When you’re in a relationship that focuses on power exchange, it can seem like this happens in one direction: the submissive serves the Dominant, without questions. While this might be the fantasy and the energy you want to create in a scene, it is still just a FANTASY.
In reality, there are two (or more) people who each have their own needs and their own desires. If this reality is not taken into account, the submissive may feel used and they might be used, causing them to hate what they are doing, resent their Dominant and resent ever allow themselves to be vulnerable as a submissive. This is not going to make anyone happy in the end. Here’s what you need to consider when you want to have a servant, but you also want them to continue to want to serve their Dominant.
Are You Creating Something?
In BDSM relationships and scenes, the goal might be to derive the most pleasure from these moments. While short-term scenes might not need to have a lot of focus on preventing service burnout, longer term slave training situations need to have a bit more care and attention. If you are striving to create a strong relationship in which the Dominant is being served by their submissive, then this means you NEED to consider how to sustain and nurture this sort of connection. Define what you are trying to do with each other. It creates context for everything the submissive is asked/commanded to do.
It’s hard for a submissive to serve a Dominant long term just because they want to be a Dominant. It is much easier for a submissive to serve, care for, help, and support a Dominant that they love, trust and care for. The only way a submissive can develop those kinds of feelings is by creating a loving supportive relationship, where the Dominant gives back just as much as the submissive.
While the fantasy of being served 24/7 without any reciprocation can be a hot idea for many, W/we are all human and all humans require both emotional and physical support.
Do You Know the Needs of Everyone?
Service makes more sense when the needs of everyone are taken into account. The submissive is often the one who continues to give, but without any return, it may become tiresome to do what they are asked. Sit down and think about what each person needs from the service relationship. This might look like the submissive getting certain things in each scene, or perhaps getting a certain amount of attention and praise (or humiliation, if that’s their flavor) from their Dominant. Be clear in this conversation, as it will be something you can come back to when either person in the relationship is unhappy.
What Rules Will You Follow?
The more rules you have, the more clarity you have about what each person is expected to do. Many BDSM relationships will draw up a contract of what the rules are. This list will include rules each person needs to follow, not just the submissive side. When these rules are broken, there might be consequences. At the very least, each person should have the opportunity to call out the other person for not upholding their part of the agreement.
Is Safety Acknowledged?
Safety is everything in BDSM. This includes physical, emotional, and mental safety. Most relationships will need to have a safe word or they will need to have some sort of way to establish trust together. The longer a relationship goes on, the safer each person will feel, but when the relationship is new, having clear guidelines about what safety level each person can expect will help support the desire to serve. This will help to build trust and support more communication.
What about Respect?
Along with safety is respect in the service relationship. As a Dominant you need to lead by example, which means if you want to be respected by your submissive you must give them the respect they deserve first. The Dominant should respect their submissive and respect the job the submissive has, and be mindful of the reality of what the submissive can do – and not. If the Dominant asks too much of the submissive and then mocks them for not doing what was asked (unless the subs requests that), it can make a submissive less than excited to continue. A Dominant should think carefully about whether they are respecting the other person.
Do You Know What You Need to Know?
The Dominant is often the one who is in charge of figuring out how to ensure the submissive is happy in their role. To do this, a Dominant will need to have as much knowledge as possible about themselves, their personal shortcomings (all humans have them), and strengths. A Dominant will also need to know everything they can about their submissive, their strength and weaknesses, their desires and areas that need to be avoided. Lastly a Dominant needs to have a solid understanding and knowledge within the training skills they and their sub wish to partake in. This involves continuous studying on the Dominant’s part, talking with the submissive but more importantly listening to the submissive’s needs. By continuing to learn, both will find out what works specifically for them in their relationship.
When Service Begins to Falter
If the relationship isn’t working the way either partner feels it should, the Dominant will often stop Dominating their submissive and the submissive will usually stop doing what they are expected to do. Essentially both partners or the one that is feeling used will try to get away with as little as they can in the relationship. Nobody will ever put in a huge amount of time and energy into a relationship when they do not feel like it is being returned or appreciated.
Though this is expected when someone is tired or not feeling respected, some Dominants might respond by being more controlling and asking for more. This sets up a dangerous cycle in which the submissive begins to feel used – and not in the way they want to feel used.
To stop this sort of cycle, those in the relationship need to speak up about what they think is happening and how their needs could be met. It might look like the Dominant asking the submissive if anything is wrong, how they are feeling about their training or why they are having a hard time completing tasks when they were easily completed previously. Let your submissive know they are open to communicate and that as the Dominant you are only looking to make them happy. By listening to the submissive, the Dominant can begin to understand how they can help – or they can make amends if they have crossed a boundary they promised not to cross.
Over time, some submissives may simply need a break from their service. If this is the case, the Dominant and the submissive might take some time away from this part of their relationship. During the time apart, each can reflect on what they want and what wasn’t working. Often, these breaks can bring partnerships into better balance.
Service isn’t one-sided, even though it can appear to be so at first. The more you work together to ensure service feels good, the more everyone will enjoy it.
The founder of the BDSM Training Academy. Master Bishop has been involved in the Dominant/submissive lifestyle for over 12 years. With a love for education both learning and teaching, Master Bishop has passed on his knowledge and experience to others entering into the BDSM lifestyle for over 8 years. Join Master Bishop on Google+
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