Up until now, we have concentrated on the broad principles that make relationships work. Communication, negotiation, limits and the like have been covered extensively. But what about the little, nagging things that can gnaw at the fabric of even the most solid Master/slave relationship? What are they? How can you avoid falling prey to them? Let’s start with one I call “subbie snap.” (This article is primarily aimed at Dom/mes and subs who are — or want to be — in a committed D/s relationship.)
In most D/s relationships, the broad principles of Dominance and submission are pretty obvious. So, when the Dom/Domme asks the submissive to “make coffee,” for example, neither really gives it a second thought. Compared to tying your submissive to a cross and flogging him/her within an inch of her/his safeword, this is no big deal. Or is it? Well it can be.
The “big commands” – like pushing limits in a public scene – happen only occasionally. But the “little orders” can be an everyday occurrence. The danger in these “little commands” is that the submissive is reluctant to object to them no matter how annoying they might be.
For example, let’s say that every time the submissive opens up a can of Coca-Cola for her/himself, the Master/Mistress seizes the can and takes a big gulp out of it, almost finishing it. In a vanilla relationship, the partner can just say, “Next time get your own friggin’ soda.” In a Master/slave relationship, no matter how much this habit gets on the slave’s nerves, he/she would just accede to this demand and make no mention of it. Over time, this can build up from a minor annoyance to a major resentment. If there are too many of these little unresolved annoyances, it can add up to an overall feeling of frustration. In the worst case scenario, left unchecked, this can cause what I call “subbie snap.” This is where the submissive “loses it” and tells the Master/Mistress off. Little frustrations, added up over time, can turn into one big frustration that can threaten the whole D/s dynamic of the relationship.
The problem here is that most submissives won’t mention these little things to the Dominant. While he/she might mention a major problem, there can be a reluctance to seem “un-slavelike” when it comes to these tiny, seemingly unimportant, irritations. What to do?
From the Dominant side, a keener sense of observation might be called for. When in a scene, a given Dominant might be the most observant person on the planet. But when in garden-variety life interactions, this same Dominant can be as thick as a brick. Thus, the Dom/me must make a special effort to keenly observe the submissive’s demeanor on a regular basis. The Dominant should look to see if the slave is making those “little faces” when responding to small requests. If it is not an important demand, you — the Dom/me — might want to request it less often. On the other hand, it might be a tip-off that the whole Master/slave dynamic is going off kilter. In this case, the “C word” – communication – comes to the rescue. It might be time to address it before it becomes a bigger problem; taking care of business early can prevent a major case of “subbie snap.”
From the submissive’s point of view, don’t suffer in silence. Not wanting him hogging your Coca-Cola might not seem a big enough deal to risk looking un-slavelike – but it can be. If your Master has some annoying habits that make you squirm, don’t be afraid to mention it. There is nothing unusual about being a good slave in all regards but having a few minor things you simply loathe doing. Small frustrations are easy to nip in the bud – before they become big frustrations. On the other hand, if your actions are a symptom of a bigger problem, it is incumbent on you to tell your Dominant. What is to be gained by hiding it? In the long run, by not confronting it, you might ruin your relationship. Here, again, communication is essential. Remember, if your Dominant does not observe the problem, then you must tell him/her. Your Master/Mistress might be many things, but a mind reader is probably not one of them. And if he/she is not good at reading the little signs I have been pointing out, then you must advise him/her about what is causing you grief.
At the end of the day, both parties should be fulfilled in a Master/slave relationship. And avoiding “subbie snap,” even at the risk of breaking of your particular protocol, is one way to insure that.
After a ten year run as head writer for the legendary bondage.com, and an equally long run as the host of the hit internet show “Baadmaster’s Dungeon,” we are pleased to welcome the one and only Baadmaster to KinkWeekly. His thoughts about all things BDSM will now appear regularly on these pages. From the mental aspects of D/s to the nuts and bolts of S&M play, Baadmaster will cover every facet of this ever expanding lifestyle.