This post pieces together two separate incidents into one combined thought/lesson learned — if you’re going to delve into what M/s is about, you have to be prepared to do the homework and hold others to doing their homework.
In one incident, I was approached by a friend who had been in communication with a prospective partner. As a way of a bit of advice, I suggested that she ask the gentleman for scene references. Given that the ultimate goal, for her, is to have a relationship based on power dynamics.
In the other incident, a woman wrote to me asking about how to “find a Master.” She has recently discovered her kinky side (her words) and is eager to learn, but wants to find a Master. She was asking me for advice on the subject, which I gave her.
The details here aren’t important as much as the concept of skills, of pre-requisites and of learning and building towards a particular goal.
I think in this age of instant access, information at your fingertips (“OK, Google!”) and the ability to connect worldwide, it’s easy to forget that intense desire + instant access to Fetlife does not equal successful D/s or M/s.
Just as I would not expect myself to become a competent marksman, painter, cook or home repairman just by watching a couple of YouTube videos and reading a forum, so too I don’t think we can expect ourselves or others to be necessarily qualified or ready to enter into an erotic power dynamic relationship. Especially sight unseen.
“BUT MASTER MICHAEL, I NEEEEEEED THIS! THIS IS WHO I AM! I DESERVE WHAT I WANT!”
Oh, I get that desire. I understand newly discovered kinky energy and the desire to not be alone, to find someone to explore this with. I also understand my desire to be competent with a bow, to be able to paint miniatures to museum quality, to be able to cook gourmet dinners and fix up our creaky 100 year old home. Desire does not give me a free pass to say I can do those things. It serves only as the fuel to learn, to commit to the practice and education required to do those things.
Being in a relationship is no different.
Our culture doesn’t really teach us good relationship mechanics. Unless we have awesome parents who are great examples and/or teach us these things, we learn about relationships in school, by example or by media — none of which are really great. I mean… a good chunk of the vanilla world (and many kinksters) think that 50 Shades of Grey is a fine example of a power dynamic relationship. My point is made.
So… to that end, to be in a power dynamic relationship, or to engage in the search for someone who you’d like to pursue a power dynamic relationship with, that involves both some work and some education and skills. That means:
- Vet the people who approach you. Do they walk their talk? The only real way to know is to either take a huge risk and jump in, or perhaps see if that person is known in their local community. Do they participate? If not, does their reasons raise red flags/sound like excuses or not? (You might have to shut off the genitals to really be able to dispassionately look at this. Or ask a friend. Or two.)
- Vet yourself. What are you offering? What are your skills? What do you know about yourself? Do you know what your service/submissive ya-ya’s are? We’re getting into these relationships to feed something. You might not be able to describe the “what” exactly, but you definitely know what gets you off. Now put that in realistic, day to day terms, instead of the erotic image. Now, combine the erotic image with reality… what does that look like? There’s your starting point.
- Put in the time to learn the skills. When I met slave angie, I had spent almost 8 years in learning various things, in trying things, in seeing what worked and what didn’t. I tried to learn from my mistakes and successes. I had no idea if an M/s relationship would work with slave angie, but I also knew that I had been picking up the skills and had the knowledge of where to go to get information, and that I’d demonstrated enough skills to start the journey of M/s… but no guarantees that I would succeed. And I was honest about that with slave angie. We both went in understanding that we were “throwing out the rulebook” and starting with dumping as much baggage as we could. But the skills and experiences, I felt I had enough of. If I was only at a year or two, I would not have had the same relationship expectations.
- Please don’t expect a slave or Master to be “THE ONE.” Expect that this is a wonderful opportunity to have a journey, but wrapping up that expectation puts a huge burden on yourself and on the other person… as well, it sets you up to have that desire exploited by someone saying all the right things… and then failing to meet other criteria (like having references or even having a decent reason why they didn’t have references).
I know this sounds preachy, it’s very hard to be objective and non-directive with this sort of advice. But, I felt it was a good time to write something like this, since these situations have come up in the last 30 days.
M/s is a journey. But starting the journey right means the path is going to be a lot better.