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NS(K)Q: Q57 – What is “slave speak”?

January 15th, 2016

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 57:

My sub and I have been discussing upping the relationship ante to Master/slave. He asked me if I’d require him to speak in slave speak, and I said I don’t know. I don’t know because I have no idea what slave speak is, but I didn’t want to tell him that. So what is slave speak? And do I have to make him use it?

First of all, there are very few “have to”s in BDSM. You have to get consent from anyone you touch. You have to stay within the limits the two of you have set for each other. If you set protocols for yourself and your slave, you have to obey and enforce them. If you use a safe word or gesture, you have to stop when they’re used. If you don’t use safe words, you have to respect your partner’s “no,” or “stop.”

I’m sure others will have “have to”s they think should be included, but I feel like these are the biggies. I don’t think I need to go through each point and explain why. I’m sure the whys are obvious.

Beyond the common sense, rules of society type things, how you run your dynamic is up to you and your slave. Everyone does it different.

Slave speak is generally what people call it when a slave refers to themself in the third person. This can be done a few ways, but a few of the most popular ones are:

  • The Gorean Method: Often in Gorean chatrooms, slaves were (are? Do chatrooms still exist?) required to refer to themselves with gendered pronouns (she/her, he/him) and some variation of “this slave” or “this one”.
  • What some refer to as “pure third person”: The slave refers to themself as one/oneself.
  • Object pronouns: The slave refers to themself as it/itself/that.

Some people use slave speak in their relationship as a means of training, or reminding a slave of their place. Put simply, it is a form of self-objectification that teaches and reminds a slave that they are property the same as their master’s computer or couch.

I remember in the Gorean chatrooms, the girls (myself included) would challenge themselves and each other to find new and creative ways to refer to themselves so that they weren’t always saying “this girl”. We had a lot of fun with it and it was a great way to keep our heads in the right space. And the Free People were entertained, so everyone won.

Other folks find slave speak so annoying that they’ll badger a slave required to use it until they leave, shut up, or beg their owners to allow them to refrain from using it in public. So, you know, consider that when you decide whether or not you want to use it. Or don’t. It’s entirely up to you.

And your slave. You should find out if he even wants to use slave speak. Maybe he was asking because he was hoping the answer would be no. Consider that, too. But unless it’s a hard limit for him, you don’t necessarily have to let him make the decision. Do what you want to do (as long as you have consent for that).

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