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Servitude is a deliberate feature of many power exchange relationships and this is especially true when the relationship includes a service-oriented submissive or slave, or indeed when the Dominant is oriented toward service reception. A submissive may not always enjoy servitude for itself, but can generally enjoy the overall feeling of pleasing the dominant and being helpful.

Many submissives and slaves, of either gender, consider part of their role to be that of a servant, and gain satisfaction and even direct enjoyment from performing services for their dominant. The servitude may be purely sexual or it may be only domestic (eg, providing regular household or similar duties), but is most likely to be a combination. The services may be overt, performed in the manner of a chauffeur, butler, houseboy or maid. Some submissives seek to be a domestic worker, as a servant who works within their dominant's household. Sometimes servitude will include work both inside the home and outside (for example, as a gardener or stablehand). Many submissives, of either gender, who are especially driven by a desire to serve, seek to serve a couple.

Some examples of domestic service include washing, ironing, cleaning the house, preparing and serving foods and drinks, doing the grocery shopping (or accompanying the dominant when shopping), taking the family dog for a walk, and caring for children. Except in tone, and perhaps dress or attitude, this is not much different from the duties of any diligent stay-at-home traditional wife.

A service-oriented submissive may have a deep seated desire to be "of use" rather than to be "used". They are fulfilled by feeling useful to someone they yearn to please. Service orientation is not a black-and-white issue, however, and many submissives function best with some mixture of being used and being of use. Although a service-oriented submissive or slave desires to please, it would be a mistake to assume that they do not also care about their own needs. Each will have unique personal needs that must be attended to, just like anyone else.

While many relationship submissives (that is, submissives who are distinct from those who are submissive only during a scene) might expect to serve to order, a service-oriented submissive will often feel they have let themselves down if they need to be asked to do something on a regular basis. They enjoy pleasing, and know that they can best do this by learning to do what is required and anticipating its need.

Some submissives are fulfilled by being 'made' to perform service. Their service-orientation is not based primarily on a desire to be pleasing, but on a feeling of humiliation. They desire to be servile, required to perform menial duties for the pleasure of a harsh dominant. Many such serfs are also masochistic.

The pleasures of servitude are sometimees combined with the pleasures of fetishes, the pleasures of humiliation, being used, or any combination. A submissive may rub his or her dominant's feet because the sub enjoys providing the service, has a foot fetish, or enjoys being "lower" than the dominant, etc.

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