Moving Past the M/s Superiority Complex

The belief that M/s relationships are superior to all other forms of relationships seems quite common in the M/s community.  This “M/s Superiority Complex” puzzles to me.  While I wholeheartedly believe that an M/s relationship is the best relationship style for me, it seems both arrogant and asinine to suggest that it is inherently better than every other relationship form.

There are a few reasons that folks in M/s dynamics proclaim their relationships better than others.  Many people in M/s relationships presume they have clearly defined their roles and expectations as Master and slave at the onset of their relationship. I say presume because there are undeniably a lot of self-identified M/s people who enter into M/s relationships simply because they think being Master and slave sounds sexy.  While there is much discussion in the M/s community about the proper way to begin an M/s relationship, how to find an appropriate partner for such a relationship, the importance of authenticity, etc., the fact remains that many people start M/s relationships without the faintest notions of these concepts. While it is not for me (or anyone) to judge the validity of someone else’s M/s relationship, it is doubtless that many enter into such relationships with various unrealistic expectations for themselves and their partner(s).

Even if we assume that everyone entering an M/s relationship does so in the “proper” manner, to assume that this makes M/s relationships superior to others requires us to tacitly imply that people entering into other dynamics do so without any forethought about their roles and expectations.  While it is doubtlessly true that many people fall into all manner of relationships without much forethought about their expectations, to suggest that all other relationships begin without clear expectations is folly.

Another common claim about the superiority of M/s relationships is that the participants in M/s relationships are more deeply committed to each other than are people in other relationships. If true, we can reasonably assume that M/s relationships would be more enduring than other relationship types. While evidence to support or reject this idea is not readily available, the available anecdotal evidence seems to contradict this notion.  Having known dozens of people in various permutations of M/s relationships, I can count on one hand the number of them that have been together for five years.  Reaching a ten year anniversary as an M/s couple (threesome, family, etc) is as monumental an accomplishment as a golden anniversary in the vanilla world.

More interesting to me than how people in M/s relationships perceive them to be superior to other relationships is the question of why they would proclaim it so. I think that folks in M/s relationships often feel that they have to justify their relationship to both the larger vanilla world and the fetish and BDSM communities which often view M/s relationships with skepticism or hostility. All people everywhere defend that which is most precious and personal to them, and little seems more personal or valuable than one’s intimate relationships. Keeping that in mind, it is hardly surprising that those in any relationship would view it as the highest form of relationship.

Does the M/s Superiority Complex benefit anyone? In my view, it does not. Our relationships are virtuous and meaningful on their own merit.  Denigrating the value of other people’s relationships does nothing to increase the value of our relationships and serves to marginalize us from both the BDSM and vanilla worlds we exist in. Cut it out already.


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