A lot of times when we think about service in the leather community we see in our minds eye the naked submissive in chains kneeling awaiting their next command, or the silent submissive serving a dinner party also, not surprisingly, naked.
Although these are beautiful images and completely attainable, the majority of life lived outside the home is done: 1) With clothes on and more importantly 2) in front of other people that may not understand the relationship dynamic and are not consensually being exposed to it. So with that in mind what forms does service take when also dealing with the world, and how does service continue in all forms of company?
First off good service has many different components to it, but excellent service, surprising service, and seamless service are made up of different things entirely. Good service in my opinion can look pretty but have no real substance, and if you pay close enough attention, it often has little endurance and before long becomes about the submissive looking for attention. For example, a while back we were at a coffee munch and this young woman who called herself a slave was talking, and talking, and talking incessantly, and when her dominant gestured for her to kneel at his feet she did so looking around expectantly for praise. She then continued talking and talking and without permission she got up and got herself something to nibble on that would also bring her attention. Not once did she ask the dominant what he wanted, not once did she pause in her constant inane chatter to see to his comfort, and although she did kneel in request, once she became bored with that she got up and went to find something for herself without even a sideways glimpse his way. Not once did she pause in her talking to see if anyone else wanted to get a word in, or to see if her dominant would like to talk, or if he needed anything. Just to be clear, her constant talking was not the issue; it was the monopolizing of the conversation to keep the attention on her that was the constant source of irritation. Was it pretty ? Yeah, sure I can say that. Was it service? Sure, I can go there in my head, but was it excellent service? Not in my mind.
Excellent service looks and feels completely different ~ excellent service is about the ability to pay attention to the dominant, the ability to predict the dominates next need, and more importantly the ability to do it without calling attention to the submissive or the act itself. This learning takes time, patience, and most of all the innate desire to see someone else successful. What I mean by that is wanting to be a part of someone else success and being comfortable with the spotlight away from the self to concentrating entirely on them. It takes months if not years to learn the ins and outs of someone and to be to see what that person needs before they do and respond to that. I can give a perfect example: I had worked a 12 hour shift, and was heading into two more when we had to stop and see a friend in the hospital. I was tired, the hospital grounds were an extensive maze with over three parking garages, and I knew that once we were headed home it would be another few hours before I could climb into bed. Although my heart was in the right place, I was grumpy, tired, hungry and not in the mood for delays. After we visited out friend and was attempting to make it back to the car I stated asking for directions back to the parking lot, three wrong sets of directions later, I was slowly losing what was left of my evaporating charm. When we finally found the way to the car I said I was hungry and she said that she knew, she then went on to say that she knew when I decided to come to the hospital after I had worked all night that I was going to be tired and hungry and less then pleasant. So she was completely prepared and when I was gruff with people she would stand behind me with a big smile so the situation was less threatening, she knew that by holding my hand it would give my body the much needed support from its own tiredness, and she had already gotten cash to take me to my favorite burrito place after we were done so that I could knock out tin the car on the long drive home, not to mention that she had already prepared herself to do my morning chores so I could head straight to bed.
Now that is excellent service. I have felt cared for in my life, but when she explained about all of the emotional and physical planning that she did just for that one morning for that few hours, it stunned me. I ate my burrito I fell asleep as she drove and when she came to bed after I was all tucked in I held her so very tightly.
That is what I mean by excellent service, seamless surprising service. Everything that she did d that morning had nothing to do with her, but the effort, love and extensive planning that she had done was all for my comfort.
That is the essence of amazing service, knowing that with just a look or a feel you can interpret a need. It is selfless, and when it is done with the beauty and intention of love it is amazing to watch and even more amazing to experience.