Hello, readers. I promised those of you who asked that I would put together a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) for people who were lifestylers. I'm going to add to this as I think on more.
Jason and I are nowhere near as experienced as some, but as a lifestyler and blogger, I've observed enough that I can tell you what are some very common questions I've heard from those who have already begun practicing DD. The first FAQ post is here.
He's consistent, but it's hard. I don't enjoy being punished. Now what?
I remember when things started to shift here between me and Jason, and we went from “testing the waters” to “the real deal.” Essentially...when he fully started expecting my obedience. I realized something shocking – I didn't like to be punished. I had fantasized about it, and we'd worked so hard to get where we were and then...he punished me. And I didn't like how I felt. It wasn't sexy. It was...sobering.
I mentioned my shocked feelings to another submissive who told me something a bit obvious that I still needed to hear. “You aren't supposed to like it. It's punishment.”
I spent some time thinking about that and realized that yes...she really was right. Did I dislike DD? Well, no. Not at all. It was exactly what I'd hoped it would be, in that our conflict was becoming less, we were closer, and I was more attracted to him than ever. It was just the punishment I disliked. And I knew after a great deal of reflection and talking with Jason, that I really did much prefer he expect my obedience. But if this was going to work? Punishment had to be something I didn't like. It had to be something I didn't want. For us, I had to dislike being punished enough to truly not want to earn a punishment again.
So for us, it was a necessary road I had to cross, going from “I really want this,” and “this is really hot” to “I need to make sure I obey my husband,” and truly wanting to please him. At that point, we were already doing maintenance. He was already domming me on a regular basis. So I didn't “need” to feel the dominance in a punishment. This worked really well for us.
That said, some people find that they try it and it really doesn't work for them. If it doesn't, then I'd suggest taking a break. Try to see what it is that you don't like about it. Can you work through it? Or maybe in the end this simply isn't a lifestyle that's for you. It happens. Sometimes a couple simply can't make it work right for both of them and the healthiest thing is to step back and reevaluate.
Finally, the “now what” part often leads to “what next” with a couple. You knew you wanted DD. You've got that. But something is missing. Oftentimes, what happens is that a couple finds that DD opens up a door for other things they may also want, such as further play on the BDSM spectrum, or more Dom/Sub interaction. It's a natural progression for many. It was for us.
How do I stay calm and not lose my temper? It sounds great that someone can keep their temper in check with no emotional outbursts. But how do I actually get there?
This is perhaps the most common question I get from people who are active in the lifestyle. They know they want to stay calm. They know they can stay calm. But they don't have the actual tools to help them get there. That's okay. Someone can say they want to lose weight, but without the actual knowledge of how to diet or exercise, they don't really know how to achieve their goal.
If you were raised without good coping mechanisms for dealing with anger or frustration, it may be all well and good for your dominant partner to say “Behave yourself, young lady, or I'll spank you.” But ...then what? You just stop feeling? Well, no. Not really.
I'll tell you what I do. First, I self talk to myself. If I'm angry at Jason, I try to reason. “He's tired, and so are you. Give him some space to get some rest, and things will work out. He works hard. He's sucha good Daddy. He's SO good to you. Give him some slack.”
or “Take a deep breath. He'll be calmer later and so will you, and you can talk them.”
Or even (gah!) “Better get your #$(% together, because you're gonna get spanked.”
When possible, I remove myself from the situation and give myself some space.
I remind myself that I don't want to be spanked, and how nice it is when Jason is pleased with me.
I deep breathe. Count to ten, or fifty.
I try to reevaluate some stressful situations (Is it the kids' naptime? Are they overtired? Hungry?) and take it from there.
How do I communicate my needs?
Effective communication is going to vary greatly from couple to couple. But what I frequently suggest is that you be as frank as possible. Don't beat around the bush or hint, and expect your partner to know exactly what you want. But also try to be understanding of your partner's reservations.
The story of how I first asked Jason to spank me is here. I played a bit of a game. I wasn't asking him to punish me, but spank me. Punishment is far different. What I finally ended up doing was getting spanked by him “for real” before I ever asked him to punish me. He decided it would be best for me, and it really was. But that's sort of rare that it happens that way.
If you find it difficult communicating verbally, consider writing a letter or email. I've done this many times when I didn't trust myself to speak calmly or rationally.
Also, consider using “I” phrases. Dominant partners frequently (though not always) appreciate a request that isn't accusatory versus one that is. So “I really feel better when you spank me” might have a better effect than “You need to punish me.” Or “I need to be held accountable” might be better than “you need to consistent.” Remember to communicate, not accuse.
I'm lonely. How do I find others who live this lifestyle?
I remember feeling this way vividly. Jason used to allow me to go to chat rooms and online forums, but eventually, over time, he removed me from those places. It was better for me that I focus on my relationship with him rather than discuss it with others. But for a good long while, visiting with others served a really strong need in me. Others find the same. There are several DD and DS message boards, forms, and chat rooms online. Also, consider blogging. It hasn't been a social outlet for me at all, since I don't really glean much from reading DD blogs and do it very rarely. But others have found great friends in the DS blogging community. As a D/s writer, I am now frequently in touch with other writers, and many are also lifestylers. We do connect on that level. And Maisy, my very best friend, is knowledgeable about the lifestyle and tremendously supportive. So my needs are met. Others, however, really could use some support.
How can we do this discreetly?
It's totally possible. Jason and I do it with a large house full of kids. First, find ways to communicate discreetly. Can you text? Email each other? Lock your door and speak in private? Communication is such a hugely vital part of all this, that finding ways to communicate regularly is so very effective.
Then, if spanking is going to become part of your routine, can you find privacy? I've known people who used basements, garages, the car, a shed, the attic...anywhere they could to find a private place to spank. Here, our bedroom is weirdly nearly sound-proofed. I'm not sure how that's happened. Maybe the previous owners were spankos lol. But I know that if our door is shut, I can stand at the bottom of the stairs and shout Jason's name and he will not hear a thing. We've done sound tests and you can't hear anything. Trust me, I got spanked good and hard last night and no one heard a darn thing.
There are also quiet implements. We use a mini blind turner most of the time (shorter mini one, acrylic) and I dislike it but it sure gets the job done. Canes and switches are other options, but please proceed with caution. All silent implements tend to be very severe, and must be modulated, tested, and applied carefully.
That said, the spanking is only a small part of all this. Find ways to communicate. Jason and I have a number system so that he gives me a number for “Yes,” “No,” “Warning” and “Trouble.”
I thought we were doing so well, and now things seem to be regressing. Why?
This is extremely common, even necessary. Growing pains must happen because a lifestyle like this hinges on so very many things. There are times of trial and error. All of these things need to happen in order for a couple to carve out a lifestyle choice that's theirs.
Every single person is unique; so, too, is every single couple. What works for me and Jason wouldn't work for others. We had to communicate effectively, make some mistakes, and be honest with one another that we are still making mistakes sometimes. I have said it here and I'll say it again: this lifestyle choice is frequently about taking two steps forward and one step back. You make progress, but not until you've had a setback. They happen. Please don't despair. Keep at it.
As I mentioned earlier, I will keep adding to this (and linking other posts that pertain to certain topics). Please let me know if you have any other questions!