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Bambi Bottom is 33 years old and an independent management consultant. She and her husband live in the Bible Belt. This interview was taken from the Lifestyle D&S; chapter of Different Loving: The World of Sexual Dominance and Submission. For full information about obtaining this book, visit our Ordering page.


I am [my husband's] permanent slave. He owns me completely. [At] a specific point in time he accepted me as his slave and from that point onward, knowing fully what I was getting into, I agreed that he would make all the decisions about my life; that my property now became his property; that he can do with me whatever he wants, however he wants. The control started out pretty mild. [Now that] I'm in the third year of this relationship, it's very slowly and gradually become stronger and more encompassing.

I don't think [the average person] would recognize me if he met me, because I am-- and come across as--a very competent, happy individual. I'm happier now than I ever have been. I'm more relaxed and confident than the great majority of people I meet. Most people I meet are living their lives dreaming dreams of what they wish could happen to them, what they wish they could be, and they're not pursuing those dreams. I pursued my dream. I've gone for what I really wanted in my life and I've gotten it.

I used to consider myself to be a [committed] feminist. These days I don't like the closed-mindedness [and] stridency of some feminists. In many ways they come across as just another fanatical group. I'm completely for women's rights in the sense of women doing what they want to do with their lives and having no group, including other feminists, tell them what they must do [or] be. I've read lots of things written by feminists against S&M; and women submissives in particular. They don't like the fact that some women choose to give their power completely to another person. That makes me very angry. It seems that some feminists are [saying] that I must choose their path instead of my path. I have a certain bitterness toward [politically correct] feminists; I consider myself to be a true feminist. I have made my own choices about my life. I have chosen what I know and believe makes me most happy. I am not conforming to anyone's ideal of what I should be. I am a very powerful woman, powerful enough to fulfill my life's dreams, something that few people do. If [someone] chooses to see this as giving in to the patriarchal society, [she is] seeing me on a superficial level and being purposely obtuse. I am a much more powerful woman than [those] who must conform to some feminist ideal.

My earliest feelings about D&S; happened when I was four or five. They weren't fantasies, just feelings. I liked to serve my parents, do little favors for them. I liked to play the subservient role [with] the children that I played with. I organized games. We'd have a little competition, and whoever lost had to be the absolute slave of the winner for the entire day. I'd always make sure I lost! My first D&S; fantasies started when I was about nine and involved humiliation. One I remember is of me in a circus arena, running naked round and round while this swarm of bees chased me [and tried] to get inside my bottom. Everyone in the [audience] was laughing at me, and I was very embarrassed to be naked and very scared and aware of the painfulness of these bees trying to get into my bottom.

I've had long talks with my master about [how my desires formed]. My ideas about this change all the time, but right now I believe it's partially genetics. I don't think the kind of childhood I [had made] me submissive. It was a bad childhood. Unlike many people, I think that my submissive feelings survived despite the abuse. The abuse should have shut me down, should have made me a very different person than I am now.

[As a child] I thought of myself as a special person. I thought I was very intelligent, but I was also very reserved and very shy. I was not like the other girls. I didn't play with dolls. I didn't join cliques. If I had a friend in school, and that was rare, it would just be [one] girl. I wanted to fit in because, in Catholic school, children who were different were ridiculed by the teachers, the nuns, and the [other] children. I hated standing out.

Through my teens and early 20s, I continued to have very lurid S&M; fantasies. When I was 23 I got my boyfriend to act out some D&S; with me. I'd read him parts of Story of O, and that would get him really hot. I told him that I'd like to live out something like that, and one day he took me by surprise. He cut a switch from a tree and tied my wrists to the ceiling and beat me with [it] and did some very humiliating things to me. I loved that. I was never more excited in my life! But the next day the bruises came up on my buttocks, and it scared him off completely. He thought that meant that he was a brutal and evil man, and he wouldn't have anything else to do with S&M.; I ended up staying with him for seven years after that and never could get my S&M; desires fulfilled, although I constantly fantasied about [that episode] when we'd have sex.

I became aware of what I was about the age of 29 when I had gotten on an Anne Rice kick. The [Vampire books] were very romantic, and there was an underlying theme of power in them. I soon came across the Beauty books. That was when a lightbulb went off in my head: I realized that, yes! This is me! I'm submissive. I love S&M.; I would love to live out the things that this woman is describing. I knew I had to seek it out. I knew I had to somehow find other people who were into this. I wasn't the least bit sure of how I could do that, but I knew from then on what I was and what I really wanted.

To be submissive means to be willing to do someone else's will. A feeling of sexual excitement is linked to that. I also get a feeling of doing what's right for me, of being at home, of expressing my true personality. [Lifestyle D&S; also involves] a great deal of trust. [My] bad childhood is not the kind of background that would make you trust anyone. I'm an extremely suspicious person. I have a hard time trusting men in particular. I was raped as a child, and to this day I haven't gotten over this. I have a hatred and fear of men in general. My master is an exceptional man, and it is through his personality only that I am able to trust him to the degree that I do, which is almost absolute. The chains that bind me are not physical. [My husband's] power over me has grown over the three years. It's a very subtle thing. It's not something I can fully explain to someone who has had no taste for it. Sure, I could untie my collar and walk out in the middle of the night. But I won't. It's not a game I'm playing with myself.

I consider myself to be a three-way masochist. I'm a physical masochist: I like pain and I like cruelty in association with that pain. I'm an emotional masochist: I love humiliation, especially degradation. And I'm a mental masochist: I love power; I love someone being in control over me. In a lifestyle relationship, I get all three. I have no rights in this relationship. I don't have safewords. I'm not permitted to leave him, no matter what, unless I clearly and honestly [think] that I [am] in danger. Every relationship is different, of course. I own no property any more, except for a black-leather rose which he gave me. That's a tender joke between us: I have one possession, and it's this little rose I keep on my vanity table. I'm told when to wake up in the morning. I'm told when to go to sleep. When I'm not working, he gives me my orders for the day. I'm allowed to make suggestions about what I'd like to get done, but I can't insist. The final decision about what I do on any day is up to him. But often my suggestions are accepted.

In the evening I prepare his bed, get him water to drink, turn off lights, shut the windows. When I get into bed, I'm tied to the bed by a collar and a rope. I also have to wear a mask and earplugs at night, so there's some sensory deprivation. I do most of the housework. When my master is in a mood to wash dishes, he will, but it mostly falls on me. I have to ask permission to eat, to drink anything except water, to use the bathroom, to make purchases. I carry no money except what he gives me. I turn my paychecks over to him. He handles all the finances. I have to curtsey upon entering and leaving his presence. I must come promptly when he calls. As far as my career is concerned, he decides which [freelance] contracts I accept, although I'm allowed to give my input. He takes [it] into consideration. I have to keep my pussy shaved. I have to exercise three times a week to keep in shape. [Oh, and] when he pinches my nose, I have to say "Beep! beep!" [So] that's what my [daily] life is like, what it's like being a slave.

My sex life is completely controlled by him. I'm not allowed to touch myself without his permission. And he gives [it] rarely. I used to masturbate three or four times a day--that was my routine. Not any more. We do the things that he likes to do and I give my input. He controls what we do during [sex], but the most powerful aspect of that control is the control over my orgasms. If he gives me permission at a time when I'm not particularly in the mood, I [still] must come.

If I disobey him, I'm punished in a way I don't like. Not with fun punishment, but with bad punishment. [I get punished] when it's conscious and willful, like when I'm very angry at him and I go to the refrigerator and take out a bagel and eat it because I'm pissed at him. I always confess to him when I do those kinds of things. And I get punished. [But] when it's an emotional problem or something that he feels I'm not completely in control of, he will not punish me. Instead, we try to get to the roots of the problem. That works very successfully. My strong feelings about fairness and rights come from my childhood. I was treated unfairly and inconsistently and hurt a lot--physically and mentally.

One of the hardest things is [that] I have to honestly tell him exactly what I'm thinking whenever he asks. That's hard sometimes, because I'm a very private person. I also [have to] tell him my dreams every morning. I've always been very independent. It has taken me a long time to get used to being under this much control, to having my desires thwarted at times. The biggest sorrows that I've experienced as a permanent slave have had to do with the resistance that I've experienced and acted out in response to this control. I've had particular difficulty with aerobics. I'm a lazy person. I don't like to exercise, yet my master insists I do that for my health. I get angry and emotional and stomp my feet and throw tantrums.

[There are] other issues that have come up that I've felt weren't fair for me or weren't within his right to impose upon me. Fairness and rights are a big deal with me. It's taken me a long time to learn that I have no rights as a slave. I'm still learning. Resistance is particularly ugly. You treat your master like you would never imagine a slave should treat a master or a human being should treat any other human being! I get angry; I say vicious things. I fight him with all my might. In the end, though, we talk and we talk about why I'm resisting. We talk about the struggles that are involved. In the end I [always] end up submitting to his will.

I get this perverse delight in giving up my power completely and knowing that I am absolutely controlled by someone else. I mean perverse in a good sense. It's this tingly feeling in my body, this shiver of delight. Another delightful part of [our] lifestyle relationship--the things I'm describing are very individualistic; they probably [don't] resemble anyone else's relationship--is I like being little. I don't mean infantilism, but I like the aspect of our relationship in which my master [is] older--he is physically older than me by about 13 years and mentally older than me by about 50 years--[and] more experienced. I see him as a mentor and as almost a father figure. I like being small and childlike in his presence. That's very pleasant to me.

In this relationship, I've become a lot more emotionally healthy. My master respects individuality. He's always respected my personality and not tried to crush it, although he certainly has the power to do so. He's got a very powerful personality himself. [When my master makes a bad decision], it's no big deal. I may get angry or upset, but he admits his mistakes. We talk about it, and it's over in a few hours. [Sometimes] I argue with him [vehemently] about what I think is the right way to do things. Sometimes he changes his mind; often he doesn't. He lets me get angry and express my reasons over and over, ad nauseam. But in the end, he decides.

The specific sexual acts that we do I imagine are similar to scenes that single S&M;'ers or casual S&M; acquaintances perform. But I know he's my permanent master, and I know that after [it's] over, I'm going to wake up tied to the bed. Obedience is a big part of the lifestyle relationship for me. The more obedient I become, the more delightful the experience becomes for me. I think a person who is not in a permanent relationship doesn't get that same feeling of obedience and joy. They [may] experience pain [or] humiliation, but it isn't an ongoing thing that becomes deeper and deeper. My sexual feelings continue to intensify, and my feeling of being owned [grows] deeper.

I love serving my owner. I love doing things for him. I love having routines and duties that I must perform every day. I love when he dresses me up in this obscene french maid's uniform he bought for me and I become "Fifi," the French maid. My service to him takes on a lot more formal and ritualized aspect when I'm Fifi. My curtseys are much deeper and more frequent. If I drop something, if I misplace something, if I'm not quick enough, Fifi gets turned over his knee and gets a very painful beating. I love being a French maid! I like to be whipped and beaten in various ways. I really love being caned. We don't do a lot of bondage. Instead, my master likes me to hold myself in place. I love having to maintain that position no matter how painful the cut of the crop or the bite of the cane. I love oral sex. In S&M; [it] is real different than [in] vanilla. You're servicing your master. You're very aware that you're trying to please him. [With] my ex-husband, I [was] aware that I was in control, orchestrating his feelings and his orgasm. With my master it's the opposite. He's controlling my head and my mouth and telling me exactly what to do, and I'm trying to serve him in the best way possible.

I love having my face slapped. Hard. There's a shock that runs through me when my master stares into my eyes and slaps my face. I feel it in my pussy. It's a wonderful tingly feeling. I like being shaved. Sometimes my master shaves me. It's very humiliating. I distinguish between good embarrassment and bad embarrassment. Bad embarrassment would be where your boss calls you into her office and yells at you in front of other employees and makes you feel like shit. Humiliation and good embarrassment usually involves some kind of exposure, physical or emotional. I like having my bottom exposed and talked about and played with. I like it when my master beats me and I squirm around on the bed and inadvertently expose my vaginal lips and shake and squirm in all kinds of embarrassing ways. Humiliation is a wonderful thing. [In S&M;] you know that the person isn't doing it to hurt your feelings. A masochist gets sexual excitement from experiencing physical pain and humiliation [is] a form of emotional pain. There's a small element of exhibitionism in humiliation, but true exhibitionists don't like to be humiliated. They like to show off the parts of their bodies that they're proud of. In humiliation, you get parts of your body exposed that you like to keep private. It gives me a real thrill to be embarrassed in [that way]. I blush; I giggle; I turn red. If I had my own free choice, I wouldn't walk around with the bottoms of my Doctor Dentons undone.

[This is the first time] I'm close enough with someone [that I can] loosen up and relax and be silly. I see the part of his personality that is fun and playful. I've become more relaxed and more myself than I have in any other relationship with any other person in my life, including my family [and] an ex-husband who I was with for [over a decade]. If you're with the right person, miracles can [occur.]

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