Pictures and stories from of a real life 24.7 D/s couple. Richard and Amy explore bdsm, daily life, and each other, from both sides of the relationship.

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June 16, 2008

Master/slave issues

Filed under: Daily Life — Amy @ 9:43 pm

We have friends who are in Master/slave relationships and occasionally (as in all relationships) they have problems.  Those of you who have been with us since the beginning of our blog and those of you who have read through all our past posts (there should be a medal) know that we originally talked about ourselves in terms of Master/slave (M/s).  However, those terms and that dynamic didn’t feel like a good fit to us and pretty quickly Richard required me to call him Daddy. While I was initially very hesitant about calling him Daddy, it fits him (and us) very well, because he is very nurturing and protective (and bossy and demanding <joke>) of me.   
Oh dear.  I see that I’ve gotten off track.  I wanted to talk about a problem a friend of ours is having in her M/s relationship.    She has caught her Master “cheating” on her online several times.  Each time, he promises never to do it again and they talk things through and eventually she gives him another chance.  (They’ve broken up over this at least once before.)
Our (female) friends think he is a major loser and she should just kick him to the curb, but she keeps going back to him.  I can probably sum up the general feeling as “He’s no Master, he’s a sneaking, lying little boy.”
I’ve talked to Megan about this a few times, and I decided the other day to ask Richard his opinion. He’s not usually very interested in following the complexities of our friends’ relationships, so I tried to paint things with a broad brush.  I was surprised that his take on the situation was so different from mine, and after my initial shock really learned a lot from his perspective.  Following is an abbreviated version of our discussion.  I’m curious to hear what our readers (male and female) think about it.
Oh, one last thing, our friend’s Master banned her from the internet because he felt that her friends were interfering with their relationship. Major red flag for most of us, since that is considered a classic sign of abuse - separating someone from their friends and family. She has recently secretly opened an email account and been emailing her friends about the situation.
Amy:  Daddy, I’m really worried about Christine.  (gives general details of the situation) 
Richard:  Who’s the Master in that relationship?  It doesn’t sound like he is, that’s for sure. 
Amy:  Whuh?  I mean, excuse me Sir?  What do you mean?  (translation:  What planet do you live on?) 
Richard:  Well, she’s telling him how he has to behave.  It sounds like she is the Master.  Why isn’t he deciding how he will behave? 
Amy:  He says he’ll behave one way, but then he behaves another way.  She can’t trust him. 
Richard: He should simply say: “This is what I want to do.” and then she can decide whether she wants to be with someone who behaves that way.   
Amy:  Wellll, I guess he wants to be monogamous or thinks he should be, but then he is tempted.  Maybe it’s like an addiction.  He knows that she doesn’t want him to do it, but he can’t help it. 
Richard:  Baby girl, if he can’t Master himself, how can he Master her?  
Amy:  I don’t know if this is really a Master/slave issue, Daddy.  Trust is important in vanilla relationships too.  It’s just in M/s relationships, it’s even more important, because both people are so vulnerable. 
Richard:  Yes, and it’s even more important to be yourself in an M/s relationship.  Which he is not doing, by trying to change himself to be what she wants.  And how can he trust her?  It sounds like she is doing the same thing he is, emailing her friends without his permission. 
Amy:  I know that most men aren’t naturally monogamous, but that’s hard for most women to accept.  Megan is the only woman I know who accepts and even embraces that in her man.  She is so much stronger than me.  I’m lucky that you are monogamous, because it would hurt me a lot if you weren’t. 
Richard:  Yes, but you have to deal with your Daddy being a sadist, when you don’t like to get hurt.  We all have to figure out what we can and can’t tolerate in our relationships and be honest about that with our partners AND ourselves.  If Christine can’t tolerate a Master that “plays” online then she needs to find a Master that doesn’t do that.  But she can’t MAKE her Master change, because then she is no longer a slave, she’s the Master. 
Amy:  I guess that makes sense, Daddy.  I just feel so bad for Christine.  She deserves to be happy and this relationship seems to be making her sad.   
Richard:  Christine needs to be Christine, and her Master needs to be himself, and they can only be happy together if they are able to be themselves.  If they can only be together by denying who they are, then it won’t work.   


  1. i wanna fuck you so fuckin hard all anal and shit ill be yo bitch

    Comment by mason — June 16, 2008 @ 10:29 pm

  2. very intersting exchange
    i am with Richard, he’s right, christine and her master are pretty confused, master/sub labels that dont describe all of what they are doing and as richard is on to, there are these inconsistencies that could be quite fundamental and make the labels just plain wrong
    of course what is interesting is that Richard is very matter of fact about all this,
    when reality,
    is much harder than matter of fact allows for
    which is a way of saying that you are feeling a truth and a truth that is true, christine deserves better

    Comment by fisher — June 17, 2008 @ 2:12 am

  3. Having just been through this in a Triad relationship (though without M/s labels or tendancies) I think the last line you typed from Richard pretty much negates the rest of the situation. “Christine needs to be Christine, and her Master needs to be himself, and they can only be happy together if they are able to be themselves. If they can only be together by denying who they are, then it won’t work.” They BOTH deserve to be happy and be themselves. It’s amazing how many people just can’t manage that (myself occasionally included). But in all honesty if you aren’t being yourself in a relationship, and therefore you’re not letting your partner(s) see you as you are… well, really what’s the point? And how can either (any) of you trust at that point?

    Comment by Boxer, The Attention Whore — June 17, 2008 @ 5:39 am

  4. You and Richard are both right (IMO)
    If your friend can’t handle a Master who lies to her, then she need to find another one.

    Comment by Chantal — June 17, 2008 @ 6:20 am

  5. Interesting. I agree that you are both right. You are lucky to have someone like Richard that is so clear in his thoughts though. You can not have any type of relationship without trust,honesty and acceptance. So if Christine’s master is going to behave in certain ways then he needs to recognize and accept that about himself or he needs to get is act together. He’s acting like a damnned puppy getting into the trash can and getting caught in the act. If he IS Christine’s master (and that will be determined by just how he meets her needs in so many other ways including trust, behavior and communication) he will be honest with her about his behavior. Either telling her that it is something he perceives as his own weakness that he wants to change, but right now she has to accept. Or as one of his kinks that enhances his sexuality. Or simply as something that is.

    Nobody is perfect. She then has to make the decision if she is in a overall relationship that she enjoys.

    BTW- I’ve also played with non-monogamy. Willing to discuss that with you if you want. It can be very interesting.

    Comment by Devilbluedress — June 17, 2008 @ 6:41 am

  6. Amy, you are incredibly lucky to have someone who knows himself as well as Richard does. Not too many people do. I am just now beginning to know myself. This is a problem people have in regular relationships, not just M/s D/s ones. People want to please their partner, or even society’s expectations, but they can’t for whatever reason. They keep trying to, but it makes everyone involved miserable. They aren’t being fair to themselves. I personally have a much easier time trusting someone who would look at me and say that I will never be their only, just their primary. In fact, life is much more settled and happier now that I am in that sort of relationship. With my husband, he’s constantly trying to fit into the mold of the norm society and his family has told him is expected of him and he’s miserable. I’m miserable trying to trust his promises.

    You can’t trust someone when in your heart you simply KNOW they can’t fulfill their promise, even to themselves.

    Comment by AmyElle — June 17, 2008 @ 11:29 am

  7. I’m a sub female who agrees with Richard for two reasons:

    If they’re going to declare themselves a M/s couple, then the M part of that couple gets to decide who, what, when, where, how and why. The “s” part obeys the M’s commands. I’d have to say, based on what I’ve read here, they don’t have a true M/s relationship if she’s calling the shots like that. What they have is a vanilla relationship with a kink in it.

    The second reason I agree with Richard’s viewpiont is because of what he said about the Master not being able to master himself. If the “Master” agreed (for whatever reason) to not partake in a behavior that upsets his pet, then it’s pretty weak of him to use “temptation” as an excuse. Discipline isn’t just for the slave (or sub).

    If a man can’t master himself, then he can’t master anyone else.

    Comment by stormlover — June 17, 2008 @ 4:05 pm

  8. I’m not in a m/s relationship but I have never agreed with the idea that the master gets to cheat on his partner just because he is the “master”. That being said, I agree with Richard that he really isn’t a master at all.

    I agree with you that it sounds like your friend is not in a healthy relationship. She needs to do what is best for herself and she deserves better. But she has to decide that she wants some better.

    Comment by Southern Angel — June 17, 2008 @ 5:35 pm

  9. perhaps in her own way, she is enjoying the situation…the attention…i know i sound way far off-field, but it is similar to the social behaviors of children…a certain behavior begets certain responses…and those responses in turn can facilitate those behaviors…

    i do agree that they seem way off from where they intended with the M/s choice…

    only my thoughts…


    Comment by curiousgirl — June 17, 2008 @ 8:40 pm

  10. Both of them do have some issues.

    Your friend is being more than a bit of an enabler, by staying in a situation she clearly feels isn’t acceptable to her. Just because a person feels that they’re a slave…doesn’t excuse them from taking care of themselves. (That’s part of my ‘BDSM is a crutch’ theory, and that’s a long rant.)

    Her ‘master’ really isn’t being one. Well, I should qualify that. If he set out the expectation that she should be wholly dependent on him for friendship (BIG red flag, that), and the expectation that he can be non-monogamous, and she said ‘OK’ to those things, fully understanding what it meant, then he’s OK. But it certainly doesn’t sound like that’s the case. I also agree with Richard. Before you can control others, you need to control yourself. And learning to understand and control your own actions is almost as heady a thing as controlling others’.

    Short version… she’s not in a real M/s relationship. Being the ‘M’ doesn’t give him the right to be a dick. It might be time to think about an exit for her.

    Comment by DaMonkster — June 18, 2008 @ 5:22 am

  11. They need to decide if they want to make their relationship work. They are each sneaking behind the other’s back and that doesn’t work, it’s not honest. A relationship needs honesty. If removing the M/S dynamic doesn’t work, they need to do more serious things.

    Sounds to me like both people have problems they need to sort out; potentially best done alone/with someone else. And yes, restricting Internet use because “friends are interfering in the relationship” is a big red flag the relationship needs to end. It doesn’t sound healthy for anyone involved.

    Comment by Ofia — June 18, 2008 @ 12:23 pm

  12. As most of the other posters…You’re both right.

    He obviously can’t meet the needs of Christine (be honest firstly and monogamous secondly) and Christine is trying to control a situation that is already out of control, which isn’t very “sub-like”. From the little information we have…i can’t see it working, because there’s no honesty, the master isn’t “mastering” himself or her - he’s only being domineering over her which can be very unhealthy (especially considering cutting off friends).

    Comment by jenpet — June 18, 2008 @ 9:56 pm

  13. I think even though you both got there in different ways you ended up at the same destination… their relationship isn’t working the way it is and needs a drastic change. In my daddy/little girl relationship I’ve learned that as long as you both have the same outcome on an idea there really isn’t any reason to argue over how you get there. It also leaves more time for funner things ;)
    Furthermore the trust is already gone and from past experience with cheating… it ain’t comin back! Because an M/S relationship needs SO much trust I think they’re pretty destined to fail.

    Comment by Lora — June 19, 2008 @ 8:12 pm

  14. Hmmm, I have to admit that I’m a bit split on the issue. On one hand, I agree, if we’re to go by the definition of an M/s relationship, then he does need to step up to the plate by being up front about what he will and will not do, as well as holding her to task over her internet usage. However, having said that, while I agree that it takes all kinds especially in the world of BDSM style relationships, I think there’s a couple of solid points to be made on the matter.

    #1) Richard was right on point in saying that if the man can’t master himself, then there’s no way in hell he can master her. As was written in the comments above, it’s a rare man that has a developed sense of self awareness, but the word developed is key in that phrase. This point leads to the 2nd one.

    #2) Based on the limited details here, what you have is a man who is *playing* a Master. What I mean by this is that there’s no fortitude to his actions, no strength developed by the above self awareness. I tend to believe that except in rare cases, men’s desire to not be monogamous comes from a direct correlation to how much they are self-aware, strong, confident people. Maybe Megan’s sadist is one of these, as I won’t make a universally blanket statement on much of anything, but it’s a fairly common occurrence to see men who know diddly about themselves, and thusly can’t make up their minds about women.

    #3) This is a point that I think needs to be made in general, kind of as a note on etiquette in relationships that I’m sure the guy in the picture hasn’t the slightest clue about. If you draw someone in on the basis of monogamy, but have no plans (or do not communicate change in said plans) you are misrepresenting your side of the relationship. This is true for any aspect, whether it be monogamy or any other issue. The reality is that this man doesn’t understand enough about the woman he’s with to help her grow and develop as a person (which, is one of the primary purposes of a relationship to begin with) nor does he understand the fundamentals of communication that are key in all relationships, but especially kink based ones.

    All-in-all, I’d say the girl needs to get outta there, because she’s not with the type of man that will be what she wants and needs. Is there potential for change? Sure. And this is where I kind of disagree with Richard. As a dominant man (of whichever title), when you enter into a relationship, it should not stop you from growing as a person and allowing even your sub (once again, of whatever title) to influence the path that you take. So it doesn’t magically stop the process that should be going on inside of the relationship. However, what this particular man is doing seems to be tearing down the ability for this woman to grow, and that’s rather disconcerting.

    My dollar and a quarter.

    Comment by Ryan — June 19, 2008 @ 11:02 pm

  15. Here’s what I’ve never understood: This whole business about non-monogamy in BDSM relationships, whether they’re D/s, M/s, whatever. Why is it so acceptable to have more than one partner? Why is it a Master/Dom decision to play around and the sub/slave just has to put up with it or get out? Relationships are still relationships no matter what initials you put in front of them. Honesty plays a big part but is everyone really saying that this Master is just living his “kink” the way he needs to? And she has to just deal?? I understand Richard saying he’s the Master, I get that part of it. But what about all the other issues that are involved in a relationship that is more than just a 2 week fling? I guess I’ve just never understood the complete acceptance so many in the community have about other partners being involved because the Master/Dom wants it to be that way. I know many are not in a “love” relationship when M/s or D/s is involved, I understand that part of it. But at the core, if there is love involved, doesn’t that count for something in terms of monogamy and not hurting the person you are spending your time or life with??

    Comment by jdsgirl — June 21, 2008 @ 5:08 am

  16. My question is this: If trust has been breached (by one, or both parties as it has here), and both parties cannot truly be themselves in the relationship, why go on? An ideal relationship should not repress an individual, it should give a person an opportunity to grow in a number of positive ways. And that can be applied to the most vanilla coupling, or the most unique paring.

    The solution seems very simple to me. In any relationship, the boundaries need to be clear (and respected), the objectives the same. It seems that the relationship you described has neither.

    Comment by Naughty Secretary — June 21, 2008 @ 7:42 am

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