Complete submission: Serf

Author: Ginger San
A to Z | Roles

“Serf” is a new term from the USA for the BDSM role commonly understood as slave. Due to the problematic historical significance and triggers that can still affect some individuals today, we no longer support the use of the terms “slave” in public spaces, but instead prefer the term “Serf”. Other possible alternative terms are “bondservant” or “menial”.

You can read more about the background to this decision here.


What is a Serf?

In BDSM, a serf is a person who agrees to give up total control to someone with whom they are in a relationship. This relationship can vary in length, but servant relationships often extend over a longer period of time.

In the Serf role, the submissive person completely surrenders to the authority of a dominant person and is considered their property. What the Serf must do in service to the dominant person is open-ended. Everything from financial Serfs, to sex Serfs, to regular servants is possible. Often, the Serf is also marked as such with jewelry or specifically with the so-called “Ring of O”.

A Serf relationship can arise spontaneously and be lived out. Most of the time, however, it is coordinated beforehand with the mutual wishes of the Master or Mistress and those of the person serving. This often even happens in the form of a contract in which the most important points are stipulated. After the validity of the contract, the serf is then released into the wild. Of course, only if the agreements were adhered to.

The appeal of playing as a bondservant arises from the strongly asymmetrical power dynamic in the relationship. The Serf completely surrenders to their dominant partner. They enjoy both the vulnerability and the feeling of finally being liberated from the pressure of responsibility.

Which roles are similar?

Similar roles can be found in the area of Bottoms and Subs. Because a Serf absolutely takes on the submissive counterpart of the relationship. But the roles of the Masochist can also be related to the Serf role if consensual physical punishment is important. Serfs who additionally enjoy humiliation from their partner by having fun with others have the sub-term Cuckold or Cuckquean.

Which roles go along with a Serf?

The dominant counterpart to the role of the Serf is generally Top and Dom. However, the role of the Master or Mistress, who consensually takes ownership of the submissive person, fits even more closely.

How do I know that I am a Serf?

If you play with the idea of absolute submissiveness and humiliation and complete loss of control don’t scare you off, but rather attract you, then you tend to play the role of Serf. But the deep desire to finally get the pressure of personal responsibility off your shoulders and to place yourself completely in the hands of another person also shows related tendencies.

As a Serf it is important that…

…your loss of control always occurs in a defined area. You should always make your boundaries clear early on and, if necessary, write them down in a contract. Although this is not legally binding, it still has a symbolic and official effect for many. Writing down desires, needs, hard and soft limits also helps you become clearer about them for yourself. The choice of the partner in whose hands you place yourself is also essential, as you are very vulnerable and defenseless in your role. Because the humiliation can usually be very psychologically stressful, you and your counterpart must always pay attention to your mental state. But if you pay attention to everything, your fantasies can finally become reality.

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