(Epistemic status: Part of the Archetypal Filter series, actual pragmatic thing I am doing with my life, slight dissociative risk herein, possibly NSFW I kind of filter sexual submission this way)
The Doll is an interesting archetype because it is a very natural archetype to me, formed by tendencies I’ve noticed in myself that I wish to cultivate in certain mental states. It is also a constructed archetype, because the concept of The Doll is very, very important to me and it is a concept I want to develop and mature. It is also intrinsically artificial; the concept of Craft imparts it conscious adjustment. The utility function of The Doll is to please her owner. More precisely, to be perfect for her owner. In a non D/s context, it would be the archetype that reflects the desires of others, to be perfect for their interaction style. I have not used it frequently in non-D/s contexts but hypothetically it is a good socially defensive archetype.
The Doll is a little different from the other archetypes because I have a very discrete model of virtues The Doll is supposed to uphold; I feel like this model may actually be helpful in elaborating on the other archetypes in a more concrete fashion. The virtues of The Doll are stillness, quietness, craft, perfection (or beauty), emptiness, and agentlessness. There are other important concepts, but those felt the most salient.
The concept of stillness is simple; it is peace and predictability. A doll generally shouldn’t move but that’s a bit impractical when using the concept as a lens for approaching the world when you’re not an object, so I have a concept of stillness while moving that largely boils down to not being sudden. Being deliberate, slow, and predictable. In some ways, those around the doll should feel as if the movement is initiated by them, a response they caused. Stillness is also stillness of mind, the ability to be peaceful and detached from one’s surroundings. It’s almost a stoicness lent to the doll by giving up control, accepting things as they are.
The concept of quietness is also roughly what it sounds like but there is depth to it beyond just being seen and not heard. Quietness, like stillness, reflects less absolute silence (though that’s nice too), and more the sensation of responses being provoked and controlled by your interaction partner. You are not a cause in yourself, they are. On another level, quietness is subordinating communication of the self to being the adornment of another. Whether you are explicitly an adornment of an owner or just a conversational adornment for someone to talk with to clarify their own thoughts, quietness is a lowering of self communicative priority.
The concept of perfection/beauty is being pretty. Not generically, conventionally pretty, being pretty for a specific person. This is something that is much harder to apply outside of D/s but within D/s, The Doll strives to be perfectly attractive to her owner. The Doll has no opinion on her own beauty, it is purely the aesthetic preferences of the owner that matter and The Doll feels best when it conforms to that standard as much as physically and mentally possible.
The concept of emptiness is the most useful outside of D/s. It is the idea that you are a vessel, a mirror. This goes hand in hand with quietness but to a stronger degree. As opposed to not expressing the self, this is not allowing the self. It is letting go of desires; The Doll is not without desire, The Doll is just without desire not imprinted on her by others. Social friction generally fades when you do not have a competitive stance, you just aren’t strictly moving forward your own goals; The Doll archetype makes the goals of others a reward in itself.
The concept of craft is one of the more difficult to explain aspects of The Doll. It is the idea that The Doll is the manifestation of the will of another. The Doll is a reflection of the work that has been invested in it. Right now, The Doll reflects my own ideas of what makes a good doll because it is my archetype; should I have a primary partner interested in devoting the work to crafting The Doll, it will be different and much more reflective of their tastes. Another strong component of craft is intention and artificiality. The Doll is not supposed to seem natural or real, The Doll should seem artificial. So utterly controlled that the traits could not have been developed organically. Seamlessness is attractive on some level but perfection, craft, and predictability are more important to being a Doll.
The concept of agentlessness is what ties all this together. The Doll intrinsically is an archetype of suborning will to others. The Doll is crafted by an owner, The Doll is aesthetically directed by an owner, The Doll is quiet and still, reactive, not active. The Doll is empty and detached from self desire. I feel at the extremes, The Doll centers her moral locus around her owner as opposed to any metaethical concept. Agentlessness is the core principle of The Doll.
Overall, these are pretty dangerous concepts to slip into on a regular basis, which is why regulating them to an archetype is protective of the ego and ambition. They are, however, useful concepts to be able to explore safely, at least for me. In a way, it’s creating a peaceful garden, mentally, where I can cede control while focusing on being extremely good at ceding control. It’s a processing trap so that I can let myself slip under. I think it would be helpful to practice being The Doll in less sexualized contexts, using a milder form of detachment from desire to be more helpful to others; the drawback is that The Doll is not an active role and not the kind of role that reads desires and fulfills them.
Discussion: I know several of my followers are sexually submissive; what is your concept of submission? How do you express devotion?
For those who would rather not engage the D/s aspects, do you think being a vessel is intrinsically selfish or selfless? You’re largely giving up your contributions to a conversational or activity flow but providing absolute control from another in exchange. Are there other ideas that these concepts remind you of?