Mistress Matisse in Seattle




A Word About Asking for "Slave Training"

When people contact me about wanting a session with me, I ask them what kinds of fantasies they wish to explore, what their interests are.

Sometimes this person will reply "Slave training". And I ask them:

"What does that mean to you, what do you think that means?"


Because it may be that in your state of inexperience, you are using terms you don't fully understand. If you write to me and say you want to be trained as a slave, that means something quite different than asking about - for example - fantasy dominance and submission sessions. Most of the time, my clients come to me with specific types of fantasies they wish to explore, such as bondage, different types of corporal punishment, mild to severe masochism sessions, golden showers, foot fetish/worship, medical fantasy scenes... These are all things I do, in various combinations. People frequently feel sexually excited by these things, and that's fine. But asking for those things, and having me do them to you, is not slave training.

If someone says "I want you to train me as a slave" - it means something very different. What that means is: I want you to train me to serve you as you wish. My wishes and fantasies will not be consulted, since slaves have no such power. If the Mistress wishes to punish a slave for failing in some task, she will do so. No effort is made for the slave to find erotic satisfaction, in fact he may be explicitly forbidden to do so. He will be assigned various duties during his visits to the Mistress, for example, he may be stripped and made to scrub a floor - with a toothbrush - while the Mistress looks on, talks on the phone, reads a magazine, et cetera. She may or may not strike his bare behind with a riding crop while he scrubs. When he finishes, he may be ordered to kiss and lick the Mistress's feet for a time as a reward. Then he will leave. That is an example of true slave training - the Mistress's wishes are everything - the wishes and desires of the slave count for nothing.

Needless to say, few people are truly cut out for this. It is a pure form of submission that, properly channeled, is an art form, a spiritual expression of the self, and I hold it in the highest esteem. So much so that I refuse to call something "slave training" when it very much is Not!

There is nothing wrong with having fantasies of certain kinds of erotic submission and wanting to explore them specifically. But in BDSM, its important to be clear about what you want and what you are willing to give.

To further clarify your ideas about erotic/fantasy submission versus being a slave, read on.

Types of Submission

By Diane Vera and published in The Lesbian S/M Safety Manual, edited by Pat Califia, from Lace/Alyson Press, Boston, 1988, reissued 1990 (still in print).

Within the S/M subculture, different people use the words "submissive and slave" to mean many different things. When submissives say "I want to be your slave," sometimes they mean only that they want to be tied up and whipped. Many professional dominants routinely refer to their (usually not very genuinely submissive clients) as "slaves." At the other extreme, there are people who want to be full-time personal servants, and who truly want to exist solely for their Dom(me)'s use, pleasure and convenience. And there are many shades in between these two extremes.

Not into servitude, humiliation or giving up control; just pain and/or spiced-up sensuality, on the masochist's own terms and for the masochist's own direct pleasure (i.e. turned on solely/mainly by one's own bodily sensations rather than by being "used" to gratify one's partner's sadism).

Not into even playing "slave," but into other "submissive" role-playing, e.g. schoolteacher scenes, infantilism, "forced" transvestism. Usually into humiliation, but NOT into servitude, even in play. Dictates the scene to a large degree.

Likes to play at being a slave; likes to feel subservient; may in some cases like to feel one is being "used" to gratify partner's sadism; may even really serve the dominant in some ways, but only on the "slave's" own terms. Dictates the scene to a large degree; often fetishistic (e.g. foot worshippers).

Really gives up control (only temporarily and within agreed-upon limits), but gets her/his main satisfaction from aspects of submission other than serving or being used by the dominant. Usually turned on by suspense, vulnerability, and/or giving up responsibility. Doesn't dictate the scene except in very general terms, but still seek mainly her/his own direct/pleasure (rather than getting one's pleasure mainly from pleasing the dominant).

Really gives up control (though only temporarily; only during brief "scenes" and within limits) and gets main satisfaction from serving/being used by dominant-but only for FUN purposes, usually erotic. May/may not be into pain. If so, is turned on by pain indirectly, i.e. enjoys being the object of one's partner's sadism, on which the submissive places very few requirements or restrictions.

Really gives up control (usually within limits); wants to serve and be used by the dominant; wants to provide practical/non erotic as well as fun/erotic services; but only when the "slave" is in the mood. May even act as a full-time slave for, say, several days at a time, but is free to quit at any time (or at the end of the agreed upon several days). May or may not have long-term relationship with one's Mistress, but, either way, the "slave" has the final say over when she will serve.

Has an ongoing commitment to an owner/slave relationship and regards oneself as the dominant's property at all times. Wants to obey and please dom(me) in all aspects of life-practical/non erotic and fun/erotic. Devotes most of time to other commitments (e.g. job) but Dom(me) has first pick of the slave's free time.

Within no more than a few broad limits/requirements, the slave regards herself/himself as existing solely for the Dom(me)'s pleasure/well being. Slave in turn expects to be regarded as a prized possession. Not much different from the situation of the traditional housewife, except that within the S/M world the slave's position is more likely to be fully consensual, especially of the slave is male. Within the S/M world, a full time "slave" arrangement is entered into with an explicit awareness of the magnitude carefully, with more awareness of the magnitude of power that is being given up, and hence is usually entered into much more carefully, with more awareness of the possible dangers, and with much clearer and more specific agreements than usually precede the traditional marriage.

A common fantasy ideal which probably doesn't exist in real life (except in authoritarian religious cults and other situations where the "consent" is induced by brainwashing and/or social or economic pressures, and hence isn't fully consensual). A few S/M purists will insist that you aren't really a slave unless you're willing to do absolutely anything for your Dom(me), with no limits at all. I've met a few people who claimed to be no-limit slaves, but in all cases I have reason to doubt the claim.

Copyright 1984 and 1988, Diane Vera



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