For all those Masters, Mistresses, Owners, and general D-types out there: You wanted a service slave or submissive, someone that would cater to your needs and wishes, someone that would Give just to please you. After searching, you finally have one – congratulations! Only things aren’t going as easily as you thought they would: your sub is always asking to do things and seems frustrated. Now what? This post is for you…
As is typical with any of my writings, the below is offered from my personal experience and perspective. It is not meant to be definitive or absolute, but rather share experiences and learned lessons with those interested in opening their minds to new ideas or possible solutions. It’s up to you to decide how this might apply to you, whether there is anything here you can put in your proverbial tool box and benefit.
Giving & Receiving
The key benefit of a service oriented submissive is the focus on the act of Giving. Be it to provide ease, respite, or pleasure – the ability to serve is really the ability to Give and have that act valued is often what motivates many slaves and submissives. However, D-types often bear the hallmark of being rather independent and self-reliant. When a D-type is looking for a service submissive, but then does not allow them to provide the service, we have problems that often lead to frustration and failure.
In my post and workshops on Power Exchange as Mutual Giving, I try to illustrate that a power exchange dynamic relies on all parties allowing the other to give and receive according to their roles, talents, needs, etc. In this post I offer some of the lessons in giving a service submissive the opportunity to serve and learning to accept that service openly and with appreciation.
I present to you the following suggestions from my own lessons and from tips I’ve received from others in the past. These all stem from one very important factor; that for a power exchange relationship to work, you need to allow for a flow of exchange….
For the D-types
…that want to have service oriented submissives or slaves in their lives. Sure you want service, but are you really open to service being given? Remember that service is a way of Giving to show love, devotion, obedience, talent, skill, etc. If you haven’t learned how to receive the submissive acts of Giving, then it’s going to feel like you’re shutting them down.
Opening Up: Sometimes the reason for a D-type to being so independent is that they’ve learned the need to be self-reliant from prior experiences. Hyper-critical parents, unreliable friends, unstable partners – these things make them want to stop trusting and set firm boundaries or just go it alone. However, any close or intimate relationship needs exactly the opposite to flourish; you need to open up to letting another in again.
Defeat Insecurity: Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is necessary in any relationship. We need to silence the internal voice that feeds the fear of rejection, judgment, and criticism. It’s an active choice to feed feelings of confidence in your submissive and to trust that they have the best of intentions. After all, you picked and collared them.
Compatible Differences: Of course your submissive doesn’t think like you do – You are a Dominant, They are a submissive. Otherwise you’d be dating another Dominant, a projection of yourself. Valuing compatible differences is necessary. Understanding you and your submissives strengths and weaknesses is an important inventory exercise.
Provide Opportunities: A service submissive often feels most fulfilled when allowed to give and be utilized. If you don’t provide them the opportunity to serve, and to succeed, they languish in thoughts of neglect and rejection. Think about what you enjoy, ways you need help, things that can be done to make life easier. Give them opportunities to serve, especially in ways that utilizes their talents, skills, and experiences.
Path to Success: If there is concern that your submissive’s service isn’t providing ease, good use, or reliable results then it is up to you to address that problem. This means setting your submissive up on a path of success with proper education, training, advisement, and the means to accomplish things in a way that WILL satisfy you and earn your praise.
Joy: This is not a word I use often, or much at all since it’s become synonymous with the new age crystal sucking white light woo-woo culture. However its justified here because there are services a submissive will find real joy in providing to their D or M-type. Do you know what it is they really would LOVE to do for you, can you give them those opportunities and provide the time and resources to be successful at it?
Team Effort: Relationships are a team effort, this is even more so the case in D/s and M/s relationships. Each has their own talents and flaws, but with thought and creativity you can match one’s weakness for another’s strengths. Use the aforementioned Compatible Differences, or acknowledge mutual weakness and “outsource it” if you can.
Appreciation: Of course, just giving tasks isn’t enough emotionally. What is the reward for hard work if not appreciation, acknowledgement, and feeling valued? Of course, each person has different ways of expressing appreciation, and different ways of needing appreciation to be expressed. These ways need to be addressed and should be in some way compatible or there will be gaps in communicating one’s value of service.
Acceptance: Sometimes mindfulness, communication, and effort won’t make enough of a difference. When there are too many incompatibilities and conflicts you need to face that the relationship may not be right for you. This doesn’t mean good or bad, but rather just not right for you. Learning to accept that and to communicate it honestly goes a long way. Avoid as much drama as possible, responsibly release your submissive, while trying to preserve mutual respect is the path of a Responsible Dominant and is highly encouraged.
For the s-types
…that want to give and service but find themselves challenged in doing so. A brief word to service and giving service oriented s-types (submissive, slave, pet, etc.). You want to provide service, but are you doing so in a way that’s actually desired and needed? Remember that everyone has different needs and desires, and we all have different priorities. You may need to learn how to provide service and give differently so that it will be more likely valued by your Dominant.
Who’s Need: The desire to give something can be so strong that it blinds one to thinking about whether or not it’s needed or going to be valued. Essentially when one Gives without the other’s desire to Receive, you are driven by your need but not the Dominants. So who’s need are you really trying to satisfy? Example: You may want to give a nice massage to make them feel relaxed, but if they are having skin problems or injury massage may not be what they need – Giving despite this can cause pain or further injury.
Inventory: We are more likely to enjoy doing something that we are good at. Since much of our identity comes from what we do well (whether due to skill, talent, experience, etc) we also tend to excel when we can combine our sense of self and success. Have you provided an inventory of your skills and talents or volunteered suggestions for service? Just because they’re a Dominant doesn’t mean they know what you’re good at or enjoy doing (although enjoyment may not always be the focus).
Nothing Personal: Everyone has a history and developed preferences. At times our own preferences overtake the way others do things. It’s nothing personal, and not a refusal or rejection as much as it is just a choice between options A or B. It’s important for giving s-types to learn how to take the word “no” as a matter of the Dominants personal preference versus as rejection.
Perspective: The way we look at the world changes how we experience it. Falling can be flying if that’s how you experience it, at least before you hit the ground. Sometimes NOT giving is a way of Giving another some personal space, quiet time, and a chance to “turn off” from being in a Dominant mode and just unwind. Practicing to choose your perspective in terms of providing service can help to alleviate those moments of frustration when it’s just providing service in a different way.
Acceptance: Sometimes all the effort in the world doesn’t make a difference. If what your D-type needs (or doesn’t need) is creating too much frustration then you may need to accept that the relationship is not a good fit for you. It’s not a matter of who is right or wrong, but rather that it’s just wrong for you to feel fulfilled and appreciated as a giving submissive.
Balancing priorities is a major life challenge. No matter what we like, there are conflicting demands that take us away from things we’d rather be doing. Work, relationships, family, children, friendships, health – they all compete for our time and attention. But we can’t do it all, there is only ONE of us, only one day with 24-hours in it. We cannot do what takes 123% of our time.
A major goal of Responsible Dominants is to help protect our submissives, and that means not setting them up for failure or burnout. Unfortunately that also means backing off from making demands, but that can cause a sub to feel alienated. Likewise, a service submissive wants to Do and Give for their Dominant and says Yes to either too many demands or volunteers themselves to the point of oversubscribing their resources, energy, and time.
It’s important to be realistic about what you can do and what resources you do have. Most people will not expect you to literally be in two places at once, have unlimited resources, and expect you to forgo sleep. As such we need to communicate to one another three critical things when we are trying to provide or request Service which helps manage the balance and set expectations:
- Urgency – how important is this new ask, and how soon does it need to be accomplished
- Priority – if there are other things on the plate, what needs to get shuffled around or dropped off until later
- Requirements – are there additional resources, time, skills needed for the service to be provided successfully
As hard as it may be to say or hear, the word “No” can be a totally reasonable and appropriate answer. If done respectfully, and done providing reasonable facts (such as resource contentions), it means a Dominant may be asking too much of a submissive or setting them up for failure. A submissive must learn to say no to help as long as it’s not capricious. If I hear “no” from my sub, it’s not because she’s being a brat but because something is seriously amiss in my understanding of what can reasonably be accomplished. As such, I own the responsibility to figure out what’s wrong and try to wright it.
It can be hard for D-types to ask for or allow others to help. The tendency for that inner voice to say “No, I can do it myself” is strong. Even worse is the tendency for a D-type to call into question the motives of a submissive offering their Service, as if it suggests some reason other than their devotion, obedience, or love. This becomes a problem when a submissive’s acts of Service are being viewed by the Dominant as an intrusion, interruption, or inconvenience. A submissive is likely to experience feelings of rejection and betrayal if their offers to provide service are an annoyance or mistaken somehow as suggesting a Dominants incompetence.
The act of giving needs to be able to be received. The act of receiving also requires that what is being given is of value, useful, and desired. Meeting these two often just takes opening yourself up to the exchange, and communicating needs, desires, opportunities, and gratitude.
– Sir Vice
© Limits Unleashed 2017