When I first started writing pieces (before #sccwriting), I was relatively fresh off reading material from other people who definitely claim the godslave label. I’ve bounced around along the path of trying to live the goal of following m’Lady since then, and it was only recently that I was asked to return to this matter. The rest of this is based on my impressions, and I am definitely not trying to be an authoritative voice on this. YMMV, you do you, etc.
There’s a mix of preferred titles, connotation / baggage, and the extent of control that a sub hands over to their Dominant when I try to mentally separate a godslave from a servant. I think of a servant as being work oriented, and they may not hand over control of an area that isn’t related to the work. The Dominant could still be an Owner, but I’m more likely to think of Boss. When it comes to godslavery, I definitely think of the Dominant as the Owner, and I associate handing over the most amount of control with this dynamic. Realistically, you can’t reach 100%, but I don’t think anyone’s talked of an area that always stayed off limits.
When we were first starting along this path, m’Lady stressed handing over control and that She owned me. There wasn’t really work per se, or an assignment, so I didn’t think that serving quite described us. However, there’s connotation wrapped in these labels that I think nudged me away from using “godslave” a lot in the beginning. There is consensual sexual slavery, but I’m honestly not sure that that’s the first association that people have with slavery because of the very non-consensual kidnapping and human and/or sex trafficking that happens. I’m aware that the people writing about godslavery initially were talking about situations in which they didn’t really have a lot of say in declining this dynamic (tied into the death / rebirth process of being a spirit-worker in their paths), but I’ve been under the impression that this isn’t the norm.
When I think of a servant, I can see someone having more say in becoming one. I have a feeling this may not be true all of the time historically, but there’s only so much history that I – someone who isn’t a history buff – can bring into the effort of defining words that seem rather recent in getting a name. I think of butlers, ladies in waiting, and people who are almost like live-in assistants in working with someone else towards a goal. I think there was a stress on Ownership and handing over control in the beginning because it was new more so than that being a focal point in our relationship.
m’Lady still owns me, but it’s not as prominent. The title Owner is in storage more so than having been discarded, if that makes sense? It seems like godslavery is a lifetime commitment, but I think being a servant can also entail that commitment. Granted, the first example I can think of entails a fictional medieval setting, but I don’t want to feel like I have to use the godslave label in order to convey this sense of longevity. I know this probably looks like drawing very particular lines in the sand when some people view these terms as overlapping and sometimes being synonymous; I’ve been trying to see if I can figure out why I’ve been drawn more to the servant label than godslave.