Student: Big fish, small pond.
Adept: Small fish, big pond.
She came back from the kitchen. She was holding the cup out to me, balanced on her palm, with her arm extended, elbow slightly bent. It is the style I saw, and admired, at the House of Sar the night before.
How do I want you to serve me a drink? In a manner which is prompt, obedient to any of my stated preferences (I generally prefer my drinks without ice, for example)— and doesn’t involve spilling the drink all over me, you, or my guests. Other than that, it’s generally up to you.
Why? Because serving my drink is something that you’ll do frequently. It makes a good ritual because it’s a simple, often-repeated task. But our nature and our muscle memory will make such tasks into rituals regardless. You’ll stylize the motion, and that style will reflect the individuality behind your submission. Will it be brisk, but attentive, waitress style? Slow and measured, emphasizing the servility? Will you adapt something you see elsewhere? I wait to find out, I am anxious, excited at your development.
Does the use of a specific style or system destroy individuality? Of course not, unless you forget the purpose of that style and start to sacrifice function for the sake of form. It has many advantages over my philosophy; using a style makes it easier to create specific goals, helps clarify expectations. And the realization of those goals is very individual, very personal.
Take lessons from both schools.
Find a half-dozen small activities— serve a drink, acknowledge a compliment, carry a small object, pick up an item, write a thank-you note, give a kiss, or what-have-you. Imagine that you are performing each of these as an act of submission. Use each as an opportunity to remind yourself of your place, be it through a ritual, a bowed head, a certain phrasing, or simply an image in your mind. If you have trouble expressing these things, go look up an existing style and steal from it— Victorian etiquette, geisha techniques, Gor.
Go now. Fetch me a drink.
Almost every time, just after I say, “Goodnight” or “Take care”, or any other little goodbye, I also say,
“Make me proud.”
Make me proud. Please me by your way of life, and your actions. We have discussed some of your ideals, desires, objectives. We both agree that we want you to accomplish certain things, act in particular ways. Anyone can kneel beside me and follow simple orders. Few people have the strength and discipline to carry out long-term goals.
More than that. It’s not simply a question of doing what I’ve told you. It’s a matter of taking our agreement to heart. You’re faced with a setback. How do you react? You have an opportunity. What do you make of it?
When I ask you, “What did you do today?”, how will I feel when I hear your answer?
Find something about yourself that you would like to change in your life. A small thing, a habit, a skill.
Can you show me the discipline required to make that change? Do it slowly, over an extended period of time. Aim for the endurance of a long-term task, not the challenge of doing something quickly.
Add to that concept. Are there certain practices you’d like to adapt? Ways you’d like to live your life? Don’t set long-term goals here. Instead, see how well you can do those things on a day to day basis. Be happy about little victories. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you have setbacks, but try not to repeat them, as well.
Can you make me proud of you?
Can you impress me with your seriousness and capability?
A bit about fantasies
A classic exercise, my way.
Chose a fantasy of submission, preferably one which challenges you, frightens you a little, but also one that holds you and keeps you fascinated.
Go over it in your mind. Try to feel details. Taste them, try to define their flavor. Is this one embarrassing? Is that one erotic? Does some part of it touch on a memory or a dream? How does all this affect you? Why?
Write a short piece, a few paragraphs, exploring this fantasy. How did you find it? Why does it strike you?
Is this purely a fantasy? Or would you enjoy some of it in real life?
It’s our power, our gift, to make these fantasies real. Go to any public leather club, see people on the sidelines. Some of them are a part of us; they’re just shy or unsure, or quiet that evening. Others aren’t, they don’t understand us. All they see are our extremes, our costumes, our nudity, our eroticism. To them, fantasy is frightening, intimidating, taboo. They need us to do the things they’re afraid to even imagine.
Let’s not disappoint them.
After my tenth year doing the Rocky Horror Picture Show, I began to go to the theaters where I wouldn’t be known, and pretend I’d never seen the RHPS before.
It was exhilarating. I was always treated well. Old familiar lines suddenly sounded fresh to me. I was once again appreciative of the bold dress and undress of my cohorts. I had a hell of a time.
Every so often, in the course of your submission, forget.
Forget how much you’ve seen and done.
Lose track of some of the things you’ve learned.
Grow a little amnesia about the sensations, the potentialities, your desires.
What were you like, when you first started?
I was rapacious, analytical. I wanted to see and try everything. I would stare at a scene as through my eyes were drill-bits, trying to bore through what I was watching and into the knowledge it entailed. I wanted to figure out what everything was like, and try to explain why.
(Perhaps this doesn’t surprise you.)
Try to avoid or tone down negatives in this memory; if you were afraid, remember it, but try to feel that fear as anticipation. If you were self-conscious, blush.
Go back to the beginning. As you do the familiar things, pretend you don’t know what they’re like. Wonder how they’ll feel. You’re a kid again.
And you’re in a candy shop.