O&P website and blog,
are where most of my new writing on M/s appears. The IE website will stay
online indefinitely to host the IE Essays and lili's writings.
In this essay I aim to deal with some of the issues involved in finding a
dominant or submissive with which to build an Internal Enslavement (IE)
relationship. Like the rest of the IE website, this essay is
directed at male dominants and female submissives seeking a Master / slave
I will start by describing the landscape in which your search will have to
take place, talk about some of the places in which you might look,
and then suggest ways of managing consent in the early stages of the
People who have participated in the mainstream BDSM Scene will have noticed
that there are far more men than women, both in terms of highly visible and
active participation in mailing lists and chatrooms, but also at real-life
events like munches and club nights.
Indeed, an anonymous survey we conducted on the general UK BDSM website,
Informed Consent, had 887 male respondents but only 384 females.
These ratios are also comparable with the membership of the site and the
numbers of male and female personal ads.
However, if we narrow our view and look only at respondents' interest in
dominance and submission, we find a very different picture. When asked to
rate their interest in dominance and submission separately on scales between
0 (no interest) and 5 (almost an obsession), the most frequent response from
women was 0/5 interest in dominance and 5/5 interest in submission. 50 out of
384 women responded with this one combination, out of the 36 available.
Broadening the scope to include women who responded 0/5 or 1/5 for
dominance, and 4/5 or 5/5 for submission, includes 168 extremely submissive
women in total -
almost half of the total respondents concentrated in only one ninth of the
total number of combinations available.
Turning to men, we find only 32 men with the complementary combination to
the 50 women - ie men who expressed 5/5 interest in dominance and 0/5
interest in submission. Broadening to 4/5 and 5/5 interest in dominance and
0/5 and 1/5 interest in submission, includes 171 extremely dominant men, which
is statistically equivalent to the 168 women with the complementary bias
towards extreme submission.
Consequently, among those that would be seeking relationships between Masters
slaves, the numbers should at best be roughly equal, and there may even be an
excess of would-be female slaves among the more extreme individuals.
Furthermore, these figures reflect respondents' interest, and not their
desirability as potential Masters or slaves, and asymmetries inherent in M/s
increase the imbalance in the available numbers of the two groups.
Due to the Master's leading role in the relationship, his competence in
managing his and his slave's life plays a central role in its success or
failure. Attributes such as experience, responsibility, reliability and
knowledge of techniques of Enslavement and aspects of BDSM are highly sought
after by submissives looking for Masters.
However, although the corresponding traits are valuable (and indeed common)
among female submissives, they are not essential to their desirability in
the same way. In particular, whereas a totally inexperienced would-be Master
would find it difficult to improvise the techniques necessary to establish
an M/s relationship; the corresponding inexperienced female submissive can
be led and moulded by a competent Master, with her lack of
prior knowledge no impediment to learning.
(It must also be pointed out that a significant fraction of self-proclaimed
male dominants are not seeking long term relationships, despite their claims
to the contrary, and are merely manipulating submissives with false promises
and fake self-descriptions.)
The combination of the underlying statistics of men and women's interest in
extreme dominance and submission, and the effects which penalise
inexperienced dominants but not inexperienced submissives, mean that, on
average, there are more available female submissives than male dominants
with whom a genuine M/s relationship could be started.
leads to the concept of the Dominance Economy, in which real-life, competent
dominance is a scarce resource, and this scarcity has negative consequences
for both women and men.
For female submissives, this means extra effort must be made weeding out
dominants who exaggerate or blatantly lie about their desirability in terms
of experience, knowledge, responsibility and even social status and employment.
It also means they may not be able to rely on conventional female social
norms of "waiting to be asked", and may need to make the first
contact with a desirable dominant - something which many female submissives
find very hard to do directly, as part of their general reluctance to risk
rejection by asking for things.
This imbalance can also lead submissives
with a great need to be dominated into accepting short-term, unhealthy or
even abusive D/s relationships, as will be discussed later.
For male dominants, the statistics of the Dominance Economy at first seem
favourable. However, the practicalities mean they must make extra effort to
differentiate themselves from the large number of less than honest or
(And in general BDSM environments, female submissives can be overwhelmed by
the sheer volume of responses to personal ads, many of which will be
totally inappropriate - in their desperation, some male submissives even try
bombarding female slaves with requests to be dominated.)
There are now many free BDSM websites carrying personal ads. Even for people
seeking Internal Enslavement, these are worth advertising on, since in
return for a few minutes composing a short ad, you may be able to reach
thousands of readers over months or even years for no additional effort.
However, the downside is that you may receive far more inappropriate
than useful responses (especially if you are a woman) and you will need to
weed these out without spending a lot of time on each one. Some ads sites are
poorly run and may even by packed out with fake ads. For this
reason, you should not in general pay to use a personal ad site, since it is
very difficult to judge the quality of the respondents you will get.
Mailing lists and discussion boards provide another and more subtle way to
advertise your existence, and look for a suitable Master or slave. Most of
these forums have explicit prohibitions on personal ads, although many
permit you to place a short ad of 2 or 3 lines in the "signature"
at the foot of your posts. Active participation in discussion forums can both
increase your knowledge of this subject, build a reputation as a stable and
interesting person, and subtly advertise to other readers that you exist and
might be looking. You should, of course, read the guidelines before posting
since you do not want to earn a reputation as a clueless or desperate
individual who posts blatant ads wherever they go. Many forums also maintain
archives of previous postings, going back years in some cases. This will
allow you to evaluate someone's character over the long term - not just the
image they like to project now they are looking again.
Chatrooms provide some of the same functionality as discussion boards, but
operate in "real time" - that is, others connected to the same room
see what you type immediately and can respond in seconds. Chatrooms tend to
be much less serious and focused than discussion forums, and also more
prone to frauds since they attract those hoping to talk the vulnerable into
instant gratification, via "cyber sex" chat and now webcams. Of
the online environments, chatrooms are the hardest places to gauge
character, and nothing there should be taken at face value. (As an example,
in an M/s chatroom which only lasted a couple of months,
one regular used to claim to have been using it for two years as part
of his claims to be experienced as he approached female submissives. It goes
without saying that online experience is largely irrelevant to achieving
Local BDSM groups now organise informal meetings called "munches"
in many parts of the world, usually in a cafe, restaurant or bar. These can
be good ways of meeting and talking to other BDSM people, especially if you
have a shared interest in some mainstream BDSM activities like SM, Bondage
or Roleplaying. However, they can be very anti-M/s in tone, and some local
groups even explicitly exclude people who do not subscribe to mainstream BDSM
dogma, such as the use of safewords. In my experience, munches have gone
from being places just to talk to other BDSM people, to places where most of
the participants are looking for a partner and even munches which have an
atmosphere like a meat-market "singles bar". It is unlikely that
you will find a suitable Master or slave at such an event, but it is not
inconceivable, since most of the Masters and slaves I know personally had
attended them at one time or another.
Fetish or SM clubs are also now relatively widespread, but unless you are
looking for a Master or slave with a strong interest in SM or Bondage as
well as M/s, usually provide a worse environment than munches, if anything,
due to the limited opportunity to socialise in between playing on the
equipment, dancing or talking over loud music.
Some BDSM guides suggest finding compatible non-BDSM partners, and then
attempting to find some aspect of BDSM they can enjoy (enjoyment of light
bondage is suprisingly common, for instance.) However, I believe that
finding a suitable Master or slave this way would be very hit and miss.
Finally, it should also be bourne in mind when considering potential Masters
or slaves that IE is necessarily built while living together, and this
will involve the submissive joining the dominant's household at some point.
It is considerably easier to evaluate genuine compatibility if dominant and
submissive can spend time together regularly before moving - for instance,
spending every weekend at one house or the other, or spending an extended
period of "everyday" time together (eg a few weeks, and not just
a holiday.) For this reason, there is often a risk associated with starting
a long-distance relationship in the hope that it will lead to Enslavement,
since you may not be able to fully evaluate whether you are compatible
before it is time to live together if the relationship is to progress.
Myths used to deceive submissives
1. Online training is the most common distraction from a genuine
search for M/s. For some of the reasons described above, a number of men
with no intention of establishing Enslavement
seek to attract women with a genuine need for an M/s relationship. One ploy
is to offer some form of online training which is claimed to increase the
submissive's attractiveness to potential Masters. This can be especially
powerful due to the statistics of the Dominance Economy if the
submissive has come to realise the difficulty of finding a suitable
Master. Online training can lead to periods of short term dominance, which
go some way to satisfying this need in some submissive women. However,
because submissives always retain final control in online submission
(by withdrawing if necessary) they are ultimately unsatisfying - in
particular, Reactance cannot normally be
overcome if submissives are expected to "dominate
themselves" into obedience.
2. Formal Mentoring is often a more sophisticated variant of the Online
Training ploy, and isn't limited to online environments.
There have been respectable traditions of mentoring in some
parts of BDSM's history (in particular, the Old Guard Leather subculture among
gay men up to the mid 1970's) However, it is commonly used in online
communities to enable dominants to obtain committed submission without taking
any responsibility, and without making clear their motivation. In particular,
Mentoring is frequently portrayed as some form of public service that the
dominant does to "give back to the Lifestyle", and in which he
will train the submissive in some way, encourage her to explore her Self and
filter out unsuitable potential Masters for her.
Although I do agree that would-be slaves can learn some useful things in
relationships of submission outside of Enslavement, I believe the true
motivations of all involved should be made clear from the start. For
dominants, this will normally include their desire to control, understand
and be served by submissives, and such relationships may be better viewed as
limited Service with opportunities to learn, rather than purely as Mentoring.
Nevertheless, in most cases, the best source of guidance for an
inexperienced female submissive is usually a circle of other submissive
friends with similar needs, rather than a dominant.
3. Secret Training Houses is one of the most suprising myths to
persist online, and probably owes its origin to the mysterious
slave-training chateau in the "Story of O". Typically, a dominant
will claim to be part of a worldwide, underground network of training
houses, decry the falling standards in BDSM today compared to the "Old
School", "European" or "Formal" standards of his
youth (he has been "in the Lifestyle" either exactly 20 or exactly
30 years) and then tell the enthralled submissive that he can tell even
through her computer screen that she is good enough for him to introduce into
Beginnings: Submission in Stages
A beginning is a very delicate time. None more so than the start of an M/s
relationship, due to the need to resolve the apparent contradiction of
consensual non-consent: how to change a submissive from a willing
supplicant, seeking Enslavement into a slave held in her Master's possession.
Since we believe a relationship must start from consent, there is
potentially a tension between the freedoms the submissive still has and the
authority the Master needs to progressively acquire. In the worst case,
progress can be halted and the Master's authority undermined by a reactive
submissive selectively vetoing his decisions to prove to herself she is
One model for dealing with this tranisition in the first few weeks or months
is "Submission in Stages." In this
approach, the dominant lays out stages of increasing authority transfer which
the submissive consents to as her trust increases. For example, one stage
might give the dominant authority to require domestic service, a respectful
attitude and control over what the submissive wears, but exclude the right
to demand sexual access, control over finances, choice of job, where she
During the short relationship of voluntary submission prior to slavery, this
approach means it is always clear how far the dominant's authority is
guaranteed; the submissive retains reassuring control over aspects of her
life which she still feels she cannot give up; progress is made at her pace;
but the path is still defined by the dominant.
Submission in Stages can either be agreed verbally or by written agreements
or even with formal contracts (although it should be pointed out that
contracts about submission are only a means of clarification and offer no
protection against an abusive dominant, or submissive.)
Since these agreed stages of voluntary submission are best described as
Service, such submissives may be described as "servants" and
"in the service" of the dominant.
However, we should stress that the Internal Enslavement process will already
have begun right from a supplicant's first meeting, by building trust and
the submissive's Self to the dominant. The "emotional" acceptance
of the dominant's authority will usually be deeper than her
"rational" acceptance during this phase - that is, there may be
aspects of her life which she does not yet think she could lose control
over; but if confronted by the dominant taking control of them, she
discovers she can in fact accept it. Nevertheless, since this gradual
process of "reeling in" a submissive towards slavery is
unpredictable, especially when the dominant has not yet established a deep
understanding of the submissive's mind, a techinique like Submission in
Stages can yield more reliable and quicker results than a trial and error
process of the dominant continually testing how far his authority extends,
since the errors continually undermine trust and authority.
If these early stages prove successful, then the final stage is for the
submissive to formally accept the dominant's authority over all aspects of
her life, and to confirm her desire to become his slave. With this
Consent to Enslavement in place, the work of building her emotional
acceptance of her slavery can proceed, as described in the rest of the
Internal Enslavement website.
Other sources of information
Ambrosio's BDSM Dating and
Communication page provides useful advice, especially on safe meeting,
and has links to more advice sites.
Of the BDSM personal ads sites,
Alt.com is the largest and does allow you to
search by region and M/s interest, but also one of the least reliable
services. I would never recommend paying to upgrade to Silver or Gold
membership due to their lack of technical competence.
Bondage.com provides both an IRC chatroom
system and free personal ads, searchable by region and interest. This
appears to be well run, and all the key features are free.
For people in the United Kingdom,
Informed Consent's personals
allow you to specify an interest in IE or TPE.
More focused is the
Y!Group which is specifically for people looking for Total Power
The late Tammad Rimilia's account of a public presentation by a "Secret
Training House" is
online at his website.
Story of O" and more recently
Marketplace" series are possible origins of the Secret Training House
myth. One real-life attempt to create such a house is
Last updated 4 June 2002.