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Owner is a term for an individual who has accepted complete responsibility for another individual in the BDSM world. An owner may have ownership of a person identifying as a slave or as a pet.
Despite the connotations of these words, slaves and pets generally enter into a relationship with an owner voluntarily and are free to leave at any time.
An owner governs all aspects of the slave or pet’s behavior, dress, and punishments. These will typically be spelled out in a contract between the owner and the slave or pet prior to any activity between them. For example, an owner may stipulate that a “pet pony” always wears a bridle and hoof boots. The owner of a female slave may insist she always wears short skirts when clothed, for example or that she never wears underwear.
Owners are responsible for administering punishments when their pet or slave steps out of line. Conversely, owners are also in charge of pampering slaves or pets to reward good behavior. Punishments and rewards may be an element of training, which owners are also responsible for administering during daily life.
An owner may give a pet or slave a collar to wear as a symbol of the relationship. A pet or slave may also take on a name given to them by the owner to symbolize their new life under the owner’s control.