Sometimes in M/s you take the parts of you that you don’t want to unleash other places and give them a place to flourish.
It is taking things that are not okay elsewhere and making them be okay.
For example, I’m a people pleaser. And in a normal relationship—be it friends, family, whatnot—for that to be healthy, there have to be boundaries, and compromise. In M/s, I don’t have to worry about, “Should I have said no?” or, “Should I have asked for this in return?” or any of that. And I don’t want to have to worry about that. It’s a relief to know that no isn’t an option, and it’s not a negotiation.
On the other side, Mistress likes control. And plenty of people she encounters don’t want to be controlled. There are again boundaries and compromise to keep it healthy. But she doesn’t have to worry about those lines with me, and she doesn’t want to have to worry.
This is true in other areas of BDSM too—informed consent is what separates sadomasochism from assault just as much as it separates healthy M/s from toxic relationship patterns.
M/s gives me a place with clear answers on how to let those traits out which might not serve me well in the vanilla world, aided by openly M/s terminology and mindset.
There’s a minimalism quote out there that speaks of keeping only things that are useful or beautiful.
I think that useful and beautiful (I think pleasing would be a better word, going beyond aesthetics, but same concept) are things I strive to be.
In slavery, it can go like this.
The mostly useful side: practical service—the cleaning, cooking, house maintenance, pet care, hosting, secretarial tasks, etc.
The mostly pleasing side: rules/protocols/guidelines/details—the uniform, the leashing, the kneeling, the honorifics, the permission-asking, etc.
Slavery gives me instructions on how to be useful and pleasing; it does not leave things up to chance or interpretation or assumption.
It lets me have un-filtered, concrete answers to, “What can I do to be useful?” and, “What can I do to be pleasing?”
And sometimes I suggest answers that Mistress may not have realized she wanted, sometimes her answers change, sometimes life happens.
The lines of consent can look blurrier than some are comfortable with; there’s a limitless range of control across time, spheres of life, and other categories, and some, though not all, areas are controlled so actively it comes down to very precise details. In M/s, I don’t have to get caught up in if what I want, or am willing to submit to, is too extreme for a more vanilla label.
What M/s gives me is a healthy place to act on that urge to please and be of service, know how to do so without ambiguity, and take off the limits I would need other places to keep it acceptable.
I don’t have to wonder what would be useful, or when, or how often, or how I should be doing it—I get answers to those things. And I’m allowed to suggest ideas, or ask questions, and not worry about getting indecisive feedback or answers, or ones that necessarily stay within the normal boundaries of what you can ask someone to do. Lists for daily, weekly, monthly tasks, ones on other intervals, or by the day of the month or the week. AM and PM routines.
I don’t have to deduce what outfit is cutest, or best suited, or have a, “You always look nice!” beating-around-the-bush conversation. Or decide if I should wear makeup or not, or how to style my hair. Uniform makes it simple. Same clothes, every morning. Other rules. Straightforward answers.
No self-consciously adjusting my posture (or at least far less of it). Set positions—for leashing/unleashing, for post-shower inspections, for general kneeling, etc. No debating what to do with my hands, or about how many inches apart my knees should be while kneeling.
M/s for us is… deliberate, it’s systematic, and it does not know the usual bounds.
And I love living it.