Every once in a while…and believe me, it is rare…I find someone who is able to better express something with which I’ve struggled to find words. Guy Baldwin is certainly someone I consider influential in my thinking when I was first studying and considering accepting my identity as a slave.
I’ve been sitting with some bemusement about the idea of “training,” what it means to various people in the Leather and BDSM communities and most importantly, what it means to me. Turning this question of “What the fuck is training, really?” over and over like a shiny, hard nut.
The superficial use of the word left me wondering what the point of it was, if it had spiritual resonance, and what other taught they were doing when they said they were being “trained.” In my mind training was a kind of “spiritual, mental and emotional topiary.” The master is responsible for taking the growth of the person who is enslaved and guiding them into a shape that honors its inherent life, nature, beauty and intention but is now enhanced by an external hand, an overarching aesthetic. It is extremely personal, deeply spiritual, and quite a commitment. Yet mostly what I see and hear about is how people are trained to do stuff…how to assume the 63 Secret Slavish Postures Of Ultimate Slavitude, how to perform oral sex tricks, etc.
Thank goodness Guy’s book “SlaveCraft: Roadmaps for Erotic Servitude _ Principles, Skills and Tools“ has this piece in that shook me awake a bit:
“Training means something more than giving orders and correcting compliance. A sadly small percentage of the Masters i know savor the often delicately balanced orchestrations by which a slave does truly develop a deeper level of surrender under Their direction. These Masters delight in devising subtle situations and conversations that challenge and guide us. They watch us closely to see how we wrestle with our inner struggles with surrender, and then determine the best way to coax, tease, kiss, lure, argue, reason, support, reinforce, hurt or love us onward past our sticking points and into doing or accepting exactly what They want from us…AND, making us love Them for it! This is the REAL craft of “slave-training,” and lucky is the slave who comes to the attention of these rare Masters.”
Yeah yeah, this cracked open the hard, shiny shell of this question for me. Inside I have other stuff to pick apart.
I should probably read this book again. It has been a long time and a little poking to the brain is in order.