Chronicling the events of Reflection 2d/2e, and 5b made me realize the exact events and moments where a certain feeling surfaced. Each time this happened that feeling was at the root of reshaping me as a sub and what drove my subspace in their aftermath.
One of the first assignments I was given by K was to make lists of hard and soft limits. This was a fairly standard BDSM practice and designed to give a sub an idea of how far they were willing to go, and to provide a Domme with a list of things that should be treated with care or avoided altogether.
For those who are unfamiliar with the terms, hard limits are rules that are never to be broken. Doing so would constitute a major violation of trust and be reasonable grounds for termination of a D/s relationship. New subs tend to have many hard limits. Veteran subs generally still have a few. Hard limits are designed to protect the sub when they wouldn't otherwise be able to protect themselves. In the BDSM community, the difference between sub and slave is often measured by the fact that slaves are not permitted any limits, and to enter that role implies this.
Most hard limits are common sense. Others are implicit of psychological boundaries that you can't fathom being broken.
A few from my list:
-Nothing illegal (common sense)
-No children (common sense)
-No sexual contact with animals (psychological boundary)
-No sexual contact with men (psychological boundary)
Soft limits are a lot less strict. They provide an idea of what the sub psychologically may not be able to handle but they also won't land them in a psyche ward. If these are to be broken, it is meant to be with care and trust. The general process is to push these limits little by little, gradually expanding the sub's experiences and ability to cope with the next step.
If you look at a sub's level of resistance to something from least strongly to most strongly you can see where the limits fall:
-I don't want to.
-I really don't want to.
-I really don't want to and will resist it. (soft limit)
-I won't. (hard limits start here)
-I can't. (all hard limits)
When limits have been committed to paper or admitted verbally, this creates a psychological resistance point in a sub's mind. A Domme can use these as a tool. The threat of a broken limit, whether real or joking, will trigger that psychological resistance and the ensuing fear creates agitation. I believe this is what is happening in many cases when a Domme refers to keeping a sub "off balance."
If a limit gets truly pressed, the sub's resistance will build and they will inevitably feel desperate as this line is approached. This is the first line of defense. Frantic breathing, increased heart rate and blood pressure, nervous sweats, fidgeting, etc. are signs of this. This is the process where a sub has yet to accept an event's inevitability. You can think of it as an "I won't I won't I won't... okay fine..." progression battle inside of them. The psychological surrender yields acceptance of the situation but the fear and confusion remains.
The second line of defense occurs at the actual experience. While they are no longer fighting it, the sub's mind still holds onto hope and denial... that this really isn't going to happen. During their first experience of the event the limit is still intact. Their inner voice may be screaming "Make it stop make it stop make it stop make it stop," while their bodies go along with it (or are forced to go along with it). I feel the true breaking of the limit happens after the event. Once you've now done it, you know that you can. This is the new truth. It will never be undone. You survived it, so it is possible. This is the new you.
The easiest example from my Reflections is from 5b. My "nothing up the butt" hard limit had been in place since my first list. I overcame the majority of the psychological limit in order to save our relationship but it managed to resurface as soon as I felt her touch my ass. The actual pain from the experience was mostly psychological as my defense wall was torn down. I continued to weep after she stopped, knowing that I was now something different... I was now a submissive that would get pegged and I would never be the same.
Looking at 2e and 2f it's interesting since I now see that I actually had 2 limits broken that I had originally thought was one. The first limit was that I didn't want to like the feel of women's clothes. K plowed through the psychological barriers by turning it into a question of making her happy, but she took her time solidifying it, starting initially with some basic associations: dressing how she wanted me to = good, disobeying = bad and it will still lead to being dressed how she wanted it.
The second limit is that I didn't want to be a sissy. A lot of this was rooted in the negative connotations involved with the term, but they were strong deterrents. K broke the psychological resistance with fear of punishment and my required obedience. The shopping trip created more associations for both limits with her on-phone dialogues: a man shopping for women's clothes to wear should be super embarrassing and shameful.
The post-shopping trip events of 2f ended up including the events that ended up shattering both limits.
When K goaded me into saying "I'm a sissy slave," that made the words true. It became a part of my submissive self-definition. Once I said it, I was now a sissy. That limit was gone. As K had me masturbate until I ejaculated, that broke the first limit. I had just gotten off while wearing women's clothes and looking in the mirror, so I must like them (or I wouldn't have been able to get off). That was the undeniable truth that caused another limit to crumble.
Something of note that these experiences have taught me is to exercise great care in how limits are broken. The event itself is traumatic and will create a snapshot of environmental associations when the sub's psychological barriers are broken, and when the limit is finally broken in the aftermath. If there are any positive associations they are now fuel for increase fantasy and fetish development.
In my cases, feeling violated = happy Mistress and being humiliated as a sissy = orgasm + happy Mistress.