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Anticipatory service vs. reactive service

This occasional dispute refers to the question of whether submissives should wait for and obey their dominants's orders or whether the submissive should anticipate the services their dominant desires and provide the service without first asking the dominant.

Those who dislike anticipatory service cite it as an example of topping from the bottom and point out that no person can correctly anticipate every need or desire. They also suggest that anticipatory service can become irritating or undermining of attitudes of ownership or possession if the submissive's judgement is routinely substituted for the dominant's orders.

Advocates of anticipatory service claim that the activity of continuously thinking about and attempting to provide service desirable to the owner has the effect of making the submissive an evermore perfect instrument of the owner's will and bringing dominant and submissive into a more intimate bond. Advocates of anticipatory service suggest that the necessity for dominants to continuously voice their preferences (as is the case in purely reactive service relationships) reduces the relaxation that this lifestyle offers to dominants.

In practice, no O&P relationship features purely anticipatory or reactive service. So the dispute is actually about how much of the slave's service should be anticipatory or reactive.

See also


This article is published under the terms of the GFDL. The contributors to this article were: Tanos, Yarakot

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