Inspired by Olivia’s post here
There are many who claim to live the lifestyle 24/7. However as anonymous writes. Is this not just smoke and mirrors? Isn’t it really fantasy however much one is really involved in an intense D/s relationship. For instance one may like to describe oneself as being a slave or being owned. But ultimately one can walk away from it all – otherwise I would be very concerned.
Anonymous contends that maintaining “personhood” is essential. Is she not right in this? Can one really completely give up ones personality or rights as a person? Is that something anyone with a moral compass could agree with?
i’m curious – are there readers here who identify as slaves? If you do, what do you think about the question?
As I read this, I considered that there are two separate questions going on. First, is slavery or being owned a fantasy?
i am a slave. i am owned by Sir Raven. We do live this way 24/7, it colors every aspect of our lives, including the ones that Sir Raven claims to care less about. The way that i view it, all relationships are social constructs. In some cases, like marriage, there are legal contracts that go along with the social construct of being a husband or wife. If we look to historical constructs of slavery, and i have (it was an obsession of mine over the years, starting in the third grade), what we find documented is that slavery can be experienced in at least as many ways as being, say, a wife.
There were Roman Masters and slaves who fell in love, slaves whose Masters created the Taj Mahal, American slaves who were treated to lavish private homes and servants. Legally all of these people were slaves. The state of ones slavery and how it is experienced has everything to do with one’s Master, and with how well you obey to keep the small and large luxuries in your life.
i am a slave. i am owned by Sir Raven.
i live in a life where she controls my money (de facto), allowance provided through accounts that i have no legal access to. i am not on the rent note, the cell phone, the bank accounts. i’m provided health care, which i desperately need, solely on her whim. A single fax would take me off the health account.
She controls what i wear, how i smell, where i go, what money i spend, who i see, if i leave the apartment. She controls what medicine i take, what doctors i see, what cleaners i have in the house, if we go any place together or not. She controls my time, how i speak, if i speak, when we eat, what we eat, and how to spend money. She controls what obedience means (cheerful and immediate compliance).
She controls me.
She controls me to such extent that i would be hard pressed to function without me orbiting around her, bending to her, always trying to please her. Deep down, despite any and all evidence to the contrary, she has managed to convey that the better i treat her, the better i obey, the better my conditions will be.
She has punished me to enforce her rules, but in such an arbitrary and frightening way that it is always in the background of my mind. It wasn’t a clear cause-and-effect. It was some careless thing i had done fifteen other times, but that one time it was punishment worthy. That is the very reason that her strap is always in sight, deliberately so, a reminder that she alone decides what deserves to be punished. It doesn’t have to happen a lot under those circumstances to create a permanent fear of displeasing. Only one time was i sure that my action would result in being punished-ironically, it was when i pointed out that if we were not Master and slave any longer then i had no need of following her constant rules and walked out of therapy. i disobeyed. i didn’t come back. The beating that followed proved to both of us how steeped we were in TTWD.
There is no recourse.
There is attrition on her part, on occasion, promises to be kinder.
Has my personality changed? Yes. i’m less self-confident, but more mindful, and as a result, happier. i’m more isolated, the only people in our lives back up our construct and relationship style. i’m far less inclined to take chances, express aggression, or experiment.
Had i known about many of these items going in, i would not have entered into this relationship. i’d say that this is indicative of the relationship not being a fantasy, nor being here under my own volition all of the time. There are choices she has made with money, with doctors, medications, and educationally for me that i would have never signed on for. She has eliminated my sexuality all together. She has taken away any ability i have to vent out frustrations that exist from all of these factors by denying me S/m, or discipline. This leaves me feeling angry, that all of the demands of the relationship are on me, that i have to be “perfect” (pleasant demeanor, cheerful obedience, correctly reading what is wanted) at all times without any way to validate how hard and exhausting this can be or give me a way to let the stress out through S and M.
So, no, not a fantasy.
Everything is done to control me, my access to resources, my ability to trust my own instincts, my ability to have too many thoughts that are against her, my ability to trust in my own future-eliminating my ability to “just leave.”
Can it be done ethically?
i don’t think so, not in the realm of a total power exchange and consensual non consent model. Even if every step is discussed, agreed upon, and so on-if the Masters need is control it will inevitably appear in some ways the slave would not have desired or agreed to going in. And if somehow that doesn’t happen-if the slave is almost always happy with the decisions of the Master-what happens if the Master suddenly becomes ill or dies? Is there a plan in place? A temporary or permanent Master to stand in? If so, how can anyone be sure that this new Master will behave in ethical ways?
i think that i was already primed to live in a consensual non consent way, that i already had the basic tenants of stockholm syndrome down, and already knew i was a slave. Even if i hadn’t, having such basic things as access to my own sexuality and the ability to have some way to vent frustrations would have changed me.
The very act of living in a way that is totally incompatible with our individualistic society creates change. Since those changes-how they manifest-when you take away a persons normal coping mechanisms cannot be known ahead of time, i’m unsure if such pursuits can be carried out in completely ethical ways. Certainly, there are ways to manage this relationship style that are more, or less, ethical depending on many factors. Those include the amount of dependence created, the built in resources for airing unhappy feelings, support networks, the knowledge of Psychology in general, and the deep knowledge of the slave and their past/triggers/traumas. The lack of access of quality mental health care by and for people who do TTWD creates another area of difficulty. In general, the greater amount of support needs to be in place for the most vulnerable member in the relationship. These things can be deliberately built into relationships that still function as an M/s model. Those that do tend to follow a premise that the Master serves the relationship before themselves, though i can’t say i have a lot of experience at seeing this in action.
Because of that, my sense of my own ability to see exclusively from my point of view is lessened, the window is increasingly small and out of focus.
There is such a small emphasis on me, that often even when Sir Raven believes she is doing something “for me” or “giving me a pass” she has no idea if that is the message i am receiving-or not. Why? She doesn’t ask, doesn’t listen. And i’ve been trained to feel guilty if i am not fully supportive of her desires, wants, expectations. Just now, she said something about how much youtube she watched, and i joined in disapproving-basically-of the 30 hours a week she spends watching them. And then i profusely apologized, stabbed with guilt for not being harmonious, not supporting her needs to relax. She listens to my apologies, never looking up from her videos, only pointing out what i should have said was what i ended with-that she needs to time to relax, and i should be encouraging that at all times. The rest of the day, now, i will be careful to be smaller and more agreeable. Even when it comes at my own expense.
Sir Raven said earlier we’d go walk in the gardens, that she needs that time in nature to relax. i enthusiastically agreed, got the morning chores done, made breakfast. i’ve been waiting, dressed, the better part of an hour now. i may have just ruined her desire to want to do anything with me, and i feel chastened and small, near tears to have likely just cost our doing anything at all together.
She finally accepted my apology and we went to the gardens, where i found a beautiful tie on sale there. It was practically yelling her name, and Sir Raven let me buy it for her because her Spiritual birthday is coming up and i always get her a little something. Yay!
Everything she allows-any time spent with me, any activity, any money spent-is trained into me to view her as a Kindly Benefactor. It reinforces her control. i feel absolutely no self consciousness about asking her permission in public to buy something, for her to determine which paths we will take, when we will sit in companionable silence, when we will go home. Rather than feel constricted in any way, i feel lucky to be allowed what feels like an enormous privilege to me, to go out and do anything together. Thank you, Master.