Service Slave Tendency Identification with Limited Kink Experience

In the vanilla world, you often hear a conundrum like this.  “No one will hire me because I have no experience.  I have no experience because no one will hire me.”

I see many s-types take this perspective to the world of kink as well.  Whether or not those new to the scene have an advantage or disadvantage, some people make this conundrum inside their head in slightly different words.

“I can’t become a service slave because I don’t know if I’m a service slave.  I don’t know if I’m a service slave because I’ve never been a service slave.”

I will admit that I am lucky in the sense that I have never had reason to doubt my side of the slash.  It all adds up neatly from my earliest memories forwards.  Some do have real doubts.  Some I think might benefit from learning to translate their vanilla experiences into a kink mindset, realizing that the underlying ideals might not be so different after all.  Doing this is what allows me to say, “From my earliest memories forward,” not, “From when I entered the scene,” or, “From when I entered an M/s dynamic.”

On the more slave side of service slave, it helps to think of how you have generally reacted to authority figures.  The younger crowd might think mostly of their teachers or parents.  Some might have more extensive work experience to draw on.  What happened if they made a rule you didn’t like, or set an expectation slightly hard to meet?  What does that tell you about you coping with it in M/s?

Some think of their favorite teacher from their school days as the one who let the class largely run free, was ultra understanding and gave a reasonable workload, perhaps a creative type, perhaps willing to improvise when authority wasn’t looking, themselves, someone who curved the tests and gave you two redos. 

Some think of their favorite teacher as the one who ran a fairly tight ship, a kind nature but a desire to push their students, who gave two times more homework than anyone else but you learned four times as much, who earned respect with the example they set and while less forgiving with their deadlines, more prone to give praise that really meant something.

There’s no archetype your favorite schoolteacher has to fit into for you to fit into any role in BDSM.  But, it’s an interesting exercise for many, and perhaps telling about what you respond to in an authority figure, what you don’t—and if you do respond well at all, or if it’s something to work on or a start of reconsidering.

As a general note, thinking of your interests in the media you consume or have consumed can also be telling.  Not just what you overall choose, but which parts, characters, and more draw you to it—and I’m not talking about erotica here (though that also says something), but even the vanilla-surface dynamics you have liked seeing in any books, television, movies, so on, throughout your life.

Service-oriented tendencies can also be spotted in vanilla situations.  A tendency to go above and beyond when able to help is a good sign of a service-oriented personality, as is a desire to be useful to family, friends, perhaps acquaintances.  Are you always volunteering to help with the dishes after dinner at friends’ homes, or hoping no one will ask?  Do you complain extensively to yourself or say something to them if they do ask—how would you overcome that?  Were you one of those kids who liked to do miscellaneous tasks for the teacher when you finished your work early in school? Circumstances allowing, have you been drawn to things like volunteer work or taking on responsibility in hobby-based groups?  And what drew you to them?  A feeling of helpfulness being a draw is one good sign, though certainly not the only.

Look through your memories for notable incidents, but for those looking for 24/7, especially, look for something else, too: consistency.

Do your tendencies change when you’re tired, somewhat emotional, a little under the weather, not fond of the task itself?  How will you overcome those things if they do? 

I feel like I’ve posed a lot of thought experiments or questions here, so let me address some of them for myself.

My submissive tendencies, in hindsight from the scene, are extremely hard to overlook.  I was always overly eager to please if anything, as in perhaps to a fault.  The man who I consider to be the best teacher I ever had provided an insane workload, was relentless in critiques, brilliant in his craft, and taught me more about the subject in half a semester than some people would get out of a Bachelor’s in it.

Some of my earliest memories are of watching and re-watching the late 90’s made-for-television adaptation of Little OrphanAnnie.  I was always suspiciously fond of A Little Princess as well.  Not the parts of the movie most kids would get excited about, but a fascination with the bits of servitude the movies would show.

Volunteering has always been something that sates my desire to feel helpful and of use.  Hospital, school, food bank, transitional program for the homeless, my current position in a library, etc.  Most had some kind of draw that got me there in particular—like knowing people involved, or having a love of books—but the general concept was always something I liked, too.

As far as consistency, I’m not a saint, but I’m pretty decent at keeping up my better tendencies even when half-asleep, and can usually find something to get out of a task that might not generally be my idea of a good time.  Scrubbing down the hardscapes of the backyard with dish soap and water, say, is exhausting and leads to dripping sweat rather quickly—but damn, that before and after is satisfying, and pushing water around with a long brush has something fun in it, too.

I’m apparently consistent enough that, as a funny aside anecdote, Mistress once had a dream in which several things were askew—like an added story to our house, having friends she didn’t know in real life, etc.  When she encountered me in the dream, she told me to do something, and my response was sticking my tongue out at her.  Apparently that broke the reality line and she quickly realized it was a dream, and it briefly became a lucid one before she woke up.

Breaking back away from me and into a conclusion—nothing above is meant to be universal, but perhaps a starting point for some who are questioning.  Kink experience is unquantifiably valuable, but is not the only source for some answers.

Letting Your M-Type Have It All

I’m not going to get into the “all humans are good/bad/changeable” thing, but I will say this: pretty sure that almost everyone has some selfish desires, which they act on to varying extents.  Picking the night’s activity.  Getting out of chores.  Eating the last slice of pizza.  Whatever it may be.

Now, in most healthy egalitarian relationships, people try to balance giving in to their own selfish desires and their partner’s.  Switch off on who picks if they stay in for binge watching or if they go out on the town.  One person cleans and one person cooks.  You cut the last slice in half.  50/50, give or take.

Now, as a slave, I want it to look as close to 100/0 as you can get.  That’s not to say that I don’t have selfish desires of my own.  It’s more that not acting on them gives me more than acting on them, in a different way.  

And there are a decent amount of times where Mistress is in a generous mood or doesn’t care much about a choice and lets me pick, and I’m okay with that.  I admit that if it happened terribly frequently, I might start to question myself, and if I don’t have a strong opinion, I might confirm one more time that she truly doesn’t have one either.

What I don’t want is for her to offer me a choice or compromise out of a sense of obligation.  It is my goal, and job, to give her everything she wants, and I try to behave in a way where she feels comfortable taking everything she wants.  Giving someone all of the last slice of pizza but making them feel guilty for it can be even more negative than taking the last slice of pizza.  So I try not to whine or otherwise try to change her mind.

While some of it is on the one on the left side of the slash to be willing and able and wanting to do—say, if they’re not willing to act “selfishly” or tell someone no or order them to do something that they don’t want to do—there’s not much their partner can do on their own about it.  

But if they are willing, a partner responding negatively can still put a huge damper on it.  
In my opinion, if you want your partner to take whatever they want from you, you have to make it easy to take.  If you say, “It’s okay if I don’t like it, and it’s okay to tell me no!” but throw a fit every time you don’t like something or get told no, your partner will develop real doubts.  If you want someone to tell you what to do, you have to be willing to do what they tell you.  Otherwise, they’ll feel like they’re playing a game they get nothing out of.

I want her to prioritize herself as close to 100% of the time as possible, so I have to act accordingly.

To act accordingly, I have to be more hardy than fragile.  The image of a delicate, sensitive s-type is one found often in fiction around the subject, but in the end it is rarely good for anyone involved.  If a bit of discomfort consistently affects someone strongly, it seems unlikely they will deal well with day in and day out prioritizing someone else.

Both parties should be capable on their own, first and foremost.

If my goal is to make Mistress’ life easier, I have to aim to not add new problems, like my desires, to her plate.

Of course, life happens, no one’s perfect, and everyone has their days.

But in the end, I wouldn’t view myself as much of a slave in a dynamic where things revolved around me or my wants, comfort, convenience.

My Collar (Physical Considerations)

(Note: This post is about my physical slave collar, rather than traditions, meanings, or emotional aspects—subjects for another day.)

Decisions about my collar took several things into account.

We had started with the idea that it would be something I wore 24/7, not taking it off without a serious reason (like some sort of medical need). This created most of our considerations. It would also be a literal collar—around my neck.

We wanted it to be relatively tame in several ways: color, pattern, sizing—so it wouldn’t necessarily draw attention to itself, or seem mismatched, as I would be wearing it in public and in front of vanilla company such as family.

We wanted something that looked nice on me, but wasn’t too out of place for the everyday, that would fit in at a formal or casual event.

It had to be practical for any rough play we did, leashes when they were used; as it would be my only collar, it had to serve every function we needed—even if it wasn’t the main function.

We also considered comfort: in size, texture, and any other ways. We weren’t looking for a sadism device on my neck 24/7.

It also had to be of very good quality to not fall apart with constant wear.

Finally, it was important to both of us that we were both thrilled with it overall.

Then, other ideas became important. Mistress would make the collar herself—it would be one of a kind and personal. The collar would be permanent—in some way, physically unremovable.

Mistress made my collar around my neck as I knelt at her feet, a three hour process with the occasional short break to stretch.

It is made of natural hemp rope, fairly close fitting, with a small stainless steel shackle that attaches a stainless steel o-ring. At even its weakest point the collar can support far more than my body weight. It is permanent in that the only way to take it off is to destroy (cut) it. It is made of one piece of rope connected to itself via a long splice, and where each end of the splice meets, it’s reinforced with a palm and needle whipping.

Being Submissive Is Not Bad

“Being submissive is not bad.”

Internalizing that has honestly not been a struggle for me. But I can see how it could have been.

In youth, being “submissive” is frequently called things from “boring” to “well-behaved”. The trait, whatever it’s called, doesn’t make friends often. Might lose friends, might not, but gaining them is rare. Teasing happens, as does pressure to “grow up” and rebel a little.

A peer might try to take advantage of it. A common mistake they make, though, is not realizing that they’re probably disrupting a power hierarchy already in place. If the peer gets between the submissive one and those they’re already submissive to, the peer is unlikely to succeed.

Peer friends who don’t apply pressure are a healthy addition.

Now, you have that submissive one as an adult in kink. Choosing a side of the slash probably wasn’t hard, but what about all the messages that come with it?

People talking about craving the feeling of submission, giving up power, control, and authority. “Yes, yes, yes!” says that submissive one.

But the more they look, the more conflicting messages there are. The same people talking about the joy of submission burst out laughing when the submissive one does what their D/M-type tells them. Look at them being told what to do—that’s hilarious. How embarrassing.

It can be discouraging for the submissive one who thought that doing what they were told was a fairly standard and big part of the idea.

The more they hear what other people have to say, the more it seems that being a brat is almost the default, and it seems like anything else is side-eyed.

They’re eager to participate in discussions with other s-types, then find that the others view “told my Dom to screw off” as fine problem solving for the role. They look at the written report system of their relationship and feel out of place.

They find a writing that resonates about the feeling of surrender, going, “Yes!” again, until that line halfway through that turns it around, about all of the force required to cause losing control. They would feel terrible if it required force to make them submit in their relationship. They frown at the page.

Are their thoughts really so rare—could they even be bad?

I’ve experienced all of this and more. If you’re submissive and not a brat, would rather give your submission than have it taken, and take pride in it—it can feel lonely.

But, you’re not the only one, and sometimes, that’s what matters.

On Choosing S-Type Uniforms

Most of this post is best suited for consideration when choosing a daily uniform/dress code, rather than one for scenes or events, which might need different considerations. This post is written as if talking to a D/M-type for simplicity.

Starting off, consider: what level of detail do you want to go into? Down to hex color codes, or “something blueish”? A specific dress, or “no pants”? Some details may be more important to you than others. Maybe polo shirts are really important, but hairstyle couldn’t matter less. Are you looking more to lay things out in terms of what’s okay, or what’s not okay?

Consider things that are more the surrounding rules than the uniform itself. What can be done without approval in the moment? What always needs approval? Are you planning on the occasional exception? Is it important to keep the uniform neat-looking?

Now consider the categories of clothes the s-type may have reason to wear. For example: daily, formalwear, activewear, swimwear, pajamas. You’ll want to make sure those are covered in some way. Do they have a job or any other obligations that require specific clothing—how can you work with that?

Within those, consider each item of clothing to be addressed. For example: shirts/tops, pants/bottoms, socks, underwear, bras, shoes, jackets. And accessories—can they be worn, which ones, when, and where on the body? If they wear any mark of ownership, such as a collar, that’s important to note. Are there any “features” that are important—having pockets, being waterproof?

Now think beyond clothes. Shaving rules? What about their nails? Makeup—if allowed, when, and what kind? Daily hairstyle? A step up: body mods. Piercings—if allowed, where, and what kind of jewelry? Tattoos—if allowed, where, and of what? Hair dye—what color? Cutting their hair—what style?

Consider some general concepts. Is it important that they look “submissive”—and what does that look like? Would you rather skew a little modest, or a little not? What do you yourself wear—and how do you want their look to compare? Do you want a more plain everyday look, or something that stands out? Where do you want to fall on the casual/formal scale? If you’re weighing in the s-type’s opinion—what do they think of your ideas?

Now some practical matters. Are you okay with the vanilla world seeing this uniform, if they will? Is the uniform practical for what the s-type does with their time? Is it comfortable, if that’s important? How easily/quickly can you acquire it in the s-type’s size—now, and likely in the future? What amounts of money are involved, and who’s responsible? How does it fit the weather they’ll encounter—if there are big shifts between seasons, do you want the uniform to shift with it?

For reference, how my slave uniform currently works (updated). Mistress chose a specific green dress that I wear every day. For the rest of my daily uniform, I wear black knee socks, a black bra, specific black underwear, my collar, and my smart watch (kept charged, and worn on my left wrist). My hair is to be left down. Shoes, if I wear them, are high top black sneakers. I’m allowed to choose my own jackets, pajamas, and nighttime hairstyle. Other notes we have are that my uniform should look nice, clean, and of an appropriate size. Otherwise, I am to shave any body hair whenever I shower, and keep my nails short. Anything and everything else is to be approved.

Internal Enslavement: A Realization

In a conversation with Mistress last night, I mentioned my kinky priorities had shifted over time. She asked me to elaborate, and I thought I knew where my elaboration was going. I was rambling a little as we were already having a psychological kind of conversation, but I thought I knew my elaboration would end up at, “Basically, more interested in exploring service and protocol concepts than sex or play concepts.”

I pretty much said those words eventually, but first got way into something else that was, I think, more interesting to both of us anyway.

I talked about a realization that I’d had the other night, which basically came back to “I don’t think I’m psychologically capable of disobeying you anymore”.

Let me clarify that disobedience has never been my nature to begin with, even what most people classify as harmless bratting often boggles me. But there’s a difference between exercising self-control and behaving, and not being capable of choosing the alternative.

The part that I realized during the conversation was an important clarification. What I meant by not being able to choose the alternative was mostly that in any given situation, it doesn’t occur to me. Even situations that have long, emotional mental processes involved, ones where in a more egalitarian situation, I’d probably be justified in some high level of push-back. And my brain in those situations now comes up with… zero resistance. Even thinking in a meta sense about past situations I used as examples, I still kind of couldn’t wrap my head around responding differently. I just had the awareness that in a different power structure (or lack thereof), my response could and probably would be very different and resistant.

I’m not talking about external behavior here, but rather what my brain does. In the past, I might have still had the same external response—but I know that what was going on in my head was different.

I think this change has happened gradually over time, but probably accelerated in the last few months—and a lot of our general life stuff got a lot better sorted then, so maybe it makes sense. It also seems to have happened in part while I wasn’t looking, so to speak. Hitting some level of complete acceptance of slavery. I’ve looked into the phrase “internal enslavement” before, but now… I feel like I get so much more of it.

So it was a super exciting revelation for me, and I think for Mistress, too.