Presenter notes

Disparity of power

Types of power:

  • Physical strength
  • Intellect - I.Q., knowledge (academic?)
  • Skill or ability (comes from practice plus innate aptitude)
  • Lust or hunger
  • Concrete and strongly-desired goals
  • Others?


What is the role of trust? How does it effect boundaries, barriers, and defensiveness?


Engagement is personal rather than generic.

How does a D&s or M/s relationship with a lot of engagement differ from one with little or no engagement?

Is engagement necessary? Can D&s or M/s be satisfying without engagement?

Does it need to be two-way?

Is distance (not just geographical) a problem? Can it lead to people growing apart more than if they were together?

Images and archetypes are terms used in psychology to describe our own ideas of how a dominant, submissive, master, or slave should look and act. They help us recognise people operating in these roles, and they can regulate how we behave towards them because we also see ourselves in terms of images and archetypes.

So, some obvious questions arise:

  • What does a master look like and how does he act?
  • What does a slave look like and how do they act?
  • What does a dominant look like and how do they act?
  • What does a submissive look like and how do they act?


Some people get into BDSM for the wrong reasons. For example, someone with little experience might think that being a slave is what they really, really, REALLY need to be when it might only be that they need an occasional submissive experience and are better suited and will find more profound satisfaction being a dominant.

Such errors can create poor foundations for future happiness and relationships. What can we do to avoid these problems, and can we as a group or community do more?

Projection, identification and denial are psychological defence mechanisms which our minds roll out to bolster our identity. Hanging around with others who really aren't like you but who you'd like to be like can, for example, lead to "identification" where you suppress who you are and try to adopt the characteristic of the others, possibly to fit in or to feel accepted.

"Projection" is where you see others, and interpret their behaviour, in terms of your own attitudes and beliefs. This can be comforting because it can make them seem more like you, but it avoids you getting to know the real them.

"Denial" is where you do not accept something you see, hear, or experience for what it really is and either deny it happened, or attribute it to something benign. For example, a dominant who you are attracted to may be careless and regularly hurt you, but you attribute the problems to either your own shortcomings or to "bad luck".

Do any of these play a role in D&s or M/s? Is ego a potential factor here?

Last modified: Sunday, 10 March 2013, 10:00 AM