F/m Relationships & Sensible Written Agreements
Start with a short contract and build gradually. That makes sense.
The good news is that, while marriage is traditionally defined by our society as permanent, with divorce made difficult on purpose, a slave contract (being unenforceable at law anyway) can, easily, be a “trial marriage” sort of thing.
Yes, that’s right. No court will compel two people to obey the terms of a slave contract. Only the respect of the two for each other will do the trick. Once that respect disappears, forget it!
So, a short-term contract, maybe even 24 hours or a weekend, is good to start. At the end of that period, start over at square one. Renegotiate between equals, and sign (or not sign and go your separate ways) a new one for longer: a week, perhaps.
During these “trial periods,” both are working out their willingness to “play the game.”
Renegotiation, with frank discussion, must accompany any mutual decision to extend the basic arrangement. This is not a matter of legal anything, because no law is involved here (except as may be coincidentally included in the contract: e.g., no permanent injury or death may be caused).
After a 24 or 48-hour contract, then a week, then a month, perhaps then 3 or 6 months, then a year, then, if all that seems comfortable on both sides of the agreement, 3 or 5 years. After that, both will know if they can “take it” — and want something semi-permanent, say, 10 years.
It’s important, also, to include an understanding of what happens if either party — but particularly the Owner — dies. Don’t panic: it happens to everyone sooner or later, and even the most perfect divine and omnipotent Mistress is not immune. This could take the form, for instance, of “leaving” Her slave property to another Mistress — or manumitting it back to human status, which may or may not be too much of a psychological shock. Again, this sort of thing is outside testamentary law as much as it is outside contract law, so it’s enforceable only by individual faith and trust. Whether or not to include provisions for selling the slave is one of many matters for pre-signing negotiation, along with punishment limits and so forth.
Only after at least a year, one would think, can a slave truly trust its Owner to use Her judgment and rely on Her mercy.
Discussion and negotiation must be open and free during the preparation of a new and presumably longer contract. That agreement may or may not, as negotiated, include safewords and provision for discussion and amendment during the period of its existence, and may or may not include a provision for dissolving the agreement sooner that the end contemplated.
However, it is likely that the basic agreement will say, in effect, that once it is signed and perhaps consummated by a collaring ceremony, the slave surrenders all rights as a human being to the Owner, except for specific exceptions written down in the document.
Once it’s signed and the collar locked, there is no more discussion. The slave will still beg for mercy, but the final decision rests with the Owner. The slave can say, “If You please, Mistress, the agreement says …” but Her judicial interpretation rules. As the old joke says, a slave has the last word in this sort of discussion, and that word is “Yes, Mistress.”
Again, it’s not a legal or enforceable contract. If the slave “escapes,” no police will return it to its Mistress (we settled that in 1865, remember). But it does have the advantage of clarifying the understanding of two people, one that places itself totally at the disposal and command of the other — Who, in Her turn, is morally obligated to care for Her slave. Whether or not the BDSM community as a whole would “enforce” such a contract is a wholly different discussion.