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BDSM/I finallly got genuine smile from him !

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QUESTION: My most sincere salutation Doctor,
I'll first present myself quickly to expose the problem as clearly as possible.
I a m a twenty years old men in a M/s relationship with a younger slave malerecently aged eighteen and, well, my problem seems simple but is a torture to me : it's been two month now since I haven't seen my slave smile.
When we met he was 16 and it's him who approached me first. Back then he was the most alive of teenagers and we almost had an instant hook up.
Long story short : I conviced him to stop whoring in his school as it wasn't sane for a young man to do such a "work" and I took him in as my slave in order to controle his needs, and help him to be sane. And it worked !
For a year and a half we were a happy M/s couple an I could see him smile every day, even after a punishment.
But recently he .. "changed" . It was like his life energy was sipped away too slowly for me to notice on time.
Back in January he started to get a bit more "serious". At that time I didn't notice or thought it was nothing, but it continued to go worse.
As the weeks passed he started to invest himself more and more into his tasks and before I noticed he had loose all his joy, sjuting himself completely in his unexplainable sadness.
I thought of a breakdown since he as fragile but I didn't found any causes : no death in the relatives, no bad grades, no bullying reported in school, not a clue of what was wrong.
The first time I realised he had changed I got scared as he asked soullessly to punish him for he had spilled wine on the floor. I had never seen him like this before, he would always try to negociates my sentences and now he came beg them directly to me.
I tried to talk to him but all I get each time are "isn't it waste your time that to ask how your slave is doing ?" and "I think I am fine, did I do something wrong again Master ?"
I believe i tried everything in my power to make him happy again, even just for a minute : I joked with him , I played with him, I made his favorite meal, I relieved him of his tasks for a day, I took him out for a walk, I praised him, treated him, I even try to free him but he declined; and each time it went the same way : he played along, then asked me if was over and thanked me for my time, then asked if I needed him for anything else or he could return to his tasks.
Lately I am getting scared for him as I invited his friend to come over see him : I greated them like nothing had changed since highschool and talked to them in the nicest way, then, once they were gone, he literrally dropped the façade and quit his happy expression instantly, announcing me that he woud now attend to his tasks if I needed anything.
I was shocked but mostly terrified : what if he was playing the same game with me and I couldn't notice ?
Lately, over the past two weeks, he started to work twice as hard on his tasks without any reasons. He doesn't complains about anything, told me to disregard his "limit list" from now on, and, I hope he just didn't hear but I can't believe it, didn't come to me when I called him by his first name.
Last monday when I came home I was tired, and I believe I heard him apologising to me for that, sayong something like "Sorry for not being able to make you feel welcome in your house."
I am asking for the help of an expert now because I think it's getting even worse : Yesterday I had enough of seeing him moving around like a robot and I confronted him, I asked "are you happy to be here ?" and him to answer "I'm sorry master, I don't understand your question. I don't see why me feelings are involved with my duty to serve you. Did I failed you again , Master ?"
After he told me that I couldn't think of an answer so I told him to rest but .. I'm scarred !
I don't understand what went wrong in those two month : how can anyone say they don't understand the question "are you happy?" ?
I want to know what happened to my boy and how can i help him, so please tell me, I beg of you : how do I make him smile again ?

trully yours,
Master Bellum.

ANSWER: Master Bellum...

First, congratulations on your English. I was once nearly bilingual in French... but now I'm 71 and it's mostly gone.

My heart goes out to you.  This is a very touching letter.  Actually, I (personally) have exhibited many of these behaviors to my Master (I'm owned by a woman 20 years younger than I am).

Here are a few reactions and ideas.  PLEASE feel free to write back if you want to discus any of these points in more depth.

1) In "communication theory" there are a few kinds of "incorrect thinking." One is that a person takes on the belief that if one thing in a sequence is not perfect (or doesn't go as planned) the entire sequence (or event) fails.  This refers to your slave spilling wine on the floor and then asking for punishment.  Been there.

2) I think you two might benefit from sitting down and examining your basic "wants" and "needs" out of life.  What is he wanting to work TOWARDS and why has he selected YOU to help him get there?  In what ways are you helping your slave reach his goals?  However, all this also relates to YOU.  Why did you select this slave and how do you intend to use this slave to benefit your own goals?

3) You might want to read my two books on Master/slave Mastery.  You can go to my website, then be redirected directly to Amazon:  www.KinkMastery.com  I think you'll find a lot of helpful material in the Basics and Advanced books.

4) To change your slave's outlook, he has to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. I recommend Shad Helmstettler's book: What to Say when you Speak to Yourself.  You can direct your slave to write out a long, long list of positives -- ways he wishes he thought and behaved.  Then, make a digital recording of HIM dictating these positives into a digital file. Either make a CD for him to play or put it on a digital recorder. Require that he listen all the way through 1-2 times a day.  Over a few weeks you'll be surprised to see his self-image improve.

5) Your slave seems to be sending you a message that he is VERY unhappy in his relationship.  You stopped him from whoring, but he may miss the variety. You might consider bringing other men in to play with him -- under your supervision.  Make it a research project -- after the other guy leaves, sit down and write out what was good or not good about that encounter.  Frankly, you can write a book out of what you learn.

6) Punishment.  I am fundamentally opposed to punishment in a Master/slave structure.  This person who is your slave is a volunteer.  If they think that they are constantly displeasing you to the point that you have to punish them, it will make them very anxious to be around you.  The fact that he asked you to punish him over a minor issue reinforces my view that he now dreads being around you (to some degree) because he's associated YOU with negative feedback.  I'd suggest changing your approach 100%.  Start "catching him doing good" and give him rewards.  Little love notes, little chocolates, cook his dinner.  You are equals fulfilling different roles.

7) I totally understand your slave asking why you care how the slave feels, after all, he's the slave.  I've gone through this with my own Master. "Master is right, why ask slave, just tell slave what to do. Why does it matter how I feel, it's not relevant to serving and obeying." I totally get it.  However, here's the answer: a) It is up to Master to determine that slave is not performing correctly, and it is up to Master to provide the correct training. slave does not have permission to feel that it is inadequate, for that means that Master has made a mistake in choosing this person as slave. It means that the slave is exercising a level of decision-making that it does not have. Master will tell slave when slave is not correctly performing. Beyond that, slave's role is to serve and obey. period.

7a) It is slave's responsibility to inform Master of anything going on it its life that prevents it from serving as Master wishes. I suggest you have a serious talk with him about his obligations to be "transparent" (totally honest) with you. NOTE: a Rule... you can't use any information that comes from an "honesty discussion" against him.  Before you have this discussion, please look up "talking sticks" on the Internet and learn how to have a discussion using talking sticks.  This is very important, please.

8) You can't make him happy; he has to become happy.  You can also purchase books such as "How we Choose to be Happy" and put him on a reading schedule where he has to report the strategies back to you and then you oversee their implementation.

9) I have Asperger Syndrome.  About 1-in-30 adult men have undiagnosed Asperger.  You commented about maintaining a facade around his high school friends.  You're worried that he is playing this way around you.  IF he has Asperger traits, that one is typical and I do it.  People with Asperger Syndrome operate out of "relationship rule books." So: I'll behave one way around one person and another way in a different setting.  In fact, right now, this weekend, my Master and I are sitting down and we will be creating a book of "Who is Alec" versus "Who is boy."  In my Master's world, boy is too submissive and Dr. Bob is too dominant.  We're going to have to come to a middle-ground and we've selected "Alec" as my name. Now, we have to write out expected behaviors.

Okay. I'll stop.  I've given you quite a bit to work on.  

I wish you well, from my heart.  I wish I could hug you and sit and talk to the two of you. I'm impressed by the way you've expressed your concerns. You are a good Master.

By the way, if you want to speak by Skype, I'm happy to set that up.  My Master and I devote 1-3 on Sunday afternoons to mentoring. I suppose you're about six hours ahead of us. We're in Austin, Texas on Central Time Zone.



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

QUESTION: Au risque de me répeter : merci infiniement !
I am so thankfull of your help Doctor, you have no idea !
It's still a bit soon for big results but thanks to your point of view on the question I've been able to pull myself out to question and I've began to see the other side of a M/s bond.
The first sixth and seventh points you made were groundbreaking to me : Just to think that my own little snowflake could be scared of me made me cry but it also allowed me to begin to understand a part of the problem.
And just for that : Merci !
Also advice 9 was a bit worrying but thanks to you I am now able to take it in count an have him go through tests, when he'll be ready to.
Oh, and a big thumb up for the talking sticks technique : I realised yesterday that my beloved cold one was actually not speakking to me because he didn't know how to ask permission for such a thing as talking (and I would have never guessed that he just didn't dare to speak to me.
Well, this is only the shiny part of the whole thing.
Even with that cleared out (almost) there's still lots of clouds above us.
I had him talk to me yesterday and it was a great thing, but still I found so many blackspot in our conversation.
My Snowy always was a shy person with a bright personnality hidden behind a blank canvas, but with the situation lately he has become so introverted that on our first try with the talking sticks he used his first stick to ask if he had autorisation to speak (it made me laugh nervously and I saw him smile, for sure).
When I tryed to adress the subject of his recent change he got silent for a moment and he cried while apologising for being, I quote "a disappointment". Obviously I stopped the seance here but it only strenghten my concern about his true fealings.
So , to finally get to the point of this follow up : I passed a deal with him since he's too shy/affraid to speak of this to me, I would like, IF AND ONLY IF, you agree to try doing this through an expert.
I would like you to dress up a list of question intented to my little snowflake that you (and/or your Mistress) believe are important for him to answer; THEN I would address this list to my slave and ask him to answer it to you ONLY so that I'm sure he'll be truly honest and won't have to hide anything from me; and FINALLY I wish that you , dear Doctor, as an extern spectator, analyse his answers and thanks to your experience tell me what is going on inside his head !
I know, it's a bit complicated but I know that , for now, he won't talk to me alone or in group, even if he knows your intention.
So inn the end it comes to this : would, doctor, accept to question my beloved SnowDust, answers his questions if he have some, and then report me his true feeling ? Would you accept to help me cross this ice barrier of his so that I get to see him smile once again ?

Sorry for the confusion, I'm writting this on the instant, I have to go take care of him today since he's gotten sick.

Most sincerelly and thankfully yours,
Bellum.

Answer
Hi, Bellum...

I'm glad I could help.  I've been out of town this weekend.  It is now 9:30pm and we're unpacking and going to bed.  I will answer from work in the morning.  Yes, I'd be happy to work with you or your slave in more depth.  Yes, we can set up a phone call.

Please write a separate question to me PRIVATELY and I'll send you my direct email.

Goodnight for now.

Bob

+++

Okay. I've had time to read your note. You're asking me to create a list of questions for your boy to help identify his resistance to speaking with you.  That sounds interesting and I'll see what I can come up with.  Please know: I am a sociologist, not a psychologist. I have no qualifications to help in any therapeutic way.  

Now: I need some help from you, first.  

What is the INTENT of your relationship. What structure are you following?  Is this Daddy/boy? Is this Master/slave? Do you use protocols with your boy?  Specifically, does he speak to you in military formality? "Sir, yes, Sir, thank you, Sir"?  Does he call you Master all the time or are there some times when he uses another name?  When out in public, does he walk next to you or behind you?  At a restaurant, can he speak to the waiter to order his food or do you order for him?  Can he begin eating before you?  Does he sleep with you?  If yes, does he need to ask permission to get into bed?

What are you trying to accomplish with this particular boy? What do you wish him to do or become to augment YOUR life?

What is your boy's ROLE in your life? Is he your "personal assistant," your "pet" your valet, your live-in play partner?  

Okay -- back to you. However, I'd prefer doing this by email, so please send me a PRIVATE "AllExperts" question so I can send you my email address.

Or, go on to KinkMastery.com and contact me through there.

Thanks,

Bob  

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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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