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The Master’s Voice #9: BDSM and Sexuality.

Yesterday’s post on here was presented in the form of an interview with one of my long-standing heterosexual subs. That, as expected, generated a great deal of feedback which was mostly very positive. The hottest thread of the conversation was no great surprise, as it’s a conversation I’ve been fielding for many years. It took the form of comments or questions such as “He’s not really straight though is he?” or “He’s gay/bi but just doesn’t know it yet,” or even “He’s just too scared to admit that he is gay.” and worst of all, “when he is tied up you should just fuck him. That will sort him out.” Are you serious?

I now want to dispel a few myths and clarify this whole gay vs. straight question in BDSM. I know that there are some who will never agree with my statements here but they are based on forty years of experience, discussion and observation.

Of course I understand the excitement of the whole idea of a gay man having sex with a straight guy. It is the stuff of fantasy and porn and I’m sure the same exists for the ladies too. The first myth to be dispelled it the notion that BDSM and sex are interdependent. Of course they can be and they often are, but they certainly do not have to be. They are two very different things and I believe that in essence they are not related. The need to submit. The desire to give oneself to another is far more basic than the desire for sex. If a heterosexual man has a powerful desire to experience submission, debasement, humiliation or emasculation, then surely there is no more extreme form than submitting to a gay Dom.

Of course sex can play a part in that loss of control. For some the fear of sexual use adds something to the feeling of submission. Some straight guys will even allow sex as part of the BDSM package either because they see it as the Dom’s right, or that they deserve it to happen in some way. Of course, it must be understood that even in these latter situations, the sex is still consensual and must never be otherwise.

I have learned to always keep two important ideas in my mind . I think in ‘grey scales’ where every individual sits on a line somewhere between black and white but rarely at either extreme. In the contexts we are considering here, the two lines are:

A) The Dom/sub scale where one end is 100% Dom and the other is 100% sub,

B) The gay/straight scale where one end is 100% gay and the other is 100% straight. Maybe true bisexuality lies midway between these two but it could be seen as a whole new greyscale of it’s own.

I believe that each individual sits in their own unique position on each of the scales and no two people will be the same. This for me is both the challenge and the excitement in the whole process. Every person I encounter has their own unique story. Everyone has their own set of needs, desires, experiences and limits. Perhaps this is best explained if I introduce you to some of the non-gay subs that I am proud to know or have known over the years. I am disguising their names but they will recognise themselves and some will recognise each other where they have met with me.

1) Pete: (see picture) Young, successful, wealthy, fit, entrepreneur. Pete liked to be used in rough roleplay scenes where he was ‘forcibly’ stripped and dominated up to and including ‘forced’ sex and mock ‘rape’ scenes. Pete identified as straight and he would arrive with his own video camera to record the session for replay to his girlfriend in their own kinky sex sessions!

2) Bob: Happily married very masculine guy who identifies as straight/bi. Visits once a month for utterly submissive sessions including humiliation and full D/s sex. After almost 20 years of this we have few limits.

3) James: Happily partnered straight guy who likes to submit and worship his Dom. At first this was completely non-sexual but over several years more and more sex was introduced at his request and it is now a regular part of each session. Ever since the first session, James has a tendency to ‘vanish’ after each visit for varying periods of time. This possibly allows for feelings of guilt to be resolved before he gives in to the need and calls again.

4) Harry: Bi guy who lives with his long term female partner and child. Harry is a successful business man in a position of great power and responsibility. Harry likes to escape periodically in order to experience intense bondage, and moderate pain. Sex is seen as the right of the Dom to take as part of the domination.

5) Al: Married guy who identifies as bi but believes that if he’d had access to the internet earlier in his life then he may not have married but chosen a different path. Al is a kinky sub but has a strong sense of duty and is genuinely devoted to his wife and child so would change nothing now.

6) Terry: First appeared as a 19yr old straight lad seeking use as a leather and bondage sub only. After about two years he started to ask for sex to be included in the sessions but during this time he met the girl of his dreams so he retired from the BDSM life to get married and have children. Fast forward several years and Terry was exploring kinky sex with his willing wife. He now identified as bi and not only came out to his wife but told her about his one time Master who he wanted to see again. Not only did he return as a very fit and sexy 32yr old but it was with his wife’s full knowledge. I even chatted with Terry’s wife on the phone and on one occasion I sent phone pics to her during a live BDSM session with him.

7) Ropesub: You have already met him when I interviewed him for Master’s Voice #8. This bondage sub identifies as completely straight but he is partly turned on by the fear of gay sex. He depends on the certainty that I will never break his trust.

This list is not complete but I hope that it paints a useful picture. There are no rules other that consent and labels rarely fit. We must abandon outdated and irrelevant roles and instead treat each person as a unique and special individual.

It is worth mentioning here that of the seven guys listed above, five of them had first sought out female Dominatrixes. In each case they mentioned the same reason for turning to gay male doms. They all found themselves serving Dommes who they saw as physically weaker than they were and so some part of the much needed control was missing. It was only when they gave themselves to male Doms that they felt physically dominated. I do not believe that to be a universal state at all but it was what worked for them.

In conclusion I can only urge that we forget traditional labels and start seeing ‘people’. Then the opportunities for mutual fun and satisfaction are endless.

The Master’s Voice #8: Tie Me. Tease Me.

The main body of today’s post will take the form of an interview with a sexy guy who has served me as a bondage sub for many years now. This allows me to introduce two new topics to the series and I will be expanding on both of them in the future. First is the fun to be had with bondage and bondage subs. The second is the hot topic of straight (heterosexual) subs giving themselves to gay Doms. The lead character in today’s blog post is an enthusiastic bondage sub who is a fully paid-up straight male with no interest at all in m/m sex.

Rope Sub (RS) has visited regularly for several years and is a highly intelligent and articulate guy who lives with his long term girlfriend who knows of his kinky desires but who has no interest in them at all. As far as I am aware she has no idea what he does with me and so discretion was one of the most important factors in our meetings from the start. For that reason I never contact him directly, nor do I know his name or address. This adds to the whole scenario for him and our confidence in each other after so many years, renders such details irrelevant. Rope Sub was happy to be interviewed for this blog and so I posed a few simple questions and here is the result.

Mr T: What makes you submit to a gay bondage Master?

R.S:  For as long as I can remember the idea of being tied up and helpless excited me, long before I knew that these urges were sexual. For many years I believed that I wanted bondage with women, and to a great extent that remains true, but only with myself as the dominant party. However, I found it unsatisfying to be tied by women, and once I started researching the issue online I discovered that all the male bondage imagery that really excited me was by gay bondage tops. My early experiences with male tops, who were all gay, were under the strict condition that there not be a sexual element to the play. This seems odd, as bondage play for me is inherently sexual. However, I remain straight (in that I am not attracted to men) and did not want the play to go too far. Gradually I relaxed my strict limits and was tied naked, and then one day a top began teasing my cock while I was tied. This was scary but felt good, and I realised bondage with men could contain a sexual element without it going too far. Of course, I then met you. Before you I had only met other tops once or twice before they moved, I moved, or they wanted to push my limits further than I was comfortable with. Regular sessions with you enabled me to build up trust and enjoy the sessions more. For me, submission is only possible through the exacting application of effective ropes and gags, which you are able to provide. And of course, you make teasing my cock into an art form, so I’m always begging for more! Consequently it has been a long and complicated road to get to the point where I willingly submit regularly to a gay master, but I’m so glad I have arrived now! The key point I guess is that I can only submit through strict bondage and merciless cock teasing, which you provide!

Mr. T: What’s going through your mind on the way to a session?

R.S: The journey to a session is always a strange period. It takes at least 45 mins to drive to you, and during all of that time I am excited at the thought of what the session may involve, what your plans for me are. On the other hand, the mundane details of driving to you also intrude. In my regular life the idea of allowing another man to strip, bind and gag me would be totally incongruous, so it is important I try to block the mundane details out so I can stay in ‘bondage mode’. For this reason, I often play with my cock in the car to keep myself hard, and never have the radio on. I am focussing, or trying to focus, on getting to you as fast as possible so you can put me in bondage. After that, my nerves and normal life will fall away and be replaced only by a love of the ropes, and of being bound in them by you. The 5% of me which needs to be kept roped up and gagged is a very important part of me, and you keep it well and truly satisfied. Really looking forward to making more sexy pics and videos with you too (anonymous of course), really go to town on me with the ropes, as always I shall be trying to escape.

Mr. T: Does it bother you that when others see those pics they question whether you are really ‘straight’?

R.S: Hehe I love that some people doubt that I am straight, I guess that is inevitable! In the early days I met some bondage tops who didn’t want to believe it either and tried to push my limits or even force me to have sex with them. Right from the start you have never questioned that or tried to change it. Knowing that you could take advantage of me is part of the thrill. Knowing that you won’t is what lets me completely submit to you. In fact sometimes I feel guilty after our sessions that I am being unfair not allowing you to use me fully!

Mr.T: You know I disagree with that! The fun goes both ways and I get as much out of tying up a struggling, good looking, straight sub as you do being on the receiving end.

What are your thoughts during a session?

R.S: During a session my nerves (Yes I still have nerves!) fall away and the overwhelming feeling is of being excited and aroused. Two things are uppermost in my mind. (1) Imagining how I look (the aesthetics of restraint are very important to me) and (2) the physical sensations I am experiencing. Obviously this includes the feel of the restraints, gag and hood/blindfold, but also the feel of your hands on me. The things that arouse me the most are rope bondage and gags, so real highlights of the session and feeling the rope being applied, and the times when you gag me, especially when I try and resist and you force the gag in. Despite being straight I have a big oral fixation and love having a gag rammed into my mouth and buckled tight, the bigger the better! As the session continues I am quickly reduced to total submission by your bondage, your teasing of my body and your words. I like that you are physically strong and can force me into the bondage, as this adds to the feeling that choice and free will have been taken from me. Also, being straight it adds to the feeling that I have been taken prisoner by a predatory gay man for his nefarious wishes, which is a very compelling scenario for me! By the end, when you have me rock hard and begging through my gag for release, you have broken my will completely and I am yours. My cock felt like it was going to explode last time.

(It’s hard to concentrate at work now when all I want is to be roped up on your bed….)

Mr.T: HeHe I seem to remember it pretty much did explode! How do you feel when you leave or later on at home?

R.S: Once you let me come my mind becomes very peaceful as I savour the pleasure I have just experienced and I remain very calm while you begin the (often lengthy!) process of untying me. Once I come my need for bondage evaporates but I still feel under your control until the gag is removed, which for me marks the real end to the session. Thereafter my everyday life comes crowding back into my mind and I seek to head off as quickly as possible. This is not because I do not want to be with you but because the other 95% of my mind, seemingly aghast at what the 5% has just done, demands I get back to normality very quickly. However, I am always keen to see the pictures/video of the session, which allow me to relive the session in my mind until we can meet again. I like being one of your boys, even if not as committed as some!

Mr.T: Just as well since I like having you as one of my boys and as I have said before I do not see your limits as a handicap.

R.S: Hehe I meant more that I only make fleeting visits unlike some of your other boys. I wonder if I will ever meet them!

Mr.T: Would you like to?

R.S: I’m not sure really. As I say the one time I was tied up with another guy it was a bit strange, plus I might want your attention all to myself!

Mr.T Greedy boy! Lol

R.S: When it feels so good I feel justified in my greed!

I should say that RS is a very good looking young guy with the most incredible baby blue eyes which I imagine could get him into all kinds of trouble! His love of the ropes and the aesthetics of the tying gives me the opportunity to practice my rope skills particularly the art of Shibari. As you see by his comments, he worries that I will be left unfulfilled but that really is not the case. If anything I enjoy working on him knowing that the ropework is so satisfying for it’s own sake but also that my efforts can get a straight guy so turned on that I can have him begging for sexual release. BDSM can be, and often is enough on its own and sexual release is not essential. It is all about the consensual power exchange.

The Master’s Voice 07: The First Meeting.

We’ve looked at why you should negotiate with any prospective Dom about your limits, and why it’s important to lay a lot of groundwork before you decide to meet with someone. I wish I could say that everything after that point is nice and straightforward, but of course, it isn’t. (You may be starting to detect a theme here.)

You’ve no doubt read a lot of the standard advice when it comes to meeting someone from the internet for the first time, but I’ll repeat it here anyway just in case. These guidelines are designed to keep you safe, so think long and hard before you choose to ignore any of them!

1) Meet in Public. This one is a no-brainer. Be very cautious if someone insists on meeting you in their home or in a secluded spot – there is no conceivable reason why someone should demand that you meet them for the first time in a park at night, just to use one obvious (if unlikely) scenario. If someone wants to meet in a strange place, ask yourself why that might be.

2) Be specific about why you’re meetingGenerally speaking, your first interaction with a Dom will involve more talking than playing. As with the previous point, remember that they should be trying to protect themselves as well by making sure you’re the kind of person they want in their home (or wherever else it is you’ll eventually end up). An over-eagerness to get you into a private place so they can tie you up as quickly as possible might be a sign that they’re not going to respect your wishes once they have you in a vulnerable position.

3) Have a way out. Ideally, you’ll want to tell someone where you’re going when you meet for the first time and make sure that they’re expecting to hear from you at a specific time. If that’s not possible, then at the very least make sure that you can contact someone if need be during your first meeting. This goes hand-in-hand with meeting in public.

Apart from just safety, though, there are some other things to keep in mind when arranging an initial meeting. I’ve been harping on about the fact that when you meet a Dom or a Master, you’re also meeting a person, and it applies here as well. If you meet in a coffee shop (which is an excellent place to do it, by the way), what will you talk about? Do you have any questions you’d like to ask? Have you thought about what questions they might ask you?

If you’re only planning on meeting for occasional rounds of BDSM play, then all of this might seem like something you don’t have to worry about – after all, it’s not as if you’re on a first date. But if the person you’re meeting has any aspirations towards being your permanent Master – if you consider yourself a slave, in other words – then this first meeting will be almost exactly like a first date.

By this point you’ll have be finished with the negotiations and limits-setting stages (I hope), but remember, it’s not too late for either party to realize particular meeting isn’t entirely what they’re looking for. This could be something as general as a personality mismatch, which definitely does matter in the BDSM world, or something as specific as a previously-unmentioned fetish which is a must-have for one person but a complete dealbreaker for the other. As always, the important thing to keep in mind is that you can leave at any time if you feel uncomfortable. It’s not as if you’ve committed to anything. (And actually, even if you have committed to something, you can still leave.)

But I don’t want to dwell on the negative too much. Your first meeting with a Dom or Master should be a wonderful experience even if you do nothing but get to know each other face-to-face after previously chatting online. Whether it’s the beginning of something more long-term or just a once off meeting, for many subs or slaves it will be the culmination of years of fantasizing and dreaming. Stay safe, lay the groundwork and try to ignore the butterflies in your stomach!

The Master’s Voice 06 – Fantasy Vs. Reality (or, Why Porn is not Research).

Whether I’m addressing friends from the BDSM world or my many author friends there is one acclamation that you hear me use a lot: Porn is not Research. If you wish to live the lifestyle or dabble in it, this is very important. Maybe you are wanting to write accurately and descriptively about it. Either way the fantasy world of porn can give a wholly false impression. In truth BDSM without the checks and balances, without the careful negotiation and preparation could be a very dangerous thing. In this blog I intend to look at the differences and relate them to real experience.

My Alpha Slave often talks about how the months (or years!) leading up to his first real-life BDSM experience involved a lot of research. Like so many he sought out blogs written by experienced Doms and subs. Perhaps like him you’ve sought out some of the many books written on the subject.

Or, and I’m guessing this is as likely if not more so than the previous options, you looked at porn.

Obviously there’s nothing wrong with that! BDSM porn is abundant on the internet and elsewhere, and it’s certainly a valuable tool in determining what exactly you’re interested in. (Of course, it has other, non-educational benefits as well.)

The problem is that, as always, porn depicts a very skewed version of reality. Just as vanilla porn shows a heavily idealised (or non-idealised, depending on your perspective) view of sex, BDSM porn shows a version of the Dom/sub relationship that is unlikely to exist in reality.

Rather than going through all the ways porn movies ‘get it wrong’, I’d like you to ask yourself a simple question: what does porn not show?

The answer, obviously, is ‘real life’. Most BDSM porn doesn’t show a sub arriving at a Dom’s house (or hotel room or club or what have you) for the first time. It doesn’t show the actors negotiating over limits and boundaries. It certainly doesn’t carry on after the money shot is over to reveal how the Dom and sub get along outside of the playroom/dungeon.

These are all things that are going to happen in the real world, but porn movies aren’t going to give you any pointers on how to handle them. Going solely by what you see in pornography, you might think that BDSM relationships are things that happening spontaneously to a pair of automata who exist in their own pocket universe.

The one exception to the rule might be erotic fiction, which often at least pays lip service to depicting the full breadth of a Dominant/submissive relationship, but here we get into the issue of accuracy. Most authors of erotic fiction do not have real-life experience in the world of BDSM, and are likely to base their descriptions of it on second or third-hand information. (Or, worse, they might base it on those porn movies we just spent several paragraphs discussing.)  By all means, read fictionalized accounts of BDSM relationships as a way to fire your imagination, but don’t expect what you read to be perfectly in line with reality.

Ultimately, any media created primarily for titillation is a fantasy, and nobody expects or even wants their fantasies to match the everyday experience of their real life.

To quote my Alpa Slave again “In my case I was lucky, because in Master Tim I found someone who was able to take what I’d been fantasizing about for so many years and turn it into a reality, but even still there were things I couldn’t have predicted before I met him – mostly because, well, I hadn’t met him yet! My idealised ‘fantasy’ master was nameless, faceless and mostly devoid of any personality. He was an idea, not a human being, and anything I imagined happening with that idea couldn’t possibly happen exactly that way with a real person. The reality is so much better than what I envisioned, but it doesn’t change the fact that that disconnect exists and is something you should keep in mind when you’re planning your future life as a submissive or slave.”

Porn has been around for time immemorial, but there is now a new kid on the block when it come to BDSM fantasy. The internet has changed the way we find each other and interact with each other in ways we could never have expected. My reason for inserting this topic is the explosion of social media and of dating sites. We are all well aware of how transparently truthful people are on such sites and how we should believe online biographies implicitly. Yeah right! If the number of fit guys with 10″ dicks is true, then anatomists need to reassess their idea of what is average. Also when it comes to listing ages, the internet seems to indicate that number blindness is far more common than we thought!

For those seeking to find BDSM partners and experiences, there is a more insidious issue here. People spend a huge amount of time gathering their ‘experience’ online before they build up the courage to try the real thing. It is therefore more than likely that their expectations will be much closer to fantasy than reality. I find more and more that BDSM novices are only novices of the real thing and that faced with the reality they are at best confused and at worst, quite disappointed.

As a novice practitioner you should also be prepared to enjoy things you never thought you’d enjoy and to dislike things you were expecting to like. This is probably more relevant for people who want to seek out a Dom/sub relationship heavily based around shared fetishes, but it’s worth noting for everyone: just because you enjoy thinking about something doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll enjoy doing it for real. It is a great shame when it happens, but it is easy to imagine someone being confused or disappointed when they discover that the thing they’ve been craving for so long turns out to not be exactly what they wanted after all.

Ultimately, there’s no amount of research – porn-based or otherwise – that can prepare you for meeting a Dom or Master for the first time. Trust your instincts, keep an open mind and wait for the right person. There’s no better way to make sure that your fantasies become a reality.

The Master’s Voice 05 – Limits and Negotiations

Before we get into a discussion of limits, I want to make it clear that I am in no way attempting to spoil your fun here. In fact, the opposite is true and I hope to arm you with the tools to ensure you the best possible experiences.

At some point during your travels through the online BDSM world, you will no doubt have come across the term ‘limits’. People have limits, you will have been told. Doms and Masters must respect your limits, which means that you must make them aware of what they are. Limits are important!

You should be able to enter a BDSM relationship or interaction knowing that the experience will be a wholly consensual one. Any Dom who ventures into the realms of non-consensual behaviour is an abuser or even a rapist and should be treated as such.

‘Limits’ are pretty much what they sound like: things you’re unwilling to do. This might be because they don’t interest you, because you don’t want to do them with that particular person, or because they’re an extreme turn-off for you. Regardless of the reasons (and you shouldn’t ever need to justify them), your limits represent a firm no-go area for your Dom or Master. They shouldn’t ever cross them, regardless of the circumstances. Any good Dom will agree with this.

Of course, in order for someone to respect your limits, they first have to be aware of what they are. This is where negotiation comes into the picture.

On one hand, I’m almost hesitant to use the term ‘negotiation’ in relation to limits, because that makes it sound like they’re something you can or should be talked out of. You shouldn’t, obviously. At the same time, though, everything up to  your limits might be subject to negotiation, and it’s at this stage when you’re likely to discover how much your tastes and preferences align with those of a particular Dominant.

For example, let’s say you’re into bondage. That encompasses an extremely wide array of activities, and it’s unlikely that you enjoy all of them equally. Perhaps you’d prefer if a session involved more or less of a particular variety of bondage. If so, the negotiation phase is when you should speak up about it, otherwise you may end up coming away disappointed with the experience.

At the same time, your Dominant might enjoy a completely different kind of bondage, and may feel that a session wouldn’t be complete without it. Do you agree to doing it in the interests of mutual satisfaction even though it’s not something you particularly enjoy? Or do you insist on limiting all activities to things you’re both going to like equally, even if that means foregoing certain activities altogether? This is why it’s called ‘negotiation’ – there’s likely to be some level of compromise.

I should reiterate, however, that ‘compromise’ should never be about whether or not a Dom violates your limits! If the discussion starts to go in that direction you should immediately be on your guard, because it could indicate that the person you’re talking to isn’t respecting your limits as much as they should.

At this point you may be asking yourself if it’s possible that these negotiations might come to a standstill. That’s always a possibility, of course, and it goes back to what I’ve said in previous posts. A BDSM relationship is exactly that – a relationship. If you’re not compatible with someone, then you shouldn’t expect that a relationship with them – however limited or short-lived it is – will be successful. And that’s okay! It’s better to find out that you and a dominant are fundamentally incompatible at the negotiation stage than in the middle of a session.

I think it’s also worth talking about two very common fantasies: the submissive with no limits and the dominant who is so skilled or authoritative that they can encourage a submissive into pushing themselves beyond their limits.

If you’re someone who thinks that they ‘have no limits’, ask yourself this: how do you know? If a Dominant had you completely at his mercy, with the ability to do literally anything to you, would you feel safe? What if it turns out the Dominant is violent or dangerous? Would you still be having a good time? But wait, you might say, that’s not what you meant! When you said you had no limits, you meant that you’re into heavy bondage or ‘extreme’ fetishes. You don’t want to do anything dangerous.

Unfortunately, there are people out there who hear ‘I have no limits’ and take it as an invitation to let loose on you. They might end up seriously hurting you, either intentionally or by accident. This is why no responsible Dominant will take someone seriously when they say that they have no limits, particularly if that person is inexperienced. Everyone has limits. If you think you don’t, it just means you haven’t discovered what they are yet.

It is true, however, that some Dominants can help you explore the boundaries of your limits – and, in some cases, push past them. This is something that requires a great deal of trust, and should only be done if you want to do it. And of course, it goes without saying that a safe word is just as important in this situation than it is in any other context. Always make sure you have a safe word in place, and don’t even think of ‘pushing your limits’ with a Dom who you don’t trust to respect it!

Limits aren’t the same as limitations, and they aren’t something that you should ever feel required to ‘overcome’. If a Dominant immediately launches into a monologue about how he’s going to help you go beyond your limits before he’s even met you, it might be time to end things before they move past the negotiation stage.

The Master’s Voice 04 – Applying to Serve Pt 2.

In part one I described the elements that I look for in a potential submissive. Now perhaps it’s time to consider some of the practicalities for both the Dom and the sub. What are some of the deal breakers and deal makers for me in deciding whether or not to take somebody on?

There are so many variables in this process that it would be impossible to give a definitive, one-size-fits-all guide to the first encounter. There are, however, a list of factors which can be checked early on in order to save time and misunderstanding.

1. Know what you are looking for, whether it is fun, experience, learning, a regular kink partner or a life-long lover. This is the point where fantasy and reality first need to part company. Most players, whether Dom or sub, are not looking for a life partner. In my own case I make it clear from the start that I already have a life partner and he comes first always. Experience tells me that many subs are reassured by this. I am lucky that I can be completely open and transparent with my partner and that he fully supports what I do. This will not be the case for everyone and you may need to compromise on some principles in order to make things work for you. I never sit in judgement of others and nor do I believe should any of us.

To give one example from my own circle, I have a regular sub who I have been seeing for  almost 20 years now. He is happily married and has a really great relationship with his wife. Once a month or so he visits me to give his kinky sub side a good airing. His wife has no idea about this but he firmly believes that without such a relief valve in place, his needs and desires would probably have destroyed his marriage years ago. I know that a few of my readers will now hate me for that, but it is not my place to judge another for his life choices.

For most BDSM practitioners, the ideal relationship lies somewhere between casual playmates and life partners. Maybe the “friends with benefits” description fits better?

2. First contact these days tends to be online and therefore site profiles are all important. As mentioned elsewhere however, never assume that the person described in the profile is the person you will meet. Internet ‘ages’ and waist sizes ( plus other measurements) are moveable feasts!

Good BDSM relationships depend on honesty and trust. For me this starts with the profile. If you truly intend to meet somebody, they will find you out at first meeting so why set yourself up to be a disappointment to them? Of course it is also a fact that the majority of the kinksters online get all their kicks online and never actually follow through with a real meeting. Always remember the formula SW + SW + SW = N. Some will, some won’t, so what. Next!

There are dangers lurking in the falsehoods too. I’ve had 18yr olds eager for their first experiences who, when they finally send pics, are clearly under age. Don’t be scared to ask for proof and if they won’t provide it in advance then move along swiftly.

3. For me there is another deal-breaker and that is the issue of unsafe sex. Way too many young people these days get to the safe-sex box in the form and the think it’s cool to put ‘Needs discussion’. No it does not. There is no discussion to be had. There is no reason and no excuse for unsafe sex ever. Okay so now I’ve lost a few more readers but Hey Ho!

4. Diversity is all. No two subs are the same. No two doms are the same. No two relationships are the same.

There is somebody out there for everyone whatever their age, shape, size, colour, gender or kink. Your BDSM playmate may bear no resemblance to anyone that you would seek to have as a lover. That’s not what it’s about. If you are looking for experiences, skills, stability or security  then age and looks may have a lesser part to play in your choices but thats not to say that a sexy dom or sub won’t make it all that much easier.

Time to draw some conclusions then. What do I look for in the ideal sub?

Attitude: Open mindedness and willingness to learn.

Submissiveness: Not mindless but intelligent and masculine (my chosen gender, yours may differ)

Limits: Hard or soft but mutually agreed and respected.

Regularity: Not to be confused with frequency but rather just an interest in coming back for more.

Honesty: Age, size, experience (or lack of), Relationship status.

Safe Sex: No discussion needed.

Diversity: variety really is the spice of life.

Personality: A sense of humour is essential.

Whether you are a Dom, a sub, or one of my fellow writers looking to create new realistic characters, I hope these words have helped. Just remember it is only a guide so use those bits that fit your own situation. Have fun and play safe.

The Masters Voice 03 – Applying to Serve

Having established what kind of relationship you are seeking in the world of BDSM, let’s take a look at how you go about finding the right Dom or Master.

Starting at the beginning let’s consider how I respond to those guys who apply to serve me as subs or slaves. The early interactions are so important to the process and should not be rushed. Having said that, in my experience, most subs have spent a long time dreaming, fantasising, reading and often viewing porn as they rehearse in their minds just what is going to happen once they finally take the plunge and meet a Master. This leads to an eagerness to get started and can result in risk-taking and frustration.

Young guys can be reckless in their enthusiasm. I am often approached by newbies seeking their first experiences. We chat a little, and agree to continue the next day. Then I get an excited message telling me that he is now ‘owned’ and his new ‘Master’ has now taken control of his online profile and of his life.

“Great,” I say. “When did you meet him?”

“Oh, we’ve not met yet,” comes the reply. “He lives 500 miles away.” (Or in another country, another continent, etc.)

So this poor lad has created an account on one of the gay dating sites and in less than 24 hours some guy he has never met tells him that he is now his owned slave and must no longer chat to anyone else. He will receive ‘commands’ to take any number of photos to send to the new master, or to engage in Skype sessions where the slave will perform on camera.

Would it surprise you to learn that they will never meet? Or that the master has no real-life experience? It happens!

My advice to freshman subs is to chat to lots of guys. Do not commit to anyone. Ask questions, learn, and filter your communications. Never agree to a first meeting in a stranger’s home. I have written elsewhere about precaution. Remember that online profiles may not be entirely accurate. (Shocking, I know.)

Domination is not based on arrogance. No man is a Master or a Dom just because he says that he is. I believe that the title of ‘Master’ or ‘Sir’ must be earned, not assumed or commanded.

Early negotiations are extremely important, and are not unlike the ‘courtship’ period in a non-BDSM relationship. This is not a time for giving orders and obeying, but rather for asking questions, stating objectives and above all listening to responses. If either party is not being listened to, then it is time to move on. Don’t be put off, just learn from the experience.

After all, if you were going to hand your car over to a mechanic for repairs, you would probably go to somebody who was recommended to you. Why in the world would you consider handing over your own body to a complete stranger without first asking for testimonials from other subs who have met him? If he refuses to let you do this, then you have all the information you need. Move on.

If I have not already scared you off, come back for the next part, where we’ll start to look at all the fun you’re going to have once you meet someone you’re compatible with! So now you want me to tell you about all the ‘good stuff’ straight away? I have intentionally kept this part short because the information in it is really important and I want you to take it seriously before getting distracted by the fun stuff.

The Master’s Voice 02 – Sub vs. Slave (From a Slave’s Perspective)

Welcome to the second part of the Master’s Voice series!

Over the coming weeks I’m going to continue to explore the motivations and behaviours of some real submissives in BDSM settings. In particular I have recruited my Alpha slave of over ten years to contribute regularly to the ‘sub’ part of this story. This usually begins with what the sub or slave is looking for. (Yes, there is a difference between a sub and a slave, and I have previously looked at what defines the two.)

Once the sub/slave has found his (or her) Master or Dom, how do they know that they are right for each other? If they are then how do they negotiate the nature of their service?

Every sub or slave serves differently and so we will look at the levels of service and of the satisfaction of both parties in a BDSM relationship.

By way of ‘setting the bar’, what follows is an account from a true slave. For me he is a great example of a slave not driven by sex or fetish but by the desire to belong and to be ‘owned’ in the classic sense. This describes devoted servitude to a much admired owner. In this example that admiration and respect is very much a two way thing.

Master Tim’s first post in this series is about the difference between a sub and a slave. Reading that post brought back a lot of memories for me, because there was a time when thinking about that exact distinction occupied a fairly large amount of my time.

When I first started to explore the BDSM scene online, I was disappointed to find that a lot of people – or even most people – seemed to be looking for an experience fundamentally different to what I had been craving for as long as I could remember. I read descriptions of how Dom/sub interactions played out, browsed through a seemingly-endless list of ‘Your first time’ guides and looked at the profiles of dominant and submissive men on places like Recon.com, and felt a complete lack of connection to any of it.

The problem, I soon realised, was that I wanted a Master/slave relationship rather than a Dom/sub one. How did I even know what that would look like, you ask? Well, I didn’t. I just trusted that I’d recognise it when I saw it.

As you can imagine, this isn’t a very productive way to go about looking for something, but if I wasn’t sure what I did want, then at the very least I had a good idea of what I didn’t want.

I didn’t want anything where there was any level of ambiguity about who was in charge. The idea of switching places between the submissive and dominant role with the same person was alien to me then and still is now.

I also didn’t want to enter into a time-limited arrangement where I could be submissive to someone one minute and then abruptly stop being submissive the next. This, more than anything else, was what confused me during my initial forays into the BDSM community online; I had assumed that the concept of submission as a perpetual state of affairs outside of a pre-defined session was universal, when in fact it’s anything but.

Finally, I didn’t want a relationship with a dominant to be defined by a list of fetishes. In fact, I was somewhat dismayed to find that the common fetishes didn’t do a whole lot to excite me. When I pictured being a slave (and that was always the word I used, rather than ‘sub’) it didn’t involve bondage or CBT or any of the rest of it – at least not as a primary component. I could imagine myself enjoying those things, certainly, but only in the context of being ordered to engage in them for the pleasure of my Master. It was the thought of pleasing him that was most exciting to me, not the activity in itself.

The crucial moment for me came a few days after I was fortunate enough to meet Master Tim online. We messaged each other a few times, and after a while he asked me to describe some of what I’d like to do when we eventually met. I can’t remember exactly what I said to him, but I can tell you that it didn’t have much to do with the bedroom. I had decided that I wanted him to be my Master, and that meant giving myself over to him as a slave at all times – in the bedroom, outside of it, whether we were together or apart.

I wanted to be ready to carry out his wishes at all times, even if it was something as mundane as him telling me to tidy up the kitchen after breakfast. That might not sound particularly exciting to you, but keep in mind that it’s not supposed to be. I suppose I was getting at something closer to a ‘lifestyle’ (although I hate that word) than a fetish or kink. I was looking for fulfillment rather than excitement.

Happily, it turned out that Master Tim had very similar ideas about slavery to myself. Through him I’ve seen how a huge variety of Dom/sub and Master/slave relationships work, which has convinced me of two things. Firstly, you can never know exactly what you want until you see it in action. Secondly, there is room in the world for almost any kind of relationship you can imagine, so don’t let what the rest of us do limit your imagination. Whatever drives you, and whatever you find yourself craving, you can make it work with the right person. All you have to do is find them.

-Alpha slave

The Master’s Voice 01 – Sub or Slave: Is There a Difference?

THE MASTER’S VOICE – Part One.

Of all the many questions I get asked on a regular basis, the most frequently presented one is some variation of  ‘Am I a Sub or a Slave?’ Or ‘What’s the difference between a Sub and a Slave?’ It’s a subject about which everyone has an opinion, and the debate has been around for as long as there have been people to discuss it.

For most people, the terms are interchangeable and the boundaries are woolly. For some the definitions are more rigid, or at least very personal and individual. I would maintain that there are no wholly right or wrong answers, but that does not mean that we don’t need some clarity of thought or some acceptable descriptors. These at least give us a baseline from which to form opinions and arrive at acceptable definitions which work for each individual person or couple.

Submission is not a weakness

For me, the basic definitions start with the words themselves. Slave is a noun and so a slave is what you are. Submissive is an adjective and so it describes what you do.

In BDSM relationships, submissives make their own decisions and choices, holding on to their own rights and freedoms. Submissives also set their own limits. A sub may choose to be ‘owned’ but the terms of the ownership will be jointly negotiated and it will only last as long as they choose to allow it. Submissives characteristically seek out casual contacts or relationships, moving in and out of their role freely as they go about their lives.

A true slave is a very different person completely. While a submissive may choose how, when and to whom they submit, a true slave will submit completely at all times to their chosen owner, with little or no negotiation. Slaves usually seek ownership, preferring to give themselves wholly to another dominant person. The slave has no rights or freedoms and certainly no choices. Of course in reality this only works where great wisdom, common sense and profound trust exist.

I can hear a whole chorus of ‘buts’ as I write this and I respect them all. Every slave or sub is different and every situation is unique and individual. At the end of the day, our roles are defined by our relationships and seldom the other way around. The sub/Dom roles derive from the type of relationships we enter into, after safety and personal limits are agreed.

We must accept that any definition is merely another form of labelling imposed by the wider society. Labels are a way of compartmentalising things which we might otherwise struggle to understand. Once you are labelled, you are ‘understood’, but of course real life is seldom so easily pigeon-holed. Every couple needs to arrive at their own working definition for what they have.

It should be clearly understood that the definition is a work in progress and will change over time. Every aspect of a relationship needs to be placed on a grey-scale where the two extremes are ‘black’ and ‘white’ but all our life choices rest somewhere along the line between the two. Anyone who thinks that there are only ‘fifty shades of grey’ (pun intended) is in for a big surprise!

A submissive may choose to submit sexually, but outside the bedroom (or dungeon) they will may still behave as equals with their Master or Mistress. The sub may choose to be a domestic servant but still maintain equality in their relationship. The mutually agreed level of control may be quite extensive and in effect be the same as slavery but of course the sub retains the ability to walk away or simply to say ‘no’ at any time.

A real slave, in contrast, wishes every aspect of their life to be controlled by the Master or Mistress. The slave will often describe themselves as “incomplete” without ownership and they will seek out a powerful dominant to control them. Of course in reality they will seek out their owner and so will be making choices regarding who that person is. At the end of the day they can still choose to end the relationship at any time.

Another point to consider is that not all slaves are submissives!

There is no doubt that I shall be returning to this topic in the future. One area that I would like to look at is the link between BDSM and sexuality. As a gay man I have met a great many heterosexual men who submit to other men. This does not in my opinion, make them gay!

Consider the various definitions, but do not be limited by them. Find what works for you and go with it. BE a slave, or DO submission, but have fun!

In the next part I will be asking my much loved Alpha slave of the last ten years to share with us the ‘sub’ side of this story.

Master Tim is a practicing Dominant with over 40 years of experience and is an alter ego of published m/m author T.J. Masters

Master’s Voice: Introduction.

My most popular blog series, The Master’s Voice and the Submission Journals, are now almost three years old. I’ve decided to compile all of the posts that make up the series into a single, comprehensive BDSM handbook. This will include a good deal of additional material from what you’ll find in this blog series, including updates on practical advice, anecdotes, interviews and some short fictional stories as well.

The original motivation for the series was to be a go-to resource of good, accurate information on BDSM. Over many years I found myself being asked a lot of the same basic questions. It made sense to be able to direct people to the blog rather than repeating myself with the same answers,

There is still a great deal of misunderstanding about the BDSM lifestyle and the behaviours which constitute it. I have found that a good deal of the information which is out there ranges from simply vague to downright dangerous.

At the time of writing the original blog posts, I also found myself giving advice to a good many M/M writers who wanted to include realistic BDSM themes and scenes in their books. Prior to this, many had depended on porn or anecdotes for their research. Those who have attended my workshops and panel presentations will have my heard my mantra that ‘porn is not research’ – if you’re going to write about BDSM, you owe it to yourself and your readers to find a more reliable source of information.

So why me? What qualifies me to give advice to others?

As Master Tim, I have been active in the lifestyle (Gay BDSM) for 43 years. During that time I have learned a great deal about BDSM practices and the people who engage in them. I have been lucky to share that journey with many others and have trained numerous submissives, slaves and other tops/Dominants in that time.

I am very fortunate in having a wonderful group of subs and slaves who I see on a regular basis. All are different in their own way, but it pleases me no end that they keep coming back for more. Some have now been doing this for up to twenty years.

As a lifelong educator I see it was my duty to pass on knowledge and experience. For many years I have supported the SMGays organisation in London. I was honoured to be asked to join the organising committee of the group and have now taken on the role of Dungeon Master at our monthly Discovery Nights.

As for my principles and beliefs regarding BDSM, I’m sure that those will become clear as you read the series. This will not be a solo endeavour, since I will depend very much on the input of my slave of the past ten years and on other guest contributors.

For those who saw these posts the first time they appeared online, we will be adding additional content to them now that we’re reposting them. The book, when it comes out, will have a great deal of extra material on top of that. We hope to post regularly on Fridays, so do watch out for weekly updates. Also feel free to post any comments or questions as we go. Have fun, and as always, play safe!

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