November 20, 2010

Sub versus Slave

This is one of the eternal debated within the lifestyle that has raged since one first put a collar on another. Today, I am going to spell out some ideas that should clarify this tussle once and for all.


We often talk about submission and the viewpoint of a 'submissive'. These are terms that tend to be all encompassing capturing a wide range of people in the mix. While this is acceptable for most discussions, I am going to delve a bit deeper to clarify this for everyone.

A 'sub' is simply a person who is submissive. This type of person enters into a relationship commonly referred to as D/s. Here, one gets involved with a Dom/Domme for the purpose of interacting in a relationship. These two people establish the guidelines for the relationship and take it as deeply as they decide.

The key aspect with this relationship is that the 'sub' has the choice a say as to what the parameters are. Typically, there are aspects of this relationship which are 'off limits'. The Dom/Domme has control only over the areas that are agreed upon. Because of this dynamic, 'no' is always a viable option for the bottom.

Another fundamental component is that the sub is a person of a submissive nature. Since the entire relationship is built upon the domination/submission dynamic, one person needs to fill this void. A sub is a person who commonly submits naturally. Of course, as mentioned, there are certain areas where the dominant one cannot exercise his/her control.


Slaves tend to be submissive in nature also but not always. The reason why I state this is because, in consensual slavery, those who aren't submissive typically will not be drawn to this way of life. A person of submissive nature is attracted to the idea of ceding control over to another. However, as you will see, submissiveness is not something that is important.

When one enters into a M/s relationship, he or she is agreeing to submit to that person in all areas of life. In other words, all boundaries that are established are made by the Master/Mistress. Negotiation, debate, and compromise is not part of this equation. The exchange of power is obvious while being complete. Anything that is agreed upon is only done with the consent of the dominant one. This is a remarkable difference from the parameters established in D/s.

'No' is never an option for a slave. To deny a demand is simply to rock the very foundation of the M/s agreement. When one 'submits', he or she is agreeing to give up all of oneself. This is where the concept of 'property' enters into the picture. An person is owned once he or she grants the power over to another.

So, if submissiveness isn't the most crucial factor of M/s, then what is? The simple answer is obedience. M/s is established upon the premise of unconditional obedience. One need not worry about submitting but, rather, obeying.

Repeated Submission

A sub engages in what I call 'repeated submission'. What this means is that on a daily basis, many times, a sub will have to decide whether to acquiesce to the order placed upon him or her. Each interval is confronted with the question should I or shouldn't I? This is not so for a slave. A slave does not submit repeatedly. This process occurs once. After that, submission isn't sought but, rather, obedience.

Many will consider this a fine line. However, I feel that it spells how far apart the two life paths are. Subs do what comes natural by submitting to another in those areas which he/she is comfortable. If, at any time, one feels that a Dom/Domme crossed the line into an area that is off-limits or unnatural, he or she is within reason to say 'no'. Again, a slave doesn't have this luxury. He or she selected a path (slavery) that is dedicated to obedience. The fact that is it consensual does not alter the makeup of the relationship. Slavery has not changed in 2,000 years. Throughout history, one was simply expected to obey.

Sex Slaves

What about those who profess to be 'sex slaves'? Aren't they dictating what aspects their submission applies to? I would answer this by saying they are...and that is why they are not slaves. Slavery, by its definition is complete. Those who are 'consensual sex slave' are either ones choosing to submit in the sexual arena only or role playing with their partner. Most use the term 'slave' because they receive an erotic uplifting by thinking in these terms. Nevertheless, these people are not sex slaves.

The true sex slave is one who is not engage in the practice consensually (for the most part). We see these individuals in reports on television. Sex slaves are people who are taken from their home(land) and sold into the sex slave trade against their will. Their 'service' isn't only obligated to sexual matters. Instead, their entire lives are controlled by their captors. This is a remarkable difference from what our 'sex slaves' on the BDSM sites are referring to. Again, that is something completely different.

In closing, I want you to consider the traditional model of slavery. Today, we differ in the fact that consent is required. However, once we attain that, the same rules apply bearing in mind that we still live in a society with other laws that we must follow (that caveat is aimed at all those who want to debate this point by stating 'you cant kill her even if she is your slave'...yeah no shit Sherlock-that is called murder in most countries). A slave's effectiveness is judged based upon obedience. His/her outlook is irrelevant as long as the task assigned is completed to satisfaction. The consent to living as a slave is all that is required. After that, no consent is necessary.

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