There are different types of serving and different levels of service. Everybody serves to some degree. The CEO serves the stock brokers, the administrators and field workers serve the CEO. A maid serves her boss. A student serves a teacher. A slave serves a Domme. There is nothing inherently bad or demeaning about service. If one feels humiliated or embarrassed, it is something one has added to the experience, just as one can add pride to a job well done.
It is always good to be clear on terms. I always find it helpful to review a term’s full meaning and origin in a dictionary. When I speak of service, of being in Service to an Owner in the BDSM lifestyle, the term’s definition, as
Definitions from Webster’s Online dictionary that apply to bdsm service:
Main Entry: 1ser•vice
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French servise, from Latin servitium condition of a slave, body of slaves, from servus slave
1 a : the occupation or function of serving b : employment as a servant c : work done by one person or group that benefits another
2 a : the work performed by one that serves b : Help, Use, Benefit, Assist c : contribution to the welfare of others d : disposal for use <i ‘m entirely at your service>
4 : the act of serving : as a : a helpful act b : useful labor that does not produce a tangible commodity — usually used in plural c : SERVE
5 : a : a set of articles for a particular use < a silver tea service> b : be used by; as of a utility
10 : the act of a male animal copulating with a female animal
It is my observation there are levels of service, like an onion has layers. Service requires work. Being on your game requires being mindful of what you are comfortable with, and stretching those limits. To reach the level of experiencing my submission while being in Service to an Owner I must care about what I am doing and believe it makes a difference to the person i serve. When carrying out assignments, tasks, projects, being in Service to an Owner means knowing I am a reflection of Master and the job done must represent Him and honor Him. I carry out my projects, homework and tasks in a manner I know He would be proud of, keeping to the intention (context and content) with which the assignment was given in focus.
To continuously grow in the depth of my submission and stretch those limits, I’m speaking of levels of respect, honor and regard while practicing consensual service and stretching those limits. If you are a person whom brings your Owner morning coffee – naturally, while it is kind and caring and can be thought of as natural submissive service, bringing it to a meaningful conscious level of consensual service might be bring Master’s coffee on a silver platter. Then bring it on a silver platter and curtsy before you set it in exactly the place requested. Then bring it on a silver platter, fall to your knees and graciously set the cup in the space requested. These are techniques to bring consciousness to your actions, reminding one of your place and your regard for the person you serve. These techniques can keep a simple act meaningful and not falling into routine. The real charm is going back to step one with all the regard you held in your heart performing step three.
This is not to say that I promote a delusional life of living a fictional book of Gor or The Marketplace or Sleeping Beauty. I don’t think a person can suspend reality 24/7 for a lifetime to live that way. It might be a cool escape or interesting experience for up to a week or two. The amount of energy it would take me to be that mindful, to suspend reality that far would leave me in a puddle of tears after a while. At least knowing there was a time cap to the suspension would give me something to cling to when the going got rough. Perhaps there are better people than me out there that can do his, but I’m thinking this isn’t any different that living a Klingon lifestyle or Dragon Prince lifestyle or any other fictional book you prefer.
And what about when the going gets rough? What about when Mr. Master of the Universe starts looking rather Frog Prince-y?
More and more, one realizes that this is a small community. We pass each other around because our relationships don’t last years and years and years. I’m not sure what the average vanilla relationship length of time is, but ours seem shorter, especially if one reads the relationship forums on bdsm sites. eek. I wonder if the connection to each other is less than 7 people without using the Kevin Bacon factor people use in that game to connect actors in movies.
If you ask the average smart slave, why are you here, the answer given is “to please Master”. It is my understanding that a service slave has to wrap oneself around the concept that “I am here serving because it pleases me to please someone”. Day in and day out you have to be here for you, because it pleases you because you have a need to please. Your Owner gives you the opportunity to experience pleasing, serving and the opportunity to experience your submission rather than compliance.
Make a list of what offering service does for you. What are the rewards for you?
just like seeing *that* smile
I experience not being at the effect of my moods and feelings
I become an asset to the person I serve
I please my Master to strengthen our relationship
When the going gets rough, I suggest you look at your list of why you are doing this. Find an answer that gets you through that day. There are periods when Being in Service is a day to day act, just like any other relationship.
Another aspect of Being in Service, something to ponder BEFORE you accept service to a Master, you need to be honest with yourself and clear with Master as to whether this a trade deal or not. I don’t think there is anything wrong with bartering as a submissive. Quite frankly, this is what keeps me in the submissive category and not slave material. Bartering relationships have terms such as:
I’ll serve you while you teach me how to throw a single tail.
I’ll serve you as long as we have hot sex.
I’ll serve you as long as you teach me how to master Photoshop.
Be honest, make an agreement, have integrity with yourself and your motives or don’t serve that person.
I hate suffering. I’m definitely not up for long suffering. If I was waking up every morning feeling my life is screwed, I’d be pondering the source of lack of health/sanity/energy/whatever knowing the universe was hitting me with a clue by 4 that the integrity of my life was in the shit hole. There isn’t anything wrong with saying: this is what is true for me, this is where I’m at. I’m not the Slave of Fictional Book creation. I’m not the Slave of Bondage dot com who loves offering service exactly the way everyone else in this community says I’m suppose to offer service. I’m (fill in the blank), I offer service because (fill in the blank) and what I want out of this relationship is (fill in the blank). That will keep you from waking up feeling your life is screwed, I guarantee. And if you change and grow and find your needs have changed, be honest about that.
Yes, there are proper ways to ask to speak freely and ask when your Master has time to discuss a topic with you.
If you know what you want, you can communicate it clearly. AND if one knows what one wants you have a much better chance of the universe serving it up, so you better want what you say you want.
What about those days when you are in this relationship with honesty and integrity, and trust and obedience and submission and surrender and all of a sudden Master does or says something that makes you blink and think “Who are you, and what did you do with Master?” What about those Frog Prince Days? May I Suggest,
The Cheat Sheet check off List:
Have a positive attitude. Start with a thought with a positive view.
Have you kept yourself healthy? Are you having negativity because of a blood sugar drop or you forgot your medication or you didn’t exercise?
Give your Master a break. You give your best friend a break, give Master this one.
Ask yourself, if I made an attitude adjustment, will this make a difference? Think of yourself as having the power to change a negative cycle.
It takes courage to serve. If you don’t have enthusiasm at this moment, fake it, it will come to you. Serving is action based. It is an event followed by another event. Submission isn’t one act or behavior, it is a series of acts and behaviors done in succession so that it looks to the unaware like a lifestyle instead of a continuous lifestyle choice. The mental spaces that are happening in your head and emotions you feel are secondary. So, paste a positive emotion on with a smile while you do that action, and say thank you for the opportunity to serve. If for any reason, you find that hours later or the next day, you actually see the opportunity and truly feel grateful – you can go back and own up to your insincerity, and express your true sincerity.
(Look for the goose bumps rolling on Master’s arms as he becomes so proud of you at that moment. Kudos to you)
It is always easy to serve a Master that is clear regarding what pleases Master. It is easier to serve a Master that provides clues as to what pleases them. If Master is not clear, ask questions until you are clear. Remember that it is your job as a submissive to obey. If you obey to the best of your ability, you have done your job. The result is Master’s responsibility. Ask questions so that you are clear what result Master intends as the outcome. That will increase your ability to please Master as He wishes.