What is a "Master"?
The word evokes an image of male authority and power from our collective memory, and yet it has intrigued me how the term has been blunted in personal subjugationóso often used synonymously with the words "top" or "dom" in the fetish lexicon.
As the trend of BDSM has spread into the psyche of broader society, one can certainly say it has become a fashionable novelty on many levels. With the steady expansion of this chimera, the words used to describe roles and ideals within it have gained far too much power of invention, and it is more than a little ironic that the very sub-culture which adopts terms such as "Master" and "slave" so often understands those terms the least.
Upon this sits an increasingly androgynous society shunning what many instinctually feel to be the Natural Order of male and female relation in favor of "eroticizing equality." Since childhood, males in our age are bombarded with numerous social directives which tend to confuse what is expected of them. When a male is asked to assume the title of Master over a female, it stands to reason there may result a considerable misinterpretation or apprehension in doing so from both parties.
Sidestepping the social and political trammels of our modern-day culture, let us allow the opening question to prevail: what is a Master, truly? I ask this with the intent to drop, if even for a moment in the minds of some, the leather and latex circus, the play parties, props, fairs, fads and stage play of what so often ultimately equates to sensual escapism. I often ask others not to define the popular facade, but to reflect upon the spirit and the simple, core truth of what a Master is, without consideration to political correctness.
Even still, popular views are so oddly diverse that I decided to reference a few simple dictionaries to begin answering this question. The relevant definitions are as follows:
1. One that has control over another.
2. a. The owner or keeper of an animal:
b. The owner of a slave.
3. One who has control over or ownership of something.
These are clear enough textbook definitions, but what is this term, control? To control is to determine the behavior of and maintain influence and authority over something. The idea seems rather simple, but without fundamental skills in communication and an understanding of human nature, one setting out to take on this role over another may well find himself in a maze of sorts.
Through natural experience and reflection, I have come to know a series of simple truths defining what a Master is, and perhaps more importantly, what a Master is not. It is clear to me the following qualities must be at least considered if one is searching for, or wishes to be, a Master:
A Master must exercise the virtue of patience.
Unfortunately, far too many Masters are in too big of a hurry to collar and claim a prospective slave or submissive. They have only their own selfish motives in mind, and it is quite transparent to most submissives from the start. My PHd comes from the old school of thought which teaches "you get out of something, what you put into it". Before you can enjoy the fruits of submission, sometimes you have to water, grow, teach, mentor, encourage, and provide the structure necessary for one to flourish in her submission. And this isn't an easy task. Patience isn't just a virtue, it is also a necessity.
A Master does not base his actions from a state of need.
Need is the thought form of the supplicant, not of the noble, dominant will. A Master may desire a servant, but does not look upon one as a requirement to his happiness. He is self-sufficient and capable, finding contentment and balance within himself, seeking a girl to accompany him, not complete him. In short, he cannot be manipulated with his own desire, for never is a male made divine by bending and scraping over the pleasures a female provides. If he does so, the collar will surely find itself upon him.
A Master is noble, self-actualized and unflagging in his strength of character.
A Master does not need popular approval to define him or nurture his esteem, nor will he be swayed from his own sense of what is right when challenged. For without a backbone, what is his shape? Without structure, strength of will and the courage to pursue his own convictions, how can he properly lead? Surely he must be confident and unshakably strong; without such base qualities, he is not respectable. In short, he must be complete within before he can master another without.
A Master truly disciplines and shapes.
When a Master punishes, it is to correctónot reward. Some may find this ideal flies in the face of popular bedroom D/s, but My focus is to clarify the reality of the Master, not its kinky facade. If a Master truly wishes to shape his girl correctly, he must not offer discipline as the impetus of an elaborate bedroom game or sensation-based thrill ride. A Master is clear in what pleases him, and does not enable disobedient behavior through his guidance. He rewards obedience with positive reinforcement and corrects with pain of the physical or emotional. Mixing what is punishment and what is reward corrupts and confuses a slave, just as it would a child or pet.
A Master knows dominance is not synonymous with mannerlessness.
While it can be said a Master's natural place above his slave does not require him to observe her with consideration to traditional manners, this is not to say he is at his core devoid of culture, class and refinement. If the male divine is to be attained as much as possible, a man should have in his character all the qualities his role as ruler inspires him to have. By exuding an inherent regality and confidence, he inspirits worship. Ignorance, childishness and vulgarity are surely paths to be avoided.
A Master is understanding, wise and intuitive.
Without understanding, one setting out to do a thing will likely fail. On the matter of ruling, the powers of sound judgment, influence, and intuition must be sought and clearly honed. These skills are not effortlessly obtained, however. As ruler, he mustn't be brash or assuming, or allow his sensual pleasures to override his self-sovereignty. A Master must be comfortable in his own skin, balanced with knowledge of forethought and understanding always that though he is essentially a teacher, never does he cease to learn.
A Master does not resent what he chooses to keep.
A Master may be displeased with the behavior of his slave, or thoroughly disappointed with her performance of a given task, but never must he secretly harbor contempt for her in any form. A Master is to be strong, comfortable and open in his authority, and realize that resentment is simply the result of not being able to directly address his displeasure toward what is his. He must not be afraid to open His mouth and communicate, even if the truth hurts her feelings.
A Master must not forget his kindness.
If a Master is to be loved, respected and fully obeyed, he must have in him a penchant for harshness. But as surely as he is cruel, he must also know mercy and compassion. Nothing pains Me more than watching an enthusiastic slave, so eager to prove herself....watch her wither away to LESS than nothingness, when suffering under relentless cruelty and humiliation. Without light there is only a blinding darkness. In this, a Master must never forget the power of a gentle touch, of kindness and positive reinforcement.