Sub vs. slave?

topic posted Mon, January 29, 2007 - 9:36 AM by  Brigit
Just curious what everyone's take is on the difference between a sub and a slave. Is there one? How would you define the difference if there is?
posted by:
SF Bay Area
  • Re: Sub vs. slave?

    Mon, January 29, 2007 - 9:55 AM
    All slaves are subs, but not all subs are slaves and the distinction comes in the form of absolute surrender. The slave has made the commitment to obey under all circumstances, no matter how painful, how pleasurable, how easy or difficult, her purpose is to serve her Master's pleasure.

    Subs have that option of "no."

    At least that's my take on things and how I see it and live it.
    • Unsu...

      Re: Sub vs. slave?

      Mon, January 29, 2007 - 10:07 AM
      not all slaves are submissives actually. my Daddy served as a slave for 3 years and he was never submissive.

      a slave is someone who makes an agreement to do what they are told without question or argument. you don't need to be a submissive to accomplish this, you just need to be able to make and uphold the agreement of being a slave. a slave has no choice while a submissive does.

      a submissive is someone who by thier nature yeilds to someone of stronger will. to me being submissive is more of a personality trait, whereas being a slave is a choice. not all submissives make good slaves. some submissives are not willing or able to make the agreements needed to be a true slave, and/or they are not willing to uphold those agreements once made.
      • Re: Sub vs. slave?

        Fri, February 2, 2007 - 2:36 PM
        I like this distinction. I myself am a slave, but am hardly submissive....Yes, I do definitely have a submissive's love of service and at times, really feel rewarded by submission. However, I am in no way submissive all the time (or even most of the time, for that matter) ...yet I *am* his slave all of the time.

        Sometimes I don't *want* to serve. In those moments, I am not submissive at all. Should my owner command me to rub his feet when I really truly just want to sit on the couch and veg out alone, it is not my submission that he's asking's my slavery that gets the job done in those times.

        My submission compels me to offer slavery compels me to obey.
        • Unsu...

          Re: Sub vs. slave?

          Fri, February 2, 2007 - 7:02 PM
          ahhh...the never ending sub vs slave debate....

          i like this: "My submission compels me to offer slavery compels me to obey."

          That's a very good way to put it...although because of how i'm made up..i serve and obey because i enjoy's in my heart. i couldn't be a slave to just takes a special person to be the one i can call Master but i also serve my family, my employer and my community.

          Often when i try to explain to someone what it means to be submissive i tell them it's like being either are...or you aren't. Now, i'm not a submissive person everywhere i go. i kick butt at work and always pretty much have been an aggressive person in many aspects of my life. Personally, i find that to be something of a good quality that i can bring to my Master. If he needs something done then it gets done and often it takes a person with an aggressive even dominant personality to see that something is taken care of. Does that make me any less of a "submissive"...i don't think so.

          In our relationship, we knew for the first 4 or so years that we were more under the category of Dominant/submissive. That's just how it worked out. i didn't do His laundry or clip His toe nails but i did serve Him in many ways. We came to somewhat of a realization that we'd moved on to Master/slave at the point where we actually lived together. my slaveheart was always there but it wasn't totally given over to MasterM as it is now. It was like moving on to another higher level. Now He has total say in everything i do while before i was still my own person but submitted to Him when we were together.

          Here's another thing. In order to be a slave you must SUBMIT to the will of another. Wouldn't that make you submissive at that time, at least? To say you aren't submissive but you are a slave..well..there is obviously a fine line there. That's probably why this will be an ongoing debate until the end of all time!

          slave kelly
          (and yes, now i do clip His toe nails)
          • Re: Sub vs. slave?

            Fri, February 2, 2007 - 11:13 PM
            You are right...there is a love of service that makes up a very large part of me. BUT, I don't feel that I am naturally submissive in personality. Naturally, I am a leader, not a follower...BUT, I like to make people happy. Something I have learned, through my commitment of service to my owner, is that part of my desire to serve has been merely a means of manipulation to get what I want: control.

            I have always known that I am a control freak, and recognizing that aspect of myself was part of what brought me to the lifestyle. How better to work on what I see as a weakness in myself than to force myself to work in opposition of that weakness? Now as I said, I truly do enjoy and feel rewarded by service...but that doesn't mean my natural dominance doesn't rear it's head in some of the most inconvenient o times...that's where the slavery comes in handy...especially for Sir, I'd imagine. I don't know that I agree that I must submit to the will of my owner as much as I must COMMIT to the will of my owner.

            I guess for me...I don't identify as a slave, I identify as HIS slave. Does that make sense?

            I'm not sure how cohesive this is nearing the end of what has been a very long day and the letters are all blurring together at this point. Feel free to ask questions if I've been confusing about something :)
            • Unsu...

              Re: Sub vs. slave?

              Sat, February 3, 2007 - 10:29 AM
              "I don't identify as a slave, I identify as HIS slave. Does that make sense? "

              Perfect sense to me. i am only a slave to my Master and if something should ever happen to where i was not His it would be a LONG time before i'd put myself in the category as a slave again. That's also not to say that i don't serve others--my community, my family, my employer--but i'm not their slave.

              i'm of the opinion that you have to have a owner to be a slave. i just can't agree with people that consider themselves a slave but have no Master/Mistress. This also will put me right out there, but until i'm convinced otherwise--i don't see how people can be slaves in a long distance or internet only relationship. i'm quite sure this will bring up some opinions and i'm pleased to read what people have to say. i could change how i feel about that and also realize everyone has a right to do whatever works for them and call themselves whatever they want--it's a free country.

              slave kelly
              • Unsu...

                Re: Sub vs. slave?

                Sat, February 3, 2007 - 10:29 AM
                from Merriam Webster

                Main Entry: 1slave
                Pronunciation: \ˈslāv\
                Function: noun
                Etymology: Middle English sclave, from Anglo-French or Medieval Latin; Anglo-French esclave, from Medieval Latin sclavus, from Sclavus Slavic; from the frequent enslavement of Slavs in central Europe during the early Middle Ages
                Date: 14th century
                1 : a person held in servitude as the chattel of another
                2 : one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence


                Main Entry: sub·mis·sive
                Pronunciation: \-ˈmi-siv\
                Function: adjective
                Date: 1575
                : submitting to others
              • Re: Sub vs. slave?

                Tue, February 6, 2007 - 3:10 PM
                >>>i don't see how people can be slaves in a long distance or internet only relationship.

                --->I've decided to allow my slave to attend graduate school. Since that involves her living in a different town than I do, we don't have any choice but to do alot of our communicating online and on the phone.

                What would you suggest regarding my arrangement? Would you say I should set her free, continue the arrangement, or deprive her of her continuing education?
                • Unsu...

                  Re: Sub vs. slave?

                  Tue, February 6, 2007 - 3:42 PM
                  "What would you suggest regarding my arrangement? Would you say I should set her free, continue the arrangement, or deprive her of her continuing education? "

                  I'd say this is a big shift in the relationship. Do what you feel is right, but I personally would be unsurprised if the relationship did not survive the shift. It's hard to keep any LDR going, let alone one that's power-shifted. I don't do LDRs, so I couldn't propose ideas on keeping it going. I would say that when it does really end, be willing to admit it and move on.
                • Unsu...

                  Re: Sub vs. slave?

                  Tue, February 6, 2007 - 6:15 PM
                  What i was saying about the on-line relationship was referring to people that rarely or if ever see each other--you know, the "on-line" only relationships. If you've sent your slave off to further her education that's different. You were real to begin with, i assume.

                  Years ago before i knew what i know now i had an "on-line" Master. He wanted only to call me "slave." At the time, that really bothered me just because of the word "slave" which is funny now as i'm happy to be called that. The thing was, how could i be his slave if we had never even met? i did nothing to serve his needs except help him fantasize about being a Master.

                  Please note that i have nothing against on-line BDSM type relationships as i did my fair share in my fledgling years--i just have trouble with seeing them as M/s. Again, that's just me.

                  slave kelly

              • Re: Sub vs. slave?

                Tue, September 25, 2007 - 4:20 PM
                "i'm of the opinion that you have to have a owner to be a slave. i just can't agree with people that consider themselves a slave but have no Master/Mistress."

                I have no issue with this. Those who call themselves "Master' when they have no slave(s) I find rather sad and pathetic also.

                "i don't see how people can be slaves in a long distance or internet only relationship."

                Obviously IRL relationships are different, especially in M/s. But the fundamentals of the dynamic can and do take place at long distance. I would have a hard time with anyone that claimed to be in an APE/TPE dynamic at long distance as it is generally impractical. But M/s to a degree I believe is possible at long distance, and in some ways long distance relationships prior to 24/7 can be good practice for both Master and slave. It's amazing how much of oneself one gives away in text.

                While it can be more difficult sometimes to understand someone without inflection and tone and body language, at other times those things are precisely what dissembles and prevents the words from making their mark. A well constructed M/s dynamic that takes the strengths and limitations of internet and long distance relationships into account should be perfectly possible.

                I do reserve TPE as something that I can't imagine other than IRL. But if you have totally enslaved oneself to someone it seems a minor thing to move, even if that requires moving countries and giving up one's past life, as it did in mitda and my case.

    • Unsu...

      Re: Sub vs. slave?

      Fri, February 2, 2007 - 8:52 AM
      "Subs have that option of "no." "

      Well, even under that definition so do slaves, it's just that their option is to end the relationship. If things get bad enough, it could become a real option.
  • Unsu...

    Re: Sub vs. slave?

    Mon, January 29, 2007 - 10:04 AM
    I'm not sure I have a definition for this. I think I've heard two definitions of slave, not necessarily at odds with each other, but not wrapped up in the boundary between sub and slave..

    "A slave is a dominant personality that needs to submits fully to one person."

    "A slave is a person who feels a calling to service and obedience, and in order to follow that calling needs a person who is called to mastery."

    I can't remember at the moment where these came from, but I think one of them is from G. Baldwin's "Slavecraft."
    • Unsu...

      Re: Sub vs. slave?

      Mon, January 29, 2007 - 10:08 AM
      good point Loki. and i suppose like all things kinky, the definitioins of slave and submissive vary for each person that identifies as such.
  • Re: Sub vs. slave?

    Tue, January 30, 2007 - 7:03 AM
    I am brand-new to the Scene, but I would like to offer an opinion.

    My submissive is my husband of 20+ years. His is a dominant personality. He is the epitome of the choice we all make. He has CHOSEN to be my submissive. I'm not sure I would have chosen to be a Dominant, had he not suggested it. I have a dominant personality, but my emotional make-up is one of nurturing, haling and teaching. My misconception of the Dominant role in kink was that we bossed someone around. Because I insufficient information, I didn't know what a perfect fit it is for me. My expression of who I am meshes so well with the Dominant role. I am learning how to be responsible for more than myself. I have always been aware of my part in rick's and my partnership, but this new definition of Dominant makes me more attentive to what benefits him. Don't mistake me, disrespect is not something I will abide. But that earlier behavior seems to be disappearing.

    I know bethiebee's Daddy. I can say that I understand his accepting being a slave, without submission. my rick can be submissive, but could never be a slave. Neither of us accept the concept of choice being removed. Call it claustrophobia, if you will.

    In Love and Service...
  • Re: Sub vs. slave?

    Fri, February 2, 2007 - 7:37 AM
    I have read and heard numerous ideas of what is a slave vs what is a submisive. My take on it is that a slave has minimul input - and the major control is what the Master dictates. The Master listens to his slave and decides what and if any of the slaves wishes should be considered. The submisive has more of an "arrangement" with the Dom or Master - including limits and desires.
    My Toy (my wife) is a submisive - - I would describe as a sexual submisive. We tend to agree on when we will play - and then I take over. She does not enjoy real pain, but she does get turned on when I spank or flog her. When I introduce a second female into the play, My Toy will Top that second female. In the rest of our life - such as paying bills and daily business - we are equals.
    I used to have a "Pet" who was a slave. This required that I direct her on everything - from cooking and cleaning the house to what she should wear if she needs to go outside the house or yard (I requred she remain nude inside the house and yard). I knew what she enjoyed, and what was distasteful to her - and I would require she do acts which she enjoyed as a reward for fulfilling required tasks (such as bringing over a friend and directing her to service both of us sexually - becuase she enjoyed multiple sex partners) and I made her do what she hated when she acted incorrectly. But all the decisions were mine to make. I allowed her to ask, and considered what would pleasse her, or displease her - - - but the ultimate decision was mine - not hers. ( And as a footnote - a slave relationship is more difficult and energy consuming than the submisive relationship I have now.)

    Anyway - that is only my take ., .. and in the end I believe the decision, and termanoligy (and what you call it) is totally between the Dominant and submisive in a relationship. It is your life, and your enjoyment - and YOU should decide what you will do - - - and NO ONE ELSE has the right to tell you are right or wrong.

    Master Crowley
  • Re: Sub vs. slave?

    Sun, September 23, 2007 - 6:52 PM
    i think as a sub, which i currently am, one is allowed to deny their Master a few things. as a slave, which i wish to be once i get my emotions under control, there is no saying "no", ever.

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