Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Equality, Respect...and hello!

Hello, out there in Blogland. I'm coming off a somewhat lengthy break here, and I've missed you. But the break was good. It was refreshing. As September came, I began to ease back into a more disciplined routine here, with my personal writing projects, school, my daily schedule, exercise, housework. There were some moments of overwhelm there, but I'm happy to say things are running smoothly. Jason told me last night how proud he is of me, and of course, that made me grin like the Cheshire cat. I spent a great deal of time preparing for the fall, and now that it's here, I feel eager to welcome it in. 

It's always difficult for me to decide how to get back into blogging when I've taken a break. What should I say first? What is it that I'd like to share? 

The longer we've been at this, the more I feel I understand...about what my needs are, and Jason's, about why what we do works so well for us, what his expectations are for me and where he wants to take us. But the longer we've been at this, I also feel like, at times, we've only just hit the tip of the iceberg. The d/s waters run deep. Physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs interweave in one, big, beautiful journey, but yet at the same time, there are moments when it doesn't make sense at all, and it all seems muddled and confused. 

It's for this reason, I like to think things through, write them out. So I journal. But the longer we go, the more personal our dynamic becomes. It's only natural. My needs and Jason's are not necessarily the same as another couple's. Our goals aren't necessarily the same. So at times, I feel at a loss with what to share. 

So after some thought, I decided to write a bit about something that, in recent months especially, readers have asked me about. They are the points, I think, that are perhaps the least understood about the d/s dynamic, no matter what the level of expectations are in that one dynamic.



I've been giving this more thought lately, as Jason and I have been enjoying watching the new episodes of “Outlander.” For those unfamiliar with the series, it's a new show based on a series of romance novels written by Diana Gabaldon. The premise is that a young English woman from 1945 is transported back in time to eighteenth century Scotland. It's historical fiction at its best, and really, so well done. So what is it about this series that has me thinking about d/s? 

In eighteenth century Scotland, women were viewed as property. Men were in charge. The end.

We recently watched an episode in which the lead woman takes off and scares the men she's with, and when she's found, one of the men drags her out of the house by her arm and lectures her within an inch of her life. It's somewhat shocking. You, um, don't really see things like that happen in the present day. And supposedly, based on the series (which I've not read), there comes a time when this woman is strapped by her husband for endangering the lives of others. It's expected that a husband would discipline his wife back then. It's just what they did. In fact, in the first episode, this woman lets loose a volley of swears, and one of the men mutters, “Yer husband should tan yer hide fer that.”

(Ahem, Jason paused it at this point, rewound it, made me listen to it again and said, “Did you hear that?” Yep. Guess who gets her “hide tanned” for swearing?)

There are times when women in the d/s community speak wistfully about the past. They say they wish things were like they used to be, when men were men, and women were women, and it wasn't taboo for a man to take his wife over his knee. They say that women knew their place then, and men knew how to lead and women knew how to follow. 

Honestly, I truly do not agree. 


Although, yes, Jason being in authority over me is absolutely how I prefer things, our dynamic is based on mutual respect. 

Our dynamic is consensual. 

And I have no desire whatsoever to undermine the blood, sweat, and tears our mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers poured out to obtain our rights as women. Women used to be viewed as inferior. The fact that we are now, by all intents and purposes, viewed as equals, is absolutely of paramount importance.

But wait...we who choose a d/s dynamic...are we truly equals?

This is how I view things. 

We are absolutely of equal worth. 

My rights, opinions, hopes and desires, my self worth...are every bit as valid as Jason's. Yes, he's my Dom. Yes, I'm his submissive. 

It's come out in some of my posts recently just how much control I allow Jason to have over me. My last post struck a nerve, I think, for that reason. It was the first post in a very long time that generated slanderous commentary Jason asked me to delete. And perhaps it was a good indicator that I need to show more discretion in what I share. After all, as I've said earlier, our dynamic is very personal. 

So suffice it to say, I allow him to lead me in every possible way. He has a great deal of control over my life. 

And let's just say, I wouldn't change what we have for anything. Not for anything. I absolutely love it.

So how can I balance that, then? How can I say that I believe Jason and I are equals, yet he disciplines me? Certainly, I don't discipline him. The reasons I don't are many and varied, so I will sum it up by saying, that truly does not work for us. 

How can I say I believe we are equals, yet I allow him to control my life? I allow him to dictate what I eat, when I go to bed, how I drive, who I associate with and when, what I do with my free time, and the list goes on. 

The answer is really very simple. And it's the distinction that makes a modern-day d/s dynamic completely unique, historically speaking. 

We are equals in worth.

We are not equals in authority. 

And we are not equals in authority, because I consent to that. 

One of the reasons what we have works so well, is that Jason and I are in complete agreement over the power exchange in our relationship. When he sends me to bed, I don't feel belittled. I feel cared for, and loved. When he puts me over his knee for doing something dangerous, I know he does it because my safety is of utmost importance to him. When he disciplines me for raising my voice to him, I know he values harmony in our relationship, and our agreement that he's in authority over me must be maintained. 

A reader recently asked me about respect. She said she'd read all my posts, and she was completely baffled as to why I could possibly choose to live the way I did. She questioned Jason's respect for me, said it wasn't possible for him to discipline me yet still respect me. She said if he truly loved me, he wouldn't punish me, and she couldn't understand why I viewed his disciplining me as an act of love.

Now, I'm not going to get into the many points I disagree with in this assertion. I did my best to give an honest answer, but I think a lengthy explanation would be somewhat futile. Some people aren't going to get it. And that's okay. 

But I do want to state, while we're on the topic of equality and respect, that if I felt disrespected and unloved, I could never possibly consent to be his submissive. 

He holds me to a high standard. But he holds himself to even higher standards. 

He demands I respect him. But he has the utmost respect for me as well – for my worth as a human being, my thoughts and desires, my opinions, my interests, my needs. 

He is my Dominant because he loves me. He leads me because he cherishes me, and wants to see that I'm taken care of in every possible way. 

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this. How do you feel about equality and respect within a d/s dynamic? Please understand dissenting opinions are most welcome, I only ask that no slanderous comments be posted.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tight-rope Walker

I'm the kind of person that spins in my head a lot. Maybe it's a female thing. Maybe it's a personality thing. But I'm constantly thinking about things, constantly twirling them around through my mind. 

When we first began this, I remember reading an article, or a comment somewhere, and someone said, "This isn't a lifestyle choice. This is just a small part of who we are. It's not all we are. It's just something we do, but it doesn't define us." 

I spun this for a while. Nearly two years later, I'm still spinning this.

At first, I completely agreed. Yes, yes, that was true! We still were who we were. We weren't different. DD was just a part of how we related to one another. It only happened on occasion, and was far from being the center of our lives. So when I wrote about things, I would choose the word "dynamic" rather than "lifestyle," and I denied that it was all-consuming. 

I don't agree anymore. True, Domestic Discipline -- the actual expectations and enforcement of those rules -- is still is a very small part of how we function. There are occasional times that, for whatever reason, I find myself tossed over Jason's knee with some frequency. It's not just that I don't put forth enough effort, though that has been the reason at times. He has very high expectations of me. He is consistent, and stern, and he doesn't let me get away with anything. Don't misunderstand -- I love this. I wouldn't want it any other way. But mostly, serious punishment is a very rare thing. Mostly, I've learned what is important to him and made his expectations habit. The huge majority of the time, I obey him implicitly. So it's more we have an understanding, not that I am being punished all the time. 

But the DS side of things -- his Dominance and my Submission -- no, it's not true that they're only a small part of who we are. It's the foundation of who we are. 

From the minute I wake up in the morning, until the minute I go to bed at night, asking myself what Jason wants from me is a constant thought I have. Right now, as I'm typing, it's 6:11 a.m. I know in my head I need to finish writing by 6:50 or so, because I need to bring him his coffee at 7. Then while he wakes up, I'm to sit next to him with my to-do list that I will show him and he will go over. I'll eat the breakfast he approves of, wear gym clothes because he told me I'm to go to the gym today. He will spank me and remind me to be a good girl. He will give me whatever instructions he wants to today. And it goes on, and on...

Throughout the day, I will be thinking of him. When I get in the car, I will put my phone out of reach so I'm not tempted to touch it. I will make sure my kids are buckled in safely, and I will not raise my voice to them. I will make sure I drive the speed limit, and obey traffic laws, and all day I'll be cognizant of the time, making sure I focus on my list of things I need to do. 

He'll likely call me, or send me a text, but if he's so swamped at work, I will reach out to him. I'll tell him how things are going. He may ask me if I'm being a good girl, or he may just tell me he loves me. I'll prepare dinner, and get ready for the things I need to do this evening. When he comes home, I will put down everything I'm doing, and meet him upstairs. We'll ensure we have our privacy, and then talk about our day. I'll kneel by him and take off his shoes and he'll tell me about his day, too. Today I will have a good report. I will, I know it! So there will be no need for him to instruct me over his knee and punish me for breaking a rule. No, not today. 

Because today I'm going to keep my focus. 

He will hug me and I bet you anything he'll make me laugh. He always does. He'll make me look in his eyes, and he'll encourage me. I have to go out this evening with a friend, and he'll tell me to come back to him safe and sound. 

When I'm out, I'll constantly be thinking of what he expects of me. He wants me to be graeceful and gracious. So if someone upsets me, I'll do my best to assume positive motives. I'll not speak with rudeness to anyone, or say or do anything crass. I'll be kind to people I come in contact with. He will expect me to stay in touch, so when I have a few minutes, I'll send him a text or give him a quick call. I'll have my cell phone with me, charged and on, in case he needs to get in touch with me. 

When I come home, I will go straight to him. I will likely kneel, and put my head in his lap, and he will ask me how things went. I'm going to be tired tonight, so he will likely send me to bed early. He may or may not come up with me. But when he comes to bed, we'll have our nighttime ritual...maybe we will talk a little. He may or may not put me over his lap. He will kiss me, and tuck me in, and let me know he's there when I go to sleep. 

There will not be a moment today when I'm not thinking of Jason. There will be times when I'm focused on other things, of course, but even subconsciously, what he wants will be the ever-present thought that drives me. 

Why I choose this...well, that's another post, for another day. But the truth is, I do. I make the conscious effort, every day, to submit to him. And God bless that man, every single day he makes the conscious effort to lead me. 

But as things go on, I find that it really isn't easy. Submitting to Jason, accepting his authority, doing as he's very challenging to me. And I love that it is.

As a friend said to me recently...why would we want it to be easy? There is no victory in choosing the easy route. There's something empowering when I finish a workout at the gym that leaves me breathless, panting, dripping with sweat. There's something amazing writing the words The End on a writing project. It feels nice at the end of the day to shut the lights off in the kitchen I've cleaned to perfection. Being tucked under Jason's arm before bed, hearing him say, "You were such a good girl today, and you make me proud," brings me joy. 

As time goes on, and we near the second anniversary of taking things to a new level, things are changing with me and Jason. 

Recently, he's told me that journaling would be a good idea. So I've been journaling. When time permits, I sit and write out what I'm thinking. He doesn't read every word I write, but told me he will whenever I ask him to. I love that he does that for me. The other day, he sat down and read what I'd written. I'd wondered what he would do when he was done, as it was the first time he'd read my journal. He came to me and hugged me. He talked to me about some of the things I'd been working through. He gave me some advice, pointed me in the direction he wanted me to go. It meant so much to me, that he would do that. That he would take the time to make what is important to me, important to him. 

Then over the weekend, he told me he wants me taking a bit of a sabbatical again, from the online community I've come to be a part of. I will not post to my blog without permission, no responding to emails, no chat. It took me a few minutes to process that. I knew instinctively I would obey him, but sometimes when he instructs me I think why? Sometimes when he instructs me, it takes me a minute to swallow what he's said. 

And I finally get it. I came to him, and I told him.

"I understand now," I began. "I know now why sometimes you ask me to pull away, why you don't want me reading blogs, or going on forums, or chatting in the community." 

He raised his eyes to me, and I explained what had finally become so clear to me. He could've told me, but he needed me to realize it on my own. He needed me to obey him first, and understand after. 

"What you ask me to do, all of it, it takes such focus. When I lose my focus, I get in trouble. And you don't want me to get in trouble. All of it...sticking to my daily routine, focusing on being patient with the kids, putting our family first, doing what you tell me. I need to keep my focus." 

He smiled, like a teacher whose student has finally understood an important concept. 

"That's right, baby," he said. "That's exactly why. You need to stay focused on what's important." 

I need to stay focused on him. 

And as I stood in the kitchen alone last night, washing the dishes, listening to music, and doing my spin thing, I was thinking of how I miss some of my friends I've grown to love in the community. I was feeling sad about not being in touch, feeling that little bit of disconnect I feel from time to time that's really very necessary. 

And I had a vision of a tight-rope walker. And I asked does a tight rope walker make it to the end? How do they accomplish their goal, of making it to the end without tumbling?They maintain their focus. They maintain their balance. 

And I had a vision of me...walking that eyes focused, on Jason. Keeping my eyes on him...his arms outstretched, ready to catch me when I make it to him. 

I have a friend who's been doing this longer than I have...and she's said to me, many times, keep your focus on him. 

Keep your eyes on him, I thought....keep your focus on him, and you won't fall.

Monday, July 28, 2014

All of Me

So, there's this new song, that maybe you've you've already heard. Or, maybe, like me, you've bought it, downloaded, and played it a million times. "All of Me," by John Legend. If you haven't yet heard it, give it a go.

Interestingly, when I first heard it, I thought, "Wow, this is like the D/S theme song." But when I spoke of it to a friend of mine who isn't D/S, she said, "No, I don't see it that way. I see it as a song about unconditional love."

Unconditional love, I thought....Yes. The song is about unconditional love, and mutual self-giving. 

So, me? It is about D/S. Because isn't that at the heart of it all? Unconditional love, and giving ourselves to one another?

I've never heard a song before that seemed to just capture it all so beautifully. In fact, when I listen to it, I have a weird reaction. Visions flash through my after another. I hear things Jason has said. I hear things I've said. I see us, struggling, and making it through, learning and giving it one more try...

"All Of Me"

What would I do without your smart mouth?
Drawing me in, and you kicking me out
You've got my head spinning, no kidding, I can't pin you down

"I don't want you to change," he says, shaking his head. " I want to do this. I don't want you to be quiet and mousy and lose who you are. I want you to tell me how you really feel. I want you to speak your mind." He smiles. "I just want you to do it respectfully." 

What's going on in that beautiful mind
I'm on your magical mystery ride
And I'm so dizzy, don't know what hit me, but I'll be alright

I'm kneeling. His hand is under my chin, forcing me to make eye contact. I don't want to. I'm hurt. I don't want to let him in. I don't want him to see. 

I don't want to cry. 

"Don't look away," he whispers. "I need to look into your eyes. Don't pull away from me," he commands, quietly, but he means it. 

I look at him. I swallow, and I feel the tears coming. 

"I don't know if I can do this," I whisper, tears beginning, and he knows what I mean. Keep putting myself out there. Keep spilling all. Keep being open, and vulnerable. 

"Talk to me," he says. 

I take a deep breath. And I begin...

My head's under water
But I'm breathing fine
You're crazy and I'm out of my mind

'Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections

I'm standing in front of the mirror. I sigh. He comes up behind me, wrapping his arms around my waist. I try...I eat well, I exercise, I do what I'm supposed to do. I try hard...but still, I'm not always happy with what I see. 

"What is it, baby girl?" 

I look at my body, that's changed after all these years, after all these babies. My hands on my belly, I don't say anything at first. I'm not allowed to criticize my body. He'll punish me if I do.

"It's not enough," I say. "I keep working at it, keep trying, and still, the progress is so slow." 

He takes me by the hand, and leads me over to the bed. He sits, and pulls me over to him, so his hands are on either side of my waist and I'm standing between his legs. He's smiling his quiet, soft smile, the one that says "I love you and you're so precious to me." 

He leans over and kisses my belly. "I love your body," he murmurs. "You're gorgeous. I get within two feet of you and you start turning me on."

I giggle. "No way," I protest, but it's a very weak protest. 

He leans down and kisses my belly again. I squirm. It's ticklish and sexy, all at once. "This isn't fat," he says. "This is love. This body gave me my children." 

He leans over and kisses me again, tracing a pattern on my bare skin. 

"Don't you know how beautiful you are?"

I forget what it was I was ever complaining about...

Give your all to me
I'll give my all to you
You're my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I'm winning

I'm waking from a bad dream. I don't know what it's about, but I'm scared. 

I wake up, and I go right from my dream to an anxiety attack. I feel like the walls are closing in on me. 

"I can't breathe," I gasp, panting next to Jason. 

He's instantly there, cradling me in his arms. 

"Breathe, baby," he says. "I'm here." 

I feel him, his strength, I hear his voice, and I try. 

I focus on breathing. 

I focus on relaxing. 

I focus on doing what he says, and I slowly settle into his arms, calmed again, as he holds me until I fall back asleep...

'Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you

How many times do I have to tell you
Even when you're crying you're beautiful too

I'm on my knees, my head in his lap, and I'm crying. He's just punished me, for not paying attention and doing something dangerous. It was a hard punishment to take. But somehow, today, the spanking he gave me touched a raw nerve, and I'm undone. All that I've been holding onto comes crashing, and I'm helpless to stop the tears that keep coming. 

I'm crying, hard, and I can't stop. 

"Let it out," he says. 

I lift my head and his thumb brushes my tears away. 

"How do you feel when I cry?" I ask, sniffling through my tears. "Does it bother you?" 

"No," he says. "I feel like I've gotten through to you. And when you cry, you're beautiful, because you are mine." 

The world is beating you down, I'm around through every mood
You're my downfall, you're my muse
My worst distraction, my rhythm and blues
I can't stop singing, it's ringing, in my head for you

It's been a very long, stressful day. The kids have been difficult, and I've had an enormous list of things that need to be done and even more yet that still need to be done. I'm physically and emotionally drained. 

But he's home now. We don't even talk. I haven't even told him what the day has been like. I smile at him, as I don't want to dump it all on him the minute he comes home from work. There will be time to talk, but right now we say nothing. 

The kids start talking, one is crying, another is hungry. They adore him, so they clamor, trying to get at him first, telling him There is chaos and noise, and he reaches for my hand, giving me the "I love you" signal. 

I don't even have to talk to him. We don't even have to be alone. All at once, I can breathe easy again. 

My head's under water
But I'm breathing fine
You're crazy and I'm out of my mind

He's playing his guitar. He's a master at playing. It thrills me, to see his hands on slim body of it. It reminds me that he plays my body like I'm his instrument, masterfully, beautifully, putty in his hands, obeying his every move. 

But today, he's jamming. The amps are pumping out music that moves me to my core, and I'm dancing in our living room as he watches, and he plays. Kicking my heels back and moving in time, our kids come in, and we're all laughing. It's a rock concert in our living room. 

Music and joy, and he's the master of it all...

'Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I'll give my all to you
You're my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I'm winning
'Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you, ohoh

Give me all of you
Cards on the table, we're both showing hearts
Risking it all, though it's hard

I'm kneeling. We've had an argument, and I've put up my wall. I don't want to do this. I can't do this. I want to give up. 

Sometimes, it's too hard. Sometimes, it hurts too much. 

"I want you to come back to me," he says. "Come back. I want my good girl back. I don't want this to be between us anymore." 

"I know," I whisper. "I want to be back. But I don't know how to get back there." 

He gives me a long, steady stare. 

"Get over my lap," he instructs. 

I obey. 

And he brings me back...

'Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections

Give your all to me
I'll give my all to you
You're my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I'm winning
'Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you

I give you all of me
And you give me all of you

We're walking, side by side, our kids milling around us. To the rest, we seem like the average couple, maybe. They don't know that the silver necklace around my neck locks, and that I can't take it off. That I reach for it when I'm feeling nervous, or troubled, or I miss him. That it's a constant reminder that I am his, his submissive, and he is my Dominant. 

Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. 

He gives me my hand signal and I look up at him. He's smiling his quirky, knowing smile. He's just given me the signal for "Be a good girl." 

I lean over and kiss his cheek and whisper, "Yes, sir." 

He smiles. "That's my good girl," he says. 

I feel happy. I feel safe. 

I feel loved.