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A Master is a term used to describe a revered d-type and is often used a variety of ways. Most often this term is used to refer to the dominant person in a Master/slave relationship, usually defined as a 24/7 TPE relationship that is greatly respected within the local BDSM community.

Synonyms may include: Owner, Mistress, Dominatrix, Dominant or others depending on how the term is being used. The term Master is often used as a masculine, while Mistress is used for the feminine, however this convention is not universal.

Variable Parameters

The term Master may refer to...

  • a gender-independent status role that is mostly used only in reference to males. There is not otherwise a male equivalent. The female equivalent is Mistress or possibly Dominatrix to indicate a professional female Master. The term describes someone who believes their role orientation is that of a person who directs others, especially those that identify as slaves.
  • an honorific used strictly for a scene or fantasy role play to indicate one that has control over another or others, especially in a professional session.
  • The owner of a slave; the head of a household in some styles of D/s and M/s, especially those groups of people identifying as a House.
  • someone recognized as incredibly skilled and talented; someone who has mastered a specific skill set in regards to BDSM such as a Rope Master.
  • one whose teachings or doctrines are accepted by followers; an original manifestation from which copies can be made.
  • The owner or keeper of a pet play animal: The dog ran toward its master. Also called a handler.
  • One who has control over or ownership of something: the master of a dungeon.
  • Used as a title for a person who serves as the head or presiding officer of certain societies, clubs, orders, or institutions: The Master of the Collaring Ceremony.
  • someone who may or may not have earned his or her title from a community recognition or a regional Leather contest.
  • someone who has titled themselves as a Master without meeting any exterior qualifications.


In many cases there are claims that a Master must have "X" trait or quality in order to be able to control or direct another person, but due to the varied nature of what constitutes being a Master between each individual, what those things are, how they might apply, and their degree of importance can vary drastically as there is no one true way to be a Master. In most cases these lists simply mirror what it means to be an exemplary human being with a strong Values System, the desire and motivation to constantly improve, and the ability to perform the function of a Master with expertise: the ability to control and direct another person.

Some commonly emphasized values consistent with best practices concerning a Master may include but are not limited to: (in no particular order)

  • Honorable behavior in word and deed.
  • Is in touch with their wants and needs; gives clearly stated expectations, orders and instructions.
  • A clear understanding of their own personal limitations and failings while consistently seeking to learn more and better themselves.
  • The ability to respect and forgive the personal limitations and failings of those that serve them while still helping them push towards and achieve self betterment.
  • Possession of sound judgement, logic, reliability and the ability to keep their personal affairs in reasonable order.
  • An amazing degree of control of temper and impulse.
  • Recognizes both service and Mastery as callings worthy of respect.

Master Milestones

Within the context of a live-in 24/7 TPE relationship it can be hard to assess one's progress as a Master since each M/s relationship is decidedly different. Consider using the Master Milestones[1] sheet supplied by the MsDC[2] to self assess and help provide you with some direction on deciding how best to move forward with your household.