The dictionary gives us several definitions of responsibility that all can be relative to the power exchange dynamic. It is defined as “the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.: It uses as synonyms “authority, control, power, leadership.” In this sense Masters have a level of responsibility, indeed, a duty to deal with those in their charge. It is not simply power or authority, but one must lead. One must use the power and control over that other to guide and inform, to teach and train, and to craft an environment wherein the other can thrive and learn and grow.
Another definition of responsibility is “the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.” We like to say that ultimately the Master is responsible for everything within the relationship. The buck stops with the Owner and everything done by the property reflects upon the Owner. To an extent this is true because the Master sets guidelines and enforces them. The Master crafts an environment. Yet slaves must also have a measure of responsibility. They must be made accountable for there actions or inaction. While they may enjoy taking to the credit for a job well done, they must also be able to take the blame when they fall short. They must be responsible for their compliance or lack thereof.
A third definition of responsibility is “the opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization.” Yes, a Master must be a decision maker, possessing the ability to act without consensus, and to do so decisively. On the other hand, a slave must be capable of acting in the best interests of the Master without having to ask permission or consult on every single detail. A slave should be able to act in a manner that brings benefit and positive result for the Master, just as the Master sets up a situation to allow the slave to complete missions and add positively to the household.
How do you feel about the matter? Do you agree or disagree? Join us in this discussion!
The discussion takes place at the LGBT Center at 208 West 13th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, from 2 – 5 pm. The cost is only $4 for members, $5 for members of reciprocal groups and $8 for others.