Friday, October 17, 2014

The Sterner Side of Things

Next month, Jason and I will celebrate two years of choosing a lifestyle of Dominance and Submission. It's one of those things – I feel like in many ways, we're only just beginning. But at the same time, it's such a natural fit, it seems we've been doing this forever. 

And in some ways, we have, since he's always been the dominant partner and I've always been the submissive. But adding DD into the mix certainly does change things. 

If we hadn't chosen d/s, I'm sure he and I would still be getting along just fine. We were before. We're not one of those couples who saved our marriage with DD, so I'm pretty confident that if we hadn't gone this route, we still would've found other ways of resolving conflict. But since we have gone this route, it's a totally different dynamic. 

He keeps taking me further in. He keeps raising the bar. We both keep changing, and for the better. 

I remember how I used to long for his attention. I remember how he would make me so mad, and I'd get under his skin, and we'd get into the occasional argument. I remember how we didn't really understand each other at times. How I'd pout if I didn't get my way, and how I would take things personally. It wasn't a bad marriage. Everyone who knew us knew we were happy. But really, we've both grown. 

Last night, two things happened that showed me how much things have shifted in the past two years.

 First, I found out about an event I wanted to go to that had me very excited. I showed it to Jason. “Oh, look! Can we go this weekend?” He looked up from what he was doing and simply said, “No.” I felt disappointed, but I didn't pout, and I chose my words carefully and watched my tone when I asked why he didn't want to go. He explained that it would be crowded, and he had no interest in taking our family. And that was that. I had my answer. 

I didn't pout, or try to cajole him into changing his mind. I accepted his answer and moved on. 

And the second thing that happened was I got myself in very big trouble. 

Both situations somehow had me reflecting. On how I've grown. On how he has. On how much smoother things run here because of how well we understand each other.

In the very beginning, there was a good deal of growth involved in how things played out. I got in trouble a lot, for many reasons. I hadn't internalized many of his expectations. Some things needed time, and I had to develop better habits. And sometimes I think I didn't try as hard as I should've, because I wanted his attention so badly. 

Those days are now gone. 

I still have times when I long for his attention, but all I have to do is go and sit by him. He always, always puts down what he's doing and asks me what's on my mind. All I have to do is tell him, “I need to talk to you,” or “I'd like to spend some time with you.” And he'll open his arms and have me come in and talk to him about what's on my mind, or tell me how much longer he needs before I can have his undivided attention. He'll plan a date for us, or he'll set aside time for doing something together. 

I still have times when I get into trouble, but it's mostly because I've lost my focus and not taken the steps I need to make sure I stay on track. "Small crumbs," he calls them, the little things that need to be swept up. I still get reminders frequently, and maintenance regularly, but mostly, serious trouble is very rare.

I've mostly internalized his expectations. I take steps to make sure I make safe choices. I stick to the daily to-do list we go over in the morning. I take care of myself, and get to the gym, eat well and make my health a priority. I choose my words carefully, don't raise my voice to my children, or give way to my temper. I speak respectfully to him. And I obey him. 

Now, I don't say this to brag. I'm not perfect, of course. I still slip up, and he also knows I'm only human. 

But where we are now, I don't get any more warnings. I do not get second chances. He misses absolutely nothing. There have been times when I've been thinking defiant thoughts, and he can read me so well, he knows. Although he is fair and he is reasonable, he is one hundred percent consistent, and his follow through is always very sobering. 

But because I've internalized his expectations, it is pretty rare that I see the sterner side of things. It's not that he doesn't dom me. He does, every day, some days harder than others, depending on my needs, my behavior, and his own needs. But what happens now is mostly I will get a look. If we're alone, he might deliver one firm swat, with not another word. He will call my name, or say something very quietly, like, “That's enough.” It's amazing what he can convey simply by saying my name. When I get very busy, or flustered, he's sterner with me, because he knows I lose my focus then, and it's then that he takes absolute control. 

But what happens now is, occasionally I will become complacent. And that's what happened very recently. This past weekend, I found myself bent over his knee not once but twice in the same day, and he was none too happy when that second time came around. I don't even remember why I got in trouble the first time, but the second time, it was over something I thought was relatively small. He'd called me while I was out, asked me to pick something up for him, and I promptly forgot. 

As soon as I came home, he asked me where it was. My stomach dropped, because I knew I hadn't obeyed a direct request from him. I immediately offered to go back and get it for him, but he shook his head. 

He tests me, on a regular basis, just to make sure things are where they should be. A week or two ago, I was asked to text him every hour, and he told me if I forgot it would be “100 for every missed text.” It wasn't easy, but I did it. Occasionally he'll give me a very small request outside the norm that he knows will unsettle me, just to test my obedience. He's not toying with me. It is not a joke, or a game. He doesn't take my submission lightly. He's reminding me who's in charge, and I love him for it. 

I failed the test. 

But we had things to tend to, and though I knew I'd be punished for not doing what he asked, honestly, it was the furthest thing from my mind. He wasn't angry, and we had no time to be alone until much later that evening. So I kinda shrugged it off. I didn't really focus on the fact that I'd not done what he asked. I'd grown somewhat complacent. And before bed, I asked him, “Am I still in trouble?” 

Wrong move number one.

He raised his eyebrows. “What do you think?”

Um, I knew the answer to that question. 

I was laying next to him in bed. I was cozy. I didn't want to be punished. He pushed himself out of bed, stood, giving me that look that makes me quake, and rolled up his sleeves. Then he undid his belt buckle and removed his belt. I began to get nervous, but still hadn't fully gotten my head in the right place. I find it really hard submitting myself to punishment, and at times, literally pace the floor before I can work up the nerve to lie over his lap. 

I chickened out. I kinda buried my head in the covers and asked him if he could come back to bed and put me over his lap. 

Wrong move number two.

“Get your ass out of bed and over here before I come over there and get you,” he said, all Dom. 

Oh yikes. I knew I didn't want that to happen. I flew out of bed and over to him as quickly as possible. 

He took me by the arm. He sat on the bed, and hauled me over his knee. He wrapped his belt in a strap around his hand, and pinned me down. 

“It's been quite a long time since I've had to punish you twice in one day,” he began, and by now, I understood what I was in for. 

“Yes, sir,” I said, “I'm sorry.” 

“Oh you will be, little girl,” he said. “Why am I punishing you?”

“Because I didn't obey you,” I whispered. 

“You know I expect you to do what you're told. Am I clear?” 

Oh, it was clear alright and did he ever make his point.

He strapped me long and hard, and brought me to tears. I am not one of those girls who takes her punishment likes a champ. I squirmed and yelped into the covers, as he held me down and gave me one of the hardest spankings I've gotten in a very long time.

When he was done he held me, while I cried. 

“It's over now, and you're forgiven,” he said, the gentler side coming out now. “But I want it clear that when I ask you to do something, I want it done.” 

I nodded, sniffling, and promised I would obey him. He kissed me. “I know you will, baby. I don't want to have to do this again anytime soon.”

I didn't want him to have to do that anytime soon either. 

He ordered me to bed, and I sniffed my way under the covers. And I asked myself. 

Why the hell do I want him to do this?

I've written many times about the desire for his dominance, and why the discipline side of things is a necessary component. 

But I really, really dislike being punished. I dread it. And I find it very difficult to submit to punishment. 

He came to bed and held me. Although he was past punishing me, of course, he was still very much in that place of being stern, and he tucked me into bed and told me to go to sleep. 

I thought about how much I love him. How I would give my life for him. How submitting to him fulfills me to my very core. How protected and safe I feel under his care, and how even though I dislike being punished, seeing that sterner side of things somehow leaves me in awe of who he is, how good he is to me, how much he loves me and takes care of me. 

And also, if I'm totally honest – how the sterner side of things, though humbling and hard to take – is still undeniably sexy. 

And I came to understand, in those brief moments of reflection – when I'm humbled, and dommed, and in my place of being obedient and submissive – how I long to please him, and how the sterner side of things helps me achieve what I so desperately desire. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

What if He Says No (when your partner refuses a D/S dynamic)

Hello, readers. The past few weeks, you've been on my mind. As I've gone about the things I need to do here, I've thought about what I'd like to write next. I've decided I'd like to take a stab at something that's been on my mind for quite some time. 

As you likely know, if you're a regular reader, Jason and I are in a D/S relationship. We've been married for twelve years, with a mild dynamic in place before we were married, and just about two years ago, took things to a new level by adding Domestic Discipline into the mix. Slowly but surely, things intensified for us. We are still learning, still evolving, still growing, but as of today, we happily embrace a D/S dynamic. It works very, very well for us. We are happier than we've ever been, and wouldn't want to change this for anything.

So frequently, when I write, I like to share about our life here. I like to write about the intimacy and peace that comes from submitting to my husband, his leadership, the love I feel being his submissive, how he guides and teaches me and how we grow together. I like to write about the struggles we face, and how we overcome them; how the ups and downs build us up and make us stronger. But as I've written, as I've gotten to know some of you...I've come to realize that many are not living this the way they'd choose.

Sometimes, one partner spends the time researching, reading, contemplating how a D/S dynamic will benefit their relationship, and after much thought, they pluck up the courage to ask their partner to get on board – and their request is met with a resounding No.

Worse...sometimes, their request is met with ridicule, scorn, and anger.

My heart breaks for those of you who write to me, asking for help and guidance, for those of you who've felt the sting of rejection after baring your soul. One of the reasons you are grateful for blogs that share about dynamics, like this one, is because you feel you're not alone. You feel understood. You feel there is hope.

Today, this post is for you. For all those who struggle. For those who've been rejected. For those who are married to someone who has absolutely no desire whatsoever to incorporate d/s into their marriage. For those who've begun DD, and found it didn't work for them. For those who maybe think there's something wrong with the desire to submit and be led.

What to do?

I wrote a post a while ago to those who struggle. In that post, I gave some advice based on experience that worked for me and Jason, when we had struggles of our own. Perhaps if you're already in the beginning stages of a D/S dynamic, you may enjoy that post. Today, however, I'm speaking more to those who've been flat-out rejected.

It is painful to be in this position. Oftentimes, those of us who crave dominance find that our desire is deeply, deeply interwoven into who we are as people. This is why sometimes you'll find submissives insulted when critics say things like, “It's only a game,” and “It's all about sex.” It's not just a game to us. We don't play at this. It's not just about sex. Yes, it is exciting, and erotic, and there can be elements of play, but the desire for dominance is a much more primal, emotional, psychological need.

So when you find the courage to be honest and bring that desire to your partner, rejection is heart-rending.

The first thing I want to say to those of you who are struggling is this. All is not lost.

It is not a hopeless cause. At first, it seems like that. When you've bared your soul and been rejected, of course it feels that way. But it isn't.

It hurts like hell, yes. And you may feel it's a part of you that will never be able to grow and flourish. But once you've gotten past that initial rejection, I urge you to take a long, hard look at a few things. Be honest, but be gentle with yourself. Don't give way to thoughts about whether or not you're normal, or healthy, or if something is wrong with you. I've been there. It's a dangerous place to be. I know you don't really know me, but I hope I've earned a bit of your trust by being as honest and transparent as I could be.

So please believe me when I say, you're totally normal. There's nothing twisted about desiring, even craving dominance. It's understandable that you are deeply attracted to the idea of being disciplined. At the heart of this for many of us is the desire to be loved. 

Certainly not everyone desires the feel of a loving, firm hand. But I do. I know what it's like to want to feel cared for, so much so that the person who loves you wants to guide you, teach you, and protect you. That's okay. There's nothing wrong with that.

But all is not lost. It's not "all or nothing." You are not destined to live a life unfulfilled. Yes, your husband or partner may never dominate you. Yes, you may never be able to explain your desire for discipline. But there are a few things you can do that respect the personal choices of your partner and can perhaps bring peace where before there was discord. 

So today, I'd like to give you just a little bit of advice.

First, ask yourself why it is you desire D/S. Really, truly, think about it. Explore it. Journal about it, talk about it, delve deeply into your desires and ask yourself why.

Perhaps you desire more attention from your partner. Maybe, like me, you've lived a past filled with rejection and abuse, and the desire to be of utmost importance to someone calls to you. Maybe you'd like accountability. Maybe you're tired of making promises and setting goals you fail to accomplish. You want someone to coach you, spur you on. Maybe you have a temper and you get upset with yourself when you lose your cool. You want someone to help you learn to curb that temper. 

Maybe your relationship has lost the erotic appeal, and you want to be attracted to your partner again. You want spice in your life. You want to feel that spark of romance again. Maybe it's all of the above. There are many, many reasons why we crave dominance. I urge you to find out what your reasons are.

Now for the second part of my two-fold advice to you.

After you've spent some time soul-searching, exploring, truly understanding what it is you desire and why...come up with some other ways to meet those needs.

Now, I understand that some people, even married people, occasionally choose to submit to another person, a mentor Dom, or cyber Dom. I understand why this is done. I know many people make this choice. In fact, I have a very close friend who does. Please understand that I do not judge those who choose to submit to someone else. If you're someone whose chosen this route, I'm not criticizing you. But this is a choice fraught with danger on many levels, and for this reason, I cannot personally advise anyone to take this route. So that's not what I'm advising when I suggest finding other ways to meet your needs.

I'm suggesting you find ways to meet your needs that don't involve being dominated.

Let's say you have decided you truly do crave personal attention. Are there other ways you can meet that need? Perhaps slot a date night on your calendar with your husband? Can you put your head in his lap when he's watching the football game? Can you wake him up in the morning with his favorite coffee, and initiate some intimate time together? Think about it. Then make it happen.

Let's say you truly desire accountability. Can you schedule an appointment with a personal trainer at the gym? Find a friend with like-minded interests and ask for the accountability? Set a goal for yourself, and a way you'll reward yourself when you meet that goal?

Maybe your relationship no longer has that erotic appeal it once did. Maybe you don't love how you look anymore, and you're shy about the vulnerability the bedroom offers. Are there ways you can overcome this? Can you make love-making exciting again? You may be surprised how receptive your partner is if you even begin to initiate. Your self-confidence is attractive.

Do what it takes to heal. The desire for a D/S relationship is a deeply personal desire, and having that desire unmet hurts. Perhaps, at least for a time, it's not in your best interest to read books, or stories, or blogs. Maybe that seems contradictory for me to suggest. After all, I'm a blog writer. But blogs serve a purpose, and if reading them is stealing your peace, then choose to be kind to yourself.

Finally, if you are in a relationship, I urge you to continue to cultivate your submission. Take solace in having the willpower and strength to allow your partner to lead. Don't force the leadership on them – that's a different animal than allowing them to lead. I've read that advice (simply refuse to lead and make him do it), and I don't think it's good advice, because I don't think it respects the personal choices of your partner. 

But voluntarily making the choice to let go of control is something that is really very doable. If and when your partner asks your opinion, don't hold back. Don't refuse to answer, or make them make choicesm but instead, respect the choices they do make. Never condescend to make a belittling remark and if you do, have the integrity to apologize. 

If your husband or partner asks you to do something, take pleasure in fulfilling his request. Thank him for his leadership, and for taking care of you. Seek simple ways to please him. Honor the ways he does lead. Make him want to be your leader by being thankful, kind, and supportive.

I know this is all easier said than done. I know there really is no easy answer. But my wish for you today is that somehow, some way, you find what brings you happiness.