Stages of Submissive “Sorry”
A Case Study in Understanding Male Submissive Behaviors
Submitted by Dumb Domme
June 28, 2012
After a year-long observation of a submissive male in his natural environment, I’m pleased to present my findings regarding the various stages of submissive “sorry.”
As a participant/observer in this admittedly biased pseudo-ethnography, I had the opportunity to study the submissive’s courtship rituals, mating habits, and social behaviors. In particular, my primary interest was in the male submissive’s conflict-management strategies, which he employed several times throughout the observation period.
The reader should take note that these findings are not intended to represent every submissive male or every situation. However, we might use this research to make useful generalizations about how to guide submissives through the stages of “sorry” and help both parties in the D/s relationship progress towards a satisfactory resolution.
Ultimately, it is my hope the findings of this case study will contribute much to our larger understanding of the submissive male.
The subject, a male submissive in his late 30s, was observed in a variety of communication situations in a number of virtual and material environments. Not surprisingly, when the subject’s disobedience was brought to his attention, the male submissive demonstrated a typical pattern of behaviors and actions intended to express emotion, demonstrate sincerity, and ultimately, to indicate remorse for his conduct.
Shown below are the typical stages that comprise the subject’s expression of “sorry” after demonstrating disobedient behaviors or actions. While I observed some variance in the stages and some degree of recursiveness in his passage through the phases, the findings below represent the typical progression.
Stage 1: Shock
During this initial phase of submissive “sorry,” immediately following the realization of his disobedience, the subject is observed in a state of shock as indicated by such statements as:
While not a primary objective of this study, I hypothesize the duration of the “shock” stage is directly proportional to the time it takes the submissive to figure out what action to take next. Ironically, since the subsequent phase is nearly always self-flagellation, this particular phase serves no meaningful purpose.
Stage 2: Self-Flagellation
During this secondary phrase, the submissive engages in a sort of self-punishment as demonstrated by statements such as:
It is interesting to note that self-flagellation may be counterproductive and ultimately detrimental to the submissive male, as the female dominant wants to flagellate him herself. As such, the purpose of this phase is unclear.
Stage 3: Melodramatic Apology
In the tertiary stage, the male submissive is observed making mountains out of mole hills. In cases of more serious infractions, the submissive is observed making apocalypses out of mountains. This stage is indicated by dramatic statements that inflate the seriousness of the error, and often simultaneously exaggerate the possible consequence of such action. Statements indicative of the submissive’s engagement in this phase include:
Ironically, this type of unnecessary drama only serves to make the dominant feel worse. First-hand data suggests the dominant didn’t actually feel like an ineffective, unloved, under-appreciated Domme… until the submissive mentioned it. Additionally, this stage often leads the dominant to question the submissive’s personal assessment of actual serious issues.
It is unclear whether this melodramatic phase is a reflection of the submissive’s actual mindset, whether it’s meant to guilt the dominant into letting go of the issue, or whether it’s meant to encourage the dominant to give comfort and reassurance to the submissive.
Stage 4: Unnecessary and/or Unwanted Protocol
In the penultimate stage of submissive “sorry,” the submissive is observed following unnecessary and unwanted protocol, including dropping to his knees on sight of the dominant in a public place before the commencement of a courtship ritual (such as in a restaurant parking lot before dinner), and spontaneous employment of D/s style capitalization in emails and text messages (such as capitalizing the “Y” in “You” in email messages when referring to the dominant). The penultimate phase is indicated by written messages that often represent all previous stages of sorry while simultaneously rejecting standard capitalization in favor of D/s capitalization. Such statements include:
Observation of this behavior is surprising–the submissive had never demonstrated such behavior previously, nor had the dominant ever asked the subject to practice such protocols.
The reader should note that the effect on the dominant was negligible, resulting only in sarcasm: “Nothing says respect like hitting the shift key while typing ‘y.’ No, really. Dominant bitches love the shift key. Nothing makes a Domme feel loved, appreciated, and respected like the fucking shift key.”
Stage 5: Sincere Apology and Resolution
The final stage of submissive sorry suggests the subject’s acknowledgement of his disobediant behavior, a realistic assessment of its effect on the dominant and on the relationship, and situationally-appropriate remorse. More importantly, this phase indicates the submissive’s willingness to learn from his mistake in such a way that decreases his likeliness of engaging future disobedient behavior. Additionally, the subject may offer to make it up to the dominant in some meaningful way. Engagement in this phase is indicated by such statements as:
The ultimate stage of sorry, sincere apology and resolution, is vital to the continuation of the relationship, the maintenance of the dynamic, and to the health and safety of the submissive’s genitals.
The findings above provide an overview of the submissive subject’s progression through five stages of sorry immediately following an instance of disobedience. While the results are by no means conclusive, it is the hope of this researcher that future possibilities for the study of submissive sorry can be avoided entirely.