Sunday, July 18, 2010

Jack Rinella: On Discipline, Training, Commitment, and Union

I finished reading Rinella's The Master's Manual aloud. Here are some final excerpts worth sharing.

Though discipline can be imposed whenever the master desires, it really should be used as soon after the transgression as is feasible. The dread of an expected punishment can be difficult for a slave to handle, though some delay may be helpful in order to allow the slave to be punished by the dread. A prolonged delay, though, will give an opportunity for the discipline to be forgotten, or at least the severity of the transgression to fade. The slave will also see delay as hesitancy, indecision, apathy, or weakness on the part of the master. So apply discipline judiciously, promptly, and with confidence. Discipline is a master's duty, right, and friend. (p. 142)

For their part, even seasoned slaves need to be given time to learn how a new master wants to be served. It is here that the euphemism "training" becomes a real event. Teach your boy what you expect. If you only get what he wants, then you are no longer in charge. On the other hand, it is imperative that you grant the boy the right to speak, to question, and to learn. Boys have desires and dreams every bit as important as those of their masters. The challenge is to find a way to meet each person's fantasy without compromising the other's. (p. 161-2)

Commitment, on the other hand, is intrinsically necessary. The simple fact is that you can't get into the serious beauty of SM without a committed partner. I'm not negating the fun, and sometimes the glory, of an SM scene between strangers, prostitutes and their clients, who people who just want to play "with no strings attached." But the best SM is with someone you know, trust, and with whom you have some kind of commitment. (p. 165)

The commitment that I'm advocating is the only commitment that counts: "To thine own self be true." The operative words here are clarity, honesty, consistency. I'm talking about a relationship wherein each partner is able to find him or herself, express that self within the context of the relationship, and grow. (p. 166)

On the face of it, the focus of cruising is sexual release: mere hedonism, thrill-seeking, and attention-getting. But appearances are deceiving. I am not naïve enough to believe that those appearances are completely false. We are propelled by a wide variety of motives, commendable or not. Basic motives of sex and quick gratification are prevalent in our disposable, microwave culture. But to dismiss cruising as looking for "flash in the pan gratification" is to miss underlying human needs. Beneath the leather, the posing, and the S&M ("standing and modeling") is a real search for bonding. Like everyone else, leatherfolk want to know they are part of a community. Saturday night rites are the externals of a quest for belonging. We desire to be in union with our own kind, human kind. (p. 196)

The Master's Manual on

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