I experience language differently than a lot of people. Words have sound and meaning, and I can see them written on a page as other do, but words also have flavor, texture, depth and feeling to them. Words are tactile and some have meanings that my cells have known since birth. I roll words around in my mouth, tasting them, feeling them slide over my tongue and glide down my throat. They slide through my fingers, tugging at the grooves, leaving a moist or slippery trail, or burning the tips.
This is not true for all words. Some simply get me from one place to another. Certain words, however, cause a deep and visceral reaction. Sir, Master, Mistress… each has a different feeling, a different meaning, and opens a different word for me.
I have lived in a world where titles carry much weight. In graduate school, the quest was to be “doctor.” My fellow students and I lived for the moment where our committee would turn to us and say, “Congratulations Dr. So-and-so, your dissertation has been accepted.” When I worked with the legislature in California, Ph.D.’s were not allowed to use the title “Doctor,” I presume because it made the legislators feel inferior. If I really wanted to get in a dig, I would “forget” and call Senator whoever, “Ms. Whoever.”
Those titles however, never held the depth and meaning as the honorifics of Sir, Master and Mistress. I haven’t played in a while and I forgot how much adding “Sir” to a scene changes things.
I don’t call every D-type in the scene “Sir” or “Master” or “Mistress.” To me, those titles are earned through practice, engagement, and time. Any 23 year old calling himself “Master” will inevitably make me laugh at his presumption and false bravado. I don’t care if you started playing at 13, no 23 year old holds the experience and understanding of the world to be a Master. Even the less formal “Sir” is earned. I use it out of respect, but as soon as you demonstrate you know nothing or cannot carry the authority of a D-type, I will stop using any honorific immediately.
Sir, Master and Mistress
Sir is a round, silky-soft word with a firm center. It tastes like dark chocolate truffles flavored with elderflower and topped with a hint of Maldon salt. It melts slowly in my mouth, dark, warm, floral and salty; coats my tongue and drips down my throat.
Sir feels like fine grain salt. I can roll it around on my fingers. It polishes my skin, removing the rough dead exterior. It intertwines in my hair, making it stiffer but giving it volume and shape.
Sir designates a power differential, but I retain much of who I am. Sir is someone I can occasionally joke with. When I am with a Sir, I assume I can sit on the furniture and feed myself without always asking permission. “Sir” may be whispered, spoken, or shouted out depending on the context of use. Sir controls me, but the control is desired and I retain the right to renegotiate, to use a safe word, to ask for specific actions during a scene. With Sir, I retain my name.
Master tastes of black licorice, firm and sticky from Amsterdam. It clings to my back teeth and slowly drips its anise flavor across my tongue and infuses me for hours after the first piece. Master is formal and disciplinary. He is posture collars, position training, unforgiving of small errors that Sir would gently correct. For a Master, I would never assume the right to furniture or food. Unless given permission, I assume I am to sit at his feet and wait to be fed. Master has a single negotiation point, after which, I become his.
Master is a piece of finely polished zebra wood. Sooth and beautiful, but unyielding and unforgiving. I conform to its shape, there is no bending to my will. It is strong and supportive but I must come to it.
With Master, I am his to shape, mold, and thoughts of “me” enter a hazy ephemeral space where I no longer think of “me” and “needs” and “desires” beyond serving him. “Master” is to be spoken or whispered, never yelled out.
Mistress tastes of black coffee and prickly pear. Mistress feels like rough gage sand paper against my skin. Mistress is bondage, and blindfolds, and pain and discipline. Mistress is only sexual. It is said how she instructs me.
Sir pushes my boundaries because I have asked or he has a goal for expanding my world. Master pushed boundaries because he has decided I need to push past them. Mistress does it for shits and giggles.
With Sir, scenes are prolonged, they build and have a rhythm. I may reach subspace, I may not, but I serve him. Master, scenes are as he wishes. It is only with Master that I can reach full catharsis. Master pushes me further, deeper into submission, I take more of everything with Master. With Sir, I may be given an out, call a scene earlier than my body needs. With Master, he determines the end. Mistress works a scene to see how much I can take and does so for her amusement.
I am old school when it comes to titles in the scene. Sir is an honorific that may be lost. Master is offered to very few, those who have studied and trained and earned the title. Mistress resides somewhere between the two. For me, they have a depth and meaning that is difficult to construe to those without the history and without the respect for the titles.
For me, the honorifics have flavors and textures and histories. I find that anymore, if I am not with a Sir or Master or Mistress, any scene is just light and fluffy. There is no subspace. There is no great release. There is no orgasm. It is just sex and for me, that has become quite dull and pale compared to D/s and BDSM.
This is something I grew into. I used the terms long before they had this meaning. Now, my world is colored and flavored with these terms. I crave the types of encounters offered only by a true Sir, or Master, or Mistress. Without these, my world is simply filled with imitation vanilla created by the anal glands of beaver: slightly off flavor and a poor imitation for the real thing.