Service and acts of service seem to be a common theme in D/s relationships. Some cynics have taken pot shots at pro-Dommes for the near universal observation that gifts and service seem to be what they all want. Really? Who cares? What if it is the other way around? What if the kind of person who is drawn to being a pro-Domme is the kind of person who really enjoys being doted upon? Better still, what if male subs find deep fulfilment in giving in these small, controlled ways?
But I have been thinking a lot about service lately in a very different context. The contextual change is a move from an act of service to a condition of service. As Shae Madigan wrote in a brilliant post on how her own “submission” has gone from adjective to noun, there are parallels—where service is changing from something you do, some nice thing that you do for someone, into a way of being, the way you are for someone. And as I contemplate the days ahead of me, I am finding echoes of this concept taking hold.
There are two metaphors I would like to explore to explain what I mean—the first is a “bubble” and the second is “flow”. These two concepts together are allowing me to crawl inside service, and to be it, rather than to just do it.
The Bubble Metaphor
My now ex-Therapist, who did many good things for me, taught me about learning to create my own protective energy bubble around me. We determined that it was made of purple-pink light and needed to come into existence to nurture and protect my developing sense of self. I like this idea, because this self-protective bubble allows for self-nurturing and for the space to grow.
For the next several days, I am going into a zone where I am doing things in order to render service to Mistress. One of those things will see me spending 10 hours in the car, driving in a physical bubble. The purpose of the trip is not really germaine, though it is educational—me learning about things so that I can be of more use to myself and true to my goals, but also better able to serve. But the sense of purpose that got me into the car and taught me about this topic, was one that has been cultivated by Mistress. It is the Enlightened Mistress who finds joy in the Enlightenment of her slave.
I think of this time in the car as a time for reflection…the still air, the relative quiet, the absence of distractions…these are all things that are conducive to a meditate state. And for some reason, I am drawn to those ecosystems in balloon bottles—those little tropical gardens, complete, in balance, and partially closed…with their own moisture, nutrients, soil, and a kind of perfect harmony that allows them to thrive. It is a kind of zen like state, organic, balanced, natural. Being inside service feels the same.
When we really begin to know how to do something, mentally or physically, it just comes naturally to us. This is the state my tennis teacher would like me to be in…and in truth, on good days, I am. But the metaphor is also relevant to the things we do, to service. When you know what you are doing, when you know about the subject, and when you know how to do it, and you know that what you are doing is desired, desirable, and will be well received, it is possible to just do without thinking. It comes naturally.
Some slaves need to be told what to do. Perhaps all of us. Other slaves are encouraged or just like to get into a state of anticipation. This is not presumption, but rather, the natural expression of what the Master or Mistress wants as expressed through the body and mind of a slave. Feedback serves to reinforce and course-correct.
What is different about this from acts of service, is that this kind of service is open-ended. There is no reason for it to stop. It just is. It is a way of being.
Why am I thinking about this? Because I felt a difference in the way that I relate to Mistress, one which feels natural and positive, and most importantly, sustainable. And that is that my attitude to service has changed. I used to think of it as a form of giving, but I am finding more comfort now in the thought that it is not giving but being. Being in service. It makes life much simpler.