Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional or psychologist. 


Safety Precautions for Psychological Edge Play

Here are some of the basic building blocks towards creating an emotional edge play scene. These steps don’t really apply towards more advanced physical scenes like the ones I mentioned last week–waterboarding, knife play, gun play, live burial, etc.–but chances are if you’re contemplating those types of scenes you’re doing your research elsewhere (and so you should!). The following methods are better suited for the “intermediate-level” mind fucker, and I hope that you are compassionate enough to use them wisely. You can do real and lasting damage unless you use these tools to aid your sub in growth and self-discovery.

If you’re not using edge play as a tool for growth, but merely for the purposes of fantasy and sexy fun-time, it is your responsibility as the dominant to make your sub understand afterwards (and sometimes even reinforcing before) that it is fantasy; that any undermining of their confidence or humiliation tactics are done to create the erotic experience of disempowerment but do not reflect how you actually feel about them “in real life.”

Brainwashing Domination

Domination does not end when you finish a scene. The best dominants will see a sub through the entire experience, including any prolonged recovery period–that goes double for psychological domination. It can take weeks to calm someone down from an intense psychological edge play scene, so make sure you have the maturity, patience, and compassion to be able to be there for her in the aftermath. The negative risks (if you ignore these safety guidelines) are that you can significantly impair someone’s ability to function happily–sometimes permanently, depending on the depth of your relationship. The net positive is that you can accelerate someone’s growth in a few hours with lessons that might have taken years to learn otherwise.

Weapons like these have been wielded in abusive relationships since the dawn of time by both men and women, but in a consensually nonconsensual context they can become extraordinarily hot, even healthy, and yes, even loving.

Intimate BDSM


Step 1: Create Intimacy

This is the best way to elicit trust from your sub, which you can then take advantage of at a later stage. It’s best played as a long game, but you can also fast track it to create a sense of deep, personal bond in less than an hour. Drop your defenses when first engaging with the person and give the appearance of being nonthreatening, warm and seductive. Be the first to volunteer some piece of information about you that makes them believe they are the only person who knows this “secret.”

Example 1: “That girl standing at the bar makes me really uncomfortable (semi-true).” Example 2: “I’m sorry if I seem upset, I just got a call that my family dog died (lie).” When they offer you something about their own inner life, look them in the eyes and listen, and offer gentle, supportive feedback. Let them feel they are getting to know “the real you” while in reality you’re dispensing only specific, calculated details that don’t actually expose any of your vulnerability points or “real self” at all. You must make them think you are being vulnerable while not actually being vulnerable. In the process, they will open up to you and become vulnerable but not feel that they’re doing so.

cher upset


Step 2: Identify Weaknesses

Once you’ve started to establish trust, you can begin to mine her for her weaknesses. Let these weaknesses come up in conversation, and look for the nonverbal cues as well in the way she moves and carry herself. The real gold is in her turn-ons, turn-offs, phobias, points of shame, deep desires, humiliation triggers, and areas of ineptitude and uncertainty. Study her in a way that does not appear obvious, but don’t be afraid to hide your agenda within a ruse-agenda. For instance, you can ask about her weaknesses directly while engaging in a distracting activity and then quickly divert to another topic. Regardless of how you get the information, try to memorize what she has said; if you can’t memorize quickly, write it down. A sub’s weaknesses are the key to creating intense emotional experiences for her. Think of it as benevolent malevolence.

Jealousy Cucquean


Step 3: Establish Sexual Inadequacy

One of the best ways to keep a submissive in your power is to allow them to believe that you’re doing them a favor by giving them your attention. This is not something that you should necessarily say outright, as often times that comes across as bragging or insecurity and can, especially with women, be a turn-off. However, gently creating a set of circumstances that let your sub see that you are interested in other more attractive people, and that they are interested in you, will many times make the sub feel deeply inadequate.

Example: ask a friend whose number you haven’t saved to your phone to text you a series of incredibly hot photos of someone who looks like your sub but is roughly twice as attractive, then leave your phone open on the table while you go to the bathroom. When your sub questions you about it, you should insist that it is just a friend texting you photos out of the blue, and that you have no idea why she is sending you bikini shots. Delete them in front of the sub and offer a convincing amelioration. “See? Meaningless.” Believable statements like this are great, because you can deny with 100% accuracy, while the seeds of insecurity are firmly planted in your sub’s mind. Side note: I understand there is a lot of polyamory in the lifestyle scene, so this technique may be less effective for such players. 

Behavior Modification


Step 4: Gentle Behavior Modification 

Convincing your sub to augment small aspects of her behavior or appearance that she has made habitual can disrupt her mental stability in shocking ways. The bigger the ask, the less likely your sub is to adopt it, so start with small things: new underwear, makeup, cologne or perfume of your choosing, new shoes, a supervised haircut, etc. This can be a very long game, but it is effective. If you choose your asks wisely you can make a sub feel like she “belongs” to you even while you have made no request or designs on ownership. The woman’s identity will slowly start to slip away as she loses herself, article by article, habit by habit, while you appear to be only innocently making suggestions on his improvement. By stripping away the familiar, you leave her dependent on you and starting to wonder before each action she takes, “what would HE think?” Meanwhile, you make no changes to yourself, thus maintaining ownership over your own person and hers.

Gaslighting Manipulation Edgeplay


Step 5: Create Disorientation

This can be achieved in many ways, but the goal is to make the sub question her sanity, emotional reactions, and sense of reality. It’s usually more effective once you’ve gone through steps 1 and 2, but you can fast track it with forced intoxication, sleep deprivation, or starvation (all to be discussed consensually beforehand). If you know someone well, casual gaslighting is great. The better you know someone, the less they will expect it.

Gaslighting is best achieved over a stretch of weeks, and is very effective with feelings of jealousy, paranoia, and intelligence/memory. Example 1: “Did you see that girl checking me out? No? Nevermind. Wow, that was really over the top (lie).” Example 2: “I still can’t get over how you were masturbating so furiously in your sleep last night. You don’t remember? It woke me up! Jeez, you must have been really unconscious…(lie).” Example 3: “Hey Hun, are you ready for date night tonight? What? You forgot?! We talked about this over the weekend! I’m so disappointed (lie).” You can also gaslight “experimentally” (proceed with caution), wherein you test out your tactics live just to gauge how well they work, how effective you are, and how receptive your sub is, but it works best to know the exact state of disorientation you wish to achieve before you begin and then work backwards. For instance, jealousy gaslighting will look much different than intelligence gaslighting. The more you can think it through beforehand the better your scene will be when you begin.

Roleplay BDSM Edgeplay


Step 6: Involve Others

Once you imply that you have involved other people in your dynamic (even if the others don’t know they’re involved), you cross a threshold into “reality” that will trigger strong reactions in most subs whether they want to admit it or not. If you’ve laid adequate groundwork by creating intimacy, identifying weakness, establishing sexual inadequacy, gently modifying behavior, and creating disorientation, the land mines of doubt are planted and need only the light touch of someone other than the sub to explode. What’s fascinating is that this person does not need to be you: all it takes is the mere implication that friends, coworkers, or even passersby might be involved for the sub to quickly fill in the blanks in a way that is terrifying and exhilarating.

Example 1: If you’re trying to set up a cuckolding or cucquean dynamic, arrange to go to a restaurant or bar where you know one of the staff. Make sure your sub does not know you know them. Then have the staff member shamelessly flirt with you in front of your sub, possibly even beyond what is normally socially appropriate. Play it off as funny or a fluke. Example 2: Ask a vanilla friend who is kink-curious and good at keeping a straight face to proposition your sub sexually at a party. When your sub turns him down, instruct him to politely offer money for her services. When she becomes offended and storms off to find you, probe until she tells you what happened. Then feign anger that she did not take him up on his offer, and march her over to your friend to make the arrangements. Be sure to keep at least half the money for yourself. Whether or not you actually go through with the roleplay is up to you, but a lot of the juice is in that initial interaction.

Addicted BDSM


The Reason Why Submissives Like It

If your sub can come out of the experience feeling that they are ultimately safe, attended to and cherished, you can get away with terrible things. The more you mind fuck someone, the more dangerous it becomes, but I have relationships where mind fucking has happily been a significant component of our dynamic for years. Ultimately, all subs want to feel their dominant is both more powerful than they are, and taking on the responsibility of being that God (or Goddess) figure is a gift to them. Basking in the glow of someone’s omnipotence and omniscience creates feelings of safety, meaning, structure, well-being, and even love-esidual experiences from when we all were at our most helpless, as children at the feet of our parents. Psychological edge play simply creates a set of false conditions that regress your sub to a state of helplessness once more, hopefully facilitating profound self-discovery and intimacy between you both along the way.


Psychological Edge Play Done Well

Psychological edge play is some of the most fascinating BDSM out there, and it allows the dominant to be writer, director, actor and producer of some of the best theater in the world! You may never feel such a power high again. Just bear in mind that since this is where kink becomes art, your submissive is the subject, product, and audience all at once; cherish them and proceed with their best interests at heart every step of the way. If used properly, this is one of the single most effective BDSM tactics for changing someone’s life for the better.


Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional or psychologist. 

Introduction to Edge Play

“Edge play” is any kink activity that can easily lead to lasting damage or death. While the person at risk is usually thought of as a submissive, Dom/mes, tops, and bottoms are all capable of being irreparably damaged. However, throughout this article I’ll be focusing on the risks for the sub. With physical edge play, techniques can include the fun headline-fodder we’ve all seen before: knives, guns, ultra violence, branding, asphyxiation, fire play, waterboarding, or anything that can easily kill a person. Obviously death and lasting damage are things we want to avoid at all costs, but the rush of good-feeling neurochemicals that can come from some of the extreme pain and immobility in edge play can be unparalleled, for both Dom/me and sub.

There is an added component of psychological thrill in almost all edge play scenes, enough so that it has its own category. However, unlike physical edge play, “psychological edge play” provides a more challenging environment in which to work safely. Most capable Dom/mes can quickly tell with their eyes and ears if a person has been deprived of oxygen too long, or if an incision is too deep, but it’s much harder to tell when a verbal dagger has pierced someone’s core beyond repair.



Deconstruction and Reconstruction: Domination at Its Finest

If not done properly, the necessary manipulation of a person’s psyche during this kind of play can easily create wounds in the subconscious, unseen and unknown to both Dom/me and sub, which can take years to heal. While there should be a period of “come down” after any intense psychological scene and, ideally, suffering which gives way to catharsis, the final goal is to have your sub re-enter the world a better, happier person. It should be a net positive experience. It takes years of practice and an innate fascination with the human mind in order to understand and become good at psychological edge play, and a deep sense of compassion and the ability to quickly and accurately read someone in order to do it safely.

I love psych-domination, especially extreme forms of it. It’s probably one of my favorite D/s activities. My more advanced submissives and I have that in common: a hunger for the “ragged edge,” as they say in racing, which places the sub on the precipice of a psychological breakdown. If you’re not ready for it, I don’t push you into it, just as I wouldn’t shove someone into a Formula One car if they’d only driven a few times. But for those people who seek it, I will push them as far as they think they can go and usually even farther–to the places where I see that they can go–provided of course they will still come out the other side. In short, I want to break you down and build you back up, better, stronger, and in my image.

paul rudd desperate addicted


Consensual Nonconsent in Context

This may sound like an inherently nonconsensual activity. It is.

Now, now. For all the vanillas, terrified newbies, and pious scene critics: I am in no way advocating abuse, or nonconsent outside of a BDSM setting. However, psychological edge play is, by definition, consensual nonconsent. Without an element of nonconsent, the whole thing topples over into the realm of predictable; if something is predictable that means your sub knows what’s going to happen next, and his mind will set up barriers to keep him from fully experiencing the scene. He will enjoy it, sure, just as a patron at a movie theater can enjoy a good horror movie without ever actually fearing for his own safety, versus someone who decides to go into one of those absolutely terrifying haunted houses at Halloween and literally thinks he’s going to die. In the movie theater, the pain and fear are still real enough to be fun, but not so real that it turns into “reality.” Safe scenes are still just theater, or sex, or some combination of the two. Psychological edge scenes must, by definition, trick the sub into thinking there is actually something real at stake.

As a starting point, if you want to create an edge play scenario you have to bypass enough mental safety features to give the sub the impression that almost anything could happen. If the sub feels that there are aspects to your behavior or the environment that are truly out of his control, unpredictable, then you have a shot at manipulating his mind into the kind of responses you want. Otherwise, his brain will work fast enough to be either with you, or a few steps ahead of you, and he will only allow you to enter into the topmost, superficial layers of his emotional experience without having any of the true highs and lows of emotional risk. Another pitfall of being predictable in a psychological edge play scene is that your sub will be able to see through your ruses/lies/distractions, or possibly even lose respect for you for not appearing as smart as he is.

paul rudd addicted femdom boner junky


Outsmarting Your Submissive

Ultimately, in most cases, a sub that craves this kind of experience wants his Dom/me to literally outsmart him. It’s part of the very common submissive desire to surrender to someone actually superior, as opposed to the fantasy of someone superior, which is part and parcel of the “reality” required to produce the emotional highs and lows of a mind fuck. You need not be more intelligent than your sub in ALL areas, as that is neither common nor satisfying, but you should at least be smarter than him in a FEW areas–most notably, the key aspects of his mind that you’ll be manipulating.

The process, which I’ll break down in more detail next week, is to understand his mental landscape so well that you can invade areas of his psyche that he doesn’t normally inhabit, move things around, potentially cause mass chaos, and then put things back together again before exiting. Usually this requires either knowing someone for years, or having a general sense of how the human mind will react to certain archetypical mind fuck scenarios (betrayal, infidelity, abandonment, ridicule, etc.). After years of experiential study and gradually upping the emotional risk in your psych-dom scenes, you will be able to enter into these mind fuck modes gracefully and without even thinking about it. It takes a long time to master, but once you do, you will probably find that while traditional physical scenes are fun, the mind fucking aspect is addictive.



Emotional Implications of Psychological Edge Play

It’s the process of breaching a sub’s emotional barriers and spiking his adrenaline that makes a scene risky enough to be deemed psychological edge play; otherwise it’s not edge play–just “play.” A Dom/me must be willing to trigger intense psychological reactions, including the basic three negative ones: anger, sadness, and fear. Most submissives in a traditional, consensual scene would be immediately “taken out of their zone” if any of those three emotions showed up in a major way. However, edge play demands that one, if not all, of those emotions feature heavily in the scene, and occasionally other deviations: disgust, surprise, shame, terror, guilt, self-loathing and regret are all tools in the kit of a good psych-Dom/me. It is these extreme emotions that produce adrenaline and cause the psychological turmoil needed to transgress into unpredictable territory. A Dom/me needs to prepare for the likely reactions of a sub in any given psychological edge play situation, which can include having a Plan B (in case Plan A malfunctions technically), a “lite version” (in case Plan A is too extreme) and a kill switch (a set of behaviors from the sub that indicate the scene needs to end).



How to Aftercare with Psychological Domination

Once a sub is manipulated into having the emotional reaction you’re looking for, you also need to have an exit strategy to get him back down to Earth again, internalize whatever lesson you were trying to teach him, and in general help him process the experience into a positive one. This is what’s known as aftercare, but it’s about far more than cuddles and sweets. Make sure you have built in some greater meaning into the scene, even if you have to make it up when you’ve finished: your sub probably won’t know the difference if you’re fibbing, as long as you make it sound convincing.

Whether you state it outright or not, he needs to feel both that he’s ultimately safe with you moving forward, and that you engineered the entire thing for his greater good. I strongly recommend that you never say anything afterwards like, “I thought you wanted this,” or “you asked me to mind fuck you, so I did.” Such shirking of responsibility can create a spiral of guilt and shame around edge play itself (consider it meta edge play) that may negatively affect future scenes and possibly a sub’s entire relationship to D/s.

paul rudd domination mistress


Choosing Your Scene Partners Wisely

Please, subs: don’t play with anyone who you don’t feel has your best interests in mind–and I don’t just mean in that horny moment that you’re together, but your best interests in general. Although edge play is dangerous, it is far safer in the hands of someone compassionate who knows what they’re doing than even the most banal BDSM is in the hands of someone selfish. Think of edge play like a knife: if you hand a razor-sharp saber to a professional swordsman and tell him to play with you without hurting you, you will be very safe and probably walk away unscathed. If you hand a Swiss army knife to an arrogant teenager, you could easily end up in the hospital. There are lots of inexperienced Dom/mes out there who have all of the emotional maturity of an arrogant teenager. I’ve seen such fools deliver lasting psychological damage with a mere spanking.

Nothing and no one can protect you from a bad judgment call on who you choose to submit to, so make sure you take responsibility going into any scene and research who you’re playing with. This is as important for people seeking professional Dom/mes as lifestyle ones. Never question your gut reaction to someone, and if you feel uncomfortable in a scene you should always feel free to stop it and leave immediately. It becomes quite difficult when a sub’s fantasies revolve around actual abuse or emotional masochism, but it is vastly better to find a nice person who can learn to become consensually abusive in the ways that you like, than a genuinely abusive person who pretends to be nice in order to win you over. All BDSM comes with inherent risks, and the more dangerous the activity the higher the risk. It’s important to state the obvious here because I have seen many subs have bad experiences due to either underestimating the effect of a given activity or applying wishful thinking to the character or skill level of their Dom/me. Be smart. Be discerning. Don’t forget why you’re here: fun, adventure, self-discovery, and sometimes, when all the pieces are in place, even love.


Next week: Part 2! A step-by-step guide to psychological edge play including simple, fun ways to mind fuck anyone, from a total stranger to your husband or wife.