Master/slave relationships are not usually more complex than D/s ones but they do have their own quirks and manners and behaviors that other relationships don't have. Which is probably why when lifestyle books come out that are about relationships they are specific about which type of relationship they most relate to. In today's book review, we'll be talking about M/s relationships. Clearly, it's not just the title that will give it to you. The whole manner of the book is about developing an M/s relationship. So what am I talking about? I'm going to share with you my thoughts on M/s for the Rest of Us by K.E. "Master Bear" Enzweiler.
This book was sent to me by the author to review and while that won't impact the review of the book, I do appreciate getting review copies of books.
Okay so first, this book is written primarily for people embracing the Master role, rather than the slave, but that doesn't make it any less informative to the slaves. I know many Dominants who read this site because it helps them gain insight into their partners, and it's a good practice that everyone should do. Never before have I seen a book in this specific format and I really liked it. Each chapter starts out with a deep discussion of the topic, whether that be finding your identity, service in the home or training. I found myself underlining and making notes in the margins (something I RARELY do) about things that struck a chord in me. After the discussion is a "Notes from the Author" where you get a glimpse into the author's personal relationship and how the topic works and looks in their own relationship.
What I appreciate most about this book is that it's not a "this is how it's done book" where a more experienced person draws out the method and tells you that you have to do it one way and only one way. The author provides very down to earth advice and explanations, as if you are sitting across the table with them at a coffee shop. It's a really welcoming way to present information. And to help the reader figure out how to put what they learned into practice, or just to reflect; each chapter has a reader participation section where you are asked questions on how you'd apply the information from the chapter into your own relationship or your own identity. I wish a lot more books helped the reader process what they read in this or similar fashion.
The chapters I chewed on the most were about service and training. These two words alone tend to make most people hesitate. It feels so formal, right? Well an M/s relationship doesn't have to be formal to have elements of service and training. "Service, if it is done with an air of relaxation and normality, without hype or calling attention to it, can go relatively unnoticed. Done right, it won't seem out of place" (pg 18). And it's true. Much of what an M/s relationship looks like is a symbiotic dance of two people. It's not theater and it's not an attention-seeking play scene at a party. This book does a great job at placing the reality of M/s into everyday life and looking at it closely.
I would have loved a chapter or two from the slave in this relationship, sort of counterpoint to some of the topics, but that could just be my desire to find out more about myself as a slave and looking into the windows of another is always helpful. The book isn't lacking for not having anything from the right of the slash, it is just a personal desire from what I think is a great book.
I really loved this book and while I took awhile reading it, the book wasn't at fault. I wanted to digest every word and it inspired a few upcoming articles for the site too! I suggest that if you are interested in an M/s relationship that you pick up this book.
Buy M/s for the Rest of Us by K.E. "Master Bear" Enzweiler now in Paperback from Amazon.com!