The Mirror of Their Eyes

Aiden, my delicious and delightful human Property, my Boy, my Treasure… they just texted me.  Now, for those who know me, you should know that this is not a new thing.  Last month we crashed my phone having not cleared out the over 5000 messages he and I had sent back and forth in under 4 months.  When systems say “unlimited text messages,” we take them up on the offer.

“She [a friend at University]can’t make it [to our Ownership ceremony] but was asking questions about D/s and I was faltering at explaining it well enough to her. [cut] What I couldn’t explain was the why on power dynamics. What it gives us. It’s hard to explain, at least for me…”

In less than 6 days time, Aiden will be my Property, formally, and this week we prepare for our ceremonial handfasting, commitment ceremony, and bonding rite.  They already are, but this notion sits hard with some of his friends, and a handful of mine.  Property?  How can you own someone?  How can you want to be owned?  Is this some sort of abuse?  What the hell?

Most of the tension I run into from people around the notion of human ownership comes in two different forms.  The first is a classical/historical objection- that I am eroticizing and enabling my journey built upon the suffering of others.  Let me be clear- the reality of my relationships has little relevance to the historical or current trade in humans done through colonial oppression or the suffering of populations treated en-masse as a form of currency.

The second objection comes from the concern around objectification.  If someone is property, they must thus be not valued.  This is something I have written about a few times in such posts as this and this.

But to summary what those posts mention- we live in a culture that does not value objects.  That builds cars for pre-constructed obsolescence, throws trash “away” and if a machine is broken goes and gets a new one.  I am an animist, and thus choose instead to value the objects in my life fully.  For all that they give me.  I am grateful for this chair I am sitting on, which is fulfilling its dharma, its purpose, to the fullness of its “chairhood.”  I am grateful this chair is here for me, because without it my body would likely be in pain, bent over working on my laptop on the ground.

By being in my life, this chair makes my world a better place.  I will leave this chair in a few hours, when I leave this coffee shop, but it still made a difference in my life.  This laptop, Thoth, however- they and I have a long-standing relationship, and I am delighted that they work so well so often.  When I upgrade, I pass on my old laptops to friends who will love them.  I clean them up and pass them on.  I help them live as long and as useful as possible.

I think these two points are important to understand about me and my journey in D/s (dominance and submission based relationships).  There are individuals in non-egalitarian relationships who use it as a tool of oppression, sorrow and pain.  The same is true of egalitarian relationships- where trained helplessness, fear of loss of love, and emotional blackmail are used between equals at a depressing high rate.

So, if conscious construction of relationship is your preferred tool for building a dream dynamic of any sort- why power exchange?  Why D/s?

There are two sets of answers for me.  The first set is D/s in general:

  • The capacity to develop trust that literally can involve having someone trust me with their life
  • The erotic allure I find in working with taboo desires
  • Feeling like I am fulfilling part of my core needs, wants and desires
  • Breaking the mold in my head of what I think relationships “should” look like, and thus work towards finding ones that actually work for me
  • The opportunity to serve as guide, mentor and teacher in a relationship context
  • Sharing a journey with a partner into the shadow
  • Creating intimacy through the yin-yang charge of the receptive and the active
  • Letting someone into my energetic body through their re-writing as literally being a part of me, and through the association, being able to do stronger magical and energetic working with walls dropped
  • This is part of who I am in this incarnation
  • Anchoring joy into my body through physical and energetic disparity
  • Each partner being fully present in their roles, and creating a conduit for passing power back and forth
  • Acknowledging and embracing my narcissism in a healthy manner
  • Having human filters for my energetic needs
  • Helping people reprogram themselves by having them hand me their access codes, their desires, and letting me sit down and re-write
  • Diving into the underworld of the psyche and coming back
  • As above- so below: By holding those in charge to me with grace and honor, the world will hold me in grace and honor

The second set of answers is what I get out of my specific dynamic with Aiden:

  • Because they look amazing on their knees
  • Knowing that I am fulfilling part of a sacred contract with the facets of divinity we each serve
  • Seeing the mirror of their eyes and knowing I can become the being they reflect back to me
  • The sexual charge of their pleas and delights alike
  • Knowing I can tangibly help them achieve their goals by taking over the reins when they need my strength
  • The power of letting them be the walls to my fortress from time to time
  • Joyous celebration and adventure
  • They are a delicious font of attention to drink from
  • Being a part of a tribe and family, as it’s mortal head (with all the joy and challenge that holds)
  • Knowing that together, with clearly delineated roles, we can serve the world better and accomplish greater things than we could otherwise
  • Seeing them grow- and feeling pride in it… for their successes are my successes
  • I have a walking rolodex full of useful information and skills- and I need more than two arms to do my Work on this plane and beyond
  • Because the wardrobe and formality hot
  • A Priest cannot serve their congregation alone
  • Because they are a Treasure, and caring for them is a sacred trust

There are many of these that I have found within egalitarian relationships.  Equal partnerships.  Though in reality, for myself, even in my partnerships between equals, I enjoy knowing the roles we can each fit… even if there are no words for what it is they are.  My inner pop-psychologist could argue that it’s from growing up in a military household, or that unstructured things have no rules and I am comforted by rules and systems.  But what delights me more is to know that this stuff works for me.

I am a healthier, more trusting, more loving person… by seeing how the people in my world fit into my world.  That I have had a Slave, a Hound, a Girl, and more over the years.  That each fit in a delicious and unique way in my world, and helped me grow in the fields that were energetically the compliment to what they met me with.  The same is true for when I had a Spouse- I grew as the compliment energetically to what that individual brought to the table.

As my Treasure, Boy, Property, Presadi, Pup, Pony, Beloved, Lover, Acolyte- Aiden is helping me grow as a Caretaker, Dragon, Owner, Daddy, Sir, Priest, Handler, Lover, Beloved, Guru, Teacher.  They hold up the mirror of their eyes, and I am reminded of my Godhood, my power, my potential, my role on this planet.

Does that mean that all D/s is like this?  Nope.  Each relationship is unique and beautiful, based on who the players in the play are today.  Tomorrow it may look different… but for today, this is right.  So right.  For me.


Lee Harrington

Lee Harrington is an internationally known sexuality, relationships, and personal authenticity educator. Having taught in all 50 states and in 6 countries, he brings a combination of playful engagement and thoughtful academic dialogue to a broad audience. An award-winning author and editor on gender, sexual, and sacred experience, his books include “Traversing Gender: Understanding Transgender Journeys,” and "Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond," among many other titles. He has been blogging online since 1998, and been teaching worldwide since 2001. Welcome to his world, and your chance to expand your mind and heart alike.


  1. I love you, Sir.

    So. very. much.

  2. Many blessings for you both. Mazel tov.

  3. Pingback: Fear of Commitment » Graydancer

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