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Author Topic: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)  (Read 11268 times)

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Offline LustTopic starter

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Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« on: March 27, 2012, 10:01:22 AM »
Submissive vs Slave

((Note: Clarifying this. NO WHERE IN THIS POST DID I STATE I WAS TALKING ABOUT BDSM. I am strictly talking about these terms outside of it. So please leave the hateful comments in your head. ))Alright let’s get down to it. I have heard many complaints about people mistaking one for the other. Sometimes I myself have had people misunderstand the differences. There will always be those people who are too big headed to sit there and find out the differences and for those who are willing and wanting to know, I’ll let you in and tell you the differences.

A Submissive is a willing participant.

A Slave is an unwilling participant.

Normally a Submissive will have a long list of requirements for the Dominate person they have choose to pass. They will likely have a long list, or maybe a short one, of all their ons and offs. They might also have a detailed list of what might make them drop the Dominate right away. Say..the Dominate says something to them that offends them and totally turns them off. Or the Dominate could do something that upsets the Submissive and makes them uninterested in the Dominate person. You might think this is amusing, but it’s true. A submissive more likely to turn into a slave is a person who has not taken the time to figure out what they want or don’t want out of the relationship. They are a person who will most likely regret their discussion on calling themselves a submissive.

A Slave is a person forced into the act. Note that this can easily be what happens to a submissive if the Dominate is not a true Dominate. What I mean by this is, the Dominate person does not know how to set up safe words or safe ways for the submissive to tell them they can take no more. It can also be a person that even given these fail safes, they decide to push on past the submissive’s breaking point. They do so until they have “broken” their “pet” into a more “suitable” personality. You may also call this brainwashing. They are going that extra mile to make the submissive their slave, someone they can order around that will not question them or want anything more from them. A good Dominate will find the breaking point in a submissive and stop, and discus it with their submissive. Most likely they will press the submissive into writing it down as a new off for them so they can remind the Dom this is not something they should press again for fear of losing the submissive.

I do not agree with Dominates whose only goal is to brain wash a submissive to stay by their side as a slave. Why would you take away someone’s free will if they are already willingly giving it up for you to take control over them? Are you that afraid that the person you are dominating might run away that you want to brain wash them so they can’t do as much as get up and dress and feed themselves without an order so they will stay with you?

Also, do not get me wrong, I am all for collaring your submissive to show ownership. There is just a difference between collaring a person as property, and them willingly agree, and collaring someone against their will and using it to show they are a slave. Or even using it as another means of brain washing the submissive into thinking they can not live without you. Every person deserves to be able to do regular tasks on their own, to be able to move and breath without needing someone to tell them it’s alright to do so. We may be your willing participants, but learn to stop when the submissive has reached their breaking point or a limitation. We are giving you a gift to dominate us, to have control over us. We are trusting you to take care of us and to watch out for us when you put us in our place. Do not take this gift for granted and think it is your right to brain wash us. As a practicing submissive, I find all too easily some people will not listen when I say no and continue to what I don't like. This game we play can be a fun thing, but not when the game does not stop when the submissive has met it's breaking point.

I suggest making a few ways for fail safes, meaning if you have met your limitation as a sub the dominate will know right away to stop. Try it out with your partner a few times even without out your limitation reached to make sure your partner will stop right away. I enjoy the struggle as much as the next person, but having these safe guards is nice for anyone. No submissive truly wants to be a slave. As much as there is pain involved with this pairing there is also a lot of trust, love, vulnerability, and want for something more in a D/s relationship. So please, be careful and do go an extra mile to make sure your submissive is well cared for and you are not over stepping boundaries.

« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 10:40:09 PM by Lust »

Offline TheDreadPirateRoberts

Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 09:59:02 AM »
Thanks for this info, I had wondered what some of the differences actually were and this answered several of my wonderings.

Offline Deva

Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 10:13:18 AM »
People into heavy brainwashing are often afraid of abandonment, perhaps misguided but cut em some slack.

You seem to have made some negative experiences. There is a question i like to ask to reduce those:~ what is most important for a sub. That one most can answer, the next question then is .. what is most important for a dom.  Be careful if the doms answer differentiates too much from the one of the sub(I'm not giving the right answer, different people like different stuff!). My own favourite answer for the dom is 'the sub'

Offline Rhedyn

Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2012, 10:39:35 AM »
I’m sorry but I completely disagree with pretty much everything you have posted here. I for one identify as a slave to my Master and I can assure you I am not brainwashed in the slightest. I have limits and respect for myself but a wish to devote my service entirely to what he wants within the confines of our agreement. I enjoy giving control over in more than a bedroom way, I like to be given things to do, to be micromanaged and to have the big decisions made for me. I trust him not to force me beyond what is healthy for me (physically, mentally and emotionally) or to break my limits (and yes I do have those) because he loves me as I am and values the commitment I make to him as his slave and property.

To say that all slaves are forced into the act is just an incredibly general and incorrect statement. I am not disputing that there are people that are abusive in D/s or that don’t allow themselves to be pushed into situations that they are unhappy with. My dynamic and the submission I give is freely given and one of love and trust on a very deep level.

In no way do I think I cannot live without my Master, I have successfully done so for years before him and could without him again. To suggest that every submissive that takes on a slaves role in their dynamic is in some way brainwashed and flawed in that way is grossly inaccurate and really rather offensive. I don’t think that you can tarnish all Masters that have slaves with the same brush or all slaves and their mind sets for that matter. Every relationship is different, holds different boundaries, activities and levels of control, it is entirely personal to the people within that relationship and can never be identified with labels or forced into some kind of mould of terms or what people deem is ‘correct’ because there is no ‘correct’.

My Master is my Sir, my Daddy, my lover and my best friend.

~Rhed

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2012, 10:56:23 AM »
How do you reconcile situations in which the Dominant partner sees more than the sexual side of things?  In many cases a submissive, not a slave, comes to rely on the Dom (Dominant partner) for more than physical interactions.  It seems that dominating someone can have many meanings here.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 11:49:22 AM by Beguile's Mistress »

Offline Deva

Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2012, 10:59:16 AM »
Coming to think of it I know submissive people dominating their dom to please them.. but that'd go a bit off topic.

I think to stop a discussion going out of hand it should first be defined clearly what slave, dom, etc means to people.

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Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2012, 12:03:45 PM »
I think to stop a discussion going out of hand it should first be defined clearly what slave, dom, etc means to people.
Because this topic is such a personal topic, each opinion on the definition of what each word means will be different. This is Lust's opinion, not a stated fact and it shouldn't be taken as such.

Each submissive, slave or dominant holds the decision of what their title means to them.

Offline Deva

Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2012, 12:15:02 PM »
Because this topic is such a personal topic, each opinion on the definition of what each word means will be different. This is Lust's opinion, not a stated fact and it shouldn't be taken as such.

Each submissive, slave or dominant holds the decision of what their title means to them.

I think you are right, however, she is attempting a general definition, aka this is how it is.. humnn*shrugs*

Offline LustTopic starter

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Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2012, 02:11:38 PM »
I stated I wasn't pointing fingers.
I gave the general definition because I know there are a lot of differences in slave, submissive, Master, and Dom.
For the most part, Yes this my opinion, and I take full responsibility for it.
Some people do not agree with it, it is completely fine, I'm not here to fight.

I did look most of this up before placing this here, as well as going from personal experience. These are the literal differences between submissive and slave. What they stand for etc. People might use the terms in a different way, it is completely fine and up to them.

Offline Saerrael

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Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2012, 06:17:54 PM »
I'm agreeing with Rhedyn, here.
I, too, identify as a slave. But only to one.

To me, the difference between a slave and a submissive is the level of immersion, where a slave goes much deeper than a submissive.

Now, if we are going to talk about these two words here mentioned outside of the bdsm culture...

Offline Missy

Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2012, 10:32:58 AM »
I like what she has written, but I think it would be improved by replacing the word "slave" with "subjugated". That would allow Doms or Dommes and Submissive, Masters or Misstresses and 'slavegirls' or 'slaveboys', 'Owners' and 'Properties', to define themselves within the terms without any sort of personally definitive hiccups, while still bearing appropriate and applicative descriptivity.

Most "slaves" probably count as submissives anyways, at least I hope so anyway.

Offline sava

Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2012, 01:24:20 PM »
Wow...ummm I think I need to talk to someone about this. I think I know a person who is submissive, she is looking for help and seems truly helpless. She is easily dominated by people and more speicifically by bad guys. Does anyone know if there is a place to go for this sort of thing? Perhaps a healthy community that understands where she is
at and will not abuse her naiveté?

Much thanks.

~S.

Offline lockeless

Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2012, 03:28:39 PM »
Maybe it's just semantics to me, but the defining factor to me has always been how much free will is given away (willingly or unwillingly). If an individual still has choice he or she is a submissive. If an individual has had choice stripped away unwillingly, or given away willingly, he or she is a slave.

Offline Moraline

Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2012, 06:45:43 PM »
Maybe it's just semantics to me, but the defining factor to me has always been how much free will is given away (willingly or unwillingly). If an individual still has choice he or she is a submissive. If an individual has had choice stripped away unwillingly, or given away willingly, he or she is a slave.

I have to agree with lockeless on this point.

However, because Lust stated in her original post that this is not a BDSM discussion simply a definition of the words "slave" and "submissive."  Lust is completely correct.

The issue here is that unfortunately the topic is to broad to be so narrowly defined. Especially when this topic is placed amongst a community such as E where BDSM is a frequent subject.  When this occurs, it becomes less about the encyclopedic or dictionary based definition and more about the nature of a BDSM scenario. 

That's my opinion on the topic.

Online BitterSweet

Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2012, 01:45:37 PM »
I'm not really sure I agree.  The difference between submissive and slave is not cut and dried (or, more accurately, many people have many different ideas of what the terms mean) and you can consent to Total Power Exchange, where you agree to give up your right to consent, or to have lists of do/don'ts and all that sort of thing.   That's still a consensual relationship.  You seem to have a very specific idea of what submissive and slave mean, not a general one (most people do, I've found).

In addition the submissive concept you have defined is … completely based on the submissive needs and desires, without any mention of the dominant's.  They get to make the lists; they get to say no/yes, they – essentially, hold all the power.  And many people have D/s relationships that work exactly that way and are very happy with them.  But not all relationships work that way – and they're no less healthy.

To me, a healthy relationship that involves power dynamics must include both partner's needs and wants; the domiant's list of do/don'ts and a safeword (if safewords are used) that can be used by either partner when things go too far.  Dominants can get overwhelmed, can have their own boundaries pushed too hard, can feel the need for aftercare and security.  There needs to be acknowledgement that this is true for both (or all) partners in the equation and, if the parameters of the relationship are formalized by things like lists and safeword (and not all relationships, even D/s ones, have that) – than they must include all participants needs, not just the submissive.

Because, if the relationship is all about the submissive, and getting their needs met, and what they want (and don't), it's inherently unbalanced and, well, they're not really the sub in the relationship are they?  They're the dominant.

Offline Tsumi Okazaki

Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2012, 05:38:53 PM »
Thank you for posting this. It is nice to see someone online that understands a Sub's Gift and respects it. It is a very rare thing in this world. While it is also true that you should be aware of your pet or subs limits, you should also help encourage them to grow and become more. It is also part of a dom's job to nurture their sub.

I have seen supposed 'Masters' that have been at it for forty plus years that dont get this simple concept. When placing themselves in a dom's hands, the sub is giving something greater than the dom can return. If you dont agree with this, place your life in someones hands and have them try and match it. Thats exactly what the sub is doing. They are trusting the dom with everything they are.

Ok sorry, kinda basic, i know but my fingers got a wee bit carried away here. I look forward to seeing more posts like this from you.
And remember, It is also a Dom's job to nurture. With this, a sub can become much more than they currently are. Without it, they wilt and become trapped in the same cycle.

Offline MiaFire

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Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2012, 01:53:48 PM »
Maybe it's just semantics to me, but the defining factor to me has always been how much free will is given away (willingly or unwillingly). If an individual still has choice he or she is a submissive. If an individual has had choice stripped away unwillingly, or given away willingly, he or she is a slave.
T

This is more similar to what I was taught by My Dom Mentor.

A submissive always has a voice, choice and ability to say no. they have decided to give up power willingly to a Dom/Domme that they choose and have discussed terms and limits with. A submissive would have total control over whether they want to end a relationship with a Dom/Domme, even without reason, though a well-trained sub who first chose that Dom/Domme, would not do that and would communicate why they're ending the relationship, hopefully after using communication to try to fix the issues.

A slave is one who loses or gives up her voice, choice and ability to say no. Some might give that power willingly and totally unto a Dom/Domme, knowing they'll be molded into what their Master/Mistress desires, the longer of which they stay and are molded, have a harder time breaking away if something changes. When done unwillingly, they are usually broken faster and more completely with more restrictive Masters/Mistresses, and find themselves unable to escape, without some sort of outside help from another sub, slave or Dom/Domme.

A Dom/Domme is simply a person with a Dominant personality, and doesn't necessarily mean they will take on a sub just because. It's done when They feel something missing and those trained, are usually careful in selecting a sub and actually hope that the sub is doing the same, as the commitment, time, care and affection involved in that relationship brings a lot of T/themselves into it. A Master/Mistress is someone with a sub and in that position of care and responsibility over another person, taking the gift of their control seriously.

Just like there is subcategories in, let's say, breast play on the O/O Matrix here...pinching, biting, branding, piercing, binding, clamps (don't remember what's actually under it, but hopefully you get the idea), and you can select what you like and don't like about breast play or pick breast play in generalization, is the same as what a slave means to any one or other person. Like, what a sub does with his/her Master/Mistress might be different than what their sub friend does with their Master/Mistress. Nothing is ever the same with any two people and just reinforces why communication is so important at the beginning of the relationship and throughout as each and both grow within it.

Offline Will

Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2012, 06:29:21 AM »
Wow... Definitely going to have to agree with Rhedyn, here.  Even if it was months ago. :P

And if the definition of submissive is "a willing participant," whereas a slave is "an unwilling participant," how are we talking about anything other than BDSM?  What exactly are they participating in, if not BDSM?  Even if you're talking about power exchange only, with no kinky stuff whatsoever, you're still discussing BDSM.  That's the DS part of it.

Offline OutlawHarlot

Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2012, 12:12:48 PM »
I honestly don't know how to contribute all that well to this but I feel motivated to do so.  It's beautifully written Lust and the first post seemed quite accurate but there have been some good points that followed as well.  So...

I think the words themselves are interchangeable.  I've always considered myself a slave, but by your definition I'm a submissive.  Though, I still like the name slave better.  But I think that's true of all names like that, slave, submissive, mistress, master, owner, ect. ect. can all mean different things to different people.

In the end I think it comes down to that fine line between pushing limits, and brainwashing.  I'm all for dominants pushing limits and have quite enjoyed some of the new boundaries I've been pushed too...but I've also experienced the darker side of that too and it took a long time for me to manage to break away from a dominant that I wasn't happy with because she was very skilled at keeping me regardless of what I'd normally want.

It's hard to explain how easily someone in a submissive role can be effected by a skilled dom for better or for worse.  It is a huge trust issue and even though I am a sub, I think it should not be taken lightly.  But as a sub, I obviously get something out of it as well, so in the end it comes down to fit too.  Subs are looking for something in a dom and visa versa, they just need to find each other and know when to let go or leave when they've found the wrong match.

So yeah that's what I think!  Though it's great to know so many people are talking on this topic so seriously and with such eloquent points!  Keep it up and I hope all doms and subs find their perfect matches! 

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Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2012, 03:55:11 PM »
I am a submissive, though, I admit that I do have a few masters as well as lovers (on E).

Though I am not the conventional Submissive, some people believe that the terms 'submissive' and 'slave have two entirely differently meanings, where as for me they are very close in meaning. Depending on the person I am dealing with decides which side I lean toward more. Though all are by my choice and each partner goes through my personal screening (whether he knows it or not)...its safe to say that the level of commitment to the other party decides on whether they are submissive, dominant, slave, or master.

I also believe compatibility has a alot to do with whether or not someone is a slave or just a submissive.

I am an aggressive submissive. Though I may seem very dominant in both role play and in real life, I am actually a complete and utter sub. And with certain people only, I am a slave, but that does not mean that I bend to their every will, for though I am a 'slave' in the matter of ownership and affection, but never by own personal desires of the Master as per my choice in choosing that master.

Everything is a choice, slave, submissive, they are words that have little differentiation to me and yet hold separately in my mind in reference to what I choose to label my self.


But, in reference to earlier years of humanity, as per the roman ages, where slavery litterally meant to be owned against their will and to do their masters every whim, so yes, in those times I do believe that slavery and a per say a submissive wife were two COMPLETELY different words. But this is modern day and many things that had different meanings years before, have changed with time and opinion.

As I say though, this is only my opinion and I do not pretend to agree or disagree with anyone due to the fact that they have a right to speak their mind and be correct in their own conscience.

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Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2012, 04:19:33 PM »
I think that the functional definition for slave vs. submissive is somewhat different from that. I know few and far between who actually believe in removing a sub's right to say no. Such a thing wouldn't even really be BDSM at that point because it removes the Consensual from Safe, Sane, Consensual. The distinction between a submisive and a slave in my mind has always been on the specifics of the questions of role and possessiveness.

If you look at it from a historical perspective slavery has never meant lacking the capacity to resist something. Generally, while most slaves were say obedient, a great many had an opportunity to deny something even if it meant a cost to their own livelihood. The literal definition of slavery is when a person is owned by another person. In modern day conext, it means a slave ISN'T a submissive who lacks the right to disagree, it refers to one who's position as the submisive partner is established at a constant level, and who is indisputably tied to one person.

For example, if I have a play partner who my interactions with are normal save for in a sexual situation in which case they submit, then they are a submisive. If one maintains that interactions eve at the slightest level then they are a slave. It can be the most casual and playful relationship in existence filled with sharing feelings and interests, but so long as it's one person talking up to the other it falls into the cadagory.

You may notice that the signature of a slave is general thought of as a collar or possibly some marking. You will notice these are not restrictive things, because slavery isn't meant to restrict. They server as proxies for the master, meant to imply outwardly and inwardly that the connection is constantly there.

Offline Mitsy

Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2013, 05:10:59 AM »
This is where my fantasies lay so i thought i would respond. I feel there is a difference but there are also shades of grey within that difference. There is Stockholm syndrome , where a person becomes captured but then is trained and discovers they are strangely enjoying the attentions of their captor and they become attracted to the captor and become willing to serve.

Offline Rogue

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Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2013, 12:12:46 PM »
This is where my fantasies lay so i thought i would respond. I feel there is a difference but there are also shades of grey within that difference. There is Stockholm syndrome , where a person becomes captured but then is trained and discovers they are strangely enjoying the attentions of their captor and they become attracted to the captor and become willing to serve.

In a proper BDSM relationship (which you might be confusing with 50 shades of grey) there is no stockholm's syndrome. If stockholm's syndrome enters the relationship it was not a proper BDSM relationship to begin with.

Submissives who choose to have the lifestyle of a Slave are slightly different than actual Slaves, which has already been addressed in this thread I think so please forgive me if what I say has already been said. ((I read it a long time ago, but felt the need to respond to this.)) In story writing, you will occasionally stumble upon sex slaves who become submissive. On the other hand, there are undoubtedly sex slaves who are ordered to play the Dom to other sex slaves and occasionally to their master's more submissive friends. But that's all story writing or illegal (in most if not all countries I believe though I know it sadly still happens).

In the realm of consensual sex/relationships, a person who says they are a Slave, who is submissive and takes on the mantle of slave is no different than when I take on the mantle of Pet. It's all a matter of how they wish to be treated by their Dom and there are always safe words and trust involved. Situations where a person gets taken in by a calm demeanor and then, when it's established that both parties want sex discovers they've been taken in by a Dom? If the other person is Vanilla, it should be worked into if the Vanilla is comfortable with it. Being "trained" (and by this I mean coerced into allowed to be tied down whether by words or something) and being trained (and by this I mean learning what your Dom likes and always having that safe word established in case you need it) by your Dom are too different things.

There may be shades of gray as you say, but I think you're misunderstanding. There may be people who want to be pushed constantly to their Hard Limits. There are people who prefer to stay within their Soft Limits. There are people who want to constantly be in that role and there are people who only want to take on that mantle in the bedroom. And there are varying levels of each for all D/s relationships. But there's always a layer of consent and never supposed to be shame in(or punishment because of) saying the safe word. There's always consent and communication in a healthy D/s relationship (regardless of what word is being used for the D or s). Without that it's can almost be considered borderline abusive depending on what is going on, which is what happened in 50 shades of grey.

((And yes, by using shades of grey it seems as if that's where you've gotten most of your reading on the topic (or at least introductory reading). I apologize if I am wrong in that assumption, but to me using shades of grey didn't become as common a phrase until after that book came out...))

Offline Secretwriter

Re: Submissive vs Slave (Knowing the difference!)
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2013, 08:21:41 PM »
In a proper BDSM relationship (which you might be confusing with 50 shades of grey) there is no stockholm's syndrome. If stockholm's syndrome enters the relationship it was not a proper BDSM relationship to begin with.


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