How Slavery Limits Me, and Why It’s Worth It

I’m washing the dishes after dinner as always. But it’s late, later than usual. We delayed our normal dinner time of 6 PM to accommodate the schedule of a guest, so cleanup, too, was pushed back. And, with the added person, there are a few extra dishes. So I’m still cleaning, later than usual. Last night, after dinner, Mistress ordered me to leave the dishes for the morning, deciding that I didn’t feel up to doing them due to a health flareup. So I spent extra time doing the dishes this morning, too, after the other meal I serve and clean up after every day—brunch at 9:30 AM.

And, as I’m finishing the last of the dishes for the day, admittedly eager to get back to some writing I was doing, I have the thought: imagine how much I could get done if I wasn’t always cleaning or cooking. 

I regret the thought immediately, looking around as if someone could’ve overheard it, unsure if that’s something like internal enslavement or the paranoid schizophrenia, or maybe something normal. But Mistress and the guest are both gone—they went out—so even if I’d spoken it aloud, no one would’ve heard me.

But, I think, in reverse, isn’t that kind of the idea of our service dynamic? Imagine how much Mistress could get done if she never had to clean or cook or do any of the other tasks that take about forty hours of my average week. Imagine if I could be that powerful difference. Even subtracting things she might do faster or easier or neglect altogether without me, that’s a lot of time. It’s hard to get serious amounts of work done without that kind of maintenance support. My mind goes back to the Manifesto for Maintenance Art. 

And she’s using that time well and all—being an independent entrepreneur—that’s not the issue. And overall, I’m happiest in that dynamic. But it’s human, I think, to occasionally wonder, But what about my time? It’s not actually that I don’t do anything other than cook and clean. No, I’m not allowed to have a traditional job or anything, and I don’t pine for that. But I still go hmm when I, increasingly, see people discussing my dynamic in terms of me not working—or largely not working—outside of my service. 

Firstly, it feels a little weird, because, as mentioned, service is a full time job, and it would definitely be weird to say, So and so doesn’t work, except for their full time job, in any other scenario, so sometimes I wonder if anyone else views this as legitimate. Some of them must, the way I see the stay at home spouse role discussed. 

Secondly, my time tracking shows that I spend another forty hours a week on things I consider work that aren’t service. Nine to five, no, but significant to me, yes. Writing, webinars, running TNG, going to butler school. Some make money, some don’t—and I know that part will sway some people’s definitions. Some of those things might come back to service or kink in the end, but not all of them. Yes, service must always be the top priority—but there’s some room for other things.  

And I know it’s false, but I still don’t identify as an erotica author or as a BDSM blogger (or, really, as a blogger at all, but that’s beside the point here), even though that’s what I’m best known for at this point. In my mental model of myself, I still write primarily vanilla, nonromantic, nonsexual fiction, like Contrivance, which was my main project for the better part of eleven years (and a sequel is brewing). 

But even knowing a significant portion of what I write at this point does come back to kink, a lot of it, still, does not. And writing erotica or kink blogging isn’t really a service to Mistress. She couldn’t care less if I do it or not. I’ve also embarked into vanilla webinars, into blogging about schizophrenia and productivity, other vanilla things. And I do those things because I love them, because, to my surprise, some people think I’m good at them, and I dare to think they make a positive impact—representation, education, bringing people together. 

So, yes, I do things other than cook and clean and serve. Still, I do all of the cooking and cleaning and serving that enables Mistress to do something good with her time. If we assume she does the equivalent of working full time, then she works full time once over, on her own endeavors, and I work full time twice over—once to support her endeavors (which also, incidentally, feeds me and keeps my environment clean), and once on my own projects. 

If I had the time that’s usually spent serving and supporting to myself, would it really all go towards my own projects? Probably, largely—I’m a bit of a workaholic. But what does that gain me—the ability to basically work twice as fast, in the long run? Yes, but wouldn’t it maybe be better, to do twice as much—to split my time—like I am now? Diversify what I do a little? Not to mention that her work that I’m supporting is different from my own, mixing up the benefits to the world further. Plus, rote cooking and cleaning is a nice, physical brain break from my largely more mental work. 

A recent conversation between friends summed this up nicely:

“Pretty sure if Hannah wasn’t a slave she’d just take over the world.”

“Eh, she still might. It’ll just take longer.”

Yes, I conclude to myself as I finish drying dishes and finish up cleaning the kitchen—it’s better this way. 

… 

A few days later, I sit in my office, stuck and conflicted. 

Mistress is again out with a friend, and, having just finished what I was doing, I’m not entirely sure what to do now.  

Every little idea that occurs to me seems to be blocked by rules, and by my unwillingness to interrupt her. I kind of want to get the listings up for a weekend intensive I have planned, but I still need to do the final run of the dates, the obligation and possible schedule changes, by Mistress, though we’ve discussed the intensive itself. There’s a picture on my phone I want to upload to FetLife, but I need her permission. I have to go to the bathroom—and I won’t need her permission for that once she actually leaves, but her and the friend are lingering just outside, and it’ll be easier to wait for them to properly leave than to interrupt her now. I think about taking a shower, but again I need to wait for her to properly leave to not need permission, and she’ll still need to inspect my job of shaving and such when she gets back. I have some medical phone calls I could make, but again, either she needs to leave properly or I need permission; she’s already approved the changes I’m calling about. I can’t currently leave the house to do anything except to get the mail without permission, and even that requires notification.

I feel like I’m running into wall after wall, bouncing back into an impossibly small space. My life feels like it’s on hold right now, unless I’m willing to interrupt her—which feels bothersome when it’s unnecessary and she’s socializing—and that assumes, for some of those, that she also sees it and responds. I currently need her attention to do literally anything that comes to mind first, though a few things open up once she’s out out, and eventually, more comes to mind (like writing this). 

Our protocol typically takes into account practicality—hence why there are exceptions when she’s out or asleep or such. In her presence, I can’t leave the room, sit on the furniture, shift from most of my slave positions, or speak without permission (actually, I’m not even allowed to ask about the furniture, and I have to ask if there’s anything else she wants before I can ask for permission to leave, and curtsy if I get it, and asking permission to speak if she doesn’t speak to me first is a slave position, not a verbal question—and I still have speech restrictions). But, if she’s off alone in her office, I can roam around the rest of the house and sit on the furniture. If she’s asleep and it’s the middle of the night, I gain permissions like being able to temporarily unleash myself, no Leashing Position, let myself up from the blanket on the floor at the foot of the bed I sleep on, and go to the bathroom, and releash myself (though, for first leashing for the night or final unleashing for the morning, I need to wake her). If she’s out of the house or if we’re in vanilla company—usually somewhat rare—I gain some things, too.

Now, maybe the most practical and unobtrusive thing is not needing permission or to notify her of anything at all, so we clearly don’t make every compromise for practicality, because we also prioritize rules, rituals, protocols, permissions. Pleasing isn’t always practical, and really, pleasing comes first, unless it’s very unpractical. Likewise, there’s effort for her to put in, too. 

So on days when the leash feels a little short, like today, I remind myself that pleasing comes first, before whatever I want to do, before peak practicality. I remind myself that without that leash, I more frequently feel equally stuck, not cornered into a small space but torn between infinite directions that go infinite distances, trying to figure out which one is best. I still want to be pleasing without a leash to guide me—and I don’t know which way to go. One reason I like being a slave is because trying to be perfectly pleasing to one person is a lot easier, a good compromise, compared to trying to be perfect to the world—which is impossible, yet I crave anyway. And the leash cuts down choices immensely, makes the right path to pleasing clear, and yes, I have to face the fact that it cuts down a lot, that my world gets very small, that I truly come second, but I’m not lost; I know how to please. I don’t have to wonder. 

And that’s worth it, for me.

On Maintenance Discipline

I’ve been trying to write this post coherently for years, but I think I just recently figured it out enough. 

Some of my earliest memories aren’t of real things at all, but of immersive daydreams I had in the backseat of the car, or trying to fall asleep at night, or while swaying on the swingset.

I had a lot of spanking (and related) fantasies, but also no concept that this was something that could be done with consent, for fun, by adults, and all those bits, yet. I understood it only as a punishment, and even then, my understanding of it was largely theoretical (my parents didn’t believe in it/I have no memory of being punished as a child, anyway). 

Still, I had a bit of a conundrum: I was a good kid. I was the good sibling, the teacher’s pet, the rule stickler. In high school, my dad recommended that I might try getting a detention, or a B, for the experience. My mom concurred, and dared me to at least dye my hair purple in teenage rebellion (that one, I did; then again, she did a dip dye with me). 

I had an issue with the punishment part of these daydreams, because I didn’t like doing things wrong. So I made my fantasies heroic—taking someone else’s—the whipping girl fantasy. Or they were arbitrary, unreasonable, done out of emotion. Something to take out that factor where I actually had to do something bad. These fantasies usually took place in some kind of destitute servitude setup (which I’d figure out was also crucial much later). 

Later, I discovered the words for all of these things, but even with the ideas of sex and consent and fun in mind, I still found my mind wandering to the same ole, same ole: the punishment idea, still sans the wrongdoing. Roleplay or funishment didn’t quite do it for me; I wanted real power, real meaning, just not real disobedience, in it. Besides the physical action, there were appealing undertones of that situation that I struggled to turn away from. 

I don’t remember discovering the concept of maintenance discipline. It may have been another thing I found a word for that I’d already independently explored the concept of in my head—though without the word, those fantasies lacked a coherency. But it fascinated me. It had all of those tones of punishment, in a way—the power and discipline and structure and protocol and needing but not necessarily wanting it, helpless to the schedule—without the wrongdoing. 

When I met Mistress, it was one of the very first things we agreed would be a part of our dynamic, within the eight weeks after we met and before we moved in together and went 24/7. Over four and a half years ago now. We both wanted the idea; after that, it was just logistics. 

And the logistics have changed a few times. I’ve already emphasized this as a headspace thing, more than it’s about the action or the pain. (My idea of a nice impact scene can run four hours, so pain wise, the way we do maintenance isn’t actually a big deal for me.) I also don’t view it as preventative, as reminding me of my place or nudging me back in it—I don’t think there’s any significant behavioral changes from it—I don’t need discipline for that—so it just has mental, internal benefits, for both of us, really. So as headspace needs changed—based on life circumstances, our evolving dynamic, so on—the details and benefits of maintenance changed. 

It has almost always been once a week (with a little deviation to every other week), and it has always involved at least a spanking with the discipline wand (an implement we chose to reserve for that purpose early on, for clarity, a short, wooden cane/baton/thing initially purchased by Mistress as a magic wand at a coffeeshop). At other times, maintenance has integrated service tasks, inspections (current), lines, corner time (now a part of our punishment ritual). It has always been done at home, frequently in the bedroom, in private (it’s strange at times, how open we are, yet how many pieces of our dynamic have only really been witnessed by us). It’s always been nonsexual. It’s taken as little as twenty minutes or as long as an hour and a half. 

We have always really tried to commit to it unless it truly needs to be cancelled, and sometimes it does, and that’s okay, too. We also try to not constantly tweak the ritual, doing so only when needed, as an important part of the headspace is consistency. 

At times, it’s had an emphasis on higher protocol than our then usual (when I needed an extra dose of structure and control), on catharsis when I was constantly locking down emotions due to external issues, on extra meditative focus (lines, corner time, counting), on the service tasks we integrated when other parts of our schedule might have been disrupted. 

Currently, it works like this:

Fridays, after brunch. Fridays work best for us right now, though I think it’s been on half of the days of the week at various points as schedules have changed. Anchoring it to something else—brunch, which I serve every day at 9:30 AM, made it easier to integrate than assigning it a random, standalone time. I serve brunch, we eat, I clean up the kitchen as usual. Then, normally I have a bit of time to myself to see to a few extra chores or whatnot before morning inspection. 

But on Fridays, I take the discipline wand from the mantel (where it has always lived, always in sight, vanilla looking enough to never be questioned), and find Mistress, usually in her office, to alert her I’m ready. This involves all of the usual protocol: I wait in the doorway, I don’t speak until I’m spoken to, I say, “Yes, Mistress,” when she gives the order to send me to the bedroom to wait while she inspects my morning tasks, and, that waiving the need to ask if there’s anything else I can do to be of service, or asking for permission to leave, I just curtsy and exit. 

I go to the bedroom, strip out of my daily uniform, then kneel and present the wand in Presenting Position (kneeling, knees apart, big toes crossed in back—right over left—back straight, head and eyes down, the wand resting across both of my palms, turned up on my thighs). I don’t usually wait long, but anticipation builds quickly. At this stage, even knowing the final outcome, I always start to feel a bit of dread, which can feel bad in the moment, but is an important part—an important part to feel and then get over—from that punishment without the disobedience setup. But there is no guilt, at least.

Mistress always tells me how much she likes walking in with me like that; it’s one of her favorite moments in every week, favorite moments in our dynamic. She checks the position, takes the wand from me—I raise both of my hands slightly and tilt it into her hand. She sits on the bed and beckons me, “You may come over my lap,” and I move. Usually, she tells me about the week briefly. Praise, what’s happened of note, what she knows was hard, that she loves me and she appreciates me and she’s proud of me and I’m hers. (On the rare occasion something really didn’t go well that week, that was handled separately before now—we don’t group punishment and maintenance together.) 

Then, without much pause, she gives the same instructions, every week. She’s going to hit me X amount of times (it’s almost always ten, though sometimes it goes up arbitrarily to twelve or fifteen, or, more rarely, down to six), and I’m going to count and thank her and ask for another. Then she’s going to hit me an amount of times of her choosing (usually at least one hundred, maybe up to two hundred—I don’t keep track, I had to ask for this post), and I won’t have to say anything. Then, X more that I’ll have to count. 

“Do you understand?” 

“Yes, Mistress.” 

Then she hits me, and it’s, “One, thank you, Mistress; please may I have another?” through ten, or whatever number she chose. It requires a lot of self control, to just count. 

Usually, she answers, “You may.” After the tenth, she’ll say, “Yes, but you no longer need to count.” 

Then there’s the middle part. I’m almost always relatively still and quiet for this part now, and after some active pain processing, controlling myself, my mind just floats pleasantly. Right now, I think the theme for me is the part where I surrender myself to it entirely, accept it, submit, feel it more than I sometimes do in the rest of the week. 

I still like the idea of catharsis, but we haven’t gotten there in years; my tolerance doesn’t seem to work like that anymore, for now at least, and it’s almost certainly not going to happen with the discipline wand, which my body is so used to, it hasn’t left marks on me for than a few minutes in years, either. 

Then, after that, “Now there’ll be X more, and you’ll have to count and thank me and ask for another. Do you understand?” 

“Yes, Mistress.” 

And we repeat that part. After the last one this time, she answers my please may I have another with, “No; you may not. You’re done now.” 

I might stay there for a minute or two. Then she lets me dress, and get in Inspection Position to complete our normal morning ritual—standing, legs spread, back straight, head and eyes up, hands clasped behind my head. She looks me over, my uniform, checks for my pager and the indent it leaves against my abdomen, runs her hands over me, tells me my morning service tasks were done adequately (ninety-nine percent of the time; if not, that would’ve been handled separately). The tasks include things like making the bed, folding up the blanket on the floor at the foot of the bed that I sleep on, and laying out the leash I sleep bound by neatly, general tidying, preparing coffee, checking on the plants and the cats, handling lights/windows/blinds, so on. 

Then, I get her sunscreen and apply it for her as usual, and then the morning is done. Usually morning inspection is at ten-thirty; on maintenance days, it varies a little, but we’re pretty much always done before eleven, and sometimes earlier than usual.

And we go about our day. The full effect sinks in slowly for me, in a way. I’ll frequently be a little off for a bit, then given new focus. It can be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster at times, but it’s worth it, in the end, leaving me better off than I was, matching what I wanted out of those fantasies, shifting slowly to match headspace needs as time goes on. After most of five years, it’s harder to imagine going without it, far outweighing any momentary dread or pain, and I’m very grateful Mistress has stuck with it, too.

It’s important to me—even though it can be hard to explain why—and I wanted to share it.

My Top Three S-Type Archetypes in Vanilla Words

The (Abused) Housewife

We don’t quite fit 1950’s household. There’s a lot wrapped up in that trope that doesn’t quite work for us. We’re not straight, we’re not traditionally religious, we don’t have children, and the finance/external obligation thing isn’t so clear cut (we’re both self employed). Others are in similar situations and use the label anyway—which is great—but it just doesn’t feel like it fits for me. Housewife isn’t perfect either, but it’s closer, and feels less like playing at something a little lost in lore that I wasn’t there for historically. 

I use housewife in the vanilla world at times to explain what I “do”. To summarize that my top priority and full time job is housework (service), that our finances are ultimately more my partner’s concern than mine, that I am an active homemaker and not passively keeping maintenance to the bare minimum (being a little old fashioned in terms of homemaking skills and passions), and to imply a somewhat subservient role. People get the idea, and I use it in kink circles, too, in addition to service slave, to indicate that it’s my full time job in addition to being a label I identify with.

There’s another layer to this one, though, which is what I’ve coined lifestyle masochism in kink; the most accurate way to label it in terms of a vanilla word would probably be mimicking abuse. The housewife thing is at the core of the abusive trope we’re after, in a way—associated with vulnerability and isolation. Not working outside the home limits your own social and financial resources, and being pleasant to be around and look at, and up for sex is part of the (note: problematic outside of a consensual framework) domestic package/debt. 

The thing we add is physical and emotional sadism, and the way in which we enact it: which purposefully mimics random incidents of violence, physical domestic abuse, frequently not looking like consensual kink, sex, play. I use lifestyle because it’s not a scene. There’s probably no negotiating, warmup, cooldown, aftercare; it can last a matter of seconds. 

Everything we do happens within our irrevocable consent framework. No safewords, no limits, no way out. For me, this is crucial. I frequently need to not want it in the moment. Truly. Not like flailing a little when I get hit, but to hate it with a deep, dark simmering feeling of fear, betrayal, depression, and regret for getting here. It’s just the type of masochism that really means something to me. But that feeling (for me) comes after a safeword, beyond a limit, and—to experience it twice—requires the inability to get out. If I have those things, I can’t get that feeling. 

The core difference is that while my consent is irrevocable, it was, once, given to her freely and completely, forever. 

The Majordomo/Household Manager 

This overlaps with housewife in a few ways—primarily, domestic service as a full time job—but adds a few things that I think are very important around here. 

As a butler school student, I can portray my life as a slave pretty accurately save a few terminology swaps, changing minor details, and using a bit of omission. I’m not male or British (though those are demographic issues I can’t change), and don’t have any other permanent staff (but I do a lot of coordinating between people, like contractors). 

I take pride in maintaining professional level hard skills in service, and less so the well, this is the way my grandmother did it that seems to come with the housewife role (though that can also hold wisdom). 

Being 24/7 high protocol (in kink terms) can kind of fit into either of these roles depending on where your focus is. Focusing on some protocols as controlling and limiting (or an imitation of the fawn response) might fit into the abused housewife thing. Focusing on some as respectful and polite to the extreme might fit into formal professional service etiquette. In any case, pleasing is a goal I enjoy. 

We do use a lot of professional systems in our relationship (our contract, formal time “off”/reduced duty system, written forms, inspections, review systems, meetings, my uniform) that would be out of place for the housewife dynamic, but provide much desired structure for us, so I think both of these are crucial archetypes for me, even though they both have full time service at their core. 

The Ascetic 

I have ascetic leanings, though again, I’m not traditionally religious, and again, it’s not complete. 

But, I sleep on the floor pretty much every night. I wear basically only my daily uniform; I don’t wear makeup. I need permission to masturbate or orgasm and (with only a few exceptions) shower or use the bathroom. I’m a digital minimalist; I have almost zero traditional social media; I generally don’t watch TV/movies/videos; I don’t do gaming. I’m a minimalist in my possessions. I don’t do recreational drugs. I am drawn to regular silence vows, digital detoxes, and fasts. I value little above self discipline. 

In a way, this is just on principle/how I am. In another way, it’s to keep my focus on the important things—like service and obedience—and limit the reward feeling to coming from a job well done. No distractions. A lot of the above is part of our protocol itself, structured and subservient. And in a way, it feeds my masochism, and limits bandaid fix distractions from pain, making me sit with it and process it. 

I’ve researched this one a lot, too, and in a lot of ways, it fits well. 

While the other archetypes are primarily about what I do as a slave, this one might be more about what I don’t do.

That’s an important part, too. 

Tales From the Butler Academy: Modules 0-9

Note: This is part of the “Tales From the Butler Academy” section. Start with “I’m a Slave; Why Am I Going to Butler School?” for more context.

I wanted to give a quick summary of what the butler course I’m taking has covered and what I’ve done so far. So here’s a quick module by module breakdown of the parts I’ve completed.

Module 0: Introductory Module

Resources: None

Assignment Types: All essay/written response, covering things like “how you feel about the subject of help” and “how you feel about the subject of control”, goals for the course and your career, and study techniques. 

What I Learned/Applied: Not much to apply from this module, it’s more of an introduction to the course and a “getting to know you” thing. I had to get my story straight pretty fast on the “actually a slave” thing and clarify my goals, and found subjects like help and control very applicable. 

Module 1: What Is a Butler? 

Resources: Reading Chapter 1 of Serving the Wealthy (STW), Volume 1, all of Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, pieces from STW Volume 2: “The Butler Goes Mainstream”,  “Keeping the Profession Whole”, “Historical”, “The Question of Robots and Butlers”, “And Finally, Some Printable Humour”, “A Day in the Life of a Modern Butler”, “Just When You Thought You Knew Everything”, “The Word Was Butler”, “So What Is A Hotel Butler, Anyway?”, “The Future Hospitality Professional”, “Poor People Skills and the Wealthy”, “The Indomitable British Butler”, “Transcript of Lecture at Harvard University”, “BostonCoach Keynote Speech”, and “Would You Like Your Service Today Live or Programmed, Madam?”. Watching: Gosford Park, The Butler, the pilot of Downton Abbey, the episode “Jeeves in the Country” of Jeeves and Wooster, and episode one of Black Adder III. 

Assignment Types: Essays related to the resources, one visual timeline—all on basic terminology and mindset of the profession. 

What I Learned/Applied: Still not too much to apply from this module, still covering basics, but learned some interesting historical bits, consumed some inspirational resources, and really started to get a picture of the course. 

Module 2: Essence of a Butler

Resources: Reading Chapter 2 of STW Volume 1, pieces from STW Volume 2: “Basic Attitudes”, “A Duty to the Profession”, “A Royal Butler Disgraced”, “The New Age of Service”, “Emotional Engagement—A Mantra in Search of a Technology”. 

Assignment Types: Some essays, and what I did as a giant self assessment spreadsheet. 

What I Learned/Applied: Really had to take a long look at myself and my soft skills, especially when seriously comparing to professional standards. Identified areas to work on and made plans to do so. 

Problem areas I identified included professional demeanor and professional dignity—I think this is affected by being a slave held to many kink norms day to day rather than being a professional butler. (The random beatings kind of make “dignity” take a hit, though I didn’t phrase it this way for the course.) 

Others included health and energy (for one, I had a kidney infection at the time of this module; I’ve taken a lot of concrete steps to improve my health since, and this being a weakness wasn’t exactly a shock). 

Other areas to work on: composure, humility, (fading into the) “background”. I think all have improved since. Humility, especially, we developed a few protocols around and I began to check in on in my posts/etc. As far as “background”, the later added speak when spoken to protocol helped a lot. 

Module 3: Trappings and Tools of the Trade

Resources: Reading Chapter 3 of STW Volume 1, piece from STW Volume 2: “Of Various Traditional Butler Tools”.

Assignment Types: Essays, creating (maintaining) a butler’s book and journal, acquiring/using/evaluating a butler’s resource library, wardrobe, and tools (including photos), learning basic computer tasks (if needed) and developing (maintaining) a time management system. 

What I Learned/Applied: Gained a few bits to add to my butler’s book, found out having a cigar cutter around is strangely useful. I already largely had the butler’s book, journal, library, time management system, and computer skills. Great material for my butler’s books class. Wardrobe wise, I still stick to my daily slave uniform. 

Module 4: Butler Etiquette  

Resources: Reading Chapter 4 of STW Volume 1. All of The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette (Nancy Tuckerman and Nancy Dunnan). Piece from STW Volume 2: ” Of Various Traditional and Modern Butler Concerns”. 

Assignment Types: Essays, and about twenty video etiquette drills, including several rounds of redos. (Each prompt outlined a different tricky situation.  My job was to sketch out a more specific scenario if needed, and film myself, as the majordomo, responding to it.) 

What I Learned/Applied: I wrote more about this in “Etiquette Drills and Compassion”. Ultimately, this module reminded me that compassion is at the core of the soft skills that set the butler industry apart, which was important for me as someone who’s low empathy. 

Module 5: Management and Leadership Principles 

Resources: Reading Chapter 5 of STW Volume 1.

Assignment Types: Primarily essays/written response. This chapter emphasizes checklists and processes, managing resources and problems, creating (and modifying as needed) effective routines, and what makes a good leader. 

What I Learned/Applied: Went through my assorted checklists and routines to apply the principles of this module. I still teach a lot of organizational principles from this module in many of my classes. 

Module 6: Staff Management

Resources: Reading Chapter 6 of STW Volume 1, Home Comforts (Cheryl Mendelson) Chapters 68 to 72, Debrett’s Etiquette and Modern Manners (John Morgan) Chapter 14, pieces from STW Volume 2: “The Placement Game”, “What To Do If There Is Nobody At Home”, “Why Good Employees May Be Hard to Find”, “The Hidden Drug Menace”, “Ethics? That’s Human Resources”. 

Assignment Types: Essays, gaining familiarity with tax forms, comparing and contrasting staffing agencies and vendors (and selecting them), writing vendor contracts. 

What I Learned/Applied: While there’s no other permanent “staff” here, I do work with contractors and such, so several bits were useful and I used this module as an opportunity to revisit some of those things. It also covers record keeping and insurance and such in depth, which I again revisited and was useful. 

Module 7: The Butler’s Relationship with Their Employer

Resources: Reading Chapter 7 of STW Volume 1, pieces from STW Volume 2: “Hope does not Need Rose-tinted Glasses” and “Don’t Just Sit There”. 

Assignment Types: All essays/written response.

What I Learned/Applied: I wrote about this more in “The “Butler’s” Relationship With Their “Employer”. While I first thought this module might not really apply for me, ultimately it’s about proactive, effective, efficient, honest, routine communication, and about trust, respect, and clearly defined roles. I found it applied to many of our communication systems, and revisited a few things based on the principles of this chapter. I teach on many of these systems, as well.

Module 8: Housekeeping 

Resources: Reading Chapter 8 of STW Volume 1. Piece from STW Volume 2: “Appendix 8A”. Home Comforts Chapters 14 to 58. 

Assignment Types: Essay/written response and a lot of practical assignments. Cleaning all kinds of materials, polishing silver, flower arranging, building a fire. Making a bed, working with fabrics, handling laundry. Creating/maintaining housekeeping routines and checklists. Learning basic sewing. Closet organization. Acquiring cleaning tools and learning to use them/creating a cleaning caddy. Managing air quality, lighting, and pests.  

What I Learned/Applied: Hoo boy, now we’re getting into the hard skills. I learned all kinds of fun facts and neat tricks for cleaning every kind of material I can think of and several I hadn’t heard of/identified before. Reorganized every closet in the house, got a humidifier (game changer in Vegas), redid some lighting bits, experimented with polishing silver, improved my flower arranging, started making and using my own homemade cleaners, added/modified a lot to my housekeeping routines and checklists and class material…

Module 9: The Butler, the Kitchen, and the Chef

Resources: Reading Chapter 9 of STW Volume 1. Home Comforts Chapters 8-13. All of Think Life a Chef (Tom Colicchio) and Dictionary of Culinary and Menu Terms (Rodney Dale).

Assignment Types: Essays and practical. Exploring a kitchen supplies store and grocery stores and shopping techniques, assessing kitchen supplies and organization and safety, assessing refrigerator/freezer/pantry management, preparing at least three breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. 

What I Learned/Applied: Got some kitchen storage back in order, inspired me to add some more recipes to my repertoire (which I added to the resources for my culinary service class as well).

… 

(Final Note: I’m currently on Module 10 of 22. Will write another one of these at some point in the future.) 

“But Isn’t It Automatic?” (Learning in High Protocol)

“But isn’t it automatic? After this long, at least?” 

“Yes… and no,” I say. We’re lingering over dinner, talking about protocol and what goes into remembering it, or doesn’t. 

Mistress is distracted, going upstairs to get something and coming back before I can finish my answer. But I’m not, and I can’t be—which is part of my answer. While she’s gone, I, too, rise from the table, but am alert, knowing that if she comes back before I sit again, I’ll need her permission for the chair, which I’m not actually allowed to ask for, and she’ll probably order me back into Waiting Position first, which is how I wait behind my usual seat before meals, after I hit the pager transmitter button to inform her food is ready, at the two assigned times each day. 

I also know that her leaving and coming back ends the interaction, even though I was basically mid sentence. Under the speak when spoken to rule, once she speaks to me, I can speak for the rest of that interaction—until one of us leaves (her at will, me with permission, asking first if there’s anything else I can do to be of service, then asking for the permission, then curtsying and going) or we’ve both been quiet for a while—back and forth like normal, without another direct question or prompt or permission. So I remember to keep my mouth shut now, even when she comes back, until she prompts me for the rest of my answer. 

While all little things, that adds up to a lot to bear in mind. 

When I’m able to finish my answer, I elaborate. 

There are several factors that affect how automatic a protocol is for me. 

The first—which she easily identified and is perhaps relatively obvious—is how long it’s been in effect. Our oldest protocols are four and a half years old now. But we add and tweak things frequently. Things got added and tweaked just this morning, based on the recent development of me getting my driver’s license. Older protocols are more likely to be automatic. But that can take years, depending on the other factors. 

Another factor, though, is how frequently it comes up. Now, most of our protocols come up rather frequently. 

I typically use five of our eight codified slave positions multiple times per day. Kneeling (used frequently when in her presence in lieu of the furniture), Waiting (for both meals I serve daily), Inspection (for both daily inspections, plus after showers—taken with permission—mostly checking on the shaving rule), Leashing (for morning unleashing and nighttime leashing for sleep, where I sleep on the floor, nude), Curtsying (every time I leave her presence, after the asking if there’s anything else I can do and obtaining permission). Another is Speech Request Position (to obtain permission to speak if I really need to and she hasn’t prompted me), which I use slightly less because I frequently just wait for her to speak first. The other two are primarily for maintenance discipline (weekly) or punishment (rare), though sometimes they come in handy for other things. I still practice many of these on my own in the mirror to check in on them. Not rocket science, but I like the bar high. 

Likewise, my uniform is exactly the same every day, and hasn’t changed significantly in a solid year and a half. Being basically the only clothing I own at this point—a few copies of each item—it’s not hard to remember, though I still double check I have small items, like my pager, and store any rare exception items separately.

If a protocol super rarely comes up, we often cut it. Still, there’s a range. The more I do it, the faster it becomes automatic. 

The factor that was less obvious to her was if the protocol was a do or don’t, if it was an if/then or a don’t/until, if there was a cue to start it or a cue that released it. Our more specific speech protocols have cues. She, in a way, initiates them, like a ritual. If she gives me an order, I say, “Yes, Mistress.” If she grants a permission or denies it, I say, “Thank you, Mistress.” If she gives me a compliment or a critique, I say, “Thank you, Mistress.” These all have cues to begin. If, then. 

But, speak (only) when spoken to isn’t an if, then. It’s a don’t, until. Don’t speak until prompted. Do not do this common thing until the cue. And there is no reverse, no don’t speak cue, just silence and existence. And that makes that one trickier. I must always, with no cues, keep it in mind, until the cue that I’m allowed to speak, creating my own cues for it. 

A lot goes into all of that until it’s automatic. 

Practice. Like the hours of checking positions in the mirror. 

Journaling, habit tracking.

Reminders everywhere. (She sprang the no using the bathroom without permission—if she’s awake, and we’re both home or out together—rule on me on my birthday, minutes before my mother—vanilla company—arrived to celebrate, leaving little time to think it through. I quickly left a large reminder note for myself in the master bathroom, which I use most often and guests don’t usually go in, which I took down a few weeks later. She didn’t come up with a way for me to subtly ask for the bathroom permission in vanilla company for over another six months.) 

Then there’s meditation. Lots of kinds of meditation, and lots of it. As a habit, and in the moment as needed.

Managing all of my emotions around protocol.

And a now yearly total silence vow for a day or weekend, resetting my awareness of my words. 

In some situations, I sit and review all applicable protocols before proceeding. As mentioned, I’m new to driving, so I still take a moment and sit in the car when I leave or arrive somewhere, remembering new or recently modified rules like always notifying her when I’m leaving the house and when I’m returning (if I’ve been gone longer than twenty minutes), asking permission to drive anywhere, though I can walk to get the mail and go on my required morning walks without permission, keeping her informed of my general plans, making sure she can track my location via my phone (ensuring it’s with me, and WiFi/cellular is on—for me, that’s far from a guarantee, otherwise), and parking in the shade and refueling at a certain level if I can, and taking all of my things back out of the car. Plus, like, remembering how to drive, safely. 

And almost any time we interact, I count protocols on my fingers. 

First, I usually press one finger into my palm as a reminder for speak when spoken to. This is also a reminder to wait in the doorway if entering her office, to not go farther, to wait to be beckoned in, then move, kneel in position if it’ll be a more than a minute. 

Once spoken to and in place, I release it, replace it with three fingers—permissions, feedback, orders—for the speech protocols I mentioned above. Permissions also covers the rule on asking—making sure to use may, please, and Mistress. 

If things get quiet, I switch back to the one, for speak when spoken to. If I’m thinking about leaving, I also switch to one, for our exit protocol I mentioned. 

The positions mostly get assumed before she comes in, or on demand, or as part of the things above. 

Even what is basically automatic, I want to be sure of; I want it to be done well—and that’s largely on me to figure out. The counting part is mostly automatic by now.

I have very little punishment immunity—there is no safe period for a new protocol, there is no automatic forgiveness for small accidents, there is no real time off from protocol, just not scaring the vanillas and such. 

We’re careful in our protocol design and tweaks because of how inflexible it is once in effect. And once it is, Mistress pointed out that she almost forgets it’s there, views it more as automatic code switching for her (interacting with me versus anyone else), and she views our dynamic as casual and relaxed because the protocol doesn’t really affect her actions as much, though she has to check on some things, like at inspection times (a job I appreciate).

I, however, have to handle what I call the protocol fatigue that definitely flares up now and then from keeping it all in mind, several years into 24/7 high protocol, on top of a full time job’s worth of service, and the effects of lifestyle masochism with irrevocable consent. 

And it’s definitely worth it. While I am service oriented and strive for useful more than anything else, I also want to be simply pleasing, elegantly bent to her every whim and preference, obviously obedient, adherent to every detail. My mind can’t frequently wander too far from her, with all of those things to keep in mind (and I’m not allowed to be answerable to anyone else—like having a job). The detailed training and behavior modification fulfills my desire to be as close to perfect as possible—for one person, because you can’t please everyone.

So is it automatic? Yes and no. It’s complicated. Some are easy, automatic now. But they don’t need to always be. I’m willing to put in the work when they’re not. 

I’m looking to teach others about that process, too—writing this, launching my How to Learn Protocols class—because there’s definitely more to it than meets the eye, whether it’s automatic now or not. I’m passionate about the process and the results both, and love living it, and discussing it with Mistress over dinner, or teaching it in a Zoom webinar, or writing about it in a blog post.

Maybe that’s part of why it doesn’t become automatic more quickly for me. I just love thinking about it too much. 

Lifestyle Masochism Example (The Rice)

This is part of the Lifestyle Masochism series. These are stand alone non fiction/memoir examples of the lifestyle sadomasochism we practice within our irrevocable consent framework, as discussed in the explanation post “What I Talk About When I Talk About Masochism”.

Morning inspection happens at 10:30 as always; Mistress checks my morning service tasks, looks me and my uniform over in Inspection Position, approves; I apply sunscreen for her. 

When we’re done today, she says, “When you’re ready, come to my office.” 

“Yes, Mistress.” 

I have a few chores to see to, packing up and planning to do, before I’ll be ready to head out for a few outside things. I clean the litter box, move the laundry to the dryer, so on. 

I know, somehow, by her tone, that she has some unpleasant thing in store for me before we leave. I turn over guesses in the back of my mind as I do the chores. 

On her daily planning template, there’s a section labeled “How to Harass Hannah Today”. This amuses her. The whole joke of it’s not like I wake up in the morning and plan how to screw up your life today. Except, she does. In her morning planning, something gets penciled in. Last night, I noted that her page for the day had said, Make knell (sic) on rice, though that hadn’t happened. My best guess is that it got pushed to today, and that’s what’s coming, though it occurs to me that her carpeted office is an odd place for this. 

When I get to her office, I wait in the doorway silently as required. She beckons me in, and I note a large, sturdy but relatively thin wooden cutting board on the carpet, bearing the anticipated rice, before she says it. Ah.

She has me take my leggings and underwear down to below my knees, but generously not off entirely, since I already have shoes on; at her order, I set my pager that was clipped to my clothes to the side. I’m right here; she doesn’t need to page me. She tries a few things with my shirt and bra for more aesthetic exposure, but they’re not staying in place; they come off entirely. 

I kneel up on the cutting board. We’ve mentioned the rice a lot, but oddly I don’t think we’ve ever done it. It’s uncomfortable, but not the utter agony I’ve heard about in FetLife writings, though few things are for me, which is a fun challenge. 

Just the rice isn’t exciting for her, either. She yanks on my hair, pinches my nipples hard, hits me wherever’s accessible, tries to get me to go down on her, but the angles don’t really work, and it’s brief. I squirm, but stay on the rice. 

Today’s lecture is, “You know, if I did this to someone else, I’d be like, in jail. But you, you love it.” But me, I beg for it. But me, I can handle whatever she throws at me. But me, I’ll do anything for her. But me, I’m incomplete without the suffering. 

She picks up a metal ruler from her desk. It’s there for drawing and such, but it’s handy. She traces the front of my left thigh and selects a spot, tapping it. I tense and wriggle in anticipation. “Stay still,” she reminds me. “Keep your hands out of the way. This is metal; if you move your hand, I’ll break your wrist.” 

I’m wringing my hands behind my back. I keep them there. She hits that spot on my thigh with the ruler, hard, enough to leave an almost immediate, distinct welt. I hiss and writhe; it does have an unexpected bite. She picks another spot right below it. Same thing. Paces around to my other side, right thigh. Two more to, “Even it out.” One, two. Oof. 

Shortly after that, she lets me go. I stand, dress, and, unasked, clean up the rice. Some has ended up on the carpet, brushed out of my skin, where it left indents, and it’s quite a job to find all of the tiny white rice in the thick white carpet, though I quickly discover that if I brush my palm over the carpet, the remaining rice jumps up.

And soon enough, we’re ready to go. 

Lifestyle Masochism Example (Top Three for the Week)

This is part of the Lifestyle Masochism series. These are stand alone non fiction/memoir examples of the lifestyle sadomasochism we practice within our irrevocable consent framework, as discussed in the explanation post “What I Talk About When I Talk About Masochism”.

Sunday. As always, morning inspection at 10:30. 

Morning service tasks already done, I shut my 10:29 alarm and get in Inspection Position in the bedroom. I stand, legs spread, hands clasped behind my head. 

Mistress comes in. I’m silent, waiting for her to speak first. Speak when spoken to. She tells me my morning tasks were done well and on time, looks me and my uniform over, approves. 

“Thank you, Mistress,” I say, the required response to the praise. 

“You’re welcome, slavegirl.” She releases me from the position to fetch the nearby sunscreen and apply it for her: “You may get me lotion.” 

I do. And normally, that’s it. 

Today, though, it’s not. “Remove all of your clothing.” 

I do. Meanwhile, she seeks out a few items. Removing my leggings and underwear is painful today. On Friday night, we did an impact scene—paddles, full force, thirty minute timer—that had me dripping blood on the floor before finishing with the barbed wire “flogger” I made (barbed wire duct taped together). It looked like a horror movie scene—blood drops on the carpet, blood soaked implements, blood rushing down the shower drain. A barb flew loose from the flogger after catching in my skin, landing on the floor. 

It was supposed to be a catharsis scene, but it got more silence and giggles than anything. It was fun. 

After all the blood, I spent Saturday draining so much plasma, it immediately soaked through my clothes no matter what I did, leaving clear wet spots wherever I sat. 

Now, my clothes stick to the wounds, and I have to peel them out. But Mistress has a solution. 

I step into the Pull-Up unprotesting. Diapers aren’t my thing—and that increases the fun for her—but I’ve yet to figure out a better solution. She lays on the humiliation verbally, but the reality is practical. 

With that in place, she has something else for me. The mostly used soap from the shower, wet. I let her run it over my tongue and place it in my mouth without protest, too. 

She places me in the corner—well, nose pressed to a wall, arms boxed behind my back, Corner Position—emphasizing how much this amuses her. 

I wait there. She takes a picture. I’m sure it’s quite an image. I wonder nonchalantly if she’ll post it. 

She leaves me there for a few minutes. I’m pondering the soap. The shape and size are okay right now, but the bar wouldn’t fit in my mouth brand new. It’s plain to look at, and the taste is unpleasant, but it doesn’t burn or tingle like some of the scented ones do. I should do something about this. 

(By Thursday, I’ve played with making my own cute, well shaped bars in various flavors for her to torment me with—and use around the house—including ginger ones shaped for anal insertion, and an improvement on my ginger infused lube creation.)

Mistress comes back in and releases me from the corner, lets me rinse my mouth out, leaves me to redress in my uniform and go about my chores or, “Whatever it is slavegirls do.” 

… 

Tuesday, which means I give Mistress a pedicure at four o’clock. 

I’m done now, still cleaning up supplies, and soon off to start dinner. 

But Mistress has other ideas. She finds me again, putting a few things away in the master bath. “You may remove all of your clothing.” 

This order always leads to interesting things. Given the setting, I’m pretty sure I know what, and as I strip out of my uniform, I warn her that means dinner will likely be late (not served at six as always). 

“That’s fine. I can make dinner be late if I want. If I’d rather harass you.” 

“Thank you, Mistress.” The permission is kind of buried, but there, evoking the required response. 

She opens the shower door. “Kneel.” 

I do. The shower floor is cold and hard, and just big enough to manage my usual Kneeling Position—knees open, big toes crossed right over left, hands clasped behind my back, right over left, right thumb over left thumb—without touching any walls. 

She leaves me there for a minute, seeing to something in another room. Then returns.

She pees on me, and has me lick her clean, then turns the shower on full blast cold. I fly out of the sudden stream of water before I can realize what I’m doing, kneeling up and clinging to the doorway of the shower as she orders and shoves me back into the freezing water. She wants me there for a few solid seconds, soaking me with the removable shower head, before she leaves me to clean up with warm water. 

Or, “You may rinse off,” as she puts it, waiving the requirement to shave and present for inspection after. I’ll be free to finally start dinner.

“Thank you, Mistress.” 

… 

Friday. 

I’m making dinner, to be served at six as always. Steak is in the sous vide, soon to be seared; potatoes are boiling on the stove, soon to be mashed; asparagus is getting tossed and put back in the oven. Some mutual favorites. 

Mistress comes in, asks about the food. I answer. 

“Take off your shirt,” she orders in response. 

I glance at the various uncovered windows around, but comply. A neighbor could see in, but it’s not in plain sight. 

“And your bra.” 

I set both uniform items on the island. 

She produces two clothespins. No points for guessing where those are going. I’m not shocked by their appearance, either—I noted them sitting on her desk earlier. They were out of place—not in the dungeon—but, as I cleared a few dishes, trash, other out of place items, I left them, suspecting exactly this. 

She puts them on me. I bite my lip as she does. Then, the pain is low intensity, but achingly constant.

She presses the ice dispenser button on the freezer behind her, and traces my breasts and stomach with an ice cube, cold and wet, dripping down my skin. 

Then she reaches past me and pulls a fork out of a drawer. She dips it in the water boiling on the stove, holds it there for a few seconds. Presses it to my abdomen hard a few times, though it loses heat quickly, and she sticks it back in the water. 

The contrast is interesting—there’s a second where the now mild cold from the ice rapidly gives way to mild warmth from the fork, before I’m struck by the burning heat of the metal, squirming a little. 

She cycles the ice and the hot fork for a minute, and finally her nails down my skin, a strange collection of pink marks. 

She talks about how she likes coming in and harassing me, having me as, “A toy to play with as I please.” She removes the clothespins. I bite my lip again, hold my breath. “You may get dressed.” 

“Thank you, Mistress.” 

I check on dinner. Evidently, she’s had her fill of entertainment for now.

Lifestyle Masochism Example (Pressure Pointed)

This is part of the Lifestyle Masochism series. These are stand alone non fiction/memoir examples of the lifestyle sadomasochism we practice within our irrevocable consent framework, as discussed in the explanation post “What I Talk About When I Talk About Masochism”.

I’m standing in the bedroom, kind of between activities, having just finished cleaning and shutting down the downstairs for the night, now settling in upstairs, without it being time for my final evening service tasks yet. I’m thinking that maybe I’ll type up some notebook pages when Mistress comes in, making sweet talk, which somehow ends with me tackled to the bed, on my back, pinned with my hands over my head in a way my shoulders really don’t want to stretch, with her on top of my legs. 

She’s still talking—something, we’re in a Lifetime movie, random violence, you love it, that’s pathetic, something—but I’m a bit distracted by her fingers digging into pressure points around my hips and thighs, sharp bursts of pain with aftershocks. She’s narrating: “See, you’re just in here minding your business, and then you get tackled and held down and pressure pointed. That’s a verb now. That’s how this works.” 

I’m still distracted by the pressure pointing, not entirely sure what comes out of my mouth in response, squirming. I’m still feeling aftershocks when she slaps me hard in the face instead, her hand settling around my throat, squeezing; the other presses into that spot at my hip again that takes away the rest of my oxygen, then hits me in the chest.

She tires of this, though, and I find myself flipped over—it’s always strangely disorienting, flips like that at moments like these; the world was already kind of small, her hair a curtain around my head, and now my face is mostly pressed into the comforter, and the person pinning me down is now also behind me, and everything spins. She yanks my uniform leggings and panties down, and I half see her throw my pager to the side, so the clip doesn’t get broken under me (again). 

She spanks me, hard, some slaps, but mostly punches, the kind I feel in my hips more than anywhere else, force and pain. I sink against the bed. “And you like getting punched in the ass.” The theme tonight seems to be, “You love it, you pathetic little pain slut. I bet it makes you wet.” She slips two fingers in me, abruptly—I make a choked sound—not that wet. Or that open, especially at this weird angle, with my legs kind of trapped closed. It just hurts. Not for long, though; after a few seconds, her fingers press at my lips, and I suck off what did drip onto them instinctively. 

Then the punching continues. “I wonder if you can come from this,” she says, which isn’t much of a question. I’ve done it countless times before—come from pain alone. The real question is if I can do it right now. Hmm. Probably, I think. “Just from being a punching bag.” And the punches keeps coming—force, pain, a lot more than cute, erotic slaps—fast, hard; sensation builds. “It goes with your whipping girl complex.” 

“Please,” I get out, mostly into the comforter, my way of saying, Yes, I can, and yes, I want to, though I can’t get down enough air to finish the question properly, the golden may, please, Mistress combo.

She pauses for a second, but only for a second, maybe to be able to hear me better, or give me enough oxygen to finish. But she fills it in for me: “Please, what? You want to come from this?” 

“Yes, Mistress—” 

She resumes. “Come, then.” 

So I do. People ask me about this part a lot, when I talk about orgasming from pain. It’s like any other orgasm, really. Sensation builds up and intensifies. A need for relief. A feeling of being overwhelmed. The endorphin rush. It’s a little more mental, a little less distinct, but it’s everywhere, and it’s an orgasm nonetheless, and I pant, “Thank you, Mistress,” when it’s over. 

“You’re welcome, slavegirl.” The unofficial end line of any protocol that dictates, Thank you, Mistress. 

And so I catch my breath.

Service Skill: Giving a Manicure

Create a soothing environment. Offer a basic selection of drinks, snacks, and/or entertainment.

Place towel, then adequately sized bowl or basin with hot water (as hot as comfortable) and desired additions, on a table at a comfortable height where you can sit across from each other. Essential oils of choice and bubbles make a traditional luxurious touch. Ensure good task lighting. 

Remove old polish if needed.  

Soak fingertips/hands for ten to fifteen minutes. 

Use a cuticle pusher to push back cuticles, removing loose dead skin around the nail. If there’s a lot, you might want to use a cuticle trimmer.

Trim, file, and buff nails. Gently clean under nails with the cuticle pusher. 

Dry, then moisturize and massage hands. Apply cuticle oil to cuticles and nails; massage in.  

Apply a clear base coat, two coats of desired color, and a clear top coat. Let coats dry completely before the next one; keep them thin and even. Keep common polish colors on hand. 

Day in the Slave Life: Last Thing at Night

9:35 PM.

My reminder alarm goes off as always.

I’ve probably had one eye on the clock, so it’s simple to wrap up the writing or whatnot that I’m doing, most of the time. 

I see to my final evening tasks. Write the nightly turndown card with tomorrow’s reminders, meal plan, and weather forecast, place it in its spot. Turn down the bed. Fill the humidifier. Lay out my blanket on the floor at the foot of the bed (slave furs). Little things.

9:40, my pager—slave bell—gives its “goodnight” auto off buzz. 

I strip out of my daily uniform as required, shivering a little—slaves don’t touch the thermostat, or so I’m told around here—and give myself a once over in the mirror, freshen up.

9:44, I get into Inspection Position. Standing, legs spread, hands clasped behind my head, head and eyes up, back straight. I can hear Mistress going down and up the stairs, checking on tasks I did earlier downstairs—cleaning the kitchen after serving dinner at 6, preparing the coffee machine for tomorrow, shutting down the house. 

Back upstairs, she comes in and looks the room, then me, over, circling me, prodding—the usual mix of caresses, slaps, squeezes. 

I’m silent, waiting for her to speak first. Speak when spoken to. My arms ache and tingle a little. 

She tells me I did well, lavishes me with praise. 

“Thank you, Mistress.” The required response. I mean it. And even though it goes this way ninety-nine percent of the time, there’s always an element of relief. 

“You may get me lotion.” She sits on the end of the bed, lying back. I get out of position, grab the lotion, and rub it into her elbows. The nightly default is at least that. She rubs it in a little more and rubs the excess into her hands. “You may do my feet, too. And rub them a little.” 

“Yes, Mistress.” The you may is no matter—it’s an order. Yes, Mistress. So I do as told. 

When she seems content with that, she sits up. I get into Leashing Position, kneeling, knees apart, big toes crossed in back (right over left), my leash across both of my palms, hands resting on my thighs, tossing my hair out of the way, checking that the collar o-ring is in front, that my back is straight. She takes the leash clip from me and clips it to my collar. Gives me a few more pats on the head, says goodnight, and goes, off to do a few more things and then settle into the bed and sleep. 

I settle into my blanket, seeing to a few final-final things. Set my alarms for tomorrow. Plug in my devices. Write my slave journal entry. Take my meds. Message my mom, Goodnight, I love you. More. Most. Seriously, goodnight. And shut my laptop.

And then it’s time for sleep.