Within D/s relationship it is not entirely unheard of for the dominant to set various tasks (or chores) for the submissive. These tasks can range over a wide area of activities. From domestic chores to sexual ones to tasks designed to enhance the submissive service or their well-being, either physical or mental.
There are two different tasks in my opinion (not to be confused with the various actual tasks themselves); repeating and non repeating. The non repeating task could be something as a “write an essay exploring the need for sensory deprivation in all its facets.” This would enable the submissive to pour all her thoughts into something that can be used further on to the relationship.
A repeating task, well to keep it close to home; “write a blog every week.” But also housework, would fall under the repeating tasks that can be set by a dominant. The advantage of a repeating task would be that it gives the submissive structure, and enables them to plan ahead. They know what is expected of them and what is coming when.
While there are many reasons for a dominant to set tasks for their submissive but basically it boils down to two reasons: The first and foremost is: Because they want it. Reason number two: See reason number one. While this sounds rather funny, perhaps even flippant, let’s have a closer look.
“Because a dominant want things”, yes this sounds easy. But only without examining the reasons why they want this. If and when, and only if and and when these reasons are taken into account, then it becomes understandable that this simple reason beholds more than its fair share of truths.
Among the reasons they want to do this could be various motivations, the most obvious one: Because this makes their life more comfortable and/or better. A great example with regards to the world of Second Life is letting the submissive keep an eye on and pay where needed of the tier needed for the parcel. The dominant provides the funding and entrusts this to the submissive. The submissive in turn keeps the dominant appraised of the situation. The result is that the dominant no longer has to worry about this and can relax knowingly that this will be taken care off.
A more real life example of the above, could be as earlier mentioned that the dominant wants the submissive to take care off all the domestic chores in and around the house. Such as cleaning and making dinner. This to make their shared live easier. Granted i am taking a situation here as with a working dominant and a stay-at-home submissive. But I feel that it will do to accentuate the situation.
Another reason would be to take care of the relationship. As I explained in previous blogs, submissives thrive often by order, regularity and consistency. Having tasks set, both repeating and individual tasks, helps to give the submissive order in their life as well as direct challenges to push themselves and proof themselves to the dominant.
Aside from taking care of the relationship the dominant has also the included responsibility to take care of the submissive as a person. This can be done be done by enabling the submissive to grow. Tasks are one of the many tools available to the dominants arsenal that can help both the dominant and the submissive in exploring new ways for the submissive to grow. Good tasks in this respect are the writing of essays in which the dominant asks the submissive to explore and subject in depth and from all angles. This can be either a totally new area to both or seeing if the submissive has understood all the ins and outs of a certain situation and has learned the appropriate lesson.
So what are these kind of tasks that can be set for a submissive? On top of my head the following ideas come quickly to mind. I am sure there are many others and that the tasks lists below can be endlessly narrowed down into many sub-tasks (seriously, the pun here was entirely unintended) but I feel that listing the main categories as it were will at least give a basis to work on.
- Writing essays
- Blogging / Writing a journal
- Housework / Other domestic chores.
- Sexual tasks
- Work within the bdsm community
However when all tasks are done one of the more important tasks start. The dominant having to check either directly or periodically that the work has been executed according to the expected standards. This is something that I wrote about in my blog “A Stick behind the door”. Making sure that the work is done to the standards expected, and feedback and criticism where needed is a part of the relationship dynamic that is squarely within the realm of the dominant partner. This is where in part the caring for both the relationship and for the well being of the submissive comes into play.
The only question that remains answering or perhaps examining in this case is what to do and how to deal if the bar is raised to high? What if the dominants demands on you are too high? There are so many things we can do in a day and even for the most outgoing extrovert (which yours truly certainly is not, on the contrary) will need time in contemplation, or just some old fashioned alone time.
Problems within relationships may arise when the demands on the submissive for their service will start to outweigh their advantages and the submissive feels like all they do is slave away without gaining any of the short term or perceivable long term rewards. As the popular saying goes: “All work and no play…”
The problem with this situation is that the submissive most likely will accept the demands on their time right up till the point of breaking. After all we love to please our significant others, either through nature and/or through nurture. But reaching the point of placing the proverbial straw on the camel’s back, the submissive may suddenly lash out and proclaim that they either won’t have the time or they will need time to themselves. Often is less than submissives tones to accomplish. It is good for the submissive to remember that dominants are people too at times like this, however hard that may be.
Such behaviour while understandable is often destructive in nature, and dominants can be forgiven for reacting in a manner as they could feel the core/basis of their relationship being challenged. However such a reaction is often ironically enough counter productive. The best way for a dominant to react is to remain calm and open the issue up for communication. Find out what the issue is. This could be indeed that the submissive feels overloaded or that the submissive has simply misunderstood the nature of the task and the time involved.
As often as I keep hammering on about this, communication is one of the best tools a dominant can have at their disposal. Along with patience, a keen mind, and .. and .. and .. however, I think the point above is clear. Talk with your submissive, find out the problem and correct it. This may at times means to revise her schedule or to drop her task completely for the time being.
I think from the above it can be safely concluded that tasks and assigned chores within a relationship can be a wonderful and useful addition to build a relationship and keep the submissive busy in a useful way. We have also seen that despite our desire to serve, that it is worth to keep an firm check that submissives are not overloaded with work.
 – stick behind the door