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This article is written by me – Kim Debron – it is owned by me. If you copy it, please give the credit to me, otherwise you are committing an act of plagiarism – you are stealing my work.

Needs and Wants

We often hear the statement “Make sure you discuss needs and wants in your negotiations”. Obviously having our needs and wants fulfilled is very important for a healthy relationship, however it isn’t that simple.

On doing my research for this topic, I came across a really good article by slave david stein – he was one of the original American gay activists who helped develop safe, sane & consensual - he passed away last year. The article is titled “What a slave needs” and can be found on his website:


Here are a few excerpts from it:

  • someone who's looking to become a slave, or remain a slave, needs to be ruthlessly *selfish* about getting his or her slave needs met. By this i don't mean the basic needs of life for food, shelter, clothing, employment, social contacts, and a degree of affection. We all need that, whether we're slaves or Tops or boys or vanilla. Rather, i mean the things that feed and strengthen a slave's slavery: things like direction, discipline, and service. About these there can be no compromise, because when they are lacking in a slave's life, slavery itself cannot long be sustained.


  • Ideally, what slaves need -- whether they're aware of *wanting* it or not! -- is clear direction, firm goals, consistent rules, unambiguous orders. And it takes a Master with great presence of mind, intelligence, self-control, and self-understanding to provide that kind of environment.


  • a Master who does not notice or care about infractions is one who is shirking His duty toward His slave. It is not necessary to punish, but it is necessary to take notice of the lapse and deal with it in *some* definite way. slaves need to feel the Master's eye on them continually, until it is internalized. If He cannot or will not provide discipline, He has no business owning a slave, just as a parent who will not provide it for a child is unfit for that role.


First, what is the difference between a need and a want?

In my opinion, the difference between a need and a want is:….. one is intrinsic to our health and wellbeing, and the other is like the icing on the cake.  In simple terms, we need water to stay alive, but chocolate just makes being alive more fun!

So in a power exchange relationship, needs and wants might be explained in a similar way, a slave needs things like direction, discipline, rules, service and dominance, but he or she may want unlimited play sessions.       A Master needs obedience, submission and willingness from a slave, but he or she may want lots of play, someone to take to events, and someone to do everything for them.


Do the Master’s needs and wants come before the slave’s and does this change depending on the circumstances, if so how do you decide what takes precedence?

In our relationship, it would be obvious to most people that Sir’s needs are met before mine, most of the time.  I do what he asks me to do, when he asks me to do it, and I think that’s pretty normal in most M/s or power exchange relationships, after all one is the leader and one isn’t, one is in charge and one isn’t.

There is, however, one need of mine that is met first no matter where we are or who we are with, and that is my relationship with my son. Many of you would already know about my son and his muscle disease – because I am not backwards in coming forwards when talking about him….. His condition is such that there are times when he needs me – it might be to get him some food, or to help him with something he can’t manage on his own, it might be to drive him somewhere, but whatever it is, whenever he needs me, he is the priority – he take precedence over everything else in our life. It does not matter what we might be in the middle of, or how important that particular thing might be, he comes first.

So for example, if we were out with friends, and my son messaged me to say he needed help, we would leave whatever we were doing so that I could go to him. It would not matter how much fun we may be having, or who Sir might be talking to, we would leave immediately.

This need of mine is the only one that takes precedence over Sir’s needs – and this was Sir’s decision.


So what happens over time, if needs and wants are not met..

If the needs and wants of the Master and the slave are not met, then I believe the relationship can suffer, and will deteriorate without the basic structure that holds it together. That structure of discipline, rules, dominance and submission needs to be firmly in place all the time, otherwise it the relationship looks and feels just like a vanilla one.

Of course sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that cause changes in a relationship and when that happens, it is important to re-evaluate and discuss how to cope with what is happening, to try and work on a way to still meet at least some of each other’s needs. If you can do that, then the relationship may survive.


Excerpts taken from:

© Kim Debron 2018

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