It wasn’t long ago that Onyx put a collar around my neck for the second time, but at the time there was little that came along with it that wasn’t already in our relationship. The last year has been the best we’ve ever had together, and after nearly six years together that’s saying something. Hopefully, though our effort at sustaining and nourishing our relationship, that trend will continue. After the first time he collared me and I moved in with him there was a time when we attempted to implement some service and protocol in our lives. It didn’t work.
There was lots of baggage we both were battling back then, issues and assumptions we both were making due to past experiences either with other people or with each other. I desperately wanted some structure. I wanted clearly defined rules and protocols. I wanted all the things I’d heard what M/S is, the things I had read about in books and erotica. I wanted to be controlled by him in every way. When we tried to put those into practice, however, I rebelled. I didn’t trust him. I couldn’t submit in those conditions. He couldn’t control me and I wouldn’t let him.
Fast forward four years or so. The last year we’ve been at our peak as far as our intentional non-egalitarian relationship, which I often refer to as Owner/Brat for lack of a better term. I am owned by him, I am his, but I am not always submissive or obedient. I have the leeway to be a brat, to struggle, things we both really enjoy (though usually I’m only a brat in certain contexts). I had been consciously neglecting the other aspects, however, at least partially because they didn’t work before.
Enter Delving Into Power, a weekend intensive by Lee Harrington (who has some wonderful clips here on the Kink Academy) that Onyx and I attended the first weekend of February. Going through that weekend my Service Submissive self was tapped into and I realized there were aspects I was missing and that Onyx and I were finally in the right place to address service and protocol in our relationship so naturally I began scouring the service and protocol category of Kink Academy to see what other tools I could find.
Now, I say I was consciously neglecting the other aspects such as submission, obedience, service, and protocol because unconsciously there were actually plenty of those things in our relationship in the past year, they just haven’t been at the forefront or done intentionally. There was plenty of service that I gave to Onyx through the last year, including (but not limited to) domestic service. That was one thing that came up for me while watching What is Service?: service takes on many different forms.
The service I was providing by cooking and cleaning for him, as well as the occasional sexual and sadomasochistic aspects of my service (although I enjoy both of these things there are times when it’s less “fun for me” and more “service,” but not in a bad way!), was valued and in a way already part of our dynamic but it was also so automatic that there was no intention behind it, no conscious choice for it to be part of our dynamic, and so it went unnoticed. The lack of intentionality here is key. Instead of it being some hot and exciting thing that I was doing for him it was just something I did for him. Ho hum. What I’ve come to realize is that anything I do can be in service to him if we so choose it to be, if we put that intention behind it. For a few weeks now we have been working on bringing intention and attention to our interactions and it is wonderful.
Along with re-thinking service I’ve also been re-thinking protocol, so I happily devoured Princess Kali’s video on Protocol. There are a lot of aspects of protocol that we had already implemented, somewhat out of habit. We each have titles and names that we call each other while we’re in our power play headspaces and he has occasionally chided me on my tone if I’m getting out of acceptable bratty territory or if I’m in it at the wrong time. I often present things to him, such as dinner or toys, intentionally as she mentions in the video as well.
However, just like the automatic service we have been engaging in, this was somewhat automatic protocol, so I’m working on bringing my own intention to it as well. I also realized the little flourishes I can do when presenting something to him, also, are things I can implement instead of waiting for him to tell me to do something. These additions can be little gestures of affection for him and food for our dynamic in general, whether or not he picks up on them. The idea that I don’t need to be told to do something in order for it to be protocol is so simple and obvious that I feel silly for having relied on the opposite in the past.
Another of the the service and protocol videos I particularly enjoyed was seeing the inside of a Sissy Maid Service Bag. Although it is presented to sissies specifically, which I am not, there is useful information in the video to anyone interested in service. The service bag is not unlike what I may generally carry around in my purse making sure to have little essential items that might be needed at any time. The idea of having everything ready at a moment’s notice when we go out seems like a good one. My service bag might not look exactly like Sissy Maid Stephanie‘s, but the basic idea is the same. Just another way to bring intention into something I was already doing.
What all this really comes down to is intention. Intention seems to be paramount in my life lately, not just in aspects of kink and my relationship but in work and my spiritual life as well. It is something that just keeps coming up: a lesson I may have finally learned. There is great power in actually putting forth a focused intention in every aspect of life, but especially for my Submissive/Service-oriented/Whateveryouwanttocallit self intention is something I need on both my part and the part of my Dominant. Once that intention is set, however, there are things that can then become automatic and ritualistic enabling us to then shift intention to other or newer aspects of our dynamic.