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HOUSEHOLD OF SIR STEPHEN – WORKSHOP TOPICS

 

 

 

Acts of Contrition

A Workshop for Dominants and Masters Only
Presented by Sir Stephen

 

We frequently discuss the steps by which slaves can be offered correction.  Typically, we speak in terms of correction, discipline, punishment and atonement as the means by which an error or failure of some sort can be repaired and the slave can achieve closure. 

 

The Master administers these steps as he or she deems best.

 

But, what happens when the Master makes a mistake...a serious error that could potentially jeopardize his or her position as Master in the eyes of his slave...or the community...or within his or her own eyes?  By what process can the Master achieve forgiveness and closure?  To whom can the Master turn to receive the kinds of forgiveness and closure the we (the Masters) routinely provide for our slaves when they are in distress?

 

Sir Stephen briefly discusses personal experiences in seeking to recover from missteps and will leave most of the available time open for sharing from all the participants.

 

Balance, Imbalance, and the Art of M/s Dynamic and Relationship

Creating an M/s Relationship is generally fun and exciting…but maintaining it can be hard work.

Part of that work results from the fact that life is not static and changes to the circumstances of our lives, circumstances both internal and external to our relationships, are inevitable.  As a result we are frequently faced with choices that force us to evaluate, and re-evaluate, our priorities, our needs, and the metrics by which we measure the health, viability, and long-term success of both our relationships and our M/s structures.

Within our M/s Relationships we are constantly evaluating three sets of needs…the needs of the individuals…the needs of the relationship…the needs of the M/s dynamic.  When they are congruent the decision making path is clear and unobstructed, leading us quickly and easily to actionable conclusions.  But, all too often that is not the case and our goal is this Workshop is to acknowledge…to take ownership of…and to share the conflicts that can arise as we attempt to identify, evaluate, and fulfill sets of needs that we wish were identical but all too often are not.

Care and Maintenance of M/s Relationships

 

They present an overview of their personal histories and relationship and then present their opinions about how to build, care for, and maintain M/s relationships.

 

The importance of clarity in the definitions of such things as:

 

 

are discussed.

 

The use of protocols, rules, rituals and ceremonies as focal points for Masters and slave are covered.

 

Audience participation is encouraged as a list of those aspects which contribute positively to our M/s relationships is developed.  Likewise, a list of impediments is also created with the participation of the audience.

 

A workbook is distributed for participants’ future reference and use. 

 

This Workshop is open to all.

 

Creating the Construct

 

It falls to the Masters to create the structures in which both the Master and the slave(s) will have the opportunity to fulfill their deepest desires.  As we turn our hands to this task we frequently discover that there is no single specific tradition of consensual Master/slave relationships that we can draw upon.  So, we turn to what we know…some of what we know is drawn from history and the facts of history…some is drawn from our own personal life experience…and some is drawn from fictional or fantasy elements that have affected us in a profound way. 

 

It could be said that in our lifestyle we visualize the most powerful fantasies and instill them with life.  We act out scenes in dungeons.  We create scene names and lifestyle identities for ourselves.  We endeavor to create consensual M/s Relationships that reflect our own personal understanding of what it means to be Masters and slaves in ways that have little kinship with the non-consensual slavery of history. 

 

In this Workshop Sir Stephen and slave catherine explore the notion that from this mix of experience, fact, fiction, and fantasy emerges a new reality, a unique reality that has a far greater strength than we could have imagined when we began our journey.

 

This Workshop is open to all.

 

Lust, Love, and Rational Relationships - Romance In The M-S Dynamic
Presented by Sir Stephen

There are some who say that the Master slave dynamic should be devoid of romantic love.  Although it might be natural, almost expected, for the slave to experience love for the Master, what if the Master develops similar feelings for the slave?  Will such feelings undermine the ability of the Master to establish and maintain Household structures and discipline; and thereby erode, perhaps destroy, the foundation of the M/s dynamic?

Others maintain that though difficult, it is possible to fulfill both the needs of Master and slave, and romance, within a single relationship.  If such a balance can be achieved, by what means is it possible?

How does this issue play out in those Households with more than one Master or more than one slave?

The Workshop will employ a combination of personal perspectives; philosophical and historical perspectives; and audience participation as this matrix of topics is explored.

 

Milestones for Masters

Presented by Sir Stephen

 

This Workshop explores the notion that while each Master/slave relationship is unique, each also contains elements that we experience in common. 

 

Can we identify those areas of commonality?  If we can, is there any benefit to be derived from having done so?  Many Masters, both new and experienced, have been heard to wonder – “Am I doing this right?”  Having identified that which is typically common to our joint experience can we then use this information to provide markers along the path of Mastery that help the newcomer find their footing as well as assist experienced Masters in identifying aspects of their roles and responsibilities that might benefit from additional attention?

 

The Workshop will address these questions and is designed to encourage discussion and audience participation is welcome.

 

The Workshop is open to all

 

Power, Authority, Leadership

 

There are various ways to achieve control over other individuals.  Masters seek to achieve such control and establish themselves as worthy of the service offered by their slaves.

We often hear about the notion of Total Power Exchange, but is Power the only tool at a Master’s disposal to achieve the end goals of control and a successful, enduring M/s relationship?

Are there other ways to gain the loyalty and commitment of those who would serve?

This Workshop will explore the notion that a better understanding and application of an appropriate balance between Power, Authority and Leadership can assist in the internal growth of those who strive to be Masters (or those who strive to improve as Masters) as well as contributing to the success of the relationships that they create.

This Workshop can be presented in an extended format in combination with the Workshop entitled The Master’s Space.

The Workshop will be interactive allowing time for audience participation and questions.

This Workshop is open to all

Quest for Identity

 

This talk touches upon the "fun" of defining who we are in our chosen lifestyle role. How to fulfill those roles, and the impact Identity has upon Household structures.

 

Sir Stephen discusses his evolving sense of what it has meant to him to be called Master. The interactive nature of defining identity and context for Household protocols, rules, structures, and rituals will all be reviewed.  Sepcifically, Sir Stephen will explain his role as "Lord of the Manor," and the development of his Household structure along the lines of a Victorian Household.

 

slave catherine discusses the impact this development has had upon her view of her role as servant.

 

Includes time for Q&A…open to all.

 

Spirituality in M/s Relationships

 

A common question upon entering our Leather Community is how will I reconcile my spiritual or religious beliefs within the context of BDSM or a Master slave relationship?

 

Our experiences, while uniquely our own, may shed some light upon this question.

 

slave catherine has long been on a spiritual journey, beginning with her childhood experiences of Catholicism, and extending through considerable exploration of alternative religious structures.

 

She was very tentative about acknowledging her struggle to reconcile teachings of the spiritual life that attracts her as powerful as does her vocation as a slave.  Eventually she gathered her courage and began to speak of her journey, her doubts, her struggle and was rewarded with responses from others struggling with exactly the same concerns.

 

She continues to work diligently on integrating these seemingly disparate elements of her life.  

 

Sir Stephen was born into a family of Jewish ancestry, but who viewed Judaism as a secular, rather than a spiritual, identity.  He was happy enough with the philosophy that God does not bother us, and we do not bother God, for many years.  His spiritual awakening came as part of the process of recovery from addiction and he continues to struggle with his relationship to a higher power. 

 

Although he is more comfortable with the idea of the presence of the divine in all aspects of life, including Master slave relationships, he continues to search for ways to make the divine presence more meaningful and persistent in his Household, and his daily life.

 

Sir Stephen and slave catherine do not view the goal of this workshop to be for them to provide the answers to spiritual questions that have remained mysteries for thousands upon thousands of years, but rather to share their stories, their struggles, and to provide a structured environment in which to address, with the participation of the attendees, ways in which we can advance ourselves on our unique, chosen spiritual paths as we build and nurture our Master slave relationships.

 

This Workshop is open to Masters and slaves.

 

Sustaining Leadership in Difficult Times

 

Presented by Sir Stephen

 

What happens when a Master, as Leader of his or her Household, finds that they are on rough terrain and under fire from the circumstances of life?  What happens when illness strikes, or the economy tanks, or any one of a million unforeseen situations arise and the Master is suddenly in danger of failing to fulfill the commitments that he or she has made?

 

What happens when due to circumstances beyond his or her control the Master feels uncertain and fearful?  In short…human.

 

How does the Master react?  How does the slave react?  What can be done to reaffirm the Master’s sense of Leadership and what can be done to reassure the slave?

 

And, where can Masters, a notoriously tight-lipped bunch, be assured of being in a safe place to share about such issues?  In this Masters only Workshop, Sir Stephen hopes to create such a space and facilitate and frank and open discussion of such concerns.

 

This Workshop is open to Masters only.

 

The Decision to Be

 

Our life history…our personalities…bring us to numerous decisions points in our lives.  I will go on to higher education or the military…I will be an educator or I will embark upon business career…I will join a religious order or backpack around the world.

 

For those of us drawn to the kinky forms of Power Exchange Relationships there are decision points as well.  Will I be a Top or a Bottom…a Dominant or a submissive…a Trainer or a pony…a Daddy a Mommy, or a boy or a girl…etc?

 

Among those options is Master and slave.  What does it mean when we choose this specific form of relationship expression, and are there actions that can be taken to improve the chances of success?

 

Join us in discussing these fascinating ramifications of the Decision to Be.

 

This Workshop is open to all.

 

The Empty Vessel

 

In this Workshop Sir Stephen and slave catherine will address the concept of psychological and spiritual preparation that Masters (Dominants) and slaves (submissives) undergo to prepare themselves to initially take on their roles in the lifestyle.

 

They also explore the question of whether or not this preparation is uniquely suited only to slaves.  And, if not, what are the benefits of such preparation to both the Masters and the slaves?

 

Is this a one-time effort, or is it only the beginning of a process that requires a commitment to a persistent, on-going effort of self-evaluation; relationship evaluation; and change, as needed?

 

Sir Stephen and slave catherine take the point of view that one does not become “The Empty Vessel” rather that one strives, continually, to identify that which stands between us and our goals as Masters and slaves, and empty ourselves of that.  Impediments to progress change with time and circumstances and what worked yesterday may not work today.

 

Sir Stephen and slave catherine take the participants through a series of exercises they have found useful in their own efforts to create the empty spaces they need in their own psyches to give room to absorb new experiences, new information and to remain open to new teachings.

 

Participants will be provided with workbooks which they can take home with them and use as a basis for the continuation of the work begun in the workshop.

 

There will be feedback from the audience following each written exercise and the opportunity for general Q&A at the conclusion of the workshop.

 

Participants are encouraged to take notes in the notes section provided in the Workbook.

 

The Master’s Space

 

For many of us when we approach the concept of Mastery we visualize the pyramidal model of a relationship, with the Master at the top, fully, solely empowered and working towards the implementation of his or her will, and the satisfaction of his or her desires, through the directed efforts of the slaves below.

But, is this really the mental and emotional space we learn to inhabit as we move through our journey?  What about the notions of fulfillment for the slave…servant Masters…spirituality…etc?  Do we, as Masters, actually carry out our roles and responsibilities as Masters solely from the top of the pyramid, and if not, where then is the space that we inhabit as we endeavor to fulfill ourselves?

This Workshop can be presented in an extended format in combination with the Workshop entitled Power, Authority, Leadership.

The Workshop will be interactive allowing time for audience participation and questions.

This Workshop is open to all.

The Victorian Household as Model for an M/s Relationship

 

The Workshop goals are to broaden our understanding of the Master/slave dynamic and how models of structured institutions, historical and contemporary, might be of benefit in our development of our M/s relationships and Households

 

The workshop structure includes:

 

 

This Workshop is open to all.


When Comfortable Becomes Uncomfortable

The Maturation of M/s Relationships

 

In our M/s relationships we set ourselves the goal of creating hierarchically structured relationships that allow those who aspire to be Masters and those who aspire to be slaves to fulfill themselves.  It takes time, sometimes months, or years, of serious effort to fully realize that goal and to bring ourselves to the point where the behaviors that we have defined for ourselves as Masters and as slaves are the automatic, unconscious process by which we live our daily lives.

 

There is great comfort in reaching this goal, but we can also begin to question whether or not something is lost when that level of comfort is attained.  Our comfort can turn to discomfort as questions begin to bubble up:

 

Have we lost the excitement, the edginess, of the M/s relationship that we knew at the beginning?

 

Having attained the goals we set for ourselves, how do we continue to grow our relationships and ourselves as individuals?

 

Is “being comfortable” another way of saying that we have grown stagnant?

 

We will share our experiences and our thoughts on these questions, and more, during this Workshop, and we hope to hear yours as well.

 

When Intellect and Emotions Collide

 

We are all human, and as humans we are blessed with many attributes…some are physical…some are intellectual…some are spiritual…some are emotional. 

 

M/s relationships are hierarchical in nature and constructed in a deliberate and conscious fashion…mental discipline for both the Master and the slave is expected… rules, rituals, protocols are created…and clearly defined processes for training (inclucing interpersonal discipline, correction, punishment, and atonement)  are elucidated.

 

This body of work, this intellectual edifice, appeals to us as Masters and as slaves, if not, we must ask why bother to create and/or submit to such structures?  This work of the intellect contributes to the likelihood of success in an M/s relationship.  But so too do the reinforcing bonds of positive, shared emotional experiences.

 

But what happens when the intellectual framework is assaulted by powerful emotional storms.  Can we sustain the intellectual foundation of our relationships while enduring, and hopefully surviving, emotional upheavals?  How do we reconcile and maintain both our intellectual frameworks and our emotional needs when they come into conflict?

 

This Workshop will explore these questions.  It is open to all.

 

When Protocols Fail

 

Protocols are well established support structure for M/s relationships.

 

It is my contention that protocols, and similar structures, are not fixed and immutable but rather require routine attention and maintenance (i.e. revisions).

 

However, can circumstances arise which are so extreme that force us to abandon our standard practices?

If such circumstances do arise, can we maintain our roles as Masters and slaves in the face of them?

 

Are there historical, or contemporary, analogs for us to examine?

 

If the defining element for us as Masters and slaves is not in our Protocols, where then does the defining element lie?

 

To contact us please email us at:

Intl_Ms_2005@yahoo.com