March 8, 2009

The Master/slave Relationship

As I surf around the Internet, I see many people writing about M/s, D/s, and other things that are involved in the BDSM world. This is not something that I cannot fault since I do the same thing here. However, I think it fair to take the time occasionally to explain some of the terminology and what it all means.

The Master/slave relationship is one that is rather extreme for some. I would guess the majority in BDSM prefer some type of Dom/sub interaction. This can be in the form of a committed relationship where certain aspects of control are handed over or within a "scene" where one is controlled only for the duration of play.

Master/slave (M/s) takes on a different connotation. I wrote An Owned Life with the intention of explaining some of the particulars of our lifestyle. This is alternative way to live which many find to be ideal for them.

As I explained in the book, the basis of the entire relationship is based upon the exchange of power. In this situation, all power is ceded from the slave to the Master. It is absolute meaning that the slave retains no control over his/her life. The entire purpose of that person's existence is to serve his/her Master (Mistress). The prospect of choice is removed from the equation. Once entering into this type of relationship, the Master is in control. End of discussion.

Before scaring anyone new away, I will state there are a few situations where a slave might retain control. As mentioned in the book, one of those deals with a slave's children. In this situation, a slave will have responsibility as a parent. To undermine this could have negative effects on the children. This is especially true if the children are not the offspring of the Master. A slave needs to maintain the ability to parent. A situation like this is off limits to the Master in my opinion.

Another area is as it pertains to work. Many times a slave will maintain employment, often out of financial necessity. The work life is considered outside the bounds of the M/s relationship. Many will argue with me on this point but it is something that I firmly believe in. Too many Masters exert influence to the detriment of a slave's career because of envy and insecurity. If a slave is employed, with the consent of the Master, he ought to withdraw himself from that arena. A slave will have certain responsibilities that she must perform for her employment. The time dedicated to that will leave her inaccessible to her Master. It is a part of life so He just has to deal with it.

Again, there are many who dispute this point. However, I am pragmatic about things. Work is a necessity in our culture and the financial need on most couples is too great. Too often that is jeopardized because One does not know how to handle it.

This is not to say that a slave needs to be snotty towards her Master. The submission that she makes to Him is one that is her choice. Thus, her choosing this lifestyle is consensual. Therefore, it is best for her to remember her place. She chose Him as her Master and ceded the power of the relationship over to Him. It is His responsibility to steer it as He sees fit. A slave can offer up suggestions only with His permission. Yet, the decisions is solely His.

Why do people choose this way of life? There are probably as many reasons as there are people involved. For most, it seems they have something within them that makes the traditional model of relationship unsuccessful. At the core, one has the desire to submit and serve. Or, on the other side, One has the need to dominate. These are deeply held desires that are uncovered over time. That is what provides the initial pull.

From the outside, this can look like an odd way to structure a relationship. However, when you cut through all the misinformation out there, our life is similar to that of other people. The main difference is where the power within the relationship lies. In M/s, it is absolutely in the hands of the Master (Mistress). There is no division of power.

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