Monday, November 27, 2017

Code Word!

Code Word!

There is no getting around it. This is a challenging time of year for many of us. No matter how much preparation one does or how much experience one has, this can be a challenging time of year.

I thought I blogged about our code word, but everyone says I haven’t. I think what happened is I thought about blogging this about a hundred times and never actually got around to doing it.

Knowing that this time of year can be hard, Jason and I have built in plans to counteract the stress. We do enjoy the holidays very much. But it involves being out of routines (and we’re both creatures of habit who thrive on routines. Our kids are, too.). It involves socializing, and our house is the hub of most holiday socializing for both of our families. And though we do enjoy it, and aren’t shy people, we’re introverted. We need quiet and downtime to recover.

So we work hard to make sure we don’t fight, we don’t let the stress rob us of our peace, and I don’t get my ass spanked.

Jason and I have been at this for five years this month. Hard to believe! A few years ago, I realized that I needed a way to tell him if I was getting overwhelmed. Now, initially the plan was that I would tell him if I felt like I was going to lose my temper and yell, since getting control of my temper was a major focus of ours for a very long time. So we talked about it… and talked about it… and we never actually came up with a code word. Oops.

Then one day, I felt it building. I was angry and frustrated and was going to snap. So I went over to Jason, took a deep breath, and said, “Code word!”

He blinked at me at first, then got to his feet and pulled me aside, and talked me through whatever I was struggling with and it helped. A lot. I was able to overcome my anxiety that normally led me to snap at someone, and calmly deal with the situation. That was several years ago, so I have no idea now what caused my reaction. But ever since then, he let me use “code word” when I was on the verge of losing it. It helped, for a very long time.

But eventually, he expected me to keep my temper in check, and now it’s exceptionally rare that I lose my temper. I still do get overwhelmed, though. I still have moments when he’s off doing something and the kids are driving me crazy, or something boils over on the stove, or whatever. I even get occasional bouts of anxiety attacks. So, when this happens, I go to wherever Jason is and I say, “Code word.” Sometimes I say “I’m at code over here!” My kids probably think I’m crazy, but I don’t really care. It works.

I did this just today. I was overwhelmed with many things, and fairly introverted out. We’ve had guests over the past few days with the holiday, and though I’m fine when we have guests over, I need lots of time to unwind after. I reached the point where I felt the anxiety building and finally I gave Jason the code word. He came right to me, and helped me breathe through it. He got the kids to help deal with the clutter, and things went off without a hitch. I was overwhelmed. I get that way sometimes. It don’t often reach the point of anxiety, but I’m very glad we have this way of communicating with each other. 

Whenever there's a way to act preventatively instead of reactively, we try do that. It isn't just about rules, but about finding our peace, too. 

But there were times when we are out, or don’t have privacy, and Jason needs to communicate something to me. Something like… watch yourself, or Im going to spank you.

Eeep. You know, I try to behave. But sometimes my mouth gets the best of me, or my tone gets too sharp, or I get snippy with him. So a few years ago, he developed a system of five hand squeezes. One squeeze means yes. Two means no. Three means “I love you.” He does it in the middle of the night when he rolls over and grabs my hand, or when we’re at church, or wherever he wants me to know I’m loved.

But after three, things amp up a little. Four squeezes means “Be a good girl.” That’s my warning and it’s a very serious one. If my tone is off, or I’m getting close to the edge of something he doesn’t like, he will sometimes meet my eyes and just say, “Four.” I know exactly what it means. It stops me dead in my tracks. It means I’d better watch it, or when he gets me alone, he’ll punish me.

Five means “I’m gonna spank your ass,” and lemme tell ya, I’m not a happy camper when that one happens. If our kids are around, or we’re out, and he gives me the look and says “five,” I know I’m toast. He’s even texted it to me before. One time I was out with friends and he discovered something I’d forgotten to do that he asked. I got a text that said, “We’ll have a talk when we get home. That’s 5, young lady.”

It helps, though. We don’t always have privacy. And it’s important for us to have ways of communicating. I can’t say how many times being able to say “code word,” to him, or having him squeeze my hand four times, has helped me avoid trouble.

Communicating effectively is the single most important tool any Dom/sub needs to make their dynamic thrive. It’s far more important than spanking, or implements, or contracts, or rules. In my observation, the couples who thrive at this are the ones who make open and honest communication non-negotiable.

My readers on this blog are quiet. J But I’d like to welcome you to comment below or email me with methods you have for communicating effectively. What are ways you have for dealing with discreet communication? Submissives, do you have a way of telling your Dominant partner that you’re stressed or need help? Dominants, do you have a warning cue for your submissive?   

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Bringing Myself to Him

Hello, readers. I took a few weeks off there. Life got in the way, and my plate was very full. In good news, I’ve made some changes to my schedule that should allow for some more writing time for me, and this week is vacation week!

Last night, Jason and I went out on a date, just the two of us, and it was so nice.

This week has been a really stressful week for me. I've gotten off track with a bunch of things. I knew that I had to confess to Jason. I hadn’t really broken a rule, but had pushed too hard in areas I knew I shouldn’t push in, in places where he wants me to be attentive. Now, we’re busy people. He doesn’t always take the time to follow up with things I’m supposed to be doing. His expectation is that I bring my needs to him. He hates me expecting him to read my mind, and it’s a rule here. If I need help, I have to go to him.

If I don’t, this is what ends up happening. I self talk my way into craziness, and the next thing I know, I’m not submitting, I resent my duties and having to stop to come to him, and my needs get so piled up that I fight the desire to misbehave. We’ve been doing it long enough now, that I know the warning signs and I’m usually pretty good about going to him. However, I’m not always. And the next thing I know, I’m pushing him like crazy. 

Not good. He hates when I act the part of the brat. 

He’s happy to be my Dominant. He’s amazingly supportive and attentive. But he expects me to do my part. He wants me to put forth my best effort. And he expects nothing short of brutal honesty when it comes to my needs.

I recently mentioned in a thread in our private group that Jason responds far better to me saying “Daddy, please help me,” rather than, “you aren’t doing this correctly.” When I let things slide.. and don’t communicate to him… it is far, far easier for me to put the blame on him. It’s easy for me to tell him, “If you’d paid more attention to me, I wouldn’t have done X, Y, or Z.” And the truth is? Sometimes I do need more attention that I get, as I blogged about a few weeks ago.

But it isn’t all about me.

We have kids, and extended families, and jobs, and duties. The struggle becomes very real when the holidays arrive, and our regular routines are off. When we’re visiting family. We’re indulging in foods that we don’t normally do (and getting sleepy sleepy as a result).

I remember a few Thanksgivings ago, getting into an argument with Jason about something. I forget what it was about, but I was angry with him, and in the car on the way to pick up our family, I mouthed off to him. I thought I’d gotten away with it. We pulled into the driveway at home, and now everyone was over our house to celebrate. He came over to me door, wrapped his hand on the back of my neck, drew me over to him and whispered, “Upstairs. Now.”  I knew in that instant I was done for, and I was. He used a super quiet implement, made it very clear that rules don’t change just because we have guests, and I served dinner with a quiet spirit and a sore ass.

Yeah, I won’t do that again.

So as the holidays approach, my stress levels go up. Routines are off. We have vacation days off of school, Jason has time off, we are traveling and visiting, and the to-do list of a busy mom grows. I have food to cook, cookies to bake, gifts to buy and wrap. I do my best to keep it stress-free, a memorable time of traditions and giving thanks, and it’s Jason’s job to help me manage that.

So when I came to a screeching halt Friday night, I needed him. He was off doing his own thing, and the truth is, if I don’t tell him what’s going on with me? He doesn’t usually know until things come to an ugly head. I could feel the stress percolating, and I knew I needed to be brought back to center.  

We had a kiddo asleep in our bed, and didn’t have privacy yet, so I texted him.

The conversation went like this:
Me: "Daddy, I've had a rough week. I haven't been good about x, need to be better about y, and really could use some help. I feel really off."

Him: "That isn't good. Tonight, I want to be sure you're in bed on time. You may read until 10, then your phone is mine and we'll start from there."

Me: ::Feeling a little grumpy because who likes having their phone taken away and a Friday night bedtime?? BUT. I ASKED FOR THIS. I want to be on my best game. I like when he's my keeper, when he makes sure I get what I need. ::

"Yes, Daddy. Thank you. I just really need to get back on track in so many ways. Will you please help me?"

Him: "Of course, baby girl."

He wanted me offline. He wanted me resting, and reading. Did I do that? No. I goofed around and didn’t take it seriously, justifying my behavior. “It’s Friday night. He usually lets me screw around a bit on Friday night and go off my bedtime. Surely he doesn’t mean tonight, right?”

A little voice in my head said, “You know he does. Don’t push it.”

But, I did.

My conscience pricked me, and when he came upstairs, climbed into bed and pulled me over to him for a snuggle, I told him.

“Is that right?” he said. He grabbed me by the wrist and yanked me over his lap and delivered a hard and fast spanking with his hand. There’s something about that angle. You would think it doesn’t hurt. That would be wrong! It hurts like crazy. I was squirming and asking him to stop while he very firmly spanked me to tears.

Finally, he was done, and he held me up to him. “You didn’t think I’d spank you, did you?”

“No,” I sniffled.

“I think you were testing me,” he said. And he tapped my chest with his index finger. “Maybe not on purpose. But subconsciously, you needed to know your daddy would take you seriously, didn’t you?”

It didn’t take long for me to agree, still sniffling and wiping my eyes.

“You need to be held accountable. You need me to help you stay on track, and this week, I will. I’ll check on your rules, and we’ll check in regularly, and there’s no disobeying me. You do what I say right away, and I want your attitude toward me to be submissive. Do you understand?”

I nodded and snuggled in close to him. “Yes. Yes, Daddy.”

I needed this. I knew I did. I still do. When the world is upside down, and everything is coming at me at once, I need the grounding that he gives me, and it’s up to me to tell him that. It isn’t easy. I don’t like admitting that I need the accountability. I would much prefer to be always on my game. But I’m human. I’m busy. I juggle oh so many things, spin so many plates, and without his guidance and support, those plates come crashing down.

In a working Dom/sub relationship, no matter what the capacity is, from a bedroom-only power exchange to a full-time 24/7 power exchange, both the roles of the Dominant and submissive fly in the face of what society tells us we should be. Society tells us that men should be equals with their partners. It isn’t right for a man to strike a woman. For those of us in the lifestyle? We want an imbalance of authority. We like consensual discipline. It is hard for a Dominant to reconcile what he’s been taught with what his partner needs.

Society tells us that strong women don’t need men. That a grown-up woman can take care of herself, and handle her own responsibilities. Some believe that asking for help from another means we are weak.

No. I propose that asking help from another is humble, not weak.

And humility – in both partners – is an essential quality in any Dom/sub dynamic that will thrive. Without humility, there is no room for growth. Without humility, there is no opportunity to cultivate very necessary mutual self-giving. It is when we strip away the fears that hold us back that we begin to really, truly see the depth of where this dynamic can lead us.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Little Girl

A short post I wrote a few years ago, but it's been on my mind a lot lately, and I wanted to bump it up again. More soon. 😊

There's a little girl inside me. She's swathed in the body of a thirty-something-year-old mama, but she's there. 

She was stifled, tucked away, quieted, for a very long time, and only occasionally peeked out, in a giggled conversation with friends, at a happy memory, or when something made her eager with anticipation. She hid, though. She was so afraid that if she allowed herself to be seen for too long, the woman she was trying so desperately to grow into would become overshadowed. She feared ridicule. 

But things are different now. 

She comes to play quite often, though she chooses to come out very selectively. She likes to be taken care of. She loves having her hair brushed or braided. She adores being read to, or listening to stories. She breathes with little sighs of relief when she's tucked into bed at night. She likes viewing things with innocent eyes. She likes seeing the beauty in the world around her, uninhibited by cynicism. 

Sometimes she pouts when she gets in trouble. But she tries not to. That only gets her in more trouble, you see. 

She is not allowed to be reckless, or petulant, and she must conduct herself with decorum. But she plays freely. Her life is structured and disciplined, but she is free. 

So free.

The little girl in me was surprised when she found herself addressed as such – “baby,” “little one,” "baby girl," and even the literal, “little girl,” helped coax the little girl out of hiding. It makes her feel special. Cared for. 

She laughs often. She no longer fears her presence will detract from the maturity she yearned for. No, no, that fear has been laid to rest. Because now she realizes she was there all along, beside the woman, a part of her that never could quite fully go away, but only hid because she was afraid. 

She no longer hides in fear. Now, she is happy. She is well cared for. Now, the little girl in me roams free, because she is safe. 

So safe. 

It was the freedom to be who she was she yearned for all along. The little girl is here to stay.