What are some of the common dynamics where a Master slave relationship go wrong? In this article we will explore a few of these dynamics. These dynamics can often be unspoken and unrecognised by people, but they are felt and can cause a lot of hurt and ill feeling. Below is a non-exhaustive list of some of the negative dynamics that can occur.
In this article I will using terms from the Kinky Wheel of consent. Read the article to find out more, but in summary. Imagine a circle split into 4:
– Giving, and opposite: Receiving
– Taking and opposite: Allowing
The Master will normally be in Taking and Receiving and the slave in Giving and Allowing. But any person (be it Master or slave) can move into any of the quarters.
Slave is telling the Master what to do (slave is in active receiving)
If a Master is unsure or unskilled it can be that the slave teaches or tells the Master what to do.
I believe everyone needs to learn. So learning from a slave is not a bad thing. If this is a conscious decision by both parties to have a session where the slave teaches this is very good.
But when the slave has to step in and take over – and this was not expected – this can lead to a dynamic that does not please anyone.
I think of this as how much can you trust the person. As a slave if I am aware that the Master is not doing someone correct – such as a technique – then I cannot enter a “slave/submissive mindspace” and instead I am very conscious about what I am allowing and if I need to stop allowing at any point as I might be in danger. So I am not really letting go and giving up control.
The last time I did not step in I ended up with a bleeding anus – and this was down to bad technique – so it is very important for both sides to be trusted.
It can also be that the slave is frightened to let go and trust – which is certainly an issue I can have. So the Master and slave may need to work on created a safe space so the slave can let go and trust, and move out of active receiving.
Master is in giving rather than receiving and taking
Master can focus too much on given and be giving rather than receiving and taking.
It is fine for the Master to give to a slave. A relationship without it at all would be a bad thing. But when this is done unconsciously and the Master is only giving, and not taking it can create a very weird dynamic in a Master / slave relationship.
I met up with my ex Master a few days ago and was showing Him the Kinky Wheel of consent. When He looked at it He realised that for the 6 months of our relationship when I moved to Berlin He was in giving mode. He was almost never in taking.
This led to a very weird dynamic – as we were both in giving. From my perspective I ended up in a position where I was completely focussed to give the Master what He wanted. But at a certain point He was not happy with what I was giving. But if I am focussed on what He wants, why are we in this weird position of Him not being happy with me giving to Him?
It was because He was also in giving and trying to focus on me. So we ended up in a loop. Speaking from my perspective – I was incredibly confused and hurt as I was focussing all my energy and effort on Him.
I was also aware that when the relationship ended my body was much more untrained after 6 months of serving Him than before I moved and was seeing Him much less. So because He was in the giving space – I was no longer being trained as a slave.
Slave cannot give the Master what he needs – training
Following on from the above point. At the start of a relationship, the slave will not be trained to give the Master what He needs. This could be physical. For example: the sort of flogging the Master likes, or perhaps the sort of anal play. Or it could be something that needs lots of training such as fisting. Or it could be mental: For example teaching a slave how to focus on the Master, or to see any pleasure as pleasing the Master.
A Master needs to look at how they can train the slave to serve the Master better. But if the Master does not train the slave, then slave can never improve.
When myself and my ex Master were talking, and we realise He was in giving and not in taking – it also meant that He stopped training me and focussed on what I could already give. In reality this meant He stopped training me in most areas. There were some key mental areas He did train me in – so it was not that He did not do any training at all, but it was much reduced from what it could have been.
So when a Master looks at what He wants to take, He might need to look at whether the slave can actually do what He wants. If not, the Master the needs to look at how He can train the slave to take what He would want.
One thing my ex Master could do very well when He was in taking was to train me from not wanting to do a thing to begging to be given permission to do it.
Slave is thinking about their own pleasure (is receiving rather than giving or allowing)
A slave can move into receiving when they start to think about their own pleasure. By doing this they move the Master into a place of giving service.
If this is a conscious change by both parties, this is fine. But when it is done without realising it, it can cause great frustration within the Master. The Master wanted to be in receiving and taking, and instead found Himself in giving.
So when this occurs the Master needs to correct – or both sides need to talk about what happened. It is fine for both sides to want to have pleasure, but it should be done in a way that both sides agree, and does not inadvertently move the Master to giving service when it was not what was agreed.
I was once trained that even in the act of cumming it was to please the Master – so anything can be trained to be in service to the Master in time.
What to do if one of these dynamics occurs
When this happens people can feel very hurt, angry and frustrated. These can be very deep and strong feelings.
When the situation with my ex Master occurred when He was in giving, I remember feeling a lot of very deep hurt and upset. One of my thoughts was: “If I have spent all this time focussing on what He wants, but we are not doing what He wants, it must mean He does not know what He wants.”
This is a very strong statement, and a very challenging one. If I had said this out aloud it probably would have made Him very angry and upset as well – and for good reason.
I included this as an example to bring to life the sorts of strong feelings and thoughts that can come out when the dynamic goes wrong.
So what can we do:
1) So when it happens – it might be best to let the feelings and thoughts calm a little before talking – especially if people are feeling very upset.
2) Use an objective model: Use the kinky wheel of consent to try and objectively understand what is going on. It is very easy to move into accusations, or to talk from our own perspectives. But often we do not really understand what happened within the dynamic. With using an objective model – in this case: the Kinky Wheel of Consent – to help us in our conversation we can move the conversation to one which is more objective rather than subjective.
And this helps us to explore what might be going wrong from a dynamic point of view. As it is quite probably this has happened subconsciously and we have not realised we have done something.
And this can help both parties objectively understand what might have happened, and why people are feeling the way they are.
4) Talk about how you can stop the dynamic in future. Or what is more likely, come up with tactics and experiments to see if you can stop it from happening again.
5) Try the experiments and talk more, and iterate accordingly.