Being a Slave Isn’t Easy

People often tell me that they envy my life as a slave, and a keyword that comes up to describe it a lot is simple. And they mean well, but the word simple makes me cringe a little. To me, it implies easy, and, for me, even as someone who is naturally inclined towards submission and service, being a slave isn’t easy. Slaving away means working hard for a reason. To me, slavery is a lot of things: 

It’s dragging myself up from my blanket on the floor in the morning after being unleashed, shivering. 

It’s falling off the side of the bed trying to get up after sex that was painful and only she got pleasure from, and I didn’t want to be used today. It’s having sex when I don’t want to have sex. 

It’s dripping sweat from dirty work while she relaxes.

It’s practicing a new slave position in the mirror for an hour to make sure it’s right.

It’s a thousand trips up and down the stairs per day for chores. 

It’s making a million small service decisions that she doesn’t want to be bothered with. Here’s a vision. Now make it real. 

It’s lying on the floor near tears and trying to figure out how to get back up after being randomly beaten for the third time that day when I didn’t want it. It’s being hurt when I don’t want to be hurt. 

It’s my legs going painfully numb from kneeling on the floor when I don’t get permission to change position. 

It’s giving her a massage while my body aches. 

It’s having limited energy to use on anything but her. It’s not being allowed to spend too much energy on anything but her, like having a job. It’s more than a full time job’s worth of work. 

It’s needing to figure out how to learn a new protocol perfectly and immediately, by myself. It’s the 24/7 mental demand of high protocol. It’s only speaking when spoken to; it’s all the speech restrictions to keep in mind.

It’s setting out to learn any service skill that might be useful. 

It’s hours and hours and a lifetime of communicating, of adjusting my communication style, of making it work, of prioritizing the dynamic above all else.   

It’s a complete lack of privacy. Not being allowed to lock doors. Sharing all my passwords. Being tracked via my phone. Not even being allowed to leave her presence without permission to be alone. Two daily inspections of my work and body. It’s not being allowed anything to myself. 

It’s a complete lack of financial control. 

It’s not having control over my digital life—rules for my friends list, not being allowed on most social media, needing permission to make a phone call. Limitations to work within. 

It’s having no control over my body. Patiently waiting for permission to receive pleasure, use the bathroom, shower—accepting the possibility that further humiliation gets thrown in there—sticking to my specific uniform and not getting creative license.

It’s dealing with the occasional throwing things, aggressive driving, bad moods, hard days. 

It’s not getting my way. 

It’s never being entitled to warmup, cooldown, aftercare, or sobriety. Sometimes, it’s being told, “No aftercare,” before we start. It means no safeword, no limits, not ever being allowed to leave. 

It’s always, always being on call, with no guarantee of Light Slave Duty or being allowed to go out. It’s constantly being ordered to do things, even while on Light Slave Duty.

It’s being expected to do it—anything—immediately, without complaint, without question, with a smile and no expectation of reward. 

And I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But is it easy? No.Few worthwhile things are, and I wouldn’t really want it to be, or it wouldn’t feel authentic. Slave is a heavy word. Not everyone could or should do a dynamic like this, and I think it’s damaging to pretend otherwise; it’s just not worthwhile for everyone.

I love being a slave. And I frequently talk about what I love about it. But it’s a disservice to pretend it’s always easy. If I’m going to write and teach about it, I think I should be honest, realistic, let people know what they’re really getting into if they’re chasing a dynamic similar to mine. 

So: easy? No. 

But, everything I dreamed of? Yes.  

If you liked this post, you might enjoy my blogbooksfiction, or classes. If you wish you’d seen this a week sooner, get early access here. I also really appreciate constructive feedback. Thank you!

A Moment—Chronic Fatigue in M/s

I’m cleaning the kitchen after dinner when I realize things are going south. The room appears dark, hazy, and swerving, but muscle memory is still serving me well. Fatigue comes on strong and sudden.

While the last few days haven’t felt particularly draining—I’ve actually felt pretty good, been on track—I realize that a lot of mild things might be adding up. Yesterday, I ran some errands, including spending over three hours at the DMV getting my driving permit—almost all standing. Today, I ran some more errands, with my mom—including a long walk around the park with her dog. My daily morning walks—a brisk mile—and light exercises, my usual duties and the trips up and down the stairs, my love of vigorous use of the swingset in the backyard, trying to use my under desk bike whenever I’m sitting at my desk, finally getting the hang of the hip lock I’d been trying to learn for aerial silks, an enthusiastic game of ping pong with Mistress earlier—nothing crazy, but it’s adding up, even though my physical needs are largely met.

Mistress called down while I was still doing dishes and told me to tell her when I was done using the water; her schedule usually lines up so she showers shortly after I’m done with dishes, but I’m moving slowly. I agree and tell her when I’m done. 

A little later, Mistress comes down to do her inspection of the kitchen for the evening, but I’m clearly still working, so she says she’ll give me more time. I don’t really have a time deadline, just that it has to be done right after dinner, which I serve at six. She goes back upstairs. 

Still working, that’s around when I realize things are going south. I’m done with the dishes; coffee has already been prepared for morning; I won’t be needing to take out the trash; things are pretty much restocked. I’m mostly at just putting things away and cleaning floors and surfaces, shutting lights and blinds, locking up, and heading upstairs for the night to see to tasks up there. I could ask to skip the rest, and she’d almost certainly say yes—sometimes she tells me to go rest—but I think it’s doable, so I finish up, feeling satisfied.

I make my way towards the bottom of the stairs. The room is pulsing black at the edges now, and I lower myself to the floor, holding the end of the railing for support. I’ve blacked out on the stairs enough; I don’t need to do it again. I call upstairs. “Could you assist me?” 

Mistress comes downstairs. She brushes straight past me, though, with her checklist, to the kitchen. So I wait. It’ll be unpleasant if she needs to use the discipline wand, but it’ll be dangerous if she sends me back down the stairs to retrieve it from the mantel, so I suppose it makes sense that she checks now, and I’m grateful she still checks, since I’ve implicitly declared the kitchen done. To be fair, in about a year of twice daily inspections, she’s needed the wand twice, so this isn’t a high risk, but it’s there.

She flicks the kitchen light off, which I leave on for her final check, and comes back. Usually, she tells me to kneel for inspection results, but I’m basically already there. She pats me on the head, tells me I did well. She offers her hand, which I take, and I stand shakily. She guides me up the stairs slowly, as she has a thousand times, but leaves me to find my own way down the hallway, which I say I think I can handle.

I see to a few upstairs nighttime tasks, like turning down the bed, before I strip out of my uniform, settle onto my blanket on the floor at the foot of the bed, and get leashed for the night, writing and doing other quiet nighttime tasks before getting plenty of sleep.

If you liked this post, you might enjoy my blogbooksfiction, or classes. If you wish you’d seen this a week sooner, get early access here. I also really appreciate constructive feedback. Thank you!

The Slave Bell (Our Pager System)

People always want to know about our pager system.

For a largely outdated technology, it’s certainly an attention grabber. Two hour class, first question in Q+A? Pagers. Random inbox message? Pagers. Comment on a full length, mostly unrelated blog post? Pagers.

So… why?

I get it. I think a large part of it is the slave bell thing. Press the transmitter button, slave appears, and gets the refill, does the thing, so on. Mistress doesn’t even need to put what she wants into words, no shouting, “Slave!” (this created the rule that I need permission to make a phone call, and notify her if I accept one), no texting, just hitting the right button. It doesn’t invite anything but an instant, unquestioning response. The pagers themselves can’t send messages back, and I can usually only be buzzed by one person. It’s the peak of me being at her beck and call, and her beck and call only. That’s all true. 

Realistically, I use the transmitter buttons more than she does, built into services and protocols for things like efficiently requesting to be unleashed for morning (8:10 AM), or alerting her that brunch or dinner is ready (9:30 AM or 6 PM daily, then I get into Waiting Position), though her response will be at her convenience. 

This may still be part of the appeal—a dynamic and lifestyle structured enough that a significant amount of necessary daily communication can be done via pressing preset buttons. We’re both generally home all day, so it works for our range.

On the technology/setup itself… 

We each have one of these pagers. I’m required to keep mine clipped to my daily slave uniform. Mistress mostly keeps hers on her desk and might bring it with her if she moves around the house for any length of time when she’s expecting I might page her. She accidentally broke the clip on mine while shoving me once, and since she didn’t usually use the clip on hers, we traded cases. 

There’s a six button transmitter on Mistress’ desk and one by the blanket on the floor I sleep on  at the foot of the bed. A one button transmitter lives in the dining room.

Mistress has three active buttons on hers, so three distinct messages she can send me by pressing the assigned button, basically: coffee/water refill, check messages (to make sure I get a notification for a text message, etc.), and come here. These page me. I can keep all other notifications off 24/7 and be able to focus on her. She can also send non urgent digital messages without interrupting what I’m currently doing this way. 

The one by my blanket on the floor at the foot of the bed has two: check messages, leash/unleash request (I sleep leashed, and if she’s awake and home, which she generally is, she has to be the one to put it on and remove it). As mentioned, 8:10 AM for unleashing. I get leashed after Evening Inspection at 9:20 PM.

The one button in the dining room is generally used as my alert that the meal is ready (as mentioned, 9:30 AM or 6 PM daily, then I get into Waiting Position), though we also use it as an attention request button that (mostly, overnight) guests can push if they have an urgent question; so, it pages both of us. 

We set this up about a year ago now, and it’s been going great. No complaints. I’d highly recommend it to those in similar situations, though plenty of people may find something else a better option for them. Whatever works. 

If you liked this post, you might enjoy my blogbooksfiction, or classes. If you wish you’d seen this a week sooner, get early access here. I also really appreciate constructive feedback and signal boosts. Thank you. 

Choosing Service

By the time I woke up this morning, I’d thought about asking permission to sleep in a dozen times.  

I’d thought about it last night, cooking dinner—stir fry style chicken in the wok, and homemade bread, which I enjoyed—in such a fog, I barely remembered the process as I hit the pager transmitter button to page Mistress and waited in, well, Waiting Position, as always at 6 PM.  I’d thought about it rolling my way out of the bed after sex—pleasant, but no orgasms for me, as expected and preferred—and stumbling over to unfold my usual soft blanket on the floor at the foot of the bed. I’d thought about it every time I stirred in the night, and I’d thought about it when my daily 7:20 alarm finally went off, welcoming an unusually cold, wet day. 

I hit the transmitter button.  By the time Mistress came in, I was still trying to find my way to Leashing Position.  I was impossibly, unusually tangled in my leash, and the blanket that serves as my bed.  She helped detangle me and unclipped the leash.  I shivered as the cold air hit my bare skin.   

I didn’t ask to sleep more.  I figured that I could do all my required morning tasks, but, if need be, doze a little during the hour I usually reserved for writing.  I didn’t want to slack on the service tasks, and I’d gotten assigned a new one for the morning last night, and didn’t want to miss my first opportunity at it. 

So I stumbled through my morning routine.  Dressed in my daily uniform. Washed up. All that.  I brought the sunscreen to Mistress’ office—waited silently in the doorway until she beckoned me in—and applied it for her for the first time.  New service task complete, she dismissed me before I could ask if there was anything else I could do, or for permission to go, so, ritual cut short, I curtsied and left.

In that time, I’d also given her the required notification that I was leaving the house, so I set out on my usual morning walk, about a mile loop.  The drizzle was a little chilly, but light, and in the desert, welcomed.

The house was in sight again when something else came into sight—a beautiful, bright, full rainbow, right over the house.  I admired it, and walked a little faster.  I quickly brought Mistress outside when I got back, but it had mostly faded.  My phone camera, also retrieved from the house, couldn’t catch it. But it was awesome just to see, an extra bonus for getting up this morning.

Inside, I don’t nap through my writing hour.  I write this instead, before my alarms go off for morning housekeeping and serving brunch.

The thought I’m invigorated by is choosing service.  I could’ve chosen to ask to sleep in—and maybe Mistress would’ve let me—or I could’ve chosen to complain the whole way.  I could’ve chosen the writing hour, and slept during potential service time later, if I did decide to nap. But I didn’t. Not that I’m perfect, but today I chose service. 

Because—even in an irrevocable consent dynamic like ours—to an extent, it’s a choice.  If I want to serve, to serve well and consistently, with the proper spirit—I have to choose it.  Even when I also want to sleep. Priority, not an option. Because otherwise, I’m missing the opportunity. 

That’s true of almost anything I want to do, really. If I also want to write, I can’t doze through the writing hour, either. 

And submission isn’t the convenient line up of what you both happen to want—that’s a matter of compatibility—but the choice to submit, to serve, when you’re beyond the limits of the tasks you prefer, when you choose and prioritize service and obedience over conflicting desires like sleep.  When you are truly submitting, not doing what you would have chosen anyway. 

And I do want to serve, and I do want to submit, and I do want to write—and so I make those things a priority every day. 

Why I Sleep on the Floor

There’s this type of bedroom image that comes to mind.  It belongs on a Pinterest board, titled Cozy or Hygge or something.  There are candles and string lights and plants and soft fabrics and mugs and books and that sort of thing. It makes you sigh contentedly like you just took the first sip of a warm drink on a cold day.  And to make sure you really buy into the peaceful aesthetic, there’s a pet at the foot of the bed, fast asleep. 

And that’s an important part of this image—here is your faithful companion who’s just happy to be close by, almost blending in to the decor, a peaceful and sleepy background detail, there, but out of the way.  Four legged or not.

I suppose I describe why I sleep on the floor as wanting to be that first and foremost. It is less being a part of an ascetic image from my point of view, but being part of quite the opposite from Mistress’. That is the lens I try to look through. 

… 

Currently, bedtime looks like this.

I see to final tasks, and am to be ready to be leashed for the night.  I unfold the fluffy blanket that lives on the floor at the foot of the bed, which mostly get called my slave furs. I turn down the bed, lay out the turndown card, and fill the humidifier.

At 9:20, I strip out of my Uniform (uniform code says I sleep nude; she likes easy access) and wait in Inspection Position (standing, legs spread, hands clasped behind head, head/eyes straight, back straight). She comes in and inspects me, tells me I did well on my evening tasks (generally), and releases me from position. I offer her lotion and apply it for her, then get into Leashing Position (kneeling on the floor at foot of bed, knees apart, big toes crossed in back (right over left), leash across both palms, hands resting on thighs, hair/head out of the way, collar o-ring in front, back straight).

She leashes me for the night, and then it’s time for sleep.

So the floor thing is bathed in other protocol. It isn’t just sleeping on the floor. It has to be taken in context. Just sleeping on the floor does not hold much meaning for me in particular—it’s powerful, as sleeping is something you spend a significant portion of your time doing—but it’s ultimately one piece of a bigger picture, one line in a contract well over two thousand words. 

I want it to be a reflection of my life during my waking hours, not an image I take up at night with echos throughout the day. I want to sleep on the floor because it feels like the right place in my life of submission, at the end of a day of serving, not as an activity to force the feeling. 

… 

People are skeptical of this, but: the floor really isn’t that uncomfortable. Granted, still my opinion. 

The bedroom is carpeted, and I have my fluffy blanket I wrap both under me for a bit more cushioning, and over me as a blanket. I ball it up under my head as a pillow, or frequently add an actual pillow, because there is admittedly strain on my neck.

The floor for me is a symbolic place, not an item of physical discomfort. I’m allowed to be comfortable there. It’s not really a masochism thing—asceticism at best. Yes, it’s simple.

But it’s not that the floor is an inferior place because it’s less comfortable, necessarily—that’s a part of it, but not all of it—but because it is lower, it is humbler.  Importantly, it means that my place is defined by her place. I don’t have my own place. During the day, during time with her, I don’t have a distinct spot I go to, I don’t have a pillow I kneel on; my place is on the floor at her feet, wherever she is in the world.

And so, the same thing at night. 

…  

Pieces of this have been incorporated over time.  I’ve been sleeping on the leash nightly since May 2019 or so.  The floor, nightly since May 2021. 

The leash came much earlier, yes. Like my collar, Mistress has made each iteration of it herself, rope work to match. She gifted me this latest version on Valentine’s Day (2021), the biggest difference being a little more length. Yes, I got a longer leash for Valentine’s Day. Ha. 

The leash is kind of an extension of the collar, to me.  The collar is the ownership symbol she put on me, kind of meant to be an identifier even when I am away from her.  It says mine. But the leash is connection, the bridge.  Two ends, not the claspless circle around my neck. The leash, in the moment, says with

During the day, the leash is invisible. It’s there, in protocol and everything else, logistically in needing to notify her if I’m leaving the house—even for the mailbox—and especially in needing permission to go farther than a small radius. But I’m not going to be physically leashed all day, because we are not together all day. 

But at night, I get the physical leash. It attaches to the bed—to her place. At night, there is, physically, with, even from the floor, which reminds me, with, loved, but not equal

… 

I think I have just about shaken the falling sensation. 

When you sleep in an elevated bed, a possibility is that you will fall.  I am a restless sleeper, and I will curl up on the very far edge of the bed, because it’s where my body guides me. I have, often, woken by falling, or almost falling, out of bed. 

Once I started sleeping on the floor, my mind still had this boundary, this amount of rolling over I could do before it thought I had gone too far, and I would bolt upright with the sensation of falling, scrambling to catch myself.

But I wasn’t falling.  I had just strayed a little on the floor. 

Still, the phantom falling, like a more physical, middle of the night, fast asleep version of the type some get when trying to fall asleep, took several months to go away.  Now, it’s rare, and I stray pretty far from the foot of the bed sometimes, moving back when I wake and notice. There’s plenty of floor in the opposite direction, and it’s not like anyone else is using it in the middle of the night (except for the cats, who rage their 3 AM wars on top of me either way). My slave fur cocoon mostly moves with me. The way I wrap myself up in it, I’ve never woken up out of it, even if I’m approaching the opposite wall. 

Occasionally, I stray the other direction, and manage to roll myself partially under the bed. I can’t really fit under there on my side, my default falling asleep position, but at some point I may end up partially under it on my back.  And, y’know, slam my head into the tubular steel when I move (and yes, that’ll hurt for a couple of days, masochism crowd; no, I don’t recommend it).  I’ve gained some awareness of if I have rolled myself under there, though, to warn me, but it’s not perfect. 

However.  I have shaken the falling sensation, because my mind realizes there is nowhere lower to fall, and has relaxed about it. How’s that for symbolism? 

Lifestyle Masochism: What I Talk About When I Talk About Masochism

Lifestyle masochism.

Every now and then, there’s a word or phrase that goes floating around the local community or FetLife that’s useful, relatable, and catches on as part of the widespread vocabulary. While lifestyle masochism is a phrase that came to me basically at random and, to my knowledge, currently lives only inside my head, I hope someone else might find it useful or relatable, because I’d love to be able to just say it and have people really understand what I mean.  (Though anyone in the community might get a basic picture from the phrase itself.) 

Of course, first I have to explain what it means.

When we talk about lifestyle D/s, kink, or such, we’re talking about 24/7 dynamics, community involvement, or things that bring kink out from being the dirty secret in the bedroom to something a little more (or a lot).  Something that makes it part of the way we live, not just an activity we partake in from time to time.  Y’know, a lifestyle. 

Masochism: deriving pleasure from one’s own pain or humiliation.  For some, this pleasure may be sexual; for some, it may not.  It’s sexual or physical for me at times, but on the lifestyle front, the sexual part is small.  It’s something more like spiritual.  A relationship pattern, not a series of isolated incidents. It gives me creative inspiration and catharsis, too. And when I really talk about masochism, I’m talking about the lifestyle version.

I think this has been partially true for me basically forever.  Early fantasies revolved around patterns more than single instances.  My desire, my need for this type of masochism—and my ability to actually handle it—has grown with time.  Isolated scenes used to be a lot more fulfilling, something I craved a lot more.  And I still enjoy a proper scene, whether mostly sexual, sensual, or sadistic, now and then.  Sex machine?  Inverted rope suspension?  Hot wax?  Fire?  Shock collar?  Proper beating? Just rough sex? I’m usually down.  I can go for hours for impact, and I can orgasm from pain by itself, without sexual stimulation. But it’s not really what I talk about when I talk about masochism.  It’s an occasional craving, not a need.

While parts of my needed lifestyle version have been a part of our dynamic for a long time, we had a conversation a while back on this.  Decided to up the frequency, intensity, and such, and really explore the area, cutting our weekly scenes in favor of focusing on this, still leaving room for occasional proper scenes.  Mistress’ first concern, which was fair, was: Can you do this? 

A lot of people, she said—well, if you’re deep in the BDSM world, “a lot of people”—say they want this.  Fewer actually do, and fewer yet have both the desire and the ability to handle it.  Sometimes you want things you can’t have.  Sometimes you find out it’s not what you want at all.  

I agreed; but I was, and am, reasonably confident.  We’ve had elements of this in our dynamic for a long time, and a solid foundation of mutual respect, trust, and love.  We understood the risks and felt willing to take them.  I’m not too fragile. She agreed.

One minority niche we fall into is (and this is another kink phrase I basically made up, as far as I know—though I’ve seen it in law occasionally) irrevocable consent.  It’s my current catch all for what some call CNC, some call TPE, some call blanket consent—all with a lot of leeway in meaning.  Irrevocable consent, for me, means I gave Mistress full consent once, and I can’t take it back now.  No no, no safewords, no limits, no contract termination, no rights, no privacy, no initiating a divorce.  Down to no suicide, there is no way out.  She has 24/7, no conditions power over me, all areas of life.  I don’t get a guarantee of aftercare, sobriety, or safety practices.  She does things I would call limits if I currently defined them (inside of play and out), goes past when I would use a safeword if that was something I did.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  The agreement may be honor bound, but that doesn’t mean I take it lightly.

What with this being our framework, this means that by introducing more lifestyle masochism practices, we ran one major risk: that if I could not truly say no (via safewording or declaring limits or whatnot), and with these practices designed to bring about certain emotions, it would be hard to tell what was the desired level of suffering and what was the you can’t handle it; this is a bad idea scenario.  We agreed to ongoing “outside of the moment” communication, mostly via adding a question about it to Meta Saturday (our weekly check in, via written survey) and agreeing to use the written form we have for raising such issues if it came up.  I’d recommend these highly.   

Now that I’ve said all this: what is it I’m on about? 

What we decided to introduce was more—what we call—“random acts of violence”.  Slapping, hair pulling, choking, collar grabbing, biting, scratching, pressure point using, pinning, knifeplay—on the short and quick side.  Just throughout the day.  Not as sex (necessarily), play, special event, discipline.  Just as its own thing, scattered throughout time.  Things I can dislike in the moment, but overall gain a deeper sense of submission from, because I don’t like it in the moment, but submit anyway. 

None of these acts were new; it was just increasing frequency and intensity.  Making it look less like kinky flirting and more like something easily mistaken for abuse.  On the slightly longer side: more watersports (sometimes complete with turning the shower on cold), beating (less so the multiple implement, long, planned scenes in the dungeon with warmup and cooldown, but more of impulsively grabbing the nearest suitable object and going hard and fast wherever we may be in the house—kicking and punching always easily accessible), sex when I’m not in the mood at least to start (maybe paired with not being allowed to orgasm) or with humiliation and pain.  Also nothing new, but now upped.  All paired with suited verbal exchanges—mostly humiliation, themes of Stockholm syndrome and victim blaming, martyrdom and the kicked puppy complex, possessiveness.  A consistent element of truth—not taking it back—is essential for me. 

A character touched on this recently in my BDSM fiction series

“No. Don’t take it back. Say it. Mean it. Mean it even when we’re done, and don’t care. Tell me I’m worthless. Mean it. Prove it. Make it true. Keep me anyway to tell me again tomorrow. Let me be nothing and love me for it. Break me just so you can fix it and do it again. Make me harder to break next time. Make me able to take more and more. Just for the challenge. Make me run so you can catch me. Make me fight so you can pin me down. Make me bleed so you can treat my wounds. Hurt me until I beg for mercy just so you can give it to me and feel good about it. Let me be grateful for it. Make me wait longer to beg next time. Make my head spin. Make my world spin until I can only cling to you; control it until you become my God. Take out the rest of the world on me. Hurt me when you want to hurt someone else, because I’ll let you. Let me be good and love you and love you and love you no matter what you do. Let me love you because of it. Be sadistic. Be cruel. Be merciless. Teach me to love you anyway. Let me feel good about it. Let me be the kicked puppy that follows you home anyway. Take it all out on me and let me love you for taking it out on me instead of the world who didn’t ask for it. Let me be your reward for being good to everyone else. Tell me that’s pathetic. Believe it. Love me for it anyway. Tell me I’m pathetic. Mean it more than you’ve ever meant anything else. But keep me to tell me again tomorrow.” 

It’s been excellent so far, and we are diving deeper into it. 

There are other ways that forms of masochism creep into our dynamic.  We thrive on 24/7 high protocol, and being a service slave is happily my full time job.  This introduces elements of masochistic asceticism (in protocols that limit my “indulgences”—whether it’s wearing something that’s not my very specific uniform, sitting on or sleeping on furniture, etc.) as well as the energy challenges of providing consistently excellent service (full time level hours and 24/7 on call adds up; not to mention my love of serving the kink and vanilla community—volunteering, teaching—and guests).  Keeping focused requires a level of minimalism and mindfulness.  There is not room for much in my life that doesn’t come back to being a slave in some way, distractions, and I have to be constantly “on” to not slip on protocol, no matter what, even if it’s the tiniest details—finger or toe placement—of our daily slave position repertoire.  We have a firm disciplinary dynamic as well, and while I behave, there are occasional accidents and such—and lack of lenience here goes hand in hand with everything else (complete with two daily inspections and weekly maintenance discipline). I’m summing these elements up quickly here, but they’re not a small part of it. 

It’s definitely not for everyone, but it seems like it sure is for us. 

Recommended Resources

BDSM/General

Chase Tramel

Creating Captivating Classes by Shay and Stefanos Tiziano

Dear Raven and Joshua by Raven Kaldera and Joshua Tenpenny

Devyn Stone

Kink Academy

Manual Creation by Machele Kindle

Master/slave Mastery – Updated by Robert Rubel and M. Jen Fairfield

Paradigms of Power by Raven Kaldera

Science of BDSM

Seed and Sulphur

Slavecraft by Guy Baldwin

Slave-ography by Slave Patrick

SM 101 by Jay Wiseman

So you want to be a slave: The Realities – miria hunter

Submissive Guide

The New Bottoming Book by Dossie Easton

Unruly Nerd Girl

Butlers

Butlers and Household Managers, 21st Century Professionals by Steven Ferry

International Institute of Modern Butlers Courses (Full Private Residence Butler/Household Manager Online Course)

Serving the Wealthy: The Modern Butler’s & Household/Estate(s) Manager’s Companion: Volumes 1 and 2 by Steven Ferry

The Butler Speaks by Charles MacPherson

The Kinky Butler

Customer Service

Be Our Guest by Theodore B. Kinni

Lessons in Service from Charlie Trotter by Edmund Lawler

Start with Why by Simon Senek

Study.com’s Hospitality & Tourism Management Training

Typsy.com’s Classes (Especially Table Service and Housekeeping Principles/Applications)

Food, Alcohol, Cigars

Alcohol Awareness Card Course (Varies By Location) (Nevada)

Bartending For Dummies by Ray Foley

Cooked by Michael Pollan

Dictionary of Culinary & Menu Terms by Rodney Dale

Food Allergy Training by 360Trainings

Food Safety Manager Card Course (Varies By Location) (Nevada)

How to Repair Food by Tanya Zeryck

The Art of The Table by Suzanne von Drachenfels

The Ultimate Cigar Book by Richard Carleton Hacker

Think Like a Chef by Tom Colicchio

Wine Folly: the Essential Guide to Wine by Madeline Puckette

Wine For Dummies by Ed Mccarthy

Productivity and Philosophy

8760 Hours

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Deep Work by Cal Newport

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

From Chaos to Creativity by Jessie Kwak

Getting Things Done by David Allen

How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell

Hyperfocus by Chris Bailey

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey

Protocols

Debrett’s New Guide to Etiquette and Modern Manners by John Morgan

Emily Post’s Etiquette by Emily Post

Master/slave Mastery – Protocols by Robert Rubel and M. Jen Fairfield

Protocols: A Variety of Views by Robert Rubel

Slave Position Guide from Restrained Elegance

The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette by Nancy Tuckerman and Nancy Dunnan

The Ritual of Dominance & Submission by David English

Safety

Bloodborne Pathogens Training by CPR.io

Fire Safety Training by ProTrainings

Redcross.org’s Classes (Especially Adult, Child and Baby First Aid/CPR/AED and Cat and Dog First Aid)

The American Red Cross First Aid and Safety Handbook by American Red Cross

Schizophrenia in the Scene

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang

The Great Pretender by Susannah Cahalan

Service

Erotic Slavehood: A Miss Abernathy Omnibus by Christina Abernathy

Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Real Service by Raven Kaldera and Joshua Tenpenny

Service Notebook by Joshua Tenpenny

Wardrobe and Fabric

Men’s Wardrobe by Kim Johnson Gross

Ready to Wear by Mary Lou Andre

The Book of Fine Linen by Francoise de Bonneville

On Potato Peeling and Shakespearean Sonnets (Or, “Is It More Submissive to Enjoy Everything You’re Ordered to Do, or to Dislike Those Tasks but Do Them Anyway?”)

It’s amazing how much time I spend peeling potatoes, I message my mom, because her first message of the day, always around the time she settles in at home after work and the time I am beginning to prepare dinner, again has found me peeling potatoes, perhaps the third time in a bit over a week “peeling potatoes” has been my answer to “whatcha doing”.

I don’t mind the cooking of (and certainly not the eating of) the potatoes.  They’re easy enough to wash and peel and cut and then turn into garlic mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes infused with chicken stock, hearty sides.

I like cooking, and baking, and doing things like that in the kitchen.  It hits something in the service slave in me that would rather peel potatoes than use a powdered mashed potato mix, rather cut in butter than buy biscuit dough in a tube, rather set a table than eat on the couch (if I were allowed to sit on the couch).

It takes up a lot of my time and energy: there’s the cooking itself, the increased cleanup after (compared to delivery or something frozen), the meal planning, list making, couponing, shopping, the organization to even get to the part where I’m peeling potatoes.

And much as it’s true that it can be time consuming and energy draining, and the rule about a healthy homemade dinner on the table at six every night (and associated rules) is beyond my control…

I do not consider it to be a particularly submissive act of service.

Technically, it is.

I consider it a service, yes.  And I believe that for some, it would be a submissive act of service.  But I don’t think it is for me.

I started with the fact that I enjoy cooking and baking and doing things in the kitchen.  If all of those rules went away tomorrow, I would still enjoy those things, and unless banned from doing so for some reason, would continue to do them to some extent.

Because of that, I don’t view it as particularly submissive.

I have often seen basically the question, “Is it more submissive to enjoy everything you’re ordered to do, or to dislike those tasks but do them anyway?”  I heavily believe in the latter.

The first sounds very nice in theory.  If you were so submissive, surely you’d just be thrilled to receive an order, and love acting on it.  On the one hand, well, yes.  If there is no part of you that finds satisfaction in doing something simply because your M-type wishes it, even if every other part of you hates that task deeply, I think many M/s dynamics might turn bad for you quickly.  On the other hand, in a 24/7 [Part 1] [Part 2] dynamic where you cannot say no, I think assuming every part of you will be thrilled at every order is likely unrealistic; there are going to be times you are exhausted or ill or in an emotional place.  

I don’t like to dismiss things as simply unrealistic, though, and I have seen many posts on M/s write off as unrealistic what for me are daily realities, so let me address it beyond that.

My other issue with it is this: if you love to do something, is doing it an act of submission, or is it simply doing it?  Are you truly submitting to the order, or following it because you have no motive not to, and enjoy doing the task anyway?  If you’re told to do something you would do anyway, is it submission, or a convenient line up of intentions? 

What about the things you don’t love to do?  Things you might even hate.  Or perhaps even like or simply don’t mind in general, but you’re tired or stressed or under the weather?

When ordered to do those things, what motivates you?  You no longer have the “well I was going to do that anyway” or the “well it’s no trouble” or the “well I enjoy doing it” as motives also present.

At that point, the only motive is submission, and thus, those are the things I view as truly submissive.  Exactly what those things are will change on a person to person basis.

Recently I was discussing love languages (the ways we show love, and the ways we want it shown to us) and brought up the concept of novelty.

If you have a friend who is super touchy, always hugging hello and goodbye and generally cuddly, but who rarely says “I love you” or “I’m proud of you” or compliments you, what means more when they do it?  If you have another friend who keeps two feet of distance at almost all times, but says “I love you” and compliments you on three things every time you see them, what means more when they do it?

The answers are likely different for each of those people.  It is the deviation from their personal norm that is noteworthy and meaningful, not the act itself.  A hug from a physically distant friend means a lot, and a hug from a friend who hugs you three times a day might not feel like that anymore unless it has been absent.

I apply the same concept to services and submission.  My cooking isn’t particularly submissive because I would do it anyhow.  Someone else’s cooking might be extremely submissive because they hate being in the kitchen.

I saw a joke about Shakespeare, something like, “If he writes her one sonnet, he loves her.  If he writes her three hundred sonnets, he loves sonnets.” 

You get the idea.

I do think the act of doing something you don’t want to do is only particularly submissive if done without protest or complaint or caviling.  Otherwise, it is probably just grudgingly tolerating being told what to do.

Such arguments can be a symptom of the “have to” (versus “get to”) mindset.

If you want to submit, the task presented is how you get to do it.  You might also have to do it, but if you treat it as a “have to”, you might not get to.  Sometimes listening to complaints is not worth delegating a task.  Consider how you would feel if you didn’t get to do the task.  From a submissive mindset, that will be worse than the feeling of having to do the task.  It can be a motivating thought experiment and change how you feel about it and how you present those feelings rather quickly.

If your motivation is that you get to follow an order, be pleasing, be useful, submit, do as you’re told—I think that is much more important as an indicator of submission than if you enjoy the task for the task itself.

I’ve Always Been Like This

I have a currently 550 word long ish document that is dedicated solely to instructions around Mistress’ coffee.  The acceptable type of coffee, the backup type of coffee.  How long a bag of beans in the standard size we buy lasts (at least a week).  How to prepare a pot.  How to prepare a cup (iced and hot).  How long a pot is good for (at most eight hours).  How to clean the coffee maker.  How to clean the coffee grinder. What other products get used (cups, straws, filters, lids, machines…).  How to fetch coffee at the hotel we stay at regularly.

There’s nothing particularly kinky about any of it, but saying “I have a 550 word long ish document about making coffee” would definitely raise an eyebrow in vanilla company, especially considering the fact that I do not drink coffee.  I was not asked to make it look fancy (or make it at all) and so it looks like nothing special, a black and white bullet point list in Arial 12, not some ominous, beautiful quill-inked cursive on an elegant parchment scroll.  The currently 600 word long ish document solely for instructions around laundry (not including schedule) looks the same.

But… both would be presumed part of a dynamic in kinky company, and presumed very strange in vanilla.

Yet the truth is, I’ve always been like this.

I used to live with grandmother. She’d almost first thing in the morning take her medications with Minute Maid Pulp Free orange juice in a nine ounce disposable plastic cup.  I took to decorating the cup each day with a doodle or a Good morning! or an I love you!.  Leaving the state for a while, I left her a supply of decorated cups while I was gone, and mailed her more in the meantime.  

After her meds and orange juice, she would seek out breakfast.  Breakfast often was had with a hot cup of Salada green tea (decaf) sweetened with two packets of Sweet n Low, or sometimes Folgers instant coffee (decaf), with the same amount of Sweet n Low and a splash of milk.  Either was made in The Mug of the time.

Throughout the day she mostly drank cold water, in reused plastic bottles kept in a fabric sleeve and filled from water gallons kept on the larger, mostly unused dining table.  At dinner she had either chilled AW Rootbeer (usually in a bottle, though cans were acceptable, and if she got it in a glass at a restaurant, she would frequently order it with two straws because she had a tradition of sharing it with one of her friends) or chilled Kroger Seltzer, from the can.  With dessert, perhaps another coffee or tea.  On certain occasions, chilled Manischewitz Cream White Concord, or a thick chocolate milkshake.

That’s an easy 250 plus words off the top of my head on the beverage habits of a vanilla person I used to live with that I noted at the time.  Most of the practicalities of that kind of information now lives in my butler’s book, and informs what we keep in stock.

So… I’ve always been like this, in and very much out of BDSM.

That’s just one example.

But in general, I knew, entering the local BDSM scene, what things I brought to the table, and what I wanted: a place to offer those things, and all of myself, completely, use them to please and be of service.  

And when I found everything I wanted at a munch on a fateful, freezing November night… well, eight weeks later we were in a 24/7 live in power dynamic.

I don’t think I’ve changed.  I’ve grown, I’ve learned, I’ve had certain pieces of me brought out, I’ve learned better words to describe myself with, I’ve shifted in what identity aspects are important to me, I’ve changed how I express some of those traits.  But I don’t think my core traits truly changed.

I’ve always been like this.  Not as a slave, not as part of a vanilla identity.  Just… like this.

Why I Live M/s

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.

Those traits…

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.