The Stages of Chastity: DLMC October 2, 2010Posted by Dev in Musings.
Tags: chastity lifestyle, chastity outcomes, conceptual model, DLMC, Sarah Jameson, women and chastity
I am a conceptual sort of person and thus I like to develop frameworks or models to explain things. I’ve been pondering a conceptual framework for chastity. I certainly don’t have it all figured out but I thought I post a few initial ideas with the hope to get some feedback so I can refine this. Once it is done, I can make it official with a very detailed illustration and accompanying narrative, which I can then publish in a scientific journal to worldwide acclaim.
Or I can blab about it here, which is the more likely scenario.
In the Devoted Lover Model of Chastity (DLMC), I tentatively have identified three major phases and two sub-phases, as follows:
- Getting to Headspace
- The Home Stretch
- Diminishing Returns
It’s a circular cycle that repeats: the first time a man is locked up and then again, after orgasm (whether that is minutes, hours, days, or weeks) the process begins with Getting to Headspace. However, because this is a model that exists in time, it is a spiral versus a closed circle, because people (couples) grow and mature as they go through the process. Thus, each chastity cycle is different and potentially more fulfilling, as couples learn from each experience. Conceptually, however, the phases in each cycle are the same or very similar.
Getting to Headspace. This is the first phase after a device is placed on a man and locked. Sarah Jameson suggests that this phase may take 7 to 10 days although I think for those experienced with chastity, it may come more quickly because a man prefers the Chastity Nirvana (headspace) phase more than the process of getting to it and has the experience of knowing how to get there. During Getting to Headspace a man experiences a variety of feelings including excitement, amazement, a bit of wonder (this is particularly true for men who have long fantasized about chastity and suddenly are seeing it as a dream come true), and of course, horniness. Negative feelings may also surface: crankiness and frustration, in particular. These feelings have a ying-yang quality which comes from a very basic conflict that a man is struggling with during this period, that of giving up control. Chastity is a consensual power exchange (at least the way Ab and I are playing the game, and that seems to be true for most of the people I have conversed with on various forums). Even though a man may say to his keyholder, “I have given you control,” the minute the lock is clicked and the key handed over, I don’t think that control is truly and completely given until the man moves out of the Getting to Headspace phase of the process. The hallmark of this phase is the need for the man to resolve these conflicting feelings and accept that the keyholder is in control. It is the resolution of this inner conflict that allows the man to move forward to Chastity Nirvana.
Chastity Nirvana. The peaceful, Zen-like feeling of being locked up accompanied by a desire to want to be locked up. During this phase a man can’t imagine being any other way and in fact, gets anxious at the thought of not being locked up. The conflict of Getting to Headspace has been resolved and he is able to fully relax and enjoy the feelings of sexual excitement, tension, arousal, and desire that are present within his body and mind. Finding an appropriate outlet for these feelings is when a man begins to focus on the object of his desire who is, typically, his wife and keyholder. How these feelings are manifested seem to vary. The conventional wisdom suggests that men become more caring, affectionate, and attentive. This may translate into becoming more helpful around the house, offering to do more chores and so on. For a man who hasn’t been doing this previously, this might be the most remarkable change his wife will notice. In fact, for men who are trying to entice their wives into a chastity lifestyle, this seems to be the carrot that they dangle. The promise of being a better husband, particularly in ways that will be readily apparent, certainly would seem to be an appealing outcome to a woman.
(As an aside, since Ab was already doing a ton of stuff around the house, this change wasn’t particularly noticeable to me. However, he has certainly been more caring and loving during his time in chastity.)
Beyond household chores, the bigger and more important change comes in the area of sexual relations. Because the man has resolved his conflict and given up control, he is able now to focus on his wife. “Her pleasure is my pleasure” is the mantra of Chastity Nirvana. From everything I have read, this seems to be true. The challenge for the wife/keyholder is to fully believe, accept, and embrace this principle. Since women have been socialized to believe that men are sexually dominant, it takes a bit of mental work to realize that a man is offering up his orgasms—the traditional measure of “pleasure”—in exchange for her complete and total pleasure.
For the woman, this is actually her phase of Getting to Headspace. For some women, they never fully achieve headspace and thus don’t arrive at their own personal phase of Chastity Nirvana. Hopefully, having a conceptual framework to explain the process can help a woman to resolve this issue, if this is something that is bothering her (again, this is directed to any “reluctant wives” who might be reading this).
It seems that Chastity Nirvana can go on indefinitely, provided that both members of the couple keep their interest and attention focused on the experience of chastity. This is where I think it is very important that the elements of chastity being a game come into play. Making it a game keeps it fun and lighthearted. Even though there is some important emotional work going on within both members of the couple, there is no need for that to be a serious, dour experience. Also, making it a game makes it easier to keep the attention level high. No man wants to be “locked and left.” Just because his penis is not longer available for stimulation doesn’t mean the rest of his body and mind should be forgotten!
Chastity Nirvana has two sub-phases, one of which I am more sure about than the other.
The Home Stretch. It seems that most men have some sense of when they are going to be released. Even if they don’t know an exact date, it seems that keyholders like to drop hints: “around your birthday,” “Christmas,” “after the first of the year.” Some men do have an exact date and even though that may change, they still anticipate their release. As they get closer to the date, real or anticipated, they move into the Home Stretch.
The Home Stretch seems to be fraught with a tinge of anxiety as well as anticipation. Chastity Nirvana, is, at its essence, a peaceful phase, even though the man is experiencing a high level of sexual excitement throughout (another paradox of chastity: being highly aroused can be peaceful and Zen-like). In the Home Stretch, the man begins to anticipate the feeling of being released and the opportunity to orgasm that has been denied for a period of time. Knowing that “the end is near” heightens the sexual excitement and tension. At the same time, there is anxiety, knowing that if he is released, he will need to begin the entire chastity process again. I think all people tend to resist change and being in the Home Stretch is an anticipation of change and thus stressful. The pleasurable outcome of having an orgasm heightens this internal conflict. Just as Getting to Headspace is a phase of internal conflict, so is the Home Stretch.
Diminishing Returns. This is a phase I am truly not sure about, but things I have read suggest to me that it exists.
While I said that Chastity Nirvana can go on indefinitely, it seems that there is a point where the sexual energy and tension of chastity will eventually plateau and then begin to decline. While the fantasy of “permanent orgasm denial” is a powerful one, it seems that a man does need to be released and orgasm in order to keep the entire cycle of chastity alive. Many couples seem to experiment with prolonged periods of chastity in an effort to see just how far they can push the Chastity Nirvana phase and also find where they reach the plateau and decline of Diminishing Returns. Some never seem to get there which is probably why not many people discuss this. However, one woman did write me and say that she and her husband have learned that two weeks is their best “length of cycle.” She said they did go for a month, once, but after that experience she discovered that for them, it was better to keep their game short and focused. Realizing that has made it a very positive experience and they are fully committed to their chastity lifestyle.
Orgasm. The final phase. Not too much to say about this since it’s pretty obvious what it is! But a few comments are in order.
First, the pleasure reverts back to the man. “My pleasure is my pleasure,” and I think this is true, even in men who have their orgasms controlled (frequency, how, when) even when they are not locked up. Second, the power goes back to the man or at least becomes more equally shared by the couple. Last, the feelings of anticipation and tension disappear since those factors no longer exist and will not exist, again, until the man is locked up, either mentally (honor system) or physically by a device.
How much both members of the couple enjoy the feelings of the chastity process will determine how much and how deeply they play the game. For some couples, it is an integral part of their lifestyle. For others, it is a game that is played occasionally. For some men, it is a game that they play in a somewhat solo fashion if their wife is unwilling to participate or not fully on board or half-hearted in her interest.
- Newcomers to chastity may not get out of the Getting to Headspace phase their first few times. The sexual frustration and tension of that phase may be so overwhelming that it pushes all other feelings aside and the only resolution is orgasm. This explains why many people will have short lock-ups at the beginning: overnight, a few days, a week. But as the feelings of tension and frustration become more familiar, they are able to process those emotions and begin to experience the amazement and wonder more fully, and also complete the work of the consensual power exchange.
- It is possible to go right from nirvana to orgasm without any experience of home stretch or diminishing returns. Cricketed wrote about this recently in his blog when he was asked to orgasm, and did, upon request of his wife. Even though it was a request—a demand even—it was still a pleasurable experience and not a “ruined orgasm.”
- The desire to find the outer limit of Chastity Nirvana explains why many couples keep lengthening their periods of lock-up with each subsequent lock-up. To those who read blogs or forum posts, it may look like a bit of a competition: “I went 100 days!” “Well, bully for you, I went 200!” While the competitive aspect is fun, I think it is important to remember that the ultimate determination of a lock-up period is the couple’s personal experience. A couple that keeps the cycle short, ie, two weeks, is just as successful as the marathon couple who go for months. In fact, maybe they are even more successful because they do know their outer limit, while many of the marathoners do not.
- This model is built on the principle of consensual power exchange versus total power exchange. TPE is the principle that informs Master/slave relationships and defines couples where one person has given up all control to all aspects of their life and body to the other person. While this might occur for a few hours during a “scene,” many like to present it as a complete lifestyle that is lived 365/24/7. How many couples live this way is a matter of debate.
A consensual power exchange, on the other hand, is more focused. Within the context of chastity, a man gives up control of his penis and orgasms, and perhaps other things, such as not being able to play erotically with his nipples. But CPE in a chaste couple exists within the context of their chastity experience; I have not read about, for example, a man being asked to crawl around the house only on his hands and knees and be forced to eat his meals from a dog bowl. TPE couples do claim that as part of their experience, although how much is real and how much is fantasy is another matter.
I also think this helps to explain some of the issues around the word “submissive.” A TPE submissive is very different from a CPE submissive and some men may not see themselves as submissive at all—and that may be very true to their experience. Because people come at this word from differing conceptual perspectives, it creates conflict when they try to discuss whether a chaste person is submissive or not.
I would love to discuss this more in-depth so that I can inform and refine my thoughts with input from others. Please feel free to comment here on the blog. I have also started a thread at the Chastity Forum, which can be found here. Sometimes forum posts are more conducive to ongoing and in-depth discussion, so I have created the opportunity for that to occur.
Thanks for reading. I look forward to what folks have to say.