Sunday curiosity #6 – Unicorn

The pure service submissive is a unicorn – rare and perhaps only found in fairy stories. A service submissive is one who gets satisfaction from serving, not performing ‘personal service’ (i.e. sexual acts), not engaging in kinky latex-maid-outfit dusting, not providing service as prepayment for play rewards. Pure service submissives get satisfaction from serving.

I found this description from a submissive who has engaged in this sort of service and I think it explains the frame of mind very well:

What appealed in it for me at the time was the mindset of doing very well at my tasks, from cooking gourmet meals to cleaning the fish tank and anything in between so to speak. The sense of accomplishment and goodness in serving gave me great joy. I knew I was doing my job well and my Dominant appreciated it greatly. There was no affection between us, just the control on his part . He spoke I acted. Period.

I have never considered the unicorn, mostly because I am largely passion-driven, but also because I don’t think I really believe in them. I expect they will shed their spiralled horn and sparkling clean-white hide within minutes to reveal a little troll-like creature that drools and grunts and paws at me with calloused dirty hands hissing “Oh Mistress, I have been bad, punish me…*slobber*”.

I have heard from many women who have attempted this sort of dynamic that submissives who offered ‘no strings attached service’ often aren’t offering anything of the sort. Rather, they use the lure of service submission as an ‘in’, and then go about trying to manipulate the situation to get play or sex or a relationship or some other form of satisfaction. A classic ‘bait and switch’ tactic. Of course this never ends well… the dominant feels deceived, the submissive feels hard done by… cue yelling and tears, finger pointing and blame.

Since I am still licking my wounds, pining and being generally pathetic, I haven’t the energy or the desire to go boy hunting however I am still curious to see what my prospects are like if and when I take out my hunting rifle and declare the season open, so I occasionally browse profiles.

I found, hidden quietly in the undergrowth, a service submissive. Sssshhhhh… don’t scare him off…

I can hear you all, eyebrows raised and sceptical… “Oh, come on, you did not!”

A brief exchange revealed a geographical mismatch, however it has piqued my interest, just a little. I am wondering now if they really might exist somewhere, these unicorns. I am wondering now if service submission might be a way to dip my toe gently into the D/s pool when I am still nursing this fragile heart. I am wondering if it might be fun to explore an area that is new to me, to satisfy some dommely urges without risk.

So, I’m curious, if anyone cares to volunteer their thoughts… are pure service submissives the unicorns of D/s? Have you had any good or bad experiences with it on either side of the kneel? What made it work or fail?

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18 Comments

  1. Service is a wonderful thing. There is nothing better than the look on your Domme's face after being served a gourmet meal or had her body massaged to the point where she is purring.
    I also believe that the pure service sub is a unicorn and very rare (or medium rare when grilled). The vast majority want or need something either overtly or subconsciously.It is a part of the whole in the relationship not the whole raison d'etre.
    Saying that, why not lay back and enjoy it.
    I enjoy the satisfaction of a meal well prepared and enjoyed after a weeks planning and preparation. That satisfaction comes as much from the art involved in the thought and preparation as in the need for any type of reward. Cleaning on the other hand requires whips and cattle prods.So, the type of service also must match the D and the s.
    robert

    robert

  2. Since I'm not a scene player, I'm not very suited to give my opinion on this, so I won't.

    Ah hah ha ha ha he he he heh. heh.
    Yeah, right.

    Relationships work because *both* partners get something out of them. In fact, I've heard the expression that in the best relationships, each partner feels like s/he is getting the better end of the stick.

    If somebody appears to be service-only oriented, then maybe they are, and are driven by the ego gratification of giving pleasure to somebody. We entertain a lot at the Villa Edge (that's one of those pun things, sorry), and we enjoy the oohs and aahs that we get when we present a nice meal, or a host an interesting party.

    But be aware that people's desires in a relationship can change over time. Somebody who is happy providing service may indeed decide that s/he wants more. Does that make them bad? A conniver? No, it simply displays that they are human, and that relationships can (and do) evolve over time.

  3. Actually Ferns, to quote you;

    “they are just boys who want to make me happy, and they don't get anything out of it except the hope that they were responsible for a bit of that happiness”

    So, it appears that there just may be some “Unicorn” types out there. Of course, as Tom also noted, relationships do evolve over time and so what might start out as a service submissive relationship could change. Perhaps a limited time contract might work. Hey, if it works out for both of you, it can always be renewed.

    Having said that, bear in mind that my D/s experience in real life is …. well … exactly … um … none. You just might want to take my opinion with a grain (or two) of salt.

  4. I came into the BDSM community with a boy I know very well, for years really. We were initially romantic with each other early on, and so his and my relationship was sort of all I knew and had experienced of D/S. He is my live in slave, and what I would deem as one of your pure service slaves… it's a unicorn that I forget to appreciate. Though he's a pure service slave, he's not a masochist, but I *am* a sadist… and that frustrates me into forgetting about his incredibly pure hearted intentions towards me… He would withstand most anything for me, and for nothing! He never intentionally disobeys me, making me happy has become his life goal, it seems… and though I didn't believe it could be true when we first began, it seems he's proven me the fool.

    It doesn't matter what I ask him to do, he'll do it… as long as I just appreciate it… no words or actions needed. I am shocked that he is sated by this exchange…
    A pat on the head and a 'good boy' seems to only make him work harder.

  5. robert: “I also believe that the pure service sub is a unicorn and very rare (or medium rare when grilled). The vast majority want or need something either overtly or subconsciously.It is a part of the whole in the relationship not the whole raison d'etre.”

    I agree. As part of a whole relationship, it is common… as the sole dynamic, it’s a rare rare thing.

    “Saying that, why not lay back and enjoy it.”

    Well, find me a unicorn and I will see quickly enough if I can enjoy it! In truth, I am not sure that I would… there is still quite the dynamic that has to be sorted to make it work, even if it is pure service submission and I am not sure how it would make me feel.

    Ferns

  6. Tom: “We entertain a lot at the Villa Edge (that's one of those pun things, sorry), and we enjoy the oohs and aahs that we get when we present a nice meal, or a host an interesting party.“

    Yeeeessss… I tried to make this work in my head as analogous, but it totally didn’t. To be comparable, you would have to subtract the interesting evening and lovely company from the equation. You prepare a fabulous meal, you serve it, you get oohs and aahs, and then they say “thank you so much, now get back in the kitchen”. Not quite as rewarding then is it?

    In the example you have given there, it is more like ‘service in the context of a relationship’ – you enjoy doing the preparation and cooking, and you enjoy the payoff (not just the immediate feedback, but good company of friends who you like, then an entire evening of enjoyment and interaction etc). The relationship context is what makes it work.

    “But be aware that people's desires in a relationship can change over time. Somebody who is happy providing service may indeed decide that s/he wants more. Does that make them bad? A conniver? No, it simply displays that they are human, and that relationships can (and do) evolve over time.”

    I take your point, but I think most women who complain about this are smart enough to see the difference between what you describe and a ‘bait and switch’. If the boy claims to be a service submissive, then he turns up, maybe wants to dress a certain way (to feed his true kink), wants to be minutely supervised/chastised/abused (with a crop handy, of course!), does a really rubbish job at whatever, then wants to be ‘punished’, that’s not some natural relationship evolution! She gets no service, he gets no play… both are unhappy.

    Ferns

  7. slapshot: “To quote you…”

    I do love it when people quote me to me (that’s not snarky, I really do!!… that’s pure ego talking!)…

    “So, it appears that there just may be some ‘unicorn’ types out there.”

    But but… what you quoted is not pure service, not at all – I did add another sentence saying ‘Well, obviously they are wanting more of me…’. A boy who is seeking a relationship (vanilla or D/s) will do lovely stuff for me… BUT they are not doing it for its own sake, they are trying to make me happy because they want to be in a relationship with me, and gee, if they make me happy, that’s much more likely to happen. That’s not service for service’ sakes – they are not going to do these sweet things (come and clean my house, cook for me, detail my car etc) unless it progresses the relationship, so while I did say they get nothing out of it except my happiness, my happiness is a goal because they want to progress the relationship. It's a different motivation (and one I understand easily).

    For a service submissive, the dominant’s satisfaction is the goal and that’s it… THAT gives them satisfaction. It’s a mindset that I really struggle to understand.

    “Of course, as Tom also noted, relationships do evolve over time and so what might start out as a service submissive relationship could change.”

    Agreed, and in fact the service submissive that I spoke to was hoping for that. He was perfectly up-front about it, which shows a level of self knowledge and honesty that is to be admired. I’d much prefer that they say that up front (that it’s what they are hoping for) than to pretend it’s not a factor.

    Ferns

  8. Chappee: “He is my live in slave, and what I would deem as one of your pure service slaves… it's a unicorn that I forget to appreciate… A pat on the head and a 'good boy' seems to only make him work harder.”

    Eeeekkk!!! *points in awe and wonder* A unicorn!!!

    So, if you don’t mind my asking (I am prodding at the unicorn, it is unseemly I know!)… you implied past tense with the romantic part of your relationship and you implied play with the mention of s/m… So in your relationship, is he like a platonic servant who you play with from time to time?

    I assume then that you seek emotional/romantic/sexual fulfilment elsewhere. How does he get those needs met, or is service truly all he needs?

    Ferns

  9. Yikes. Let me confirm… we are presently romantic with one another, VERY much so. I *do* fuck him, and get most all my other needs met through HIM.

    …but he has not much of a drive to fuck, or be hit, he never pressures me for it, or asks… he seems to only do it as another offering on my metaphorical alter. He seems to only want it if I'm asking/proposing it.

    On one hand, I'm flattered at his flat out interest in my happiness, but on the other–I'm disturbed he asks so little in return.

    I'll have him write a comment on your blog in response to this post, tomorrow evening, to give his side of the story…
    (I ALWAYS did love it when you'd feature snippets from your partner's take.)

  10. Chappee: “Yikes. Let me confirm… we are presently romantic with one another, VERY much so. I *do* fuck him, and get most all my other needs met through HIM.”

    Ahhh… ok! See to me, that makes perfect sense, I understand service in the context of a romantic relationship, you are his love!

    “On one hand, I'm flattered at his flat out interest in my happiness, but on the other–I'm disturbed he asks so little in return.”

    But but… he gets YOU right?! He gets to be your partner, your lover, your friend, your plaything, your slave… all that! That's what he gets… sounds like lots to me!

    “I'll have him write a comment on your blog in response to this post, tomorrow evening, to give his side of the story…”

    I would adore that, thank you!

    Ferns

  11. I believe it's possible: there are other sorts of satisfaction than sexual satisfaction. People are pleased to hear they've done a good job, be it at work, at home or perhaps at their Domme's place … it's a different kind of satisfaction, however, I believe that, to some people, it's the kind they crave.
    Not for me, though. I offered to cook for a Dom once, but I had hopes for the evening :P (paid off, by the way).

  12. (Chappee here… I got my boy to write a response below. Muahahaha!)

    Sorry in advance for the wall of words.

    As Chappee's boy, I think that I can also offer another perspective on the issue. Although I consider myself a former troll-hidden-in-a-unicorn-costume, I have, after some time and consideration and a lot of personal growth, come to a stage where I no longer do anything of the sort.

    I relish personal service for a reason that, once it came to me, shocked me, not only because I hadn't thought of it before, but also because *other* people hadn't seemed to have though of it before. It was so simple!

    The concept that I thought of is that if I like someone, am friends with someone, love someone, relate with someone, et c., that I, generally, want them to succeed in life. Rare is the friend of anyone who has failure wished upon them, even if this is very common between “friends”.

    On this note, I began thinking further. I thought about the purpose of my life, the existence, or lack thereof, of any sort of higher power, my own predicted death between my 18th and 19th birthday, and other such dry, philosophical topics too delicate to be mangled by my words here.

    Through these thoughts, I came to an important truth: If I love someone, then I not only want them to succeed, but I want to place their priorities above mine. Isn't that what society has ingrained upon some of us that love is, anyways?

    In this light, I looked at what was around me that made me happy. Although my lady often chides me (she would say she teases me) for having a “hero complex”, the nature of it is that I enjoy doing things to make other people's lives better.

    In addition, I read the “Sword of Truth” series as a child, an epic which spans 11 volumes pervaded with a strange D/S theme. There is all sorts of magic that ranges from the relatively mundane glamours, which make people fall in love; to the touch of a Confessor, which permanently bonds the touched person's spirit to the Confessor as a lifelong slave–a slave of love, of course.

    These all influenced me to adopt my current lifestyle. With only two exceptions (Nothing to negatively impact my work and nothing illegal), I am a complete slave to Chappee, and spend my days helping her out with whatever she needs help with.

    She clarifies what I should or should not eat, how I should spend my time, how I should address other people and her and dress myself. I am, in all respects and fashions, her complete and total slave.

    Not to be misread as extortion, but she also has full control over every penny I make at work. However, this is not something I would recommend to any unicorn who is just meeting their owner: We've known each other for 6 years.

    But, beyond the words we've already touched on, I just want to say that I *am* one of the community's true unicorns, and I have bonded myself completely to Chappee, and I'm sure if you look, you'll be able to find one of your own.

    However, they are unicorns, I think, by your definition, because they are rare: In all of the people that I've met in the D/S community, although that number itself isn't astronomical, I have only met one other person claiming to be a “pure service submissive”, and only a handful of others claiming to enjoy occasionally submitting themselves to service.

    Also, Chappee really likes unicorns, so it's cool that I can be compared to one!

  13. N: “I believe it's possible: there are other sorts of satisfaction than sexual satisfaction. People are pleased to hear they've done a good job, be it at work, at home or perhaps at their Domme's place … it's a different kind of satisfaction, however, I believe that, to some people, it's the kind they crave.”

    That makes sense, thank you N. I like that you compared it to work, I hadn't thought of it like that, but it's a great analogy. I can relate to the satisfaction of a job well done in that context.

    “Not for me, though. I offered to cook for a Dom once, but I had hopes for the evening :P (paid off, by the way).”

    Well, she obviously had hopes for you as well!! Glad it worked out!

    Ferns

  14. Chappee’s boy: Thank you so much for your thoughts, that was so lovely!! It sounds like you and Chappee are wonderfully matched – I love happy stories.

    I am wary to continue this discussion because I do not in any way want it to seem as if I am commenting negatively on your words, I certainly don’t want to go down the slippery path of ‘twueness’ in either act or definition, and I really really don’t want to question your unicorn-ness in any way – it is difficult to continue without it sounding that way, so please know that my definitions here are completely my own and quite probably inadequate to get to where I am trying to go with this (not uncommon, for me), however, here I go…

    Your relationship sounds truly beautiful, and it clearly has service as a cornerstone, but I don’t see what you are describing as ‘pure service’. Not because you are at all lacking in will or intent or anything like that. You clearly have a truly blessed relationship, and your devotion to Chappee’s happiness is obvious and something that many D/s couples will never get to, but once you include a *full* relationship in the mix (romance, love, sex, play, partnership, ‘other’ D/s interactions), for me, it is no longer ‘pure service’ of the sort I mean.

    I use the term ‘pure service submissive' to try and distinguish them from submissives who provide service as part of a wider relationship, which is what you do. The term ‘pure’ is meant to draw out the idea that they achieve satisfaction from service almost in a vacuum – providing service *is* their sole satisfaction. There is no love, no wider relationship, no bond besides that of a mistress (of a household) in control and a servant who does as he is bid. Back to the quote I added in my post: “There was no affection between us, just the control on his part . He spoke I acted. Period.”

    If I am interested in exploring a dynamic at the moment, it is that one.

    So, the unicorn I referred to is the one who comes into a household, provides service as directed, and then goes away happy that they have done a good job and that it was satisfactory to the dominant. As soon as it’s service in the context of a fuller relationship, it’s no longer ‘pure service’ (if you know what I mean) because that context changes the motivation (and *that* motivation is much more understandable to me).

    My musings are not at all meant to take anything away from your beautiful relationship and your devoted service to Chappee, and I want to thank you again for sharing. I think Chappee is quite right about you being a unicorn, just a slightly different sort from the one I meant – maybe an Appaloosa unicorn as opposed to a Brumby…

    Ferns

  15. Chappee's Boy, again:

    Ah, I see the confusion! Adding hyphens to clearly delineate what you wrote and what I read:

    You wrote “Pure-Service Submissive”

    I read “Pure Service-Submissive”

    I see, indeed, that these are two completely different things; for, you want a submissive who is purely for service, whereas I describe myself as a service submissive who is pure in motivation.

    I think I understand what you mean, and I certainly don't get any feeling of negativity from what you say. Thank you for appreciating my story, Miss Ferns.

  16. Chappee's Boy: “Ah, I see the confusion! Adding hyphens to clearly delineate what you wrote and what I read…”

    Yes, exactly! Stupid English language!

    “I certainly don't get any feeling of negativity from what you say. Thank you for appreciating my story, Miss Ferns.”

    I'm very glad of the former, and you are most welcome for the latter. It brightened my whole day!

    Ferns

  17. I wrote a book about this. It was a how-to guide for service-oriented submissive men. I covered such topics as tableware place settings, the auxiliary duties of a chauffeur and the ironing of pleated clothing. It didn’t make for sexy wanking material, but it WAS informative.
    “Notice what she is doing. Don’t make her notice what you are doing–” 1988

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