Sir Bamm!

 

Beginning Training

The following is taken from a presentation given on March 9, 2002. It was given to a Dominants-only group, but the information below is a good starting point for both Doms/Masters and subs/slaves.
Note: "Dom" or "Dominant" will be used to mean Dominant, Top and/or Master, "sub" or "submissive" will be used to mean submissive, bottom and/or slave.

Developing sub/slave Training Programs:

Opening Statement:
It is an awesome responsibility when someone asks you to train them. Novice Dominants often jump at the chance to prove their prowess without thinking about the time commitment and the entire scenario. This often leads to a mismatch in personalities and expectations. These undetected mismatches lead to training disasters, hurt feelings and tarnished reputations.
In training situations, the Dominant holds the primary responsibility. Part of taking responsibility as a principle trainer is knowing what your personal expectations are. What, exactly, do you want to get out of the situation? Then clearly communicating these expectations to the submissive.
Present these expectations in early discussions and negotiations. It should be restated in the form of a written training contract.
So, ask yourself two questions:
1) Am I willing to train for training sake?
2) What do I want to get out of this?
Know what your expectations are before entering into a training contract.

Training Phases:
Submissive training can be broken down into two phases: The Assessment Phase and the Training Program.
The Assessment Phase determines:
1) If You want to train a particular sub
2) The answers gathered dictate the overall direction and structure of the training program.

Assessments:

Assessing Tendencies: It is equally important to determine the expectations and/or natural preponderance of the submissive. Some subs are hesitant to share this information. If they are attracted to You, they may not want to jeopardize the chance to get to know You better. Some honestly won't know what to expect from a training session.
The following is a technique presented in Miss Abernathy's books. Using simple question/answer quizzes can help reveal tendencies. They aren't always 100% accurate, but for the most part they are revealing and useful.

Assessing Obedience & Willingness:
Require written assignments. Make sure these assignments have a clear completion deadline. If a sub/slave won't obey or work with You or complete the assignments by a reasonable deadline, they will never make it through a serious training program. Following directions is a critical part of any training and the written assignment exercises reveal their willingness to comply.
If they fail consistently, do not go forward with the training. This requirement will save You hours of wasted time and energy.
The first three assignments:
1) Start with Miss Abernathy's Quiz
2) 3 Minute Quiz
3) start a slave's journal.

Assessing Openness:
Immediately place the trainee under a full disclosure policy. Under this rule You test the ability of the submissive to be open and honest. It is also an information gathering tool for structuring training and play.
Use this carefully. Depending on the type of training, require an accounting of sexual preferences (monogamous/poly relationships), fantasies, past encounters in the BDSM world, an accounting of things that have gone wrong and things that have gone right. At this juncture You are getting an idea of fears, limits and determining strengths.
It is equally important to know both spoken limitations and physiological limitations. This may come out in intimate discussions.

Risks

Assessing Health Risk:
Never embark on a training program of this type without assessing health risks to You or Your trainee. Sit down and have a heart to heart talk about health issues.

Assessing Work Risk:
If a submissive is employed, be sure to look at the impact such a training program will have on the trainee's work environment. Can the sub play in public or attend D/s affairs in the local area? Is there a danger that being "outed" would jeopardize their livelihood?

Assessing Home Life:
Is the sub married, does the spouse or significant other know about the sub's interest in D/s? Does the sub's "vanilla" friends now about the D/s interest and does s/he share his/her experiences with them? If the neighbors discovered the D/s interest, would there be repercussions?

Assessing Outside Professional's Influences:
Is the sub working with a spiritual counselor, therapist or psychologist? Are these professionals aware of, and accepting of, the D/s interest?

Assessing Limits and Range:
It's important to get an idea of the range and limits of Your play partner.

Training Contracts:
By the time You have finished this type of assessment You have an idea if You want to work with this trainee. Now is the time to consider the depth and time frame that You will spend with someone.

The Training Program:
Here, we begin use the information gathered from the assessment phase. Divide the programming into two categories:
1) Basic Training
2) Advanced Training

Basic Training is meant to lay a foundation of expectations, protocol and rituals to focus the submissive on the Dominant's needs and style of SM.

Basic Training:
1) sub/slaves Presentation - establishing how a submissive will behave toward You and Oothers.

	Forms of Address: 
        1) How to address and communicate with You 
        2) Forms of addressing others 
        3) silent communication
	Forms of Service:
        1)How are You to be served under different conditions
        2) High protocol, moderate protocol, scene etiquette or relaxed service
        3) Answer - When, where, how
	Forms of Posture
        How to handle Yourself within a situation 

2) Levels of Service:
This is dictated by what it is You want from a situation. Is housekeeping an issue? Laundry? Sexual service? Do You micromanage? Any answer is appropriate.

	Mindfulness - No matter what the level of service, it should be done with mindfulness toward the Dominant.
	Create a time limit for chores and assignments to be completed. Start off with a rigid schedule. 
	Train how You expect services to be performed. If You haven't trained properly, 
        then it is Your fault if something isn't done to Your satisfaction.
	Give clear instructions about all areas of training 

3) Playfulness:
Our lifestyle is about naughty fun and decadent behavior. Be serious when its time to be serious and have fun when its time to have fun.
	Have sexual fun
	Create fantasies and explore the limits that have been set
	Initiate new play slowly and keep a sense of humor. If things don't work out, laugh about it and discuss it

4) Begin to establish trust and limits by being consistent in Your training techniques

Dom's Quiz

I am interested in:

Number (0-5)	    Item
	
__	            A House Servant - Someone to clean, cook or care for your house
__                  A Sex Partner - sex slave - no expectations about future relationship
__                  A Personal Assistant - A personal Maid or Valet
__                  An Escort - A companion for events and travel
__                  Trained or Training 

Miss Abernathy's sub Quiz:
Taken from "Training With Miss Abernathy: A Workbook for Erotic Slaves and Their Owners"
by Christina Abernathy Exercise: Imagine you are a live-in slave, serving your ideal Dominant. What would your life be like?
Choose the answer that most closely fits your dream. 1. At 6 a.m. I am suddenly awakened by... a. Mistress's bell. b. Mistress's foot. . c. the alarm clock. d. the wake-up call. 2. It's time to get dressed. I am dressed in... a. my uniform. b. nothing. c. an apron. d. a suit. 3. If it's a busy day. I spend the morning... a. mending Master's riding breeches. b. pleasuring Master. c. cleaning the hall closet. d. attending Master as he tours the city. 4. Time for lunch! I eat... a. in the sitting room. b. off Mistress's boot. c. whenever I get a minute. d. in a nice little cafe Mistress likes. 5.The best thing about being a slave is... a. being close to Master. b. the sex. c. feeling useful. d. experiencing new things. 6. My strong point is... a. my knowledge of fashion. b. my sex appeal. c. my organizational skills. d. my people skills. 7. The hardest part of being a slave is... a. finding time to keep myself looking good. b. getting my intellectual needs met. c. the details, all the little details. d. being on show all the time. 8. After dinner... a. Master reads the paper while I polish his shoes. b. we retire to the boudoir. c. I do the dishes. d. we're off to the theater with the Joneses. 9. Time for bed. I must... a. lay out Mistress's outfit for tomorrow. b. make myself available in case Mistress wants a massage. c. review tomorrow's menu. d. get some sleep after pleasuring Mistress. I've got to look my best. 10. I dream about... a. being allowed to accompany Master on a drive. b. the day Master lets me masturbate for him. c. a nice long bubble bath and an intimate dinner out with Master. d. just staying home one weekend and relaxing. Miss Abernathy's Scoring System: - The questionnaires' answers point to tendencies. A's - Service oriented B's - Sex Servitude C's - Personal Assistants D's - Escorts Add up the A's, B's, C's and D's and you have tendency ranges.

If you chose mostly (a) answers, you may be a good body servant (lady's maid or valet). You value intimacy with the dominant above all else. You are aware of the importance of your physical appearance, and you like to help others look their best. You like personal attention from the dominant and are proud of any trust s/he places in you.

If you chose mostly (b) answers, you are probably most interested I in being a sex slave. You are a highly sexual person with considerable g stamina, and you pride yourself on your sexual technique. While most slaves enjoy some sexual attention, the erotic side of slavehood is your what you enjoy.

If you chose mostly (c) answers, you are best suited to be a housekeeper and/or cook. You are very organized and have considerable management skills. You are comfortable dealing with visitors but are you're just as happy behind the scenes.

If you chose mostly (d) answers, you want to be an escort. You have an attractive personality and excellent communication skills. You enjoy meeting new people and serving in public. You don't mind if some people think you're the Dominant's lover; the two of you know the truth about your relationship. Besides, you're very discreet.

Now, of course there will be a mix of answers. Secondary scores are also important.

Three Minute Quiz:

This exercise is used to reveal initial impressions and limitations. It does not mean that these stay that way or that they are intended to be serious blocks for You. Have the sub write out the first answer she thinks of within a 2 to 3 minute time frame. They have to finish the entire quiz.

I am most proud of ____________
My favorite book is ____________
When I'm alone I like to ___________
I've had a hard time getting over __________
The thing I like best about myself is __________
The one thing I can't stand is __________
I have a right to _________
I am most ashamed of __________
I'm not sure that I can __________
My spiritual life is best described as __________

Health Questionnaire:

Do you have any dietary restrictions?
Are you allergic to anything? (Scene materials as well as common allergies)
Do you wear contact lenses or glasses? Dental bridges or hearing aids?
Do have any injuries that can keep you from service or play type training? (Neck, back, knee injuries)
Do you have any ongoing illnesses or chronic problems? What type of medications or treatments do you take for these?
Make a list of all the vitamins, herbal or nutritional supplements your take?
When was your last blood test and physical? Will you be willing to take a blood test or physical?
Do you use recreational drugs (including alcohol or tobacco)? What? How Often?
Do you have any addictions or are you struggling with an addiction?
Are you recovering from an addiction? Are you clean and/or sober? How long?
Have you suffered from abuse as a child? As an adult? (Physical, verbal, psychological, sexual, spiritual)
If so, are there any triggers that can cause you trauma now?
Do you abuse others, or have abused others, in the past? How have you addressed these problems?
Have you ever had any type of sexually transmitted disease? How was it, or is it, being treated?

Another Questionnaire

Below is a list that I gathered from information requested from My best friend Officer Wes' petition for a slave/leather boy. I have changed things where appropriate. I did not expect that petitioners answer every single question when responding to this questionnaire, but it seemed like a good place to start to see how much interest they really had and to give Me an idea of what they were like. If you would like to answer this questionnaire, please look through My web site before responding, so you have an idea of what I am interested in. It was not part of the original presentation, but I felt it was appropriate to add at this juncture.

Name (first, middle, last)
Address
If the above is not an Austin-area address, can you come to Austin on a once- or twice-monthly basis?
If not, please explain any limitations (financial inability, care taking commitment, etc.)
Phone number
Date of birth
Highest education completed.
Religious upbringing & current spiritual preference.
What do you seek in a Master/slave relationship?
What are some of your favorite sexual fantasies? Give Me the broad overall picture.
Outside of work and sexual interests, what leisure activities do you enjoy (movies, sports, games, etc.)?
What brings you the most emotional joy?
Do you enjoy any domestic activities in particular (cooking, gardening, laundry, etc.)?
Do you have any particular creative talents?
What would you bring to My family?
Do you have a problem with calling your Master "Sir" at all times?
After a relationship has begun, are you willing to express your situation, distresses, and reservations when asked?
Do you live with someone?
If so, what is the nature of this relationship?
Is there any reason why you would not be able to commit 100% as a slave (past, present or future reason)?
Race
Height
Weight
Gender
Color of eyes
What do you think is your best physical feature?
Include a photo, and the approximate date it was taken, when you respond.
Do you smoke? If so, how much?
Do you drink? If so, how much? How often?
Do you use prescription drugs? If so, what?
Do you use illegal drugs?
Are you disease free?
Do you have any mental problems (including bipolar disorder, manic/depressive)?
Have you been -- or are you being -- treated for depression?
Do you have any disabilities (visible or invisible)?
Do you have any physical limitations which might affect activities? (For example, a bad back might affect work assigned. Sinus problems/nose congestion might impact how you respond to having your mouth gagged.)
Are you allergic to any medications, foods, animals, plants or anything else?
Are there any other health concerns that I haven't touched on?
What is your living situation (own, rent, etc.)?
Type of employment (full time, part time, unemployed)?
What do you do?
Normal work schedule
Do you own a car?
When would you be available to visit with Uus?
List any other subjects or topics you feel are relevant to this questionnaire.

submissive Training

1) Start training your submissive early on. While old "dogs" can be taught new tricks, what's learned earliest, is often learned quickest and easiest. Moreover, the older the "dog", the more bad habits will likely need to be "un-learned". When it comes to raising and training a submissive, an ounce of prevention is certainly worth a pound of cure!

2) Train your submissive gently and humanely, and whenever possible, teach him/her using positive, motivational methods. Keep obedience sessions upbeat so that the training process is enjoyable for all parties involved. If training your sub is a drudgery, rev things up a bit, and try the "play training" approach: incorporate constructive, non-adversarial games (such as "Go Find", "Hide 'n' Seek", retrieving, etc.) into your training sessions.

3) Does your sub treat you like "hired help" at home? Does s/he treat you like a human gymnasium when you're sitting on the furniture? Does s/he beg at the table? Jump up on visitors? Demand your attention by annoying you to death? Ignore your commands? How well your submissive responds to you at home affects his/her behavior outdoors as well. If your submissive doesn't respond reliably to commands at home (where distractions are relatively minimal), s/he certainly won't respond to you properly outdoors where s/he's tempted by other things.

4) Avoid giving your submissive commands that you know you cannot enforce. Every time you give a command that is neither complied with nor enforced your submissive learns that commands are optional.

5) One command should equal one response, so give your submissive only one command (twice max!), then gently enforce it. Repeating commands tunes your submissive out (as does nagging) and teaches your submissive that the first several commands are a "bluff". For instance, telling your submissive, "Sit, sit, sit, sit!", is neither an efficient nor effective way to issue commands. Simply give your submissive a single "Sit" command and gently place or lure your submissive into the "sit" position, then praise or reward.

6) Avoid giving your submissive combined commands which are incompatible. Combined commands such as "Keep quiet and answer Me" can confuse your submissive. Using this example, say either "Keep quiet" or "Answer Me". The command "Keep quiet and answer Me" simply doesn't exist.

7) When giving your submissive a command, avoid using a loud voice. Even if your submissive is especially independent or unresponsive, your tone of voice when issuing an obedience command should be calm and authoritative, rather than harsh or loud.

NOTE: Many Dominants complain that their submissives are "stubborn", and that they "refuse to listen" when given a command. Before blaming the submissive when s/he doesn't respond to a command, one must determine whether or not:
a) the submissive knows what the Dominant wants
b) s/he knows how to comply
c) s/he is not simply being unresponsive due to fear, stress or confusion.

8) Whenever possible, use your submissive's name positively, rather than using it in conjunction to reprimands, warnings or punishment. Your submissive should trust that when s/he hears his/her name or is called, good things happen. his/her name should always be a word s/he responds to with enthusiasm, never hesitancy or fear.

9) Correct or, better yet, prevent the (mis)behavior, don't punish the submissive. Teaching and communication is what it's all about, not getting even with your submissive. If you're taking an "it's-you-against-your sub, whip 'em into shape" approach, you'll undermine Yyour relationship, while missing out on all the fun that a motivational training approach can offer. Additionally, after-the-fact discipline does NOT work.

10) When training One's submissive, whether praising or correcting, good timing is essential. Take the following example: You've prepared a platter of hors d'oeuvres for a small dinner party, which you've left on your kitchen counter. Your submissive walks into the room and smells the hors d'oeuvres. s/he air-sniffs, then eyes the food, and is poised to grab one off the platter before it's served. This is the best, easiest and most effective time to correct your submissive: before s/he's misbehaved, while s/he's thinking about stealing the food.

11) Often, Dominants inadvertently reinforce their submissive's misbehavior, by giving their submissive lots of attention (albeit negative attention) when they misbehave. Needless to say, if Your submissive receives lots of attention and handling when s/he jumps up on you, that behavior is being reinforced, and is therefore likely to be repeated.

12) Keep a lid on your anger. Never train your submissive when you're feeling grouchy or impatient. Earning your submissive's respect is never accomplished by yelling, hitting, or handling your submissive in a harsh manner. Moreover, fear and stress inhibit the learning process.

Two other items that were included in the presentation, 9 Levels of submission and submissive BDSM checklist, I have not included here because they can be found elsewhere on my web site.

An additional excerpt from another of Siren's submissive Training Workshop ( 2002 Ms Siren) goes on to discuss the intonations of your voice:

The tone of voice is an often used and underestimated powerful element in training your submissive.

Of course you recall one of the most infamous statements in every parent's repertoire, "Don't take that tone with me." Tone of voice expresses mood, intent, meaning and desires of the speaker. Studies indicate that tone of voice is a major contributor in helping us to understand the spoken word, phrase and sentence. Consider the tone of voice attached to the description of sarcasm or using my best "bedroom voice". We take for granted the power of tone of voice, until we see it in action. Consider the seven words in the sentence below.

I didn't say Sally stole that flogger.

The sentence is clear, concise and easy to understand, right? But wait, what does it really mean? Take a moment and reread that sentence out loud... seven times. Each time put an accent on a different word, for instance, I didn't say..., I DIDN'T say..., I didn't SAY....

How many different meanings or expressions of intent did you discover? Seven? You are correct. Because of the use of tone, that one sentence changed meaning seven times. This is an example of why the casually written word is often misunderstood, and the reason tone is so important in getting your message across to others.

The power of intonation has a significant impact when training your submissive, in a positive and less than positive manner. Tone is used appropriately when it is consistent with the circumstances at hand. Consider how you say your submissive's name when your are proud of something they've done. Does that change when you are in a playful mood? An angry mood? A loving mood? When your tone matches the circumstances at hand, trust is developed and maintained. It supports the development of dependability and stability in your relationship.

However, if you use tone inappropriately, if your tone does not match the circumstances at hand, it can create a level of mistrust. For example, you call your submissive with your "bedroom voice" and when they come to you they receive a severe reprimand. They will learn to mistrust that voice of seduction.

Ask yourself some questions to determine if intonation is an area you should improve: Am I using appropriate tone when praising, reprimanding or consoling my submissive? Is my submissive misinterpreting my comments or commands? Does my submissive seem suspicious of my requests? Does my submissive ask, "Now what have I done?" every time I call their name? Do I find our conversations include, "That's not what I meant", "But that's what you said" statements?

"Say what you mean and mean what you say" is an important concept in training your submissive. The use of appropriate intonation is a major contributor in "meaning what you say."

Other related topics can be found at slave contract.

 

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