There are many myths about dungeons. Most people’s view that the dungeon is a dark, damp and foreboding place deep below the ground where little if any light ever penetrates. The truth about dungeons is actually far different. Most early medieval castles did not have the dungeon, they simply had a very secure inner keep. This was typically the tall Square building in the middle of the castle and Incorporated the accommodation of the castle owner and the dining areas and also included the place where prisoners were kept. Keeping prisoners was in fact relatively rare in early Medieval times.
It was not uncommon from one Baron (or castle owner) to kidnap the children of the other castle owner and the children would be held hostage in the keep, and in fact allowed to roam the castle itself, But they were not allowed to leave. Overtime, the Great Keep of the castle took its French name, – it must be remembered that most of the nobility in mediaeval times spoke to a combination of English and French, and the French for Great Keep was “don-jon” and it was a great tower in the centre of the castle. Being the most secure part of the castle, it was where the nobility lived, and where the treasures, Money, and the important presents were kept.
In later mediaeval times, with rebellions and greater political unrest, the capture of political and disruptive prisoners became more commonplace. It was still the case, in the majority of castles, that the prisoners were male. To prevent their escape, They were kept in the most secure part of the castle, and by this time the term DonJon had become the dungeon.
During the late mediaeval period, castles became very ornate and considerably bigger and although the dungeon was retained within the greater keep of the castle, the dungeon was place where it was not desirable to have other rooms, And this tended to be in the lower parts of the castle which were damp, and dark and cold. And it is this period that gave us what we understand today as the dungeon.
The later mediaeval period was also characterised by a more vicious and unruly period, and the greater size of the castle resulted in greater sizes of dungeons and the separation of the dungeon into distinct areas. Being buried in the bottom of the castle, and away for the first time from scrutiny of the nobility, behaviour in the dungeon became crueler and more depraved. Torture became commonplace of political prisoners and this gave rise to the general view that the dungeon master had free reign over his dungeon.
In the later mediaeval period, Women hostages and women prisoners will also more common and it was inevitable, once a woman is being chained to a wall that she would get mistreated. Many of the torture devices which had been developed to torture male political prisoners were rapidly put to different uses in relation to the women, restricting their movement and making them vulnerable to all of the prison guards. Typically the women were stripped of most if not all of their clothes when they entered the dungeon and this was as much as for the health of the prisoner, because the bulky mediaeval skirts if not removed would rapidly lead two infestations of fleas lice etc. Once they’re out of garments were removed the women became vulnerable to sexual assault and rape. It was a catch 22 for the women, because if they reported the rape, they were unclean and ostracised. It was also important for dungeon Masters to ensure that their victims were not impregnated because the dungeon master never knew when a female hostage may be handed back and therefore dungeon Masters kept track of their female prisoners periods in order to know when they were likely to be able to be impregnated and chastity belts for use during this period. Some higher value female prisoners were sent into the dungeon with chastity belts to protect them from Rape.
There was a further severe torture, the forgotten room or Oubliette, a tiny vertical shaft that was so narrow that the prisoner could only stand in it. The prisoner could not turnaround or crouch down in it. They were forced to stand and await a release. Many died in the forgotten room. Although modern BDSM Dungeons do not have an oubliette, they do have cages in which the submissive can be placed and in which she cannot turnaround or kneel down.
The forgotten room could also be used as torture chamber where the prisoner would have weights attached to their ankles. The forgotten room was then filled with water to a level of the mouth. The weights stopped the prisoner from floating and in order to secure their breathing, They were forced to stand for long periods on tiptoe. Today in the BDSM Dungeon this is impractical and far too dangerous, But it is not uncommon for a submissive to be placed in an Oubliette cage with her feet tied to the side of the cage and an impaler inserted into her vagina (or anus) so that the only comfortable position is for her to stand on tiptoes. Typically her arms are strapped to her thighs so that she cannot use these for support. It is of course impossible to stand on your toes for any material length of time, so the submissive has a choice of painful penetration via the inpaler or standing on her toes which increasingly hurt. In the end the submissible submit to the pain of the impaler because she no longer has the strength in her toes. (it is of course important to ensure that being paler is nearly uncomfortable when she’s not standing on her toes and does not do lasting damage).
Many dungeons are run by people that are members of the BDSM community and only handful run on purely business lines. This is great because it means that regular users get discounts and, Being run on business lines, the equipment is meticulously checked and cleaned etc.
The psychology of the dungeon is also critically important. Those that are built into basements are psychologically better for the simple reason that they play to our preconceptions about dungeons being dark dank and foreboding.
Today, you can have the best layout of a dungeon, the best equipment, dark foreboding lighting, but if the dungeon master cannot create the atmosphere, then the submissive’s first experience of the dungeon will fail. From the very outset, the submissive must feel vulnerable, completely vulnerable and it is for this reason that most dungeon Masters blindfold the submissive before she enters the dungeon, And in many cases she will not see the dungeon master during the scene or experience. She will be stripped naked, she will be tied to walls, she will be subject to devices and furniture in the dungeon, she will be spanked and her nakedness explored. She will be treated like dog, as of she is worthless I needs to feel, just as she would have in medieval times, that no rescue as possible, that she is at the complete and utter mercy of the dungeon master. Because she is bound or caged most of the time, she will need his permission to pee, and she will be led pm a lead like a dog to and from the toilet.