As we come to the annual celebration of all that is creepy, our family begins to gather random costumes, a pumpkin seems a reasonable expense, and candy for little strangers is par for the course. The kids are all excited to spend some time pretending to be something they are not. The idea of wanting to play at being someone we aren’t got me thinking about living as Master and slave at all times. I have heard and read so many discussions about how impossible 24/7 M/s is. After all, this is America and we are supposed to be a nation of independent souls. How could 24/7 M/s be anything but a dress up game?
I recently attended a conference where Dossie Easton spoke about some concepts from her book “The Ethical Slut.” Easton commented several times about her belief that the Master and slave relationship lasts only as long as a negotiated scene. I went to see her speak because I had recently finished reading her “The New Bottoming Book,” in which she writes about not allowing oneself to believe that M/s or D/s can be a constant way of living. I thought perhaps I had misunderstood what she wrote, but her talk seemed to support that her feeling is power exchange is only for specific limited period of time. I enjoyed her talk and found what she shared to be though provoking and interesting. She is a vibrant and wonderful woman and I respect her a great deal even as I disagree with her on this point.
She is not alone in her belief that 24/7 is an unworkable and impossible way to try to live. When my Master and I first began our relationship, he explained to me that what he really wanted was an egalitarian style in our ‘vanilla’ lives and an M/s dynamic in the bedroom. I remember thinking that he would quickly change his mind, and as it turned out I was right. Within the first few weeks, he was explaining all sorts of non-bedroom related expectations he had for me and I pointed out the conflict with his original ‘egalitarian’ theory. He recanted and admitted, “I really want you to do what I say all the time, it just seemed weird to say it so directly.”
Over the years we have talked a great length about his initial statements. He has explained that he just couldn’t wrap his head around what 24/7 would really look like, how it would work in the day to day, and how it would remain consensual. All his life he had been raised to believe that people should all be treated equally and that seemed contrary to the permanent power exchange that 24/7 M/s would entail.
For our family, 24/7 isn’t about playing or pretending. It really is how we define our roles all the time. In the bedroom, sure that is pretty straight forward. Out of the bedroom, things are a bit more challenging. I don’t mean to suggest we have it all figured out or do it ‘the right way’ but we do it the best we know how at all times.
For example, I had a terrible job at one point in our relationship. I hated it, there was injustice and incompetence. It was a bad deal all around. I asked Daddy if I could speak out, rail against it all, and make a stand. He said no. Not an unclear iffy no, but all the way no. He explained that he understood what I was up against but that in the end it would serve me and our family best to simply resign and move on. It was most frustrating. There was a part of me that wanted to rail against him. Stomp my feet and say I was a grown woman with a career and I would do what I thought best, but it isn’t like that for us. I whined a bit, tried to persuade, and when the no was unchanged, I followed his will. As always, it turned out he was right. With some time, I was able to see that my Daddy’s way of handling it was really best for all involved. I found a great job I love and continued to have my professional dependability intact. Daddy knows best. In those times where I most want to rebel, I find that when I look back his clarity and wisdom truly are why I entrusted my whole life to him.
I could list several other times when I really, really for real real thought Daddy was wrong and I wanted to go against his will. Each tale would come to the same end, I followed what he said to do and he turned out to have wisdom I could not see at the time. In dealing with our children, with my career, with my schooling, with the household…on and on he is the leader because he actually is the best person in the family to follow. Living that anything less than 24/7 would be a waste of time. Daddy would have to pick up broken pieces over and over again and waste energy tending to my self-inflicted wounds.
I understand why people don’t see 24/7 as viable. My father taught me the old “if your friend jumped off a bridge, would you jump too” lesson. I know that it would be impossible to follow most people. It would be reckless and unhealthy to follow without thought the will of another person unless you knew beyond a doubt that that person would always have your best interests at heart and had the wisdom to make the best choices for you.
So, back to Halloween. My costume this year was easy. Master bought me a gaudy set of costume pearl necklace and earrings and I wore a dress I already had in the closet. Turns out a fifties style wife was not much of a stretch for me. Being a slave to my husband and Master 24/7 is perhaps not really all that different from the way people lived their relationships just a few decades ago. In the end, there is no one I want to pretend to be not even for one day.