My husband is my master but I am no slave
What is a master?
A male teacher
One having authority over another
One that conquers
The male head of a household
What does it mean to master something?
To overcome (as in, he mastered his fears)
To become skilled or proficient in the use of
To gain a thorough understanding of
What is a slave?
A person that is owned by another as a piece of property
A person held in servitude as the chattel of another
One that is completely subservient to a dominating influence
Synonyms: subservient, captive, toiler, workhorse, peon, serf, etc.
Many of us here on Taken In Hand squirm at the thought of being labeled anything. We have recently been presented articles about why Taken In Hand is not BDSM or D/s or any of those other more commonly understood labels. Some people have put forth the question, "Why does it matter what we are labeled?"
I believe words can have power and deep meaning. Anybody who has ever been in love knows that certain phrases are special and meaningful between partners. In and of themselves, the words may not mean much, but to the lovers who understand them they may mean everything.
Before my husband and I met, I read through many BDSM and D/s websites and books. There was something I found in those pages that deeply appealed to me, yet at the same time, they left me feeling as if they went too far (for my tastes) in some areas and not far enough in others.
I had a deep desire to be owned, to be possessed. I wanted to belong to my spouse. I wanted him to want to own me and know that I am his and his alone. I wanted him to know me in a way that nobody else ever could or would. I wanted him to master me; to "gain a thorough understanding" of me. I wanted him to be my master; to teach me, conquer me and have authority over me.
But in all my searching through that kind of literature, I never had the desire to be a slave. I saw definitions like the ones above and they made me cringe. Did I want to be a piece of property that could be easily discarded? Did I want to be completely submissive, obedient and mindless? Did I want to be a "subservient, captive, toiler, workhorse, peon, serf" or the like? A clear and resounding NO.
In this context, having a person who could master me meant a lot of conditions had to be in place for it to work. This person could not just be a casual relationship. I don't believe that you can truly "master" someone unless you know them well. That means commitment, love, trust, respect, loyalty, time and effort. To me, it meant marriage. I scratched my head when I read story upon story of people rushing to be "mastered" by people they barely knew. To me, it seemed like only an illusion. Consequently, I also read story upon story of people who had been "mastered" by one person only to have it not work out. Then, they moved on to the next "master."
How can you give yourself away, I mean really give yourself to someone—repeatedly? In my case, I would find it impossible.
Since I felt so strongly about these things, I figured I would never feel comfortable really calling anyone my master, even though something within me cried out for it. If I had a master, wouldn't that make me a slave?
Now I am married to a man who is the leader in our home. He is a respectful, kind, loving, enthusiastic and strong man. Our relationship did not always have a Taken In Hand dynamic; it has evolved from just tiny seeds planted during our dating relationship and early marriage. We found Taken In Hand and the picture became much clearer—we knew that this was what we wanted for our relationship.
More time passed and I found myself again thinking about having a master, a desire I had suppressed my whole adult life. I thought about why I desired it. My husband was already in practice what some would consider my master. Why was it that the word itself held so much power for me? I searched myself for all sorts of theories as to why I might have this desire and what my motives were. Was I secretly harboring some desire to be degraded—a slave? Was there something wrong with me?
After much soul-searching I discovered that no, I was still a very independent and decidedly fierce woman. I did not consider myself to be a slave by any stretch of the imagination. To me a slave was a degrading term, meaning that my husband only owned me, but did not cherish me. He would not have to invest in a slave because the only thing that matters in that dynamic (in my humble opinion) is what the master desires. My husband is not the type of man to only consider his own desires and feelings. Like many Take In Hand men, he adores and spoils me.
I found that I did not even consider myself to be my husband's "submissive." I, like many other Taken In Hand women, desire to be brought to submission by a man who is actually more powerful than me. I desire the power differential to be genuine.
Still, I found the word creeping up in my throat, begging to roll off my lips. I did more research into the word "master" and its definitions. I found that the word master is actually very appropriate to describe what my husband is to me. He is my teacher, he has authority over me, conquers me and is the head of our household. He has invested time into getting to know me—mastering me. This is a process which I have no doubt will continue throughout our life together.
When I expressed my desire to use this word in our relationship, my husband carefully considered it. We talked at length about it and my husband also explored some definitions of the word. We also looked at antonyms to the word master. One surprising antonym came up: "woman."
Since our early relationship, my husband has called me that. If he was irritated with me (even in jest), he would exclaim, "woman!" This was quite effective in curbing the undesired behavior. This was something he did naturally, long before we discovered our desire for the dynamic we have. After my husband did his own research, he decided that he desired to be my master. He felt, as I did, that I could not be (nor did either of us want me to be) his slave. He decided I was his woman.
I am many other things to him. I am his lover, wife, friend, mother to his children. But I am also his woman.
Since the day my husband became my master, we use the term in many ways. He will have me use it to make a point about who is in charge, something that I find extremely sexy and powerful. Sometimes, though, the word has an intimate and affectionate meaning. Every night now before we go to sleep, my husband says to me, "Now I want you to go to sleep." He waits for me to respond, "Yes, Master." Afterwards, I feel peaceful and dreamy. I know who I belong to and who wants me. I am reminded that he is in charge and will protect and nurture our relationship.
Finally, after all the time waiting and searching (then doubting and second-guessing my own desires) I have my master.