The Nine Degrees Of Submission
outright non-submissive masochist or kinky sensualist
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).
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
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
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
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.)
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.
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.
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
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.
© 1984, 1988 by Mistress Diane Vera as
Pat Califia, ed. The Lesbian S/M Safety Manual (Boston: Lace / Alyson)
www.officerwes.com © 1997-2016 by Officer Wes