This year, I ghost-wrote a novel for an old client. This kind of work requires a certain humility. During the writing phase, you must put your creative autonomy in your back pocket and make sure that what you end up with feels like somebody else’s creation. You can’t simply type the book *you* want. Every part of the process involves service, and once the novel is written, you must quash any desire to take credit. Readers will compliment your client’s work, and your client will thank them gracefully as though all that prose you’re so proud of is theirs. And it is theirs. They paid for it, after all.
This is what it means to be deferent, and it’s not easy to get right straight off the bat. The discipline involved is similar to that of being a slave. I’ll admit to enjoying that part of ghost-writing, service sub that I am. I’ll even admit to having enjoyed that part of D/s once upon a time when I had a domly prince who made me want to give that much.
But I’m not a natural slave. I’m a sub, and a poor one at that. I want to create my own dreams and achievements, and I don’t trust anyone to handle my life’s greatest challenges. TPE requires you to resist the desire to create the life *you* want. Every part of the process must involve service, and that’s too much hard work for someone like me.
Now, if you happen to be profoundly worthy, I might feel drawn to TPE once we’ve gotten to know each other properly, but when I first arrived on Fetlife, I wanted it before the first date. I was entirely ready to give the dom at the next profile blanket consent because much of TPE is hot. My sexuality is built to defer, but I value my autonomy above all else. Had I taken on the first dominant I came across on the site, I probably would have had some amazing sex at the expense of my quality of life.
I spend much of my blogging time speaking out against TPE, not because it’s not my kink, but because it very much is. Becoming a slave before your relationship is mature enough to support it is like breaking open an egg before it’s ready to hatch. All you’ll land up with is an omelette, and I personally prefer something with a little more life than that.
Once you move beyond the hard part of deference, watching someone accept thanks for your work feels like flying. Once you move into a more mature power exchange relationship, TPE feels like flying, too, but this is the edgiest kind of edge play I can think of. It requires powerful wings, and building strength takes time.