CHICAGO – Master/slave (M/s) relationships are usually seen as on the edge of the spectrum of kinky relationship dynamics. They are a small minority in a huge (and sometimes quickly redefined) array of various relationship types. Although small in numbers compared to the greater kink community, Masters and slaves are a growing community; reflecting what seems to be a growing interest and focus on relationships that deal in the transfer of author or the exchange of power.
Conferences that emphasize the M/s or Power Exchange lifestyles have recently seen an increase in attendance numbers. Groups supporting the M/s dynamic are also increasing in numbers as well. Where there used to be only erotica, someone curious about Masters and slaves can find books, blogs and information on the Internet. As a newcomer or just as someone interested in learning It could be very easy to get overwhelmed by what is out there on the internet, which is why the face to face, social resources remain very important for the M/s community.
The first and foremost M/s resource are the “Master And slave Together” (MAsT) groups. You might ask though, “what is MAsT?”
In 1988, Fed Vaselenak and slave michel of San Francisco formed the first MAsT chapter. It was created to provide support for gay men in Master/slave relationships. A few years later, Jack Rinella created the MAsT: Chicago chapter, which marked the first chapter in MAsT outside of the original San Francisco chapter. Over the years, MAsT has grown and matured as an umbrella organization, providing structure and support for chapters and members. As of today, there are well over a hundred MAsT chapters worldwide, as far away as Australia and Great Britain.
Within Chicago, MAsT has enjoyed a continuous presence, although the landscape has changed. The MAsT: Chicago chapter ceased to have meetings in the early or mid 2000s. MAsT: Windy City, formed by Master Gallad and slave kelly, served the pansexual Chicago community from 2008 to 2011. In 2011, Mistress Joanne Gaddy and Min created MAsT: Greater Chicago from the Windy City chapter for the Chicago and surrounding areas. Also in 2011, Master Peter and slave evangeline created MAsT: Buffalo Grove to serve the northern suburbs and far northern IL/southern Wisconsin communities. These two chapters are still in existence today.
The MAsT groups in Chicago are both geared towards supporting those in M/s relationships, those curious about M/s relationships or those who are in Power Exchange relationships. Both chapters are welcoming to people of all identifications and orientations. They hold monthly meetings in private locations and ask for RSVPs for those interested in attending. Both groups’ meetings are discussion groups with topics ranging from “Dynamic Problems” to “How Do We Keep Ourselves In Spirit” to “What Did I Get Myself Into” to “Poly and Ms”. MAsT: Greater Chicago meets on the first Sunday of each month and MAsT: Buffalo Grove meets on the third Sunday of each month.
There are over a dozen operating MAsT chapters in the Great Lakes region including one in almost every major city: Indianapolis, St. Louis, Detroit, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Grand Rapids and Cincinnati, for example. There are others and one of the resources links below will take you to a MAsT chapter listing so that you can see if there is one near you.
Some areas have developed their own groups that are not part of the MAsT organization, but do actively support the M/s and Power Exchange communities. IMAS out of Indianapolis is one such group. They host monthly meetings as well as organize several events throughout the year – the “Red, Black Ball” in June and the “Beat My Valentine” event in February. The IMAS events have classes during the day and a play party at night. Another group out of Iowa is CIPEX. Formed in 2008, they host monthly munches and “dinner/discussions” in/around the Des Moines area. They also host a one day event called “Mischief in May”.
Another avenue that someone might want to explore are discussion groups that provide support for relationships. For example, in Chicago there is the Roundtables, which are supported and conducted by two of the kink/BDSM playspaces in Chicago: The LRA and Galleria Domain 2. These are monthly meetings where the group is divided up among the Masters-Doms-Tops, the slaves-submissives-bottoms, and the switches. The topics are chosen in advance by each group for themselves. These meetings and topics don’t always focus on the relationship dynamics, but they do serve as a valuable place to meet all types of kinky people into all types of relationships and for them to learn and share with each other. The Roundtables meet on the third Saturday of each month.
The Great Lakes region is also host to an event geared specifically towards all types of power exchange and authority based relationships – Power eXchange Summit. The entire weekend is focused on education and support for people who are curious or fully involved in these types of relationships. Masters and slaves can find a tremendous amount of information and networking here. This annual event is held after Memorial Day weekend in Columbus Ohio and is produced by Dan and Dawn, former Great Lakes Master/slave 2010 titleholders.
Other events/venues in the Great Lakes region do provide educational classes on M/s and Power Exchange relationships, including Kinky Kollege in Chicago, MadTownKinkFest in Madison, KinkU in Des Moines and events in other cities. Most of these events are open to what their audience is interested in, so check out your local events. If they don’t have a class or two on Master/slave or Power Exchange topics, ask them to host one! The Great Lakes Den is a great resource to look for local events or events in the region that might be of interest to you for Master/slave education and community building.
On a personal note – I think that the Master/slave community in the Midwest has flown under the radar for a long time. When slave angie and I sought out the Ms community in the mid-2000s, there weren’t nearly the number of groups and resources we have today. We have a lot of wonderful groups and events in the Midwest that we can come together within and begin to forge a supportive family not just within our local cities, but across the Great Lakes region. Angie and I have made it our goal to visit as many states within the Great Lakes region within our title year (as Great Lakes Master/slave 2013) as possible and share and learn from as many groups and events as we can. The knowledge and experience each Master and slave has is a precious thing. It would be a wonderful thing to have each other for support and knowledge among our regional peers. I hope we can, in some way, foster that support among our great region!
- MAsT: International (http://www.mast.net)
- MAsT Chapters in the Great Lakes region can be found here: (http://mast.net/chapters.php)
- MAsT: Buffalo Grove (https://fetlife.com/groups/
- MAsT: Greater Chicago (https://www.facebook.com/
MAstGreaterChicago and https://fetlife.com/groups/ 30204)
- IMAS (http://www.imas-bdsm.com)
- CIPEX (http://www.cipex.org)
- Roundtables (http://lra-chicago.org or http://galleriadomain.com/)
- Power eXchange Summit (http://www.