Honorifics: A Fascination

I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with honorifics.

Maybe it’s my inner slave, maybe it’s my inner linguistics nerd, but I have.

Both of my parents actively disliked them.  If a cashier called my dad sir, he was known to say, “Nah, it’s man, bro, or dude.”  (And while a fairly masculine guy, he always had long hair, so he got called ma’am by plenty of people who only got a split second glance.) My mom just said it made her feel old but other than assuring excessive users that it wasn’t necessary, didn’t protest.  In any case, it didn’t come from my family.

I therefore called adults sir or ma’am sparingly, feeling awkward if I wasn’t sure if they held the same opinions as my parents, or on the other end of the spectrum, were going to be offended if I didn’t.  I must admit I got some kind of kick out of using the honorifics, though.

In eighth grade, I had just started at a new school and chosen to be an office aide during my elective period.  It was a busier and sometimes more chaotic role than I think I’d initially pictured, but it was a blast.

It was the second, maybe third week of school, and I’d just finished running some errands around the campus for one of the office administrators, of the sort whose official title no one’s ever sure of, but they sure do seem to cover a lot of areas.

I returned to his office to confirm, “Anything else I can do for you, sir?”

And he gave me this blank, jaw-half-open stare.

I just kind of stared back at him.  Had I forgotten some obvious other task he’d already assigned or something?

“Did you just call me sir?” he asked, sounding incredulous.

“… Yes…” I said, the ‘s’ a little too drawn out as I tried to decide if saying sir again was a good idea, deciding against it.

“I’ve worked at this school for twenty-five years and no one has ever called me sir.  That’s amazing.”  He seemed to snap out of his daze a bit.  “No, I don’t need anything else, thank you.”

“You’re welcome, sir.”  He smiled and I left.

Twenty-five years.  Don’t get me wrong, based on my experience with the sort of kids at that school, I believed it.  Still, it really went to show how that tiny gesture of respect made a huge difference to him.

So when I found honorifics and titles as a thing in kink, it tugged at me.

Mistress and I had talked about it very early on; she wanted to know my thoughts.  I determined that in my mind, Miss felt too diminutive to be my go-to for her.  Ma’am was fine, but very generic, something I could call many people by.  Mistress felt appropriately respectful, more personalized, and clearly had heavier M/s connotations.  She agreed.  That’s the title and honorific we went with, because it works for us.  Here meaning I use it both to refer to her, “(My) Mistress and I went to the store,” and to address her, “Yes, Mistress.”

In kink, of course, many people have thoughts on honorifics and titles in all kinds of directions.  But as said, my fascination with them started before I even had the right words for the feelings I would later know were a desire for slavery.

I think because even in the vanilla world, they do hold importance to many.  Almost funny how easily they set a tone, how one use of sir could endear a school administrator and one use of ma’am could have my mom wondering at her age.

As a writer, I latched onto that importance when I wrote fiction. At first it was vanilla contexts in which I wrote honorific usage. As a writer of science fiction and fantasy, I thought about how they transcended times or universes.  Their usage in military and government settings amongst dystopian societies’ revolutions and wars; their usage in the office workplace of a grim future, with all kinds of power games being played on many orders of magnitude. In my first venture into BDSM fiction, they were a reflection of everything from perspectives on the dynamic, to the desire or lack thereof to fit them into a vanilla environment, to preferences for gendered or non-gendered titles, to poly or monogamy and who was permitted to call who what.

How telling they were.  One word could flip a reader’s perception when introducing a relationship between characters; in the right context, a certain usage of them could be enough to tell you who was speaking without dialogue tags; usage spread amongst characters could quickly indicate a more formal setting.

So when I found kink in the real world, my grasp of how telling, along with important, they could be came with me.

They seem fairly simple, but can be such a key thing in a dynamic.  I suppose my fascination has not faded.

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 Style of Entertaining, and Where I Got It From

Recently, Mistress and I attended one of my family’s gatherings.

As I watched my cousin, one of the hosts, cook entirely too much delicious food, and the other host, her husband, diligently clean up a step behind her, I thought about my own style of entertaining and where I get it from.

Other than the aforementioned couple, it was mostly my great-aunt or her daughter who hosted family gatherings as I was growing up.  There was also always entirely too much delicious food from that part of the family, though it happened more in courses—light appetizers in wicker baskets scattered around before you sat down to salad and soup, then a course offering the option of many tempting entrees and sides, usually very drawn out before the cleaning up started, people wandering around, leading into the placement of assorted light desserts.

At my cousin’s house, however, it was more like a constant wandering, and many light and heavier appetizers on the large kitchen island, then a large variety of appealing entrees, sides, and heavier desserts added to that island, much closer together in time.  Cleanup got done as it was needed, closely following whatever was getting cooked up at the time.

Aside from family gatherings, the parties I went to during my more formative years that I remember best were the parties thrown by the very wealthy families of kids I went to middle school with for the first two years.  As someone new to that private school and there on scholarships, it was like a whole new world.

These were parties of hundreds of people of varying relation in fancy but uncomfortable looking clothes, with very loud music from a DJ and elaborate but dim lighting, sitting down at round tables so big you could barely read the place card of the person across from you, the table covered in fine linens, and waiters bringing delicately plated food you had ordered on your RSVP card so long ago you forgot what you ordered or what the options even were.  People gave speeches and after dinner, there were activities and lots of dancing.

I think of what I’m like as a host now and can see bits of all of those hosts in me.  I hosted a weekly event at home with Mistress for almost a year and a half, having rarely less than six and rarely more than twelve people over for food, chitchat with kinky company, and occasional play or swimming.  In that event, I can see bits of all of the above events.

I always erred on the side of too much food, and my skills at cleaning and cooking at the same time improved over time, though there was always more cleanup to do after all was done (and cleaning up before people even arrived).  I tended to have the “light appetizers scattered around in cute baskets” style (cut down later on due to the unhealthy tendencies of those “appetizers”). Then there would be a more buffet style entree serving later (as cooking finished), with maybe a light side or two, usually fairly closely followed by a dessert.  People were free to wander around with their food.

Though some of the formality of the large parties appeals to me, I would rather fall on the guests being comfortable side of it, like my family.  We never had a dress code of any sort for guests (and clothes sometimes came off anyway), though I’d be in my uniform. We tried to keep the sensory experience of the house calmer, focused on interaction with the other people, not the environment, since that’s what they were there for.

Food was customizable with request, and I often felt out people on the general food options as little as a day in advance.  

I liked a more personalized feel.  There’s the great service of going to a famed five-star restaurant, and there’s the great service of going to the mom and pop cafe you frequent.  The five-star restaurant might have dishes with names in the romance languages, but the mom and pop cafe knows you want extra potatoes and no whipped cream on your drink.  I liked the latter style.

Yes, the brand name store-bought cookies look pretty in the package and have a health code stamp on them, but you don’t get to smell them while they’re in the oven, or see the cloud of flour dust as flour gets added to the bowl, or taste test any of the cookie dough.  Personally, I valued the way the kitchen got crowded as the cookie dough got closer to taste-test ready or as the oven timer got closer to zero, more than I valued a pretty package.  (People descended upon the cookies before they were nearly cooled enough to think about presentation, anyway.)

A main hosting priority for me was also to make everything as intuitive and easy as possible.  I labeled things.  I laid things out in advance.  I didn’t blast music so loud people couldn’t hear each other, or dim the lights so low they couldn’t see each other.  I tried to offer options on things that would work for everyone, and let people choose for themselves.  Fancy was cool, but I didn’t want it at the cost of confused guests who felt shoved into a box. 

If it wouldn’t disrupt the guest experience, I still liked keeping things nicer; even just using real, non-disposable silverware, plates, napkins, and bowls for the occasion easily gave it a more upscale feel.  (Hosting a lot, you have to start to think about your environmental impact anyway.)

Personally, I had a great guest experience at the house of my cousin and her husband recently, and I have had many great experiences with them and with the other hosts of my family, and many of those massive parties of kids at school were a blast, too.  People can definitely enjoy more than one kind of event.

It was interesting to think back on those experiences and how they formed my general hosting style and values—and thinking deeper into different types.

M/s vs. D/s

D/s is a power dynamic where one partner (the Dominant) consensually maintains some level of power in certain areas over the other (the submissive).

M/s is a power dynamic where one partner (the Master/Mistress) consensually maintains a very high level of power in many or all areas over the other (the slave). It has a higher connotation with 24/7.

Neither of these relationship dynamics inherently connects to romance, sex, or kinky play.

A commonly heard idea in discussions about D/s vs. M/s comes down to when the choice to obey is made. Obedience in M/s is often seen as a one-time decision; the slave decides to obey when they become the slave of their M-type, and that decision is never really made again, because it’s already been decided. Obedience in D/s is often seen as more of an active decision each time the submissive follows their Dominant’s will, with each act of obedience seen as accompanied by a bit more of a thought process. Relatedly—internal enslavement is something I see referred to almost exclusively in M/s language.

D/s tends towards more negotiating than M/s, so a submissive might think about the implications of following an order more than a slave. If they do it now, does that set the expectation that they’re always okay with it, or that they’re okay with an escalation path going forth from it? A slave who gives up more control might not think of those things because they might not matter as much.

In those negotiations, it is more often seen in M/s that the slave does not have safewords, hard or soft limits, or the full ability to leave the relationship. It is rarer in D/s for the submissive to not have those things.

D/s is kind of a “headspace enforced” situation. If the submissive is not feeling like obeying at that moment, I see a lot of “then the headspace needs to be fixed” (often by the Dominant). M/s is more of a “headspace expected” situation, where the slave obeys whether they want to or not, and if they don’t want to in that moment, it’s not viewed as a problem; there’s just the expectation that they still want to obey overall, and their headspace will reflect that better later, in a likely fairly natural way.

Often, in fact, I think that these expectations are good for the desired headspaces in themselves, and the expectations for a submissive might be actively detrimental for a slave, and vice versa. A slave would feel discouraged if their M-type wanted to fix their headspace every time they internally didn’t want to do something; a submissive would feel discouraged if they didn’t get help with their headspace at the same moments. Same for how they feel they should address it within themselves.

The positives of being a submissive are often described as “the joy of the feeling of surrender”. It is associated with something you actively feel. The positives of being a slave are often described as “the joy of serving and pleasing another”. It is associated more with how you make your M-type feel.

With this difference in mindset, D/s often has the submissive’s headspace kept in mind when coming up with specific ways for the submissive to submit, with the submissive’s wanting to do those things being important. M/s more often has the Master/Mistress’ wants being kept in mind when coming up with specific ways for the slave to submit, and their desire to submit overall being the important factor.

I am frequently asked about my thoughts on this subject, and I wanted to create one reference on it; so, here it is.

Sadism vs. CNC

I had an interesting conversation with Mistress on this Valentine’s Day.

“I think I might be a sadist,” she said.

“Why?”

“Well, a few hours ago—“ before the nap I’d needed after “—we had sex, and you were in pain, and I liked that you were in pain.”

Okay. Well, yes, that sounded like sadism—but also wasn’t news. She’d used a neon wand to the point of pain on me just the night before, combined with a chest harness of conductive rope, while our friends watched. We’d done impact scenes that lasted hours and consisted of mostly single tails. So why did enjoying having sex that exacerbated some pre-existing pain trigger this revelation?

Her initial explanation came down to “because you were in pain and didn’t want to be in pain”.

I thought out loud about definitions of sadism I’d seen. In the kink scene, “sadist” and “pain play Top” often get kind of combined and messy. A more classic definition of sadism would say that it was enjoying the pain of others. The difference I spotted was basically enjoying inflicting pain for one reason or another, or enjoying others being in pain for the sake of pain.

I asked, “What do you get out of pain play scenes?”

Well, mostly she enjoyed it because she knew I liked it. And she got to guide me through a journey of sensation. And, sometimes, show off—in the case of a public scene.

None of those really had to do with the pain itself. Of course, pain was involved, she said, but it was something I generally wanted as a part of a scene, pain for the sake of pain.

So that’s what made the sex today different. I was in pain I didn’t want. And she enjoyed it—without my enjoyment, without getting to lead a sensation journey, and without any showing off. If her definition of sadism was just about the pain itself, she could’ve had this revelation from an impact scene. But she hadn’t. Because it wasn’t about the pain.

It was about the fact that I didn’t want the pain; that was the differentiating factor.

We’d had sex, which exacerbated pain I didn’t want to be in, making it hard for me to enjoy it. And she found she especially enjoyed the experience specifically because I was experiencing pain I truly didn’t like.

Having thought through some things out loud, I came to the conclusion: “Maybe it’s not sadism, maybe it’s CNC.”

Because if sadism is about pain, if plenty of people identify as sadists when they are enjoying the pain of someone else when that someone else also enjoys it on some level, then her identification as a sadist wouldn’t depend on me not enjoying it; it also wouldn’t be about just being a pain play Top or not, because she was already definitely that.

It wasn’t about my pain; it was about my consent, and I’m not allowed to say no.

I pointed out that there were other times we’d had sex when I hadn’t wanted to, for reasons that weren’t really pain, per se—I was engaged in something else, I was short on time, I was tired, etc. She’d also very much enjoyed those—but hadn’t used sadism as a word to describe it because pain wasn’t involved. But the issue here wasn’t really pain either, though pain can be hard to define.

I do things as a slave on a daily basis that I really don’t want to do, but I do imagine it’s harder to pin down how you feel about that outside of a scene from the other side of the slash. Watching me do dishes and maybe looking a little agitated and jumping when washing a spoon ends up soaking the front of my clothes, is different than being actively engaged in something that’s clearly making me feel pain. It feels a little more the same from my side, sometimes pain is pain whether it’s from scrubbing or not.

I also pointed out that when providing a real answer to, say, a stranger at a munch about what she does in kink, Mistress usually engages more about having a slave than about whips or rope or fire play.

I think in the end I’m still thinking that this is about consent and not pain, an idea I’ve seen Mistress discover parts of over time, as I have. It’s an interesting concept.

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.

Some Services S-Types Can Offer

Cleaning

  • Make beds.
  • Collect and take out trash and recycling, manage containers for them, and handle trash and recycling services.
  • Collect, wash, dry, put away, and care for dishes.
  • Disinfect surfaces.
  • Wash mirrors and windows.
  • Clean appliances.
  • Clean toilets, showers, and baths.
  • Manage clutter, tidy up, and organize things.
  • Clean, vacuum, sweep, and mop floors.

Home Maintenance/Repair

  • Fix and install light bulbs and fixtures.
  • Paint walls and hang wallpaper.
  • Fix and install plumbing-related things.
  • Change air filters.
  • Rotate mattresses.
  • Fix and install appliances.
  • Fix, assemble, and make furniture.
  • Do construction, plumbing, and electrical jobs.
  • Handle working with tradesmen.

Plants/Outdoor

  • Plant, grow, and maintain a lawn.
  • Plant and grow any other desired plants.
  • Clear trash and blockages from exterior areas.
  • Weed an area.
  • Prune plants.
  • Maintain a pool.
  • Arrange and maintain bouquets and floral arrangements.

Laundry/Sewing/Needlework

  • Collect, sort, wash, dry, and put away laundry.
  • Iron.
  • Remove stains.
  • Mend clothes.
  • Tailor clothes.
  • Design and sew, knit, and crochet projects.
  • Do embroidery and applique.

Culinary

  • Cook everyday and fancier foods for whatever number of people is required.
  • Bake.
  • Create nice food and drink presentation.
  • Serve food and drink gracefully.
  • Make coffee, tea, and cocoa.
  • Set the table for various situations; fold napkins.
  • Match alcohol and make alcoholic drinks.
  • Check expiration dates and clear out old food.
  • Put together menus, meal plan, keep food inventory, and make shopping lists.
  • Warm or cool plates, cups, and bowls.
  • Handle special diets.
  • Handle food preservation.

Recreation

  • Pack, especially for air travel.
  • Plan for and use public transportation.
  • Handle arrangements for lodging, meals, and transportation.
  • Find desired shops and services.
  • Navigate with a map or GPS.
  • Handle passport, currency, language, cultural, and legal issues.
  • Handle entertainment, visiting tourist destinations, and going to events.
  • Maintain a valid driver’s license and safe driving skills; drive.
  • Maintain a car: change oil, get fuel, check fluids, change wiper blades, check tire pressure, and change tires.
  • Host events and guests, including overnight.
  • Film and photograph requested occasions.

Secretarial

  • Handle and answer electronic written communications, calls, mail, papers, and visitors; take messages.
  • Proofread, edit, format, and provide feedback on various projects.
  • Keep a calendar and manage scheduling.
  • Keep records.
  • Type up or scan physical notes and records.
  • Assist with gifting.
  • Shop online and in-store.
  • Manage groceries and basic items.
  • Manage couponing, sale-finding, item comparing, and negotiating.
  • Do product and store research.
  • Handle paperwork and related items.
  • Give reminders.
  • Give tech support.
  • Design websites.
  • Research assigned topics and share a report.
  • Set up electronics.
  • Budget, track spending, and handle taxes.

Health/Beauty

  • Give massages.
  • Lay out desired outfits in advance.
  • Give manicures and pedicures.
  • Help with bathing; run a bath.
  • Wash, dry, brush, style, and cut hair; barber.
  • Help with shaving, waxing, and plucking.
  • Do makeup.
  • Maintain certification/skills in first aid and CPR.
  • Handle medications.
  • Take vitals.
  • Do caretaking for illness, disability, and injury.

Animals

  • Feed animals and make sure they have water.
  • Train animals.
  • Clean animal habitats and bathrooms.
  • Provide animal health care.
  • Groom animals.
  • Exercise, walk, and play with animals.

Other

  • Assist with moving (business, home, etc.)
  • Create requested art or decor.
  • Keep anything desired well stocked.
  • Assist with “prepping” (food/water/survival gear storage, etc.)
  • Child care (a list unto itself).
  • Homeschooling or tutoring.
  • AM and PM routines such as closing/opening or locking/unlocking windows and doors, closing/opening blinds, turndown service, and shutting/turning on lights.

Shaming of “Unethical” Dynamics Within the Community

The type of relationship shaming I address here happens when a fellow kinkster tells you that your relationship dynamic is unethical, no matter how many logical points they hear from everyone involved, trying to convince them otherwise.

I’m talking about the cases where the real problem is that a kinkster sees a relationship they personally would have problems with, and insists that that relationship dynamic is unethical for anyone, ever, and the relationship should end. There is sometimes a difference between “unethical for someone” and “unethical for everyone”. One doesn’t have to personally practice something to acknowledge that it’s fine for others to do.

The most common thing that I see cited as the cause for such shaming is a lack of safewords. What I hear is, “Safewords are a crucial part of communicating and represent an ability to say no.” However.

While safewords can have a place in communication, having a safeword doesn’t mean ideal communication has happened, and not having a safeword doesn’t mean less communication has happened.

Depending on styles of communication, safewords can be more useful or less. If the person is good at getting out a safeword but not so good at getting out a full sentence right away, it might be useful. If the person is the “always fully verbal or fully non-verbal” type with negligible in-between, it might be less useful; they can either use the full verbal capacity to communicate without opening it with a safeword, or they’re not going to be able to get out a safeword anyway, and communication would likely be addressed in a completely different way anyway.

As for safewords representing the ability to say no… in some relationships, the s-type agrees to not have the ability to say no. And yes, this means they may end up doing things that they hate, things that make them very uncomfortable, things that are very painful for them, and things that they disagree with. What can make it ethical—and fulfilling—is that they do these things under the direction of someone they have reasons to deeply trust.

The second most common thing that I see cited is a lack of hard/soft limits. What I hear is, “Everyone should have self-defined limits; otherwise, anything could happen.” However.

I frequently see “no limits” as a phrase get mocked. To be fair, I see this happen most often in situations where the person saying they have no limits is currently single and new to kink. They might not know exactly what they’re getting into, and having no limits can attract problems as an opening line.

However, I do see a lot of people saying that you should always have defined limits you enforce—even when you’re in an established relationship with someone you have deep trust for. That is the situation I have a rebuttal for.

Does everyone have limits? In some ways, yes. Everyone has things they literally cannot do, and things that would cause permanent terrible damage, physically or psychologically. Some are almost universal to humans and some might be specific to things like medical conditions.

In the case of “literally can’t”, the limits are rather self-enforcing, or in the case of permanent damage coming after, this is probably more about respecting general concepts of health and safety than a specific partner’s limits. (Granted, this can get messy with some medical conditions and other things and a no limits dynamic might not be the best choice in this case amongst others.)

So let’s assume that in a relationship that can ethically pull off “no limits”, reasonable levels of health, safety, legality, and realism are already being maintained—these aren’t someone defining their own limits. Note the word “reasonable” rather than “perfect”.

In this case, the limits that could be defined are more like things that person isn’t willing/wanting to do. Some people want to set aside their own will/desires for the dynamic they are in—this is where “no limits” can happen.

Conclusion: some dynamics don’t include limits, some don’t include safewords, some don’t include either. Those dynamics can be ethical with the right people and circumstances. Different things work for different people; unethical for one isn’t necessarily unethical for all.

Service Skill: Creating a Butler’s Book

Largely just some thoughts on things that could go into a butler’s book, adapted to the user’s wants/needs. Written in M/s language for an s-type audience.

Preferences

  • Notes on any and all of your M-type’s dietary restrictions, sensitivities, and allergies. Note things that they simply dislike, whether they’re entire cuisines, an ingredient, a recipe, a spice level, or a cooking method.
  • Now the flip side: notes on their favorite foods and drinks. What are those favorites? Is there anything they need/want to eat more of than normal (like iron for the anemia-prone)? What are their preferences for things like seasoning, cooking methods, or presentation? (You can keep recipes here too, and note these things right in them. Consider sorting by meal—breakfast, lunch, etc.) Maybe they like eggs best over medium. Maybe only heaven can help you if their coffee is not available through a straw.
  • Don’t forget notes on restaurants/their menu items if you don’t always eat at home. Favorites, dislikes.
  • Their likes and dislikes for products in categories like cleaning and hygiene. Cleaning chemicals, soaps, detergents, hair products, towels, razors, dental products.

Guides

  • Guide to the bed. A “making the bed” checklist. A reference of your M-type’s favorite blankets, sheets, and pillows. Mattress maintenance schedule. Linen washing schedule. Seasonal change notes. How many pillows and blankets, and where do they go. A “how do hospital corners work” guide for those bleary-eyed mornings.
  • Table setting guide. Have a good general reference, plus anything specific to your home.
  • Guide on how to use any relevant electronics/appliances, including notes on the settings to use. Consider things like kitchen gadgets, and the all-important coffee maker.
  • Guide for where items go if you are at all likely to forget. Pots, pans, baking sheets, plates, bowls, cups. Socks, shirts, pants. Whatever it is.
  • Laundry guide—how to handle delicates, how clothes get sorted to be washed, detergent preferences (plus dryer sheets and/or fabric softener), settings to be used on any machines.
  • Manicure/pedicure guide if you give those.

Information

  • Passwords and usernames that you might need. Remember the WiFi!
  • Quick-access emergency health information about both you and your M-type and available to both of you.
  • Contact information for important people in your lives.
  • Pet information if you have pets. What they eat, their health information, contact information for pet-related services (vet, groomer, pet sitter).
  • Car information if relevant. Model and year. Contact information for car-related services.
  • Notes and contact information on any other services you use regularly (think trash, recycling, mail).
  • A copy of your relationship’s contract if you have one, any other “paperwork” like a rules list.

Lists

  • Gift idea list for people you or your M-type gift to. Include links where applicable. Sort by recipient or occasion.
  • Household inventory. Consider including: item (brand, flavor, size), current stock, what stock level to buy at, what number to buy, where to buy, who buys, photo.
  • Master shopping list (as in a list of everything you buy on the regular, as opposed to the M-type status). Sort this and your temporary shopping lists by the order you go through the store in for more efficiency.
  • Meal plan, menu, or similar system that you use.
  • Master packing list (again, a list of everything you pack on the regular). Consider a base packing list for any recurring trips.

Planning

  • Calendar. Probably best to be shared with your M-type in some way.
  • Task lists. Your current one(s), any ones that repeat on a schedule.
  • Task lists associated with recurring events, such as overnight company.
  • List of important people’s also-important dates, like birthdays and anniversaries, for people relevant to both you and your M-type.

On 24/7

24/7. It means the power dynamic never turns off. Even if we wanted it to, I don’t think it possibly could, for us.

So if she’s the Mistress and I’m the slave, 24/7, what is it that I do in that time?

No, I don’t actively do “slave-y things” all the time. I have to sleep, after all, and even if I’m leashed to the bondage bed—I’m still asleep and not actively doing a whole lot.

So what does 24/7 mean then, as far as external factors, and not just how we process our relationship internally?

Well, a big part of it is availability. If I’m sleeping, she’s still able to wake me up and tell me to do something. Frequently she chooses to not do that. But that’s her choice, not mine. There are other situations where I might seem unavailable where she more frequently chooses to interrupt. It’s like an on-call situation. It means when she yells, “Slave!” I answer instantly, not at my convenience.

It means our rules are in effect 24/7, as are some of our protocols (the rest are in effect whenever we’re not in vanilla company, which is most of the time). If vanillas aren’t around, I need her permission to use the furniture or be in a not-kneeling position on the floor just the same at 3AM as at 3PM. It means that her will affects what I do during any hour of the day.

It means other guidelines are in effect 24/7. Uniform code is uniform code no matter the time, and it was laid out with that in mind.

It means that in some ways, there aren’t really days off. She often allows things to lighten my workload when I don’t feel well, but that is at her discretion. Tired, sick, moody, chronic issue flare-up—doesn’t turn off the dynamic, doesn’t turn off rules or protocols or guidelines. And if she still wants a chore done or sex had, I still have to do as she says.

I do spend a lot of time actively providing service. Cooking. Cleaning. Organizing. Hosting. Cats to care for, coffee to make. Then there are tasks she expects that might not fall under service, but still take time. Daily slave journal entries, weekly events, and more. That active time probably adds up to about a forty hour a week job in itself. Keeping track of it all is a task unto itself.

While a lot of expectations are laid out in our contract, there are also things that happen too incidentally to put in there, and there’s keeping track of things in the moment, the schedule things repeat on, the times and dates.

So basically I view 24/7 (as opposed to a part-time dynamic) as partially about availability and the time range on rules, protocols, and guidelines, and I view it as a likely bigger time investment in general.

(Part Two)