I recently mentioned in an email that I'm not a "service top", and that's true.
"Service" to me implies submission, certainly I enjoyed doing things for my partner when I was submitting and I desire the same in people I'm playing with now. One of my long term goals is to create the perfect servant to make my life more pleasant, more easy and more fun. I'm not interested in the traditional household service but more roles such as butler, bodyguard or pet. Things that lift up beyond the dailiness of hoovering the floor and into the kind of attention and attentiveness that you never provide for yourself or don't normally.
I don't base my play on lists of things that a submissive wants to have done to them. I'm not interested in filling that sort of need. I will certainly ask about what they do and don't like - especially if it makes them squirm. I will always meet to discuss what they've done, enjoyed or hated not to create a remit based on delivering, but because things that are of interest to the submissive are a hook into their emotions, intellect, body and sense of self.
The body is a relatively easy thing to take. The brain is much harder, and the person harder still. Fortunately, I like games of ownership, command. I like "winning" in effect. I dominate to be strong, to be powerful, to feel adored, beautiful and the centre of someone's universe. Having a checklist that they know about and are entirely comfortable with doesn't deliver the excitement or intensity I want to create. You need to know the person, to react to what they are doing rather than saying. And to not be frightened of pushing buttons. Which means gambling.
I'm effectively betting my ability, skill and knowledge to be able do whatever I want to someone. That sense of ownership and droit de seigneur is important to me. Yes, there is consent in the sense that they have offered themselves to me, but there is not consent to each and every specific act as they happen - that would make for a very strange play session!
The ultimate goal is control. The pain, the sensation, the restriction are only there because they are tools to get it, they are the cards I play when we lay my bets on other people's desire. Sometimes the odds are better than others, but in all instances, there's a risk. And I'm aware of that risk. It hasn't happened yet, but someone might freak out, panic, collapse or have a serious problem. I've been in situations where I've been aware that they weren't responding as I'd like - too quiet, not seeming "into it" and I've adapted, but thus far (touch wood) no-one has decided I'm bad to play with. Merely a little cruel and whimsical.
Abandoned to his fate in inescapable rope
3 months ago