So I am attending a Femdom discussion munch tonight on service. I’ve written a lot about this in the past and at some point I may do a write-up/Guide, but for now, I just wanted to write something brief-ish to gather my thoughts for the discussion tonight.
In BDSM communities, service submission often falls through the cracks as a form of submission since it isn’t very conducive to finding play partners or something that is performed at play parties. If you are a submissive and aren’t a masochist, it often leads to puzzling looks and a, “so what do you actually do?” type of attitude.
I generally chalk this up to people not understanding the “payoff” for service subs. With masochists, the benefit of impact play is clear: they achieve an endorphin/adrenaline high along with experiencing levels of sexual arousal and in some cases, sexual gratification.
For a sub that identifies as a service sub, there is usually some other benefit. These may include but are not limited to:
- Reaching submissive mental space.
- A “positive submissive response.”
- External validation.
- Psychological or emotional gratification.
- The joy of being able to serve a Domme.
- Emotional masochism.
Service submission ends up being a contentious topic when it comes to the courting process between Domme and sub. The source of the conflict is that people have different definitions of what constitutes service but the standard vernacular has not evolved an adequate vocabulary to provide adequate descriptions.
To put it bluntly: there aren’t terms used for different types of service and there are different types of service.
Over the years I have found three areas in which views of service primarily differ: content, motivation, and interaction.
When I am referring to content differences, it means that service can be:
- Domestic and Beneficial Service. This would cover services like housekeeping, running errands, landscaping, auto maintenance, chauffeur service, etc.
- Intimate Service. This would cover services like body worship, massage, pampering, assisting with bathing/primping, sexual service, and things that involve close, intimate contact.
This becomes highly problematic when views differ. e.g. one party views service as cleaning the bathroom and the other sees it as a marathon cunnilingus session. These are both forms of service, but very different forms of service. It is possible for someone to desire both types, but most of the communication failures happen when people only want one and not the other.
When I am referring to motivation differences, it means that service can be:
- No Strings Service. This type of service occurs when the service is its own reward for the sub and they do not expect any other form of compensation.
- Dynamic-Driven Service. This type of service occurs when a sub provide service as a part of their submission to their Domme.
- Compelled Service. This type of service occurs when a sub provides service within a defined framework of rules and consequences.
No-strings service subs are often the most highly sought after of all sub types but they are also the rarest. When people are seeking this sub type they generally do ask for it by name. However, there isn’t really terminology used for the other styles, so I made some up. Compelled service is a specific type of Dynamic-Driven service where the sub thrives in service submission “while under duress,” but may not do well with service outside of those circumstances. It is also common for people seeking service to consider compelled service as being a “lesser” form of service than no-strings or enthusiastic dynamic-driven service.
When I am referring to interaction differences, it means that service can be:
- Formal Service. The sub performs their role as if they were a paid domestic servant. The Domme is always the priority and the sub can expect very limited if any personal-level interactions or contact. The sub is valued only/primarily for their services provided.
- Informal Service. The sub performs their role within a more personally interactive relationship.
From my experiences, people aren’t quite clear enough on this difference if they are seeking only one type of interaction. Also, it seems to be a moderately even split for Dommes and for subs when it comes to which type they are seeking.
And… that’s my thoughts for the day on this topic. At least I know what I will be talking about during the discussion tonight.