Run It Like a Business: Organization in Slavery and the Love of the Process

Re-sorting things in a productivity app again, I was talking about minor features I wished existed. Habit tracking, automatic sorting by date, Find My Friends integration, sharing, so on…

I got to one, and Mistress, laughing good-naturedly, asked, “What do you need those features for, are you a small business CEO now?”

I’m not a CEO. Far from it, I’m a slave.

(Not that CEOs can’t also be slaves—my point being more that for me, being a slave is my only “occupation”.)

But let’s face it: a job to be done is a job to be done. CEOs and slaves both have things to do.

And while looking back at a job well done is commonly a good feeling, I think that what’s often missing is feeling good before then: the love of the process.

Service is an art and a science both. There’s a lot of data-gathering, through questions and observations and research (and cycles thereof); then there’s the data analysis, and back to the start, a life-long cycle of learning. The art is what you do with the conclusions drawn from that data.

You observe your M-type’s slight smile whenever you properly set the table more nicely for dinner, rather than precariously balancing the silverware on the plate itself. You do some research into not only nice but technically proper table setting, and you start setting the table that way, as much as reasonable, and note a bigger smile. You ask them if anything could make the table setting better. “Yes,” they say, perhaps this other napkin fold. You look up how to fold like that, and start folding the napkins that way. The table setting and the napkin folds are the part that’s considered more of an art.

And honestly, satisfaction is much more short lived in that scenario if it comes from looking at the table set as your M-type likes it, rather than all of the parts involved in getting there.

Now, the “a job to be done is a job to be done” thing—and why I take organization weirdly seriously as a slave. Well, look at that example process. There’s the observations, the research, a stated preference. You might want to keep a table setting or napkin folding reference somewhere, and not somewhere lost forever in the depths of your files—not to mention a note of the preferences you noted or heard.

While pride in slavery might sound contradictory (and it sometimes can be), taking pride in a job well done is an excellent motivator for making sure that job is well organized, and of course, continually well done. Pride in the process itself can be even better.

Basically: the importance of an organizational system you believe in cannot be overstated in many situations.

Okay, so if you’re onboard with the theory, what are some practicalities?

The thing is that organization generally should be a very personalized thing. I’ll talk about some of the things I do in as general terms as I can.

In this modern world we live in, organization and productivity apps are everywhere, and there’s something out there for almost everyone.

Personally, we use Google Drive to be able to share things easily—our contract, things related to eating and shopping, my daily slave journal, and things for our weekly check-in meeting. (Speaking of which: a contract for expectations, a journal for “record” keeping, and a routine check-in are all useful organizational tools for us in themselves.) We also have a shared Google Calendar, or several technically. We also both have systems that are not shared as they only apply to us.

But, being a bit of a productivity/organization geek has helped me in slavery more than I can say.

I’ve experimented a bit with things like bullet journaling and kanban boards, many productivity apps, and use different things when I think they might be beneficial. I recommend trying different systems for different situations and different combinations of them and finding what works.

Like I said: the love of the process.

The love of learning is a huge part of that too. Reading, practicing skills, taking classes, asking questions of those who are experienced.

Because, the way I think about it, the service process, rather than pure service, is something that’s important to a lot of M-types.

Sometimes a sandwich is a sandwich, and someone making you a sandwich is someone making you a sandwich. So why have a slave instead of a Personal Sandwich Maker?

(Okay, so there are some very practical reasons, but bear with me.)

Because a lot of M-types like watching someone put their time, energy, and skills into pleasing them. It might not be about what exactly that final action is. It might not be that the table looking nice is so important to them—but they get something out of knowing that you were watchful enough to notice what they liked, that you put in the time to read up on it, that you cared enough to ask about it, that you were dedicatedly practicing the just-so napkin folds. It is in those details that the difference can be.

So it helps if you love the process too.

And have a well-organized process you can love and be proud of.

Learning in Anticipatory Service, and Some Advice

There’s a lot of learning involved in service, and especially in anticipatory service.

There’s learning the M-type’s preferences and priorities. All of them. Even the ones they’re not consciously aware of, or don’t think to communicate. And learning them to a point where remembering them is automatic. And knowing and understanding the “why” if it matters. And incorporating them whenever possible. And… sometimes preferences and priorities change.

There’s thoroughly learning the “technical skills” you might not have yet. Cleaning, cooking, errands, laundry, yard work, travel, secretarial, personal care. And fine tuning those skills based on those preferences.

There’s (in anticipatory service) learning about their subconscious and sometimes nigh invisible cues. An extra split second of looking at a cup when it’s nearing empty. A ghost of a smile that indicates they like what you just did. It’s knowing what they want that they might not even know they want (at least yet). And those cues can also change. It’s knowing them and their boundaries well enough to know what kind of anticipatory service is acceptable and desirable.

In anticipatory service, my goal is to do the things that Mistress wants before she calls, “Slave!” from across the house.

So how do I determine what those things are in an anticipatory style?

1. Do things they’re going to ask for, before they ask. For example: fix problems. Big problems might be more involved, but there are plenty of small “problems” that can be solved immediately. Like the toilet paper roll ran out, or there’s a spill in the kitchen. Try to address things like that right away, and try to figure out how to prevent future problems or make them easier to solve when they come up (store extra toilet paper in the bathroom, have a towel ready in the kitchen). Basically, don’t wait for them to remind you to treat something as necessary. You can see their glass of water is almost empty or that you’re missing a needed event supply without them saying anything—fill the glass now, acquire the supply now.

2. Do (or offer to do) things they might not think to ask for at all. Regularly think of what you could be doing to make their life easier that they might not think of. It could be a once-off task or a new standing order. If it can reasonably just be done, then you can just do it before they get to it. If you think you should talk to them about it first, then do that. Think of things around holidays (wrapping?), trips (packing?), and things like that. Look at what seems to give them stress or frustration or disruption. If there’s a repeating task you see them getting distracted from more important things by, offer to handle it on the same schedule.

3. Improve their processes and environments. Make things a little more convenient or a little prettier in some way (and, note what they think makes something more convenient or pretty). Organize things around the house. Eliminate nuisances. Do minor redecorating. Get related supplies in one place. Improve the lighting. Automate things.

4. Devote yourself, on your own, to learning those “technical skills”, keeping track of those preferences, and doing your own self-improvement (growth cannot be overstated).

Anticipatory service is a lot of learning, a lot of work—and one of my favorite things.

The Contract Post

This post is about detailed M/s contracts that outline relationship expectations, using my own as an example and focusing on what goes into it.

So, let’s get started.

My M/s contract opens with a brief section on the contract itself with a few other miscellaneous details tucked in.

It states that “this contract” supersedes all other versions of this contract once it is signed. The contract will stand for a one year term, at the end of which it can be renewed as is or with edits.

This does a few things. It takes the power out of the old contracts and makes it clear which one we’re going by. Having a specific term length for it helps remind us to re-visit it and see if we need those edits (a year currently works for us, but this definitely varies for different people).

This section also states what the contract is for. In our case, “a 24/7 live-in Mistress/slave dynamic.” This makes the scope clear and features our main roles. It goes on to say that I am owned and collared, as that’s kind of a distinct status in itself. It also specifies our vanilla label, married.

For us, this section includes a brief statement that’s basically “we’re monogamous,” and what that means to us (I think we go by a pretty standard model). I will say that if a relationship’s exclusivity arrangement is much more complex than that, it might warrant a section of its own elsewhere. For us, it would be overkill.

The next section is “Schedule”. It covers a few things.

Meta Sunday is what we call our weekly check-in that’s mostly for planning. We go through a list of questions, such as “what was great this week” and “what are we looking forward to next week”. Then we review our shared Google Calendars, and anything else of importance. Every Sunday after brunch.

Mondays at noon we do a scene.

Tuesdays at noon we spend undistracted time alone together for at least an hour, doing a fun, non-sexual activity.

Maintenance discipline is every Friday right after brunch, defined as private and non-sexual, a spanking with what we call the discipline wand (given on bare skin, OTK). Usually beginning and ending with strokes counted in the format, “One, thank you, Mistress, please may I have another?” and usually with an uncounted section in the middle.

Fridays right after dinner, pedicure for Mistress given by me.

Saturdays, a standing invite to come over to our closest friends and family.

Big events: a bit about making effort to celebrate birthdays and major holidays together, and who handles anniversary plans on which year (we split it up by odd/even-numbered years).

Next big section: service.

This section opens with a line that basically boils down to “slave does as Mistress says”. It’s brief, but important, because it allows for flexibility.

It then goes on to define general expectations, bullet point lists of “morning tasks”, “evening tasks”, and tasks by iterations ranging from daily to annual and a section for “other”.

Examples include doing my exercise routine and making the bed in the morning, serving brunch at 9:30, serving dinner and a snack to take upstairs at 6, and then writing my slave journal entry, turning down the bed, and cleaning the kitchen again at night. There are various cleaning and plant and pet care tasks (daily), shopping planning (weekly), changing the air filters (monthly), and rotating the mattress (quarterly). This is a very small selection of examples, but you get the idea.

Then we go to the “Rules and Protocols” section. There’s a “does not apply in vanilla company” sub-section. The most key thing overall is probably “speak respectfully and honestly” to her at all times. There are other notes on everything from asking her permission to leave her presence (and asking if there’s anything else I can do to be of service, and curtsying), to notifying her if I’m leaving the house and seeking permission for more than a walk/notifying her when I’m coming back/keeping her posted and making sure she can track my location via FindMyFriends, to daily bed leashing protocols, to not sitting on the furniture or changing position on the floor without permission, to not locking interior doors, to asking permission to make phone calls (to prevent her yelling, “Slave!” across the house while I’m on the phone with a vanilla person), to how to answer orders or permission grants/denials (“Yes, Mistress” and “Thank you, Mistress”), to asking permission to shower and the inspection routine after. There’s a most used slave positions guide as well that is incorporated into a lot of those examples. Again, just a small selection.

Then there’s a uniform section, which outlines my daily uniform. I’ve spoken about that before here.

Finally, we have a facing issues/dissolution section. It lays out a written report system for upsets and that Mistress will use punishment at her discretion.

It also says that I will not invoke safewords, limits, relationship termination, or any other form of refusal; it notes that the contract is a tool of communication for current understandings and is not enforceable from my side. Mistress “may verbally make exceptions to, add, remove, or change its contents, and will endeavor to maintain the overall integrity of the agreement as a matter of honor rather than due to enforceability.” If she chooses to dissolve the dynamic, she “agrees to do so in a reasonable manner after due communication, and be open to ongoing discussion on further agreements”.

Other than that, it’s a formatting and signatures game.

One note: the vast majority of M/s contracts are not legally binding. There may be some relevant legal paperwork you can do under vanilla terms, but odds are slavery is not legal where you are. That means these contracts are usually more honor-bound than anything else, but hopefully you’re entering this contract with someone honorable.

Another note: to keep things simple, we aimed to keep any anticipated life changes in mind while writing, and keep certain things, like tasks, as vague as still very reasonable in case a detail changed. We considered it important to point out when and what kind of exceptions could be made throughout the contract.

And so you have it, the (“obligatory” for someone who writes on M/s) contract post.