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Service is a deliberate feature of many power exchange relationships and this is especially true with a service-oriented submissive or slave. A submissive does not always enjoy servitude for itself but can enjoy the overall feeling of pleasing the dominant and doing things for him.

Many submissives and slaves, of either gender, consider part of their role to be that of a servant and gain satisfaction and even direct pleasure from performing services for their dominant. The servitude may be purely sexual or it may be only domestic (providing regular household or similar duties) but is most likely to be a combination. The services may be very overt and 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, a gardener or stablehand). Many submissives, or 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. 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 care about their own needs. They will have unique personal needs that must be attended to just as anyone else.

While many relationship submissives (that is, distinct from those who are only submissive 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 before it is asked of them.

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

The pleasures of servitude are sometimees combined with the pleasures of fetishes, the pleasures of humiliation, or both. 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, or any combination.

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