The Benefits of Silence

When I was fifteen, I decided to take a week long vow of silence for a school project.  It required a bit of negotiating with other teachers, and writing was deemed necessary, but a week without speech was deemed doable.  I carried a small makeshift whiteboard mostly to maintain participation points in class, attend extracurriculars, order lunch in the cafeteria, and talk to my parents; a note on the back quickly explained the project in case of question. 

I had no strong urge to break my silence, though I remember once I started to speak, forgetting as I was startled.  (I believe it was an exclamation as someone dropped something). 

The silence gave me a week of focus.  When other people spoke, I wasn’t necessarily expected to respond—they understood the awkward effort and timing of writing out a reply on a whiteboard, so unless they truly wanted to hear what I had to say at length, they settled for my nodding and smiling.  Not listening to reply, I listened to listen and got to hear what they had to say without my planned response playing over it.  In some cases, maybe what they had to say when they didn’t have to fear an immediate reply.  It was an important experience for me, both then, and now—as a slave whose response might not even really matter to begin with. 

Since conversation wasn’t available as an easy pastime, I dove into my schoolwork and personal writing and reading.  Words were and are a huge part of my life.  I’m a ten time NaNoWriMo winner (four of them before this vow); large amounts of words are my thing. There seemed to be more time to spend with my words, so to speak, in my favorite forms, when I wasn’t using them for speech.  

In some mindfulness pieces I read, including BDSM ones, there’s a tactic mentioned called choosing silence.  At a time when you could speak, choosing silence.  This can be an act of kindness—if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.  As a slave, it can keep you out of trouble.  But it can also be an act of purely mindfulness—stop thinking about what you have to say back; just listen.  Often, if you don’t listen just to reply, that eventual response is something slightly different and more insightful. 

My silence that week also created a bit of a frame for when I did bother writing something out on the whiteboard.  If I bothered, it seemed important, and people often read whatever it was twice.  On my side, I was more mindful of my words—which is a good skill to retain as a slave with speech protocols—and was a lot less negative—a good thing in general. 

A friend from the scene once commented that he sometimes didn’t know if I was actually as knowledgable as he thought I was, or if I was simply good at not talking about things I didn’t know about.  Funny how even the admittance of not knowing, saying I don’t know; tell me more or I don’t have enough information for an opinion; I’ll have to look into that can somehow make it sound like you know more than throwing out guesses does.   

Think of a book or show where the author wants to show a character is unintelligent or not knowledgable—they almost always have to do so through having the character speak.  It is a very hard assumption to get from silence.  It is also hard to convey a specific strong opinion or passion of theirs when it is buried in endless dialogue—though that can be an interesting characterization choice. 

This can all be achieved without even a short term vow of silence.  Listening primarily to hear people, not just to form a reply, means you will hear what they are saying and not what is easy to answer.  Choosing a moment of alone time lets you process.  Not talking just to talk clears time and energy for projects.  Admitting what you don’t know adds credence to what you do claim to know.  Focusing on talking about what you know and care about will bring more passion and personality to a conversation. 

Just a few words on a lack of words.  

The Contract Post

This post is about detailed M/s contracts that outline relationship expectations, using my own as an example and focusing on what goes into it.

So, let’s get started.

My M/s contract opens with a brief section on the contract itself with a few other miscellaneous details tucked in.

It states that “this contract” supersedes all other versions of this contract once it is signed. The contract will stand for a one year term, at the end of which it can be renewed as is or with edits.

This does a few things. It takes the power out of the old contracts and makes it clear which one we’re going by. Having a specific term length for it helps remind us to re-visit it and see if we need those edits (a year currently works for us, but this definitely varies for different people).

This section also states what the contract is for. In our case, “a 24/7 live-in Mistress/slave dynamic.” This makes the scope clear and features our main roles. It goes on to say that I am owned and collared, as that’s kind of a distinct status in itself. It also specifies our vanilla label, married.

For us, this section includes a brief statement that’s basically “we’re monogamous,” and what that means to us (I think we go by a pretty standard model). I will say that if a relationship’s exclusivity arrangement is much more complex than that, it might warrant a section of its own elsewhere. For us, it would be overkill.

The next section is “Schedule”. It covers a few things.

Meta Sunday is what we call our weekly check-in that’s mostly for planning. We go through a list of questions, such as “what was great this week” and “what are we looking forward to next week”. Then we review our shared Google Calendars, and anything else of importance. Every Sunday after brunch.

Mondays at noon we do a scene.

Tuesdays at noon we spend undistracted time alone together for at least an hour, doing a fun, non-sexual activity.

Maintenance discipline is every Friday right after brunch, defined as private and non-sexual, a spanking with what we call the discipline wand (given on bare skin, OTK). Usually beginning and ending with strokes counted in the format, “One, thank you, Mistress, please may I have another?” and usually with an uncounted section in the middle.

Fridays right after dinner, pedicure for Mistress given by me.

Saturdays, a standing invite to come over to our closest friends and family.

Big events: a bit about making effort to celebrate birthdays and major holidays together, and who handles anniversary plans on which year (we split it up by odd/even-numbered years).

Next big section: service.

This section opens with a line that basically boils down to “slave does as Mistress says”. It’s brief, but important, because it allows for flexibility.

It then goes on to define general expectations, bullet point lists of “morning tasks”, “evening tasks”, and tasks by iterations ranging from daily to annual and a section for “other”.

Examples include doing my exercise routine and making the bed in the morning, serving brunch at 9:30, serving dinner and a snack to take upstairs at 6, and then writing my slave journal entry, turning down the bed, and cleaning the kitchen again at night. There are various cleaning and plant and pet care tasks (daily), shopping planning (weekly), changing the air filters (monthly), and rotating the mattress (quarterly). This is a very small selection of examples, but you get the idea.

Then we go to the “Rules and Protocols” section. There’s a “does not apply in vanilla company” sub-section. The most key thing overall is probably “speak respectfully and honestly” to her at all times. There are other notes on everything from asking her permission to leave her presence (and asking if there’s anything else I can do to be of service, and curtsying), to notifying her if I’m leaving the house and seeking permission for more than a walk/notifying her when I’m coming back/keeping her posted and making sure she can track my location via FindMyFriends, to daily bed leashing protocols, to not sitting on the furniture or changing position on the floor without permission, to not locking interior doors, to asking permission to make phone calls (to prevent her yelling, “Slave!” across the house while I’m on the phone with a vanilla person), to how to answer orders or permission grants/denials (“Yes, Mistress” and “Thank you, Mistress”), to asking permission to shower and the inspection routine after. There’s a most used slave positions guide as well that is incorporated into a lot of those examples. Again, just a small selection.

Then there’s a uniform section, which outlines my daily uniform. I’ve spoken about that before here.

Finally, we have a facing issues/dissolution section. It lays out a written report system for upsets and that Mistress will use punishment at her discretion.

It also says that I will not invoke safewords, limits, relationship termination, or any other form of refusal; it notes that the contract is a tool of communication for current understandings and is not enforceable from my side. Mistress “may verbally make exceptions to, add, remove, or change its contents, and will endeavor to maintain the overall integrity of the agreement as a matter of honor rather than due to enforceability.” If she chooses to dissolve the dynamic, she “agrees to do so in a reasonable manner after due communication, and be open to ongoing discussion on further agreements”.

Other than that, it’s a formatting and signatures game.

One note: the vast majority of M/s contracts are not legally binding. There may be some relevant legal paperwork you can do under vanilla terms, but odds are slavery is not legal where you are. That means these contracts are usually more honor-bound than anything else, but hopefully you’re entering this contract with someone honorable.

Another note: to keep things simple, we aimed to keep any anticipated life changes in mind while writing, and keep certain things, like tasks, as vague as still very reasonable in case a detail changed. We considered it important to point out when and what kind of exceptions could be made throughout the contract.

And so you have it, the (“obligatory” for someone who writes on M/s) contract post.