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Nine Levels of Submission

"Within the S/M subculture, different people use the words 'submissive' and 'slave' to mean many different things. When submissives say 'I want to be your slave,' sometimes they mean only that they want to be tied up and whipped. Many professional dominants routinely refer to their (usually not very genuinely submissive clients) as 'slaves.' At the other extreme, there are people who want to be full-time personal servants, and who truly want to exist solely for their Dom(me)'s use, pleasure and convenience. And there are many shades in between these two extremes."

  1. THE OUTRIGHT NON-SUBMISSIVE MASOCHIST or KINKY SENSUALIST. Not into servitude, humiliation or giving up control; just pain and/or spiced-up sensuality, on the masochist's own terms and for the masochist's own direct pleasure (i.e. turned on solely/mainly by one's own bodily sensations rather than by being "used" to gratify one's partner's sadism).

  2. 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.

  3. PSEUDO-SUBMISSIVE PLAY SLAVE. Likes to play at being a slave; likes to feel subservient; may in some cases like to feel one is being "used" to gratify partner's sadism; 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 worshipers).

  4. TRUE SUBMISSIVE NON-SLAVE. Really gives up control (only temporarily and within agreed upon limits), but gets her/his 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 responsibility. Doesn't dictate the scene except in very general terms, but still seek mainly her/his own direct pleasure (rather than getting one's pleasure mainly from pleasing the dominant).

  5. TRUE SUBMISSIVE PLAY SLAVE. Really gives up control (though only temporarily; only during brief "scenes" and within limits) and gets main satisfaction from serving/being used by dominant, but only for FUN purposes, usually erotic. May not be into pain. If so, is turned on by pain indirectly, i.e. enjoys being the object of one's partner's sadism, on which the submissive places very few requirements or restrictions.

  6. UNCOMMITTED SHORT-TERM BUT MORE THAN PLAY SEMI-SLAVE. Really gives up control (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 long-term relationship with one's Mistress, but, either way, the "slave" has the final say over when she will serve.

  7. PART-TIME CONSENSUAL-BUT REAL SLAVE. Has an ongoing commitment to an owner/slave relationship and regards oneself as the dominants property at all times. Wants to obey and please dom(me) in all aspects of life-practical/non erotic and fun/erotic. Devotes most of time to other commitments (e.g. job) but Dom(me) has first pick of the slave's free time.

  8. 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 Dom(me)'s pleasure/well being. 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. Within the S/M world, a full time "slave" arrangement is entered into with an explicit awareness of the magnitude carefully, with more 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.

  9. 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 Dom(me), with no limits at all. I've met a few people who claimed to be no-limit slaves, but in all cases I have reason to doubt the claim.

The above list isn't intended as a rigid classification. Most submissives don't fall neatly into one of these categories; there are still further shades in between. (For example, a live-in slave with an outside paying job would be category 7 1/2. Also the same submissive may attain different degrees of submission with different Dom(me)s. The list is intended simply to show the wide range of different possible meanings of the words "submissive" and "slave."

In the S/M subculture, the majority of "submissives" seek scenes in categories 1-3, whereas most of the Dom(mes) I know (including myself) seek slaves in categories 6-7. If you're a submissive in categories 1-3, you are probably best off seeking a relationship not with a Dom(me) but with a fellow "sub," or with a switchable person into both roles. The two can take turns acting out each other's "submissive" or masochistic fantasies.

When a submissive tells a dominant, "I want to be your slave," it is often hard to tell exactly what is meant. Lots of people fantasize a much greater degree of submission than they are able or willing to attain in real life, and lots of "slaves," especially inexperienced ones, over estimate their own desire for real life servitude. A dominant must carefully find out how far the "slave" really wants to go.

Caveat emptor.

A true Master shall take pride in the fact that a woman has chosen to devote her entire being to the satisfaction and fulfillment of his desires. Just as she, in return, can take pride that such a man has chosen her, above all others to provide that fulfillment. For openers, the female should decide that she may actually be a true submissive, and find the courage and commitment to put herself in the hands of a true Master. She must know that at that precise moment her option to make choices will end. He will do what he wants to do, completely apart from her preconceived ideas. I am not necessarily referring to physical discipline, and I am most definitely not referring to the extremes of physical discipline. There are always limits, and the true Master knows what they are. He also knows that those limits are different for every slave. But he also knows that regardless of those individually determined limits, every slave should at least once be forced to go one step beyond what she believes she can endure.

A Master should do what pleases him. The secret is to know the slave well enough so that while pleasing himself, he also provides her with fulfillment. But he should also once in awhile take his slave (even for a brief moment) slightly beyond her own self-conceived limits. But in doing so, he must take care not to really hurt her. Again he must know the slave well. In short, a slave should, once in awhile, be forced to beg to plead, "Oh God, please stop!" But after every session, a slave should also, if only just to herself, always say, "Oh God, I want him to have me again!"

As I said, it doesn't have to be physical discipline. If the female is lucky, she may someday find a Master who is also an expert at sensual "torture." If you have never experienced this, you may not believe it, but a Master who knows the art, and who is smart enough to learn what kind of a woman he is dealing with, will be able to "torture" her with out hurting her at all!

The human body can voluntarily withstand only a certain level of sensual pleasure or sensation. That is why a man, when he has an orgasm, usually stops moving, because he just can't stand the sensation of having the tip of his penis stimulated while he is coming. That's also why a woman who has a true, full orgasm also usually stops moving, or arches her back and pulls her body taut, or fights or cries out or curls into a ball.

It is not that it hurts. It is just that the pleasure is unbearable! But suppose a woman were tied and exposed and helpless. And suppose that a man knew her well enough to be able to regularly bring her to full orgasm. And then suppose the Master did that and kept her there right at the peak for perhaps five minutes or ten or even twenty minutes! Imagine being at the peak of orgasm that didn't stop. Imagine straining at your bonds and screaming and pleading and begging for him to stop, and imagine him being good enough and strong enough to ignore the screams and to keep that sensual "torture" going on and on, because it pleases him to hear the screams and begging him to stop but not until he chooses to, for himself.

This same principle is true of actual physical discipline, for those Master/slave relationships where true discipline is involved. Suppose that a slave could, without being bound, voluntarily withstand thirty lashes of a whip across her back. But then suppose she was bound, arms stretched high over head, her body naked and helpless, and her Master begins her "test." And because she is proud, and because she wants to provide her Master with as much pleasure as possible, she does not actually " break" until after forty lashes, but then she begs him to stop. If he is a true Master, and if it really brings him pleasure to continue, he should not stop. Perhaps he should continue for another five lashes, or maybe even ten, depending on his pleasure, of course, but also based on the knowledge he has, through experience, of just how much his slave can really endure, not simply what her body tells her she can endure. There is a difference.

If the Master is wise and has been accurate in his assessment of his slave's true stamina, the slave will realize that she actually did endure it after all. Even more important, she will be proud that she was able to provide her Master with that additional pleasure, and the next time perhaps she won't beg until after fifty lashes.

But of course the Master may not stop then, either!

S/M can be the most exciting form of sexual foreplay ever experienced. Every "Master/slave" relationship should be based on a profound and deeply satisfying sexual relationship. Every meeting should include (and usually conclude with) some form of sexual activity that is satisfying to both. But that, of course, is generally true of every deep male/female relationship.

So what makes this any different?

The difference lies in the submission of one and the dominance of the other. That, of course, is what your own fantasies have been based on. In effect, you say you have dreamed of " submitting" yourself to a man, allowing yourself to be rendered helpless, so that he can "rape" you. And that act of submission, you say, would enhance the excitement and pleasure you would derive from the sex act. (Indeed, the truth may be that this is the only way that you would be able to derive real pleasure from sex.)

But if this is as far as you've gone in your fantasies, you may well be asking yourself, "What is all the rest about?" Why does he/her talk about prolonged sexual teasing and torture? And what about real discipline ... actual pain, even if only at a very minor threshold level? Would a Master really whip me? Could you really whip her?

I have no idea, but the simple fact is that all these things, carefully selected and based on each partner's individual reaction, can be part of what becomes a much greater and much more rewarding and much more fulfilling sexual relationship. Sex, without some form of mutual love or deep feelings, is of little meaning and that, in turn, requires each partner to try to give the other as much pleasure as possible. For a submissive that means "giving" herself to her Master, for his pleasure. The total submission of her mind and body are her gifts to him, for him to do with as he chooses, and he takes great pleasure in that gift.

Every Master is different, of course, but in general, takes tremendous pleasure in imposing dominance and will upon a submissive female, both mentally and physically. Using both her mind and body to demonstrate power over her. Make her think and feel like she has never felt before. Forcing her to experience the furthest extremes of sensual and physical sensations. Making her beg to stop either the pleasure or the pain.

Best of all, the male should love watching her face and her expressions as she realizes that, despite her pleas, he is not going to stop, at least not right that minute. And, finally, he should love watching her recognize his dominance over her, and then watching her resign her mind and her body to accept the previously unacceptable ... all for his pleasure!

Through all of this, and governing all of this, is the overriding "love" that he should feel for her and, in turn, it is her knowledge that he does care for her deeply, and the trust that that knowledge gives her, that allows her to give him that marvelous gift of her mind and body.

But what about the submissive one? What pleasure does she get? Again each is different, but there are some common denominators. First, a "slave" must deeply trust and deeply care for her Master. She should truly want want to give him pleasure. And so, for most slaves, the first pleasure is the very deep pleasure derived from the act of giving ... a very profound pleasure because the gift she gives is also profound. .... She gives herself!

Second ( although there are some exceptions), a submissive female usually derives tremendous intellectual, sensual, and ultimately, sexual pleasure from the experience, assuming, of course, that the Master is really gifted and sensitive and understanding. I assure that I have only scratched the surface. The Master should be able to teach the slave things about herself she had never dreamed of, exposing her to sources of pleasure of a kind and a level and an intensity she had never imagined!! The Master should explore every part of her mind and body, and would ultimately discover the keys to her deepest pleasures.

It maybe strictly sensual. There may be certain special parts of her body that, properly stimulated, turn on all her sexual senses. It may be just the bondage and helplessness itself, together with her ability to commit herself to it. Most submissive women derive tremendous sexual pleasure simply from being bound. (Almost all of them become lubricated and ready for sexual intercourse while in bondage.)

She may find pleasure in pain. And if she does, it may be just a certain level of pain, or pain applied just to a certain part of her body. Many submissive people derive the most intense and exquisite sexual pleasure from the forced imposition of physical discipline, even to the point of orgasm.

You should know that " discipline" doesn't mean simply the whip. (Although, indeed, that phrase simply the whip" is totally misleading. There are literally hundreds of different kinds of whips, each capable of being used in a hundred different ways, so that in just this one "simple" area, there are an infinite variety of ways available to a knowledgeable Master to impose an equally infinite variety of torments.)

But there is so much, much more .... endless means, endless targets, endless degrees. To a really imaginative and experienced Master, a marvelous and exquisite and almost limitless choice ia available. But he must also have the sensitivity and the understanding and, yes, the love, to choose the right ones.

If he does, he will be successful in fulfilling his role as a Master. He will provide pleasure for himself, of his own choosing, but he will also provide his submissive partner either extreme pleasure or total psychological fulfillment or, often, both, depending on her own special nature and needs.

Then there is the whole area of submission without bondage. A true Master, using proper training, can teach a woman to be totally submissive without putting her in bondage. If you really have accepted a man as your Master, you should want to totally obey him without being "forced"

If he orders you to strip, you will strip. If he orders you to kneel, you will kneel. If he orders you to stand before him with your legs apart and your arms stretched high above your head, and not to move, you will do as he orders. And if while you are standing there, he chooses to whip you, you still will not move. And if he orders you to count the lashes, you will count them for him.

And if he orders you to kneel, naked next to his bed while he sleeps. and to remain there, instantly ready too serve him in any way should he awake, you will kneel there, silent and naked and ready, and you will stay there. And if he does not awake until morning, you will still be there ... still kneeling .... still naked .... still ready.

But then a wise Master will order you to join him, and he will acknowledge the great pleasure your obedience has given him, and he will reward you with that special marvelous pleasure of your own that he knows so well to give you.

So whats this all about? A wonderfully elaborate, infinitely varied, terribly exciting series of scenarios, carefully and lovingly selected and orchestrated by the Master to provide both himself and his submissive partner with the most exquisite and profound emotional and sexual pleasure, each scenario based on, taking advantage of, and dramatizing the dominant nature of one and the submissive nature of the other.

It is of course, a tremendous challenge. First, there's the challenge to the submissive to accept and endure the torment of bondage and discipline by which her chosen Master tests her and through out which he realizes the most profound pleasure. (A weak or sniveling "slave" provides little pleasure for a Master) Of course, there are limits and, of course, they must be respected. But there will be those special times when, after being queried by her Master, the proud submissive will take as deep a breath as her chains will permit, look him in the eye, and in her own special way and words say, in effect, "I'm here for your pleasure. Please don't stop until you are totally satisfied."

That is the challenge of the body. But there is also the challenge of the mind and the spirit. After all, a man is physically stronger than a woman, so physical domination (in its rawest sense, at least) is easy.

But intellectually it's a different matter because in an ideal S/M relationship, both partners should be equal in intellect, so that the dominant and submissive roles result from conviction and choice rather than imposition. In addition to being physically dominant, a "Master"- while not intellectually superior, must also be intellectually dominant ... dominant by nature and spirit and will .... choosing to dominate while the submissive chooses to understand and appreciate and ultimately submit to that will. That is a much subtle and a far more difficult challenge.

But you need two things:

1. A Master who really knows how to lead the slave to the far most pleasures.

2. A submissive with the courage to take the first step to try it.

What ever the case. Take your time and go sloooow! :)



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