Mine: What Does Ownership Actually Mean?

I’ve been a Pro Domme for 8 years now and I’ve never had an owned slave. Some of you might think this unusual; some of you will absolutely get why this is the case. I wanted to write a little about my thoughts on the matter and go into why this particular dynamic just doesn’t work for me within my D/s relationships.

For starters, I liken the notion of an owned slave to owning a pet. I have always had pets (at the moment, I have two cats and two snakes) and I enjoy having animals in my life. HOWEVER. They are a huge responsibility. They are a pain in the arse – the cats more so than the snakes, admittedly – and require a lot from me. I am forever cleaning up after them, seeing to their needs, making sure they are fed, they are watered, they are getting out enough, and basically attending to their every requirement. Every. Fucking. Day. Do you really think I want to be doing this for an adult human?!  Ownership for me is a big deal, and I only want to own things that bring me joy. Attending to the needs of another human does not bring me joy. At all. It is why I choose to be single and child-free. I am very independent and I do not relish the thought of being responsible – even slightly – for the needs of another person.

I enjoy sessioning with others, because that is an interaction that is confined within agreed time boundaries and I am paid for it. That’s it. I have no further obligation to them after playtime is over, nor they to me. That’s not to say I immediately forget about them and couldn’t give a shit the second they walk out the door (for clarity: I care about my excellent visitors very much, and I do maintain contact with them outside of the dungeon!), but I don’t like feeling constrained by the expectations of another on a permanent basis. The idea of a person belonging to me just doesn’t sit right with me, because I guess, I utterly abhor the thought of me belonging to anyone else. It feels icky. It feels restrictive. My freedom is of the utmost importance to me and it is already marginally hampered by my bloody adorable but annoying cats – there is simply no room in my life for anyone else to encroach on my time outside of the dungeon!

Photo taken by the incredible and very lovely Fran Kinsella

What does ownership of a sub or slave actually even mean? As I have stated above, I have never done so, so I can’t really offer a definitive explanation – although having spoken to people who have either “owned” subs or been owned themselves, the parameters seem to be wildly different from person to person. This being the case in other types of relationships, I suppose I am not surprised – however there seem to be some very interesting ownership dynamics that I just can’t get my head round.

For instance, at what point does a sub become owned? What changes from being, say, a very regular and long-term client, to an owned sub – what does ownership entail that simply being a regular does not? That they don’t session with anyone else ever again? I know that most, if not all, of my very long-term regulars don’t visit other Mistresses anyway.  If they become owned, do they still pay tribute every single time they visit their Mistress? I’ve heard of instances where some do, and some don’t. To my mind, surely having a more personal relationship, with more access to your Mistress and her life, would incur a higher cost?

I’ve met people who have been owned by many different Mistresses – and I wonder if this doesn’t devalue the notion of ownership? Loyalty is surely part of this dynamic, so how is being able to enter into numerous ownership agreements over time any different to say, simply dating? Is ownership just like dating for D/s relationships, but without the romantic/sexual element?! Similarly, I’ve met Mistresses who own multiple subs – how on earth do you keep on top of them all?! What is it that this label of “ownership” affords the members of the agreement? Do you spend time with them as you would with a romantic partner or friend, for instance going away together, or spending days out together – is that what ownership means? Bringing them further into your personal life? Isn’t this just being a friend, or lover? Are they your regular filming slaves, do they help out with tasks at home? Does it mean that you call upon them whenever you have need of their particular skill set, whatever that may be? Does it mean that they buy every single clip you ever release, or they constantly order customs or cam with you regularly? Is it having someone to accompany you to fetish events, on a leash, like an accessory? Do you have them fund your night out in exchange for a little public playtime in front of one’s peers, simply to declare to the world – I OWN THIS PERSON?! I really don’t know what any of it MEANS!

I suppose to my mind, I imagine ownership to be something akin to a romantic or personal relationship. Perhaps, say, if I were to fall madly in love with someone, and my feelings were reciprocated, and we became an item or a couple or entered into a relationship (to be honest, even considering this hypothetically is making me feel weird) then I suppose I could perhaps consider an agreement whereby said individual is now “owned” by me – in that maybe the boundaries of our union would stop at him visiting other Mistresses for sessions, or filming, or other vanilla romantic or sexual interactions, or whatever we decided those boundaries would be. I of course would still have my freedom in whatever manner I saw fit to define it – and now I am heading down the rabbit hole of describing my ideal relationship, but I digress. (Perhaps I will save that for another blog!) The point I am trying to make, is that such an agreement would have to hold substantial benefits for me that I couldn’t otherwise enjoy or obtain by myself. And, with the majority of these collared relationships, I just can’t see what those benefits actually are.

Under the aforementioned circumstances then yes, I suppose I would consider that to be ownership. But I wouldn’t use that term, as it still doesn’t feel right to me to describe it in such a manner. So, with that in mind, I still don’t understand what the benefits are of an “owned” sub, for the sub or indeed their Mistress. The only thing I can think of is some kind of social approval, the reflected glory of having been chosen by someone that is held in high regard, either by oneself or others. Which is all well and good but for someone like me, who doesn’t give a shit about social approval or what others think of me, that’s not enough for me to take on or collar someone permanently.

I genuinely would appreciate any feedback on this, from those who have indeed owned or been owned – I have tried not to make this blog post sound as though I am scorning or being disdainful about such relationships. That is not my intention at all, I am genuinely interested, as I really don’t comprehend what it actually means. And I am a stickler for finding meaning in things wherever possible! For the most part though, as a perhaps uninformed observer, ownership just seems like a gigantic headache to me. And really, let’s be boringly honest for a second, nobody really owns another human being, in the truest sense of the word – that would be profoundly wrong in the real world in which, sadly, we all have to live. So is it simply an extension of the fantasy that we create within our sessions, that continues somewhat into reality, but still under a veil of play? Answers on a postcard please!

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