Communication and Surviving Everyday Life

Author: Bob Harris ©

used with permission. This article was originally written for the section of Gloria Brame's website called "Perspectives Of A Male Submissive".


In an article i recently published, i stressed the need for open, complete and honest communication between the Master and the slave. i believe this to be a very important component in any Master/slave relationship. It is the most important component when it comes to separating out the fantasy of our lifestyle from the reality in order to cope with everyday life.

Both the general SM lifestyle and particularly the Master/slave aspect, has over the years, become increasingly entwined in fantasy. What began as a way to protect the secrecy of the early communities, has become one of the main means by which our lifestyle is promoted. It has generally been through exposure to the fantasy, be it magazine stories, porn films or novels such as Mr. Benson or The Story of O, that most of us discovered our desire and need for--as well as the joy and satisfaction received from--participation in SM activities.
As one's involvement in the lifestyle increases, so does the desire to learn more about the many and varied aspects of SM play arenas. We also want to explore the many and varied nuances derived from the pleasure/pain phenomenon inherent in SM. Most of us begin to study the various books available on the history, psychology, politics and personal experiences associated with either SM in general or Master/slave relationships in particular.

But newer books, even though providing a more realistic look at life as a participant in an SM-based relationship, still cannot fully prepare us for life in a committed 24/7, SM relationship--be it Master/slave, D/s, whatever else you chose to name it.

We are presented with theories and ideals of what a SM relationship should be. We are given definitions of and the psychological aspects of "headspace". We are shown examples of contracts, instructions on how to negotiate and write them and even guidelines on how to enforce them. Unfortunately, we are given little, if anything, on how to apply those theories and ideals, how to recognize and achieve headspace, or how to make those contracts and enforcement guidelines fit our everyday lives.

With the resurgence of interest in committed SM and Master/slave relationships, especially in the het community, and because of the limitations of the available printed material, many people are entering committed SM relationships without the needed tools and information required to make the relationship a success. Add to that an inadequate number of Community members who are knowledgeable enough themselves or concerned enough to help mentor and teach newer members. Without mentors to help us find the extreme joy and beauty that cannot be found in any other type of relationship between two people, it becomes easy to understand why so many SM relationships, especially Master/slave relationships, fail.

For a successful SM relationship, and particularly a Master/slave type, it is generally agreed that it takes a Dominant/Master (Mistress) who is caring, and sensitive to the needs and desires of the submissive. The dominant must be understanding and appreciative of the precious gift of submission which is being given and must also be willing to accept complete and absolute responsibility for the submissive's welfare, both spiritually and physically.

The Ingredients of a Successful Master/slave Relationship.
It takes a submissive/slave who is driven by on innate desire to serve. One who has the internal ability to accept as the reward the extreme pleasure and feeling of accomplishment that comes from willingly providing the best service one is capable of giving.

It takes a Dominant who realizes that it is his or her word that matters. One who knows he or she has the final choice in any decision, but who will actively seek out and seriously consider the submissive's thoughts, concerns and opinions before that final choice is made. One who makes sure that the decision is not benefiting one partner at the expense of the other.

Likewise the submissive/slave must fully trust the dominant's decision-making ability, comfortable in the knowledge that any decision made will be made with the best intentions for both in mind.
Such qualities are not always trainable. They are not always noticeably inherent, either. To develop them takes time, energy, determination and--most of all--it takes desire. It requires the Master and slave to work together to allow each the opportunity to understand, develop and practice these skills on a day to day basis and apply them to every day to day situation that occurs.

It takes trust, commitment, determination and love. But more than anything else, it takes completely open, honest and continual communication. When the lines of communication go down, so too does the relationship.






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