Stef (firecat) wrote,

D/s question

This is prompted by a flame war on alt.polyamory in which someone is objecting in a really rude and obnoxious manner to someone else's 24/7 D/s relationship.

I don't object to consensual relationships of whatever type that work for the people involved.

But the person who's being obnoxious is in fact bringing up a point that I am curious about.

A lot of people use terms such as "slave" and "owner/owned" to describe their D/s relationships.

Historically, slavery was non-consensual, and being owned meant not having much of a say in what happened to you.

But practitioners of D/s usually emphasize that there is choice involved in what they do. Maybe it's a one-time choice, but it's still a choice.

Given the existence of this choice, I don't understand why the word "slave" is used to describe these relationships. It seems a contradiction in terms.

Historically and culturally, there are many types of hierarchical, dominant/submissive, superior/inferior relationships that go by other names. master/pet, master/servant (indentured or otherwise), master/apprentice, sensei/student, lord/vassal, etc. etc. etc.

Those relationships would seem closer to what most D/s actually is than slavery, since those relationships (except "pet") usually involve at least some choice.

So how come (it seems to me) "slave" is more often used?
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