Domination and Submission Domination/Submission hierarchies are one of the ways groups of animals organize themselves. This is intrinsic to monkeys, wolves, dogs, horses. So it is odd that submission is considered spiritual! Monkeys, dogs, baboons, wolves, all practice extremely intricate rituals of domination, submission, humiliation, punishment and surrender. When you join a spiritual group, meditation group, ashram, whatever, be alert to the pecking order. Whether you like it or not, believe in it or not, at some point you will likely encounter this dynamic: someone will walk up to you, and probably using pseudospiritual language, try to dominate you.
Because domination/submission is so basic and instinctual, we all have wiring in our bodies and brains to respond to it. That’s why Dolce & Gabbana spend millions of dollars using it in advertising – it works. It creates an erotic charge around the topic of shoes, or whatever they are selling.
Surrender to the Master Whenever you have a Master, even a spiritual master, you will wind up with a whole complex of archetypes and energies having to do with Dominance and Submission and BSDM. Every master is different, and every group is unique and changes constantly. But in general, a Dominant Male or Dominant Female is the head of a spiritual group, and people who like to be dominated (submissives) will be attracted to the group. And then other dominants will come to prey upon the submissives, possibly by becoming part of an inner circle around the guru. And a whole energy ecology will arise. In their rooms at night, there will be a lot of play-acting going on.
Be aware that some people are sexually turned on by being around dominant people, or by bossing around submissives. Submissives may need to be humiliated in order to become sexually turned on and have a good orgasm. Both types can thrive in both dishing out abuse and receiving it. They love the whole thing. Some “spiritual” groups are covers for highly spirited BDSM activity, and the overt teaching about celibacy is just a ruse to get everyone really horny and pent-up, so that they can have delicious forbidden sex later. Erotic energy is awesome and regenerative. People whose pent-up sexual energy is released by spanking other people or being spanked, can do well in abusive spiritual cults. But if this is not your thing, if you are NOT into abusing other people or receiving abuse, you might be harmed because your eros is not protecting you.
Just like gay people have GAYDAR to spot other gays, BDSM people probably have BDSM radar. And if you have anything to do with spiritual groups, you might be well advised to develop some BDSM radar of your own, to spot people who are into it and stay away from them if bondage, domination, sadism, masochism are not your thing. To repeat the point, people who LOVE BSDM probably are protected by their Eros. They are conscious of what they are doing. If you are just an innocent boob who has stumbled into a group who is using “meditation” language as a cover, then you can really get damaged.
I remember standing in line to see a guru one day, and there was a guy playing the role of the doorkeeper at a nightclub - he had the invisible purple rope, to let some in and keep others out. Watching him, I realized that he was cruising the crowd. He had his back to the guru and was facing the people waiting in line, scanning. He was turned on by the power, and he could stand there and check everyone out, and maybe hook up with them later. I was amused by perceiving what a great time he was having. It was absolute play. His world was perfect. His status as gatekeeper to the guru gave him huge status, that he could turn into hot sex. At that instant, he glanced over at me, and his intuition was so good that he saw me reading him, and let there be laughter in his eyes. He wasn’t ashamed of anything. He figured that the guru knows all, and therefore knows who he is, so everything is cool. Someone like that, totally into sex, would be safe to be around, because the whole joy of things is to match kink for kink.
Surrender is ecstatic, and wonderful, and so is domination. The people who know the most about it are animal experts and the alternative sex communities, I would think. Hopefully experts and writers in these fields will explore and report in.