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BDSM/Taking a slave from another Master

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QUESTION: This is a question about what is possible, and what is not.

I am an open minded and curious male who has dabbled in most aspects of BDSM -- I don't identify as leather or non-leather, I haven't previously considered the question, but I am very open minded.  I have always been in control in my relationships, but on occasion I do top from the bottom and instruct my partner or partners to "top" me (being the bottom can be fun!).  In my 20s and 30s I had several relationships which ventured into D/s, but not 24/7.  One woman offered to be my slave, but I declined, I was unwilling to accept the responsibility.  In general, I am very supportive and constructive in all of my relationships, and I invariably encourage my partners to grow and become more.  I have often taken the role of mentor in relationships, including relationships that have included a significant D/s play, but have not yet moved to a 24/7 Dom or Master role -- rather I have always striven to hold up my partners as equals, except for the occasional play session.  Now that I am in my 40s, I am thinking that perhaps I need to accept more responsibility.

I have recently met a woman, call her Barb (not her real name), in her 30s, who is very submissive and giving by nature, especially in the bedroom, but is also showing an independent streak and a desire to to spread her wings and expand her horizons.  I see this woman as a perfect partner -- I absolutely adore her in the bedroom, and perhaps more importantly, I see the opportunity to mentor her in her desire to grow and help her become a greater person.

This woman, Barb, and I have gotten to know each other over the past few months with intermittent meetings (her life is complicated, see below).  We have had several BDSM themed meets, including one where I put a collar on her for the night, and another where I instructed her and her girlfriend to "top" me (which was the next day after I put the collar on her).  This last move was a mistake.

As I have since come to learn, this woman is in a traditional, male dominated, BDSM M/S/s poly relationship, with her being the s.  The relationship is crumbling as the Master is absent (in prison) leaving the senior S to run the household.  My woman, Barb, is obviously straying, and the senior S is aware of some of it.  

After I got Barb and her girlfriend to "top" me, the girlfriend told the senior S about the night.  Barb was subsequently punished and did not see me for about a month.  When she finally got around to seeing me, she told me about her M/S/s relationship, told me her Master was furious with her for allowing another man to put a collar on her, and told me that she had lost all respect for me for allowing her to "top" me.  I tried to point out to her that I was the one in control (and I was) but she would have none of it.  With that I resigned myself to losing a beautiful and fascinating girl, but all hope was not lost.

About a month later we got back in touch with one another and have again become intimate, both physically and emotionally.  We have not explored any BDSM themes as of yet.  Barb has indicated to me that she is looking to leave her household, and I am sure that she would not have the consent of her Master or senior S to do so.

With that long prologue, I have three questions.  

First, can I take this slave from her Master?  I am not asking whether the Master will let me, rather I am asking if it possible convince a slave to leave her Master?  She clearly wants to leave, but at the same time, she has been in that relationship for many years and is struggling to leave the comfort of familiarity, as well as undoubtedly quite a bit of desire to remain obedient to her Master.  If I were to take Barb from her Master, in what capacity should I do so?  Should I strive to be her new Master, or can I revert to my past practice of being the Dom primarily in the bedroom but pushing for equality between us in the rest of our lives?  Barb, being a slave, definitely leans towards gender biased power exchange 24/7.  I see that she can be more, and would like her to be more (she also sees that she can be more, or should be more).  As I mentioned in my opening paragraph, am I at a point where if I want to be with this woman, that I just have to accept more responsibility and control/guide her life more completely?  That is, do I just have to accept the situation and strive to become her Master?

Second, regarding Barb losing all respect for me after I got her to "top" me, I am wondering how to deal with this situation.  Now clearly some of what Barb said stemmed from her being punished after her girlfriend spoke with the senior S.  But also Barb comes from a more narrow minded school of kink where BDSM roles are gender defined and dominant men don't do what I did.  Can I regain the respect that I have lost in Barb's eyes?  I think I can and have a plan, but I would love your opinion on whether it is viable.  Barb and I have agreed to meet again, and we have agreed to have some BDSM play the next time we meet.  My plan is in this session to not just top Barb, but to Dominate her, and thoroughly Dominate her making it clear to her that I am in control.  I am thinking that I should probably even discipline her for even thinking that I wasn't in control in the other session.  I am hoping that by demonstrating my dominance to her, I can more readily explain to her that I was in control in the previous session, and through this, regain her respect.  I think this could work, or that it would work for any normal girl, but would you concur?

Third question, how?  How do I Dominate this girl, this slave of another Master?  And how do I supplant him and become her new Master?  Thinking back through all the conversations that I have had with Barb, she has done quite a lot and has very few limits.  With any normal girl, I could readily dominate them through a combination of force of personality, tease and denial, tenderness tempered with discipline and some BDSM play -- with time, all the women that I've played with in the past submit.  But this girl is in a different league.

Now I have tried to discuss the situation with Barb, and while she clearly indicates that she wants to leave the household (and has also allowed me to put a collar on her in the past), she is completely hesitant to discuss her Master with me.  Instead of discussion, I think what I need to do is thoroughly Dominate this girl -- not just top her, but get her to do things and get her to let me do things to her, that she hasn't let any man do.  And that is my plan.  I have taken a mental catalogue of all the experiences and limits that Barb as told me about, and the next time we get together, I am going to take her to those limits, and then gently try to push past them.  Does this seem reasonable to you?  

Moreover, I am guessing that I need to treat Barb like a slave.  By this I mean that her present Master is a sadist and a bastard.  That means that if I am going to Dominate Barb, I am going to have to be sadistic at some point.  Not only am I going to have to cause her pain, but I am going to have to degrade and humiliate her.  And I have to do this in a safe and consensual fashion.  I already have a plan for our next meet to accomplish this, but before I go forward and treat this woman in this way, I wanted to check with an expert that I am not being foolish.

My closing assumption is of course that if I do manage to Dominate Barb, she will see me as someone who could replace her Master.  No, not just a replacement, but an upgrade.  Then Barb and I could discuss and negotiate the terms by which we can have a relationship, be it M/s or D/s.

Any thoughts?

p.s. There is one issue that I have ignored, and that is the other Master.  I understand that what I am doing is frowned upon.  I won't go into details, but I am fine with that, and I can live with the consequences.

ANSWER: Hi, Will --

I suppose there are some threshold issues:

1) In relationships, an outside person can't really "take" someone away from another, the other person has to choose to leave the relationship for their own reasons. Usually, the reasons are that the current partner is not meeting their needs.

2) You have to be sensitive to your own ethical handling of this situation, as you're also showing Beth how you operate at your core, using your core values. I'd suspect that you'd stand a better chance of winning her over if you arranged the situation that she was seeking to change from her current situation to one with you. In M/s, slaves generally petition a Master to be their slave; Masters don't generally pursue a person to be a slave.

3) You're proposing to (at least superficially) act in a way that is different from the way you usually are in an effort to make her see you as desirable. The challenge with that is that if she chooses the "you" that is really not you, once the acting starts to wear off she'll likely feel duped. Couples can generally hold it together for three months or so (the "three-month crazies, as Jay Wiseman calls it), which is why so many M/s relationships fail in the first year.

Beyond these responses, if you want me to address a different part of your question, please write back.  Relationships are very hard to understand from the outside. Obviously, you're providing Beth with something she can't get from within her current structure -- but she's sneaking around in an act of clear disrespect and dishonesty with regard her current Master.  From your point of view, that's a warning flag that she'd likely do the same to you.

Zebras don't change stripes.

Bob

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dr. Bob,

As I noted on the Thank You/Ratings page, I appreciate you pointing out several issues which I am handling superficially and insensitively and thank you for educating me on how certain matters are normally handled in the M/s setting.  Your comments are valuable and I will internalize them.

I have one follow up question -- I actually wanted to repeat the second question in my original post.  Early in my relationship with Barb, before I learned about her situation, I topped Barb and her girlfriend from the bottom, and put myself in a "submissive" position in Barb's eyes.  Although I was the bottom in the scene, I was the one in control, orchestrating the actions of both girls and myself. However Barb saw it differently and subsequently told me that she had lost all respect for me because of what I had done.

This hurt me at the time, and continues to bother me.  My unease comes in part from the implicit rejection inherent to the comment, but also because of the power/control that comment removed from me.  I can not help but feel that Barb now views me as a sub, which is a position that I can not abide.  Nor do I like the idea that she actually has no respect for me.

Since this time I have found myself subtly changing the power dynamics of our relationship, such as forcing her to go out of her way to see me or casually letting her know that there are other women in my life.  But while these actions might recoup some of my former control, I am not sure that they will gain me any respect.

So, given my story, I ask you, is there a way to regain that respect that Barb says she lost?  If there is, what would you recommend?

Presently my plan is to firmly take control the next time we get together and retake the dominant position in a D/s setting.  While this will likely happen and help me take back the power, will this do anything to rebuild the respect that I have apparently lost?

Thanks

Will

Answer
I'm a switch. I'm a psychological switch, not a physical switch. I don't bottom unless my Owner instructs me to. However, I'm her Top. I'm a service Top. Broadly trained and experienced. When my Owner wants to bottom, she is not submitting to me, she's instructing me to serve her by Topping her. She is no less my Master because she's bottoming to me.

My "read" on your situation is that Barb is confusing "bottoming" and "submitting."  We don't refer to Jen bottoming for me as Jen "subbing" for me: she is never a submissive -- doesn't have a submissive bone in her body. Brought up Military.

Back to books: I've got this all written out clearly in the pair of books on BDSM Mastery.  It's not in the Master/slave Mastery that I mentioned earlier, because by the time someone is ready for M/s, they've generally done BDSM for many years and have it pretty well figured out.

The "fault" lies in her misunderstanding that a Dom/Master can instruct an s-type to Top them.  In the gay community, it's called being "versatile."

That help?

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Robert Rubel (Dr. Bob)

Expertise

Anything related to BDSM or Master/slave relationships or activities.

Experience

See: www.KinkMastery.com I live 24/7 Master/slave lifestyle and have since 2002 both as Master and slave. My Owner and I present and do "weekend intensives" internationally and at BDSM conferences practically every month.

Organizations
Masters And slaves Together (MAsT) National Leather Association - International (NLA-I) National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF)

Publications
+++ BDSM Mastery—Basics: your guide to play, parties, and scene protocols. +++ BDSM Mastery—Relationships: a guide for creating mindful relationships for Dominants and submissives +++ Master/slave Mastery: Updated handbook of concepts, approaches, and practices +++ Master/slave Mastery--Advanced: Refining the fire; ideas that matter +++ Master/slave Mastery--Protocols: Focusing the intent of your relationship +++ Is THAT What They Meant? A book of practical communication insights

Education/Credentials
PhD, Urban Education Policy Studies with a minor in criminology, U of Wisconsin, Madison. EdM, Boston University with specialty in urban education Presented 80+ BDSM weekend conferences worldwide since 2007.

Awards and Honors
Pantheon of Leather Community Choice - Man, 2008

Past/Present Clients
Not applicable.

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