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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!

T.J. Masters Short story freebie.

Under my author name I post a regular monthly guest blog on the amazing Lovebytes review site. With the  Christmas Day post I fulfilled a long standing promise to the site owner for a follow-up to the very popular rugby themed story Hands of Power. Since the sequel moves the characters into the realms of light D/S I thought you might like to have a link to it here.

This can be read as a sequel to the original Hands of Power story or as a stand-a-lone tale.

 

http://lovebytesreviews.com/2014/12/25/hands-of-power-pt-2/

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