For a long time I was resistant to the notion of creating a household manual. As much as I desire for my slave to always know what I want and do things in a consistent fashion, I always want for both my slave and me to be flexible as we deal with the ever changing nature of life. Creating a household manual struck me as codifying a rigid set of expectations that wouldn’t meet my needs or wants.
Not only did manuals strike me as inflexible, writing one seemed an exercise in redundancy. After all, not only do I always tell my girl how I want things done and what my expectations are, I am always available to her for guidance if she has questions. The notion that I needed to communicate these things to her, yet again, in written form seemed insulting to her (she’s a good girl who always listens, clearly writing things down for her suggests she doesn’t pay attention). It also seemed like a waste of time that could be better spent planning devious things to do or pursuing something else of interest to me.
So there I was, a perfectly reasonable and flexible master rigidly adhering to the notion that *I* had no need for a household manual. Well at some point, we attended an M/s discussion meeting devoted to the discussion of household manuals. Even though I steadfastly dismissed the notion of a household manual as beneficial, my slave and I continued to talk about manuals after the meeting.
After much discussion, I discovered that despite my sense that she knew my expectations clearly, I learned that she sometimes found herself lost while attempting to meet them. And not only was she often trying to serve in a vacuum, she was trying to be obedient to expectations that were sometimes contradictory. Worse still, I discovered that I was often giving her contradictory directions because I had not taken the time to decide how I want a specific task done. Attempting to tell my slave how I want something done when I haven’t taken the time to figure out how I want it done is an exercise in futility and frustration for us both.
I was also reminded that my slave often pays more attention to what I say than I sometimes do, resulting in unintended consequences for us both. For example, if we were preparing for company and I told my slave to store an item in the closet, in my mind I mean “store that item in the closet right now so that it will be out of the way for now. We can find a place for it later.” My slave might interpret this mean, “this item should always be stored in the closet.” Naturally, when I ask her in six months why the item is in the closet, she will remember the conversation I have long since forgotten.
As I continued thinking about manuals, I realized that manuals need not be rigid and inflexible, and being the flexible progressive master that I am, I decided that I would write a manual that reflected my desire for flexibility while communicating my expectations.
Once I was committed to the idea of writing a manual, I had to decide where to begin. While starting at the beginning is an obvious answer, less obvious was where that beginning was. I decided that my beginning was to discuss in some general terms the nature of our M/s relationship and the purpose of the manual. Once I had my starting point, writing it was a fairly simple and straightforward process. I have included the purpose below. If you are considering writing a household manual for your house, I hope it will be of some use to you.
Statement of Purpose for House Kramo Bone Manual
I believe that our Master/slave (M/s) relationship exists to benefit us both. While others may believe that the needs, feelings, and desires of the Master in an M/s relationship are the only ones that matter, I believe that our relationship and household is only really functional when it meets the needs everyone in our household.
Our relationship is built on trust, respect, commitment, and love. Without any of these things our relationship will die. I believe that were our relationship to die, we would each also die. This is not a death in the literal sense, but rather the death of our sense of who and what we are. Because these things are so essential to our lives, it is important that we always remember them.
Being your master gives me a sense of purpose and makes me complete. As your master, I have several significant obligations to you. The first is to take care of you both physically and emotionally.
Another obligation I have to you is consistency. While I will doubtless change over time, it is important that you know that I am the same from day-to-day, and month-to-month.
I am also obligated to act with honesty and integrity at all times. While this may seem a given, our relationship requires a higher level of personal authenticity because of the entwined way we function with one another. This can be challenging and I strive to maintain this in all our interactions.
Taking care of your needs and wants is another obligation I have to you. Keep in mind, needs are different than wants. You may prefer one thing over another, but you need my direction to feel centered within yourself and sure of your place in our relationship. Consequently, there will be times when you want to do one thing and are told to do another. It is important to remember in these times that I may have a purpose of which you are unaware.
I also have an obligation to listen to you. You are a smart and insightful person whose counsel is always appreciated. Due to my level of respect for your thoughts and feelings, I expect you to tell me when you feel that I have not honored my obligations to you. You are always to do so respectfully and at a time that is appropriate.
Just as I have obligations to you, you have obligations to me. Many of your obligations are listed throughout the remainder of this manual, but always keep in mind that your primary obligation is to take care of yourself at all times. This includes both your physical and emotional safety. Not only do you need to avoid dangerous people and situations, but you also are expected to take care of your health.
This manual serves two purposes. The first is to communicate my values and expectations in an organized way. This should free you from worrying about whether you are doing the right thing and whether or not I will be pleased by your behavior. It should also serve as guidance for you in those times when I am not available to directly tell you what to do.
That said this manual is not intended to be set in stone. As we go through life there will be lots of changes many of which we have no way of predicting now. Given that, I will have to make changes to this manual so that it will be reflective of those new realities. We will discuss this manual every four months on the first Saturday that we have time to sit together and discuss it at length. At that time, I will make any changes I deem necessary.