Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sabbatical

Dear readers, 

It's time for me to take a break. You know how I knew it was time for me to take a break? I woke up this morning, and I thought, "I need to take a sabbatical from blogging." And Jason woke up and said to me, "I want you to take a sabbatical from blogging." Funny, huh?

Before I leave, I wanted to tell you a few things. First, the reason for the sabbatical is not because anything is wrong with me and Jason. We are fine. In fact, things have never been better. 

Second, the reason for the sabbatical has nothing to do with any of you. I love your sweet e-mails, your comments on the blog, and I am grateful for your friendships. 

The simple reason is, what I put on this blog is real. This is us. This is who we are. And laying it all out there leaves us exposed. And sometimes, that's a hard place to be in.

Ernest Hemingway once said it is easy to write. Simply sit down at the typewriter, slit your wrists, and bleed. I am a writer. But I never really knew what that meant until I began blogging what was on my mind and in my heart. 

Jason's idea of me taking a break is a bit more intense than what I had in mind. There will be no e-mailing, chats, forums, reading other blogs, or writing here. But I'm doing what he says and I'm honestly looking forward to a bit of time to re-group. 

I will be back. Not sure when, but I will. I'm following his lead. Thanks to all of you for your support. It's meant more to me than you'll know. 

Be safe, be happy, and be good. ;)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Heart Check

So...in the beginning of the year, Jason told me he'd been too lenient with me. This set my heart to pounding, because....well, I wouldn't exactly use the word lenient to describe Jason.

Is her merciful? Absolutely. Is he gentle with me, and patient? Yes. Does he sometimes extend mercy? Of course. 

But does he let me get away with anything? Nope. He is consistent, and firm. 

Now, the truth is, I need him to be this way with me, and he knows it. But the reality is, I dislike being punished. 

When we first began TTWD, being punished had a certain novelty about it. It was new. I felt incredibly loved when he took the time to give me what I need, to hold me accountable, and spank me when I needed it. I would almost be eager for a spanking. 

I still feel incredibly loved. But over time, my feelings about punishment have changed drastically. 

I pretty much hate to be punished. The other day I said something somewhat rude to him while we were getting dressed in the morning. He crossed the room, gave me a firm swat, and told me not to speak to him that way. One swat. But it was humbling and effective, and I swallowed the desire to cry. Afterward, we had our morning check-in, and he set me to rights again. 

But now, even the smallest correction is difficult to take.

It works. 


There is no going back. 


But the reality is, this is not easy. 

The other day, we had a nice night together that ended in some intimacy that was amazing, and beautiful. And to my surprise, I burst into tears when I settled back down into his arms when we were done. 

He hugged me tightly, and asked me what was wrong. I could only shake my head as I cried. He held me tight, and he just knew

"Poor girl," he whispered. "You're just a big ball of emotions right now, aren't you?" 

And I nodded into his arms. I was. 

I am

Raw. 

Exposed. 

As I sit here typing this, I'm in trouble yet again. I've made vast improvements over the past year. Over and over and over again, he's told me how proud he is of me, how happy is that DS has brought us so close together, but as we become closer, he's also realized my need for a firmer hand. And it's been an adjustment for me. 

I've heard others criticize those of us who are punished frequently. I am not punished frequently all the time, but I think it's normal to have periods of time when punishment does happen more often. It doesn't mean this isn't working. It absolutely is. It does mean that sometimes I need to pay more attention. Try harder. 

So Jason does this thing he calls a heart check. He doesn't do it every time, but when he notices I'm feeling down, or that I'm being punished more frequently, he asks me. 

"Heart check." 

I look up at him and wait to hear what he has to say. 

"Is this what you want? Do you still need this from me. Where is your heart on this?"

I have told him, each and every time. 

Yes. 

This is what I want. 

I don't like to be punished and I hate letting you down. 

But I need this. 

My heart is right where it should be. 

I kneel in front of him after a punishment spanking and he will frequently lift my chin. That's when the question arises. 

"Heart check." 

The questions he ask me boil down to really one, very important, incredibly vital question, for not just me, but both of us. 

Are you happy?

I think it's important that we check in with each other. This is not a game. This is not a fairy tale. We are two human beings, with feelings, and emotions, fears and insecurities. 

The other day, we had an argument. I was upset with him. Finally, he knew exactly what it was that was bothering me. He took me over to him, had me kneel, put his hand under my chin, and said, "Last night, you had an off night. I'm not going to punish you for getting overwhelmed. This morning, I had an off morning." And then he said something I needed to hear. "We are not perfect. We aren't going to do this perfectly. I am human, and you are human, and we will work through this together." 

And isn't that what this is all about, in the end? 

It's not about achieving a level of perfection. If perfection was what we were striving for, we'd be wasting our time. Sure, there are some things I can tell you I will never, ever ever do again -- like drive like a bat out of hell. Whip a dish across the kitchen in a fit of temper. Text in the car. Forget to take a dish towel off the stove. I've learned my lessons, broken some habits, and I'm working hard at forming new habits. 

But I'm not perfect. I'm still going to get spanked. 

He's not perfect. He isn't going to always know exactly what I need and isn't always going to be completely prepared to give that to me.

We are still going to have our ups and downs because we are human

But these heart checks? They are vital. And in the end, what matters isn't our level of perfection

What matters is that we're in this together. 

And when I'm down because I'm in trouble again...or my constant needs and insecurities become overwhelming to him, and he needs to withdraw to recharge...when we hit our down times, I try to remind myself. 

My heart is where it should be. 

His heart is where it should be. 


There are times I let the criticism of others bring me down. There are times when I let myself down. 

This morning, when I had to fess up, I was lying in his arms when he told me I was getting a spanking. He said he was disappointed in me, and that cuts me to the core. 

"I'm sorry," I said. "I'm going to do better. I promise." 

He hugged me tight and said, "I know you will. You'll do better." He kissed my forehead and said, "You're my best girl." 

His best girl

Sometimes, that's all I need to hear.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Perfect Night

I come in the house. He's putting the kids to bed. I patter around the house, getting done what needs to get done. I send him a quick text. It's a good way to communicate without yelling across the house, and a good way to communicate privately when your house is bustling with little ankle-biters. 

I miss you. 

I finish washing up some dishes and sweep the floor when a text flashes in return.

Miss you, too, babe. 

Then another. 

Shoes?

I smile. It's one thing I do for him when he comes home from work. I kneel by him, take off his shoes, and we talk about our day. It's how he slides back into his role as Dominant and I slide back into my role as Submissive. One little, tiny, seemingly inconsequential thing, but it works. But tonight, I rushed out the door when he came home and we didn't do our routine. I'm feeling off...I need to be in my happy submissive place. 



I skip up the stairs and meet him where he's waiting, sitting on the edge of the bed. I kneel and take off his shoes. When I'm done, I put my head in his lap and he strokes my hair. "Mmm, that's my girl," he says quietly. 

He climbs into bed with his book and I climb in next to him, kneel by his side and give him a massage. He smiles. "Thank you, baby girl." 

I love seeing the tension leave his face. I love how he smiles down on me. I love the physical connection. I lay down beside him, gently massaging him, as I tell him about something that's bothering me. It has to do with our dynamic, and I'm troubled. He listens. 

He listens. I love that he listens.

He calmly sets my worries at ease. He promises to do his best to alleviate what troubles me, and I promise I'll do my best to honor what he's asked of me. 

"Do I get my story tonight?" 

He gives me that look. The subtle smirk, one eyebrow raised kinda look. "That remains to be seen." 

I pout, just a bit, not enough to get me in trouble, but it's been a few days since he's read to me and I miss it. 

"But I've been so good today," I plead, and he nods, then smiles. 

"Yes, but let's see if you can stay good," he teases. 

He lifts his arm. "Come in," he commands quietly, and with a sigh of contentment I ease into my favorite place to be... my head on his chest,  listening to his heartbeat, his arm around me,. We don't talk. He reads, and I soak him up, maybe resting my arm across his chest, or running my finger along his beard. Occasionally he may chuckle and read me a line of something he's read, and we might laugh together or talk about something he's come across. 

I close my eyes and just feel him. I feel his arm around me, and marvel at the feel of his hand on my hip. There's strength and gentleness in how he holds me, and I love that. 

Cherished.

Loved. 

Safe.

"I'm hungry," I say quietly. I skipped dinner. 

"Go downstairs and get something to eat," he instructs. "You haven't eaten enough today." I'm reluctant to leave the warmth and security of his arms, but I've been given an instruction, and I'm expected to obey. He continues to direct me. "When you come up, bring me a glass of water. Then get ready for bed, and I'll read you your story." 

This is what he does. This is how he does it. It may seem like nothing to someone looking in, but to me it's everything. The quiet command. The steady dominance. So subtle, it's barely perceptible, but I know. If I tell him no, I'm fine, I don't need anything to eat, or I forget that he's asked me to get him a glass of water, or I go off and do something else and don't come right up and get ready for bed, he will notice. I might get the look, a reprimand, or more. His gentle way of looking out for me, ever present, the steady but certain dependability.

I do as he says. I have something to eat, then fetch him a glass of water. I go upstairs, bring him his water, then get myself ready for bed. I pick up a shawl I'm crocheting and sit under the blanket, cross-legged next to him. 

He picks up his Kindle and reads. He does the voices and accents. We chuckle at the same parts, and I'm loving this. My hook goes in and out, the fabric of the soft shawl I'm crocheting working up under my fingers and falling on my lap as he reads.  I could listen to him read forever. Sometimes I call him at work, even if he's in a meeting, just so I can hear his voice on his voice mail. His voice is mellow, and I love the steady timbre of it.

He puts his Kindle down. "And you'll have to see what happens next tomorrow." 

My eyes are heavy, and I lay my work down. 

He silently raises his arm and I crawl back in, no words, as he reads to himself and I settle down to sleep. After a while, I roll over and he tucks me in. 

Some nights we go out on a date. Some nights we watch a movie. Some nights he knows I've had a hard day and gives me a long, stress relief spanking. Some nights, he watches a game on tv and needs his down time, and I lay with my head in his lap. Some nights lead to something else. 

But sometimes, all I need is him over me.

Sometimes it's just the little things. 

"What a perfect night," I mumble, half asleep. 

He chuckles, "And I didn't even have to spank you," he teases. 

"Well, there's always the good-night swat," I say coyly.

SWAT! He slaps my rear hard, and I giggle. 

"Go to sleep, baby girl," he says, and I sigh. 

A perfect end to a perfect night. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Checking in

Time for a check-in...with my readers, with blogs, with my husband...

It's been a busy New Year. We rang in the new year with a run in with "the plague," as we call it, the stomach bug that ransacked the house and left not a person unscathed. It was mercifully short, though the recovery was slow. 

I fell behind, in everything. My correspondences have gone woefully neglected, and I promise to get to them this weekend! I'd just gotten back on my feet healthwise, when we started school up again. Blogging called to me, but I could barely muster the energy or time. I'm eager to get back into the swing of things. This little community of Blogdom has come to mean quite a bit to me.

"Checking in," has a bit of a different meaning in our house, and something I wanted to share today...

Going back a while now, Jason and I began to unearth what it was that I needed... I got spanked when I got in trouble, but being disciplined happened somewhat rarely. I had very few rules and it happened maybe a few times a month that I'd end up over his knee for punishment. But in between punishments I remember telling him I felt "off," "antsy," and "I don't know what's wrong with me." 

Over time, he came to see, about the same time that I did, that although we both liked spanking for foreplay, and we both recognized my need for discipline, I needed something else. Something more

"Some people do this thing called maintenance," I said, and he'd shake his head. For the longest time, he felt that maintenance was "spanking for the sake of spanking" and served no greater purpose. I could see his point. But still...part of me wanted that. I knew I felt better after being spanked. I always felt centered, more positive, happier, connected. I could focus on what I needed to. The twinge I felt when I sat down after a spanking would make me remember him. I loved bearing the marks of his spanking me. It made me feel like I belonged to him, like I was special, and reminded me that I trusted him. It was a deeply personal, intimate thing I shared with no one else. 

I needed more. We needed more. 



And over time, Jason came up with what he calls my "check in." 

In the morning...nearly every morning...I wake up before he does. But after a little bit, I bring him his coffee. I love bringing him his coffee. He's so sexy when he wakes up in the morning, if you know what I mean. I sit by the side of the bed and adore him as he does his man-growl-wake-up-yawn and mumbles that sleepy-husky, "Mornin' babe." I'm usually chipper (I'm a morning person), but I tone it down because he reacts to my morning chipperness like one might react to a flashlight being shone in the face upon being woken up. I sometimes snuggle under his arm and rub his back or, if he's being tolerant and not like a sleepy grizzly coming out of hibernation, I might run my finger around the scruff of his beard. Oh how I love the scruff of his beard. 

Sometimes, I can't help myself and hop on top of him and bounce the bed and pull the covers off, but even coffee-deprived sleepy grizzlies just waking up from hibernation are stronger than little old me, and that doesn't usually end up well for my bottom, so that particular kind of wake-up must be reserved for special occasions. 

Anyhow, I digress. 

He wakes up, and drinks his coffee, and slowly comes to. When he's ready, he either has me sit up next to him, lie with my head on his chest, or kneel beside him as he sits up in bed. We go over the day. 



"What do you have planned today?" he asks, and I tell him. I have this errand to run, this is the household task I'm planning on, need to make this phone call, etc. If there's something he needs me to do, he will tell me. "Please don't forget to deposit this check," or "Don't forget to pick up your vitamins." However, sometimes as I go through what I need to do, it's too much, and he helps me pare down. Honestly? I love that he does this for me. "No, that will get overwhelming. I know you want to pay that bill and go grocery shopping, but you have so many other things to do. Tell you what. I'll pay the bill, and stay with the kids when I get home from work so you can go grocery shopping alone." 

Sometimes he'll say something like, "Tonight, after dinner, you're going out to get your nails done," or he'll surprise me and tell me he has the day off, or say, "Tonight you and I are going out on a date." I try really hard to be all grown-up and mature, but usually when he says this kind of thing I squeal like a little girl, which usually makes him laugh and tweak my nose or tug my hair. 

I love this part of the day. I feel like I don't have to manage everything on my own. We're both able, together, to manage this family and home of ours, and it's so nice not going it alone. 

Then he usually goes over my rules. We don't have a list of rules, or a contract, but we do have a few very basic rules that cover everything. 

Obey your husband. 
Be respectful. 
Be honest. 
Be safe. 

Those are basic understandings that go without being said. But I do have a few very specific rules he goes over with me on a regular basis. Either while I'm kneeling, or lying next to him in bed, he will say, "What are your health rules?" and I'll tell him. These rules include things like taking my vitamins and getting to the gym. Then he'll say, "What are your 'be nice to other people rules?'" and I'll tell him...be kind, be respectful, no swearing or yelling. Finally, he'll say, "And what are your safety rules?" That is the longest list of all, the one area where there is no wiggle room or room for compromise, and I very very rarely break those rules anymore. Lately, after several rather unpleasant trips over his knee, I've put "no back talking or being disrespectful" under my "safety" rules. (He's smirked, but agreed I had a point.) These rules include things like no speeding, reading texts in the car, or forgetting to turn the stove off.

And then over his lap I go. Sometimes he goes over these rules while I'm over his knee. Yesterday, over the knee I went, and as he paddled me he said, "Today we won't go over your rules. You know what they are and I expect you to remember them." 

He always says something like, "I expect you to be a good girl today," and will often, as he's spanking me, remind me what happens to "good girls who obey." He'll take me out on a date, or give me a good girl spanking, or read to me before bed. 


If I've gotten close to the edge on something, I might get a few extra hard swats and a reminder. "You almost forgot your vitamins yesterday. Today, I want you taking them right after breakfast," or "Remember you got a bit snippy with me at breakfast. Today, I want you to remember how to speak respectfully." Often, as I'm over his knee for my morning check-in spanking, I'm saying things like, "Yes, sir," or "I'll try my best today," or "I won't forget." 

It's not like a punishment. It's very different. It's more of a combination of stress relief and role affirmation. Reminds me what I need to do. Reminds me who's in charge. 

And then when he's done, he spends a little while rubbing out the sting, and I always go down on my knees. Sometimes he will put his finger under my chin to have me look up at him, or I'll put my head on his lap and wrap my arms around him. This is when he says things like, "You're my good girl and I love you." Yesterday, it was my absolute favorite... "You're my little one." 

This time of connection has become so vital, to both of us. For a long time, I denied that I needed it. Surely, I could go about my day as I used to, on my own. But I always felt like something was missing. Something was off. Finally, Jason recognized this, even before I did, and he made it a priority. 

But some days, life gets in the way. This happened a few weeks ago. Time got away from us. And we had no time for my morning check-in. Much to my surprise (and, admittedly, embarrassment), I felt bereft. I was suddenly floundering, saddened, as we bundled up the kids in their coats and got ready to leave. Much to my chagrin, I don't have one of these buttons: 




 Jason saw me, heard me, and knew. He crossed the room and gently pushed me onto the couch, leaning in so close to me that only I could hear him. He put his finger under my chin and lifted my face to his, as he towered over me. 

"I know we missed your check-in," he whispered. "But you're going to be okay." 

I felt a lump rise in my throat. I was so overwhelmed, but at the same time, so grateful he understood how I felt. His hand on my chin, he kept whispering. Our kids swarmed around us, dressing themselves in coats and shoes, oblivious to what was happening between the two of us. We were instantly in our own world, as he set it all to rights. 

"Tell me, baby girl. Tell me what you need to do today," he whispered. I looked up at him, and my emotions gave way. Tears silently rolled down my cheeks. The feeling of being overwhelmed dissolved and the feeling of being understood, cared for, and cherished, took over. 

I told him my plans for the day, in a hushed whisper, as the tears silently fell and he listened. 

"Good girl," he whispered. "Now tell me your rules." I responded in a hushed, whispered rush of words that sounded something like take my vitamins, don't speed, obey you, be safe.

"I've got you," he said, leaning in so his forehead touched mine, and his thumb brushed my tears away. "And tonight," he continued to whisper softly, "I'll put you over my lap and give you what you need." I nodded, swallowed hard, and promised him. I would do what needed to be done. I could still do it. I would make him proud. I thanked him for knowing, for understanding. 

He lifted me up, hugged me tightly, and everything was just as it should be. Everything was right again.

It surprised me how much I've come to rely on our morning check-in. But as I thought about it, I realized it's become a part of who we are and what we do. A dance, him holding me, one step out, one step in, pulling me back into him. It works for us, keeps us open and honest. It's me, giving him all that is in me, and him, picking me up again and leading the way.



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Craving Discipline, part three: The Erotic Appeal

This is the third part of a series of posts on "Craving Discipline," an attempt at delving a bit deeper into our need for discipline, the issues that come up, and why we aren't alone in dealing with them. This is PART ONE and this is PART TWO

Today I'd like to take a look at what, to me, was a surprising issue that surfaced when first I began down this journey Domestic Discipline took us on. Jason and I began with erotic spanking. I assumed everyone did. The concept of being disciplined by my husband, at the time, was repulsive to me. Occasionally I'd come across a story or a blog post that explained real discipline. And I was drawn to it. But I pushed down my instinctual responses with thoughts like This is wrong and No man has the right to discipline his wife like a child. I forced my brain to shut off any erotic associations with discipline, because surely I was the only one on the planet who found that somehow sexy. 

Well, I've changed my mind, you might say. The day my husband looked at me and said, "Do that again and you'll get a real spanking," the same feelings I'd had before -- you know, heart pounding, cheeks flushed, labored breathing -- surfaced. I pushed them down again. But this only lasted for a few seconds. 

When I challenged him -- shock and curiosity intermingling with my wide-eyed "You wouldn't!" -- he crossed the room, belt in hand, and overpowered me. With one fluid motion, he bent me over the bed, said something like, "You think I'm kidding?" and landed a few stinging swats. 

My heart was stuttering so badly I could hardly see or hear. And all day long...the thought of being bent over his knee was all I could think of. I'd had plenty of amazing sexy spankings...but they were all foreplay. 

All I could envision was my man...the stern look on his face. 

Do it again, and you'll get a real spanking. 

The grip of his hand on my wrist, as he bent me over the bed...

The feel of the belt landing with serious sting. 

And as I mulled over my feelings...my draw to his discipline...my mind that told me No, this isn't right...I found the erotic appeal of real discipline undeniable.



Now some may find this an obvious point. "Of course it's erotic." But I think it's worthy of discussion. 


Not everyone believes being taken in hand is deeply erotic. There are a select few who find it not sexy at all, or they say they do anyway. I have a hard time imagining that, personally, but I respect that others feel differently than I do. 

However, there are many people who deny it, and do themselves a disservice by doing so. And that's why I think this issue needs to be out in the open, where we can discuss it. 

I was asked fairy recently why we do what we do. And my explanation, though fairly lengthy, boils down to two basic reasons. First, it's a form of conflict resolution. We have peace and harmony in our relationship because of Domestic Discipline. Second, it's deeply erotic. Honestly, to us, Dominance and Submission would be stripped of all it's appeal without the erotic undertones. 

There are many, many reasons why we the act of being spanked is sexy. There is a complete loss of control. There is absolute trust. The act itself can be physically arousing. Instinctively, our primal attraction to strength and being overpowered comes into play. 




But the reason for my post today is not to get into reasons why dominance and submission is erotic. My reason in writing today is because I've been around the DD community for a while now, and I see so much confusion with this topic. There are even prominent members of the community that say "if you are attracted sexually to spanking, you shouldn't partake in DD." And that's why I'm writing this post. Because that is absolute hogwash. 

There are some people who begin this dynamic who are confused about this. 

If I find it arousing to spank her, how can I discipline her? 

If he spanks me and I'm attracted to it, how can I still be motivated to behave? 

How is it going to help her behave if she's attracted to spanking?

He finds it sexy. I don't know if we can do this.

There is a widespread concern in the community that the erotic appeal somehow detracts from the authenticity of Domestic Discipline. No, dear readers. It doesn't at all detract from it. It's at the absolute heart of it all. It doesn't make it a game. It's what makes it work. Frankly, it's one of the very many reasons a Taken in hand relationship differs from a parent-child relationship (though that's the topic of another post) and why it's ridiculous to claim it is childish. 

When an Hoh takes his wife over his knee, very often she's bared to him. It is natural, and normal, to find that sexy. People ask me all the time, "Is your husband turned on when he spanks you?" Of course he is because it's sexy


But the reason a Domestic Discipline dynamic still works, even though it is sexy, is because the erotic appeal is only part of what happens. If it ended there -- and it merely aroused both parties -- it would be erotic spanking, and no more. But much more takes place. 

When a punishment spanking is administered, there is acknowledgement that wrongdoing has happened, and that's hard to accept. It takes honesty and integrity to admit to wrongdoing. When a punishment spanking is administered, there is disappointment. But so much more begins to happen. Conflict is resolved. There are no more hard feelings, no more guilt, no more anger. Conflict is put to rest. The pain of the spanking is what lingers, and motivates the Taken in Hand to behave. The trust given the Head of Household, and the treasuring of that trust, brings about intimacy. Now add the erotic overtones of spanking into the mix, and you have intimacy like no other. 

Peace. Trust. Resolution. 

Intimacy. 

There is nothing I find sexier than my husband putting me over his knee. The mere words, "Do I need to put you over my knee, young lady?" make my heart begin to beat faster. His hand on my wrist makes the heat rise. The first smack of his hand on my bottom spikes my pulse. The knowledge that he is strong, and stern, and will administer a proper spanking if necessary, brings about feelings of being girly, and feminine, and shy. But the knowledge that I will be punished if I misbehave still very much has the desired effect. 

I'd love to hear from you, readers. What do you feel about the erotic appeal of discipline and spanking? How has it affected your DD dynamic? What advice might you give to someone struggling with this? 

For those following this series, I urge you to read in the comment section below each post. The dialogue and contributions readers have made leave excellent points to ponder and food for thought.