Service submission is an act that involves the submissive in a D/s relationship being of service to the Dominant in the connection. The term service can have a plethora of meanings and expressions, but in general it is understood as serving and pleasing the Dominant in areas like household chores and sex. I think it is often misunderstood as the foundation for 24/ D/s relationships, with an expectation of submissive domestic tasks: serving, a cleaning, cooking, always jumping when the Dominant needs something. But service submission doesn’t have to be that.
I personally would not define myself as a service submissive in the traditional sense. The images that most people have in their minds when they think of service submission is a female submissive serving a glass of whiskey to her Dominant when he gets home from work. Or a male submissive cleaning for his Mistress. And it is totally okay to be a service submissive like that, or to crave that sort of submission. We all have different needs in our relationships, and there are so many ways to define and form a D/s relationship, after all.
I think I would fall short on the consistency side of that sort of submission. I am just too unstable due to my mental and physical illnesses. So I would not meet the expectations, and I would both disappoint myself and my Master. But I also understand that service is a part of the basic definition of the roles in a D/s relationship.
I like to define service as prioritizing my Master’s needs and pleasure when possible. I serve and service him when I can. But it is not an expectation. When I can, when I am well enough and have the strength, I want to make life easy and pleasurable for him. That can mean simple things like doing the dishes and cleaning. It can be cooking an elaborate meal, or listening to his problems and thoughts.
Intellectual company and emotional support, being his friend and companion, and showing interest in his passions, is as much a priority for me as all the physical things I could do for him. I want him to the center of my attention, I want to be there for him. I know that both the chores and the company could very well be things that others would describe as common housewife duties. Only, I don’t believe in the whole old school traditional idea of housewifery and general submission of women to men. I think that is a thing of the past, and should not be a general expectation of any relationship anymore.
For me, it goes deeper than that. It has nothing to do with being my Master’s wife. I mean, yes, a goal of any relationship I have ever been in was to make each other happy and to take care of each other. And that very much involved the chores and the cooking, the spending time to with each other. But the motivation was pretty simple: I wanted to make the other person happy. I want to make my Master happy too. But I have an additional motivation: I want to please my Dominant as much as possible. And I am craving the “good girl”, oh so so much!
So when I am cooking a meal for dinner, I am not only thinking that we need to eat and that it is a chore. I am doing it because I want to please, and yes, serve my Master. I am doing it for him, because I am his submissive and part of my submissive needs is to get his approval and to hear that I have done well. So a simple chore becomes something a bit different: an act of service that plays into the roles of submissive and Dominant in our relationship.
I think that means that I sort of sometimes do the acts of service that are generally understood to be part of service submission. I just don’t want those acts to be an expectation. Not only because I can’t always be on top of my game and I don’t want to disappoint myself and my partner, or because I hate old traditional gender roles. One of the main reasons why I don’t want to be a pure service submissive is that I am a brat. And as a brat I don’t want to be limited in my submissive role. I want to play and poke, I want a bit of freedom to navigate. And service submission just seems very protocol, very disciplinarian, very monotonous.
In the Bedroom
Unless, well, unless it comes to sex. In the bedroom I can be a brat, but more often than not, I am very submissive. I allow my Master to use my body as he wants to, for his own pleasure. And that is sort of like being of service: my body and mind serve him sexually. I don’t have any reservations there. And I am okay with consensual non-consensual. I do what he tells me to do. If I get an orgasm or conventional pleasure out of what we are doing, is up to him. I am happy to please him, to go the extra mile. What makes my submissive happy is when he is pleased with me.
So I can understand why some submissives enjoy being service submissives. I can imagine that it is a similar happiness that they experience when they serve and service their Dominants in more expected ways. What exact tasks make someone happy, very much comes down to the individual. But in the end we all want the same thing: we want recognition that we have done a good job, and see that our Dominants are pleased with us.
I don’t want to be in a D/s relationship that is centered around service submission. I am not that sort of submissive. But I can definitely relate to the need to please the Dominant in different ways, and sometimes I even do things that could be defined as service outside of the bedroom. It is all about what tickles your own submissive mind. As long as it is safe, sane and consensual, your needs and how you express them, are valid.
Another helpful and informative post DS. I get what you mean about things not being set in stone and I think that when you feel set up for failure it is counter-productive. It makes more sense to use the parts which work for you 😊
Thank you! Yeah, exactly, my submission is more about what works in the moment, not any huge expectation, and without that pressure, it just feels best for both of us.
Such a good point of reference DS. I would agree to that building in rules that are rigid are set up for failure as life is not always predictable. Service is very personal.
Thank you, HL! Yes, exactly, service is very personal, and any definition of it in D/s is personal too.
I liked your views. In some ways I am likely a service submissive. I’ll have to think about this. Maybe a post in the future…
Well, in the end it is about how you define service submission and how and if you identify with that description of your submission.
What a great post esp enjoyed this very true statement ” But in the end we all want the same thing: we want recognition that we have done a good job, and see that our Dominants are pleased with us.”
i think that’s true of the world and everyone whether in a D/s relationship or not
Oh, I agree with you there: in the end we all want to be acknowledged for the good we have done! No matter if it is in our D/s relationships or the world as a whole.
Very nice and thoughtful post. You make many good points (yes, you’re smart, I know! :P) and I think it would be good if more people were to let go of old mindsets, though as you say, there is nothing wrong with being a service sub in the traditional sense
Yes yes, I am smart, haha. I think in the end it is all about how we want to define our own submission and relationships. Concepts are there to be constantly redefined after all, and aren’t really static.
“I want him to the center of my attention, I want to be there for him.”
This is such a beautiful sentence. And yes, wanting to make him happy, that is something that is very important for me too, to make my husband happy. And sometimes we need a reminder that making him happy can be in those little things like doing the dishes. Thanks for the reminder, Devie!
Yes, exactly, the little things in a relationship can count for so much, I agree with that!