Yesterday I mentioned a piece I'd written about what it means to be my personal submissive, and the ever-resourceful Max turned up a copy of this on the laptop. So this is the letter that I gave to people when I accepted then as my personal submissive. (Again - this does not apply to people who have a professional relationship with me. While we enjoy each other greatly, that's a different dynamic.)
Letter to a Submissive...
These instructions will inform you about your attitude and manners, both in public and private, and etiquette for both scenes and SM- related social occasions.
The most important part of SM is not what you do but your relationship with me, your top. I have put together some guidelines about what I expect from a bottom. Some of it will cover areas we have spoken of or will speak of, but they are areas that cannot be overstated.
I am a dominant top. I do not merely want your available body as a playground; I want your mind as well. That means when you bottom to me, you must be willing to submit yourself consciously to me, in your manner, your words and actions, and even your thoughts. It must be your foremost desire to please me and serve me. Being truly submissive means cultivating an attitude of selflessness. You must submerge your personal will to your top. Doing so means placing your trust in your top to protect you, care for you, and hold your interests at heart, even in times when it seems as if she is not.This attitude is demonstrated in a variety of ways. There are some widespread behaviors and attitudes, but every top is different. I have certain behaviors that I insist upon.
· You will always address me as Mistress, or Ma'am. The only exception to this is circumstances in which it would clearly be indiscreet or inappropriate to address me so, and on those occasions you will address me by my name.
· You will always display the utmost courtesy and submissiveness towards me in terms of language. In ordinary conversations, this means punctilious use of words like please, thank you, may I? - Et cetera. In conversations during a scene, this means prefacing unsolicited speech with " Please, Ma'am (or Mistress) may I speak?" Once permission has been given, you must begin requests with “If it pleases you, Ma'am, may I..?" Variations might be "Please, Mistress, may I go to the bathroom?" “If I may, Mistress, your drink is about to tip over." “Forgive me Mistress, but I cannot find the whip you asked me to bring you." In situations of emergency, the request to speak is understood- one does not endanger oneself or others for courtesy.
· You will always think of my ease, comfort, pleasure, entertainment and satisfaction before your own. Performing manual tasks and practical duties for your Mistress is what we in the SM community call service. Service duties that should be done without prompting include things like opening doors and carrying bags. At a social function, a bottom should see to it that her Mistress's coat is taken, that she has a drink, and that she has a seat if she wants it. It goes without saying that if there is one seat, she takes it and you stand. Other types of service might include cooking and/or serving a meal to your Mistress, running an errand for her, or doing a household chore. It is my belief that certain types of service go with certain degrees of intimacy in an SM relationship. I will communicate with you about what my expectations are as the relationship progresses.
· You will maintain discretion about the intimate facts of your Mistress's life that you become privy to. Failure to do so is quite likely to result in your being released from her service.
· You will behave towards acquaintances and friends of the Mistress in a way that reflects well on her. You are no one's bottom except hers, so you need not be submissive to them, but a pleasant manner and common courtesy is required. As my bottom, many people will view you as an example of my training and methods- see to it that you are a well-schooled student.
· As my bottom, you are under my protection at all times. Any difficulty, any confusion when dealing with another person in an SM context, or about SM in general, should be reported to me at once. It is part of our contract that you will make yourself vulnerable to me, and part of what I do for you is protect that vulnerability from others.
· You will strive to communicate clearly and honestly with me about your feelings at all times.
· You will work to further educate yourself about all aspects of SM - the practical, the theoretical, the emotional, and the cultural. You will examine yourself to discover what these things mean to you.
· You will strive to make yourself aware of your Mistress's likes and dislikes in small things, so that you may more effectively serve her. As time goes by, you should be aware that she drinks mochas, not lattes; that she prefers diet Pepsi to diet Coke; that she gets cold easily; and that she dislikes very bright lights. Small facts such as these will assist you when, in her absence, you must make a choice that affects her.
Now that I have discussed what I expect from you, let me tell you a little about what you may expect from me when you are my bottom.
· I will protect you from outside forces when you are with me. When you agree to let down your protective barriers and submit yourself to me, you are making yourself vulnerable, you are relinquishing control. It is my duty and my pleasure to see to it that you are safe both physically and emotionally during the scene. (You may not think you are safe, but that's part of my pleasure.) I will never command you to act in a way that is inappropriate to our surroundings and I will never expose you to danger that is beyond my control.
· I will act as a mentor and a guide for you in the SM culture, and I am willing to give you help and support in your day-to-day life as well. It’s quite likely that you'll want it - the power you give me is not an easy thing to compartmentalize. I predict that you will find that you want advice, approval and validation from me about many non-SM things. I will make myself available for that, and I will give you support without taking control of things that we did not negotiate and agree to have me control.
· It is my wish not to make you less than you are, but more. My dominance over you does not depend on my keeping you disempowered. I want you to be powerful, as a bottom and as a person. Powerful, confident, more centered and focused in your body and mind. To that end, I will take your body and mind on very powerful trips, but I will always - always - return you, whole, to a place of physical and emotional safety afterwards.
· I will not intentionally injure you or harm you in any long-lasting way. SM is not a risk-free activity. I am an experienced player and I know a great deal about how to do SM safely. I have never had a serious accident happen in one of my scenes; however, they can occur, even to careful players. I will not attempt to do things that are beyond my experience in my play with you, and should any accident ever occur, I will be responsible for getting you any medical treatment you might need and being as supportive as possible.
· I will not abuse the trust you place in me by doing anything to you that you have said you did not want to happen, or that I might reasonably suppose you did not want to happen. I will always be responsive to your use of your safeword.
· I will be conscious of your emotional needs as a bottom and facilitate your emotional processes in and about that space. I will make myself available for emotional support before, during and after scenes, even between times, as you need me.
· I will be mindful of the gift you bestow upon me when you give yourself into my control. A good bottom is a precious treasure.
Copyright Mistress Matisse 1999