I'm happy today because I have found and hired a new housecleaning person. After our last housekeeper left, I was talking to a group of kinky people about how I was trying to find a suitable replacement. One young woman, clearly new in the scene, piped up, "Why don't you just have some slaves clean your house? You wouldn't have to pay them." We all stared at her for a moment and then laughed, a bit cynically.
She was speaking from the innocent belief that there are lots of freelance slaves in the BDSM community who will do chores and errands for any mistress or master without expecting a clear, immediate payback for their service. I hope someone has gently disabused her of this notion, because the main place this happens is in kinky novels. BDSM is about eroticism for most people, and they don't want to include things that aren't erotic for them.
People will do non-erotic service for those they love, of course, just as they do in the vanilla community. I'll cook dinner or pick up dry cleaning for Max. But I'm not a slave. I do it because he's my partner. Once in a great while you find someone who really wants to do practical service, without strings--hello, Renee and Chris--but they're rare.
Some folks try to turn what's sexy for them into something of practical use to others, in an attempt to attract partners. This rarely works. My friend Jae has coined a not-very-complimentary generic term for the breed of man who does this: "the Panty-Washer type." The name springs from dirty-underwear fetishists who try to persuade you that hand-laundering your lingerie should earn them sexual favors.
Another example of that type are the boys who'll offer to, say, scrub your floor. Oh--did they mention they'd be doing it naked? And you will be standing over them, supervising and disciplining them the entire time? In full fetish gear? With a riding crop?
Jesus, my floor would be stickier at the end of such a "scrubbing" than at the beginning. There is nothing wrong with having fantasies, but I'm always suspicious of a guy with a hard-on who's telling me how unselfish his motives are. No, I prefer giving a check to my housekeeper and washing my own panties. Things seem much cleaner that way.