Home > No Stupid (Kink) Questions > No Stupid (Kink) Questions: Episode 16 – You’re the master! (revisited)

No Stupid (Kink) Questions: Episode 16 – You’re the master! (revisited)

October 22nd, 2013

NoStupidKinkQuestionsGandhi said that if you want to change the world, you have to be the change you want to see. To that end, Insatiable Desire brings you No Stupid (Kink) Questions, a series of questions asked by novice kinksters around the web. If you have a question for us, leave it in comments, or send it to rayne (at) insatiabledesire (dot) com with “NS(K)Q” in the subject.

Question 16:

I’ve got this slave. I love it more than anything, and I’d love to keep it around. But it keeps ignoring the rules. I mean, I’m the owner. Shouldn’t my slave be doing at least some of what I say?

Disclaimer: Using “it” to refer to the slave in this article is my way of keeping it gender neutral.

Why, yes! You have read my answer to this question before. You can find the original post here: NS(K)Q: Episode 16 – You’re the master!

Here’s the thing. Back when I first wrote the post, in December of 2011, some folks had some concerns about my answer. At the time, I was riled about…something (fuck if I remember what), and couldn’t really see their point. Plus, it kinda felt like some folks were reading things into what I said that weren’t there. It happens. I do it sometimes. I may have done it with that post about Dan Savage’s opinion on monogamy. I make no secret of the fact that cheating is a trigger for me.

After reading the post and the comments again, I wasn’t sure it worked as a standalone piece, so I wanted to do a part two, of sorts, to iron some things out. Because I’m lazy, I’m going to use the comments on the OP to direct this revisit.

CarrieAnn said:
“But be honest with yourself. Is getting your needs met “something silly”? And if so, maybe you should be on the other side of the slash, eh?”

Damn, woman. I think you just said that, being on the other side of the slash, my needs are silly…

Also, I have to say, there have been plenty of times my guys has sacrificed his needs despite our dynamic because indulging in them would have been harmful to me or would have changed who I am at my core in some way — and because he loves me, he’d prefer not to harm me or change who I am.

Of course, I know didn’t mean a submissive type’s needs are silly or that a dominant type’s needs always come first in all situations cuz we’ve known each other for years but, yanno, I figure better for me to point out how it “could” sound than to have strangers do it.

And she’s right. That’s totally not what I meant. What I meant is that normally, masters don’t consider whether or not their needs are relevant. They’re the bosses. What they say goes. It’s usually us slaves who fret over whether our needs are really needs, and we should bring them up with our masters.

A common misconception is that slaves don’t have needs, and if they find they do have needs, they’re made to feel like they suck at slavery by kinksters outside their relationship. Not always, and not all kinksters, but it happens from time to time. This means a lot of us think long and hard about the things we want before bringing them to our owners’ attentions to avoid disappointing them.

However, she’s also right about the fact that there are occasionally things masters want that would not be conducive to their slaves’ growth as people. And in the end, we’re all people. This isn’t actual slavery. We’ve not been captured by our countries’ enemies, or convicted of crimes punishable by slavery (wouldn’t it be awesome if that still existed?), or kidnapped and forced into slavery. No one’s disputing our intelligence1 or our humanity2. There is such a thing as “too far3,” and crossing that line is not something that’s done in a consensual master/slave relationship.

I wasn’t suggesting a dominant shouldn’t pay attention to their slave’s needs. That would be ludicrous. But if a slave is not doing anything it’s asked to do by its owner, as the question suggests, we’re talking about something much different than potentially harming or changing the slave. If we’re not, then maybe the slave shouldn’t be a slave. I mean, if the very act of behaving as a slave is going to cause harm, why would you commit yourself to being a slave?

ExquisiteSensations said:
Actually, I really like this article. I am not in a D/s relationship, nor have I ever been but I do like to read about it and learn more for roleplaying and stuff like that.

I 100% agree that a Dom shouldn’t be whining that their sub/slave doesn’t listen to them. If you’re the dominant one in the pairing, make it right. If you aren’t going to force things to be the way they want them then you can at least discuss it with the other partner (like in a vanilla relationship).

It seems funny and strange that Doms out there are upset that the subs won’t listen to them. Every relationship is different and has its own terms, which should suit both people in it, but if what you really want and are looking for is someone to listen to you and make sure your needs are met, and you wish to exert control over them in order to get it, then why isn’t it happening?

Unrepentant (who felt I didn’t answer the question) replied:
Maybe it’s not happening because the dom isn’t sure of the best way to make it happen. Just because someone is dominant, it doesn’t mean they’re born with an innate knowledge of how to handle people and make relationships work, any more than a submissive person is.

ExquisiteSensations replied:
From the article, and I quote: “But it keeps ignoring the rules. I mean, I’m the owner. Shouldn’t my slave be doing at least some of what I say?”

That does not sound like a person who is confused about how to make relationships work. That sounds like a Dom who assumes the slave will ‘automatically’ obey and hasn’t even attempted to gain compliance through any method other than ‘but I said so’.

Even without any real knowledge of D/s I can say that the Dom should be trying to coerce the sub, perhaps taking away a benefit or reward in the form of something the sub likes, or for those who are more extreme- adding aversive stimulus in the form of something the sub does not like.

That isn’t an innate knowledge of how to handle people, it is simply trying something- ANYTHING, which by the sound of the article above, some Doms out there aren’t even trying. I am not saying many, or even a large number- but it sounds like there are people who consider themselves Doms, go out and find a sub, then wonder why that person doesn’t magically do whatever they want without stepping up to the plate and trying their hand at dominating to some degree.

And I thought, “Yes! Someone gets it.”

Once upon a time, Master and I were in some chatroom somewhere, and this dude was going on about how his girl didn’t do what he told her. They were in a mostly real life relationship. They saw each other a couple times during the week, and spent the weekends, when her kids were at their father’s, living the kid-free master/slave dream…except the only time she listened to him was when it pertained to sex.

Ever helpful, I piped up and said, “Have you talked to her about it?”

“Well, no.”

“Do you have a punishment or reward dynamic?”


“Okay, how do you handle disobedience, normally?”

“I ignore it and move on.”

“Well, there’s your problem,” Master broke in. And I was relieved. Slaves telling masters they’re wrong is frowned upon in many circles, and especially in this household…unless Master is dead wrong, and it could be detrimental to whatever is going on.

“Why should she do what you tell her?” Master continued. “There are no consequences for disobeying.”

And it was like a light bulb went off for that guy. Speaking aloud (or in text, as the case may be), he toyed with the idea that a consensual slave should just be obedient all the time, but only for a moment, because that’s unrealistic. Everyone has bad days; moments of weakness.

Hell, there are days when I’m just plain fucking tired of holding myself to the few standards Master holds me to that fall outside of what I will ever be willing to do for anyone else4, and I act however the hell a person who knows me well would expect me to act, consequences be damned. I’m headstrong, and self control is not my strong suit.

I mean, yesterday, the lady I was talking to at the IRS told me that if I didn’t like the way they handled things, I could write my congressman. I laughed. Hard. But I bit my tongue. I’d already told her it was not my fault that the IRS couldn’t get its shit together and the government shut down. I figured I’d better not press my luck. When I told my sister about it, I said, “Right. My congressman just gave you a paid fucking vacation because he didn’t want to do his job, but let me get right on that.” She and my mother bandied about the idea that I’d actually said that.

I suppose they weren’t far off.

We’re gonna get fucking audited.

ANYway…my point, from the very first post, was that you cannot just expect a person to act a certain way without letting them know that you expect them to act that way. Sure, some slaves are experienced, but that doesn’t mean they know what you want from them. That means they know what their exes expected from them. You have to teach them your way. And then you have to hold them accountable.

There are tons of ways to do this, but that’s another tale for another time.

1. Except the assholes who claim you have to be stupid or weak (or both) to choose slavery.
2. Outside of humiliation play.
3. In this case, doing something that will cause serious, irreversible harm, or changing who the slave is at their core.
4. Unless he tells me to. 

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