Service Roles, Part 1 of 3 – Background

Posted: November 12, 2010 by Isaac Cross in Learn Something, Philosophy

So, this one friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, has been bugging me about putting this information up for a long time.

My class on “Defining and Refining Your Role as a Submissive” is my most popular one. It is also the subject on which I have devoted the most attention and work. I originally started the practice of categorizing submissive roles a few years back with my partner (and now wife) Rain. We began to analyse the different roles she plays as a submissive and why those different roles are appealing to her. We noticed that a few simple indicators worked to predict which role she would be most comfortable in at any given time and helped us to actually put names to them and refine them to a point where we both have a far better understanding of how to act within the framework of each different persona.

About a year ago, I was asked to give a presentation on the topic. It was one of the best attended classes that group had ever seen and I got a massive amount of feedback and encouragement afterward. But the few hours of prep work that I had put into that presentation produced a flawed result. The graphics I used were too hard to understand and led to some perceptual problems that murked up the message. The names that I was using for the various roles triggered too many preconceived ideas and images in people’s heads that made it hard for them to see what I was actually talking about. And frankly, it was completely theorhetical. I had nothing to really back it up. So as helpful as it was to many people, I knew that I had to put the topic away until I had done a lot more work on it.

That summer, I interviewed over a hundred people who identified as submissive from 35 states and 5 different countries. The group was as diverse as I could manage in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, etc. And everyone who interviewed was self-selected (They chose to contact me to participate, as opposed to me sending them an invitation.)

The process of the interview was very simply. I asked a series of questions that targeted the four indicators (see the next post) that I was using to determine submissive role. Since many people play multiple roles in their life, I asked them to focus their answers on the roles that they most enjoy/desire. For those who did not have a current D/s partner, I asked them to answer the questions based on their ideal D/s dynamic.

These questions were used to score them along the four indicators based on how they describe their actual or ideal D/s dynamic. After the questions were done, I then asked them to score themselves on those four indicators. If their score was not within a certain range of the score that I derived from their answers, the interview was ended and their results were not included in the final analysis. Only 7 people were removed in this fashion.

After that, I asked them to give a basic description of the role that we had been discussing and to put a label on it, such as “Sex Slave” or “Toy” or something like that. And then I asked them to give me five descriptive words that summarized how they view that role. Some popular answers were “owned”, “ninja”, and “slut”.

Then I looked at how strong the correlation was between the lables and descriptors that people used and the scores they got on the initial analysis. I found that mot people who got the same scores used the same or similar words to describe their submissive role. And that most people fell very strongly into one of the categories. Only a few were borderline or difficult to place.

That study (as non-scientific as it was) gave me the confidence and the necessary information to finalize the theory and begin presenting it with more confidence. Shortly afterward, I was invited to present it at Alaska’s Northern Exposure conference.

I have never stopped refining the theory. Each time I receive more information or feedback, I adjust a little or a lot depending on what kind of change it is. But the core of it has always stayed the same. And that is the theory that a person’s ideal submissive role(s) can be determined according to four indicators. The advantage to that is that the four indicators are things that people are much more in touch with about themselves and can usually answer very easily, as opposed to simply asking “what kind of submissive do you want to be”, which is much harder to answer.

This theory can be used as a tool for a submissive who is just beggining their exploration, for doms who want to know if a sub is a good match for them or not, and I’m sure a billion other ways that I haven’t thought of.

The part 2 post will contain the actual theory, including the four indicators, the categories and some examples.

Part 3 will be about how to understand and use that information.

I will also put up a separate page once those are done that contains the essential information in hand-out form.

  1. Sabrina Wolf says:

    Thank you very much for sharing this. Looking forward to reading the rest.

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