[M/s 365] The price

You know that the edginess you crave comes at a price
– @PennyRedful (Twitter) – blogged here.


I’ve been thinking about that line from the blog post that Laura Antoniou linked on Facebook the other day. The blog post itself is a wonderfully written piece about stereotyping and assimilating the persona of a stripper while not acknowledging or not understanding the realities of that life. It was that phrase above that jumped out at me.

The edginess you crave comes at a price.

I’ve said many times that I believe the Master/slave dynamic, when explored as the primary relationship dynamic, is edge-play. I don’t see it anywhere near the “normal” relationship dynamics nor really even close to the D/s dynamics that I see a lot in the kink world. I see it on the edge because we are teetering on the edge of where things go grey and black. It’s not always safe. It has no right to be safe, sanitized and processed into a big codified manual that outlines part A fits into slot B and voila, you are now an M/s couple.

I’m feeling a bit raw right now because I’ve been forcing myself to read the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy with all of it’s completely dysfunctional and unrealistic depiction of D/s (and by extension, M/s), as well as considering just how to teach the opposite. The point that the book does touch on that I think is harder to talk about and admit is the sheer riot of emotions and passions that run through my M/s. Yes, I said that, passion. And emotions. Because, you know, erotic relationships. That hot blood and pounding sound in my head when I engage in some really active, private, and deep M/s? Yea, that’s the rocket fuel. That’s the heady stuff that makes it worth doing what we do, walking this edge, because at the end of the day, we all have a ya-ya that is getting fulfilled when that dynamic is rolling.

The price, though, is understanding that shit happens and then taking care of that shit when it happens.

That’s probably the part that makes this the hardest thing to have a conversation about — because what might constitute “serious shit that needs to be addressed” vs. “Saturday night date night” is going to differ from person to person. And while we can talk about checklists and household manuals and communication and tools and all the stuff that really can be found in the Relationship section of Amazon, it’s really this part that is hardest to teach, yet so important to understand. That your edge is just that, your edge and you get to explore it as long as you stay on THIS side of informed consent or whatever you call the thing that looks like consent that makes this not-abuse. We don’t talk about that much, though. It’s hard enough to paint a picture of M/s and what it is, so now we’re going to talk about how making your slave ask permission to eat and regulating their food intake is what gets your dick hard while over here, having your slave in chastity for 3 months and teasing him nightly with seriously degrading words while having him go to work the next day and give you control of his finances makes her wet. We’re going to talk about how to make sure that shit is taken care of, especially when it goes wrong, when he has a problem with erections now and is struggling with how the money is spent, or she’s found out that having food regulated brings back old memories of when she went hungry as a kid?

Tough stuff, but this is the shit we deal with, and the price we pay for walking on those edges. It’s something that you’d better be prepared to pay for, because although the wonderful stuff that is written in Slavecraft and the other books, or that you read in erotica and wonder “Can any of this be done in real life?” – it has a price. And that is true for both sides of the fence. Be willing to pay it, to understand that mistakes happen, we’re human, we’re going to suffer, cry, wonder why the fuck we even went down this road… and then hopefully reconnect with our bedrock, our foundation, our why… and carry on.

The price is understanding that anytime you’re walking on a razor’s edge, you better know which way that knife is pointing and be on top of what’s going on. 

It’s that age-old cry in roundtables, discussion groups, munches, online groups and KinkyNet… “My Master doesn’t master me anymore.” “My slave isn’t obeying me anymore.” Guess what? It is hard to constantly walk that edge. It can be exhausting during a rough stretch. If you’re going to enter into a relationship to get your erotic needs met, it’s not the same thing as having a scene. It’s easy enough to negotiate a scene, spanky spanky giggle giggle and you’re done. The constant path is a lure, it’s an anodyne that requires we come back to it, we feed that need, that little hard, nasty fantasy sitting over there in your head that finds actualization in wearing a collar, or having someone come into your home and put themselves in service to you. It requires real work, all the time. Would you just stop in the middle of an S/m scene and sit back, crack open a beer, and turn on the TV? (Well, OK, you might…) but would you do that for hours? Days? Then expect to pick back up the flogger and start back in? No?

Same thing for the relationship, except now it’s not just a scene, it’s a bond you’ve formed with another human being (or two or three or…) and that requires attention to detail, attention to yourself and the drive to not stop. And when life kicks you in the crotch and you have to divert your attention, then it’s about findings ways to hold on, to find anchors and use them as lifejackets – because Life isn’t going to care that Tiffany hasn’t been in chains and cage for 3 months while she deals with her parents dying. Or that Master Uber hasn’t laid down the law or corrected you while he struggles with 12 hour work days in an economy that demands more and pays less.

That’s the price, and it’s not easy, but if you want to enjoy this, you have to put the work into it. It’s a sacred bond. Nothing good ever comes easy. Pay the price.

The price is also being able to look at those grey and black areas and knowing that this isn’t ever going to be “normal” – and it shouldn’t be.

I’m in the niche of the niche. I’ve been told by (previous) friends that I was too intense, that angie and I were too “M/s’y”. It’s hard to find people like us. It’s even harder to agree on anything but the most basic of premises. Even the most basic of concepts of what drives our relationships – authority vs. control, that draws a lot of debate. A lot of this, you’re going to go alone. I have. Even when going to a bubble like Master/slave Conference – where there are fellow travelers on this path – at the end of the day, our relationships with our others are as unique as a piece of artwork. It should be. The erotic expression of a relationship is going to reflect the chemistry of those that make it up.

If you’re like me, and you see those news articles of abusers who have used M/s or aspects of what we do as part of their abuse, it just makes me angry and a bit defensive. Angry because this isn’t how I want my relationship to be viewed – even though it’s going to be. Defensive because I have to defend my relationship. Sad too, that this will once again confirm that our edge is actually over the edge to those who are afraid.

But I get that. I understand that being seen as a “pervert” or “sick” is a price I’ll pay as long as we live in a society that is ignorant and based on Puritanical concepts and Victorian sexuality. I’ll always have to defend my relationship in that same society. I even have to pay that price in the kink world – that world that is supposedly so accepting and open, but in reality is as much judgmental and close-minded as any other group of 3+ human beings.

You see, I want to look into those places. I want to stare at the abyss. I want to take that hot lust that surged through me when I read stories of Bad Things From History, when I read Gor, when I read Story of O, when I read really fucked up porn and masturbated to it and wondered “Could I ever have anything like that?” That energy, that erotic flash, that fuel… that translate to the deep bond I have with my slave, where my authority and exercise of that authority has given those fantasies an outlet that we both agree to, that we both ride and we both pay the price for. (And trust me that her fantasies can be just as dark as mine.)

No, it’s not safe on the edge. It’s not supposed to be. But, pay the price and understand what that means, and it will be worth it.


Published by

Master Michael S

International Master 2014. Member of: Chicago Leather Club, Chicago Leathermen Group, MAsT: Greater Chicago. Longtime leatherman. One of the Four Horsemen.

4 thoughts on “[M/s 365] The price”

  1. Constant choice to be in the dynamic. Personal responsibility and mutual respect. Willingness to let go and let be. Diligence. Commitment to find the time to return to center.

    These are the ways I approach my relationships, be they romantic (my life partner and I are vanilla) or D/s based.

    And I want to go to the dark places. I want to find that place where I feel like there is nothing left but the sensations of the moment. There is no end, there is no beginning, there is only now.

    That’s rarer than we think. I’ve had partners where we could go to those places, and maintain the other parts of the relationship, but I think it’s rarely sustainable because we need love and intent. There’s probably one or two people at any given time that can be in that place in that time with you and come out whole, or stronger, or not broken beyound repair. Those people? You’re lucky if you find then at the right time and place and moment. I’m so glad you and Angie have found eachother and sustained eachother through those rides, as well as the mundane. It gives me hope.

    This wasn’t what I’d started to reply with, but it’s what came out. Thank you for letting us see a piece of you. Thank you for giving space for a piece to be shared back.


    1. Thank you Theatricaltoy.

      There are a ton of variables to the equation, and I think there is an element of luck, but I also believe you can make the world you want to live in, it’s just finding the right people to invite in. We didn’t come to this place the very first day, it took a lot of work, a lot of heartache and tears and work and struggle, and that work still goes on. Day by day. That’s another part of the price, I suppose, that we’re always going to be paying that price. And it is worth it.

      Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself.


  2. I love this entry! On the outside, I know we just look like an average, middle-aged couple. Our friends from the lifestyle see it more readily, but only a select few have ever witnessed the naked truth of us. I’m ok with that, because while I don’t ask to use the furniture (I know some, who do), I do ask permissions for certain basics. It isn’t about him controlling me as it is about a mutual acknowledgement of who is in authority. It is always him. Always. It’s how we both want it. It works for us, because he knows how to access my skills to complement his own. We’ve established our authoritative process, and have learned how to maintain it, in what I call our ongoing ‘symbiotic evolution’.

    It does feel good, knowing that even though our relationship is unique, we’re not alone in that uniqueness.


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