~Elements of a Serve~
these are by no means ‘steps’ -they are more like highlights you may want to hit in however many posts you think is appropriate. Serving is a highly personalized area of slavery so make this unique and your own.
There are no real steps to a serve per the books, and I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but there is not a single “one way” or “right way” to do this. For every quote stating one thing, there is another stating it is done another way, as this comes down to regional custom or tradition. That said, the following will be drawn from the majority of the quotes – but be careful, every Free Person has their own personal preference.
~Approaching the Free Person is your time to shine; try to be as descriptive as you can. There is nothing wrong with describing yourself down to hair color, what you’re wearing, or even that you lower your eyes submissively.
Don’t say words like ‘tits’ or ‘ass’ and instead aim for a more sensual and delighting of the senses approach over directly attempting to arouse or be sexual -there’s a time and place for everything. In a tavern, being slightly more open with sexuality is all right, but it’s still not a time to be openly crass. The purpose is to please and be attuned to the preferences and desires of the Free Person, never focused on the slave’s own. The men like to take the lead in this area; slaves follow the lead of the Free.
Approaching the Free Person and begging to be of service is a personalized area for each person-make it your own. Don’t hesitate to put your feelings into the emote, either afraid, obedient, or anything you or your character might be feeling -though it is always best to make it about the person you are about to serve first, and your own self second. Most prefer that serving be done from their left, like heeling, but there is no hard and fast rule about this -serving on the right is just as acceptable, and for some free, preferred -it’s a learning process on preferences.
Most of the time a simple “May I please serve you, Master/Mistress?” or if they might not know your name you can say something like, “May [Your Name] be of service, Master/Mistress?” If a man and his companion are together, you may be called upon to bring two drinks at once -always look to the man either silently or otherwise to indicate to you who should be offered their drink first -some prefer their women served before them, others do not.
Sometimes, if you bring a tray of many drinks for many people, you look to free person who gave you permission to bring them in bulk the order you should serve the drinks -and if they do not indicate, guests first, men then women before hosts. Sometimes they prefer women to be served first, but it comes down again to personal preference.
In feast serving you would approach, sometimes kneel (but not always), and simply offer what you have been assigned to serve in an unobtrusive fashion, such as “Wine, Master?” If they want it they will hold out their cup or even nod: you either pour, serve the dish and/or move on.
~Confirming the Order: Don’t give the Free Person the third degree over their order. One to two questions is generally ok to clarify an order but after that, it’s better to just bring a selection rather than interrogate the free on what it is they want. So for example of they say simply, “Black wine,” you might ask first or second slave -but if they say “first” without being more specific, it’s best to bring the kettle on the tray along with a various assortment of options and ask them when you return how they wish it prepared.
Also repeating back the order isn’t supported by the books in any quote, though I know many kajiri who feel more comfortable doing so. Past the one or two clarification questions, it is more elegant to not overly question, however if you feel more comfortable repeating back the order, by all means there isn’t really anything wrong with that either.
Most of the time if what they want deviates from the norm “example un-spiced or extra spiced mead” they will generally say so. Sometimes they don’t though, so be prepared to give it another go if you bring them the default and they are displeased. Never argue with the free over this – if you brought the default because they didn’t specify this is still your error. If they spill their drink, it’s still your error. You are at fault for whatever goes wrong with their order, always.
It’s recommended that in cafes and Inns most things be poured and served side-table. This means that the bottles or kettles are brought to the table on a tray, trade seals are broken before the Free, or any tea or black wine is poured before them and prepared at the table. Goreans love presentation. It’s more likely in a tavern that you would bring the drink directly to the free after being prepared in the kitchen.
It’s always good to remember a Free Person’s preferences for certain drinks -how they like their tea or black wine. It can highly impress the Free if they ask for black wine and you ask them if they wanted it prepared “with two white sugar and bosk cream,” (provided that was their preference last time) but always remember -give them the option by asking instead of assuming they want it the same every time.
~Returning to the kitchen is again your time to describe yourself as well as your emotions as being called to serve -whatever this may be. A slave that has been serving for many years might have movements that are fluid, graceful and well trained. Another slave fresh to collar might be still learning, or a captive woman who was most recently free might be obedient but still sullen. Remember this is your personality choice, so play it how you want to -but always be prepared for the consequences!
Please note, there is not a ‘three steps back’ condition to this part of the serve. That is an online-ism, along with “never turn your back to the free.” That’s simply a statistical impossibility, plus you are slaves -most Free don’t care about your position in relation to them when you are not directly interacting with them. That said, it’s always wise to be as polite as possible as you can with this, and if you feel like moving back first, by all means do so. If it can be helped you should avoid it, but never make needless movements to do so -especially if you are facing the Free person you are currently serving or your own Master/Mistress; they will direct you if they want you to move.
Many many kajiri who wash their hands at this point in the serve, but again this isn’t really supported in the books by any quote, however hygienic it might seem. Goreans are not as germ-phobic as their Earth counterparts. There can be a strong argument for it if your hands have touched the ground; they usually do to be able to rise.
~Making a selection of the vessel can continue your typing/emoting along the lines of choosing just the right vessel for the Free. Attempt to personalize each vessel to the Free Person that is being served. Many times there might be clues of their caste from what colors they wear, but if not there is a wide selection of animals, plants, or places you can chose from that the artist could etch into just about any vessel you can think of.
Wiping it down for dust does have a book quote:
“I watched her carefully wipe the goblet. Woe to the slave who would dare to serve paga or wine in a dirty goblet!” Vagabonds of Gor
but that’s it. There is NO testing the rim on your skin or any other way though some kajiri who still do so with at least a rep cloth.
This is where you would prepare the tray for a side-table serve, or the drink if you are bringing it directly like say in a tavern setting. You might also prepare a meal or have the meal dished. Remember, Goreans love presentation, so make the tray as pleasing to the eye as well as the palate of the food or drinks you are bringing. Some kajiri decorate the trays in certain patterns, or add flowers to it -this is as detailed as you feel is appropriate.
~Returning to the Free can be as emotive as you like -again this is to delight and appeal to their senses, so sensual is a great way to go. Again, it’s best to never be crass, and try to be as elegant and sensual as possible.
If you have food and drink together, place the tray of food before them but prepare and/or keep the drink and serve that normally. After they have accepted the drink you can say, “This slave has brought you … (describe the meal).”
“”Your paga, Master,” she said. But I did not take the paga. “Do you know other phrases?” I asked. There were many, actually, and they tended to vary from tavern to tavern, and from city to city. There was, really, no standardization in such matters. She trembled, head down, proffering me the paga. “Your girl brings you drink, Master,” she said. “Any others?” I asked. “Here is your drink, Master,” she said. “I beg to serve you further in any way I may.” “Another,” I said. “Do not forget I come with the price of the cup,” she said. “Use me as you will, Master.” “Another,” I said sharply.
“For your pleasure,” she said, “I bring you paga and a slave.” “Personalized phrase,” I said. “E.,” she said. “Evelyn,” I corrected her. “Evelyn tenders drink humbly to Master,” she said. “Evelyn hopes Master will later find her suitable to give him pleasure.” “Another,” I said. “I am Evelyn,” she said. “I serve you, naked and collared. Take me later to the alcove. I beg to be taught my slavery.” I then took the paga. “You may now serve others,” I said to her.” Explorers of Gor
~After this, it is customary to wait to be dismissed before moving on, unless you are doing a feast serve or your Owner tells you to come to them. There is isn’t really a known situation as being “in service” to a specific free, and most of the quotes have the slave moving on immediately, but it is probably best to be specifically dismissed before moving on to the next unless someone of higher rank or ability commands you to leave their side; you would wait for that specific free to dismiss or release you. Sometimes, drawing back but being nearby and ready to serve them again is acceptable, but a slave never withdraws totally from the presence of the Free without permission.
Greeting and speaking is also to the Free’s preference as well until you are dismissed. Sometimes, if the Free seems to have forgotten you, and there are others waiting to be served you can ask if there is any thing else you can do for them, or even beg to be of service to others; but generally speaking you should be focused on them and what they need or desire until you are dismissed. It is probably best to always thank the Free for allowing you to serve them prior to moving on, as that is always a privileged thing -being allowed to serve them is something to show gratitude about
“”It is a great honor and privilege for a slave to be permitted to serve her master. Too, it is what she is for.” Swordsmen of Gor