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 by 9:30.  I unfold the fluffy blanket that lives on the floor at the foot of the bed, which mostly get called my slave furs, and settle onto it, undressed (uniform code says I sleep nude; she likes easy access).  I page Mistress using the transmitter that lives next to the blanket, one of the buttons sending a leash/unleash request.  She comes in.  I get into Leashing Position, as specified in our contract, and she clips it to my collar.  I offer her lotion; she accepts and I apply it for her. Then, time for sleep (and she does her final inspection of my evening tasks at this time). 

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, 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.  It gives me creative inspiration and catharsis, too. And when I really talk about masochism, at least as of late, 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.  Fucking 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 few weeks ago 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 Sunday (our weekly check in) 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, 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 (paired with not being allowed to orgasm).  Also nothing new, but now upped.  All paired with suited verbal exchanges—mostly humiliation, themes of Stockholm syndrome and victim blaming, possessiveness.  An 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.  If I got to add one thing, it would be more blood/cutting, but that’s a soft limit on Mistress’ side she is just starting to press at.

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 ascetism (in protocols that limit my “indulgences”—whether it’s wearing something that’s not my very specific uniform, sitting on furniture, using vices, 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).  (We also agreed to recommit ourselves to that. As there are specific procedures, it can also be easily distinguished from such play.)  I’m summing these elements up quickly here, but they’re not a small part of it. 

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

Related Reading:

No Safewords, No Limits: An Elaboration

Shaming of “Unethical” Dynamics Within the Community

Why I Chose Irrevocable Consent as a Label, What It Means to Me, and Why I Write About It

Uniforms and Challenges, the Literal and a Metaphor

Sadism vs. CNC

Recommended Resources

BDSM/General

Chase Tramel

Dear Raven and Joshua by Raven Kaldera and Joshua Tenpenny

Devyn Stone

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

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

Positions

Slave Position Guide from Best Slave Training

Slave Position Guide from Restrained Elegance

Productivity and Philosophy

8760 Hours

Deep Work by Cal Newport

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

Getting Things Done by David Allen

How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Protocols

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

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

Protocols: A Variety of Views by Robert Rubel

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

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

Service Slave Secrets Blog and Book

SlaveClass

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.

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 Orphan Annie.  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.

The first iteration was replaced as planned after exactly two years due to wear, tear, and rope rot.

For all it means to both of us, my collar’s physical form is beautiful as well.