Attention Counts – pt. 1

As I was cleaning out my email account I came across a topic that Master and I studied about 6 or 7 years ago.

Civility.

I had begun writing a post to use as a series of topics for a Local Leadership group we were running at the time. Interestingly we closed the group due to incivility – and yet these beautiful tools still apply.

When I looked at them I saw them as incredibly apropos not only to governments and social groups but also RELATIONSHIPS including the Power Exchange variety.

My hope is that I’ll be able to post my musings and insights on how to apply each of the 25 Rules of Civil Conduct taken from P.M. Fornis Work “Choosing Civility” (It’s worth every cent. Buy it. Go ahead I’ll wait)

So the First Principle is:

 Pay Attention

kitten attention

I can think of no more important tool for a slave to have than the ability to Pay Attention to his/her Owner.

The principle form that the work of love takes- is attention ~M. Scott Peck

Regardless of if you consider romantic love to be a part of your M/s dynamic or not- I don’t think any of us would deny that slavery itself is a work of love. This may be spiritual love, transcendent love, love of ones place or position, love of service or surrender, love of feeling the force of another’s will over your own.

This type of love is one that is not often understood by many. Those who are fed by autonomy do not often understand the symbiotic nature of this dynamic.

And that symbiosis is why it requires us to pay attention.

In the early days of the dynamic the Masters Will is like a strong spice that you’re not accustomed to. It’s everywhere and often easily identified. It pushes you outside your comfort zone. It demands from you more than you fantasized about.  During this stage paying attention is often the height of your obedience . You can’t intuit or get it perfect because you’re learning. Often the slaves attention is focused- but far more on themselves and their ability to be a “good slave” than on the Master. This is an easy mistake to make and will often lead to far more pain and suffering than is necessary.  Because of this focus on self and the learning curve its easy to feel like failure is innately part of enslavement.  It’s not dear heart. Gently turn your attention away from you – and towards your Owner. Allow His/Her will to be you compass, your axel, your touchpoint.  Devote your attention in Their direction. It makes all the difference.

In the years of 5+ (this may take longer if you don’t live together, or depending on your Masters style of Mastery) you have most likely internalized the Masters Will – this is where paying attention is something you have to bring up and out. It is far too easy to become complacent. The Master speaks and the slave obeys slowly. Or the slave obeys automatically – but without attention. The word in this time is present. Your ability to pay attention via the ability to be fully present in the moment to the Masters voice, mannerisms, movement, breath. To maintain that tension and cultivate it is what renews the passion and sustains your devotion. Yes I know how to make the coffee correctly- but can I do it not just technically perfect- but with devoted presence. (I promise that cup of coffee tastes better) – At this point you’re going for nuance. A person with a refined palette can taste the differences between Himalayan sea salt, and fleur de sel, but it requires paying attention. This is how refinement is created.

Questions for consideration and cultivation:

  • How much attention can I pay today?
  • What am I spending my Masters resources on in the form of giving it my attention?
  • Where was I MOST present today?
  • Where was I least present?
  • How long is my attention span (How long can Master or someone else speak before I start thinking of other things, or forming a response)?
  • When I paid attention what did I notice that I didn’t notice before?

In submission and surrender to Him,

~slave Namaste

3 Ways The Loyal Opposition is killing your Power Exchange

Screenshot 2014-10-12 22.25.08In parliamentary systems of government, The Loyal Opposition is a term applied collectively to the opposition parties in the legislature to indicate that the non-governing parties may oppose the actions of the sitting cabinet while remaining loyal to the source of the government’s power.

In many power exchange relationships, I’ve observed a similar phenomenon – that the person subject to the power (most typically the slave or submissive) is often allowed tremendous latitude and is permitted, or even expected to oppose the will of the Master on a philosophical, or emotional level  – as long as they are compliant to the wishes of the Master at the end of the day.

The reason why the concept of The Loyal Opposition (TLO) makes sense in a parliamentary system of government is that it allows for any minority party within the government to actively oppose a specific course of action without their ultimate loyalty to the crown or system of government being in question due to their actions. The concept allows for the dissent necessary for a functioning democracy without the fear of being accused of treason.

When I’ve asked those that practice this form of power exchange what the deal is, answers vary – most of the time the Master or Dominant explains that they have adopted a Commander In Chief type of role in the relationship that permits or tolerates a TLO presence. Some indicate that this approach is their nod to giving the slave or submissive a measure of ‘freedom’…others believe that one can never truly know another persons internal state – what the slave thinks and feels is their own business (and cannot be measured) vs. that which they actually DO on the other hand, which can be measured and at the end of the day is more important than how the slave feels or what they think in the privacy of their own heads.

I believe that the Master has both authority and responsibility for the slave and for outcomes in the relationship.  I also believe that the M/s dynamic is intentionally NOT a democracy.  Anticipating, and being tolerant of occasional resistance is different than encouraging and supporting open opposition. Believing that they are the same thing will eventually put the hurt on your relationship.  After witnessing a number of P/e and M/s relationships crash and burn, here’s why I believe TLO is a terrible philosophy to adopt or allow within a power exchange relationship.

1. TLO encourages laziness. Power exchange takes work, plain and simple – especially in the early stages of a relationship. Doing the work of a master involves being conscious, being present and intentionally putting yourself in the best position possible to receive out of the relationship that which is internally fulfilling to you.  – but that’s only one part of the equation. The other part is that the person that willingly places themselves in a subordinate or surrendered position – the person that aspires to serve or to be a slave also brings a set of needs and desires into the relationship that are as precious, as relevant and necessary to the success of the dynamic as that of the Master. Some masters mistakenly believe that the best way to honor such desires is to offer such a person that which they themselves consider most precious – the privilege of autonomy, the ability to self-direct.  So they are well-meaning when they ‘allow’ the slave to oppose them, to continually assert their independance and to play the role of The Loyal Opposition.

I have to say this – and I cant emphasize this strongly enough….. if this is you; STOP DOING THIS SHIT IMMEDIATELY. YOU ARE KILLING YOUR RELATIONSHIP AND YOU DONT EVEN REALIZE IT.

Think about it.

That which is most precious to you – is TOXIC to your slave or submissive.

Not toxic in the literal sense – they arent going to expire from an overdose of Mastery-ness…..but you ARE planting seeds that when fully grown will be the opposite of the surrender you desire.

It certainly doesnt work the other way round; What if she had the power to offer YOU the opportunity to experience that which SHE feels is most precious to her? The privilege of surrendering and being of service!!! YUM!!!! (did you throw up a little in your mouth?) Im always amazed at the numbers of Masters and Dominants who consistently do this and are then mystified as to why the length of their relationships are measured in months, not years.

Moreover, a master that tells the slave or submissive ‘Feel however you want, just make sure you ultimately comply with my wishes, places the power exchange in the relationship on auto-pilot, or even worse, places the slave or submissive in the dubious position of mastering themselves.  Dont get me wrong – I LOVE surrender…but that beautiful garment is tailor made for my namaste alone in our relationship. I have no desire to try it on for size and I categorically refuse to put my cover on her head even in jest to see how cute she’d look as a little Master. Screenshot 2014-10-13 00.25.15

DO NOT CROSS THE STREAMS!!!!

2.  Its a waste of valuable resources – Entrainment in the biomusicological sense refers to the synchronization of organisms to an external rhythm, usually produced by other organisms with whom they interact socially. Entrainment in the power exchange sense describes the phenomenon of the Master intentionally and consistently synchronizing the actions of the slave or submissive with the Masters will, most often through repetition. For example, a speech protocol that is performed every day, multiple times a day will be more effective in deepening the power exchange relationship than an elaborate ritual that is performed twice a year.  That said, Masters that have a TLO friendly power exchange relationship tend to eschew the ‘bells and whistles’ of power exchange and often fail to understand how protocols, rituals and other rites of the power exchange dynamic can be powerful allies in deepening and strengthening the bond between Master and slave.

3. It compromises alignment of will – A fundamental priniciple of our dynamic is what I have coined “Alignment of Will”.  My slaves will must align with mine.  It is not good enough for her to merely obey, and to give the external “Yes Sir”. I must have the internal alignment – that internal “Yes Sir”- as well. That internal “Yes” can not be faked. It can not be “acted”-  it’s either there or its not…and when it isn’t there, I know it and I generally won’t rest until I have it.  Obedience is wonderful, but obedience without internal alignment is unsatisfying to me on an energetic level.  I want her to not just comply with my wishes or agree ‘in principle’ with my philosophies – instead it is my desire that she is to feel as I feel concerning the things that I desire most.

At the end of the day, why deny yourself and your charge the sustainable pleasure of using as many resources as possible to reinforce and deepen the relationship? As Masters and slaves we are attracted to our respective roles in the relationship because of the pleasure we receive from the experience.  If this relationship style did not please me in some way it would be pointless to pursue. It pleases me to give directives as much as it pleases my slave to be both the recipient, and the instrument of my will. Her response to my leadership gladdens my heart, the way she talks to me in respect and love is a constant source of healing and pleasure to me. When she inquires and I tell her how I feel about something – it is a joy to me throughout our discussion to see her work through acquiring an understanding of how I feel about the subject at hand and to then align her will with my own.  These facets of our relationship are precious to me. If I take a hands-off approach to portions of that process and basically leave her to her own devices with respect to how she feels and thinks about my directives and what I feel is important, I deny us both not only the extreme pleasure that the M/s dynamic has to offer, but also negate much of the power of the relationship as well.

There is no room in our relationship for The Loyal Opposition.

I AM His Will

A few weeks ago I was talking with one of my BFF’s – she is also a slave and she said to me “Your life sounds horrible to me”

I laughed and said “Thanks” because I knew what she meant.

My life as  Masters slave is quite different than her life as her owners slave.

Master has a HUGE Vision. Our lives are often busy with periods of do-nothing in between. Even during those “do-nothing” period we’re still very busy with the children, the animals, the local groups and the building of our businesses.

My friends life is more still. No travel. No public speaking.

While we both do not work for anyone outside of our Owners- our lives look different.

This is why I often say that any ideal of what slavery looks like will be a 30,000 foot view- a Template at beast. Because the Reality of living as His (or Hers as the case may be) – will be substantially different.

Long ago when I was a little girl I wanted a little house at the foot of a hill. I envisioned myself living right where a forest turned into non-forested land in a small cottage with a twirl of smoke coming from the chimney. This was not so much literal as symbolic of the sort of simple life I desired.

But I AM His Will.

My Owner desired a lifestyle that is sort of a mixture of Movers and Shakers meets Homestead. LOL We have chickens (we had goats), and children and quietude at our house. We rarely entertain at home. We recycle. I engage in food preservation such as canning and dehydration as well as making much of our own products such as detergent and body butters.  We also travel at least once a month, have cause to dress up in ball gowns and tuxedos from time to time, and speak in front of hundreds if not thousands of people a year. Why? Because this is His Vision

And I AM His Will.

When I say “I am His will” What am I saying.  This is a step further than even the alignment of will that I often write and speak about. Like many things it is a process. For me it is the hearing of His will, the understanding of it as much as I can grok at any one time, the beginning to align externally and internally and eventually – the BECOMING. To internalize it so deeply that there is no place within me where you will not find it.  For some things this has been very easy and taken mere moments for other things – due to the complexity of the idea or worldview, or my flexibility (or inflexibility) in that area – it took longer. Either way it is always the goal.

Some slaves have told me that they find the idea of alignment of will to be so HARD. It seemed so extreme and far more challenging than giving mere compliance. I can understand how the idea initially feels that way – especially when most writings concerning Power Exchange seem to promote an internal rebellion with an external appearance of obedience.  For me though – incongruence is the WORST thing. Behaving one way and Feeling another internally is the height of inauthenticity. And while this is often a PART of the process of alignment of will and becoming the will of a Master- it is not the end point. It should be considered a liminal state not the destination. By becoming His will there is not separation no internal conflict between my wants and desires and His wants and desires. There is a simplicity and peacefulness.   I have also found that by becoming His will – I am spending time studying Him deeply. Seeing if there is anyway where I need micro aligning the way a chiropractor manipulates the spine back into alignment.

I Am His Will.

And it is my honor and pleasure to be so.

In submission and surrender to Him,

~slave namaste

 

Surrender and Grace

surrender woman picture pands

 

 

I believe surrender and grace are inextricably connected.

Often  have heard it spoken of as if they occur simultaneously or if grace brings surrender. I have also heard them used interchangeably as if the are the same.

I believe that order counts and I believe that the act of relinquishing to the Surrendered Life yields a grace that can not be experienced UNTIL you surrender.

By Grace I’m referring both to Favor and beauty of form and movement.

It’s something that goes beyond the technical movement. It is found in the sublime contentment that only comes when you know who you are and where you belong.

It follows the giving up and the ceasing from struggle.

It comes from leaping and not looking back.

It is about timing and fluidity. It can not be rushed and checked off of our to-do lists. It can not be found in our tendency towards intellectualism. It must be lived. Much as bread must be kneaded and then allowed to rise – in trust and a patience that what needs to occur will.

There is a courage that is produced in this state – and this courage brings a stateliness. A sense of nobility.

A Grace.

I can recall a Domina telling Master after He had changed my name, we had been within our dynamic about 2 or 3 years- that she had known be by my other name – and she struggled to see me as the same person.

Not because I looked outwardly different – but because my energy was entirely different.  She called it Regal.

Master recalled it to me and I remember blushing and not really understanding until later what she saw.

This is why I believe in 2 types of surrender. surrender (little s) hat is action specific and Surrender (big S) that is transformative to the blood and bone of the slave.

This is the Surrender that births Grace.

In submission and Surrender to Him,

~slave namaste

 

Understanding Alignment of Will

Today I was responding to a thread on Fetlife (Stop the presses…LOL)  discussing Passive and Active Mastery.

“As a type: I see Passive Mastery as the a style in which the Master is the Facilitator for the slaves development, service, and surrender etc; The dynamic is very slave focused.

As a stage: Passive Mastery also occurs frequently when a dynamic has been in place for a few years and the slave knows the required actions and behaviors to take and does so without involvement by the Master.

As a type: Active Mastery is a style in which the Master is Director of the slaves slaves development, service and surrender. The dynamic is very Master focused.

As a stage: Active Mastery occurs in the beginning of the dynamic when the Master is training the slave as to the appropriate behaviors and actions to take. It also occurs later on in the dynamic when the Master is teaching the slave a new skill, expressing His/or Her preceding Will, or life has offered something for which Passive Mastery is no longer effective.”

 

I look forward to writing more about Active and Passive Mastery later (It’s not a question of good or bad, just different styles and different stages). What really jumped out at me this morning was the idea of the “preceding” word.

Most who know us know that our dynamic is based upon what Master has coined as “Alignment of Will”. My will must align with His.  It is not good enough for me to merely obey, and to give the external “Yes Sir”. I must have the internal alignment – the internal “Yes Sir”- as well. The internal “Yes” can not be faked. It can not be “acted”-  it’s either there or not. And Masters can TELL when it’s not.  It’s why the slave can seem to be compliant and obedient and the Master still be irritated. It’s why outsiders shouldn’t judge and step into a persons relationship- because you really don’t know what He/She is trying to teach that slave or where they are going in their dynamic.

While we’ll be talking about the stages of the M/s dynamic more deeply in an upcoming class- I’m thinking a bit on how alignment of will and the “preceding word” work in our M/s dynamic.  Master is a very complex Man. He’s not a creature of Habit, unless He is. He doesn’t want anything the same way all the time – unless He does.  The worse thing possible for me to do would be to confuse learned obedience and resignation to a current directive with alignment of will. Why? Because then when He changes direction – I’ll struggle MORE because my will was not aligned in the first place.

The idea of the Preceding Word comes from a Sacred Text.

And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” Deut. 8:3

The idea being that the Divine allowed man to be hungry so that we would be given food from the Divine directly- growing to understand that it’s not really about the food- it’s about the word that is preceding.  It is only THAT which truly feeds.

You can have bread without the Preceding Word – but if you have the preceding word you will ALWAYS have bread.

In the same way you can have Obedience without Alignment of Will – but if you have Alignment of will you will always have Obedience as well.

Frequently it’s easy to confuse the two.  Alignment of Will and Obedience can look the same. In fact I’m not suggesting that the words themselves have completely different meaning. I see Alignment of Will as a way of going through the world and obedience is an action taken. HOWEVER, if the obedient action is not take from the place of alignment of will – when the Master changes direction the slave does not follow – she stumbles, sometimes she sits on the floor and has a tantrum.

Alignment of Will is ongoing- NOT situational.

That is often where the pedal meets the metal. With the Preceding Word.  This is where the slavery becomes active. This is why as a slave I can not rest on my laurels. This is why I am never “done” – this is why the journey IS the destination. It is mine to always be prepared and listening for the Preceding word that comes my Masters mouth. To never simply seek the bread (directive, protocol, or service)  that feeds me and my slavery TODAY but to stay actively connected to the SOURCE of  tangible expressions – which is HIM.

The Bread  without Him would eventually get dry, but He is water, alive and fresh and pure. May my ears always attend to His preceding word.

In submission and surrender to Him,

~slave namaste

Deep Listening for Surrender

I love my meanderings because they often lead me to wonderful and diverse concepts.

Especially my meanderings into cultural distinction and diversity.

Recently I cam across the concept of “Dadirri”  – this is similar to what we call contemplation but MORE.

Within the indigenous peoples of Australia- Dadirri is how the young learn – not through the asking of questions – but through the practice of a deep listening. By watching, waiting – then acting.

When I consider this idea- I find a huge resonance for me as a slave- in part because listening as a skill set has become so precious and scarce.

Within the “lifestyle community” there is a lot more talking and action than there is stillness, watchfulness – listening.

It’s almost as if we have learned to fear silence.

This space shows up often within the realm of slavery – where the focus is often  far more on hugely vocal advocacy for self than on our listening to our inner longings and desires, waiting for the the answers to be offered to us knowing that we need not rush into something, rush into anything – but we can sit… in contemplation. Listening to the sounds of our hearts, paying attention to the longing of our souls, understanding the disappointments and pains that are echoing through our psyche rather than seeking a “quick fix”

When I ask myself how can I embody more Dadirri in my life and slavery- listening closely for my Masters voice and His non-verbal communication.

Never taking a moment, a whisper, and look for granted – but attuning the whole of my being to His essence and expression.

Opening to all that of Himself that He gives me with a look. Allowing my heart to melt as I spend my days in surrender to Him.

Being in wait – without hurry to move into the next thing. But in a calm present place of awareness, thankfulness and joy.

This moment is Sacred.

Dadirri means there is no rushing into the next thing. Where ever I am is exactly where I need to be. I don’t have a box to check off – a magical state  to attain.

No.

I need to be right where I am – because every step along this journey is valuable. Every step is both journey and destination.

I allow surrender to drag me under -not fighting the waves but yielding to them.

I listen – not only for content and information but for emotion and connection.

Life is present in the nuance of the conversation.

Conversation present in the breaths between the words.

I allow the silence and the cracking open to pull me deeper, to immerse me in the surrender to the now.

Timeless – I listen for eternity present in this instant.

I feel the fulness of being present in being His.

In submission and surrender to Him,

slave namaste

Devotion, Spirituality and slavery

I’ve been thinking lately about what I want to write.

Today it came to me.

I want my blog posts to focus on Spirituality and Surrender.

Master and I were having a conversation today and I shared with him.

I do not understand slavery without devotion.

Devotion has become a dirty word.

I realized that I stopped writing because I felt my voice wasn’t relevant anymore.

In today’s community where the only focus on slavery seems to be on negotiation, abuse, predators, sex and the like.

Where is the room for devotion, surrender, connecting to the desires that brought us here in the first place?

And when I deeply consider that  – what brought me here- was my Longing and Desire to surrender, to experience the Will of another actualized in my life and to live devoted to it.

What kept me here was my connection to Spirit.

I can not deny that slavery for me is a deeply Spiritual practice.

I am His devotee and His acolyte.

I am the Priestess and He is the God – or perhaps I become the layperson and He is my Priest.

I am wood consumed in His flames.

I am flame and He is oxygen.

The levels and variations of our entanglement know no limit.

And without my Spirituality- this would not be possible.

Not on this level.

It was my deep inner knowing that not only was I called to be *a* slave but that more specifically I was meant to belong to HIM that kept me when I was confused and things got sticky.

It is the spiritual connection that exceeds the physical and sexual (as delicious as those are).

Devotion.

Affection and dedication.

Not simply lust and obligation. But a spiritual SEEING and KNOWING. At times I feel the Divine loving me through Him and then again the Divine loves Him through me.

What a sacred charge.

What profound exchange.

More on this later…

Judgment and Power Exchange

This is a full body of work I’m doing – but I wanted to write this here – predominantly because Judgement is such a huge issue. And mostly because most of us just throw our hands in the air and say “Well everyone Judges!!” even though we know inside we shouldn’t, it feels like something we’re helpless to fix.

It feels like something that makes you or me a bad person.

Which is how most things on judging handle it. In judging your judgement.

Seems a bit circular don’t you think?

I’m not here to judge your judging. I’m here to offer an alternative. One that I hope will aid in the building and sustaining of your dynamic.

Practicing judgement can be one of the most dangerous and deadly actions we can do to relationships.

Why?

When we judge ourselves- we cease to accept ourselves. Acceptance is more important to mental and emotional health than self esteem.  Acceptance is the most precious gift you can give to your precious self. And yet so often we judge our most authentic expressions of self. The facets of ourselves that do not go along with the status quo. Those parts that are the minority and therefore more marginalized. Those parts that make us profoundly unique – we judge. .

When we judge our Masters we cease to accept Them. We deny them Autonomy and Agency. We become condescending and paternalistic, or judge and jury usually without many facts. We consider ourselves wise, cautious,  or  “taking a stand” as we judge those who we have entrusted with Authority and Power over us.

Here’s the thing. We don’t HAVE to judge. Not ourselves. Not our Masters.

But first a story. A few months back Master and I were hosting an event for a group of people in a subculture that we are not a part of. We had put in place a “do not” that from our perspective made good sense and from the perspective of this group – would limit their expression and adversely impact their fun. One of the leaders contacted me and said “Instead of a no – perhaps you can ask how this can happen”  – This made me stop and think. I had made a judgement, based upon my information and instead of staying curious, asking more questions,  and understanding there may be more to this than I realized – I said no.

I ASSUMED instead of asking.

How does this apply to Power Exchange dynamics?

When we stop asking questions – we start killing our dynamic.

When Judging increases – Love decreases. 

Even if your Power exchange dynamic does not include being “in love” – the love that is needful for the dynamic to exist and fulfill – love of the dynamic, love of your identity in it etc; whatever type of love is there- it decreases under the judgement.

Many of us wonder what to do in place of judging – after all you’re not an automaton and you experience things. If you’re not going to judge what can you do?

Not judging do not mean NOT SEEING.

We have other options and specifically as a slave interacting with her Master – these other options become extremely important.

  • Observe – An observation is a statement of fact, of what is so. An observation uses neutral language to avoid the pejorative, and to refrain giving it any meaning. It says nothing about whether you and/or your action are effective or ineffective; good or bad; right or wrong.
  • Assess – An assessment goes further. It does assess whether your action is effective, or ineffective, in reaching the desired goal. Yet an assessment also refrains from moral judgement. It also avoids good or bad, right and wrong.
  • Judge – A judgment goes on to add meaning; good or bad, right or wrong. Yet different things have different meanings for different people.

As you can see above- we have two other options – two important options that actually build the dynamic instead of tearing it down. You can  observe and you can assess. Both of these put you and your Owner on the same team, whereas judgement places your Owner UNDER your judgement and places you OVER Him/Her as the morality,good,bad police.

This change done repeatedly eventually erodes at the Power Exchange Dynamic.

How do we get out of Judgement? Curiosity and Appreciation. 

Curiosity says I’m interested in you. It provides space around  the issue – this interjection of space allows for more than simple right and wrong. It allows for the dynamic expression of who the Master is.  Curiosity is the door to Acceptance.

Appreciation- Appreciation is about expressing Value to your Owner for who He/She is and what He/She does. This keeps your from going too far on the Judgement train where you end up making value judgements to the negative. It very difficult to Judge and appreciate – although you can observe and assess and still appreciate.

There is a lot to this and this is by no means exhaustive. It’s a just snippet from something I’m working on.

 

 

Slave or Service Oriented Bottom

So today’s topic is recognizing the difference between being a Service Oriented Bottom and being a slave.

First let me say that I don’t think there is anything wrong, lessor, less honorable or less meaningful about being a bottom. When I first came into the Lifestyle being a slave was not something to aspire to. Slaves were considered weak doormats and usually extreme masochists. At some point it changed. Now, no one wants to be a submissive – (because that means being a weak doormat) and everyone wants to be a slave. Go figure. Also being a bottom is often maligned as being less “real” with statements such as “oh, he’s just a bottom” thrown about, which is unfortunate because this Lifestyle serves us better when it is defined by the Freedoms it grants us – not by the bondages we put on each other.

But I digress.

Slave, submissive, bottom – they are all simply descriptors of what is – not creators of what is not. To this end being a bottom in the realm of BDSM is often recognized in general as being on the receiving end of things – when not paired with other descriptors it often contains the unspoken qualifier of “during a specific, normally short period of time” – which is to say all submissives and slaves could be called bottoms, but not all bottoms are submissives or slaves.

That said what we’ve noticed of late is that many people in their reaching for self identification are quick to reach into the identifier “slave” and to ignore the identifier “bottom” even though “slave” does not really fit them. Why? Because while they may enjoy serving; they have a real issue, challenge, limitation when it comes to something foundational to being a slave….

OBEDIENCE

Yes- slavery is all about obedience – not service.

This may come as a shock or a revelation, and it is my hope that some light bulb moments will occur here.

This is not to say that there is anything wrong with service or that slaves don’t serve. We do. I LOVE providing crisp, efficient, beautiful service. Both unseen seamless service and showcase service are delicious to me. When I am serving excellently I’m happy and quite content.

But the performance of service does not make me a slave. My desire to be of service and of use also does not make me a slave – any more than a desire to be used sexually would make me a slave, or a desire to be spanked would make me a slave.

Because many have forgotten that slavery is at it’s essence about obedience – we tend to look at actions and mistake one thing for another.

For instance we’ll look at the quiet demure woman who is sad and not allowed to provide service because her Owner has told her not to, and yet is attempting to sneak and do it anyway and say “See how slavey she is??”

And then look at the more outspoken woman who is sitting next to her Master, engaged in stimulating conversation with Him/Her and assume this person is not a “twue slave” – when in fact her Owner directed her to do so and she’s being obedient.

So here’s the question – does being obedient feel good to you? Really and truly? I’m not just talking about being obedient to the things that feed your kink or sexual proclivities. I’m talking about being obedient to the things that challenge you, that push and pull you? If you have a FABULOUS idea that you just KNOW will make both of your lives AMAZING and He/She says “no” – does being obedient to that, even if it’s uncomfortable and painful – ultimately feel GOOD and fulfill something deep inside of you? If so – you may be a slave.

If you love to serve but when the person you’re in service to requires certain things, makes certain directives, expects certain behaviors or conduct you find yourself saying “Yeah but…” , “If only He understood…..”, “She doesn’t understand that…..”, “I’d obey if only He/She was…..” or anything along those lines – you may want to consider that you may in fact be a service oriented bottom -and there’s nothing wrong with that!

This Lifestyle is fundamentally  all about finding ourselves and then finding the descriptors that fit who we are so that we can communicate our truth succinctly and in ways that others understand. It is my sincere desire that we find our truth and then shine within it brightly – whatever we identify as!