I find myself over the last few weeks turning inward to examine who I am as a woman and as a slave. My life has taken many twists and turns over the last year, and each new fork or twist on the path seems to lead me to new thoughts and deeper examination of just who I am inside and what my life portrays to the world we inhabit. This writing will probably be a bit rambling and not necessarily coherent, but it will contain thoughts I need to get out and put back together, much like a jigsaw puzzle. Read at your own risk. And as usual, these are only my thoughts that apply to me, and so your mileage may vary.
I have in my head this picture of what the epitome of slave looks like. I set standards of behavior for myself based on this picture. Oftentimes, my own defined standards of behavior for myself conflict with what others believe a slave to be. Usually, my own defined standards are leaps and bounds above the typical romantic description we see on fetlife of what a slave should be. My vision of slave is one of grace, acceptance, obedience, service, and love. It is one without expectation, even when as a human I sometimes have expectations.
For me, being slave isn’t sexual in nature. That is not to say that there aren’t sexual aspects to my slavery, but those sexual aspects have nothing to do with my own identity as a slave. My identity as slave is fully based on two things: obedience and service. The obedience part has been challenged much over the last year as I have had to do what some would say is disobedient in order to serve. That has challenged my own feelings of success and failure as a slave.
Maybe it would help for me to back up here just a minute and identify who I am as a woman. I am emotionally strong, but I still have lots of times when I need someone else to give me an emotional boost. I am highly intelligent, but I don’t know everything and there is always something I can learn. I am very loyal, but it takes me a long time to move someone from a friendly acquaintance to friend to family. I work very hard to be accepting (not tolerant) of all people for who they are without placing my own expectations upon them. I love always from the bottom of my very soul, deeply and completely and unconditionally. I have ethical standards that are very black and white, and that will never change, even when it means that I offend people with my opinions. I am tenacious and it takes me a long time to give up on something or someone. I am as protective as a mother wolf of those I love. I am very much an introvert who could easily become a hermit if I didn’t force myself to interact and socialize, but I crave the energy of those I connect with to feed my soul. I am opinionated and have an authoritative way of speaking that sometimes (or oftentimes, depending upon who you are) offends others. I have been told that I’m the kind of person one either loves or hates, but I apparently don’t leave much room for much in between, and I’m okay with that assessment. I am a solution-oriented survivor who doesn’t want to hash it out forever and ever, but who wants to find the solution and then get to doing the work. I am empathic, and even though it is rarely visible to others, I wear my heart on my sleeve. When my family hurts, I hurt. I talk too much and too loud. I can be unforgiving. I don’t lose sleep over those I’ve cut out of my life. I have a spirituality that is an odd eclectic mix of theologies that most wouldn’t understand. I am a nail-biting worrier. I have a very difficult time asking for and accepting help. I have a very difficult time accepting accolades of any kind, as I never feel worthy of them. I am always able to look at myself in the mirror and to sleep at night because I am a good person who strives to always live my talk.
As a slave, those parts of me are instrumental in setting my standards and my boundaries. Over the last year and a half, my vision of slavehood has been tested. I have worked to serve in the manner in which I deem as acceptable. I have, at long times, served an absentee master, not out of his choice, but because he was medically unable to be master. There have been times of waiting for him to come back to me. There have been times he has been fully present. And there have been times I’ve had to hold him up because he wasn’t able to hold himself up. There have been times I’ve come close to giving up.
Relationships are fluid in nature. Every single day things alter how a dynamic plays out. There are lots of factors that go in to defining what aspects of an M/s dynamic people are able to maintain. The lesson I am continually working to learn is that it is not actions that define slave, it is intent and identity. Even during the times that Sir has not been able to actively master, I have remained his slave. Even when the outside world may not have seen it quite that way. Even if he himself has not seen it quite that way.
Are we qualified to wear a vest labeling us as the Arizona Master/slave couple, representing our M/s community? That question is a weighty one that I have struggled with. There are those who say no. To them I say this. If you believe that our life struggles mean we are not qualified to represent the M/s community, then the reality is that you are only looking for surface representation. You are looking for bling, not substance. You are looking for fantasy, not reality. M/s, real M/s as lived in the real world, is as messy as real life. People get sick, people get depressed, people lose jobs and have bad days. People have weaknesses and faults. It is in the way they handle those things that make an M/s couple real representatives. It’s not the leather they wear or the virtues they talk about but don’t live behind closed doors. It’s not the labels they choose to use with each other or whether the slave can kneel in just the right way. It is who they are when no one is looking. It is walking the talk both in public and in private. We have both had times when we stepped outside of those things to survive because life is fluid and ever-changing. And unless Sir decides that he no longer wants this life or our dynamic, the collar will remain around my neck and I will be his slave – even during the times he may be an absentee master.
I think I just put the puzzle pieces back together for now. I am my Sir’s slave. And I will continue to serve, even in the difficult times. I must remember to breathe and center. I must remind myself of who I am. I am my Sir’s slave. Always.