Is expertise more important than Mastery? If you ask 10 Masters which is more important, you might get 10 different answers, but a few of those will be of the variety “It depends” and more than a few may answer that expertise is more important. What say you, RM?
How about an example? I was talking to my slave about this phenomenon and she posed the question “what if a slave is so developed in a particular area that the addition of a Master’s will to that area of her life wouldn’t actually improve it??” Lets say the hypothetical slave has hyper developed skills of organization for instance. She or he always knows where everything is, what time something is supposed to begin, how much of a particular ingredient is left in the pantry before replenishments need to be purchased, etc… In fact, said slave is SO organized that her Master has directed the slave to effectively operate as Master in their relationship – in this specific area only. Why? Lets say the hypothetical Master is not very organized. At all. Is constantly forgetting things, losing car keys, cellphones, lots of ‘horizontal filing systems’ aka piles of papers on their desk etc. Doesn’t it make sense for the Master in this instance to make use of the skill set that the slave apparently possesses in abundance and essentially allow the slave to be the Master in this specific, targeted area?
In this age of specialty my answer might be surprising RM…but I must answer in the negative. As in absolutely not, never, no, nein. Fugeddaboutit. Why do I say this? Our enjoyment of our power exchange relationship structure is dependent on some fundamentals. This person, my slave has essentially given up their power to me. That power to control was given freely, without coercion or any negativity. Having assumed that position in her life where Im actually the person controlling things, it is important that I establish the parameters or boundaries that this control will be exercised in. Its not enough to sit on the throne and loudly declare oneself to be Lord and Master of all surveyed. Mastery is an action word – it requires the RM to actually DO SOMETHING. And in this regard that “something” that is done takes the shape of working on the slave – not only in establishing boundaries and expectations, but maintaining those boundaries and expectations as well.
I believe its important that we both know what’s going on with respect to what I want as Master (in terms of exercising control and dominance in her direction) and on her side, she needs to understand what my expectations are with respect to her responses and activities. Both Master and slave watch this ‘intersection’ of wills very intently, because similarly to an actual traffic intersection, the speed and rate of the traffic flow in either direction can vary widely. What is paramount is that we have the structure in place so we do not have collisions in the intersection. There is a call and response to the M/s dynamic – and ebb and flow that in many ways is not unlike a dance. The Master and the slave together – Dominance requires a response of surrender or submission. Control requires a response of obedience. At the intersection of the wills of the Master and slave or Dominant and submissive – each must know the rules of the road so to speak to avoid catastrophic collisions that ultimately give neither the pleasure that they seek from the experience of opening themselves to this shared level of authenticity..and vulnerability. The operative word here is pleasure. It pleases me to be in control. It pleases my slave to be under that control and to respond to it.
I’ve seen more than a few people in the M/s lifestyle miss this one, to their eventual chagrin. Lets explore why that is and what happens. Returning to the original example of the slave with hyper developed skills and for the sake of difficulty, let us also assume that this area of ability on part of the slave is also an area of deficiency on the part of the Master. It doesn’t have to be ‘organization’, it could be anything. It could be the management of finances, maintenance of one sort or another…fill in the blank with the activity or area of expertise of your choice. The well meaning, but misguided Master offers the opportunity to the slave to essentially be “in charge” of the Master in this perceived area of deficiency. He or She believes that this is somehow allowing the slave to pursue and exercise their highest potential…for what appears to be the highest good of the relationship. The slave at the same time may agree with this assessment and be both thrilled and excited at the opportunities to shine and to make their Master or Mistress proud of them. The expectation is that both Master and slave would be enriched by this new experience.
That is, until the majestic tapestry of relationship that these individuals as Master and slave have been weaving together starts to become frayed and worn around the edges. Why? Illusion. Lets explore what might be happening in this relationship;
The slave, seemingly released from their bonds in this particular area only, is soon challenged by a gnawing discomfort – an internal sense of unease because being in charge of or wielding control of their Master doesn’t bring the joy. Being in control gives YOU joy RM…don’t make the mistake of assuming that it will bring YOUR PROPERTY that same joy. Some may begin to question their Master in other areas tangential to their perceived area of expertise more often, either internally or externally. Others may desire to have MORE control or dominance exercised in their direction to compensate for the fact that they feel ‘out of order’ being in control of their Owner. Unfortunately in many cases these slaves do NOT receive additional Dominance or control because the Master is oblivious that anything is amiss until the slave starts manifesting their internal disquiet through acting out in more and more obvious ways. And finally, some slaves may begin to quietly withdraw internally from the dynamic, losing their fire and enthusiasm for many of the things that used to bring them bliss in their servitude.
And what happens to the Master?
Having allowed part of their kingdom to be annexed – even though it was at their direction, the Master may begin to experience periods or moments of anxiety, of self doubt, a low grade sense that something is amiss..but feel unsure as to how to identify exactly what is troubling them. Some Masters may find themselves overreacting with anger as the slave begins exercising the control that they have been given as they discover that their normally gentle or soft spoken slave becomes rather feisty and demanding as a leader. Of course a slave, not being used to Mastery, and perhaps more importantly not being wired to receive the same benefits from exercising Control that you do as Master – is rarely going to act as you would. A slave in Control is literally “acting the part” – and so they may become a caricature of the Master, reacting unnecessarily heavy handed where a quiet word would suffice, or demonstrative of anger and irritation where the Master in that same situation would be decisive and specific, acting in the authority that is natural for His or Her personality.
The Master although well meaning..and the slave although being obedient – are both in roles and situations in this example that are not internally nourishing. Neither are receiving the things they need to be their true selves. This role reversal does not provide the internal fuel that either party needs to run at peak operating efficiency. And like an internal combustion engine running on a mixture of fuel and water – the engine begins to falter and sputter and overall performance begins to decline.
What can be done?
Masters are not omnicient – we do not know everything and we may not be at our best in any number of endeavors. There is a very real possibility that those that we own may possess those same skill sets we lack, in abundance. Im not advocating at all that the RM run out and strive to be expert in everything. That is neither realistic nor practical – and depending on the subject matter might not be very enjoyable either. However the astute RM must be aware of what he or she is asking for when we seek to command….and it begins with our intention and focus. There is a difference between those that Command and Control and those that provide Status and Update. In my opinion slaves should never be in Command of the Master, nor in Control of the Master. Even if said slave is an expert in what the Master wants done and the Master is 100% ignorant within the particular field of expertise engaged.
The Master provides the structure and boundaries within which the slave can operate and wield their talents and influence on behalf of the Master to achieve certain specified goals. The slave in response to the control and direction of the Master is in position to wield their influence, to provide counsel, status, update or any number of services to the Master….but does not retain direct power to make changes or implement new courses of action unilaterally, without permission. It is not necessary for the Master and slave to exchange roles, or to elevate the slave to Master in any facet of their relationship in order to achieve a specific goal, no matter how lofty.
It may seem counter intuitive and for some perhaps it is – but think about it RM. Emerson said; “The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.” Do not take away your slave’s joy by forcing them to sit on Your Throne alone – even for a short while. The success of your relationship and the satisfaction you both derive from your prospective roles may depend on your decision.
Rule well, RM.