Monday, October 5, 2015

Fantasy versus Reality

Hello, readers!

Well, it seems I took an unplanned sabbatical in the month of September. It was insanely busy, much more than both Jason and I would've preferred. We are mostly quiet, home bodies, that prefer a lot of down time and not a lot of socializing or running around. But much of the busyness of September was unavoidable. Anyway, we survived. And I only got in trouble...a few times. I'm mostly a good girl, you know! But when I'm not...well, he knows what to do with me.

Anyway! There's a topic that I've been thinking on for a while now, that I thought might be a good one to bring up as I get back into blogging.

Fantasy versus Reality.

Of course, because of the nature of the subject of this blog is DD or D/S, I'm referring specifically to fantasy versus reality in a d/s dynamic.

About six months ago or so, I was chatting with a submissive friend of mine. Her husband is a former reader of my blog. Note, I said "former." She told me he won't read blogs anymore, because it's too difficult to determine what is true and what isn't, and he feels that bloggers encourage readers to embrace the fantasy instead of reality in their d/s world. Ouch. It got me to thinking...do I do that here?

 I am scrupulously honest, so that part of the criticism did not bother me. If anyone thinks I'm not honest, they're free to not read. It's my personal opinion that dishonestly can't be maintained for a length of time, so those who blog dishonestly will show their true colors eventually. I'm not here to be popular (have you seen how few comments I get? lol), so I post what I feel led to post. So that particular criticism, I get, but I don't feel it applies to me. 

However, the second part of the criticism may apply. I tend to be a fairly optimistic person in all areas of life, so when I come to blog, I do try to put a positive spin on things. It's how I face things, with rosy-eyed optimism, even to a fault, at times. So yes, perhaps I do show that things are rosier than they actually are. I am also a hopeless romantic. So when I talk about Jason, and I blog about our life here, I do paint a fairly romantic, positive, glowing picture.

And the truth is, Jason and I are pretty madly in love with one another. It's not an exaggeration. We just are. Last night, he pulled me over to him and in for a hug and said something like, "I know you like me." (He's so cute!) I cuddled in and said something like, "You know I adore you." I do. He's kind of amazing, and he thinks I'm pretty cool, too. 

So where does the fantasy versus reality put us, then?

Jason and I have been at this dynamic now for nearly three years, though we had a d/s dynamic in our relationship all along. So sometimes I forget what it was like when we were just beginning. Sometimes I forget the growing pains we went through, until another reader or friend who lives this shares something that triggesr a memory. We've gone through our growing pains. We still have our struggles, as we're only human. But hammering out details of our dynamic is not where we're at right now. We've already come to a place that works for us, and now we maintain that dynamic, changing as our needs shift. 

So perhaps I do sometimes paint an unrealstic picture, because I'm immersed in a working, comfortable d/s dynamic. 

How to explore this, then? I think I'll take a look at some of the "fantasy" danger zones that come up in some of the fiction I've read, and compare it to the "reality" of living this life. 

In fantasy, the Dom is always engaged. 

In reality? Yeah, not always. From my perspective in "reality," Jason needs enormous amounts of downtime. In the beginning, when we were starting out, that killed me. I always felt rejected and hurt, and I did not accept the fact that my man couldn't be "on" every day, all day. I took his need to recharge as a personal slight against me. I felt if he pulled away, it was a personal refusal of me as a person. 

Not so! Being a Dominant requires an incredible amount of self-control and emotional availability. Jason has a demanding job at work, and a busy life as a father, and although he is amazing at being available and attentive to me, he really needs time to unwind. Knowing that, I plan on it now. The kids and I have plans on Saturday afternoons that intentionally don't include him, just so he can have a few hours alone. I go to bed several hours before Jason does, and get up several hours before him. I didn't like our differing bedtimes for a long time, but have come to accept it's in both of our best interests. This works for us. 

When he is very busy at work (this time of year especially), he is not always as available as I'd like. So how do I handle that? I work out often, and hard, six days a week. A regular, intense workout routine provides stress relief and the endorphin rush I crave. I make self care a high priority. I stay in touch with good friends. I have goals I'm working toward, and my own interests apart from Jason. I also know, because of our routine here, that I can count on two check-in's a day, and open communication. So when I need him, I to go to him. But I do make sure I am taking care of my own needs as well. 


In fantasy, the Dom is 100% consistent, follows through with discipline and handles aftercare perfectly. 

In reality, Doms are human beings. They are not always consistent. They sometimes don't have the energy to follow through. They aren't always in a place to give aftercare. And in reality, some Doms don't always agree that discipline is needed. 

Now, since we've been at this a while, we don't struggle with consistency. Jason is consistent, and I know if he thinks I deserve to be punished, I will be punished. He tries to follow through as soon as possible, but in reality, that doesn't always work out. Recently, I was absolutely exhausted, and I lost my temper with him. It was brief, but unacceptable. I felt immediately repentant. He came in to me, was very gentle as he knew I was so exhausted, and told me he wouldn't allow the disrespect, but I needed sleep more than anything. He made me go to bed. The next day, he did indeed take me over his lap and remind me that he expects respect from me, and I was punished quite firmly. But in reality, it waited for the next day. In reality, he felt my needs for sleep were more important than my need to be discplined. 

In reality, I don't always get aftercare. There have been times when he was still very upset with me. Times when he felt being sent to bed with a sore bottom was a more effective punishment than a hug afterward.

In fantasy, spankings are sexy. 

In reality, spankings hurt. Yeah, we have our sexy spankings and yes, I'm deeply erotically attracted to Jason's discipline. But in reality, placing myself over his knee to be disciplined is not hot; it isn't all gushy and sexy. It is hard to do. It's humbling. The actual acceptance of discipline is far more challenging in real life.


In fantasy, things are textbook perfect. 

In reality, they're not.

But in a fantasy world, perfection is fleeting. 

There is depth to a relationship that is tested, and lasts. There is depth to a relationship in which both parties have learned to compromise, to work through the difficulties, and give of themselves to one another. 

In reality, love is built on a foundation of trust and self-giving, not hearts and flowers. 

I much prefer reality to fantasy. 

What about you, readers? What have you found different in reality than in fantasy? Do you think blogs promote fantasy over reality? How do you think we can counteract this? 





22 comments:

  1. Great post - hope newbies will read and take to heart.

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  2. Wow!!! Lots of great thought. The first part is really sticking in my mind right now. The part about what he needs to recharge and not taking it personally. Hmmm, I will have to come back later and read the rest to be able to absorb it.
    Thanks for posting.
    Alice

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    1. Alice, I'm so glad you found this helpful. Knowing others experienced the same issues helped me in the beginning!

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  3. This is just an observation, but, in case people get the idea that you are saying basic personality traits can be "disengaged", which I am sure you aren't, I think it's worth emphasising that, where a couple relates instinctively as Dominant and submissive and that is effectively who and what they are, that basic underlying element remains unchanged wherever they are and whatever they are doing and never goes away.

    While you can certainly switch off or adjust some of the more obvious and/or romantic *trappings* that go with Dominance and submission, in order to accommodate the demands, pressures and stresses of everyday life and present a socially acceptable persona, you are nevertheless still intrinsically either Dominant or submissive by nature.

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    1. Yes, that is true, and at times reassuring to know that even in the moment, when certain elements may be on hold, the basic underlying premise is still there.

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  4. I am going to reblog this on my Tumblr site. And as many BDSM groups that I am a member of because this is something that needs to be shared and read by as many people as are willing to do so.

    I was feeling down before I read this. It is very hard being a Top, a Dom, and, most importantly, Husband. This put a smile on my face.

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    1. Please do share whatever posts I put up. I'm sorry you felt down, but I'm glad you felt uplifted with this post! I think it helps when we share the struggles we have.

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  5. Thank you so much for this. Yes, I get it. I married an introvert, we have differing schedulers... our reality is so similar to yours. The fantasy used to be my expectations and that caused some big problems. This post triggered a lot of thoughts for us. Excellent post and I hope it's widely read.

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    1. Thank you, Lani. I still, three years later, struggle with my expectations causing me issues in the long run. I'm glad you could relate!

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  6. This is so spot on, I totally agree.

    We have been doing this for a while now too, and it feels so normal at this point. Trying to think of things in the beginning, I remember how hard it was to communicate with one another, the hurt feelings, misunderstandings, but we don't do that anymore (usually). We are just happy to be with one another. But the reality of it is definitely different that what I first imagined. Very different.

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    1. Hi, Julia. Thanks for stopping by, and I'm glad you agree.

      I completely agree that at this point it feels normal. Several years in, when things are working well, you get past the trial and error and settle into "normal." But yes...very different than I first imagined too.

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  7. Hi JGirl, I'm so excited that I can finally come out of lurking now that I've sussed the tech!

    Yes, I've found my fantasy and the reality of ttwd were quite different, especially as we're still figuring out so much of this and of who we are with it. (We’ve been married over a decade and less than half a year into ttwd.)
    Since you asked, here are my main ones:

    Competence
    In fantasy, we both magically know how to do ttwd right.
    In reality, not so much - yet. This is slow learning. We have young children and hence (by choice) not much time to ourselves. And when we do, one of us, or more often both of us don’t have a lot of energy for … anything, let alone tackling emotionally charged issues or learning. And it’s a lot to learn to engage in a new way with each other. Or even, to learn how to give a) a spanking, b) the right spanking at the right time. Helping my husband learn how to spank ("I’m not a spanker - yet”, he says, so, yay!) is much more awkward and difficult than I anticipated, and requires me to be a lot more grown up about it than in my fantasy. In reality, it is a fine balance between giving him enough information about a particular implement or position, but not so much that he feels incompetent.
    Also, learning how (and when) to take the spanking I’m getting and how and when to give feedback was a much bigger learning curve than I anticipated. And while Xander has been leading us on all the big stuff right from the beginning, when he recently agreed to be our HoH, it’s like he got promoted to a leadership position for which he’s received no training, and the only one who he could turn to for ideas was his subordinate. (He doesn’t want to read how other people do this but at least at first, figure things out for himself.)

    Accepting his leadership
    In fantasy, obeying him and accepting his decisions is uncomplicated, as he leads me in just the way I want and lovingly bosses me around a bit. Funny, that!
    In reality, it is much harder to follow his lead, especially in everyday things. He has been raised to speak politely to women and voice his expectations as suggestions and requests rather than direct demands, and in his previous marriage, he has learned to disengage rather than risk huge fruitless fights when his requests weren’t met. In short, he’s got decades of conditioning to overcome.
    In the meantime, he has told me that when he suggests or requests, it only *sounds* like I have an option, he still expects me to obey. He doesn’t do “the voice" or “the look”, and his subtlety sometimes drives me up the wall, especially since he’s got the alpha male stuff nailed at work. And the “expectation”, well, if I don’t meet it, he notices, alright, but I don’t yet get immediate feedback. It’s a huge culture shift for him, more so than me, and it’ll take time. But I know that he’s got an amazing dom slumbering in him, and he told me a while ago “Just give me time. When I get there, you’ll get more dominance from me than you’ve ever bargained for.” (And I know that when he promises stuff like that, he’ll follow through alright!)
    So for me that means trusting him and patiently continue to work on my submission to him. I do often catch myself a minute, or an hour or several hours later and notice how I disobeyed without realising it at the time, and he does appreciate it when I then go to him and apologise.

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. Please note: I initially published a comment I thought was directed at me, only to see when it published it was directed at Willow. Readers, I'm all for discussion and even disagreement, but will not allow direct attacks. Imani, you're welcome to discuss a point you disagree with, but I won't publish comments that attack my readers, just like I'd give you the same courtesy.

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    3. Hello, Willow! My apologies for taking such a very long time to reply. I wanted time to give you a thoughtful response instead of a very quick one, because you covered so much!

      I complelely relate to what you said about finding the balance between offering helpful advice and coming across as critical. What a key disctinction! But it's so helpful as we try to navigate the waters through TTWD. And I love that you shared how you have learned through this journey. In many ways, it's not just a journey with your spouse or partner, but a journey of self discovery, I think.

      It makes sense that he has to feel his way around and try things out before he's ready to really "take the leap." Jason had initial reticence, but I can assure you, he has fully embraced it and I do sometimes get much more dominance than I bargained for lol. Even though he initiated that dd aspect for us, there were many times when I continued to really try to push it on him. It's far better to wait until he's ready, and try to follow his lead in the meantime.

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  8. (cont'd)
    Discovering how gorgeous my husband actually is
    When I go to Xander to ask for his help (more now) or fessing up for something (luckily, not so often), in my mind, he’s often stern and uses more discipline.
    In reality, he often surprises me with his intelligence, wisdom and love, and leads me with a gentle hand on the reins, so gentle that I often don’t feel them at all. He comes up with ingenious solutions to problems and is much more interested in seeing me do better than I did before than in putting me over his knee for my not meeting MY often overly high expectations.

    Completely unexpected benefits
    In fantasy, all of this didn’t even register, but in reality:
    Until I surrendered to Xander, I could not admit to him (and him only) when I was wrong or responsible for messing up, and would argue that the sky was pink and up was down as if my life depended on it. Only when I “formally” knew that he was “on my side”, and that the worst thing that could happen was that he’d put me over his knee, could I stop trying to be right all the time. I finally *knew* that he loved me the way I am and that I didn’t have to hide my “warts”. And only then did I realise that I was still carrying the template from my family of origin, where the consequences for being “at fault” were emotionally devastating.
    You may gather from all that I’ve written, that I can be pretty hard on myself, and once I told Xander that now that he spanks me, I have stopped beating myself up so much. If I do “mess up”, I can put it aside and leave my “judgment" to him - it’s not my job anymore. When I told him this, he actually forbid me to beat myself up, and guess what, it works!
    Then there’s the endorphins… I’ve spent a lifetime on high anxiety levels. In my early 20s, a friend once described me as "living in a constantly controlled state of panic” and that was spot on. They went heaps down when I started taking thyroid medication, but NOTHING compares to the the mentally calming, centering and perking up I get from a good spanking.
    And all of that has freed up so much mental energy, that I have a much easier time Getting Stuff Done.
    Win Win Win all around.

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    1. Again, oh how can I relate to what you've written here! It's so me, on so many many levels.

      I, too, found Jason to be so much more attractive, and not just physically. Once I stopped trying to stifle and control my man, he was free to be the man he is. And what a man he is! He astounds me with his generosity, kindness, intelligence, and the list goes on.

      And yes! When I stopped fighting him, did I ever find how much better things were between the two of us! I was freer to be less hard on myself (he doesn't allow it!), and because of the fact that as he steps up as my disciplinarian, he sees my flaws more than anyone,he still loves me!! Nothing like it.

      I completley agree that nothing compares with the cenering effect of a good spanking. The knowledge that he's in charge is helpful, too!!!

      Thanks again for taking the time to reply. I loved your responses.

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  9. Good post, JG. A real marriage is not a spanking romance novelette.

    OTH, when dd is working right, the result is an infusion of eroticism into the every day reality of marriages, lets face it, is pretty special.

    To my mind, you always capture both elements of this, the "real life ain't no fantasy" and the "its pretty good, though" in your posts. I would say your approach is just right.

    Lots of good comments on here too . . .

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    1. You are always so kind, artlover. Thank you.

      I completely agree that romanticizing the every day is what happens when dd is done right.

      I'm glad you think I strike a balance here. I try to. But, I really appreciate you assuring me that I'm not over-the-top! And yes, the commenrts were excellent. :)

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  10. I am struggling with fantasy and the desire and fear of making them reality. Your blog is helping me in this process and even tho I don't comment much, I would like to thank you for your insight, your honesty and your inspiration to follow my heart. Thank you!

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    1. Hester, thank you for that. Good for you in being honest with what you want and what you struggle with. Knowing what we struggle with is sometimes the first step in making progress toward what we really desire. Hang in there, and I'm so glad my blog has helped you!

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