This topic has come up casually in the past, but after reading a blog post by “EmergingDom” about D/s and marriage, I thought it would be a fine time to go into some thought about how we make marriage work with M/s. And yes, there is a deliberate reason why I just said it in that way.
Slave angie and I started out as Master and slave right from the get-go. Not that we thought we were going to start off as fully-realized Master and slave, but we knew this was the path we wanted to be on, so we said “this is what we’re doing” – we negotiated it, but we also negotiated based on the fact that Life is a running negotiation. We were going to communicate and keep communicating and keep evaluating as we went along. The corporate buzzword for this is “Continuous Improvement” and there’s some truth to that.
I did not intend on getting married again. I’d been through that wringer twice. My first marriage was a twelve year exploration of a sexless relationship with a woman who was very severely depressed and unwilling to do anything about it. Rather than subject our kids to a life of arguments and strife, I left. My second marriage was to a kinky woman. We (incorrectly) took physical/sexual attraction and compatibility to mean we were compatible in all ways. We were not right for each other and ended the relationship after two years. So I was done.
So here we were, slave angie and I, and we were merging families (we both had minor children at the time), we were merging finances, we were doing the things that two partners entering into a co-habitation situation do. We loved each other, we loved the relationship we were building (despite the bumps) and we were committed to making things grow. I didn’t need marriage to be the fulfillment of our relationship – the collar angie wore was all the symbolism and expression of our relationship that I needed. Legally, though, I wanted to protect angie and our children, so roughly 15 months after starting, we were married in a little chapel in Las Vegas, with a wonderful Master/slave couple as our witnesses.
Side note – it was not an Elvis wedding, it was a traditional ceremony with a nice setting. Remember RealVideo? Back in the day, it was the thing for streaming video. Well, rather than ship the family down to our wedding, we got the streaming video option for free (I was this chapel’s IT for a little while). Viva Las Vegas Weddings. Tell Ron DeCar that Michael from Chicago says “Hello!”
The way we’ve approached our relationship over the years is not to see it as a marriage with M/s on the side or M/s as a hat to wear, or a role to assume. Mastery and slavery are as much a part of the DNA of our relationship as us being cis-male, cis-female. As much as being parents. As much as being spiritual or just being who we are. To me, marriage isn’t the be-all, end-all or the primary definition of our relationship and I don’t approach it as such. I treat angie as part of this relationship, a valued partner, a valued slave and a valued human being. If you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you know how much I believe that slavery is valuable, has a voice and is just as much a part of the relationship as the Master. The phrase I use is “equitable but not equal partner.”
It’s not possible for us to “put aside” the M/s and have just a relationship, as much as it’s not possible for me to stop being cis-male. It’s so much a part of who we are. In situations of money, of family, of day to day business, I am Master and angie is slave. When we have issues, upsets or disagreements, I am Master and angie is slave. When we are around vanilla people, or at the grocery, or watching a Transformers movie because slave angie needs to see the mechanized mayhem, we are Master and slave (albiet a slightly suffering Master because I just cannot fathom Michael Bay’s techno-porn, but that’s another story…) That doesn’t mean that she is in chains and without voice! She most definitely contributes to our relationship and life, but there is a flow, there is a surrender to my authority and there is a mutual respect and belief that we BOTH are in service to a greater whole. It just means that in all times, all things, we are Master and slave first and always. If that were to somehow “go away”, I’m not sure how the relationship – as it stands right now – would continue. It probably would not. Not to say that we don’t value each other, but think of it differently… for those of you who identify as “marriage first, then kink” what I’m saying is similar to if your marriage somehow “went away” – it would be that big of a deal for us.
Please don’t misunderstand my passion and preference for this approach as one-true-wayism though! I understand how culture, society and expectations puts people to seeing their relationship as “marriage, then kink/erotic layers.” And if you are being authentic to who you are, I honor that and I applaud you. Go you! BUT… there are other expressions and I’ve found this to work for angie and I for over 11 years now.
I have a small, sneaking suspicion that slave angie does have a romantic notion of marriage, husband and wife. I get that, that’s the culture and upbringing speaking. I honor that because it is an important aspect that gives angie a lot of benefits and rights. I don’t particularly romanticize the marriage aspect because I have an entire relationship that I feel a part of, one that is rich and varied in what we have built together – but it has been as two people, not just by marriage, but by a pursuit of a dynamic that is extreme as it is fulfilling.