In the world of BDSM there is no rule book. There is no checklist for becoming any of the many roles available to choose from. The question always seems to come up “What makes a submissive different from a slave?” or “What makes a Master different from a Dominant?” and “How is a Daddy different from a Master?” Can one be more then one of these roles at the same time?
What about those pesky dominant slaves?
It enough to make ones head spin!
I don’t have much of an opinion of roles such as Owner/property or Owner/pet as I don’t identify my self as any of those roles. I also haven’t given much thought to the lifestyle little girl/boy, while I can be little from time to time I would not call myself a “little”. The roles I have given thought to are Master/slave vs. Dominant/submissive, and Daddy vs. Master these are the roles that directly effect Daddy and I.
Please keep in mind that I am still kind of struggling with word here. I know what I’m think… words are hard to come up with. ;)
Lets start with the difference between Master and Daddy. Personally I see very few difference between the two, keep in mind I am coming from the Leather world where “Daddy” often means “Leather Daddy” not Daddy/little. A Daddy in my mind is a person who identifies with a masculine provider role. The purpose of a Daddy is to provide an environment of growth and encouragement for his Leather girl/boy/slave. A Daddy can have protocol in place or be very relaxed, he tends to be somewhat indulgent and spoil his girl/boy/slave, he cares deeply for his other half.
A Master is an individual on the path of Mastery, Mastery of him self and the Slave he takes ownership of. A Master takes responsibility for his Slave and all her needs. A Master usually find him self severing more then he is served. A Mater will put the well being of his slave above his own ego.
A Slave is an individual who is inwardly drawn to obey a power/being outside her self. Slaves are often highly intelligent and (oddly) controlling in their lives without a Master. The Slave finds in her Master an energy and calling that compels her to surrender control. Far from being a submissive action to surrender the Slave often find her self battling her own ego, the ego wanting to retain control and her heart/soul wanting to release it. To knowingly surrender is is, in a way, the slaves last act of controlling her own life path.
The Master is not above the slave and the slave is not less then the Master, they are different sides of the same coin. Each is obedient to something outside of them selves and each serves in there own way.
Dominant/submissive, I don’t see as relationship roles. For me they are fluctuating personality traits that change depending on ones environment, mood, company, life situation, and even health. No one is ever 100% dominant or submissive all the time, it wouldn’t be possible to function in society. While some people are type A personalities and are effective leaders it doesn’t mean they won’t be saying “Yes, Sir.” or “No, Sir” when stopped for speeding or in front of a judge.
I think the best definition I’ve ever heard for the difference between the common BDSM roles is:
“Top/bottom are the physical body. They relate to the actions in a sadomasochistic scene or relationship biased on play. Dominant/submissive are the mind. They are the mental position we take in any given situation. Master/slave are the spiritual. They are a calling that transcends gender and sexuality. The closest comparisons in the vanilla world are those who choose the monastic lifestyle.”