This week, I sat down with English Leather Master Matthew and his sub Paul, a Master and slave who simultaneously live in a TPE (Total Power Exchange) and Romantic relationship. Matthew is a life and executive coach and hypnotherapist who is passionate about working with people who are LGBT+ and kinky. He is a lifestyle BDSM Master and is owner of several slaves across the world. His partner and boy, English Leather Master’s sub (Paul) is a social media consultant and advisor and is currently training to be a fully accredited counsellor and therapist. They are passionate about showing others that it’s possible to live in both a BDSM and Romantic relationship, and I dive into how and why that is for them.
At one point you both said you thought that you could not have a slave and bf in one and sought satisfaction for each in separate people, but now you have exactly that and it works. What showed you that this was possible and what did you learn from it?
slave: Well, for us, part of it is about ego aside, realizing what domination is and what it isn’t. For instance, Sir doesn’t think it’s possible to act within our D/s relationship when we discuss some of those daily activities, like what to eat. Naturally, two people have a say in that.
Master: Doms shouldn’t always make all decisions. It’s about leaving normal life aside and thinking about intention. We’ve also learned about ourselves and our needs from our previous relationships. Our values and desires in those had diverged from our partners quite a bit, consequentially, we now know what we want and what we’re after, we gained life experience. We could then base our relationship, both sexual and romantic on the right fundamentals.
slave: I was previously in a vanilla relationship where I had to hide my kinks. They were part of this secret life of mine which I didn’t discuss at work or with many friends. But now, meeting Master, I’ve learned to completely embrace it! He is someone I could be so honest with, who has taught me it was possible and that i could be proud and open about my kinky side. It’s interesting, one thing i see in the community is a tendency to hide our kinks in public as if we’re afraid of judgement, but if people want to judge or question, they can, it’s just their principles, not ours, they own their judgement.
Master: I learned that I can learn from my sub as well, outside of our power dynamic, like in how he manages our social media accounts, he keeps me in check and balanced online. I learned that I can be humble, open to learning while remaining a Master. And indeed, we are different people, but if our places were reversed in this power dynamic, I think we would act in the way the other person acts. As in, if I was the sub, I would act as my sub does. This is because our underlying values are very aligned, and finding each other on these foundations has taught us we really can make this work, especially having learned in the past what does and doesn’t work for us.
slave: A good leader works with their subordinates towards a common goal, and we work like this. Master can lead, accept guidance from below and still be in charge. ‘Being a Dom is not only about beating an emotionless thoughtless slave, it’s about enabling deeper connections. Our relationship is based on respect for each position.
Do you have any advice for others who are looking for this kind of relationship(s)?
Master: If you’re looking for it, calm down on looking for it. Don’t be desperate for it, but also don’t be complacent in just expecting it to just show up. It’s true, sometimes it shows up when you’re not expecting it, but it’s important to maintain visibility on the scene, show you’re available and what you’re looking for. When looking, always remember honesty and communication are key and always understand and respect boundaries, limits and consent. What makes me walk away as a Dom is a sub who is only after one thing, or only concerned about their own wants. Ultimately, you just need to keep it real, walk in with a clear and honest view of who you are, and know what you want. Communicate this, understand yourself and what makes you tick (if you want to feel owned or humiliated, for example) and do not promise things you can’t fulfil either. You should remain honest at all times, which means if you don’t like something, remember to communicate it. Remember as well, you can’t force this kind of relationship either, things need to flow naturally. If you discover that early on with someone, cherish it! And of course, individually speaking, keep exploring, gain experience, grow on your journey, and learn about yourself, it’s all a step closer to finding what you want!
Tell me more about your protocol.
Master: We communicate and agree on our protocol, but W/we are of course mindful of our surroundings and adjust accordingly. Overall, O/our major protocol mainly involves the following:
- In written communication, slave uses Capital letter S for Sir, and lower case s for slave
- slave will carry bags when possible when travelling
- slave stands on Sir’s right-hand side
- Master will go through doors first
- slave will sit lower than master if possible, especially in bars
- slave gets drinks in bars, but sometimes if it’s more efficient for Sir to get them, He will
- slave chooses his food at restaurants, but Sir orders
- slave is collared 24/7
- slave may bottom for others but not submit to other Doms
- slave may only cum when Master says
- slave will cook while Master relaxes or has a drink and will also clean up (reminder: because he wants to)
- if slave is feeling ill, Sir will step up, it’s a flexible and supportive protocol
Master: Most of the time, W/we’re low to medium level protocol, speaking personally, we simply couldn’t maintain our romantic relationship if we had strict protocol 24/7. For example, Master goes through doors first and slave mostly refers to Sir as Master and not his real name. For us, protocol is not about rules, it’s more about the reasons that those rules are in our protocol. Even without protocol, we do have a sense of respect in place for our respective positions.
slave: One time, Master’s parents noticed that i do everything for Sir and we could see that they wondered why. Also, i was first taught by other Masters to not look a Sir in the eye, but for Master, it’s the most important thing, it’s very important and powerful, especially with play like impact play. Since meeting master, I’ve learned the power of eye contact, and I’ve embraced it.
What’s the difference between a typical session, a special kinky weekend or an average Tuesday evening after work for you two?
Master: Overall, our play is contextually influenced, take three scenarios for example.
In the dungeon – it will be about acts like whipping or a CBT (cock and ball torture) scene. It will be focused on doing the act of play, the power exchange, punctuated with huge amounts of aftercare, and Master getting the next scenes ready. slave likes the headspace and subspace of being in a dungeon controlled with pleasure and pain. and following what’s working, going with that, the flow of the session, planning too much doesn’t work
During a holiday like Folsom, there is less Sadomasochism, it moves more towards a top/bottom dynamic than a D/s one as it’s a multi-day experience. We will still have some protocol and play planned and executed, but it’s different than going to one kink night at a local bar at home. Also, going to these BDSM bars on holidays or events like Darklands feels great and gets slave into the headspace of reaching these safe spaces where they can fully let go and dive into the play.
Then, on a Tuesday after work kind of day Master will sit and read, slave will cook and clean and they share the same food at the same table. slave will do most of the domestic stuff, but there is not necessarily a sexual element occurring, even though the actions at home relate to our D/s relationship and power dynamic.
How public or private are you about your fetish and how do you manage visible daily gear like chastity cages and collars?
Master: My slave is collared 24/7, but there are smaller less obvious collars for different social settings. We adapt our level of protocol to the social setting we’re in. Imagine a Venn diagram (with overlapping circles), where the circle on the left is totally kinky, to include sessions in a dungeon, and the circle on the right is the common day to day life activities that are not kinky at all, like visiting Nana, then the space in the middle is mixed, where we bring them together. That’s like going to restaurants or having dinner together. W/we don’t piss on each other on the streets but we still bring a bit of our kink when we are there. In a totally kinky place like Folsom, it will be a lot of gear, protocol and play. When with my parents, we still have our relationship but it’s not as visible. In mixed situations, my slave will manage the things I don’t want to deal with and he will follow orders and perform duties agreed upon like cooking. W/we also have fun with it all, like when we are in a straight bar, I may piss in a pint glass for slave to drink, or play with slaves nipples when it looks like a friendly hug! We enjoy that kind of stuff a lot.
slave In terms of chastity and bondage it’s mainly about control rather than being locked physically. It’s psychological. i believe the mental chastity is far more powerful, same with ordering me not to move, as opposed to using bondage. O/our relationship is heavily based on respect for each other’s position. Master gives me subtle reminders of my position from time to time.
How do you compartmentalise the difference between Dom/slave and lover when you need to manage conflicts that arise between the two relationships?
Master: W/we don’t compartmentalise, it’s all fluid for us and W/we’re flexible within our relationship in different contexts and social situations. Overall, we do not tend to have a lot of problems, we rarely have conflicts and our protocol is well understood and flexible, as we discussed earlier. At worst, it may be working between two perspectives, here especially, communication is key, it comes down to keeping it real and being honest with each other. The way I see it, If I haven’t said it’s wrong, how will he know it’s wrong? That’s on me to make sure it’s clear. Ironically, slave beats himself up more on missing protocol than I do! For example, if a Dom in a bar was too handsy with slave, I then need to watch out for him to make sure he’s feeling ok.
Master: W/we don’t see our relationship as having to be proportional, it’s not about time or percentages but it’s important to keep it balanced, from time to time, after one thing, do the other thing. It’s more about checking in than about proportions.
slave: It’s not about two opposites or labels, it’s about what works for us.
How do you keep your OnlyFans real?
Master: As an average looking guy with specific fetishes, I generally don’t exist on those platforms, so there’s a niche for more relatable people and to show that there’s life after 25, even if you don’t have a giant cock. One of my super skills as a Dom is I can click into a sub’s fantasy world. I love getting custom vids, even if it’s not my thing. I get off on the fact that they’re getting off on the things they’re into. I like facilitating and creating fantasies. It also gives U/us a reason to go to dungeons and enjoy ourselves. We do what we want to do and help make fantasies come true. W/we enjoy ourselves, W/we are not driven by the money, but of course, it’s a lovely benefit. We also show the aftercare in our videos, which is so important.
Master: Just be real, be yourself and don’t live based on stereotypes. W/we try to show you can be yourself and still be happy.
English Leather Master (Matthew) is a life and executive coach and hypnotherapist who is passionate about working with people who are LGBT+ and kinky. He is a lifestyle BDSM Master and is the owner of several slaves across the world. His partner and boy, English Leather Master’s sub (Paul) is a social media consultant and advisor and is currently training to be a fully accredited counsellor and therapist.
They are passionate about showing others that it’s possible to live in a true loving TPE (total power exchange) loving relationship. They do this through a multitude of channels including their JustForFans/OnlyFans, or their online talks, and their writing. They like to show how BDSM and kink can be fully integrated into the way we live our lives today and how different roles do not have to be viewed as separated.
You may also know them from BDSM and Leather events as they often attend. Look out for them doing live talks at these events soon.
Twitter: EnglishLeatherM, ELMsSub
Instagram: EnglishLeatherM, ELMsSub