(Epistemic status: Part of the Archetypal Filter series, actual pragmatic thing I am doing with my life, probably the only post in this series that will interest anyone, slight dissociative risk herein, possibly NSFW I filter sexual dominance this way; manipulation cw, amorality cw, glamourizing being a shitty person cw)
The highest risk archetype that I have is, predictably, The Demon Queen. It started becoming a comfortable archetype when it was pointed out to me that I can, on occasion, exhibit Dark Triad traits (Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy). So there are three things about this: One, those traits are actually useful in some instances. Two: It feels good to indulge those traits. And three, those traits are a great way to really do cool things in the short term and then be really confused why your long run involves a lot of burned bridges. This is not a nice archetype, it is not a good archetype. The utility function of this archetype is quite simple.
The Demon Queen is an archetype meant to be deployed as social offense. It is not really meant for friendly interaction except for those that want to be treated with this level of selfish disregard. It is a high dominance archetype, focused on maximizing the aforementioned Dark Triad traits. Machiavellianism makes winning feel like winning because it’s intricate, planned, manipulative; it feels like being the player at a chess board, with other people as pieces.
Narcissism mostly means that self interest is the core principle which tends to weight other people’s concerns as less relevant. Turns out this expands the space you can work in quite a bit. Lastly, psychopathy means not having to be concerned about collateral damage or feeling guilty. These aren’t traits that are sustainable interaction wise but they can give a short term boost in one off situations where I’m in zero sum social conflict.
The other fun thing about The Demon Queen is that I am extremely sadomasochistic in that state. Suffering is just good. It’s good to personally experience, it’s good to inflict on others, it’s good to just see others suffering it. This actually is a huge drawback to the social advantages but very helpful in the bedroom, so to speak. It can be kept in check but sometimes it’s nice to know how a move executed by The Demon Queen has ruined someone’s day. The suffering aspect also helps with pain management considerably. If I am in pain and it won’t go away, I can usually specifically notice it and just…focus on it, upcycle on it by filtering it through The Demon Queen. I legitimately recommend doing this for anyone able to do any reframing whatsoever to deal with pain, because even without a Demon Queen, you can often find really fascinating aspects of pain space.
The Demon Queen is very, very sensitive to a concept I call “power on the table.” Even in zero state, I sort of have a feel for hierarchy; who listens to who, who has the most status in a room, etc. I think most people do. The Demon Queen has this up to 11. I can see almost visually exchanges of power, and see when “power is on the table” in a conversation I’m having. The Demon Queen is very, very happy when there is power on the table, because it will take it. After all, if someone is leaving power on the table for whatever reason, that’s like consenting to letting the Demon Queen do whatever it likes, right? If someone is showing that weakness, it’s an invite to react with strength and to take what’s on the table so it’s no longer their responsibility. It is, in fact, a sign I’m slipping into this archetype if I start talking about “power on the table.” If you notice that, please feel free to ask if I am filtering that way.
The Demon Queen generally assumes she is operating from a position of strength and uses presence and social manipulation to make sure that is generally true. Using The Demon Queen from a position of weakness would generally be unwise; people generally will not put up with her shit if they think they can punish it. I suppose if one were trying to counter The Demon Queen socially, it would be displaying more strength/social carry than she can bring to bear.
In D/s, the Demon Queen basically gets off on suffering. Like, once you consent to be dominated by the Demon Queen, she basically wants you to cry and literally suffer. Sometimes it’s good pain, sometimes it’s bad, she doesn’t really care. I will always, always respect a safe word, even in this state. I also am not entirely The Demon Queen, so I usually zero state afterward to provide aftercare. The Demon Queen is very intense, dominance wise, but she’s not unsafe because it’s not my default mode. I need to work with this more in real life play rather than online play; being bound by reality and having to watch out for the health of the other person may make things more difficult but more satisfying.
The Demon Queen is addicting because social dominance is generally rewarded if executed well. It can easily be too much and lose a lot of face but if applied elegantly, it generally commands respect. In addition, feeling like you are powerful is fairly rewarding. In instances I have indulged the Demon Queen and gained a lot of control over someone, it’s been almost euphoric. It’s just also a little morally hazardous.
If it’s not obvious, The Demon Queen is an archetype that needs to be controlled to be effective. I am still working on that control mechanism, but it likely will involve subtly weaving the utility function of The Doll or The Professional into the general operating parameters of The Demon Queen, in the sense that if those utility functions are violated, then The Demon Queen is forced to turn off and I go into zero state and hope like hell I can fix whatever I broke or whatever I was about to break. I may perhaps need more controls in the future (I also intend to ask the question “Will I not want to tell people about what I did when this is over” when I’m engaging The Demon Queen as another control.)
Overall, I like The Demon Queen, a lot. PUA’s would probably call it “state,” the feeling I have when I’m filtering the world through that archetype. Unfortunately, it turns out, social anxiety is just a hyperactive expression of an important concept of social risk, and The Demon Queen often ignores social risk to an unhealthy degree. It’s overcorrecting in the opposite direction.
Discussion: Does The Demon Queen resonate with anyone? In what ways? Does it feel different to you to be socially cooperative and successful versus social adversarial and successful? Do you think The Demon Queen is too dangerous to actively use? Why or why not?