Bondage and Discipline occur in all forms of lifestyle activity. The experience difference basis is on:
the degree took
the duration prolonged
and the intensity
Sados and Masos
Some individuals are merely into pain, the giving or receiving of it. Some individuals love this, others tolerate and even more, though others wish little or nothing to do with these activities. The individuals involved vary from playing games to the very mild (cuffs and spankings) all the way up to the very severe irons and needles or cutting. Some are involved in just a specific experience while others are making a serious lifestyle commitment. I fall into the latter group.
It Begins with a Relationship
It is the understanding and development of a relationship between a submissive and dominant person that is the basis of most activities present. Vanilla relationships are the same, and trust plays a major role in all human relationships, but in this lifestyle Trust is Paramount. The "slave" voluntarily and consensually gives up their free will to another the "master" to create a stable, safe and worry-free existence. This process takes time and also requires the establishment of a trust to come up with an appropriate and working contract. Many contracts are for a specific term, others are an open end, and still, others have specific exit clauses.
Knowing Supplicant's Motivation
Many times slaves come from threatening existences and want the protection of their masters.
Classic is those who wish to escape extreme poverty, war or other equally terrifying situations.
Others (in the minority) are comfortable and safe in their day to day lives but are stressed in the burdensome professional lives and seek the refuge of being free of making decisions in their private lives.
Others simply wish to further their education or have experiences that would not be available in their normal (?) existence
Experience shows that the vast majority of slaves are actually driven from the latter.
Attitudes between Gaming and Living
Many people (mostly the playing games) view this as solely a sexual activity. Actually to lifestyle aficionados it far more complex and overarching that. There are frequent cases where it is the domination, or control aspects which are the most important and sex is fundamentally only secondary. The norm varies from one extreme to another.
Public and Private Life Delineation
There are usually very detailed, and specific agreements rose that govern the lives in the "home." With slaves who have been or are professionals, there is a clear delineation of private and public lives.
Prenuptials on Steroids
In a lifestyle situation, many factors come into play, down to appearance, communications, forms of address, even the disposition of children. All cases have clear guidelines for sexual, disciplinary and domestic arrangements. Think of it as prenuptial agreement on steroids. No two contracts are the same, but all usually start with the same tenant. My base contract is 40 pages long, I have had ones a short as five pages and as long 80 pages. It is essential to have all agreements vetted by a lawyer and can be deemed enforceable. Many agreements should have specific appendices tuned to the items listed above, and I always start with a Generic form for each engagement.