A lot of people outside or new to the “lifestyle” think that owning a slave is really easy – they do as you tell them, you do what you want to them.
These are the sort of people who either need educating or to be kept away from the scene. No matter how extreme the activity in the relationship gets it relies on one oven-riding factor for it to work: consent.
A sub or, more importantly, a slave is only in that position because they want to be.
Selecting a partner to dominate them is about finding someone they can trust to not only chastise or use them but also their ability to care for their vassal too.
Many BDSM relationships are one-on-one, monogamous affairs. Even when the sub/slave is offered to others for use the core relationship is still with the Dom/me.
It’s up to the Master or Mistress to ensure that forbidden areas and trust are not ignored, to ensure the safety and well being of their charge because, at the end of the day, being a Dom/me is about the stewardship.
In the same way you wouldn’t deliberately damage your car or your TV a Dom/me should never seek to damage their sub/slave, at least not without their agreement.
Of course during play things can get rough but even then the Dom/me needs to be aware of the sub/slaves wellbeing, physically and emotionally, so as to avoid damaging them beyond the levels expected. You could go as far as to say that if a safety word needs to be used then the Dom/me has failed to look after their charge, although there’s the obvious exceptions where a sub/slave wants to push their boundaries or a Dom/me is testing a new possession’s limits, but even then they should still be aware of their victim’s condition at all times.
Whipping, spanking, needle and knife play can leave obvious damage. Bondage and confinement can leave less obvious harm. In both cases its the Dom/me’s job to ensure that any hurt is not permanent and that all wounds are allowed to Be heal. Anything less is neglect.
Physical wounds after play should be treated to ensure the health of the sub/slave. Of course some of these may be deliberately turned into permanent scars, but this should be an agreed or accepted outcome from the start.
A Slave or sub should never just be “dropped” after play.
Mental wounds are more difficult to spot and so only the truly empathic owners should put their subjects through such ordeals that may lead to them. More importantly they need to know how to help their subjects “come down” from their situations. That may mean holding and comforting them, supplying them with food and drink, even physically demonstrating their sub/slave is now safe.
A Slave or sub should never just be “dropped” after play. Leaving them without a conclusion to the session can create dissatisfaction and disquiet – if they are not getting what they want from the relationship then they will leave, either metaphorically or physically.
It’s worth remembering to that many BDSM activities equate to consensual assault. Once consent is gone from the core relationship a Dom/me who persists in mistreating a sub/slave who has withdrawn their agreement to the way their being treated is effectively breaking the law.
Most subs or slaves are usually in the relationship to be cared for in some way – they may be willing to suffer beatings, incarceration, even being offered to others or humiliated but always in return for some form of care, even if it’s not affectionate, from their Master or Mistress.
When the subject of health rears its head it’s important to be there for your partner. You want them to be back to full to health as soon as possible and you need to know if you need to be taking better care yourself as well as them. Flu and colds spread really easily, and if your part of that generation whose parents were dumb enough not to get you your inoculations then knowing if your partner has measles, mumps or chickenpox is really important. Of course if its a new relationship or non-monogamous then you have the obvious worries of STDs too. Caring for your sub/slave when they’re ill, as well as them caring for you when you are, is an essential part of strengthening your bond to each other.
..a Master or Mistress must make the time to be with their sub/slave
There is some debate over equipment and clothing costs. Some hold that the Dom/me should be responsible for any kit required for play and any specific clothing the sub/slave should wear. Some Masters and Mistresses feel that clothing is something their vassal is responsible for and the cost of equipment used on their charge is their only responsibility. Finally there are those, thankfully a minority, who feel the subordinate party should foot the whole bill.
How this works in reality truly depends on the standing of the relationship – Dom/mes whose partner is the solo major wage earner will insist on the last scenario, usually to complete their subject’s capitulation, but where the power/earning balance is reversed then the first scenario will play out so the Dom/me can demonstrate complete ownership of their property. Usually, though, you find a middle ground – both parties pay towards the play, although probably with specific items bought exclusively by one or the other according to their role.
Then there’s the matter of time – a Master or Mistress must make the time to be with their sub/slave. Regular, if not frequent, time needs to be put aside with enough included for preparation, play and post-play activity.
Whilst a slave may be property of their Dom/me that doesn’t mean they can or should be ignored for extended periods. They are, possibly in spite of their status during play, still people and only stay in the relationship as long as they’re getting what they seek from it. That said prolonged separation may be part of a punishment regime, but should be used sparingly – time together, in any type of relationship, is paramount.
Probably the most important. advice that can be offered is “talk”. When you start the relationship try to find out what each other want and need, what the boundaries are. Discover the turn-ons and turn-offs, agree safety words and signals, actually got to know each other. The more information you have the better you’ll be at anticipating each other and the better the play will be.
Talk during play – test the boundaries and check it’s OK, use the right kind of language to turn each other on and signal when you’re ready for each stage of play. Most of all, speak up when something wrong as a situation could go way beyond the sub/slave’s accepted boundary and lead to resentment or even the destruction of the relationship.
Having a sub or a slave is as time consuming and effort filled as any other relationship. Don’t kid yourself that its easy being in charge because its not.
After play check everything is alright, that things didn’t go too far or not far enough. Talk about what you might do next time, new challenges to be introduced, new scenarios.
Never forget to talk outside of play. Check up on each other’s general health and well-being, plan your next encounter, even give and discuss daily tasks or instructions.
Having a sub or a slave is as time consuming and effort filled as any other relationship. Don’t kid yourself that its easy being in charge because its not. Its not just about you, the Dom/me – its about you both. It’s a relationship. Make the effort and you reap the rewards.
It’s not unreasonable to say that much of this advice is applicable to vanilla relationships too, but in the case of the lifestyle its usually more intense, more intimate and more enveloping of the personalities involved. In this way you could argue, this advice is much more important.