BDSM Guide

0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


In the context of BDSM, a male or female Dominant who takes complete control over the will and the body of a submissive partner (also known as a slave) in a consensual power-exchange relationship is commonly known as Master or Mistress (see Ownership). When a single Master or Mistress has more than one slave and together they form a common household with common rules and clearly divided responsibilities, they are also known as a Slaveholders and Householders, and their slaves are often referred to as "property" or "chattels".

From the perspective of the slaves in this type of relationship, the other slaves in the group of Slaveholders are "slave brothers" or "slave sisters".

In this type of relationship, the Slaveholder assumes the role of a leader, mentor, and guide to his slaves, who often have very different individuality, needs, and expectations, and usually, the only thing that unites them in a group is their individual relationship with him as their Master and Owner. The Slaveholder establishes rules, boundaries, and protocols for each individual slave and the group as a whole, and ensures their compliance by punishing violations and misdemeanors. The Slaveholder is the sole authority on all matters affecting the group or any individual member thereof, including financial matters and how the budget is spent.

The Slaveholders normally have a hierarchy of slaves, with each slave having their own unique role within the group dynamic. For example, some slaves may be responsible for domestic duties such as cleaning and cooking, while others may be used primarily for sexual purposes, usually all together being required to contribute to the overall budget. Each slave's duties and responsibilities may change over time, depending on the Slaveholder's desires, the slaves' abilities, and the dynamics of group relationships.

Regardless of the formal hierarchy that the Slaveholder might introduce the slaves are usually divided into two groups - primary slave(s) and secondary slaves. The primary slave is the one who has the closest relationship with the Slaveholder and is usually his sexual favorite at the given moment. They may have more privileges and may be treated differently than the other slaves. The secondary slaves may have a different place in the group and different duties and responsibilities to the Slaveholder. This hierarchy often depended on the individual dynamics of each individual slave's relationship with the Slaveholder and in practice is the most common occasion for internal conflicts and changes in group composition. Some more experienced Slaveholders skillfully use favoritism as a means of manipulation to keep the group under control.

The construction of this type of relationship by the Slaveholder, as well as the entry of the slaves into them, is generally considered the deepest possible form of Dominance & submission and the most serious possible engagement in BDSM. On the other hand, this type of relationship often raises a number of questions about its actual nature, including its emotional basis and associated safeguards against abuse.

See Leather family.
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