A few times over the past few months, Daddy has joked about his being called Master. Usually it’s followed up by my saying “Master, Sir, Lord, God, Domleh-Pants?” and both of us laughing. But he did ask me a few times whether or not I’d thought about being someone’s slave again. Saturday night, I saw a friend sign his name "Master XXX". And it got me thinking: is the designation Master one that is demanded or one that is bestowed?
Other than this blog, I usually refer to him as my boyfriend. I tend to call him Daddy, but I don’t usually call him Sir except when we’re engaged in s&m activities or, as I call it, when he’s being an adorably mean bastard. I’ve never called him Master except in that Igor voice, while dragging one leg behind me and contorting my face into Marty Feldman.
But thinking about M/s relationships inevitably leads to a mental list of the good things and the not so good things. Since that list is specific to me, posting it won’t help anyone else. Something I might find outside the boundaries of any relationship, and would be negotiated into any eventual M/s one, is likely to be different from anyone else’s.
But one thought keeps creeping into my head. Not would it be better for me but would it be good for Daddy? And ultimately, would it enhance our relationship? I sometimes think that in crafting any D/s or M/s relationship, submissives would be better off thinking more like a top than a bottom during the formation. And vice versa.
I’ve been in an M/s relationship before. It was carefully crafted, and built through years of knowing each other. It changed as we both changed, and as our individual needs changed. At the basic level, it was an “I make the rules, you keep the rules” relationship. It eventually morphed into a M/s relationship. It didn’t start out that way.
The part that worked for me, was that the rules that he made were rules that were obtainable. The things he expected from me were things that I’d have probably done anyway. Even when things weren’t easy, I always understood that he was doing whatever it was, to have me learn something about myself. Standing quietly holding his brushes was a way to teach me patience and not to fidget. Learning to paint was to teach me to appreciate the beauty of the world around me. Even learning to laugh while being hurt was to teach me that it was perfectly ok for me to live my life and giggle over the absurdities of that life. He pushed me into places that weren’t comfortable for me, and didn’t push me into those areas where he’d known I wasn’t able to cope. His mastery was designed to help me, enhance my life, and provide me with a safe place to explore my masochism. I used to think he did it for him. But hindsight makes me think that he’d done it for me. He helped a scared, lonely, hurting girl find her way in a world that he was familiar with. There were so many things that I learned from him that it was easy to believe he’d taught me everything that I’d ever need to know.
And as usual, I was wrong about that.
Daddy has taught me many things. Some of them I’m still learning and probably will be for the rest of our lives. He’s getting me to open up more about what I want, how I feel. Talking to him in equality and not as a lesser part of a whole. That’s a hard lesson to learn after years of just accepting that no matter what I thought, things were going to be done for me, to me, and in spite of me, regardless. It’s a hard lesson to learn when you’re used to not being heard. When you spend that much time with your own thoughts, it’s difficult to learn that someone not only wants to hear you, but damn well expects you to talk. It’s one of the most difficult things for me simply because I have a tendency to SAY what I’m thinking and very often don’t recognize the consequences to others. Being honest is one thing. Saying something honest and having the one you love hurt because of it, that’s quite another. But on the plus side, my dentist says that he’s pleased to see I’ve apparently stopped biting the inside of my cheeks.
It’s difficult to compare one man to the other and I’ve never tried to do it. They’re both very different. And yet Daddy and J share a lot of the same traits: patience, creativity, self-awareness and self-expression. Where they differ is in how I relate to them. I called J Master because it fit our relationship at the time. I call my boyfriend Daddy because that’s how we fit together.
But when I look at Daddy and wonder if we’ll ever “do the M/s thing”, I realize that he already has as much right to be called Master as J ever did. It isn’t how long you’ve been in a relationship, or who makes the rules and who lives by them. Being a Master is more about how I relate to him than in how he views himself. As long as he’s coaxing the best out of me, whether by rule or by love, he’s entitled to be called Master. As long as his rule is my agreement, whether expressed, if he can remember them or not, or because I love him, he’s qualified to be called Master.
He can’t call himself Master, or demand that I do, and get away with it. Only I can call him that, and be believed.