So, I’ve been thinking about the question, “How do you maintain slave headspace 24/7?”
A lot of conversations about 24/7 start with a note about how there is still food to be cooked, a house to be maintained, pets to be taken care of, etc. And this is true. If saying, “I’m a slave!” magically eliminated responsibilities like this, a lot more people would do it. In the real world, however, what it does is generally add responsibilities, not subtract.
The objection I have to how that conversation usually goes is that the “food to be cooked, house to be maintained” statement always seems to follow a “but”. 24/7 M/s… but there’s food to be cooked. 24/7 M/s… but there’s a house to be maintained. And so on.
My issue there is that I do not see it as a “but”.
Because for us, it’s not that our dynamic lives in scenes and leaks out into the rest of our lives, hiding in the corners around the responsibilities of life. Handling those responsibilities is itself key to our dynamic. I’m a service slave at heart—doing the cooking, cleaning, yard work, pet care, coffee-making, event-hosting, meal and shopping planning, laundry, trip prep, filing, whatnot—that’s all the job itself, not something to work around.
This really helps us make 24/7 a reality, because a core value of my slavery is “usefulness”. I like kneeling silently in a corner and just being nice to look at as much as the next slave, but for me, it’s not a defining factor. Nor is play, or scenes.
The other night, Mistress and I had a good laugh about something. We were standing in the bedroom and she said, “You may sit [on the bed],” and I looked at her curiously because while she says, “You may sit,” to me multiple times a day most days (almost exclusively in the kitchen, for eating), there is one place I don’t need permission to sit (other than “in vanilla company”), and that is: the bed. So in this case, she was mostly joking, but it got us going on “we’re less high protocol/overtly M/s in the literal bedroom” jokes.
Yes, mostly jokes. But it does have a bit of truth to it—our dynamic did not take root in scenes and grow out. It started out being built around practical parts of our lives, which actually means I have fewer rules, protocols, guidelines, tasks, whatnot, to more actively keep in mind during dedicated scenes than I do going about the rest of my day, doing dishes and laundry and cooking and more.
As said, usefulness is a core value, and I can only be so useful while tied up and being worked over with a whip and a neon wand, or while being set on fire, or whatever it is we kinksters get into nowadays.
Another element to maintaining headspace 24/7, one that Mistress brought up first when we talked about this general subject again later, is connection.
For a lot of people, maintaining a positive slave/service headspace requires interaction. This may look like receiving an order, having their work checked, being supervised, etc. Most frequently, I think, it is based around acknowledgement and praise.
Mistress said something like, “If a slave does a task in a forest and no one is around to see it…”
Well, the ending of that sentence for many people is something like, “They begin to feel less submissive and maybe unappreciated.”
Which makes sense, really. M/s is very connection-based for plenty of people, and that interactive part of service is thus the most fulfilling—without it, they get less of that feeling of submission because their submission is based on that connection.
Now, it might be harder to also get enough of that interaction and connection on a daily basis than it is to simply get the tasks done.
For me, a reason I think I fit into 24/7 well is that my slave headspace is far less interaction based and sometimes actually boosted by a lack of it. (“Don’t bother me unless the house is on fire; set lunch on my desk at noon; bring me coffee when I ask; otherwise, don’t talk to me and go about your other duties as normal,” is headspace boosting, as an example.). An ideal service mode of mine is seamless enough to not be given much attention.
Although as a human, an extrovert, and so on, I still crave interaction and validation; it’s just not at the core of maintaining that slave headspace.
More at the core is performing the service itself. The rewarding part is getting the thing done. Real reward beyond that and the occasional pat on the head and “good girl” would strike me as overkill, personally, and again be harder to maintain, though it’s not up to me (but Mistress agrees). I’m in it to be useful, and thus at the end of the day, it’s about what Mistress gets out of my service, not what she gives me back. I also admit a skepticism towards rewards that seem to come down to turning off a piece of the dynamic (like temporarily not enforcing a rule or expecting completion of a task); I would find that more a disconcerting punishment than anything (not serving as usual in whatever way specified when service is the reward itself is more like taking away a reward), and knowing this, Mistress chooses not to use them.
In my last post about 24/7 dynamics, I spoke of the time investment factor. My service tasks are a full-time-job-and-always-on-call level time commitment. This gives me plenty of fulfillment. The constant awareness, on some level, of the mostly always-on nature of our rules and protocols and guidelines, etc., is something else I spoke about—and that has an effect on headspace that is hard to replicate in the short-term, that “obedience is always mandatory” factor. There are no times off-duty, weekends, breaks, times where it doesn’t matter.
Which is usually what that 24/7/365 phrase means, isn’t it?