Part 4: Service is a Mirror
I spoke to individual role stereotypes in Part 2 (sub) and Part 3 (Dom), but there is another misunderstanding that applies universally and needed to be addressed separately. Let’s talk about service.
Those tired stereotypes would have us believe that the sub spends all their time working tirelessly to please the Dom, who sits around doing nothing but soaking up the attention. As is common though, the stereotypes are misguided and misinformed. In a healthy and responsible D/s dynamic, service is not one-sided. I’ll go so far as to say that the duty to serve is equally shared.
Let’s imagine that the act of service is a mirror, where both sides are perfectly aligned and complementary. It’s a perfect example of Newton’s third law, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For the D/s dynamic to work and the power exchange to yield a complete and powerful circuit, the act of service must be received and reciprocated.
How this plays out depends on the individuals, the scene itself, and the relationship. A D/s pair might have a routine wherein the sub is to kneel at the Dom’s feet, remove the Dom’s boots, and rub their feet. On the surface, this seems one-sided, skewing heavily in favor of the Dom’s pleasure, but when such an act triggers subspace for the submissive, they are being served as well. Service is a mirror.
Super Big Secret: Don’t tell anyone, but in a scene or play space where a Dom is entrusted with full control over a sub, the Dom is serving the sub. When someone is granted and accepts responsibility for another person, they are acting in service to that person.
When we’re talking about power exchange, everyone has to show up and play their part for the circuit to be complete. When everyone serves and receives service, the power intensifies. Will there be times when one or the other is not able to give their full share? ABSOLUTELY! And that’s why the power exchange analogy is so beautiful because the goal is to keep the relationship at 100%. While the ideal may be for each party to show up with 50% of the power, sometimes one party may only be able to bring 30% to the table, and the other will pick up the 70%. All that matters is that the energy remains steady and balanced in a way that serves both sides of the equation.
Domination and Submission Series