Master/Slave Relationship

It is very difficult to put down on paper the exact details of any Master or Mistress/Slave relationship and, as a member for some years of the fraternity as Master Prospero, I still find it hard to articulate the attraction for myself and others.

For myself I found that the Mster/Slave relationship became TOO INTENSE and, after Amanda moved to The United States, I withdrew from the 'fraternity' and concentrated on SPANKING ladies. This could also be very intense while it was happening, especially with punishment spanking, but it also released me form any 24/12 relationship. I also created my ebsite which has brought me many ladies as well as texts, telephone calls and emails .

Because of the dilemma about exactly what is involved I offer a selection from three different writers about their interpretation.

We write about Master/Slave but should be aware that this covers a multitude of relationships. Master/Male Slave; Master/FemaleSlave; Mistress/Male Slave;Mistress/Female Slave are just some and I did meet a Male Slave who lived with a Pair of Mistresses

My own personal experience has been as a Master (Master Prospero) with one Female Slave at a time.. The letters in this folder were written by a female Slave who had moved to the United States and changed Masters. She was particularly articulate and I asked her to write me a series of letters detailing her time with me. This she did and the links to each letter are on teft bar.

As I said above because of the confusion I have taken three articles written about the relationship to show different - yet in many ways similar - interpretations and experiences.

For those who wish to delve further there is a Master/Slave site which will bring them


The first article is by Bea Amor

I have been active on several advice lines over the years and this question has come up time and time again. Is it really possible to have love in a Master-slave relationship? From one point of view the answer would be an emphatic no and the other school of thought would give you a hearty yes. I fall into the second category, but I completely understand the first response and will enlighten you as to my understanding of it.

You would have gotten a "no" from several old school Masters and Mistresses. The reasoning behind that is that in a Master slave relationship nothing should be able to blur the lines of authority. A slave remains property and should be treated as such. That the slave falls in love and adores the Master or Mistress is to be expected, but it is not required or even preferred for the Master or Mistress to do so. A Dominant in love would let some transgressions go and not punish the slave, which would lead to a confused slave and recalcitrance from the slave. The slave needs to be punished to be able to move forward and a Master or Mistress not capable of doing so because they are afraid of hurting their slave can sabotage one of the greatest needs of a slave and ultimately the relationship. This also goes for normal use of the slave, as far as the definition of normal goes.

In order to maintain the boundaries and ensure that a slave stays connected to their station, the Master or Mistress must remain intimately connected with His or Her property, but not allow personal feelings to interfere with the training or use of His or Her property. When a Master reciprocates love the slave will also try to take liberties, as he or she will forget that he or she is actually property and not the love interest.

As I said in the beginning though, I fall into the second school of thought on this issue. I believe that it is a natural progression to love each other when everything is shared as completely as it is in a Master and slave relationship. Neither party can help but to become more intimate with each other as time goes by. Each party is providing the other's needs and wants and when someone completely understands you and lives to please your every whim, it is very difficult not to fall in love.

I have also said that it is to be expected that the slave will fall for its Master or Mistress, as this person is the center of their universe in every way. There are very few people who "get" the slave mentality and to find someone who knows exactly how to treat you is special. The same could be said from the Master or Mistress's point of view too, although these feelings do not bleed through as quickly as the slave's feelings. The dominant personality has a way of hiding feelings much better than the submissive or slave personality.

My Master loves me passionately. I know this because He tells me this every day. He does not falter when it comes to punishing me for a transgression. He does not falter from using me in whatever way He prefers, even when He knows it probably would not have been my choice. He does not allow me to forget my place at all and sometimes when I do, He puts me back into slave space so quickly that my head spins. Love has not found a way of diminishing His power or authority. Rather, I think, it has increased His dominance over me since He takes His responsibility even more seriously now. Does love exist in a Master and Slave relationship? I would have to say that yes, it definitely does


This one is by Teramis

M/s Relationships & the “slave” word

Many, many people are involved in D/s of various degrees of control, using the terms “Master”, “Mistress” and “slave” for the erotic charge and symbolic meaning of it. Relatively few people engage in an M/s relationship in its original and traditional sense of owning obedient human property, using the words “Master” and “slave” in their literal sense, or as close as it is possible to approach in this culture. As I have no doubt made excessively clear by now, I generally use M/s in its original sense, use the terms Master and slave literally, and call everything else D/s.

Master/slave relationships - or more aptly called, "Owner/property" relationships - have a set of unique attributes. Some of these are:

* an acknowledgement and awareness of the chattel nature of the relationship. Both Owner and slave see the slave as human property. This is not a figurative concept but a literal one: occasionally slaves are indeed sold in this sort of relationship configuration, and the slave in question - if they wish to remain a slave - goes obediently (perhaps happily, perhaps not) to the new Owner.

* The slave makes a choice to live in voluntary servitude, and thereafter lives out a commitment to obedience.

* The Owner assumes ultimate responsibility for the well-being of another human being.

* The Owner is the final decision maker in all things, except whatever s/he may have chosen to delegate to the slave as the slave’s sphere of responsibility.

* There is no part of the slave’s life or being that the Owner does not have the option to control, if s/he wishes to do so. How much is actually controlled is the Owner’s choice and decision, but there is an agreement that the Owner will in fact control and command the slave (to an extent determined by the Owner).

This is as close to “slavery” as we can come today, given that statutory slavery is illegal in this country. Nor have I ever heard anyone seriously aspire to be in servitude against their will, so the involuntary slavery parallels of the past do not map to what we do consensually. Yet if one insists on finding an historical analogy for this (as some do), the closest that might have real bearing are the practices of ancient Rome where people could voluntarily enter slavery, and could re-acquire their freedom under certain circumstances if they so desired. I urge people with popular notions of slavery-as-echo-of-African-bondage to put that out of their mind. That was and is an ugly chapter in human history, and has no relationship to contemporary consensual slavery. If you who are reading this have issues around the word “slave”, you might try on “voluntary servitude” for size instead. It bypasses a lot of our historical baggage around the “s” word.

A lot of people like to use the word “slave” because it has erotic juice, and that is where a lot of confusion comes in: as if there were different styles of “Master/slave” relationships. In my analysis, there are no different styles of M/s relationships if we are talking about the essential Owner/property agreement. It is demonstrable that there are many different styles of D/s relationships, some of which include use of the term “slave”, and varying degrees of control. But there is only one kind of literal Master/slave relationship: the very meaning of those words reflects that this relationship includes an Owner and his/her wholey-owned, wholey-controlled human property.

I also recognize that, as happens with language, the terms slave and M/s have been absorbed wholesale into the broader kink community and are often used with little or no understanding of or regard for the current or older meanings of those words. I think this happens from ignorance, not an intent to co-opt or redefine terms, but it certainly adds to the confusion when people think the term “slave” has any meaning they want it to have.

From oral history I have heard in various parts of the leather community, the term “slave” used to be used far less frequently than it is today. A dominant woman who is now in her 70s, who has been active in kink since the early ‘60s, told me once, "It used to be that a slave was someone’s slave. They were property. People don’t often mean it that way anymore.” So rather than thinking that the M/s community has taken its word “slave” out of common useage and made something arcane and weirdly qualified out of it, it appears that the word “slave” has been borrowed from the M/s segment and has since been absorbed into the broader SM community. It is now used loosely, inspired, I believe, by the archetype of what “owned slave” is assumed to represent.

For people who are not wholey-owned property but who are calling themselves slaves, be aware that you are using a term with a very specific meaning to the M/s subset of our community. The “slave” of a D/s relationship, be it ever so controlling, is not the same creature as the slave of an M/s relationship. They are fundamentally different.


The final article is by an unknown source.

But what is a slave?

Within the BDSM scene, the word "slave" is sometimes used quite loosely to refer to any submissive, or even to the paying customer of a dominatrix. However, "slave" and the phrase "Master/slave relationhip" are usually used in the narrower sense of a committed Dominance/submission relationship. Furthermore, there is often agreement that the slave has entered into a relationship in which obedience is not just given, but in which the Master acquires the authority to demand obedience.

This was my first attempt at an all-inclusive definition of Master/slave in the context of the alt.lifestyle.master-slave newsgroup and its Frequently Asked Questions list:

"Master/slave: a consensual relationship in which authority has been transferred from the slave to the Master, and is retained constantly, with no more than limited and clearly stated exceptions."

Beyond this there is much disagreement about what "really" constitutes a Master/slave relationship: from the broad church approach that people can call any D/s relatioship Master/slave if that's the name they prefer, to the other extreme that insists it's only "real" slavery if the Master's authority extends to a life and death power over the slave.

Over time I've come to believe that it would be best to stick to common usage: ie to use dictionaries to define "slave" and this leads us to define slavery purely in terms of Ownership. After all, slavery is fundamentally a property relation. According to the second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, a slave is "One who is the property of, and entirely subject to another person, whether by capture, purchase or birth; a servant completely divested of freedom and personal rights."

The labels Total Power Exchange (TPE) and 24/7 should really be mentioned at this point.

Sometimes 24/7 is used as a shorthand for TPE, although really 24/7 refers to any relationship which has the same broad features all the time: for example, that the Dom is always the Dom, and not just for a few hours a week during scenes.

The label "Total Power Exchange" (or "Absolute Power Exchange") became widely publicised on the Internet due to lengthy battles in the newsgroup alt.sex.bondage (ASB), between Jon Jacobs and Polly Peachum (who prefer to call it Absolute Power Exchange), and other newsgroup regulars. The debate became polarised between people running their whole relationship as Master / slave, and between people who's interest was in sensation play, S&M, bondage etc for their own sake. Both sides accused each other of trying to invalidate perfectly reasonable life choices, and the mob-like tendencies of the ASB regulars (which we can still in its successor soc.subculture.bondage-bdsm) and Jacobs abrasive style combined to associate TPE and M/s with dogmaticism and flamewars in many people's mind.

The debate about whether an absolute or total exchange of power is possible in real life, and whether a slave can lose all rights with respect to their Master, both from a moral point of view (as outsiders watching), and from a psychological point of view, still goes on, on mailing lists, websites and other newsgroups. There are many people who claim that this is the reality of their lives, and my personal view is that if the slave has grown to fully accept the authority of her Master over time, then his power becomes total, and in this condition, it can certainly be said that she is owned, and therefore literally a slave.

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