Posts Tagged ‘service’

A Small Add to Poetry Challenge: Environment II

November 16, 2010

"European Eagle Owl", janekohut-bartels, 2003, watercolor

“You are so fierce!”

Yeah, I get like that.  I heard from a number of residents who happened to read my blog.  Usually the blog readers are writers, poets, etc.  This time, I was surprised at the local readers.

Apparently, I struck a nerve.  There seems to be a lot of anxiety out there….people losing their jobs, their houses, having to relocate for jobs or just to be closer to family in these unstable economic times.  But some of the anxiety is over some deeper and more intangible issues.

I talked over the weekend  to a number of friends  in this part of Atlanta.  They expressed some of the same issues I did in this previous blog entry.  Whether it’s a concern for developing their creative abilities in the bigger and longer picture of life, or concern as to where that support for such comes from, well, we all seem to have something of the same issues.

One thing was consistent:  Developing  individual creative abilities needs focus, isolation, a lot of concentrated energy.  When you are in a community that constantly calls for your energies to be applied to broader social and economic issues, you can put your creative abilities on the back burner.  When you do this, you can , over time….lose the drive to produce.

I heard a lot of comments, questions, relating to time, energy and guilt!  Guilt is easily manufactured by self-doubt and listening to other agendas.  I think it’s a balance we need to strike here, but I think our own creative impulses, abilities, talents, whatever you want to call it, need to be in the forefront of our minds when we make any outside commitment.

I had breakfast with a friend and neighbor, Julie, yesterday.  She is about the same age and has lead a very interesting life.  She listened to my concerns and simply said  ‘life must have a balance: there must be a net gain for what is put out.’  Something like this.

And she’s right.  We can’t consistently deplete ourselves in the service of  the ‘ other’.

I found over the weekend that community I was seeking.  Not that we are a local, collectively gathered group of active artists: we are scattered, fried and united by guilt and questions.   But we are supported by knowing that others here feel the same.  Knowing this, we feel less isolation.  We have less confusion as to those gnawing  questions we face.

We can get to work knowing someone has our back.

Lady Nyo

What is Service…Perfection…Submission… A very few thoughts…..

September 30, 2008

I have the ‘blue screen of death’ today, and it’s hurting my eyes…but I got into a discussion on another website about this issue of ‘service’.

Now, this is a concept I have come across for the last year in D/s.  I really had trouble getting my head around it.  I turned it every which way except the correct way.  I think I have a better handle on it now because I have redefined it in terms I know and understand.

We can make such a convolution about things. We can over define, or do other things to obscure some reality.  I think that service is one of those things that has been rather…obscure in the understanding.

For over a year, my friends and enemies have known that I have had an abiding interest in D/s.  I “mentored”  under a fellow for a while (a man in Montreal called Mackenzie Cross, but his real name was Jerry Golick–a man missing some serious wiring in the humanity department and one who turned out to be a BIG liar)  who tried to explain this service issue to me, but I just never really understood it.  Perhaps being the one ‘served’ he couldn’t get to basics ….or explain it in terms that I could really grasp. But I think overall the problem was I wasn’t recognizing something that I was already doing. I was making it obscure.

I left this “mentor” (who was just a scam artist…) recently and was befriended by a man from the Gorean Public Boards called Pantheus.  He clarified some thing for me, some essential things from a different perspective.

I was all atwitter with grief that I had ‘failed’ to really find my submission. I was crestfallen.  I felt a failure.  Pantheus asked why I was struggling so much with this issue?  He saw me as a very strong woman with lots of interesting parts to her, and these all went into what I was:  they were parts of what would be a very interesting and strong submissive woman.  Not a doormat, not a toady, but a woman who would eventually come to terms with her given strengths and be satisfied they were very much part of what was already a deeply submissive woman.  Even if I didn’t understand it or what it meant.

(what ‘deeply submissive’ means for another blog’s already a topic of discussion amongst many women)

For now, he and others encouraged me to remain free:  free of attachment to any Master or Dom…but free to explore and to understand my nature. Remain, in Gorean terms….a Free Woman.

I bit. It was a chance to discover me.  To explore  that ‘perfection’

I have always been chary of anyone telling me I could be perfect.  Or to “Be his perfection”.  What? Me? I could barely be average…or normal…how could I obtain this high pedestal of ‘perfection’?  When I heard this word, perfection, I immediately thought of preachers here in the south, who were always proclaiming perfection before God…that we are Perfect because we are Made Of God…and then we read that they are in jail because they have bilked their churches or molested some choir member.  So I got turned off to the idea of perfection. More later down this entry, but my neighbor with the booming voice is interrupting my thoughts here…

And about submission? Recently a woman I have come to love much, told me in no uncertain terms that submission was something that was, not something I did.

Wow..did that put a different spin on things.  I carried my submission inside already..and I knew this. I just didn’t know how the others parts (of dominance) fit…well, they were the yin/yang of it all…the complete package.

We are made up of many parts..and dominance is part of the mix…we aren’t purely submission. These parts are tested against each other, but it is only in the thinking that they are ‘questionable’ that caused the confusion.

So, submission to me is that mix of what you are inside…not what you do.  It is deep within your nature….It IS your nature, if you are a woman. (I won’t go into the male equation of this…I am not qualified by any means…I can only talk about my sex)

Perfection:  we are already, inside..made from the beginning…we work on those things we can…character flaws…things that make us obnoxious, etc. We can handle that…we can make those kinds of changes.

But the beauty (or the essence )  of our perfection is that  each of us is unique and original…no cookie cutters allowed.

Our perfection is our individuality. I’m no longer worried about this issue of perfection.  It’s usually defined by someone else’s defining, and it might not ‘fit’.  I’m just joyful to figure out finally that the parts all fit, and have since the beginning…before I knew any questions.  Now that doesn’t mean that I can’t work on the rough edges, but life has a way, like stones in a tumbler…of making those smoother.

and finally Service:  Service is what you do through love for the other. To ease their way in life, to make their lives more comfortable, bearable, and pleasant.  In the doing, you are giving service to the other.  It is big and small things, whether to pair socks or get up there on the roof with a nail gun.

We work in tandem in marriage.  We work in service like our grandparents did without giving labels.  We do what needs to be done because we are in service to the other through love.

At least this is the way I see these things now.  Hopefully, they will deepen.

UPDATE:  All these things changed…my understanding of these things.  Basically, I believe that weak men are most keen on these issues of service/submission/perfection.  They set a scale here, and you have to jump to their satisfaction.  Really now….where in Hell does a cyberpath or a sociopath, which seems to be the usual brand of these fellows…get to set the marks?  My husband, through his patience, gentleness and compassion has opened me up to more possibilities than any fake ‘dom’.  We are not stumbling around on terms, calling ourselves doms or submissives…because these labels are for those who are either oppressive or subject themselves as fools.  I hope I have grown enough to see the truth…at least  my sorry  experience with these jackasses has taught me something about self-worth….but only far, far away from them.  They are sorry pieces of humanity. 

I was far stronger than any of these men.  I just didn’t know it at the time.  I do now.  I hope other women will avoid the stupid traps and pitfalls of these above issues.  Love and connection is what counts in any relationship. 

Lady Nyo – Jane

Sometimes people don’t read the comments,

September 16, 2008

Subject: Service.

So, avatara! this is such a good comment you get front and center now…

“My dear sister shia, you are so right in all that you said. Knowing that you grew up in such a household explains why you understand your nature so well. It is a part of you, and a part that too many women today never will understand, or will fight against. For all that it may have hurt emotionally at times, you were blessed to have that example of natural order in your life.

Your father was only equipped to deal with life as he was taught, and he didn’t know how to be more loving or more forgiving of what he perceived to be your rebellion in leaving his home. It just wasn’t something he understood, and I hope you can forgive him for being ill prepared to act otherwise. You know in your heart that he loved you, but he just couldn’t show it. Being able to come to terms with that makes a world of difference to you personally, trust me on that

Service is, honestly, just doing your best to make sure the world around you is a better place for everyone who comes in contact with you (us), and it is simplistic, but true. The catch 22 is that unless you spend some time pleasing and loving yourself, you can’t give the 110% to others that our nature dictates is good. Sexuality has nothing to do with “service”. That is hard for some to understand, but it is perhaps the most important place to start.

Thank you for sharing your heart and your story, shia, you are a blessing and a beautiful, loving, deeply submissive woman. Any man would be grateful to have such a one at his feet!”


I have been struggling with this issue for a while…and what both shia and avatara write here makes a lot of sense. Later I will repost some of the writings I have received on ‘service’ and my own thoughts, but I didn’t want this go by the wayside.

Lady Nyo

Again, I am a bit overwhelmed with the responses

September 16, 2008

from people, Dom and submissive and slave. It seems that the Heavens have opened up and poured some important insight down onto my head at a time where I and others seem to need the clarity.

One woman, shia, wrote something today on her own blog. She sent it by email and it really moved me. It’s about ‘service’. This has been a pointed issue for me because I didn’t understand it, or made too much of it intellectually.

shia’s words gave me a particular view of where and how it develops and what it can mean. She has given me permission to post it here today.


I thought about this for awhile now. When asked to post, I wondered what I would write about. I have put some feelings on another board and my own blog. Am I submissive? Am I slave? I know for sure I am a submissive. I can not be a slave until I am fully owned and collared as such. However, I have a slave heart.
My good friend Jane, asked me to write a few things about the how’s, where’s and when of the whole thing. I think for me it happened as I grew up. I was nurtured to be a slave. My father’s family is very traditional and my father is first born American generation. They believe a woman is for service and for making babies. I learned how to stir a pot of sauce at the age of 5. I learned that every Sunday men waited to be served food and wine, how the women cleaned the dishes and how they served again. My mother never held a job while married. He was the man of the house and the sole supporter. When times were rough, he took odd jobs to keep five kids and his wife fed. We always had wonderful Christmas’s even though he was laid off in the winter months. I learned to serve my father, no sexual innuendo here. It was just being pleasing, clean all the time, hair and clothing neat. Toys put in their place, and that made him happy.
However I was 21 when I left home to get my first apartment and my father turned to me and said “When you go to leave, make sure you run, because if I catch you, I will break both of your fucking legs.” See he was the boss and I was leaving his house in an unconventional way for an Italian girl.
He said “You leave my house two ways. You get married or you die” For three years he never knew where I lived and would never even think about coming to the apartment.
So that is a little history. For me, I believe I am submissive by nature, and also by being nurtured. I love the fact that I can serve and make a man happy with my service. I love that making him happy, makes me happy. I am complete when I do that. It is my nature to be of service. I live now, unhappy because I can not be what I am meant to be. Sure I still do my jobs of cleaning and laundry, the mundane but it doesn’t please someone the way it should. Never am I told I am pleasing or a beautiful slave.
It does make you yearn for the strongest of males, one that recognizes your nature. The longing is sad when you can not be who you want and were meant to be.
You can claim to be submissive even though you have no Master. You just know what you are and keep things to yourself until a male recognizes it in you. Trust me; a strong male will recognize these things in you. They are beautiful and not meant to be ashamed of. Even though friends will call you nuts or think you are a result of an abusive relationship from long ago. It takes strength to be a slave or submissive. It is not given to anyone without much thought. Surrender, complete surrender is a gift, and only a Master knows how to nurture and make you the best submissive, for him. It may just please him for you to dress a certain way, to wear a certain perfume. To kneel before him, or just complete your daily chores he has listed for you. Every Master is different every Master has things that pleases him. You will need to learn about them, and what will be pleasing.
Do not take surrendering lightly. It can be a contract; you must be sure who you submit to. You must trust that person with your life. Your submission to him must make you feel complete and happy.
Be wary of impersonators out there, and there are many. You should be able to feel it is right in your gut, in your belly. You should feel the fire that will make you want to grow into the slave he wants you to be.

Lady Nyo: Thank you, shia, for sharing your experience and early history with us. It moves me deeply and will contribute to this continuing discussion on all of what was started. You do good service with what you write!

Part Two: Phil’s answers and observations.

September 16, 2008

For those reading this week, I am running the entries on Domination and submission, and have asked a number of Doms and submissives and slaves to write their own experiences, thoughts and answer some questions. I didn’t think people would take this up, especially the Doms, but now!

I am overwhelmed. People continue to respond, and are gathering themselves to respond to the responders! This is like a monster storm to me and I have to spend a lot of time with a chart keeping track.

But this is wonderful. The answers, experience, personal histories and beliefs on all these issues of D/s, etc…are a wonderful road map to options and possibilities. I am personally learning so much just reading the answers that are piling up on my desk and email. I have to print out everything to compile the blog as it goes…and I am amazed at the variance in experience.

This particular theme will run into next week easily because the Doms have come through and the women, too. I have received completed questionnaires, with much better answers than my poor, posed questions, (which were supposed to be just to get things going…) and people have sent me whole histories.

I have to say that I didn’t realize how far reaching this could go, or be, and didn’t think of all my contacts. I have sent more questionnaires out and they are still coming in. I am very thankful for all who participate in this experiment.


Lady Nyo: Where does negotiation begin? At what point within the

Phil: I believe that such matters are best dealt with very early on so that it is clear what the parameters of the interaction and relationship are to be. That way it is clear when either partner strays.
Lady Nyo: Where does friendship play into any of this? There are Doms who hold themselves aloof from any friendship. Do you see this as a problem?

Phil: Everyone is different. I have partners who are now close friends and we talk of many things, swap ideas and photographs of our ‘real lives’ Others prefer to just focus on the sexual interaction, to spend our time together exploring the power of the mind to generate intense physical pleasure. I enjoy the whole spectrum of such relationships. No one way is right for all.
Lady Nyo: Further, if the issue of sexual needs comes into play…as it seems it usually does, how can this relationship bypass exploitative means if no friendship from the Dom is offered? Is it a warning sign if a Dom expresses up front that there isn’t to be some kind of friendship or affection? Is affection a lead in to other issues?

Phil: I can only speak for myself. If I do not in some degree grow to have sincere affection for my partners, I cannot offer the depth of emotional interaction that is the highest aim of my practice. The high intensity exchange of sensual and sexual experiences that are the core of my practices short circuit the emotions and can lead to very strong bonds being formed. These have to be managed as they can cause deep feelings of frustration due to the very long distance nature of my practices. I am talking about love here and the ache of being unable to touch in the ‘real world’

Lady Nyo: Is Mentoring the same as Domming? Is there a difference? Is Sexual behavior allowed or should be allowed in a Mentoring relationship? Discipline? Punishment? Rituals? Are there distinct differences in Mentoring and being a Dom? This particular issue has come up over and over and it seems always to fall into two camps.

Phil: Mentoring is strange in that the fine line between the two states is easily blurred. I have a small number of partners where the relationship is more of teacher and guide. But my practices have the orgasm experience at their core so there is always sexuality within the relationship. These students are usually young women who are sexually inexperienced and looking for guidance on anything from how to masturbate to what an orgasm feels like.

Lady Nyo: Some have reported that a Dom calling themselves “Mentor” is another way to avoid the responsibilities of a Dom.
They take what they want from the relationship with the new sub, and avoid the responsibilities of domination.
It then just becomes an issue of control on the part of the so-called Mentor. Do you agree with this?

Phil: I put more into the Student Teacher relationship than other interactions. If I take up a student it is because I feel that I can help them in some way self realise an element of their character. Of course I also derive satisfaction intellectually from moulding their experience but also direct satisfaction from our sexual interactions. It is however, a greater responsibility to lead an inexperienced partner than one who is aware of their potentials.

Lady Nyo: What do you see are the responsibilities to a submissive from a Dominant? Should a submissive have a negotiated program from the beginning? How can she avoid the pitfalls of a Dom who is not really interested accept what he ‘wants’ from the relationship? And sometimes beyond the best of intentions, a Dominant fails because he just doesn’t have the energy anymore.

Phil: This question almost makes a case for a qualification in being a Dom or a Sub? A curriculum and tests of achievement, who is to decide the pass or fail if a Dom is perverse and keeps changing the aims and objectives? The uninterested Dom is balanced by the less than diligent sub. In each case they have a responsibility to agree the boundaries of their relationship and their expectations of each other. That should be discussed at the outset and agreed. If it is not realised then one or other partner should make it known and if not resolved their relationship should be dissolved. A sub should not ‘soldier on’ hoping their Dom will grow to need them as much as the want. It will not likely change and they will be dissatisfied and unhappy. A Dom may grow tired of a petulant partner and applying discipline may be only useful or pleasurable for a while. One can have too much of a good thing.

This is where I part company from the institutionalised D/s and BDSM ‘life style’. Once these practices were considered alternative, outside of society and extreme. Now they are bound by rules and mores and are ‘acceptable’. There is the title Dom and all the expectations and restrictions that are attached to the name, almost straitjacketed by the ‘rules’ of how to be Domly!

Likewise equally circumscribed is that of the ‘role’ of the sub. There is much discussion of ‘subspace’ and all the fine minutiae of how best to serve. There is even a uniform of sorts and grades of collars! How many stripes to make sergeant?

I am probably offending many here but The Order of the Golden Dawn had the precept ‘Do what thou wilt’ I add the socially acceptable codicil ‘as long as you both consent’. That in my view is the underpinning of relational collaboration. There will be a leaders and followers, but they will seek mutual self-realisation, through sexual or ritual practices or through pain or humiliation. To each their own in the appropriate measure but lets not tie ourselves up too tightly?

This ends Phil’s interview. Already I have received emails about Phil’s practice and experience, and either people can write me in emails and I will post them here in the face of the blog, or you can go to comments and post them there. Either way is fine with me.

I want to thank Phil for all his candor and time and also to put up a link to him:

Further, Phil answered a particular question that I raised to him: What is Dominance? This sounds obvious, but it was when I first met Phil and was rather curious as to what he found was so. In that spirit, and because Phil was NOT restricted to my rather narrow questions ( the purpose being that they also were general questions that were asked by other submissives ) I am going to post the “Dominance” answer from Phil here, possibly tomorrow with his further permission.

Lady Nyo

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