Disclaimer: The below essay is about community service being used and offered as a stand in to being enslaved, it is *not* about slaves being involved in community service in general.
In the last few years i have heard more and more that unowned slaves should seek out “serving the community” or even “self ownership” as a stand in for enslavement. This is heralded out every time unowned slaves express frustration at not having Someone to serve or surrender to. While i understand the motives of those who espouse this “doctrine” are usually pure and genuine i have serious reservations about the merits of this practice as a viable option and have come to believe that it can even be an detriment to the enslavement one seeks.
slavery requires Mastery – One can not be enslaved if there is no Master. While serving the community has it’s own type of fulfillment it is not the same type of fulfillment as one gets from being enslaved – the two things are like comparing apples and oranges. Within the “Community service” ideal we have the slave offering service but there is no Authority or Control being given up. There is no requirement of Obedience or surrender.
The invalidation of a legitimate need/desire– Part of what concerns me about this ideal is that it seems to invalidate the need or desire of the one who wants a Master. i have heard it gone so far as to say that the slave should find a way to be fulfilled and feel complete without a Master. This seems to fly in the face of what a slave is to me. Yes, a slave should address his/her baggage and issues – but slavery is by definition a responsive orientation. The slaves slavery/enslavement can ONLY be fulfilled within the bonds the Master provides. To state otherwise is to make a mockery of the M/s or O/p dynamic. No other need or desire is treated as we treat this one. If someone wants to have children and is finding it difficult- they are given tips and techniques for the accomplishment of that goal, no one ever says “don’t try” or “hey how about a puppy or a goldfish instead”. In short they are SUPPORTED and encouraged not told to go find something else to take it’s place.
Denial of the need/desire for a Master – In my observation it seems that frequently the end result of this idea is the slave begins to deny even wanting and or needing a Master. i have heard many slaves say they are not seeking a Master or Ownership. Who become agitated and downright hostile when approached by a Master – not because He/She is rude or presumptive – but because “Just because i’m a slave doesn’t mean i want to be in an M/s dynamic”. Since slavery can only be truly realized and fulfilled within the type of dynamic that allows it to exist – that being M/s or O/p – one must then ask why continue to identify as a slave? What is the point?
slave branding – The next step seems to be what i call “slave branding” – the unowned slave – having been given the idea that there is some inherent flaw in desiring Ownership and enslavement, and been told by well meaning people in the community to just Serve the community and strive to be actualized without a Master begins to “brand” themselves. Because many slaves are quite well spoken, intelligent and strong it is quite easy to become a Force to be reckoned with. Speaking their opinions, taking greater and greater leadership in the community, spearheading community issues. what is wrong with this you might wonder? It all sounds quite empowering and affirming. Intrinsically i do not believe anything is wrong with it – but what i have observed is the tendency for all of these wonderful things to become “the snake eating it’s own tail” so to speak. Having received the power, accolades, and public recognition of being a “Wonderful slave” the slave then finds themselves unwilling or incapable of giving up that status to surrender to their Master. Even if Responsible, honorable, seasoned Master’s approach them they aren’t interested in being Mastered. Much like clay that hardens into whatever shape it is formed into- slaves can “harden” into the state of being unowned and being very content with the label or title “slave” but have no desire to be enslaved, no desire to give up their autonomy. This is an unfortunate travesty in my estimation as the very heart and soul of the slave is being infiltrated by things antithetical to slavery.
Are there other options? i would say there are other options and there may be other things out there not yet created. Being a part of an established Leather household is one option. Being under protection is another. Being temporarily “in service to” a Master/Owner of worth is a third. Creating singles venues and 30 minute Date munches is another. Perhaps we as a community can focus more on attempts to help Masters and slaves find each other. Perhaps classes can be taught that focus on keeping the slave heart pliable, how to approach a Master/Mistress, skill sets that *may* be useful to Master/Mistress. It would seem that this is more aligned with what a slave would want to cultivate than classes on Topping. And i suppose that is what it really comes down to. Doing that which brings you into alignment and cultivates the state of being one hopes and desires to be in, working the clay to keep it soft and wet, staying in touch with the inner slave. There are plenty of things in the (ab)normal world to pull us away from that. To focus us on our rights, independence, and the idea that “I don’t need anyone” , things that can mask the longing to kneel at the Feet of one called Master. Do we really need to bring that into our community as well?
YiL in His service,