Theory of Submissive Service
The basic principle of submissive service in a public setting can be summed up in one word: Attentiveness.
Your behavior should reflect your attentiveness to the dominant’s needs and desires at all times. Your role is to serve those needs and desires. Is your dominant about to light up a cigarette? Is your dominant’s coffee cup empty or has the coffee grown cold? Does he or she need a chair to sit on? Does your dominant have special needs (physical challenges, dietary restrictions)? It is your job to ensure that the dominant’s comforts are served by making any and all appropriate arrangements to make the dominant’s life easy.
Similarly, it is your joyful task to demonstrate, through your attitude and demeanor, that the dominant’s needs come first. Your ability to devotedly serve your dominant is a standard by which others will judge you AND your dominant. Not only will your attentiveness please your dominant but it will impress those you meet both with your dominant’s power and your submissiveness. In other words, you will be a submissive who a dominant is proud to own and one who others will believe is worth ownership.
Some submissives mistake their ability to take a heavy beating as the proof of their devotion. Certainly, it can be a highly erotic type of service to endure heavy pain for your dominant, but what about all those moments when your dominant isn’t “doing” you? Are you as good a slave to her (or him) during the quiet moments as you are when your dominant is giving you what you crave?
The following guidelines will help you to convey to your dominant and others that your wish to serve is sincere.
Rules of Public SM Etiquette
- Call a dominant by the title of her or his choice (e.g., Mistress, Ma’am, Master, Sir, etc.) If you don’t know what his or her preference is, ASK.
- Don’t lunge at a dominant, stand too close to him or her, or thrust your hand out in greeting. Wait politely until the dominant greets you or initiates a handshake.
- You don’t need to act like a mouse but it is respectful to periodically lower your eyes in deference to the dominant.
- The only person who has the right to give you orders is someone to whom you have consensually surrendered control. If such a person gives an order, an appropriate response would be, “Yes, Sir” or “Yes, Ma’am.”
- When an order is given, do your best to comply immediately.
- If the order pushes a limit, either use your safe word (if you have one), or tell the dominant that you are having a problem and need to talk to him or her.
- If a dominant wanna-be tries to order you around, an appropriate response would be, “I have not consented to this.”
- Anyone who tries to pressures you into service or tells you it is expected of all submissives should be avoided.
- Basic rule of thumb: if someone is rude to you, you are under no obligation to be polite to them, even if he or she is a dominant. Clearly he or she is not a good one.
- Open doors for the dominant and wait until she (or he) passes through before following.
- Have a lighter or matches handy so you can light a dominant’s cigarette or cigar. * If the dominant does smoke, discreetly empty the ashtray every so often.
- Offer to fetch a drink for the dominant.
- Keep an eye on the dominant’s beverage glass and offer to get a refill whenever it is empty.
- Offer to carry the dominant’s coat, equipment bag, or other cumbersome object.
- When standing beside your dominant, make sure to stand just behind his or her elbow, so that the dominant is slightly in front of you. (Note: some dominants may require that you kneel in attendance.)
- Do not assume you may take a chair beside your dominant unless she or he has already discussed this with you. Wait until your dominant tells you where to sit. If the dominant gives you no instruction, politely ask where she or he would like you to be.
- Avoid starting requests with phrases such as “I want” or “I need.” Instead, ask for the privilege by starting with: “May I please” or “Mistress/Master, may I have permission to…”
- If you are in a club or at a party, never bolt away from your dominant’s side or give the impression that you would rather be anyplace else but next to your dominant. If something exciting is going on which you are dying to watch, or if you see people you know, ask permission to go.
- No matter how attractive another dominant may be, when you are in the company of your dominant, control yourself and do not flirt or otherwise express untoward interest in someone else. Even if you are not yet collared or formally owned, if you wish to become owned, you will significantly reduce your chances by acting shallow.
- Always remember to say “thank you” for every privilege your dominant grants you. For example, if you’ve received permission to do something, do not charge off like an animal just released from a cage. It gives others the impression that you couldn’t wait to leave your dominant’s side.
- Do not argue in public with your dominant. If you are genuinely upset about something which cannot wait until you get home, ask your dominant for permission to discuss it privately and out of earshot of the crowd.