Profiles in Sadism: The Surgeon and the Double Bind

    A reader who writes a blog I follow, Advochasty, recently wrote a post containing the following exchange he had with his Mistress

  “So you’re coming down alone, but you can’t get here until Saturday, do I have that right?”, she inquired sharply.

“Yes, that’s correct”, I answered on her crisp examination query.

“Well, we aren’t sure we’re going to use you, but would you like to be in the running?”

Priceless! You just can’t teach that, it’s hardwired.

    Now, the first time I read this–the first three or four times, actually–I didn’t get it, and I said as much in the comments section.  Humiliation doesn’t do much for me, though some subs, especially male subs, find it thrilling.

      But I read Advo’s reply and thought about it for a few days, and eventually, I groked it.  

     I bring all this up because I found an exchange of text messages in my old phone with I was cleaning it out (I got an iPhone!  The camera function is awesome, but I’m scared to use the rest of it.  I really don’t like machines.).  


       The exchange, is with my old boyfriend, the Surgeon.  Let me provide some context for you, gentle reader.  


        If you’ve read this blog long enough, you probably have a pretty good grasp of what this guy’s personality is like.  And please keep in mind that I never even wrote about the BAD shit he did on this blog.  I’m not saying that to make him look worse–1) I probably couldn’t (ha, ha) and 2) the man was my main squeeze for years, and I did care about him a lot. And my, wasn’t I attracted to him!  We had a very intense sexual connection.  It was so intense, frankly, that I’d be relieved if I never experienced something like it again.  It made me a vulnerable moron.  


         So anyway, the man in question: a relentlessly competitive land shark and a control freak of the highest order.  Not an emotionally complex human being, he has two modes: charming and hostile.  I personally believed him to be at his best when he was both simultaneously, but I am masochistic like that.  


          The doctor could be shockingly cruel and manipulative.  If you want to be frank, he could be transparently abusive, which is the main reason I had to leave him.  I had to teach him bondage and how to use some of the implements on me, but the sadism was there all along.  I ferreted it out, held it up to the light.  He was a very controlled, repressed individual, and I exposed him.  Or liberated him. Yeah, it was a pretty interesting dance we were engaged in, especially the first year. 


        The double bind was one of the Surgeon’s favorite methods of torture.  For those of you who don’t know, here’s the wiki.  Basically, it’s where you’re set up in a dilemma, and you’re fucked no matter what action you take.  


          The Surgeon liked this because a way for him to affirm his power would be to force me to do something I really, really didn’t want to do.  This is how you know that someone else is obeying your will (read 1984). In order to feel your power, you have to use it from time to time.  It’s not enough, for a sadist, to just know that it is there.   


          Forcing someone to hurt themselves is also psychological terrorism.  It really, really breaks you down. As in, “Now I need three years of therapy.” Ask any pimp or cult leader. 


        So, let’s take a look at this text message exchange.  The scene: I’d been very busy.  The Surgeon had been trying to get ahold of me to plan a date, but I couldn’t take his calls all day and we were playing phone tag.  He wanted to see me tomorrow, but I had a job interview tomorrow afternoon.


       SURGEON: Voicemail AGAIN? Are you kidding?  Answer me!


       ME: Why you upset?  Please don’t!  I just got your message.  You know this phone doesn’t work in the library!  Sorry! Tomorrow I have a job interview from 4-5 pm.  Maybe we could meet on Friday instead?  I miss you! 


       SURGEON: change it!


       ME: I can’t change it!  It’s a job interview!
  
       SURGEON: ……..


       ME: You are being unreasonable and cruel.  Perhaps this is what accounts for your strange allure.  (note to readers: I was being sarcastic. And he knew it.) 


        SURGEON: I know.  Arrange it.  See you at 4.  
       
      Now I’m totally fucked.  There is no right answer.  I only get to pick whom I am going to displease.  When you take the skin off this thing, my choices are: screw the Surgeon, or screw myself.  A few times I elected to screw the Surgeon, furious as I was as having been put in that position, and boy oh boy, did he ever make me pay for it.  


      I hope he doesn’t pull this shit with his kids, but I think he does. That’s how he operates.  


3 thoughts on “Profiles in Sadism: The Surgeon and the Double Bind”

  1. Thanks for the very honorable mention.

    I think the problem I find with the double bind (hmmm is that a rhyme) is that there’s just no way to feel good. Like you say you are “totally fucked”.

    Humiliation for me is about trancendence and affirmation. It’s intimate and practiced with “dignity” it’s life affirming.

    However, real humiliation is just plain not fun.

  2. Whoops, just saw this!

    The pleasure’s all mine, Advo. I like your blog a lot.

    Nope, no way to feel good. The Surgeon could be a very cruel individual. The cruelty could be a mind-fuck, though, because it wasn’t always transparent. Not always. Insidious.

    I don’t mean to disparage him. I learned a lot in the relationship and we had many good times together. And there were a few times when I needed him and he really went to bat for me. He saved my bacon on more than one occasion. He could be a good man to have on your side.

  3. P.S. When I say that I “don’t mean to disparage him,” I am not saying that he does not necessarily deserve criticism, only that I have tried to avoid complaining about him on this blog.

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