We are all done with this book club, but if you are still reading feel free to comment on this or any of the previous week's posts. Today I wanted to take some time and showcase all of the favorite quotes, some of the key thoughts and comments on the book from this event. Thank you, everyone, for participating!
“Some of us take a loving relationship and add a layer of power exchange to it. My slave and I took a power exchange relationship and added love to it (a small difference, you might say, but a significant one).”
“Some ask me why, if I’m such a strong person, I would allow myself to be in a power exchange relationship For me, the answer is simple: I don’t like, nor am I good at, playing chess.”
“It was the idea of trusting someone completely ..”
“M/s as a lifestyle is simply who I am…all the time. I am always responsible for my slave, regardless of whether I am at work, at home, or at a PTA meeting. I am a Master, no matter the circumstances at any given moment.”
“I just don’t want to be in a place where I have to hide myself or keep secrets out of fear.”
“Sex is an optional part.”
I could also connect with what dawn was saying about when she was with other women and they started the man bashing talk. I was right there with them with my husband but with My Master not only is there nothing to bash but even if there were something that bothered me, I would take it to Him and not waste my time telling everyone else about it. I think it would also be very disrespectful to Him and He has earned the highest respect I can possibly give. I am a direct reflection of Him and the last thing I want to do is tarnish His reputation.
Her closing comment about being able to share everything with someone and in turn have them share back was really spot on with me. While I don’t always know everything My Master has planned for me, I trust Him implicitly not to keep secrets. From day one He told me that communication was of utmost importance. He made a safe space for me to share. I think something that M/s really brings out is a safe space for both partners. This lifestyle requires very open communication if it’s going to work correctly. There is no room for secrets or lies. Knowing that makes me feel so very safe and allows me to place everything in His hands.
I had read most of this book a few years ago and enjoyed it very much. Now rereading it, I find it is still enlightening. I love their acceptance of differences most of all. There is no checklist defining Master, slave, and then exclusion of some individuals. For a community on the fringe, there are so many individuals ready with the “you aren’t doing it right” attitude. The concepts of knowing yourself, authenticity and acceptance are the foundation of my relationship with Sir. And once I understood the game of chess as dawn explained it, I found I viewed all my vanilla relationships with new insight.
I struggle when a word like “authentic” comes up but there must be an appropriate word to distinguish between playing (such as pretending or role-playing D/s or M/s outside of the bedroom) and not-playing. The words real and true have very negative connotations because it implies that anyone doing something different is not doing it right, which of course is silly because there’s no such thing as the “right” or “true” way. “Authentic” could also have negative connotations.
I love the idea of porch time. KM and I had something similar when we were first starting out where we could remove the roles/rules and just be 2 people in a relationship with vexations and rants and cursing and venting and expressing concerns without the fear or any retaliation. Even now we can call a time out and talk about things in this way.
While my relationship with KM has never needed a contract because we just don’t feel the need for it I know that they hold a great importance for others and love to hear about other people’s contracts and the thoughts that go into them.
Sir and I have a contract and we love it. I think people get hung up on the word contract and if the word was agreement or modus operandi or something else, no one would raise as many objections. It is as Dawn says “an expression of our core selves AND also as a tool for growth”. We have one because Sir read Living and decided it would be a good idea. I find tremendous peace with our contract. It lays out the expectations and responsibilities of our relationship. And although difficult, the dissolution section removes the fear and uncertainty of how that will happen (and maybe it never will). It is a powerful document between the two of us and comes up for the first review in May. Over the course of the last year, I have referred to it to clarify my responsibility within the relationship and so far, all my questions are covered. Sometimes when I read the concerns of others on Fetlife, I see how our contract has resolved issues similar to the OPs. I am wondering what changes Sir and I will make to it in our first review or will it stand as is?
Before I could type anything up on the section I read it twice and highlighted specific things. These sections have opened my eyes and mind to things that I had thought about in the past, but reading about it all has made me look at these topics in much more depth than I ever have in the past. Extremely glad this book was chosen for the book club because it seems to be exactly what I have needed to read to get myself back on track.
Master and I have had a contract in place since the beginning, which helps me know exactly what are Master’s expectations of me. Rules and protocols are in place and I know the consequences shall I decide to not follow the rules or protocols set by Master. We have occasionally reviewed the contract and made changes as we see fit, because our relationship has grown and changed over time.
Thought the section on “Porch Time” was an interesting concept, because it isn’t anything Master and I have ever discussed. Sometimes I find myself taking my time to think things through before bringing up the issue with Master, but I don’t feel like I can’t communicate with him because of our roles. Even though Master and I haven’t had an issue with me speaking up, but I can see how this could become a problem in the future or a problem for others. Guess it just depends on the situation…
I completely agree with Dan’s section on qualities of a Master. There are many parts of being a slave but being a Master to another comes with a great deal of responsibility. I know discipline and punishment are not something a Master wants to do with their slave, but it is a necessary evil. If the slave is not acting appropriately or breaking rules then the slave should be punished. Otherwise, the slave will continue to form bad habits and in the end will not serve their Master the way it is expected of them. On page 62 Dan says, “The key aspect is to address a behavioral failure (to obey or to serve), while stressing that the PERSON is NOT a failure. That a specific desire, expectation, or command was not fulfilled is the failure to be addressed; address that specific failure, NOT the slave or the slave’s overall existence.” This statement made me really think about how I look at myself when I have failed to serve Master in the manner which he has requested of me. Master has always tried to make me see that I have not failed as a person, but that I have made a mistake and that mistake must be corrected. However, I over think things and usually end up beating myself up over the smallest of mistakes. Reading Dan’s thoughts about discipline has opened my eyes to something Master has been trying to get me to see for the longest time. Then dawn says “I’m my own worst punisher, and I can make the punishment last for days, days, and more days.” I’ve highlighted a lot in this book but thiss section really hit close to home for me. I’m sure Master and I aren’t the only ones, but they were discussing topics that Master and I have had to and are still working through when it comes to discipline and punishment. Hopefully one day soon I will be able to be like dawn and just “let it go.”
For me i do need love added to the relationship and sex is important but it is not what it is about for me. So i really loved a few of the quotes i found and completely identified with them… The quotes i loved that i could never express like she does is….”It is the Mastery and the power exchange that do it for me, not the sex itself, not the sluttiness itself.” and another quote on the subject “If i’m asked what my fetish is, I have to answer that I like being spanked, caned, and a variety of other things ….but only if submission is involved. The toys and the play do nothing for me. I need to submit to Sir, even if it’s though someone else, or the play is pointless to me.”
Porch time made me smile as that is something that my Master has put into place for us….however for us it is every Friday night. The reason for the need is He is teaching me that i can express things that i am not happy with ….that i am allowed a voice….my past relationship i was not permitted to speak on things so i learned to stuff things and not talk about them but it would fester and then i would blow up one day….at the beginning with Master and i …i did the same thing because it was how i was trained….He is so different and He makes it safe for me….He doesn’t belitte my concerns and really listens to me…..it is hard to learn to speak but i am learning and our “porch time” is helping me….perhaps as time goes on i may not need it like others have said….but for me now this is a tool in being retrained and a safe place where i can speak my mind and be heard.
I liked the analogy of relating a M/s relationship to a farmer tilling the soil. Sir relates our relationship to a journey on a train. I am not sure why in a power exchange relationship it is easier to discuss the relationship via an analogy than just using words. Perhaps it is related to dawn’s chapter “Some will never understand”. It is difficult to understand a power exchange relationship especially when the world is immersed in power consolidation situations. There is little trust around us and to have relationships and experiences where trust is absolute is a gift and a sanctuary.
This is my second reading of the book and I noticed that sections of the book I just could not understanding now are understandable. I guess it is the adage of the horse and water. There are no words that can prepare one for certain aspects of a power exchange relationship. It just has to be lived. In hindsight, I can say oh that is what that was but prior to the epiphany, I was clueless. (Surrender my ego .. huh?). I think this takes patience .. to live and not want all of it right now. The pace is set by the Dominant and no amount of “need” or sub frenzy will make life happen faster. The change has to happen inside and that happens when it happens. Maybe I am just having a zen moment, lol.