Every slave applicants wonders the same thing: “How does a master train and how does he begin the process?” It seems to me that those question hit at the heart of creating any kind of human relationship and so I’d like to share with you my response to Chris when he asked.
I’ll do my best to answer your questions but I’d like to remind you that I have written eight books on BDSM and that two of them, “Becoming a slave” and “Philosophy in the Dungeon,” total more than 600 pages. So please don’t expect this answer to be anything more than cursory.
There are several principles upon which I based the creation of a master/slave relationship: open communication, holism, authenticity, trust, mutual empowerment, and mutual consent. Honestly they apply to any relationship but since there are so many false ideas about D/s relationships, I’m going to present your answer in that light. Others are free to use it as they see fit.
Creating a relationship, as I see it, is a three-process activity: communicating, experiencing, and deciding. In this essay I’ll focus on the communication part of the process.
Note, too, that I eschew the falling into method of developing relationships that are meant to last. Believe me, they have got to be built on mutual understanding, a shared vocabulary, and goals that each person can own equally with their partner. Let me take each principle in order.
All human relationships begin with “getting to know you” and the master/slave relationship is no exception. In order to safeguard the process and well as to expedite it, I believe that the both creators of the relationship as applicants. Neither is in a position of authority, superiority, or favor. Each must act and be treated as a free adult, with the right and duty to as much information as he or she needs to make a mature, rational, and healthy decision about entering the relationship.
Though what I am writing applies to all relationships, my words must be seen within the context of what kind of relationship the two people are creating. Hence a one-time scene only needs a certain amount of information but a long term relationship needs significantly more.
When we are considering a relationship of some durability then we need to consider more aspects of it. That means our discussions need to be appropriately inclusive with an eye to creating a holistic relationship. This predominantly applies to long term relationships and to lesser degrees to others. I don’t need to know your financial status to have sex with you once. I had better know it before we buy a house together.
There is no way to list the various aspects of holism as there are a multitude of specifics involved in the word. Generally speaking, though, we need to consider the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual ramifications of what it is we want to do. Ask questions that address each of those topics, even to the point of developing your own discussion list. Better to learn the answers now rather than later when you are already entwined in emotional, physical, and financial bonds.
Unfortunately many people fail to consider all the aspect of a relationship before committing themselves to it, thereby setting their relationship up for eventual failure. For that reason, I believe that commitments should come slowly and incrementally.
The purpose of communication is to discover one’s authenticity and the characteristics of what would be an authentic relationship, i.e., Am I a master? Are you a slave? Would a relationship between us be authentic? This type of questioning applies to every relationship. Am I a teacher? Are you a student? Is entering into a mentorship authentic for us? Authenticity asks not only “Who am I now?” but just as importantly “What is my potential for the future?” Perhaps the best summary of what I have written so far are found in the words “highest potential,” as that is the best reason for entering into a relationship in the first place.
If this process is successful, then we have the ability to trust one another. Trust, as I’ve said, is earned and only given when it is proven to be deserved. Human nature being what it is, I am highly skeptical of assuming that a person is trustworthy, though by nature I am also very willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. In any case trust is the foundation upon which all relationships are founded and without it not very much is going to happen.
Now we can move on to the purpose of the relationship, which is that the partners agree to support and encourage one another to attain their own and one another’s highest potential. In my own life, it has been my partners who have always empowered the writer within me, if only by allowing me the time and freedom to write. Likewise I have done my best to encourage Patrick’s cooking, his leadership role in the Hellfire Club, and the healing of his relationships with his biological family.
Finally, all the above having taken place, we can freely agree to and live the relationship we have envisioned. Mutual consent is arrived at when there is as complete understanding as possible, no coercion of any kind, and full honesty on the part of both partners.
This is, of course, an on-going, never-ending process as we discover more fully our authentic selves and the even greater potentials that life offers to us as we grow as humans and as partners.
That said, you’ll see that there are few specifics as to training, protocols, and expectations of daily activities. How can it be otherwise? The specifics we long to know can only be arrived at as part of the process, not as established facts.
The answers to future training, regimens, schedules, and day-to-day expectations can only be given after open communication has allowed us to know one another’s authentic self and what exactly is the potential that our relationship is meant to empower.
So, I hope, you’ll forgive me if my answer isn’t more specific. I don’t have a crystal ball with me at the moment. Our answers will only be revealed a step at a time and our decision-making should follow our discovery process at the same pace.
Happy New Year