There are many ways to “train” a slave—to enjoy man-to-man power and sexual relationships. The most publicised and most visible modus operandi is that of the all-powerful and all-knowing Master who is able to direct, dominate and control the entire world occupied by the slave, who in turn fantasises himself a piece of dirt. The slave does only what he is directly ordered to do, and has no free will or responsibility for his actions.
While this scenario is undoubtedly attractive and popular, it has a number of drawbacks, the most glaring is that being an omniscient/omnipotent God-like Master is bloody hard work without much “payoff,” and although a grovelling bottom is attractive during the playroom scenario, this isn’t sustainable for a long-term relationship in this form. The playroom roles become fantasy exaggerations of real life: maybe this is what is required for heightened awareness of each other, but there is also the inevitable anti-climax on returning to the real world where “most” players are actually of reasonable intelligence with considerable motivation and initiative.
I believe that it is possible to pick up a “no-hoper” dropout at a truck stop or bus station and mold him into what you will. However, in practice you, as Master, are more likely to get ripped off by such “rough trade” as soon as you allow him the run of your property unfettered. He can’t do useful chores for you like shopping and housework entirely in four-way combination leg and wrist irons. However desirable this may seem from the aesthetic or security point of view, it will occasion comment eventually.
SLAVE TRAINING LESSONS FROM THE MILITARY
Stuck as we are with intelligent and motivated slaves, why continually tell them they are dirt? Most gays receive enough put-downs in the real world, so surely we can construct our fantasy world to be more positive. The military learned this lesson in Great Britain around the turn of the century.
Nineteenth Century military training was not dissimilar to our leather slave fantasies. The common soldier was regarded as a potentially dangerous piece of dirt to be ordered about, kept occupied, and expended as the campaign required. In the esteem of the Establishment he was one step above prisoners in a criminal jail. When he refused to carry out orders, or worse, argued intelligently against them, then Military Justice treated him worse than a common criminal. Typical British military prisons of this period occupied inmates with mindless fatigues such as moving a large pile of cannon balls from one side of an enclosed courtyard to the other, and back again, within a specified time limit and on poor rations.
Early in the Twentieth Century — before the carnage of World War One that resulted in the Officer Class still regarding the soldiery as an expendable commodity — the British military justice system underwent a complete revolution. Soldiers under sentence (SUS) became liable for extra intensive training rather than the previous removal for incarceration that disrupted their skills training. The object of training became to return the offender to his unit as a better soldier. This intensive training was, of course, as unattractive as hard work always is and the punishment remained a deterrent.
Similar systems are in place in modern armies — the US Marine Corps prescribes Motivation Platoon locally and if that is insufficient, Correctional Custody is available. (Similar training has been a part of the modern U.S. Army in units referred to as “Correctional Custody Platoons.” In recent years, it has also made a reappearance in the intense boot camp training programs associated with an increasing number of state penal systems. The efficacy of such programs in reducing the number of repeat offenders is hotly disputed, both sides using whatever statistics make the best case for their preconceived views on the subject.)
The British army rewards infractions with a trip to Colchester Military Correctional Training Centre that is always of 28 days or longer duration to give the MCTC training sufficient time to be effective and lasting, with the objective of avoiding recidivism. Unlike civil programs that also bear the”correctional” tag, these are aggressive retraining programs aimed at reorienting the “material” in the direction required, and have proved their success compared with incarceration.
We should emulate these aims in recreational BDSM, leaving slave-as-dirt routines for either occasions of total fantasy or as degrading punishment in the same way as a professional soldier will certainly not actually bootlick — it’s a total affront to his professional dignity.
CREATING USEFUL SLAVES
So how does “reformed BDSM” operate? The slave has pride. He is proficient at pleasing his Master. I’m retaining the Master/slave terminology because it’s universally understood, but use whatever semantics you prefer. The slave has pride in his status. He strives to improve his skills and image, and his Master directs this, marshalling the slave’s efforts in the direction he favours, and rewarding achievement. Lack of motivation and achievement are a matter for more intense training, punishment, and withdrawal of favors and privileges.
For the house-slave, the Master/slave relationship helps avoid the underlying role reversal where a modern live-in butler is manipulating his employer in the Bertie Wooster/Jeeves tradition. While amusing in the P.G. Woodhouse novels which have appeared periodically on PBS, such an arrangement is counterproductive in real life.
To become an efficient “household manager” requires skills and even training at silver service, complicated cooking, home repair skills and even home accountancy! Not to forget the sexual part of the contract — a slave will be better in his role if he works out consistently, eats healthily and acquires (for example) massage and quasi-medical skills like colonic irrigation. Perhaps even caddying discretely for his Master at the Golf Club.
It may be pushing things too far to suggest that your slave attend a hair styling course. That might seem like the ultimate humiliation to your boots and leather macho-hunk slave who would prefer to be sent to work out with the local college ball-game team rather than mingle with the possibly limp-wristed classes. But consider how useful he could be if he could do your hair! And consider the dollars and hours saved. (If you want to teach him hair styling without humiliation, most major US metropolitan areas have “Clipper parties” where he could learn the trade from the “bottom up”.) My own hair has, for many years now, been cropped in a private Master/slave situation which I regard as preferable to visiting a commercial salon.
Your reformed slave should take pride in his Master’s appearance as well as satisfying his Master’s sexual appetite. There will also be an emotional involvement, which maybe both sides would wish to deny. However, security, feelings of being wanted, and stability are all consistent with this relationship.
FROM DIRT TO DIAMOND – SKILLS FOR SUSTAINABLE MASTER/SLAVE RELATIONSHIPS
“Grovelling bottom” relationships are not easily sustainable in public situations whereas the devoted personal assistant role certainly is acceptable and even envied! How many executives who employ an ex-Marine as a chauffeur and bodyguard would do so if the USMC hadn’t also instilled useful skills like boot cleaning, ironing, secretarial skills and service at the table, as well as the abilities to display a weapon convincingly, drive evasively, and deal with assailants?
Sure a bodyguard grunt may not be so happy in a sling, but it’s not inconceivable that the bodyguard-protected Exec would not be averse to a bit of flagellation and testing of the bodyguard’s handcuffs while they’re both bored in a hotel midway through a trip to South America. Also, it’s probably safer to use your own security-cleared talent than that from the local whorehouse! Of course, it’s not always the Master who is the Top in the fantasy situation either, so the bodyguard calling the shots isn’t so strange.
Other parts of the grovelling bottom scenario remain viable also — exchanging slaves with another compatible couple, the slave is still the property of his Master but will have pride in his performance and aim to present a good account of himself to his Master-for-the occasion.
Or if required to serve at the table, the slave can show his proficiency underneath the table-top during the meal. Traditional tokens of the slave’s status remain appropriate tattoos, piercings, rings, chains both lockable and welded on. Also deep kisses, bearhugs and macho thumps on the shoulder.
I believe relationships on this model to be more common in real life than reading jackoff stories would indicate. And if you need an excuse to do it, you can still whip him if the soufflé fails to rise!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Writer and photographer Morgan is author of More and Harder, a fictional erotic autobiography of Mark, an English sadomasochist. He was the author of many articles in the now-defunct Checkmate Magazine.
Checkmate was an influential gay BDSM journal from 1998 to 2003.
This article first appeared in S/M Perspectives (Vol 2, Issue 1), independently published in Vancouver by Rainfall Press.