Service or Play: A Lesson in Language

Language is important. It is important to be mindful of the words we use, and to listen when people explain what those words mean to them. Language is fluid and flexible and changes over time, and what one word means to one person doesn’t always mean the same to another. I want to write a little bit about the words SERVICE and PLAY, and what they mean to me in a professional setting.

I get emails every day from men asking if they may come and serve me. Now – what I deem to be service, what I understand that word to mean, is very different to what they are requesting of me. I shall attempt to break this down and elaborate – I have been often accused of being something of a pedant, with regards to language, but I don’t care! For me, service and play are two very, VERY different things, and what most people mean by service, is actually play.

For me, a service position is something that is earned. I actually have very few subs who are in service to me, because it requires a level of trust and loyalty that you just do not have on a first-time meeting. Serving me means making my life better or easier without any expectation of reward. For instance, one of my long term regular guys (he’s more like my henchman these days, which is rather awesome) is currently serving me by dealing with my garden – it was very overgrown and wild when I moved in and he’s been helping me get it back under control. It would cost me a fortune to get someone in to do it professionally (it really was a jungle!) and so he is saving me both time and money in helping me do this. That’s service. Similarly, whilst I was still studying, one of my lovely guys would send me all the textbooks I needed; another would cover the cost of my parking on my study weekends (it was super expensive!). Another occasionally funds my days out with my friends – not all the time, but often enough to have earned the position of being in service to me.

Service, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is “the action of helping or doing work for someone“. Therefore, if we have never met, and you are in my inbox begging to serve me, what you actually need to do is check out that dictionary definition and ask yourself if that is what you are really after. Because I guarantee it is not. You are dressing up your needs and wants as something that is useful to me, when in fact it isn’t. You want to play.

Which is totally fine! I love playtime! Those of my guys who do not enter into personal service to me (and by that I do not mean they get to shag me, which one very disgruntled potential client tried to tell me was in fact the case!!!!) still have an excellent time when they come to see me. These days I see my workspace as an adult playground, where two grown adults simply enjoy the delights of the dungeon and each other’s company for a pre-determined period of time. (As a therapist, I do a lot of inner child work – and this crosses over into dungeon playtime – the carefree abandon with which we play and explore the world as youngsters can be reignited during my BDSM sessions – it’s fucking cool and I love it).

What most of these men want is to PLAY, not to serve. Interestingly, sometimes the two do overlap – one of my lovely long-term regulars also turns up with bags full of gluten-free vegan goodies for me. That is probably the BEST act of service anyone can perform for me at the moment, as finding things I can eat is a difficult task!

Service is a position that is earned over time. You cannot simply just enter into service at the drop of a hat. Touching on some points in my last blog about ownership, this is why I find ownership so strange – some people seem to employ people into their service so quickly! That doesn’t work for me. You have to prove to me time and again that you are reliable, trustworthy, capable of doing whatever it is I require of you, and truly wishing to be of use to me – a true submissive. What seems to happen a lot of the time is that some guys will be helpful for a while, but then start expecting things that are not part of the agreement or dynamic we are operating within. They tell me what they think I want to hear, then start trying to slyly shoehorn their own agenda into the relationship and that is not cool.

Just be honest! If you simply want to play for a few hours, that is 100% acceptable. You don’t have to metaphorically prostrate yourself at my feet in your initial email, begging and simpering to “serve” me, when all you actually want to do is play. I offer adult playtime, that is literally what I do, so it’s really ok to ask for just that. Service often seems to happen by accident, over time, once I am satisfied that your intentions are pure (as they can be in the filthy, dirty world of BDSM!) and you are able to offer me something that adds to or improves my life. In a way, service is the reward – and I do not hand that type of reward out like candy.

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