This question might seem like a bit of a no-brainer because a lot of people think being a slave is cushy- my domly one included. In fact, I’ve lost count of the times he has said to me,
‘But all you have to do is be obedient! How hard is that??’
Well, here’s a bit of a news flash…it’s fucking hard. And what exactly is so hard about it you ask? I’m sure some of the answers that come to mind are indecently big butt plugs and cruel and unusual punishments (like having your innernets cut off…god, that would make me want to slash my wrists…) but by far the hardest thing about it is doing things for someone other than yourself all of the time. It may come as a surprise, but people aren’t wired to be like that.
Human nature is selfish – survival of the fittest and all that. Self-preservation drives us and if it wasn’t for self-preservation no-one would be able to force anyone to do anything they specfically didn’t want to do.
‘What you’re going to blow my head off if I don’t open the cash register? Yeah, well go ahead. Make my day!’ isn’t something you hear a lot. It’s more like, ‘Please, please I’ll do anything you say, just don’t kill me.’
Giving an example of something a bit closer to home, we wouldn’t resent family/partners/children/work etc. taking up our free time (our ‘me time’) so much if we weren’t wired to be focussed on ourselves. How many people feel burned out and sucked dry by the demands others place on us? If we were truly self-sacrificing we wouldn’t care about having our time wasted, our efforts being unappreciated or the fruit of our loins using us as a bank, a restaurant and a laundry.
I struggle with the problem of why something I think I want to do so much can be so damn hard, but it’s simply because I’m not meant to be focussed on someone other than my self. Let’s face it, trying to live your life in a way that is ‘all about them’ instead of ‘all about you’ is like trying to fuck while standing up (i.e. looks great in the movies, but is impossible unless your man is a midget and your thighs don’t touch.)
I’m not saying it can’t be done, just that it’s not natural and that’s why slavery is so hard.
So why do we do things for other people at all? The simple answer is because it makes us feel good. Once again, we’re only doing it because we get something out of it.
It’s interesting how doing something for another person can fill you with a warm glow. Give an elderly person your seat on the bus and you’ll spend the next few hours feeling like a good samaritan. Let another car into your lane in front of you and give yourself a pat on the back while you’re at it. Intrinsically we’re not designed to do things for others, that’s why we feel so damn good about it on the rare occasion that we do.
Slaves do things for their owners because giving their owners pleasure gives them pleasure in return. It’s not a ‘give all, get nothing back’ relationship and a D/s relationship will quickly fail if there is no ‘acknowledgemen’t of the slave going out of their way to do something for someone other than themselves (i.e. their owner). The ‘acknowledgement’ can be provided in a variety of ways: use, interaction, reward etc. but ultimately the slave isn’t going to keep putting their all into a black hole of service from which nothing is gained.
Because we’re human and we’re wired to do shit for ourselves, put effort into things that benefit ourselves and to get what we want. Slavery is all about turning this fundamental concept on its head and that’s why it’s hard.
So why do we do it?
That’s a question I keep asking myself and one that the answer to seems tantalisingly just beyond reach.