Mentors: Good or Bad?

Author: Lord Saber ©

Lord Saber's Web Site

More of Lord Saber's articles can be found on the D/s World E-zine.

This article is copyrighted to the stated author(s) and can not be reproduced, copied, reprinted, or posted without the consent of the author. It is used here with permission of the author.


Webster's defines Mentor as "a trusted counselor or guide; tutor, coach." And I imagine that definition is as good as any in defining what a good Mentor in the SM scene would be. I know that now that I've been in this scene for over nine years, I try to pass along what I've learned to others just starting out. One or two of my online Dom friends consider me their Mentor! While I'm very flattered by their praise, I don't think I'm anyone special. I just pass along what I've learned to others and to quote the old AA and Internet saying, they "take what they like and leave the rest."

I recently asked an online male Dom friend named Rick who lives in Toronto what his definition of a Mentor was. His response was, "A Mentor is simple, a person who teaches the theory and philosophy and guides a charge with words not actions. He can act as a filter and protector. What he isn't, is a lover and Master to her. She can learn form and behavior, but a Mentor should steer her away from submitting to him, but rather explore what's in her heart."

However, some Mentors will try to take advantage of the situation. Rick very much frowns on this behavior by simply stating that "Rule 1 of being a Mentor is a Mentor doesn't play with, nor have sex with his charge." Rick speaks here obviously of a Mentor in a Male Dom, female submissive dynamic, but Mentors can take several different forms obviously.

A local Male Dom friend of mine had a Fem Domme as his Mentor; several other male Doms had Doms as their Mentors. I know that when I first started out in this scene years ago, I wished I'd had a Mentor. When I attended a munch in southern California two years ago, I had a very nice chat with a Dom who belonged to a secret order of male Doms and female submissives who "Mentored" novice Doms. I was invited to join their order several months later, and while the group is dormant currently, I felt honored to join.

Another example of a Mentor is my friend FrugalDomme, whom I've mentioned in previous articles and is sort of an unofficial "Den mother" for submissive women in and around the greater San Francisco Bay Area. I'm glad that people like her care enough to want to protect and advise new female subs.

Some SM groups across the country also have informal "Mentor groups." PeerGroup, a Cincinnati-based SM group has such a program. Serena, one of the group's leaders, says their Mentoring group has been a huge success and explains how the program works:

"As we all know, it is possible to glean ideas from any scene that we watch. However, it is nice to have a Mentor who is able to teach you from first hand knowledge. PEER Group accepts applications from persons on both sides - those with the knowledge and those who desire that knowledge. Our Mentor Program Co-ordinator is happy to work with any member wanting to become part of this program.

The way the program works is that the Mentor Program Co-ordinator has applications which include what type of information the member is interested in teaching/learning, their own personal information regarding this ability (i.e. how long they have been practicing, etc.) and contact information so the other member involved can reach them. The Co-ordinator then attempts to "match up" interested parties, giving them both contact information. At this point, it is up to the interested parties to contact each other and set up a time/place to meet."

John Warren, author of the Loving Dominant and also goes by the nickname "Mentor," says that most of what a Mentor teaches can also be found in various SM instructional books. He also offers these thoughts: "It seems to me that many 'dominants' who use the term actually are saying 'I want to play with you but with no emotional tie.' This waters down the meaning of the word...of course calling many of these people dominants without quotes does the same to that word. The suggestion is to watch out for anyone using the title is often used dishonestly. Look at the person's reputation and actions before taking him or her at face value.

Since a Mentor is a teacher and provides advice and guidance, the first thing I would recommend is stop thinking in terms of a "Dom" Mentor, but look at ALL of the population. A female sub can often be a much better Mentor for another female sub than a male Dom could.

People tend not to understand how much time and effort it takes to Mentor properly. It is not a case of playing without responsibility, indeed it may not involve playing at all. It means being available, giving advice, listening and most importantly putting aside ones own interests and needs."

I think his suggestion of a female or male sub seeking out another sub to be their Mentor is an excellent one. Often, a fellow sub can offer advice based on personal experiences and tell another sub what to look out or watch for.

So, what advice can I offer if you feel you want or need a Mentor other than what my friend Rick and John Warren have already offered, or your local group doesn't offer any kind of Mentoring programs? Well, the Mentor should be someone of either gender or SM preference, be willing and able to offer advice, have a good understanding of BDSM and the scene and very importantly have a good rep in the community. And as John points out, your Mentor could be a fellow sub if you are a submissive, or a fellow Dom/me if you are a Dominant.

If you feel at any point, your Mentor is taking advantage of either you or the situation, you have the right to call them on it. As with anyone else you might potentially play with, you should set up rules (aka "negotiation," just like you do before a scene when you play with someone the first time) for this kind of relationship in advance. If these rules get broken, then you have the ability to walk away and not feel like you allowed yourself to be "taken advantage of."

Until Next Time,





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