I was reading this blog post by Dumb Domme, in which she makes a very salient point on the difference between “domestic servitude”, and “housework”. I won't recapitulate the article here, as I think you would be better served by reading it yourself, (Really, you should do that... Go ahead, I'll wait) but it did give me pause to think of how, if at all it applies to my present circumstance. Here I am, a submissive man with a female room mate, and I do the vast majority of the housework. I do most of the cooking, cleaning, pay the bills and car maintenance on both vehicles in addition to working full time so at first glance, it might look as though I am trying to be a “good domestic servant”. The reality of the situation however, is far different
I used to live with the person who is now my room mate, in a very vanilla and quite conventional relationship. We both worked full time, so it was only natural that we split the mundane business of “housework” between us and it stayed that way for most of the 13 years we were together. Neither of us considered it to be a labor of service to each other. Love didn't mean having a clean toilet, nor did either of us do it in order to make each other happy. It was just shit that had to be done. Of course, that wasn't all we did together. In fact, when we weren't working, we spent practically every waking moment together. It was suggested by more than a couple of friends that were were co-dependent and perhaps it was so. We had completely build out lives around each other, but it wasn't until the relationship had entered it's terminal phase that I started learning about D/s and discovered my submissive side so it was never a factor.
Now, after having been pushed back into the same living space by circumstances, I can say without equivocation that there is nothing whatsoever submissive about my doing of the “invisible labor”. I'm not doing it to make her happy, nor am I hoping to get any favors, sexual or otherwise from her. I have no need to win favor or earn rewards, nor do I consider her to be in any way to be in a superior position.
Rather, it is my way of establishing my own independence and maintaining a measure of distance between us. We are no longer the co-dependent team we once were and I have no desire to go back to the time when we were. In the years since I've been on my own, I have developed my own way of doing things and see no reason to change them. This is not to say that there is no compromise, or that I don't welcome both suggestions or help, but it is my intention that she heal, regain her independence and eventually move on.
When I think of submissive service, I don't think about cooking, and cleaning, (Although I would happily do it if asked) but I think about doing sweet, unexpected, and romantic things. I would not expect to be praised or in any way rewarded to doing regular household maintenance. If I was no longer working and had a full time live-in agreement with a Domme, it would be fulfilling an agreed upon role.
For what it's worth, after being back on my own, again I'm not in any rush to live with anyone again. Not only that, but I am used to working and taking care of my own basic needs and it would take a great deal of trust for me to put my financial and personal security into the hands of someone else. Circumstances can always change and I am always open to new ideas, but at least for now, and for the foreseeable future, I will be doing all my own "invisible labor".