The Nine Degrees Of Submission from submissive to slave.  Bdsm lifestyle and slave training.

The outright non-submissive masochist or kinky sensualist

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submission

Not into servitude, humiliation or giving up of control; just pain and/or spiced-up sensuality, on the masochist’s own terms for the masochist’s own pleasure (ie: being turned on solely or mainly by one’s own bodily sensations, rather than being turned on by being “used” to gratify one’s partner’s sadism).

Pseudo-submissive non-slave

Not into even playing “slave”, but into other “submissive” role-playing, e.g.: schoolteacher scenes, infantilism, “forced” transvestism. Usually into humiliation, but NOT into servitude, even in play. Dictates the scene to a large degree.

Pseudo-submissive PLAY slave

Likes to play at being slave. Likes to *feel* subservient; may in some cases like to *feel* that one is being “used” to gratify one’s partner’s sadism; and may even really serve the dominant in some ways, but only on the “slave’s” own terms. Dictates the scene to a large degree; often fetishistic (e.g. foot worshippers).

True submissive non-slave

Really gives up control (though only temporarily and within agreed upon limits), but gets his/her main satisfaction from aspects of submission *other than* serving or being used by the dominant. Usually turned on by suspense, vulnerability, and/or giving up of responsibility. Doesn’t dictate the scene except in very general terms, but still seeks mainly her/his own *direct* pleasure (rather than getting one’s pleasure mainly from pleasing the dominant).

True submissive PLAY slave

Really gives up control (though only temporarily; only during brief “scenes” and within limits) and gets his/her main satisfaction from serving and being used by the dominant – but only for FUN purposes, usually erotic. (May or may not be into pain, but if so, is turned on by pain *indirectly*, ie: enjoys being the objects of one’s partner’s sadism, on which the submissive places few requirements or restrictions.)

Uncommitted short-term but more-than-play semi-slave

Really gives up control (though usually within limits); wants to serve and be used by the dominant; wants to provide practical/non-erotic as well as fun/ erotic services; but only when the “slave” is in the mood. May even act as a full-time slave for, say, several days at a time, but is free to quit at any time (or at the end of the agreed upon several days). May or may not have a long-term relationship with one’s Mistress/Master, but, either way, the “slave” has the final say over when he or she will serve.

Part-time consensual but REAL slave

Has ongoing commitment to an owner/slave relationship, and regards oneself as the Mistress’/Master’s “property” at all times. Wants to obey and please her/him in all aspects of life – practical/non-erotic as well as fun/erotic. Devotes most of one’s time to other commitments (eg: job) but the Mistress/Master has first pick of the slave’s free time.

Full-time live-in consensual slave

Within no more than a few broad limits/requirements, the slave regards herself/ himself as existing solely for the Mistress’/Master’s use, pleasure and well- being. The slave in turn expects to be regarded as a prized possession. Not much different from the situation of the traditional housewife, except that within the S/M world the slave’s position is more likely to be fully consensual, especially if the slave is male (since men certainly aren’t socially pressured into this kind of lifestyle). Within the S/M world, a full-time “slave” arrangement is entered into with an explicit awareness of the magnitude of power that is being given up, and hence is usually entered into much more carefully, with more awareness of the possible dangers, and with much clearer and more specific agreements than usually precede the traditional marriage.

Consensual total slave with no limits

A common fantasy ideal which probably doesn’t exist in real life (except in authoritarian religious cults and other situations where the “consent” is induced by brainwashing and/or social or economic pressures, and hence isn’t fully consensual). A few S/M purists will insist that you aren’t really a slave unless you’re willing to do absolutely *anything* for your Mistress/ Master, with no limits at all. There are a few who claim to be no-limits slaves, but in all cases it would be reasonable to doubt the claim.

 

 

copyright 1984, 1988 by Mistress Diane Vera as reprinted in

Pat Califia, ed. The Lesbian S/M Safety Manual (Boston: Lace / Alyson) pp. 69-71

www.westom.com/leather � 1997-2003 by Officer Wes