From a Dom's Perspective
by Dennis Burns



“If the glove does not fit then you must acquit”
-Johnny Cochran

“I wanna be free…
like the bluebirds flying by me,
like the waves on the blue sea,
if your love has to tie me,
or try me…
say goodbye
I wanna be free
Don’t say you love me
Say you like me
But when I need you beside me,
stay close enough to guide me
Confide in me
I wanna hold your hand,
walk along the sand
Nothing in the sun
Always having fun
Doing all those things,
without any strings
to tie me down
I wanna be free

-the Monkees “I wanna be free”

Contracts are common and useful tools in our lives and within our lifestyle. What we use contracts for is anything from a play date to a lifelong commitment. The problem with contracts is that we use an imprecise language called English. If it was written in Greek or Latin it would be more precise, but since we do not read Greek or Latin (with a few exceptions) that is not practical. English is not a bad language, do not get me wrong. When we use it there is vagueness, or a mental fog, that occurs when we try to describe, discuss, and place these emotions onto paper. Ask ten people what is love, or submission, or slavery, you will have twelve answers if not more. A clear understanding of how each of us interprets a word, a phrase, a position, or a standing within a relationship of our ilk becomes more important than most peoples wedding vows. Now add to this equation a poly relationship and the challenge becomes far greater in its importance and on the other hand in its vagueness. We are a group of people (shock shock) who have a tendency to push boundaries-to test the fence line. To see if the fence is really electric, sometimes even after we have been shocked. So it should come to no surprise that when you think you have written an airtight contract, a contract so ironclad that it will hold water, that your little one, that demure sweet innocent looking childlike slave of yours, makes that contract float like the SS Titanic after a little bit of ice.

I have found that no matter how you write your contract, how many contingencies you look toward, the fluidity of life will impose itself just as sure as a trickle of water started the Grand Canyon. Contracts to me have the solidity of Swiss cheese. For short term situations, i.e. play dates, or D/s weekends, they have their place. I find though that a lot of the contracts that I have seen, and some that I have tried to come up with myself wind up being more a list of rules and house regulations than a true actual contract. So the contracts that I do have, I try to keep as short and as open as possible. I have seen too many times where a Dominant or Master had painted themselves in a corner because of their contracts. (I am still wiping paint off of my shoes from my past.) For the long term relationship I have an agreement and a petition.

The agreement and petition are here in the words of one of mine:

In my opinion, I feel the agreement between my family and I, is the basis of the foundation of our relationship. It is a place to begin the journey of getting to know one another better and of what is expected. I do not look at it as though it is a list of rules, but as a commitment to be there for each other, and to see where this journey leads us. I have agreed to be there as needed, just as my Sir and Ma`am have agreed to be there for me, as a mutual benefit of all. My needs are met as my Sir or my Ma`am deem necessary, not just because I want something at that point in time, but because it is best for me as an individual and as the family as a whole. As far as my petition, this was a letter I wrote to my family asking their permission to be part of the Dragon Clan. In this I stated what I offered to the household, both emotionally and physically, and that I was willing to learn, be open and try new things. Reading back over it today, I have seen that it did help in my transition of being on my own, to being part of a poly relationship. My petition also stated about limitations. My limitations are those that my Sir or my Ma`am give to me, and although I have a voice in issues that may come up, their voice is the final answer on all things. As a slave I have seen and read many contracts over the years, I agree with my Sir in that most of those are unrealistic. It would be wonderful to be able to do everything that some of the contracts, especially the online contracts have written, but realistically we have work, school, commitments, and sometimes children as well that come up that do not allow all of those pleasures.

Those are the words of our slave, kia. I felt it was better for her to speak her own mind about an issue that is definitely dear to her heart. Just because I write this article doesn’t mean that everything that I say in it is the gospel for all. I look at this article as a way of me stating what MY thoughts are and what the practical side of living my life with children and all the aspects that reality tosses at us. But this is my family and their words are part of my words.

Loopholes occur when a contract is written in such tight constraints that the realities of life have little meaning. Just like when OJ Simpson was asked to put on the gloves, leather gloves, that had been kept in a plastic bad with moisture of the morning dew of that day and whatever blood residue, it did not fit. Now for us who know of leather, a little bit, wet leather shrinks when it dries. But by popular opinion and by appearances what may have been a custom fit glove, no longer did. So the loophole was “if the glove does not fit, you must acquit.”

Some people need, and desire, strong guidelines, it is the basis for most of our lifestyle. Unfortunately this need, when placed on paper, becomes an area of contention. Little ones may look for loopholes to see if their Masters, or Ma`ams, are paying attention. They may be looking for ways to receive administration to their slips or purposeful disregard of the written contract. I have seen slaves who remove their collar and leave it in plain sight just because they are having a temper tantrum, or to test to see how long it takes their Master to notice. Are these tests good, NO, but they are representation of a problem. Whether it is a lack of commitment on either side, a show of will, it still represents a problem.

My personal feeling is that the contract that they may have does not allow for free communication. So in their frustration they communicate by acting out. Testing the boundaries in, and of itself, is not bad; children always want to know how far they can go down the street, just as a slave may wish to know what their limits are. In the process of testing these limits a slave can find if the commitment they are with now is true (as I have said before many come with a past of pain, from failed commitments or wrong choices) usually after a few tests they may find that it is a true commitment. But throw a strict and uncompromising contract in to the works and you will find that the slave feels those small tests can’t be risked and the frustration may build where they will do a larger, more unacceptable test.

My recommendations, for what they are worth, is leave the contracts for the lawyers, ours do not have any real bearings in the court of law anyway. Have set of protocols, house rules, maybe a credo of conduct, a petition or a statement of commitment, for that is what a contract is really saying. Keep things with a bit of flexibility, you never know what is going to come into your world or how it is going to effect it. Let the Universe assist in your guidance.

As always these are my opinions and as such take what you like and leave what you don’t. And remember that life is not as cut and dry as a contract. (Just try cuddling up and reading one at night.) The way I look at my Clan, is that I am the head but the rest are my body, and I can’t go anywhere without them.

Be well and adieu.

Mastery is not knowing all, but knowing what you do not know and seeking that knowledge.
-Dennis Burns

Mastery requires motion: from the quiet motion of stillness to the motion of
constant and vigilant revision of one's understanding of the world around them.
- Dennis Burns