Sunday, 22 February 2015

How Not To Be a Service Black Hole

One of the misconceptions of service submission is service means free labour.  Service, has a cost - both seen and unseen - and it can be calculated.

Easy enough - the costs that can be seen.  Performing service requires making purchases - gas in the car to squire a Top around, or to run errands, or to arrive at their doorstep to perform whatever duties are necessary.  In my own experience, it costs to have a supply of towels and facecloths for massage; to purchase the raw materials to put together a feast (large or small); to purchase the clothing to set the scene or create the fantasy.  The unseen costs include training - workshops, classes, courses, seminars, online or paper print materials; taking time away from oneself or others to take care of the needs of the Top in question; and what can be the greatest cost of all, the expending of emotional energy by the submissive to perform the service.

When a service is performed, it is not merely a pair of boots being shined, or a floor being moped, or a body part being rubbed.  Performing service is a physical manifestation of love - with every sweep of the broom, with every kilometre driven, with every piece of laundry folded - that submissive is showing such care, attention and love for the Top they are servicing.  It is saying “I respect you, I believe you are deserving of my very best, I care for you, I hope I please you, I feel you are worthy of what I have to give”.  This isn’t the romantic variety of love, but more an expression of the bond that exists between community or lifestyle members.

Blessed is the service submissive who can just perform service without any reward - that would be the ideal - someone who could attend to the needs of another over and over without having their own needs seen to.  While every ‘thank - you’ and compliment is appreciated and cherished, there needs to be something given back in the power exchange to feed the soul.  Otherwise, over time, that submissive is just giving their power away, and that can be draining - there must be some form of reciprocity.  If you call on a service submissive over and over again to do your bidding, and you take from them but do not give in return, you are a service black hole.  Words of thanks are again very much appreciated, but at times something must be given in return to feed the desires and needs of the submissive.

Good service submissives are not easily found - it takes time to hone skills, develop talents, inspire creativity, polish abilities.  That is not even counting the other traits that are most important - honesty, being a good communicator, dependability, attentiveness to detail, creativity, being a problem solver.  All of this is not forged over night, so why would you want to contribute to ruining a good or great service submissive by setting up an unequal power dynamic?  They have offered what they are willing to give - dinner on the table, a massage, a car ride, a shopping trip - what are you willing to ante up to not only create a balanced exchange, but to foster the emotional and mental health of this rare breed of submissive?

Altruism while a commendable goal, is not attainable - not by any human.  The expectation that a submissive can give their power away infinitely, without something in return is unrealistic.  Play, funishment, sex - there must be some reward offered that truly acknowledges the gifts given and feeds the wants and desires of the submissive.  Service is rewarding, but it is not a means unto itself.  It is what we do, what we offer, how we show our love - and feeding love allows it to grow, stronger and deeper.

Do not be a service black hole - be a service patron - nurture the gift of service when you see it to ensure it does not become extinct, and to encourage this behaviour in future generations.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

On Receiving Service

Recently, a Domme friend was discussing receiving service from her collared submissive.  She was uncertain what to do and how to act.  Being she was a good friend, I gave her the following advice, “All you have to do is show up, shut up, and look pretty.  That’s your job, and let him <her submissive> do the rest”.

Now, while my words were rather familiar and jocular, the sentiment is applicable to many.  If someone is offering service, it can often be very difficult for the receiver to know how to act, how to accept such service.  If someone offers you service, it is being done for any number of reasons - perhaps the giver enjoys your style of play and wishes to experience your talents, or perhaps the giver wishes to practice his/her skills and has seen that you might be receptive to such, or perhaps you are in need of some kind attention.  Whatever the reason, please know, you are special and have something that appeals to the individual giving service.

Before any action takes place, the service giver will most likely ask you questions, the first and foremost being, would you be interested in receiving such service?  If you are not interested in any service, it is perfectly acceptable to decline.  Not every kink or fetish is pleasing to everyone, and that should be understood.  If you are indeed interested in receiving, further questions would most likely follow, such as: when would you like service, what do you have in mind, for how long is the service required, what are the limits, what are your likes and dislikes.  The questions could range from ‘How do you like your tea?’ to ‘How may I entertain your sadistic side?’.

After that, after the preliminaries have been sorted out, it is a matter of allowing the scene to progress.  You have agreed to receive service, so now is the time to just relax and enjoy what follows.  As with any play partner, it is best practice to get to know the individual, to know that the person offering the service is trustworthy, honourable, and well meaning with their offer.  Receiving service requires taking a chance, placing your faith and trust in another.  Those interested in giving service are doing so for two main reasons - for your happiness, and for their own happiness.

Receiving service requires practicing the art of allowing - allowing someone else to see to your needs, wants, desires and whims.  It may be difficult, it may seem as though you are giving up control, but rest assured, when service is given, if pure in intent, it is done from a place of pure joy and pleasure.  It needs, at times, opening up your home, allowing another into your private realm, perhaps even sharing whatever is most precious to you, but with practice, this can feel like second nature, if you are open to the experience.

Know that If you are with someone who is truly interested in service of some sort, they want to do a good job.  Any sort of play that may occur is viewed as a reward - there will not be any breaking of your fine bone china in the hopes of provoking you into some action.  The individual giving the service is occupied with doing what needs to be done well, with style, to the best of his/her ability, in the hopes that you will be happy, and you will be pleased.

That’s not to say all will go well - there may be bumps in the road - but this shouldn’t deter you from voicing your thoughts and feelings as the service progresses.  Feedback, both good and bad, is very important - it not only indicates that you are present in the moment, but that you care enough to keep the giver engaged.  There is nothing more distressful to a service submissive than to realize you are not enjoying their efforts, and with the appropriate feedback, there is no reason why any form of service can not get back on track if it should happen to jump the rails.  You should feel free to speak your mind and to voice your pleasure or perhaps displeasure with the efforts being made, and trust that any criticism or praise will be taken in, measured, and efforts will be adjusted accordingly.

As with any kink or fetish matter, practice increases the chances for success - so please, for all service submissives you may know, take a chance, and allow them to practice their talents.  Who knows, you might get used to being served, and that is never a bad thing.


Friday, 2 January 2015

The Importance of a Service CV

Just as a professional Curriculum Vitae is your statement of qualifications when job hunting, a service CV can outline your skills and expertise in regards to service.

As with a professional CV, you might want to start with your contact information - name, email, contact number.  Feel free to use some sort of moniker or nickname should you need to keep your identity private.  It would be best to then list skills, such as small home repair, laundry and ironing, silverware care, body service - now, for a term like body service, as it can be taken to mean sexual attention or non-sexual attention, you might want to expand on what kind of talents you mean exactly.  Next, it would probably be best to list any experience you have - such as “Served as butler periodically for a Master for two years”.  It probably wouldn’t benefit to name any names, in fact, it might hinder you as the mark of a good domestic servant is keeping your lips sealed.  Lastly, it would be of benefit to list any titles or competitions you might have been in, for the reason that competing in leather or BDSM competitions requires dedication, hard work, and effort, which are skills you definitely want to want to display.

As an appendix, I would list your limits and interests, and for some, even your safe word.  It need not be extensive, for instance - you need not necessarily list every corporal play implement you enjoy, perhaps just list corporal play.  I would indeed list hard limits, but again, keep this brief.  The benefit of this being that should you be in a situation where you are able to offer service, either at that present moment or at a future time, should the power exchange partner you are speaking with care to engage in a play situation with you after service, they will be acquainted with your likes, dislikes, and most importantly, your limits.

At this point, you could also list references, but that is a personal choice.  Every BDSM community is different, so it may or may not be of benefit to have references.

Here is a brief, fictitious example of what a service CV could look like:

Domestic Service Curriculum Vitae

Name: Majordomo
Email: majordomo@email.com
Contact Number: 555-4444

Skills:

Household budgeting, cooking, laundry and bed linens, light dusting and cleaning, ironing, small household repairs, body service.

Experience:

Served as live-in steward for Top couple for 2.5 years.  
- Duties included: Managing household budget to include purchasing groceries and cleaning supplies, running errands, meal preparation and planning, planning private events and functions, supervising other domestics - both within and without the BDSM community, care of Masters’ wardrobe.

Body servant - ongoing
- Duties include: Providing bathing and massage services to a regular cadre of power exchange clients.  Sessions suited to their personal requirements - all non-sexual.

Titles:

- Runner up in 2010 IMsL (International Ms Leather) competition

Appendix

Likes:

- Fire play, fire cupping, electrostimulation play, corporal play, penetrative play.

Hard Limits:

- Scat, play involving biological animals or children, blood play, sharps.


Safeword: Unicorn

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Domestic Servant's Toolkit

Just as every good mechanic, plumber, or computer tech has their toolkit, so too should every domestic service submissive have a toolkit.  Listed below are a few go to items that I like to always have on hand to tackle certain tasks or jobs.  

You may not have an interest in certain areas of domestic servitude, which is completely understandable, and fortunately, domestic service is not a one size fits all.  Feel free to take what most appeals to you from the following list, and adjust as suits you.

Home Repair

Crazy Glue - I can not say enough about this quick setting adhesive compound.  Best used fresh, and sparingly, this little gem is perfect for small repairs of items that will not be used near food.

Gorilla Glue - For larger home repairs of items such as wood moulding, tiling, baseboards, and doors - sand and paint once dry.

Basic ratchet and screwdriver set - From cupboards to shelving to doors, there is always something around the house that could use tightening or a quick install.  While you need not buy the top name brand, a mid-range brand, such as Milwaukee or Dewalt, would be handy to have.  Even a multi bit tool would serve you well - just ensure you purchase one that feels comfortable in your hand.

Repair putty/filler - For the odd nick or gouge in drywall or baseboards, quick setting, and very malleable.  Once completely dry, easily sanded and painted, blending in with the surrounding structure seamlessly.

Cleaning

Twinkle - The gentlest and easiest silverware cleanser.  Use a soft sponge to wipe on, rinse, then dry with a microfibre cloth.  No force or excessive rubbing required.

Vinegar - The best and cheapest cleaning solvent there is.  Perfect for loosening caked on food remnants on the stovetop, in some dish ware, or in the oven, non-toxic, excellent for streak free mirror and glass cleaning.  Use with baking soda to create a natural sink drain cleanser.

Cleansing wipes - For large and small jobs, perfect for odd shaped surfaces, portable, and multi purpose.

SOS Pads - For dinner ware, cleaning a stainless steel sink, or anywhere you need a little abrasive help.

Body Care

An assortment of lotions - For massage, for softening rough skin, for soothing after play.  Ensure to have a selection of non-scented lotions on hand for those who might be sensitive.

Hand towels - Always good to have a stack of plain white, absorbent hand towels at the ready.

Nail/cuticle clippers - For troublesome hang nails and rough skin - use after soaking the hands or feet, and use a shallow snipping motion.

Household Care

Linen spray or powder - When turning down the bed, or after having changed the sheets - it is a special added touch.  Again, caution is best exercised if you are attending someone who has a scent sensitivity.

An iron - A solidly crafted iron can be a great asset to any domestic toolkit.  As well as creating perfect creases in clothing, irons can give crisp edges to napkins, tablecloths, and another other places linens might be in use.

Decor

Hot glue gun - To add a little bling to your centerpiece, and for fixes that your Crazy Glue just can't seem to fix, a mini glue gun is any aspiring home decorator’s best friend.


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Service and the Single Submissive

It can be difficult or perhaps challenging for a domestic service submissive to gain experience or to practice skills if he or she is single or unowned.  Certainly, it is easy enough to practice certain skills that might be relevant in the personal or home environment - cleaning, ironing, cooking, household budget maintenance - but it is difficult to serve oneself.  It is also difficult to practice a scene to see if certain ideas or concepts play out as expected when one is a solitary submissive or servant.

So - what's the answer?

Well, there are a few options available.

First, and a personal favourite of mine, is freelancing.  This is the method of offering service to really anyone, on either side of the D/s slash, to gain experience, to practice skills, and to demonstrate skills in person.  My preferred approach is, while in my service outfit - which is highlighted by wearing white or black cotton gloves - to stand by, unobtrusively, with my serving tray, and wait until someone makes contact.  This can be a risky approach because there is the assumption that someone will be courageous enough to ask what you are offering.  I have employed this approach in a play party setting and I have had success.  

I have been approached by both Tops and bottoms - for some, they have a butler fetish, so the gloves are particularly tantalizing; in another case, I was approached by a bottom who was enquiring on behalf of her Dominant.  In a play party setting, it may be difficult to demonstrate all of your skills, or a particular skill, but you are able to demonstrate a willingness to attend to the needs of another, or the ability to follow direction in an efficient, humble and intelligent manner.  This demonstration could open doors or create possibilities later on.

There are a few bonuses or perks associated with freelance, such as variety of play.  So, after an hour or evening of service, if you have pleased the person you are serving, you may be asked if you might be interested in some power exchange play - after appropriate discussion and negotiation of course.  The perk to this being, if the person has much experience in an area of play you are particularly interested in, you get to indulge in a favourite style of play with someone who not only enjoys this style of play, but also someone who has expertise in the area.  This can be a huge bonus if you are having difficulty finding a partner who may have the same interests as you.  Another bonus being, the power exchange relationship only lasts for a fixed amount of time - perhaps for an evening or a weekend.  Perhaps after some time, you realize that you and the person you are serving are not a good fit, for whatever reason, not a problem, you are not committed to each other outside of current, negotiated exchange.

A second option available to the 'unemployed' domestic submissive is to offer service to a BDSM friend.  It may be in the form of attending a Top friend for the evening at an event, or assisting a bottom friend at home.  In both cases, it is a great opportunity to practice a certain skill set that you may not be able to practice alone or in your own home.  It is also a great opportunity to get honest feedback.  Perhaps it is your first time being a body servant, or perhaps you are attempting to fix a meal for the first time, a critique, be it negative or positive, always sounds better when given by a friend.  This is also a great time to try out new ideas to see if these imagined methodologies are feasible or practical.  You get real time experience without a scene or service opportunity possibly going south.

If you don't have a friend in the local BDSM community to practice with, perhaps you could advertise for a volunteer at a local BDSM gathering or on a BDSM oriented posting board.  Explain that it would be a practical run through opportunity and outline exactly what you wish to try.  As with rope and corporal play, you will find there will friendly folk who are willing to be a demo dolly for you - especially if you offer a hand or foot massage for your volunteer.  You again have someone who can provide feedback, as well as creating a real time environment where you can walk through your envisioned scenario.

Lastly, for certain skill sets, invite friends or family over - especially in the case of entertaining.  Perhaps you want to practice setting a formal place setting and serving a multi-course meal, invite over your family or friends for a meal.  You need not explain or go into details about the purpose of the meal, other than you enjoy entertaining, but it is an opportunity to hone your skills or keep your skills in good shape.  In the same vein, if you are particularly interested in cleaning and organizing, you can volunteer whenever a friend or acquaintance needs help with a project, or if they might be moving, or they could just really use someone to tackle the bathroom - as an example.

Even if you might be an unowned or unemployed or unpartnered domestic service submissive, this is not a hindrance to furthering your skills or polishing your current talents.  There are still possibilities available to you to gain experience or to keep your abilities sharp and in shape, it just might require a little creative brainstorming - but that's what we do best is it not?






Friday, 5 December 2014

A Body Service Tutorial


Personal grooming is perhaps the most intimate duty that can be performed between a service submissive and the Dominant he/she is serving.  It can be daunting for both the submissive and the Dominant, for many reasons, but with some forethought and planning, it can be a pleasurable and satisfying experience.  It is not the time for some play or trying for a cheap feel, but rather, it is the time to give another just pure pleasure.

Don't fear, just ask

You can't go wrong with asking - does the Dominant prefer a shower or bath?  What temperature?  What is his/her normal routine?  Does he/she prefer to be scrubbed or gently rubbed?  Is he/she allergic to any scents?  Do they have a favourite scent?  What is his/her stance on bubbles?  

Asking ahead of time can save not only time, but can also ensure the continuity of the fantasy.

Plan ahead

Just as you would start with all ingredients prepared and ready to go, you should begin your grooming routine with all items on hand, ready to go.  Razors should be sharp, towels should be at the ready, shampoo/conditioner/soap/gel - at hand.  If a massage is part of the routine, the area should be prepared to make the transition from the bathroom to the massage area easy and smooth.  

The Bath

Now, before you create a special daydream in your head about your Dominant luxuriating in a mass of bubbles while you kneel attentively with a glass of wine at hand, realize, not everyone enjoys a bath, nor do they enjoy company when they bathe, and they may not choose to stay in the bath for very long.  A bath is the best choice when you are serving a Dominant you are new to, or with whom you do not have a sexual relationship with as you can remain clothed, perhaps even in your service uniform to make the event that much more elevated.

Starting at the head, as with a small child, wet the hair of your Dominant with a vessel, have him or her tip back his/her head to ensure water does not run into his/her eyes or ears.  Massage in an appropriate amount of shampoo, and having negotiated washing style ahead of time, begin to work the shampoo in.  Once cleaned, you have the option of shampooing again - for extra thick hair - or applying conditioner - keeping in mind not everyone uses conditioner.  Work the conditioner in the same way as the shampoo and leave for a few minutes - slick back the hair to ensure it keeps out of the eyes.  When ready to rinse, follow the same steps as with the shampoo.

For washing the body, it is best to follow the routine the Dominant uses.  Do they wash with gel, with soap, with a facecloth, a sponge, a scrub brush?  Beginning at the face, wash each body part, taking care to thoroughly soap and rinse each part.  Pay particular attention to the groin region - again, it is not an opportunity for some sort of physical gratification.

Once done, assist the Dominant from rising from the tub, and begin to dry him or her off, using one towel for the hair and one or more towels for the body.

The Shower

Similar steps should be followed as with bathing, but in this case, of course, there is the question of being nude in the shower with the Dominant.  If this is not an issue for you or the Dominant, then proceed, keeping your task first and foremost in your mind.  Be sure to lay out towels for yourself before starting the shower, or you will find yourself wet and shivering after.

Shaving

There is nothing quite as clean as shaving someone with a straight razor.  It may not be recommended for shaving legs, unless you have much time and plan to change the water often, but for the face and groin area, a straight razor can get into spots and offer a closer shave that modern razors can't.  Before you attempt to shave someone with a straight razor, ensure you have MUCH experience with a straight razor, and know how to care for the blade.

For facial shaves, if possible, warm the area with a hot/warm facecloth.  This will open the pores and soften the skin.  After a few restful moments, you will want to oil the skin or use a shaving lotion/cream.  Apply only as much as needed, and beginning from the top down, shave in the direction the hair grows.  Be sure to rinse the razor after every stroke, preferably in hot water.

If shaving the legs or body, it is best done in the tub, at the end of a bath, ensuring you rinse away any hair residue before the Dominant exits the tub.  Like with a facial shave, the razor should be drawn in the direction the hair grows.

With any sort of shave, the area that has been shaved should be gently patted dry after, and an appropriate moisturizer applied.

For areas such as the groin or armpits, it is best to shave the hair first with a small battery operated personal shaver first, before shaving with a razor.  This will cut down on time, effort and the possibility your razor might snag or slip.

Mani and pedi

Once the Dominant has been bathed or showered, now is a great time to turn your attention to their hands and feet.  Since the skin should be softened and moist, it is a great time to look after any hard skin or callus - polish the rough spots with a pumice stone, wiping as you go.  Be sure to moisturize after.  If you notice that your Dominant has areas on the heels of particular note, you might want to treat him/her to a professional pedicure or a trip to the chiropodist, as the professionals have the equipment needed to attack that hard skin that might actually be rather painful as it builds and cracks.

Inspect the nails on the hands and feet - do they require just a trim?  Perhaps they just need to be lightly filed.  While nail clippers are good if you are in a pinch, a pair of cutters, similar to a small wire snippers, are best for handling both hangnails and cuticles.  Be sure to dry the hands or feet thoroughly and again, moisturize.

The little details

Try little niceties like a hot towel (really, a hot facecloth), or towels that have been warmed in the dryer.  Perhaps an eye mask, cut cucumber slices, or moistened tea bags would be appreciated over the eyes.  Once dry, perhaps the Dominant would appreciate some powder, or a scent, appropriately placed.

Unless you have the experience, I don't recommend taking a crack at applying makeup - the results could be less than ideal.  It might be something for you to learn in the future, but for now, stick to what is safe, but make it memorable.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Unruly's Five Commandments of Service

If you have ever considered offering service as a form of submission, I suggest the following points for you to ponder. These ideas have served me well, no pun intended, and I hope they will do the same for you.

These guidelines are geared more to the unowned submissive, who can offer service to anyone, but the ideas can also apply to a power exchange/ownership relationship. Above all else, no matter what the situation, your offer of service does not nullify your hard limits, and should not override any agreements of consensuality.

1. Learn one primary, applicable skill, that you can use in general, in a BDSM gathering setting, and do it very well

There are many skills that you might acquire in your life - you might be a fantastic web designer, or you might be a whiz with respect to design and decoration. These are great skills to have, but perhaps not applicable when at a play party or at an event where you might be able to demonstrate your abilities. You may find a Top/Master/Mistress/sub/bottom who could use your skills in these areas, but for general events and gatherings of leatherfolk and BDSM folk, you might want to consider something along these lines:

- Massage - hand, foot, shoulders, possibly even back
- Tray service - fetch drinks and food
- Porter - carry toy bags and gear, load and unload
- Able assistant - provide mobility assistance if required
- Aftercare specialist - provide aftercare to Tops or bottoms
- Catering or food prep - assist with laying out a spread, or preparing a menu of delights
- Clean up - of the play space in general, of equipment after use

2. Take pride in your appearance and what you do

If you plan on offering service, ensure you are clean and well groomed, either scent free or lightly scented. You can be as extreme in your appearance as you choose - a full tuxedo and white gloves - or as minimal as you choose - naked. Show decorum and composure - it is not the time to be vulgar, overtly sexual, or jocular - be polite and demure. You are creating a fantasy, something special - use your imagination and have fun. If all you can offer is a pair of boxer shorts and a tie - great - just don't wear the afternoon sitting on the couch boxers, and the tie your grandfather was waked in.
When you perform a task, do so efficiently, without much fuss, with focus and attention, and to the best of your abilities. If you only feel like giving 50%, save everyone the disappointment and stay home. If you have committed to service, you need to bring the best of you - you need to give your best effort. That's not to say you can't socialize, perhaps even play, but if you have committed your service for a fixed amount of time, then carry through with your promise and demonstrate your sense of pride and responsibility.

3. Always seek to improve your skills, or to acquire new skills

Education is a key component to giving good service - the more you know, the more knowledge you have about a subject matter or ability, the better your skill in that area. You should also be seeking to expand the breadth of your skill set - you never know when a skill might come in handy. You should focus first and foremost on your primary skill set, then seek to expand your secondary and tertiary sets of skills.

This could be a simple as researching the web for articles, watching YouTube videos, taking an online course, taking a BDSM workshop, reading a book, or even approaching a friend or colleague who appears to excel in a certain area.

Take an afternoon and search for videos on butler skills, or perhaps watch a video on how to prepare a certain recipe - then practice these skills on your own. If nothing else, your loved ones will appreciate your efforts even before you are ready for prime time - so to speak.

4. See to your needs, take care of you first

If you are planning to offer service, you need to ensure your needs are met. Are you feeling well? Have you eaten? Are you in a good state emotionally? Are you well hydrated and comfortable?
When offering service to others, you are offering the best of you. If you are tired and need a rest, do not hesitate to politely inform the person making the request that you need to take a break, but that you shall attend to them as soon as you are refreshed.

You need to communicate your needs and ensure you are in the best form of you before you can see to the needs of others. You know how you are advised to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others with their mask in case of an issue during a plane flight? It is the same situation here - see to you before you see to others.

5. Be of service to all

You have the right to accept or decline a request for service, but I would caution that your veto should be used sparingly. Service is respectful, selfless, and should be made available to all regardless of status or title. Service should not be limited to Tops, or to only who you deem to be physically attractive individuals. Your service should not be offered with the expectation for reward. Chances are your efforts will be appreciated, perhaps even praised, but don't go looking for this - otherwise, it just cheapens your efforts. If you offer service with the "what's in it for me?" mentality, perhaps service is not a skill you should seek to cultivate.

If asked if you would like anything in return, feel free to prevail upon this opportunity. If someone is talented in the use of floggers, and you love being flogged, by all means, you may politely request a flogging should they be so inclined.

Above all, relax and enjoy. At the end of the day, you should feel pleased with the job you have done, and even if it isn't spoken, those around you do appreciate your efforts.