Updated: Aug 22, 2022
Many of us identify as “service submissives.” We enjoy serving others (at least we enjoy serving a D-type). Some of us (including me) base our identity in part on our ability to serve.
Service takes many forms. It may be sexual, domestic, emotional, physical or other. It may look like someone agreeting to participate in sexual acts which are preferred by a D-type which the sub may not take much interest in but agrees to participate as a form of service. It can be bringing your D-type coffee in the morning. It may be agreeing to plan all the details for vacartions, or cooking dinner nightly, or agreeing to make sure his mother gets a mother’s day present every year.
Much service stems from the D-type requesting a given service or the couple agreeing to specific service acts as part of a protocol or contract agreement. However, there is a type of service which stems from the submissive taking charge of figuring out what the D-type might need (anticipating needs) and acting on their own accord to serve their D-type.
Anticipatory service is disccused much less in the kink world than acts of service stemming from D-type requests. I think in part that is because anticipatory service is less common. It also requires that a pait get to know one another over time. You cannot provide significant levels of anticipatory service if you are unfamiliar with your partner’s preferences and needs.
Reasons for Engaging in Anticipatory Service
Anticipatory service can be tricky to negotiate for some couples. If the submissive is used to getting commands and carrying them out without having much independence, it may be difficult to develop a level of independence needed for anticipatory service. Some D-types do not enjoy submissives who take on responsibilities and exhibit the level of independence required for this type of service. It also requires that a submissive be attuned to the D-type in a way that requires closeness not afforded every couple.
However, plenty of D-types do not enjoy micromanaging the submissives day in and day out. If you have every had a submissive who is constantly asking, “What can I do for you now, Mistress” it gets to be exhausting. Having to manage a submissive as you would a new employee is not always an enjoyable dynamic.
For submissives, learning to provide anticipatory service is a way to show your devotion and attention to your D-type.
Tips for Developing Anticipatory Service
Service comes in many forms, as mentioned above. Anticipatory service is appropriate in any of the areas where you are serving your D-type.
The first step in developing anticipatory service behavior is to learn about your D-types needs and preferrences. Does she prefer tea or coffee in the morning? What drink does he want when he comes over for a date? How does she prefer to have the bed made? Do they prefer you to wax your legs or let the hair grow?
Sometimes it will require the submissive asking questions. In new relationships I try to learn the food and drink preferrences early for my partners. Do they take cream, sugar, honey or nothing in their coffee? Are they a vegan, vegetarian or other? Do they have strong liks and dislikes for specific foods? Asking about these things before preparing meals is pretty standard in any relationship.
Some information may be gleened from paying attention to responses and actions. Did you present a new sex toy that made them really happy? Did they mention something they enjoy or wanted while watching television together? When you are out together, did they spend a longer than usual time looking at a specific piece of clothing? Do they let their medication run out before remembering to call in a refill?
Over time, patterns will develop. After all, humans tend to be creatures of habit. If your partner routinely lets the gas tank get down to the last bar before filling up, you can bet that eventually they will have a time they need a full tank and don’t have time to hit the gas station on the way to work. If they always do the grocery shopping on Saturday and you have a date Friday night, chances are their fridge will be a bit bare.
The best anticipatory service comes from meeting needs that they do not know they have until something annoys them. Going back to the gas example: If your partner is one of those people who always lets the tank run way down before filling up and you have access to theit car, running it in for a fill up before they have an early morning meeting will surely be appreciated.
In my current realtionship, my partner gets his prescriptions by mail. This means if he runs out it takes 5-7 days on average for replacement medications to arrive. I have learned to watch the pill supply. When he gets down to the last week of medication, I put in the refill order to make sure that he does not run out of medication.
Often, the anticipatory service acts are small but consequential. As the submissive, you are figuring out what you can do to make the life of your partner easier and more enjoyable.
Anticipatory service takes the pressure off your D-type to constantly come up with tasks to meet your need for service. It is a way for you to engage in service which you find enjoyable. It will take some time to figure out what is the best form of anticipatory service for your partner, but it is well worth exploring.