For a lot of people first exploring Power Dynamics, the concept of Master/slave is couched in what they read in erotica, or what they may fantasize about based on some aspect or definition of erotic slavery that they’ve constructed. It’s a very common entry point, to come into the kink world and think that Master/slavery means one thing and to find out it is vastly different.
But what is M/s? What does it look like? What model(s) should a new person or couple use? How do they know what to look for?
Although slave angie and I have shared a great deal about our M/s on a day to day basis, it’s only one view of one relationship – there are quite a few other models and styles out there. Raven Kaldera, who is a prolific author and educator on M/s dynamics, has just released a book that attempts to do a survey and explanation of what some M/s relationships look like – from the people who are within them. The book “Paradigms of Power” (Alfred Press) is a series of essays written by contributors which covers quite a few different styles and implementations of M/s – from leather to Victorian and more, from the point of view of the people who live them. I contributed (freely) to the book on how slave angie and I live our leather and our M/s together. Here’s what I wrote on how our style might “look” to an outsider (which was a lot harder to explain than I thought.)
Our relationship inside the kink/Leather world looks like what I learned from folks, what I took away from classes, examples and—most importantly—experiences that we’ve shared together. It’s based on authority, respect for each other, responsibilities to one another and the relationship, her service and duty to me, my service and duty to the relationship and our Leather.
Now what does that “look like”? Well, that’s probably something I could write a book about, but I’ll try to summarize. The authority part may not be easy to spot, but although angie can (and does) operate on her own, she does it within a set of protocols and expectations that I’ve communicated to her. So you’ll see her go about her business in a way that may seem pretty average, when she is actually working within a set of my guidelines. There are times when she will come to me to ask about specifics, but this is done quietly and smoothly, without drawing attention to them.
The respect part—I hope—simply shows in how we interact with each other. We laugh and play a lot and we don’t take ourselves seriously (too much), but we also don’t hide that she belongs to me. I don’t treat her badly and I’m not shy about valuing her—whether it’s her input to a conversation or her activities with me or our community. The service and duty from her to me, and from me to the relationship, hopefully shows in what we do—as she takes care of me, so I take care of the relationship. Our Leather… well, that’s how we play and fuck, that’s our circle of friends, and that’s our service back to the community.
Flipping through some of the other essays, this looks like this is a good book to take a glance at what other M/s dynamics may look and operate like. If you’d like to purchase the book, here’s the link – http://www.alfredpress.com/books.html#PARADIGMS – $5 for a PDF download. I do not receive a penny of the sales, as this was a free contribution, but I’m glad to have been a part of sharing our dynamic so that others could perhaps learn something from it.