January 24, 2012

Discipline: The Greatest Gift

By Nina E.

Photo by Marc Esadrian

I am what can best be described as a consensual slave. I wasn’t abducted, tricked, or brainwashed into it. I consented, once, to become someone’s slave, knowing full well what it would entail, as I was experienced and he took great pains to spell out the details, big and small. Since that moment my life, as I fully expected, has had nothing to do with consent. I am kept by a very strict but admirably fair Master whom I regard as a god. I consciously chose this life for myself because I have needed and craved it since my earliest memories. By “slave” I don’t mean to invoke the usual icons the mainstream and “alt” culture tends to forward when the word is used. My life as a slave is just that: the life of a slave. It is not easy. It is, in fact, replete with pain, struggle, and hard work and, I expect, will always be so. There is no saying “no” to him. There is no pleading to do something later, for whatever reason. When given a command I must drop everything to perform it. I am worked constantly and the products and benefits of my labor are never my own—they are all his. I must abide by a complex code of deeply respectful behavior designed to show my awareness of my status as his property as well as my appreciation and love for his presence in my life. If I slip up in any way, I am disciplined with both the belt and the more terrible lash of his tongue. I am new to being disciplined and I am imperfect in my servitude. When corrected, I often sob from remorse, fear, and pain, but nevertheless, I consider it to be the greatest gift my Master gives me.

Why would someone consciously choose to live in this way? The answer to such a question is complex; there really is no simple (or single) answer. Instead of covering all the possibilities, this writing approaches that question from just one angle: the need that some females have to transform themselves or their lives, to change into something more refined than what they started out as. Such a change, if you choose the life of a consensual slave and desire to become a better one, is greatly facilitated by discipline. Many people, including many who claim to be in such types of relationships, do not include discipline within their lives. Some feel it’s something appropriate only for immature children, not responsible adults. Others think the negativity of painful punishment outweighs any good it might bring about, but those who have studied the effects of discipline in-depth or experienced them first hand usually have a different tale to tell.

A simple analogy from Nature might help to illustrate the beneficial effects of discipline from a transformative point of view. Rocks in the natural world come in all sorts of shapes, colors, sizes, and materials: pumice, shale, sandstone, basalt, mica, and quartz are just a few of the many varieties. Only a few types of rocks have the potential to become polished, beautiful gems if the right treatments are applied.

Human beings have something similar to a malleable stone inside them: the soul. Souls are far more delicate and complex than simple stone, but they, too, can be shaped, polished, faceted, and even placed in a setting that perfectly offsets their beauty—but, like stones, they will not really glow or shine unless they are of the right raw material.

For example, you can polish basalt all you wish, and it will still remain…a slightly shiny basalt which, while good enough for the bottom of an aquarium, has none of the luminous or translucent qualities we associate with gemstones. Sandstone, while it often has nice patterns that can be brought out by additional cutting and grinding, patterns ideal for flagstones or other building elements, will never glow with its own inner light. When you explore the class of rocks known as minerals, however, and, in particular, gemstones, you find that rocks which often don’t look like much in their raw state have the potential, through cutting, polishing, and correct placement, to become gorgeous works of art.

Human beings have something similar to a malleable stone inside them: the soul. Souls are far more delicate and complex than simple stone, but they, too, can be shaped, polished, faceted, and even placed in a setting that perfectly offsets their beauty—but, like stones, they will not really glow or shine unless they are of the right raw material. Most human souls with this potential are like common beach agates: randomly and haphazardly polished on the shores of life. The results are uneven and unpredictable, even hidden until placed into the right element. For agates, that element is water: they glow when wet and their semi-precious nature is revealed. Their nature becomes even clearer if these agates are then tumbled hard for many days in a lapidary.

To bring out a soul’s greatest beauty often requires far more than random blows from life that teach randomly and unevenly. For a soul fit to be a perfect servant, the finishing process requires two conscious wills: The first and strongest will is that of the “polisher” or Master. This person has a creative vision of what the end product will look like and the ability to recognize good raw material when he sees it. He also has a deep understanding of the processes that bring about the required transformation and an unwavering intention to follow these process through to the end, no matter how painful or difficult that might be. This determination, this steadfastness, is one of the rarest qualities to find in a would-be Master, for many self-proclaimed Masters who would polish the souls of their slaves are not up to the enormity of the task–particularly when things get difficult for the slaves.

The second conscious will is that belonging to the soul being polished. It must be the type of will that can patiently endure a long and painful process. The slave’s soul has to have a clear vision of the final result, believe it to be the highest ideal to strive for, and understand the connection between the pain of the process and the glowing end result. This, and her desire to please another, makes her receptive to being polished. She must be perceptive enough to recognize a skilled polisher when she sees one. She must not have the common flaws that cause people to quit a process halfway through or give up when things get a bit rough. Her devotion toward her polisher must be solid and steadfast as this will carry her through those times when even a strong intent and perseverance aren’t enough. The slave also has to understand that, unlike a gemstone, this process is never fully completed and that due to its malleability, her soul would degrade, turn dull, even sink below its original state if the polishing wasn’t kept up constantly. She must be willing to accept that pain on some level as her lot. A part of her, in fact, needs to crave the searing guidance.

In the context of a man refining his woman’s soul to his satisfaction, terms like polishing, faceting, and cutting all refer to discipline: physical and emotional pain that teaches her what she must do, how she must feel, and most important of all, who and what she really is.

For many years I participated in a lukewarm Master-slave relationship that was really a front for a romantic connection among equals. There is nothing wrong with this, but I longed for slavery. My Master at that time was in love with me and he was also philosophically disinclined to use corrective discipline. Like many others in such relationships, he didn’t believe it worked or that it was even necessary with me. He treated me with the utmost respect, we talked things out when I had difficulties, he let me clearly and freely express any emotion I felt toward himself and toward others.

I don’t feel resentment for any of the pain, no matter how harsh. His whip and belt hurt terribly, but I understand their necessity. Without his firm rule, I wouldn’t be able to change.

As a result, I became a worse slave, not a better one. I was spoiled, indulged, coddled, and over-protected. I knew I could get my own way through manipulating him with my emotions. There were never any consequences for bad behavior. I ran wild on the Internet and was terribly disrespectful of others. I hid things from him and pretty much did whatever I felt like. I felt no obligation to be honest with him or to try harder to be a better servant, because I believed what he told me: that I was perfect for him just as I was. This coarsening of my personality would have continued until the day I died, had not my Master died first.

Losing him was the hardest thing I’d ever experienced. I realized many things during the loneliness and isolation of the ensuing years. Foremost among those realizations was that I still craved only to be a slave to a man I loved and worshiped.  I also realized how very much I needed the strong guiding control of a Master that would not put up with my spoiled temper tantrums, my whining over how hard a command was, my attempts to wheedle out of my duties, or my inconsiderate and shrewish treatment of others. I finally realized that if I was going to succeed at improving myself in being a slave in more than name only, then the next time around I would need a special sort of man to shape me: the sort who wanted me to improve for him just as much as I wanted to and who knew how to bring about such improvement. I don’t know how I did it, but I managed to find a person who could create such an environment of change around me.

Photo by Marc Esadrian

And sure enough, under his discipline I feel myself changing: I feel the transforming processes upon my soul. I don’t feel resentment for any of the pain, no matter how harsh. His whip and belt hurt terribly, but I understand their necessity. Without his firm rule, I wouldn’t be able to change. I wouldn’t be able to become more loving, more subservient, more obedient to him with each passing day. But with his strong control and guiding discipline, I am becoming exactly what he wants me to become: a functional, useful female capable of sustaining the demands and rigors of total enslavement for a very long time and capable of loving her humble place at his feet.

The pain from discipline accomplishes a number of important goals. First, it improves memory. When a slave is forced to associate a bad behavior with a harsh slap or the strike of a whip, or is told to repeat out loud that she will not do such-and-such as each stroke is laid down, she tends to remember the next time that which she once found hard to focus upon. Secondly, pain reminds a slave, intimately and viscerally, of who and what she really is: his possession that can be used in whatever way he desires, no matter how she may feel about it. This realization, which many “slaves” who are treated more as “equals” likely never experience, makes her deeply grateful for her Master’s resolve and willingness to help her to improve. It also makes her thankful for the small mercies he bestows upon her during punishment. A slave’s soul is refined in this manner: she becomes more purely the property of her Master, she thinks more about his will and desires and less about her own, and she strives much harder to please him and not repeat past mistakes. She becomes beautiful in the eyes of those few who value selflessness above all else. Finally, the pain from discipline brings about a level of intimacy that is not achievable in any other way: it deepens the slave’s already profound dependency upon her Master and heightens her awareness of her humble role as his useful tool and plaything.