Thursday, December 6, 2012

Slave or Submissive?

I will kneel before Katie and pledge both my love and obedience to her when she and I marry.  In anticipation of this significant life changing event I have been thinking about Miss Kathy's husband who sometimes comments on posts. He always signs it 'slave john'. It's that word - slave. I don't know about that word. It sounds so ominous but still I wondered, "If I make a promise to obey, to follow, to submit to her as the head of our home and promise to let her lead, then do I then become a slave as opposed to a sub?" I mean, this is different than making a commitment that is not tied to marriage. This is my marriage vow. This is the promise of promises. This promise will include both an expression of my love as well as an expression of my decision to submit to her authority. I will make a promise to obey her, and then listen to her promises which I assume will be, in part, an acceptance of my decision to let her lead as well as statements informing me of her promise to lead, to take control of our relationship in all of is aspects and to love me as her submissive husband.
If I do all of that, if she does all that, then haven't I entered into a binding contract that has no 'out' in it? Isn't that a decision to become a slave? I really don't know but it sure makes me wonder. I happened upon this quote the other day too. I couldn't believe it as I have been thinking about slavery and submission when I saw this. "A slave is someone who makes an agreement to do what they are told without question or argument. You don't need to be a submissive to accomplish this, you just need to be able to make and uphold the agreement of being a slave. A slave has no choice while a submissive does." Contrasted with that statement was this one. "A submissive is someone who by their nature yields to someone of stronger will. Being submissive is more of a personality trait, whereas being a slave is a choice. Not all submissives make good slaves. Some submissives are not willing or able to make the agreements needed to be a true slave, or they are not willing to uphold those agreements once made."
So I wonder, are these statements accurate? I am making a choice - a very conscious one. I am agreeing to follow her, even if my own choice in a particular situation would have been different. I do believe she will always want to hear my perspective so does that mean I am not her slave? Joseph in the Old Testament was sold into slavery yet held a high position in the home of his Master. He had freedoms within the boundaries that his Master insisted upon. Yet he was a slave. I too will have many freedoms, but also expectations and obligations that are non-negotiable. Does that make me a slave?
I'm struggling with the semantics of these two terms. Katie tells me she does 'own me'. That makes me think 'slave'. But I believe it is my personality to yield to women and defer to them and that sounds like a submissive trait. Katie also changes the rules at times. She's not rigid with me about when I do certain chores like vacuuming, or getting items on her to-do list done. Does that freedom tend to make one think that she views me as her submissive rather than a slave? I know for certain that she .doesn't like thinking of me as a slave. It removes one's freedom to choose and I know she loves the fact that I am choosing to put her first. I love consciously making the choice to give up power and defer to her. I enjoy doing things for her just because I know she loves it – even when those ‘things’ are expectations she has of me. Isn't that desire to serve a submissive trait rather than a slave trait? But then there is slave john. I know he loves Kathy. I am pretty sure that Kathy gives him freedoms like going golfing with friends and enjoying a good football game and that they have an open honest relationship. That sounds like Katie and me. But John is a slave. I'm not getting this or is it that John has used the wrong terminology of him self when he refers to himself as a slave? (Follow up note: Just the other day I read this phrase in Kathy's blog: "In the house there are rules by which John lives by. The rules have the affect of maintaining a mistress slave type relationship in our family home." Kathy views her relationship as a Mistress slave one even though she dearly loves her husband.) Maybe John isn't misusing the term slave after all.
Maybe this is all semantics and doesn’t matter a bit but I am confused. After writing all that and thinking some more, I'd probably call myself a slave but I don't want to think of me as that. But the fact that I have these obligations; the fact that I have no power; the fact that I am committing to obey and serve - well it sure makes me think of the word 'slave' moreso than 'submissive'. I know I have submissive qualities but am I more than that?  I'd love some insight and perspective. What do you think of all this? Can you describe the differences clearly and succinctly? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
I'm Hers


  1. I get the feeling you are over thinking this. What's the difference between "submissive" and "slave"? My answer is... depending on the people involved a lot... or not much.

    A submissive is submissive to his/her dominant by choice.

    A slave becomes a slave by his/her own choice.

    A submissive is expected to carry out the wishes of his/her dominant without question and without hesitation.

    So is a slave.

    Both are subject to discipline at the whim of the dominant partner.

    In both cases the submissive/slave is expected to do as told in all aspects of life.

    And.. in both cases the submissive/slave does have the power to end the power exchange, if he/she wants to. A dominant/master can not force a submissive/slave to submit against his/her will. At least.. not in most countries in the world.

    What does Katie think? Does she see you as her submissive or her slave? Personally, I think the terminology you two use should be up to Katie. It's a personal thing and a matter of preference.

    If my Knight referred to himself as my my slave it would make me uncomfortable. The term slave brings to my mind extreme bondage and pain. Which... while there's nothing wrong with that... isn't my thing. I'm more of a gentle dominant - unless you cross me.. and then I can be brutal, but that's a totally different thing.

    So.. my thought.. Talk to Katie. Find out which terminology she likes, and find out what she's thinking.

    1. Angelique,
      Katie refers to me as her sub. She doesn't like to think of me as er slave but outside that I guess I could violate my marriage vow by no longer submitting to her authority - something I will promise to do when we marry - I see no real difference between slave and myself. I am owned. She tells me that. If I'm owned, if I promise til death do us part that I'll obey her and submit to her, haven't I entered into a contractual binding agreement? That's my issue. I know it's semantics and I know that she will never call me her slave but I did wonder if I really have ended up here - meaning a slave.

  2. Mr. IH,

    you struggling with this in a post is very much appreciated. I can relate to your thoughts you are conveying.

    I can say for me I am a submissive who lives as my wife's domestic servant and is used by her for non-intercourse sexual enjoyment. I consider myself an apparatus eunuch in her service. In the BDSM community, this is sometimes known as a 24/7 service submissive.

    Speaking to the concept of slavery, I can say for most of human history the concept of individual liberty and equality was unknown. In ancient Greece, which was said to be the birthplace of democracy, slaves outnumbered citizens 3-to-1.

    I recently watched Ben Hurr. It is an account of slaves during Roman times. Societies had clear lines of authority and everyone knew who they were obligated to obey. It is only in the past 100 years where the egalitarian ideals have been experimented with. To my mind, they introduce some benefits, but I can too say that a D/s relationship with clear lines of authority and obedience have benefits too.

    Hope my two cents was a contribution for consideration.



  3. Hey IH,

    First, I haven't had a chance to congratulate you on your upcoming marriage, so let me wish you the best of luck in what I'm sure will be a blissful marriage between you and Katie.

    Now to your question...

    I have to admit, I get hard whenever my wife calls me her slave. The word, and all the images it envokes, is intoxicating to me. But while you and I might find it easy to declare that we'd "do anything" for our women, i believe that it's because we both know in our hearts that there are many things that our women would never ask of us.

    If Katie woke up one morning and decided that you were going to be her cuckold, would you agree? Would you let her tell you how to vote? Would you agree to be outed as her submissive in front of your family? Would you sign all of your personal assets over to her?

    I suspect that John might answer "yes" to these hypothetical questions, so I'd have to say that he wears the slave monicker as legitimately as anyone, but to me, these are hard limits. Does this make me not a "true slave"? Probably. But who cares? The term "works" for my wife and I, so we use it.

    That said, I really don't think that there's a clear distinction between someone who's extremely submissive and someone who calls himself a slave. All there is is a scale of how much one desires to submit, and there are probably as many different degrees of submission as there are individuals in this lifestyle.

    My apologies if this reply seems a bit disjointed. I'm thumb typing it on my iPhone, and editing is a total pain.



    P.S. this just occurred to me. If I had to come up with one trait that made a slave a slave, it would be this... A slave has no say at all in how he is punished. This means no safe word in the case if corporal punishment, but also, no right to refuse any other means of non-painful dicipline (think heaping plates of kale).

  4. i have been a sub for over forty years. Our lifestyle grew over the years as Mistress Barbara grew in Her knowledge, interest, and experience. Sometimes She referred to me as Her slave, but never as "a slave". Work on talking about everything. Ask about inflections and variances in ideas, do not guess. i can assure you, good communications, respect for each other, and love will be great for both of you. Mistress Barbara ask for and listened to my opinions, thoughts, and concerns (about all issues), however, Her decision was final. It works - stop the worry - submit to happyness, and a great life.

  5. Jake and Dualpurpose,
    I do appreciate both of you taking the time to comment and before I address your thoughts, I would hope that dual purpose would comment more. When I read that you have been a sub for over 40 years it made me take pause. You were a sub when there was probably very few subs and surely not the internet and way for other men with submissive tendencies to find support and knowledge the way I an others have found it via the web. I noticed that you mention on your profile that now that you are older, it's time to help others. I would hope you'd stop back often. Feel free to write via the email posted on the top right if you wish. I welcome you wisdom and knowledge.

    Dualpurpose, I particularly felt these words spoke volumes: "stop the worry - submit to happyness, and a great life" It's something I need to do, to rest in the caring and loving arms of the woman I serve. Thanks for that perspective. To both of you, your comments about your Mistress sometimes referring to you as 'her slave vs 'a slave' is what I personally needed to hear. Katie and I discussed your comments. She doesn't like calling me a slave but I believe that in reality, I am HER slave. She views me abding by my promise to submit and obey when I state such in my wedding vow to be just as sacred as forsaking all others. She views them as equally important. But juxtaposed with my choice to obey, is her obligation to love and lead. And it is here that I can rest knowing she won't turn me into a cuck, or tell me how to vote or tell the world I'm her sub, etc. It's a two way street where the trust of the other is equally important to make this all work.

    Thanks to both of you. I do appreciate your comments.

  6. I appreciate your struggle with the subtle differences between submissiveness and slavery, as similar thoughts go through the minds of many. In the end, it is a name in the semantics of the communication with your partner. If she does not want to designate you as a slave, then you may have to resign yourself to a different name for what you feel. I also appreciate the few but interesting comments. It helps to bring previously hidden lifestyles out in the open and make us realize that here may be many of us out there who feel as you do. Good luck on your marriage.

  7. Nice topic. It's just a word. But I do not have anything with the word 'slave'. In our type of relationships it is about love. An owner of a slave does not have an emotional relationship with her possession. I like ‘submissive’ because it tells what I am.
    For me, a ‘slave’ is something bad (it still exists) or it is something that has to do with role-playing where a wife says in a dark voice: “Now kneel before me, you worthless slave!”.
    But if it works for someone, go ahead! And if my wife would like to call me a slave in the future, I will surely become very happy with it: because I would start to think of the word in an other way as I have mentioned above.

  8. A few other random thoughts on the subject...

    "A slave" vs. "her slave" - Of COURSE it's the latter that's implied when viewed in the context of a loving D/s relationship. Anyone who believes otherwise has seen far too many internet femdom videos, where "worthless" or "lowly" often precedes the word.

    To myself and my queen, it's the polar opposite. Where my love, devotion, and adoration for her is so overwhelming, that pleasing her and obeying her is always job one. When I jump at the snap of her fingers, how can that be defined as anything other than a slave?

    To play devils advocate...

    If a domme doesn't like calling her submissive "slave", then doesn't it stand to reason that she'd be equally uncomfortable with being referred to as "Mistress"? Seems to me that a more apt title would be "Dominant", thought it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.

    Same goes for "I own you". Really? Not "I have considerable sway over you" or similar? And yet, I'm not to be considered your slave??? Hmmmm...

    The bottom line remains. Don't worry about following any particular protocol. The beauty of a private D/s relationship is the rules can be written and re-written at any time to enhance the happiness of BOTH participants. If the word freak you out, don't use it, if you enjoy it, then go for it. Or as DualPurpose succinctly said: "Stop the worry, submit to happiness"



    1. I have to differ with you on one point, Jake. As a preamble of sorts to our written rules, I have included,

      "By agreeing to this, you agree that everything you feel, think, want, and are will be shared with me. You will hide nothing from me. You belong to me completely and totally in every way possible. You are mine...."

      And I mean it. I view my Knight as belonging completely to me. He is mine to mold however I see fit. Everything he does is for my benefit, and the benefit of our kids. He agrees, and in fact, those kinds of comments from him are what led me to explore FLM.

      But, I would never allow him to refer to himself as my slave. He is my Knight, or my submissive. He does not call me Mistress, but it wouldn't bother me if he did.

  9. I do consider Jay to be my slave as opposed to submissive because of the nature of his devotion and obedience to me. He has no safe word. I have full control over all areas of his life that I wish to. The final decisions will always be mine even if I do choose to include his opinions. The lack of limits I feel makes this different than a submissive who can choose to define the boundaries in more detail. Jay wished to serve in a way that goes a little beyong the typical submissive mindset where the submissive maintains all the control in reality. He likes to be forced to comply...and while that may be a wish of his tha I humor, when push comes to shove he must comply even when the fun is set aside and he no longer wishes to. That to me is where the submissive/slave are different. He has made a lifetime committment to me to obey without hesitation regardless what I ask of him. He did that with trust in me, as he knows I am a demanding Mistress but also a compassionate woman.

  10. Christina, It is that last sentence that makes all of what you said work for the two of you. His complete compliance and vulnerability requires him to completely trust you and know that you indeed are a compassionate woman. Thanks for contributing. Stop by again.

  11. When I first actually entered the scene and sought out dominant Women I had several rules for myself. I never submitted until I understood the parameters within which a Woman wanted to use me. I never gave Women money. I did not do scenes if other men were to be involved. I did not do straight service without some form of play being involved (eg I was not going to show up at a Woman's apartment, clean her house, and go home without being touched). Within the confines of these parameters I was submissive to the Woman I happened to be with. Then I met S who offered me a position as Her servant with the understanding that I would be obedient at all times and would relinquish all authority over myeslf to Her. S took it on Herself to beat me whenever She wished with whatever She wished for as long as She wished. She ordered me to engage in gay sex acts with another male She owned and would stand over us with a whip that She would use on either of us at the first sign of recalcatrance. S would periodically call me up and order me to come over and give Her large sums of money. S would also call me up to come over and hand me a laundry basket to take care off and when I finished Her clothes She would send me home without touching me. At times S would summon mde and when I got to Her house meet me at the door and say "Oh I changed my plans, you are dismissed." S once ordered me to spend an entire vacation in Her apartment cleaning and sorting stuff She had accumulated for the past twenty years. I was only allowed out to run errands for Her and on New Year's Eve She left me home scrubbing Her floor while She went to a party. If I had made prior plans and at the last minute S needed me She would order me to cancel my plans. S would use me physically every day for a week interspersed with severe beatings and then not touch me for months. In short I was chattel entirely subject to S's whims. I think I was submissive with those other women but I was clearly S's slave. I realized that if S gave me an unambigous order I would obey, even if it went against my own internal boundaries. S kept me as a slave for 13 years and then finally ordered me to marry Her. If anything, She has become more strict these last seven years. But She has earned my unconditional obedience. When S came into some money She bought a house for us. S has also arranged for me to be loaned out to Women in whom I have an interest. So in return for ignoring my boundaries to serve Her She has extended Herself for me. However, the point is it was HER choice not Her obligation. In this marriage I have no rights, just privileges that She grants me and that She can revoke at any time. She can also sell me, dismiss me, or give me away if She so chooses.

    1. Anonymous, WOW! What you just described is so foriegn to me. I just can not relate to it. I hear what you say but I don't know that I honestly comprehend it. I could never live in that situation. I would assume that you had at least some inclination as to what you were getting in to with S. Maybe I would change over time but I just couldn't imagine me living as you do. I don't know if I admire you or think you are nuts - take that in a good way not as a negative comment.

      I hope you stop by again to share. Thanks so much for taking the time to write.

  12. I like your site but that "prove you are not a robot" thing defeats me sometimes and the posts don't stick. Having read your prenup post I think you are going to live in my situation. Following Katie's orders to sign a prenup went against your own internal thoughts, caused you great discomfort and made you resent Her children's interference and yet, ultimately you obeyed and did it. It was similar to some of the examples I used. If a Woman is powerful enough to compel you to obey commands that are counter-intuitive to you and can override your limits then you ARE a slave! Katie may order you to do other things that override your limits and it appears you will do them. I humbly and respectfully congratulate Ms. Katie on Her acquisition of you as a slave. As for my life with S much of it is conventional. I have a middle to upper middle class job (working for a Professional Woman) S is semi retired. S actually does more of the housework because She has time to do it but She still makes me do all the laundry and expects me to pick up groceries and dry cleaning. We go out to dinner or to the movies and She usually consults me as to choices but ultimately makes the final decision as to where we are going to go. S is the primary on all our accounts and I do not spend money without Her approval. S uses me and disciplines me on Her schedule. The Mistress bedroom (our version of master bedroom) belongs to S. She may summon me to it from time to time and She does take me to bed every night. I present myself completely naked to Her every night and She decides whether I am used or disciplined before She orders me to go to sleep. Hopefully Katie will make similar use of you.

  13. Anonymous, I hate that robot thing too and to be truthful, I didn't even know that it was on my site. I didn't ask it to be there and will look to see if I can remove it. My apologies for creating the hassle I hate when posting on others' site.
    As to your story, and the one you told previously, I find you to be an interesting guy. Feel free to write on the blog email (imhersblog@ya.....) if you want to chat privately. The description of your life sounds more 'sane' if that's the right word, compared to the impression I got from reading your last response. What struck me was the comment about me living in your situation. Really? I don't know if I agree yet I understand the point you made about conforming despite personal resistance to what 'she' wants of me.

    I hope you had a great holiday. Write again if you wish.
    Til next time.

  14. S has forbidden me to communicate directly via the web with people I do not know off the line. S is probably the last Woman in the world who does not shop on line either. She uses the net to find products but if the site does not list either a phone number or a store for off line purchase She passes. However, I am happy to respond to your posts when the robot thing doesn't defeat me. S is in charge and rules with a firm hand but She is basically a reserved person so we lead a reserved lifestyle (I prefer "reserved" to "sane"). We have a friend K, who lives on the other side of the continent and K is much more of a scene Leatherwoman. Once every several years S dispatches me across the country to serve K for a weekend and when I am given to K I serve in HER lifestyle. K has had me perform as a serving wench at parties for Her girlfriends where I was completely nude and the Women had K's permission to slap my behind or run their nails up and down it. K has taken me to fetish clubs in Her city, chained me to spanking benches, and blistered my behind. If S is firm handed, K is heavy handed. She is close to 6 ft and 200 lbs. and most of it is solid muscle. It would be different serving K full time (although She currently keeps two husbands in line with few problems). S is always amused when I return from serving K and probably loans me out every few years so I can explore my darker side. What about you? I looked forward to reading an account of your wedding (or actually Katie's wedding where She took you). Or does Katie want to keep that completely private?

  15. I will respect S rules for you and understand where it is she is coming from. My reason was just to get a better feel for you as one whom I consider myself to be quite new to this way of living. I find your story fascinating.

    I will talk to Katie about the details of the wedding - which was really quite simple - and if she minds me talkiing about it publically on the blog.

    Thanks so much for responding and sharing a bit more about yourself.

  16. Personally, the word "slave" does nothing for me. Neither does "mistress." I associate those words with some cliche of leather and dungeons, not a marriage. You're not by any stretch an actual slave because you've volunteered for the job and you can walk away at any time, even if you never choose to. Forget about definitions and accept whatever she deems appropriate. My wife calls me "slut and "whore" when she's dominating me in bed, but that has nothing do with whether I'm actually sleeping around or getting paid for sex. They are words that work for us to establish that she's superior and that I submit to her, plus it really excites both of us. In the end, it's just a word.

  17. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am not a slave. That I agree, and I probably never ever will be one as it's just not in Katie's personality to be that hard on me. Yet I made many promises ys she wanted me to make and that I agreed to make. Promising to always obey, always submit, always let her lead, etc does open the door for her to be quite dominant and me quite submissive. Our vows do open the door for her to be quite oppressive and have my life be very much regulated. I just don't see it.

    At the time I wrote this I was struggling with how dominant she might end up being very restrictive. She still may but she'd have to make a major change in what she wants and desires. Thanks for sharing.