun and/or interesting too. So, here are a few that I’ve encountered:

  • Counting with an honorific. “One, ma’am, two, ma’am”, etc.
  • Saying thank you after each number.
  • Asking for the next one.
  • Counting in another language. For instance, in a story I read, someone in trouble in a Latin class had to count in Latin. Alternating languages would make for an interesting exercise in focus, also.
  • Repeating a phrase, either instead of the number, or together with it. Phrases about the punishment (“I must strive to be more respectful”), about the principal (“The Commander is always right”), and about the constrict (“I am a worthless fool”) are common. This can also be paired with an honorific.
  • Reciting people. In one story I read, the constrict had to name someone they’d hurt with their actions with every strike, making this an emotional exercise as well. In another story, the principal had a list of names, and read one before each strike.
  • Reciting poetry or something similar. This could either have to do with the punishment, the dynamic, etc, in which case it can serve a similar purpose as repeating a phrase while also requiting more focus, or not, in which case it is just a focus exercise.

Anyone know any other interesting ones?

Specific Narrative Kinks: Acting under a standing threat

What do I mean by this:

A standing threat is a threat that applies beyond the point when it is delivered. So, ‘stand up or I’ll shock you again’, or ‘give me the code or I’ll kill your brother’ is not a standing threat. ‘If you ever talk to any of the other prisoners, I’ll have you beaten’ is.

How does it appeal to me:

This is another instance where the constrict’s awareness is the important part of it for me. (In fact, this kink is similar to the non-tangible restraints kink in a lot of ways, but it has sufficient appeal specific to it that I wanted to talk about it separately). In this case, what I like is the constrict’s awareness of the threat while they are actually doing something else.

I have a character who is under standing threat to never lie to the principal, and is very actively aware of this any time they have a conversation, whatever the topic may be.

In a story I read, two characters are being allowed (by the governmentally powerful principal) to live their day to day lives as long as they don’t ‘step out of line’, so they have to be careful about this whatever they do.

Reading the second story also made me aware that I really like such a powerful standing threat, and that in such a case I really like the terror it brings. I like the idea of them constantly watching for surveillance, the fear anything that might have been an issue brings up. I like relevant harassment – an unexpected message that’s just ‘this is a reminder to not try anything’, etc.

In general, inner conflict involving the standing threat also really appeals. When there’s something the first constrict doesn’t want to tell the principal about, when the second two characters are in a situation they don’t like, but can’t fight it because that would be stepping out of line – I like that very much.

Overall, I just like the threat being there and the constrict knowing it, the weight it puts on their decisions and actions.

Actionable counterpart:

I’m not sure how well this could work actionably, since the thing that is appealing to me about it is within the mind of the constrict. But again, it would be very interesting to try.

Specific Narrative Kinks: Dozens

What do I mean by this:

I like unpleasant things being counted in dozens. Not when they’re going on (so not like 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12) but when they’re being talked about. ‘A few dozen times’, ‘a couple dozen lashes’, that kind of thing.

Why do I like it:

The first time I saw this used in a story, I noticed myself really liking it, and thought a bit about why. I recently saw it in another story, remembered its appeal, and thought about this again.

I think it’s because saying ‘a few dozen’ is the perfect middle ground between the impact of something being very bad, and the impact of an amount.

Something being very bad appeals to me. The constrict being hit with something (whether this be a whip or an agony beam) and the description of the agony or other horribleness of this, etc.

Amount also appeals to me – the constrict having to endure something as it just keeps going.

Low numbers – say ‘5 times’ – give the first but not the second. High numbers give the second but lose the impact of the first – ‘a few hundred times’ means there just can’t be that much focus on each individual one.

Dozens are the perfect middle ground. Twelve doesn’t seem like such a high number – I can count to twelve in a few seconds – so I can still keep the impact of each instance. But ‘a few dozen’ also makes the final number high enough for the appeal of duration to come in.

Meanwhile, the ‘few’ and the ‘couple’ also bring in understatement, which is yet another thing that appeals to me.

Actionable counterpart:

I haven’t tried anything with it yet. It might be harder to incorporate, because of how it specifically has to do with talking about something in a third person way, but it would be interesting to try.

Specific Narrative Kinks: The constrict being afraid of the principal

What do I mean by this:

I think this one’s pretty self explanatory.

How does it manifest:

There are a lot of ways. If it’s a story from the constrict’s point of view, this can be explicitly stated in various ways. The principal can observe it, whether in their own thoughts or outloud. Tone of voice and body language can do a lot – the constrict’s voice can shake, or they can be shuddering, or answering questions so quickly they stumble over the words, or nodding very quickly and making hurried assurances, or hesitating perceptibly before doing or saying something the principal might find upsetting. There can be the idea that the constrict is trying very hard to obey the principle exactly and being very careful not to anger them.

Divergent subcategories:

To me, this kink divides into two very distinct types: ‘the constrict is afraid of the principal’, and ‘the constrict is afraid of the principle, but __’.

The latter involves things like ‘the constrict is afraid of the principle, but still defiant’, ‘the constrict is afraid of the principal, but trying their best to control it’, ‘the constrict is afraid of the principal, but still won’t give them the information they’re after/compromise their morals/etc’.

The former is just about fear, period. It’s more likely to include more of the tone and body language manifestations described above. The latter is much more about the constrict feeling fear because the principal is scary, but not letting it control them.

To me, this is a very significant division. The two feel different to me, and I like them in very different ways. In one rather major distinction, the ‘fear, period’ dynamic is not one in which I like focus on the principal actually physically hurting the constrict. It’s more about scenarios like giving orders, walking down a hallway while everyone cowers, etc. If the principal does hurt the constrict, then it should be for some outside reason like being so angry they hit the first person they see, or doing it for the benefit of some other party.

Also, I very often enjoy this dynamic ‘in the background’ of a scenario – perhaps the principal is showing a newly-captured constrict around their domain, and meanwhile we see that all the servants are terrified of them.

Meanwhile, the ‘afraid, but __’ dynamic is one that appears in some form in most of the negative power dynamic scenarios I enjoy, I definitely do like it when it involves the principal hurting the constrict, and it’s much more likely to apply to the ‘main’ constrict in a scenario.

Actionable counterpart:

I’ve roleplayed a mildly ‘afraid, but __’ dynamic, and enjoyed it. Roleplaying a more severe version appeals to me.

I’ve also roleplayed a ‘fear, period’ dynamic, but in a format where my character was the main constrict, and was being physically hurt. I enjoyed this too. This might be an example of what I talked about in “a distinction in kinks”  wherein I’m more flexible about physical elements being combined with various dynamics in scene than I am in story.

Specific Narrative Kinks: Waking up the constrict

What do I mean by this:

This is a situation where the constrict is woken up abruptly because the principal wants something with them. Dragged out of bed, guards banging on the cell door, sudden bright lights and a demand over a loudspeaker, etc. Even as mundane a situation as being in a labor camp and being woken up for work in the morning.

Important distinction:

I know some people who have a kink for things beginning to be done to the constrict while they are still asleep. I don’t have that kink. For me, this is specifically about the moment of being woken up and waking up – nothing else is happening yet, but it will, whether something the constrict expects or something they don’t know about yet.

Actionable counterpart:

I have no desire at all to actually be woken up from sleep in a scene context. However, roleplaying this kind of situation is definitely something I’d love to try.