I’d like to introduce you to a book that I’ve been reading for a number of months, that I’ve really enjoyed. Master/slave Mastery - Advanced by Robert J. Rubel Ph.D. and M. Jen Fairfield is beyond engaging if you’ve moved past the rudimentary functions of an M/s relationship and want to know the mental and emotional aspects, the reasoning and the effects on our interpersonal relationships that being Master/slave have in us. That’s what this book has to offer.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

We’ve had a number of Robert J. Rubel and M. Jen Fairfield’s books reviewed here on Submissive Guide:

I don’t believe I’ve reviewed one written specifically as an advanced book. And that’s taking it lightly. This book will not be of any help if you are new to BDSM, if you consider yourself a novice or if you don’t consider yourself in a Master/slave relationship. According to the author, the concepts in the book are meant for persons with at least 5 years experience in an M/s dynamic who want to explore the philosophy behind why people engage in M/s relationships, not the basics or the how-tos. It deepens the psychology of Masters and slaves and in almost textbook format, presents views and hypotheses for every nuance of an M/s relationship.

This book is not your usual BDSM instruction book. It’s dense psychology driven resource for people that want more information on the why instead of the how of Master/slave dynamics. Here’s what each chapter delves into.


The introduction is definitely must read before you start into the book. It will help you get on the same footing as the author and understand where the book is likely to lead you as well as defining a few of the terms used throughout the book that you might have different understanding and definitions. You’ll pick up the scope of the book and the author’s views on some of the foundations of the book.

Chapter 1: Relationships

You’ll delve into different structure styles and break down the differences in D/s and M/s (and O/p) based on Dr. Rubel’s view. He breaks down four different authority structures and also covers the variety of love in service and authority-based relationships.

Chapter 2: Mastery

This section is for working out the nuances of mastery and finding your individual path in the leadership of the relationship. You’ll be given a few tools for managing stress, devising rituals and protocol and maintaining your slave. There are also great resources mentioned in this chapter for any role on etiquette, a public persona and interacting with people.

Chapter 3: slavery

In this chapter, a large portion of it covers obedience. And quite right. It drills down on why you are obedient, what obedience looks like and the conundrum of being right vs. being obedient. There’s a section on active listening and how to have emotional conversations with your Master.

Chapter 4: Nuts and Bolts

You’ll pick up lots of ideas and suggestions about leadership, authority, punishment and control in this chapter. Once the book has already laid down the groundwork, the bits and bobs that are left will help you piece together a working relationship. This is quite a bit of help in that regard. I especially liked the section on reactance vs. resistance in response to orders. It made a lot of sense to me and got me thinking about my own service.

Chapter 5: Little bits of ideas

This section is about communicating with others. It has sections on responding and reacting to others, service options and conflict resolution and communication challenges.

My Impressions

This book is definitely not meant as easy reading. It’s like a textbook on Master/slave relationships in advanced topics. Every paragraph has a lot of information and it takes due diligence and concentration to read this book.

It’s a great book and I made so many notes while reading it. Dr. Rubel uses a lot of quotes and references to presenters of classes and conventions he’s attended. That adds to the enrichment that you’re not only learning from one source but also the many he’s been engaged with in one way or another. That allows for a broader understanding of the information and I really appreciate that.

Not surprisingly, the slavery chapter was the chapter I was most interested in. I’ve transitioned off and on calling myself a slave and wanted to know what a deeper understanding of it would look like.

A fantastic section for just about any submissive or slave type is about obedience. I think I read it three times and the underlining and notes in the margins are definitely more prevalent there. The author touches on why obedience is important, how you can tell if what your partner says is an order or a request and more revealing to me, the differences in submission vs. service.

I could pinpoint areas of my personal growth that I’d like to work on and where the current conflict in my relationship with KnyghtMare is stemming from. Not only that, but I also have a direct path to fixing it. Realizations like that are huge in my consideration of value when it comes to a book on M/s relationship dynamics.

That is why I think everyone who is looking for deeper meaning in their M/s relationship should pick up this book. Read it a few times, pick up the recommended supplemental resources if you find a section of the book that speaks directly to you. And finally, really embrace slavery or service or an intense connection with your partner.

How to get the book

This book is available as a Kindle ebook and in paperback from Amazon.com. If you want to live a more authentic Master/slave relationship and have more than an introductory understanding of your role, you might be ready for the advanced course.