Sunday, 22 February 2015

Service Submission Series: How Not To Be A Service Black Hole

One of the misconceptions of service submission is service means free labour.  Service, has a cost - both seen and unseen - and it can be calculated.

Easy enough - the costs that can be seen.  Performing service requires making purchases - gas in the car to squire a Top around, or to run errands, or to arrive at their doorstep to perform whatever duties are necessary.  In my own experience, it costs to have a supply of towels and facecloths for massage; to purchase the raw materials to put together a feast (large or small); to purchase the clothing to set the scene or create the fantasy.  It costs to have a supply of oils, spices, salts (yes, there is more than one type of salt), ‘leftover’ wine that quietly sits turning to vinegar etc.  The unseen costs include training - workshops, classes, courses, seminars, online or paper print materials; taking time away from oneself or others to take care of the needs of the Top in question; and what can be the greatest cost of all, the expending of emotional energy expended by the submissive to perform the service.

When a service is performed, it is not merely a pair of boots being shined, or a floor being moped, or a body part being rubbed.  Performing service is a physical manifestation of love - with every sweep of the broom, with every kilometre driven, with every piece of laundry folded - that submissive is showing such care, attention and love for the Top they are servicing.  It is saying “I respect you, I believe you are deserving of my very best, I care for you, I hope I please you, I feel you are worthy of what I have to give”.  This isn’t the romantic variety of love, but more an expression of the bond that exists between community or lifestyle members.

Blessed is the service submissive who can just perform service without any reward - that would be the ideal - someone who could attend to the needs of another over and over without having their own needs seen to.  While every ‘thank - you’ and compliment is appreciated and cherished, there needs to be something given back in the power exchange to feed the soul.  Otherwise, over time, that submissive is just giving their power away, and that can be draining - there must be some form of reciprocity.  If you call on a service submissive over and over again to do your bidding, and you take from them but do not give in return, you are a service black hole.  Words of thanks are again very much appreciated, but at times something must be given in return to feed the desires and needs of the submissive.

Good service submissives are not easily found - it takes time to hone skills, develop talents, inspire creativity, polish abilities.  That is not even counting the other traits that are most important - honesty, being a good communicator, dependability, attentiveness to detail, creativity, being a problem solver.  All of this is not forged over night, so why would you want to contribute to ruining a good or great service submissive by setting up an unequal power dynamic?  They have offered what they are willing to give - dinner on the table, a massage, a car ride, a shopping trip - what are you willing to ante up to not only create a balanced exchange, but to foster the emotional and mental health of this rare breed of submissive?

If I offer to serve someone, I do so either knowing it will be a one way exchange, or I do so because I am already receiving something in return.  With the one sided exchange, I will enter into the exchange because of my esteem for the other person, because it might be a one off, because it might be for an event, because it might be a favour, or because the other person might just really need someone to show them a little kindness.  With Dominant friends, I do so because my relationship with them already feeds a part of me.  If I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend or care for them, I do it out of affection, love, out of the platonic bond we share.  Plus, it’s a good, safe environment to practice my skills or try something new without harsh judgement or ridicule.  If a stranger were to approach me for service, I would very much inclined to attend them if they included in the negotiation something to the effect of ‘And I am willing to offer X in exchange’.  Nothing turns me off faster than a ‘do me and that should be your reward’ type Dominant.

Altruism while a commendable goal, is not attainable - not by any human.  The expectation that a submissive can give their power away infinitely, without something in return is unrealistic.  Play, funishment, sex, cuddles - there must be some reward offered that truly acknowledges the gifts given and feeds the wants and desires of the submissive.  Service is rewarding, but it is not a means unto itself.  It is what we do, what we offer, how we show our love - and feeding love allows it to grow, stronger and deeper.

Do not be a service black hole - be a service patron - nurture the gift of service when you see it to ensure it does not become extinct, and to encourage this behaviour in future generations.

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