There are times in everyone’s life when we all feel dis-empowered. I think just about all of us can say when the bills are late~ a lot, or work or school are not going well despite all of our efforts, or things just happen ~ the car goes out, then washing machine breaks, then the pipes burst~ it is really easy to feel smacked around by life. I know I definitely go through it. We have all had those days when the lists of things that have to be done with no resources to do them are mountainous and our accomplishments are seemingly made smaller by comparison.
So by now you might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with leather? And why should I care? Powerlessness to someone who identifies as a Master is a slippery slope. In our relationships we are the ones that have negotiated for the power, our submissives or slaves give up that power, which is not a small task when it is done daily and consistently. In the beginning of a relationship, when everyone is in new relationship energy and everything seems abundant, giving a little more and a little more from the slave is fairly easy. This extra energy make the Master feel better about themselves and their predicament, and although this is something that we all do in our relationships, in an M/s relationship that flow of energy and support can easily become extremely one sided. So what happens when the Master is a bottomless pit of need- by either emotional make up or simply life’s roller coaster? What happens to the relationship when it becomes the norm and the expectation for one partner to make the other partner feel better?
Well a few things happen in different orders depending on the person~ one the Master becomes lazy and instead of doing their own emotional work, they turn to their submissive to do it for them. For example “I feel bad, talk to me, give me more attention, time, and give me more of you.” Two: when the slave is no longer able to give up energy and emotion because they themselves have become drained the Master puts on the heat~ if you were a better slave I wouldn’t feel this way. Then finally there is the blow up~ the slave is completely empty and the Master demands more energy, time resources that the slave does not have, ending up in confusion, resentment, and accusations.
The slave feels like they have given everything, they have given all parts of themselves, and that somehow they have failed as a person, as a slave, and as a partner. The Master still feels that they have a right to the energy that has came so easily before, and instead of going out and replenishing themselves, they continue to give subtle hints and requirements to the slave, pushing and asking for more. Why? Because relaying on someone else to make you feel better is much easier than going out and doing it yourself.
I actually see this lot in the community, especially with certain Masters~ month one new slave, slave smiley and fulfilled and saying things like “I can’t ever think about not serving Master so and so.” Month two, the slave appears a little more disheveled then last month, and states that they are just tired. They lay on the dominants arm a lot, and smile but don’t talk. Month three they don’t appear. Month four slave comes alone or with new dominant- tears ensue.
So I am putting a call out to Masters to heal the self and stop relying on their slaves to do it for them. Am I guilty of asking too much, I know that I am. Am I guilty of sucking my slave dry, I know I am. Am I guilty of turning to my slave and asking her to fix me, yep that to.
Do I do the same for her you betcha. Is it taxing for both of us, ohh yes.
So what should Dominants do to take the pressure off of their slaves and put the responsibility back where it belongs?
One~ realize when you are creating too much pressure for your slave and apologize for it, and thank them for their efforts.
Two~ find a hobby, find a book, find a TV show that you can do independently, and give them some time to do the same.
Three~ don’t make everything a slave duty. Take out the trash yourself, do the dishes, give yourself a list of chores that are your responsibility.
Four~ don’t automatically turn to your partner for support~ sometimes it is healthier for you to deal with yourself for a little while, make your own conclusions, and pick yourself up~ then the expectation isn’t always that someone else do it.
And finally five~ find another similarly identified leather person to talk to that you trust, that you really trust enough to talk about your own weaknesses, and failures. As well as someone that is open and honest about theirs.
I had no idea how much I was draining my slave until we changed how chores were done. I decided instead of a monthly or weekly list of chores, I would simply dictate what chores needed to be done on a daily basis depending on what the house needed. What I found was that I demanded so much of her time and resources that literally she had no time to get anything done. I would think that the floors needed vacuuming ~ but would insist that she spend all day in bed snuggling with me, because I felt scared or challenged. When I saw how her time was spent, I realized I was asking too much of her, and I needed to change.
The end result of being more emotionally responsible has waves of positive affect fort the Master and the slave. The slave is able to focus on other things that need to be done without the overriding pressure of failing. The Master will start to feel empowered in a different way, and because they aren’t relying on another person to fulfill them they are able to maintain their own power as well as give some to others. But most of all an empowered Master leads better. You can’t steer a ship if you can’t control the wheel.
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