MSS: Master Seeking Slave. A Guide to Master Slave Fetish and Relationships
By now you are familiar with the ideas around BDSM, kink, and fetish but did you know that BDSM isn’t limited to the bedroom? The “master” and “slave” dynamic can permeate your everyday lifestyle if you choose and there’s no one-size-fits-all way to do this. In this article, we are going to talk about what Master/slave dynamics are, how to build a BDSM lifestyle that works for you and your partner, and what this can mean for you, your partner, and your community.
What Is The Master/Slave BDSM Dynamic?
A dynamic of any kind is relational, so a BDSM dynamic is simply a reference to how people in a BDSM relationship or community relate to one another. A Master/slave BDSM dynamic is a specific relationship between two people that have agreed to an exchange of power where one person is referred to and treated as a “Master” and the other person is referred to and treated as a “slave”. For some couples, this dynamic is rigid but some couples switch these roles regularly. Both are normal and common.
These relationships extend beyond the bedroom and can play out in a lifestyle or online. These relationships are mostly romantic, but there are a few situations where the Dom/sub dynamic is between friends.
Exploring Your Master/Slave Dynamic
What’s in a name? BDSM relational dynamics can change, and so can the names. Master/slave is just one set of titles There’s also Dominant/submissive, Owner/pet, Daddy or Mommy/little, and many more. As you settle into your relationship, you choose what names you think make the most sense. You don’t have to stick to just one name, just like you don’t have to stick to just one dynamic.
It should also be noted that these titles aren’t limited by gender or expression. Since the dynamic itself is defined by the people in the dynamic, so are the names. The “Master” doesn’t have to be masculine. The Dom(me) can be any gender, as can the sub/slave/kitten, etc.
It’s also important to know that a lifestyle dynamic is about an exchange of power, and never about a surrender of power. That said, the titles “Master” and “slave” can be offensive when interracial couples are engaging, specific when the “slave” is Black or has American chattel slavery in their familial lineage. For this reason, the kink community is becoming more aware of the sensitivity around this nomenclature and is opting for titles like Dom/sub, Big/little, etc., instead.
Researching the history of Dom/sub dynamics is fundamental to building a healthy and successful relationship. Talk to your peers within the kink community for further insight. Look into different kinds of dynamics and rules to try out until you find something that works for you. Learning online, going to kink parties, and attending workshops are a few more ways to build your general knowledge and learn about staying safe physically and psychologically as you explore.
Fully exploring your Master/slave dynamic requires a fully outfitted set of tools. BDSM teasing and torture toys can vary between hard and soft striking tools, restraints, sensory deprivation items, such as eye masks, and so on. But without experiencing these sensations, it might be difficult to pinpoint your kink. For those looking to explore, a kit like the All Chained Up 6-Piece Master-Slave Bedspreader and Bed Restraint Set is the perfect starting point.
Once you have established your desires, it's time to explore the elements of Master and slave dynamics that fit your lifestyle.
How Is A Master/Slave Dynamic Different From A BDSM Fetish/Kink?
Kink by definition is exploration, while fetish is more appropriate when referring to an act needed in order for arousal or orgasm. The titles fit well in both of these scenarios, it only becomes a lifestyle when these dynamics extend beyond the bedroom.
Once you know that you want to continue with having a BDSM dynamic beyond sexy sessions, there has to be a conversation. The most important part of that convo has to be consent. Does everyone involved want to be a part of a more involved lifestyle around BDSM? What would that look like? It’s probably not ideal to assume a kneeling position in the produce section at your neighborhood grocer’s because you called your partner by their Master name in public out of habit… or cheekiness.
Establishing 1-3 rules to start is a great way to test what works and what doesn’t. It also helps to make these rules conditional. Things like if/then statements, deciding not to engage in the lifestyle dynamic around family or children, or choosing places that have always/never rules are great ways to think about the kind of rules you think will work for your situation.
When The Dynamic Isn’t ONLY Master/Slave
Another way this dynamic differs from bedroom kink is that there is an element of care that extends beyond the BDSM roles. While keeping your rules in place 24/7, it is important to set aside time for bonding and building intimacy. Having conversations that don’t reference any kink, exchanging romantic gestures, and sharing activities are great ways to stay connected so that the BDSM dynamic element of the relationship isn’t your only bond. When in doubt, have a conversation about how you’re feeling. Communication is one of the most important elements of any relationship, and that doesn’t change for any dynamic.
How Open Should You Be About Your Master/Slave Lifestyle Dynamic?
What or how much you want to disclose about your dynamic is completely up to what you decide with your partner(s). Being able to display your relationship dynamic helps validate your experience and status. If you have a kink community, it might be a good idea to share with those within the community that you feel close to. As you get comfier with your close kink community knowing your dynamic, you may feel more comfortable opening up over time.