Sometimes in this world, you have to make a choice to do the best you can with the resources available to you at the time.
I came to that conclusion in my early twenties when I decided to forgive my parents for being somewhat shitty parents in the hopes that they would also forgive me me for being a somewhat shitty child. It works…most of the time anyways, and it’s a conclusion I’m glad I reached.
I often apply the same principle to my exploration of BDSM. Sometimes that means forgiving yourself for making stupid newbie mistakes, sometimes it means forgiving yourself when you’ve broken a rule, or slipped on a protocol. Sometimes, it means remembering your D-person is also doing they best they can with what they have available at the time, taking them off that pedastool, and forgiving them a misstep.
Sometimes it means exploring as much as I can using the avenues that are available to me; be it taking workshops, participating in discussion groups, reading books or talking the ear off of anyone who will spare time with me. Yes, it’s a very pragmatic view, but it’s also one that has worked out well for me.
I’ve been lucky to explore my masochist side by creating friendships that allow me to indulge in casual play with people I trust. I’ve been lucky to get small tastes of submission with a few partners who recognize it for what it is when it comes, and don’t ask anything more. And I have been honoured to explore my interests in service through providing service a public events (like Under One Roof) and private parties.
The first time I was asked to serve, I really didn’t see it as an act of service. It was just helping my friends out with their events. I like to be helpful, and I like to show my affection for those I care about by doing. I thought that in order for helping to be service it had to be done as part of a power exchange relationship….but like so many other things I once thought, this view is under revision.
I’ve never had much opportunity to service as part of a power exchange relationship, so it’s hard for me to speak to what that means, or looks like. So like everyone else you read on this blog, the following should be taken with a grain of salt.
I dig on service for two main reasons. First, because it quiets me – it turns my focus outward and puts the hamster that runs in my mind to rest. Second, it makes me feel useful; it fulfills me. Seems a bit ironic, but service is almost a selfish act for me.
Service for service sake has also been a means of education to me. So often people take what they already know for granted and toss out oh, just follow basic protocols and you’ll be fine to answer a question of how to behave, but if you’ve never been taught any sort of protocol, how do you know what basic protocol is? It’s my person belief that protocols be established between people, after all, there’s a bunch of diversity there. But, through my training to serve at private parties I’ve learnt things like the symbolism of serving with a certain hand, or one vs two hands. It’s given me increased confidence in my ability to follow things like rituals and protocols when the time comes; and shown that this is something I’m interested in.
The downside (because there always is one) to public service is that you do have to watch yourself. I have a problem with forgetting myself in favour of others. I tend not to rest enough, not hydrate enough, and yes, I do have a problem with taking too much on. This can lead to my body rebelling against me (for example, if I’m running around like mad and forget to eat or drink water, I’ll shake, and it’s really hard to carry a drink when your hands are shaking), or feeling emotionally overwhelmed and having a meltdown. When you’re serving some one, it’s their job to make sure you’re okay, when you’re not, it’s your job.
Service for service sake, I imagine, is at once similar and dissimilar to service for the sake of power exchange. My current theory on this is it’s like holding a hand versus holding your love’s hand. While both are nice, there’s an intangible extra that comes with the latter. But, just because you aren’t in love, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy having a hand to hold for a while.