One of the kinky endeavors I have scoffed at the longest is noun replacement (SIR/pup/it, etc) or similar language restrictions. I always try to understand any fetish I am exposed to, but this one never clicked until it was kind of thrust upon me. Any time I’d encounter it I’d think “You seriously believe saying a word will magically make me submissive towards you?” and I couldn’t make myself regard it as anything but utterly trite. Part of the problem was it initially seemed to be exclusive to traditional Sir/boy dynamics - the thought of which turned me off to for years. It’s likely this bled into my view of speech-based protocol, and I simply couldn’t see past the negativity I had been subjected to as I began exploring submission. While this feeling eventually diminished as I became more immersed in the culture, it still left me with the impression that this protocol was simply to suit the Sir’s ego and not to benefit both the Sir and boy. I’m happy to admit I was unequivocally wrong.
Speech is a fairly instinctive process for most people - at least as it relates to conversation - and as such the mechanics behind sentence structure are not given much thought. We all have our own dialects and colloquialisms that are deeply ingrained in our psyche, and for the most part we seldom have to focus intently on what we want to say. Since so much of this is rooted in routine, it can be very difficult to be consciously aware of the process of converting our thoughts to words. Try to get a southerner to stop saying “y’all” instinctively or a midwesterner to switch from saying “pop” to “soda” and watch how long they struggle.
Some time ago my Sir threw out the idea of requiring that I refer to myself as ‘pup’ and ‘it’ when speaking to Him. The dynamic had been going really well and, although I had absolutely no interest in it, I agreed to these restrictions on a trial basis because pleasing Him is a priority. Being a long-distance dynamic, punishment for failures was a bit difficult to enforce so I ended up frustrated to the point where it turned into a fairly significant fight and I wanted to stop. As I tried to adapt to the new manner of speaking, I was finding it more difficult to communicate effectively since I couldn’t speak naturally and it would disrupt my thought process. It was ruining my ability to speak eloquently and was whittling away at my ability to be persuasive, so naturally it was infuriating. I was furious over something as simple as changing a few words because, deep down, I think I knew what it was doing to me. Eventually, my ego let go and I adapted to the language change - after all,what right did I have to protest such a simple expectation?
As things progressed, I noticed that the changes to how I would speak to Sir were slowly becoming more significant; the language became simpler, conjunctions and determiners started to disappear, and these restrictions became more compulsive and less labored. By the time I had realized this was happening, it had also yielded simpler thoughts since the language I was being required to use couldn’t possibly suit complicated thoughts. Things like concepts and ideas became less-suited for the discussions, and instead were replaced with compulsions and reactions. What started happening was I began slipping into a headspace I didn’t even know I could access; communication with Sir as my normal, human self was becoming less and less feasible. Eventually I was doing pushups and randomly thought “PUP. WILL. BE. BIG. PUP.” with a rompy thought sneaking out each rep. I was ready to pounce someone .. I didn’t even know I could want to pounce someone. Somehow the speech restrictions had transitioned from just placating Sir to literally changing my internal thoughts independent of His involvement. It sure as hell caught me off-guard, and I thought it was hot that He’d somehow managed to influence my thoughts without needing to lift a finger or even be present.
Most people have heard of the repeated studies that demonstrate “if you smile more often you’ll be happier.” While there are a large amount of variables that may skew the validity of this sentiment (smiling nets better treatment from others, for instance), the foundation is that mental states and thought processes can be built from the ground-up. When you have a solid behavioral foundation that impacts a large number of actions, naturally its influence will steadily branch out. We’re creatures of habit and, given how difficult it is to override our speech patterns, forcing someone to speak a specific way can actually alter their thought process the same way forcing a smile can potentially make you happier. If you remove someone’s ability to express themselves through speech, you can undermine their ability to even have those thoughts while in headspace.
It can take a good bit of familiarity with a sub and a very calculated ramp-up, but if done right it can yield a very strong dynamic. If the goal of speech restriction is dehumanization, simply having someone speak in exactly the same manner with different pronouns may not be enough. Additionally, if someone is particularly embarrassed or irked about the restrictions, they may simply try to structure their sentences to avoid using the words for which replacement is required; “How are you?” might change to “What’s going on today?” rather than “How is Sir?” for instance. Egos are sneaky, and they’re going to try and find ways around protocol if there is some internal motivation to do so.
If you plan on engaging in this sort of play as a Dom, think of it this way: every headspace is almost like a different person. A headspace drastically changes how an individual would respond to a myriad of situations; the same person subbing as a boy will behave very differently if subbing as a pup. As you work on cultivating a headspace in an individual, think about how this should be manifesting in the interaction. How someone says something is a great way to see into their head; anyone who’s ever worked retail understands the difference tone can make. Pup headspace is an easy example since, naturally, a pup should have fairly simple thoughts. If the pup’s manner of speaking isn’t direct and to the point, odds are you could work on deepening their headspace by further restricting their speech in a way that strips their human thoughts away even more so. If his speech is filled with words that give context and flavor and thoughtfulness, rob him of his ability to use such thinky words and sentences. With enough work, you can rip away the eloquent thoughts of a writer and reduce him to a dog that can only turn its mind on its immediate needs.
pup wants to play now, k?