Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What He Said

We've had a chance to talk a bit and it turns out I was pretty far off base. He made it very clear that he does not want to move backwards or to undo what has been done. The jist of it is that we will continue to require more of each other and of ourselves when it comes to communication - exactly what I screwed up in this case. Also, that he doesn't feel a strong need to feel like I am dependent on him, that he fell in love with me and married me in the first place because of my independence, strength, and sense of purpose. That he sees the goal of all of this to be elevating each of us, but moreso, to make us, the whole, more than we are as individuals.

Maybe this leaves us somewhere other than D/s or ttwd or anything like it, I really have no idea.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Today was not the best day. The doubts about what we are doing and self-doubt drowned out any reasonable and rational thoughts. We haven't been able to really talk in a while; we've been travelling, hosting, dealing with family crises, and holidaying. We talked enough today for me to be a little calmer, but I still have an awful lot of conflicted feelings and unresolved questions. I have tried to narrow it down to a coherent theme, mostly because this would make it easier to discuss when we are finally able. I really can't though; I just have too much swirling around. I am hoping that at least listing some of the thoughts will help me sort them out, and maybe help us sort them out. So this is my stream of consciousness, some addressed to my husband, some laments about myself:

I feel like I am more isolated and disconnected right now than before we started any of this. So much so that I am thinking we should chuck it all and go back to the way things were before.

I have more need to communicate with you than I ever have before. We used to operate with a lot more autonomy, a lot less connectedness. When it's good, this is very good; when it's bad, it's really much worse. I also really dislike being needy in any respect, this included. I feel like an incompetent child getting so off balance, particularly since I can't restore my own balance, I require input and interaction with you.

I do believe that you are comfortable and enjoying our new roles in the bedroom. I no longer think you're just doing it for me, especially given the smirk you get on your face these days. But I don't know what to think about outside of that. I really don't know if you are going along with me, humoring me, just waiting it out till it goes away on its own, or if you feel like things are moving in the right direction.

I really don't want me or our relationship to be an added burden, something more to worry about or to spend mental energy and time on. This makes me extremely reluctant to say anything if I'm not feeling right about things. That used to work out ok - life would just move on. Now it leaves me unsettled and frustrated, and even more so because the more upset I get, the less I want to bring it up.

Not knowing what you're thinking, where you want things to go or how you want them to be is unsettling, to say the least. I did agree that you would lead on this, and that I would keep my questions and opinions quiet. I have never been a control freak, but I will admit that I have to work hard to have faith in you and follow on this one. A lot of the doubts that overwhelm me at times like this are that you have just let it go by the way side because its just too much trouble.

Part of what a lot of other people talk about as a benefit of this new dynamic is a deeper knowing and understanding of each other. I am afraid that you know me well enough to know that you don't really want to know me any better.

This part may belong in a whole different post, or maybe I shouldn't be saying it at all, I'm not sure. I agree that our lives would never work if you tried to assume decision making control of very many aspects of my day to day life: what I wear, where I go, logistics, especially when you're out of town. And I really don't want to add things to make more work for you. But, if we are going to move forward with this thing, I think maybe times like his past week would be smoother with some sort of structure or concrete reminders in place.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Love Isn't Simple

Years ago they married. She was young, pretty and delicate; he was older, a handsome, athletic, charismatic man. They started a family, bought a house, worked, played, did the things people do. Then it happened and he would never walk again, not work, not play, and not do the things people do. Now she worked, and took care of small children, and took care of the house, and took care of him. Taking care of him was hard, physical work, and exacting, personal, intimate work, and never, never ceasing work, and most often, thankless work.

He had been robbed of his vitality, his movement, his freedom, his livlihood, his pride, his independence, his roles, in his eyes, everything. He was dependent and depressed and grieving and mostly angry. There is no right way to deal with this sort of reality and these emotions, but there are many hurtful ways. He drank, and lashed out, he layed on the guilt and tore down those he loved, then he would regret it all, try harder to be the husband and father he wanted to be, then despair and fall into a deeper depression. The cycle just kept interating.

She stayed through all of it, never even stepping out of the room for the worst of it, certainly never leaving him to any one else's care. She protected her children as much as she could. She gave up her freedom, her desires, and her needs. She was scared and so lonely. She didn't have the strength to leave or to demand that he control what he could control, that he find a way to stop the abuse. But it took such incredible strength to live her life as she did.

The children grew up and their empty nest time became marked by a series of tradgedies and medical crises. His health became more fagile and his needs even greater. She was no longer physically able to provide all his care, although she would run herself into the hospital trying.

This day finds her at his bedside in the ICU, with the ventilator providing his breathing after a crisis that had almost had a very different outcome. The emergency room personel had asked a few hours earlier whether she wished extraordinary measures to be taken or not, whether he had a standing DNR order. Now that she can process it all, she breaks down, "I don't know what I would do without him, I need him, I love him so very much."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bad moods

I have been accused of overthinking a thing or two and I do have a habit of making things too complicated. This whole realm has been a jackpot of new ideas for me to sink my teeth into and chew on. We started with a few changes and those had a huge positive impact on our life. So more must be better, right?

I have no idea what you would call the structure we have at this point. It certainly doesn't seem to fall quite squarely into any of the models I've seen presented, but has components of many. A big part of the deal though is that I have to talk; specifically, I have to open up about what's bothering me rather than stomping around being pissy to one and all.

One of my husband's strengths is that he is able to leave work at work and switch gears to being with us without bringing the work stresses and anxieties home with him. So it doesn't happen often, but sometimes he does get moody, preoccupied, tense, closed off, and cranky. This typically leaves me feeling like I've done somethng wrong or not done something right so it puts me in a supremely bad mood as well. On one hand, I do think that people need a certain amount of time and space when they are overwhelmed. Feeling responsible to explain it and reassure someone else just takes up more time and mental energy. But how much time or space?

I never have never found the right answer to how to deal with this. Sometimes I just wait, sometimes I get pissy back. It usually helps if he can tell me it's work, it's not you. But, in my overanalyzing way, I've tried to look around to other models to see if there is some magic new way I should handle this. It looks like more than a few paradigms would suggest that I be more solicitious, offer myself more, find nice things to do for him... And I try the pieces of that which may work, others still demand some increased attention from him so aren't helpful. But it still leaves me wondering if it's me, and then second guessing everything I do, which leaves me with the same old piss and vinegar mood.

So I've tried something unconventional - I asked him, nicely, what was going on. And he told me. And here's the new and the best part, I believed him. So I can wait it out, do what I can to help, and not get all tangled up in my bad feelings.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I have gone round and round and round with how to write this particular entry. I struggle, as I think many women do, with my decision about whether I should work or stay home with my children, and what I think the effects of either choice would be on them. The majority of the voices in my world are against women working. Some of those voices are quiet or subtle, others are quite strident. I've heard it called the mommy wars and that's an incredibly unfortunate name. First of all, being a mother ought to be anathema to anything warlike. Secondly, this is really something society in general, and mothers as a group, should be able to move past. It is ridiculous to think that any one answer could possibly be the best one for the millions of different women and families in the world. I have chosen to work because, on balance, that has been the better choice for our family, for our children, and for me.

This whole issue has re-surfaced for me recently though. Our family is at crossroads right now - not at all in a bad way, but we face a lot of big decisions and changes. In this case, the major part of the decision is mine to make, with a lot of input from my husband, but ultimately mine. Over the past several years I have worked towards a degree in my field. This opens up options for me to work in a number of contexts and capacities, part time or full time, in a more relaxed setting or in a very intense and competitive one. I could stay local and we could remain in our community, or I could search nationwide and we could move (closer to family, to a new, more interesting area, closer to activites we enjoy...) None of these would be bad choices and I am very aware of how fortunate I am to have options like this. Clearly though, this choice will impact the rest of my family as it will bring change in routine and possibly even in home and geography. It also has major implications for my husband and his job.

These new opportunities have led me to revisit my choice to work and have a career in the first place. The bigger issue though has to do with how uncomfortable I am making a decision that will impact my whole family, and especially my husband, so fundamentally. It's not just the fact of making the decision; although, I am notoriously reluctant to want to make big decisions for other people. There is a bit of anxiety over "what if I fall on my face after asking everyone else to uproot themselves on my account?" Moreso though, I struggle with the fact that this decision is about me and following my goals. I am also notoriously bad at having things be about me. Then there is the added irony of my driving the direction of our family at the same time that we are working out the how's and when's of a dynamic that has him more in charge.

There are some potential upsides for the rest of my family to all of this. My husband travels quite a bit for his work, and his job is, for him, just a job, stressful and not fulfilling in any way. He is maddeningly responsible so he has never allowed himself to consider other work options. He wouldn't risk not being able to support us. My choice may provide an opportunity for him to explore doing something he feels would be more meaningful. It may also provide an opportunity for our family to have more time together overall. And the kids have a huge sense of adventure so they are having fun imagining all the fun places we may choose to live.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I've had a revelation - of course this is quite likely one of those things that everyone else has already come to, seen, conquered, and moved on. What can I say, I'm always late to the party. I recall there being some brouhaha about submissive women being high maintenance, or needy, or some such thing. I didn't pay a lot of attention at the time because - well - because I am so NOT high maintenance. Ask anybody.

Except that lately I find myself being a bit - needy. That's not the revelation, even though it is a completely unforseen and somewhat uncomfortable truth. It dawned on me today why I am at times so needy. I'm afraid of rejection. And this is a foreign sensation for me- at least in this arena. Now, lest you assume I am just bragging, let me explain. Until not so long ago I was not so often particularly interested in - to be blunt - in sex. I was most often the one doing the rejecting and certainly wasn't seeking it out, so I had no oppurtunity to be rejected. The fact that now my libido seems to be making up for lost time leaves me pretty much always agreeable, and then some. The issue is that I don't have practice in this feeling or what to do with it, particularly how to express this to my husband appropriately.

I find myself wanting physical contact and attention, pretty much all the time. It's not that I'm being neglected, but we do have to do things like feed the kids, walk the dog, go to work... I know that the answer to this is to suck it up, deal with it, get over it - take your pick. And I'm sure things will level off. In the mean time, he has some fun at my expense with this, and frankly, I'm glad he does. It's good for him that the power has shifted to his favor, and on a deeper level - that works for me too.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Switching gears

People are complex - and fascinating because of it. I am by no means the first person to ponder this; there has been scads of research, tomes have been written, even religious dogmas created to recognize the inherent dichotomies that exist within people. I have explored very, very little on this topic. In fact I've never given it much thought before at all.

The changes in my relationship life recently coincide with some changes in my professional life, and I am finding that I need to better understand the dichotomies of me, maybe not to rectify them, but perhaps to manage or harness them. Like everyone, I switch back and forth to the most appropriate and useful person/persona for the situation. But sometimes one trait asserts itself at an inopportune moment, in my work or my relationship.

I did not take Women's Studies in college, although I was certainly in college during the right time for its influence to be pervasive. I never considered it much because I wasn't interested in entering the business world (or politics, journalism, etc), nothing with a glass ceiling waiting to be broken. But neither did I reject the notion of women pursuing those things; I grew up swearing I would never marry or have a family. I majored in a traditional "hard" science. My classmates were, by and large, men (or boys - what are they at that age?). I just did what I did and it never seemed to fit the proper mold for either camp.

The same is true now, there are several different aspects to my professional life. Part is a very traditionally female caregiver position, in which interpersonal relationship, empathy, and nurturing are crucial. Part is a much more male dominated, what is traditionally viewed as masculine world, involving analyses, science, math, etc... At the risk of sounding immodest, I have some ability in each of these areas. I also have a pretty good handle on jumping back and forth among these roles - the types of attitudes, ways of thinking, ways of approaching things. It helps that they each have distinct settings/contexts, that helps with switching gears.

As far as my traits and my relationship life, I can't begin to define the term submissive. I haven't seen a consensus yet about it in fact, and I'm certainly not going to try to be the one to nail it down. Nor will I try to make myself fit any particular description I have seen "out there." Furthermore, I'm still discovering things about myself, how I respond to things, how things make me feel, what judgements I make about things. But there is now much more of a dichotomy in this area of my life than I think had existed before. But what is the opposite trait to submissive? Certainly in this case, not dominant - maybe assertive, independent, I'm not sure. Clearly other submissive people function independently, assertively, perhaps even aggressively. So are these the contrasts to submissive?

Previously, no one would have said there was a bit of me that was submissive. In fact, besides my husband, I still don't think anyone would. Now, there are many aspects of my realtionship with my husband in which submitting does feel right. (It still makes my head spin to think about what a change this is, and how it either appeared out of the blue, or was there all along and I never realized - but that is a different pondering.) Trying not to get tangled up in symantics or details, I would not say that our arrangement is one in which I submit in all things. I do in some areas, and overall I am certainly more respectful when I disagree, and I try to listen first before I react (that wasn't always the case), but for reasons I may try to parse out for myself another time, it just isn't everything, all the time. It is also, of course, ever in flux, evolving.

Unlike at work, where the context is clear, therefore which role/nature/traits should be playing are clear, it is trickier with this relationship thing. First off, I've never had to think about this before, I was always free to just react, just do. I am just learning that there are two parts to my nature, and what each of those entails, how to differentiate them, and how to choose to act based on one trait or another. I now have to stop and decide how to respond. But certainly, in many things, I act independently, of my own mindset. Most of the time this is no problem. Sometimes though it leads to friction because we each had different expectations of how each of us should act. Sometimes the irritation is only on my part, I am taken by surprise by the fact that i "got it wrong." I am also sure there are times when he is irritated by the mis-matched expectations, and doesn't let it show.

Maybe I will learn to function mostly from a submissive stance - I honestly don't know if that is what my husband would want, if it would work, or even what that would really mean. Maybe as I come to understand it all better, it will no longer confound me. Maybe I will re-integrate everything into one nature and operate only from that perspective - although people are complex and I think there is something to be said for being so.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I have always had a thing for having his fingers in my mouth, just one or better - two: flicking the tips of them or tracing their length with my tongue, moving them around in my mouth, sucking them both together, then running my tongue between them to separate them, a little gentle pressure with them between my teeth. It's actually how I first let him know I was interested long, long ago. We had spent days flirting and dancing around really admitting any interest, but when he pointed his finger at me, inches from face, I couldn't resist, I had to take it in my mouth.

This time was no different, we were sitting on the couch with a child between us, he had his arm up, behind the child, and his hand resting on my shoulder, just beside my face. I really can't have his fingers so close to my mouth and not. But this time I got carried away, the gentle pressure between my teeth felt too good, felt even better as more, and more, until I had bitten him quite hard. He pulled his hand away and glared. I didn't know what to expect, but I know I don't like his glare.

Later, after the child was in bed, we were again on the sofa, and he pulled me close. He began tracing his finger along my neck, along my jaw, along my cheek, so, so lightly. I turned towards the tracing, but his hand would withdraw, only to return once I relaxed back. Again, his fingers would trace my cheek, then just under my lip, barely brushing my lip, but immediately withdraw if I turned my head or reached with my mouth. I told him I got it, understood the message, but he wasn't interested in me speaking. He just kept on, and certainly got his point across.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

fishing trip over

I am officially back from my fishing trip. I now sincerely hope and expect life to return to (something like) normal.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I recognize that

I have kids, and I spend time with kids of all ages in all sorts of contexts, so I recognized it right away. It was quite obvious; it was boundary testing, limit pushing, feeling out the response, probing with "what if I just..." Except this was me doing it..... That part was new.

It's not that this is new because I'm inherently a line-toer, or straight-and-narrow keeper; it's just that it's been since I was a kid that I've had boundarys to test. I know that's a bit of an oversimplification - I am of course subject to tax law, and traffic regulations, and all the niceties that grease the wheels of polite society, all those sorts of boundarys that I may or may not choose to respect. But specific, how I should act, what is expected of ME, in my home, with my husband - that's new! And I've not completely decided how I feel about this.

I did find it very interesting that my immediate response was the obvious one. I forged ahead to see what would happen. I could see what I was doing, but didn't stop myself. In one case, I was not at all ready to let go of my pissiness. In the other case I was goofing around and I was just plain having too much fun being annoying.

Of course any relationship, and in partiular a marriage, has boundarys, the unwritten rules that both parties (usually) adhere to, from the vows to the habits worked out over the years that have become expectations. My being angry, upset, even distraught, and consequently very rude, but refusing to talk about why has been a problem for a long time, and it's one of the places we've decided to make changes. I say we, but I mean that my husband decided and I agreed that it wasn't a fair or at all useful way for me to act. I of course have known that all along, but it is so much easier to ignore horrible things than to try to talk about them, and it is always easier to avoid confrontation than to face it. Right? In this case, it's not an issue of having a rote list of "may say this and may not say this...." The point is that I need to be responsible and accountable for what I do and say (as does my husband, different story though). This time he kept asking until I could force myself to tell him what was wrong. Previously he would have quit trying and I would have seethed, and there would have been no resolution and lots of bad feelings.

This all does sound more like marriage retreat than kink. In my case, letting him tell me where I need to change is a monumental shift that I know would not have happened without my having come to terms with submitting in other areas. As I was resisting, I knew that eventually I would need to tell him and I also knew that he expected me to do just that. In a strange way, that made all the difference.

As far as the goofing around, I'm not sure about that. I was being silly, and annoying, and physically pestering him, and I think I really wanted him to physically stop me instead of asking me to. Of course I chose to do this at a time when the kids were too nearby for him to truely do something about it - so I just don't know.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

There are just too many twists and turns here for me to wrap my head around.

I know what I feel, and I know what I want to explore, although I don't begin to understand why. I know the ways in which changing our relationship/dynamic is making us closer, more aware of each other, and our household more peaceful. I don't have any doubts about the rightness of this path for us; by that I mean that I don't have any moral or ethical or even psychological qualms about it. We talk and discuss and come to agreement, together.

But something made me really consider it from his point of view, and it hit me hard.

How is a normal man supposed to react?

How should a man react, a good man, when the woman that he loves and has been committed to for such a long time, comes to him and says she thinks she would actually like for him to hurt her. And also, not to stop even if she says to, or if she crys, or if she struggles to get away. Hurt her and force her to take it.

And also to change his expectations for her, and to shift around pretty substantially the way he treats her - to a way that looks a lot like that which would have led to divorce court previously.

Nevermind the wondering about her sanity, what makes her suddenly want this kind of thing? Or the worry that there are other quirks or darker secrets lurking.

What if he can't do it, or just doesn't want to - will he lose her, will she walk away, or just withdraw and be resentful? Should he go along, give it a try, pretend for her sake?

What if he does do it- will she change her mind, deny she ever asked, accuse him of horrible things?

And he's to keep doing this, not just once, but often. Can he do that? Can he up the ante? And what if it turns out he does like it? How does that fit with what he thought he knew about himself?

Maybe men are more complex than we give them credit for, or maybe he is able to incorporate more than I can really comprehend.

Monday, November 9, 2009

clothespins and rope and ...

Ok - so not what you were maybe thinking. But it was a warm, sunny, beautiful weekend here, so rare for November. I was able to dry the laundry outside one last time this year, and the best part will be putting these sheets on the bed in a few weeks, on a rainy, dreary day, and being surrounded with the smell of outside and sunshine.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

gone fishing

or real life interferes with living

There's a thing I've been working on for a number of years now and it's all coming together in the next few weeks. Of course, I'm not the type to have things done well ahead of time, so I am buried in this real life for now. But as soon as I finish, I can get back to living.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A few random things I really, really like

That my husband, through his example and his words, expects our children to respect their mother. So many of the boys their age (I don't have direct experience with girls, so I can't speak about them) blatently and publicly disrespect, disregard, and disobey their mothers. Their fathers turn the other way, tacitly allow it, or worse yet, chime in and play along with them. No matter how brilliant one's parenting skills, it is a huge, uphill battle to overcome such an attractive and powerful message. Boys seem to feel that size determines authority, not experience, position or relationship, and since mine are now as tall as I am, they joke that the balance of power should shift in their favor. I'm very glad that it's just a joke for them.

Fall weather, even the cold, foggy, rainy turning to sleet days. They make the crisp, clear, brilliantly sunny days penetrate my mood that much more.

When my husband moves my body, no asking or explaining, especially if i'm prone and he drags me back towards him and hauls my ass into the air where and how he wants it.

Just a few random things... How 'bout anyone else?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What do vampires have to do with it?

No, this isn't an analysis of the leitmotif of dominance and submission running through the Twilight series; although, I would be more than happy to spend time, with anyone who's interested, analyzing any number of sci-fi or fantasy works for hidden themes. We could start with the Bene Gesserit: a whole race of powerful women bred and trained to serve the ruling class, while they really pull all the strings from behind the scenes. Lots to ponder there....

But, I did say I would explain how vampires played a pivotal role in my about face from rigidly independent and unyeilding to recognizing the way submission fits for me in my marriage. And it does involve vampires, or at least vampire stories, but perhaps not in any very deep or profound way. In fact, it's much more a story of how I never would have discovered any of this without the internet.

Shortly after the time that I got fed up with myself and turned over control to my husband in all things boudoir, a friend gave me the Twilight series to read. The fact that it's really a teenage romance, not a vampire story, aside, she asked me if I knew of any other vampire series she might like. I gave her the few Anne Rice paperbacks I still had around. The interesteing part started when I went to find the names of the other Anne Rice books that I had read but didn't own. That search reminded me that Rice had also written erotica under other names, and, being curious, I searched on those titles also. The wikipedia description of one, or maybe several, of those stories included the words dominance and submission and BDSM. I had only a vague notion about the first two and no idea what BDSM stood for. So of course, I kept following my curiosity.

The wikipedia page on BDSM included a whole bunch more terms and abbreviations I didn't know. Trying to figure those out took me to the Taken in Hand website, which was waaaay too much information all on one small page, very un-user friendly for the casual drop-in. I did find links to short story writers though, at which point I abandonded my quest for definitions, and just started reading. Needless to say, this particular flavor of stories affected me in new and very different ways. After I worked my way through a few authors, I started following the links on their sites to other sites, and so on and so on. Eventually, I even started looking at actual information again. Some things were starting to make sense.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Shifting Sands

I feel like I'm walking on shifting sands. The way we used to interact is gone, but whatever it is morphing into is still morphing, it isn't solid or yet dependable. I'm not sure quite how to act, to respond, to react to things. I don't trust my instincts to just be and do.

Not that there is ever an ideal time for tectonic shifting of a relationship's foundation, but this is a time of confluence of several major stressors for each of us. We knew this would be coming, so we don't also have to deal with the element of the unexpected (knock on wood), but there is no way to avoid or minimize what each of us has to do, or to assist each other in any concrete way.

Many days I feel like we are handling this much better than we would have previously; we aren't as short with each other, we have more patience and forbearance. We are also more affectionate, it sounds silly, but previously I would have completely walled myself off for the duration which induces its own tensions.

Other days though, when circumstances conspire, I do feel adrift and this causes a sort of hyper, unfocused restlessness and a palpable knot in my chest. It colors how i perceive everything and how i act. I don't really expect there to come a time in my life that I move beyond this kind of emotion and self doubt entirely, but i do wonder which would serve me better right now - the tried and true, or the still unformed potential.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


There - I said it

I was talking with somone who I know in a very specific context the other day and dropped a rather tame but obvious sexual reference into the conversation. He mentioned that this was a little out of character for me, which struck me as funny. But, in thinking about it, I really am comfortable making any sort of innuendo with a very few people. And speaking about sex directly is very difficult for me. I said so in my introduction to this blog, and in conversations with this gentleman, had never ventured this direction before. So, of course, I needed to figure out why this is and if it is an issue - or just is. I came to a few conclusions, but certainly have not fully figured it out.

A few factors are easy. First of all, it just plain isn't an appropriate subject all the time or everywhere, period. Also, there are people who are able to write about the desire, the acts, the feelings, the whole thing in beautiful, or ironic, or humourous ways, and these are a pleasure to read. Then there are the writers for whom the same subject matter becomes high school locker room or college frat house. I have no confidence I would be able to avoid sounding like the latter. I write technical writing in my world, and am far too self conscious to bridge the gap yet between the mechanical and the emotional/erotic.

My discomfort with discussing sex one-on-one or more publicly also has roots in my past, and of course stem from discomforts with the subject itself, not just the discussion of the subject. I have consciously, un-consciously, and with most every fiber of my being resisted letting anyone have power over me, including and especially when it comes to sex. This has of course led to lots of thoughts about how I suddenly end up as the 's' part of the D/s equation. (A post for another day, oddly enough it involves vampires).

I have learned over and over again that everyone has a story, and truly, "comparisons are odious." I am really awfully fortunate and also, all things considered, fairly unscathed. I avoided many of the possible tragedies that frequently end such stories. Most importantly, I did not marry the wrong kind of man, I married exactly the right man. And now I have become able to relinquish this power to him, as long as he doesn't want me to talk about it in any detail that is. But I do have trouble talking about it with him, and this is where the whole thing probably qualifies as an issue. He is taking cetain steps to encourage me to be more comfortable expressing myself, and, not to put too fine a point on it, I am discovering I really like the doing, so the discussing is getting easier.

Monday, October 12, 2009

(I wrote this to my husband, not to discourage comments or to be exclusive, but because it needed saying.)

As far as what we talked about, about your intervening in my life - where and when and how - basically - defining our entire relationship: you know I would love to spend days and weeks hashing it out, dissecting every detail, maybe draw some venn diagrams. So the fact that your answer, that things are where you want them right now, that we will adapt as we go, grow into it over time, etc, confounds me thoroughly. I have so many but's..., what if's..., shouldn't we's...???

So - I'm going to try to make the leap to hushing all that and try it your way (you would't believe the clamor in my head as I write that, or maybe you would). I'm certain you will remind me of this when (not if) I forget and start with the questions.

If I blog about the what if's, is that too backhanded??

Thursday, October 8, 2009

His help

I feel like I need to put a caveat for this post. I don't fully understand the nuances of various titles, or philosophies, or lifestyles at this point. I am not looking to offend anyone, but I am trying to work through some thinking for myself, so please bear with me. I am certainly open to explanations or even constructive criticism. The issue has to do with rules, or discipline, or - it's actually larger than that, having someone else be in any way responsible for my actions or decisions. I will try to be coherent here, but this one really swirls around in my head in a lot of directions.

We have been married some time, so of course there are, not really rules, but preferences, ways of doing things, habits we have worked out because that makes things run more smoothly. Some evolved after a lot of argument, some more easily. But all of these have to do with making the household run better, or with raising our children in an intentional, thought out way. We really don't interfere in things that have to do with our individual lives. We support and encourage each other, and we care about each other's success or failure, but we don't suggest or offer advice.

Recently, I have been working on a very large project for work. It is a bit daunting, and I have been much too easily distracted, ironically, often by pursuits like this. (This is much more interesting.) But, maybe its just a bad case of burning out a little too early. In any case, my husband did step in and come up with a plan, and a timeline, and goals, and all those management sorts of tools. He even checks up to make sure i'm hitting them. And I am extremely grateful.

But I am conflicted about it as well. I have always, from probably the age of 5, been self motivated, self driven. My parents had a fairly lassaiz-faire attitude, college was a fun challenge - so I rose to it, and the nature of my job was such that feedback on performance was never a huge component. I never did organized sports that had coaching, and for the athletics in which I participate now, I compete only with myself. So, overall, it does feel unnatural, a bit incompetent, even lazy to have someone else prodding and pushing. So, when my husband told me he was stepping in as it were, I felt ashamed and guilty. I had disappointed him, and made him need to take the time and effort to help me with my responsibilities.

I have to admit though that I also felt something new, which I'm not sure I can describe. Instead of lashing out and telling him to butt out, I felt quiet. I felt his care and his interest and even pride in what I had done and was trying to do. I was very anxious (still am) about being accountable to someone else, but I felt a lot closer to him as well. I also had more than a twitch of excitment elsewhere, which seems completely backwards to me.

I don't know what to do with any of this. I still can't reconcile the idea of asking him to take on more responsibility, why should he? And shouldn't I be able to manage myself? Is it possible that both of us would be better off, be enhanced by changing other aspects of our interactions this way? Or would I be the only beneficiary? And that doesn't seem fair. Yea - i know fair is a 4 letter word, that's the problem, I really don't know how to decide if it's right or wrong.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Big relationship decisions

Following the vein of trying to answer the deep, important questions about one's relationships, I'm going to dig into a very important issue between my husband and me.

It gets pretty cold here where we live, all due deference to those of you in Canada of course. And, since we refuse to pay the local gas company any more than absolutely necessary, our thermostat rests firmly at 62F (~17C) when we're up and about and at 58 (~14C) at night. That is, once we finally break down and turn the boiler on, never before November.

We are still very much in the process of figuring out how his dominance and my submission should work, or in which general areas. At this point, the only concrete structure in place is that he is completely in charge "in the bedroom" and elsewhere I work to be more respectful and to follow his lead unless I feel there is a very strong reason not to.

So what does this have to do with winter weather? Well, (and here's my foray into TMI) since we were married, he has never let me wear pajamas. And the sheets are damn cold on bare skin when the room is only 58 degrees. But we have these deliciously soft, WARM, flannel sheets; the perfect solution in the winter. However, he really dislikes flannel sheets, and contends that this agreement to submit "in the bedroom" should apply, quite literally in this case, to the choice of linens on the bed as well. I'm just not quite sure I see it this way.

** I think i need to put a clarification or two here.** The thermostats are set by me - I didn't think they were all that low - but judging by the first several comments, I'm wrong. I don't get cold very easily when I'm up and moving around, so, I'm either hot blooded or well insulated. We have a very warm down comfortor on the bed - so once the sheets warm up - it's plenty comfy. I would still prefer flannel sheets - but the actual suffering happening here is in fact minimal.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


How women feel about their bodies has been much pondered on various pages here in this little space of blog world. But this little space is in reality people all over the world, and body image and self esteem are universal enough that they are discussed in forums from fancy academic jornals to grocery store check out magazine racks. So I am hardly alone in the very deep seated belief that, whatever else I do or am or achieve, there is a large aspect of myself that I feel is completely unacceptable. And the kicker is that this is the aspect experienced first and formost in the real world, where one is physically present and appearances are inevitably part of the equation of any interaction. (Sort of an upside to this blog world, eh?)

I am able to see in myself many of the connections from my past to my currrent ways of thinking or being, but I have no idea where such a deep seated dissatisfaction, dislike, often loathing for my body comes from. I know intellectually that it is irrational. Of course my body is not perfect, but it is also not the totality of me, and in fact my imperfections don't impact my ability to function at all. So why then is so much of my sense of self, my self esteem, my conceptualization of me wrapped up in that which doesn't actually impact my ability to do.

The area where this issue is most and least irrational is with my husband. I know he loves me for all of me, but I care far more how he perceives my body than anyone else. Far more than anyone else, I want him to find me attractive, to be impressed. The fact that I feel so deeply that what I'm offering to him is unacceptable means that I am very reluctant to offer it. I don't really want him to look at me, or touch me, or feel me. I couldn't imagine why or how he would really want to. This thing in me has had such a warping influence on our relationship for so long.

My decision to submit to him, even though I had no idea to call it such and have so much yet to figure out and learn, has fundametally transformed our relationship. In giving up the option to be reluctant, to refuse, the way is open for him to look and touch and feel and experience and do. And his touch, and his doing are getting through to me where years of telling couldn't. My body hasn't changed. If i'm honest, my perceptions of my body haven't changed - I still don't like it - but now I believe that he does. Maybe my believing is a transformation that will happen over time, maybe it never will and knowing he is pleased and enjoying will be enough, because it's really an awful lot.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Some time ago, on Jz's blog, she mused about play (in the BDSM sense) and playfulness, how it figures in people's lives, and whether this is a need or a want. She was, I think, following a train of thought started by Vesta, so there is some interest out there in this seemingly very un-serious subject. At the time, I think I came down on the side of feeling like play was a want, not a need.

More recently, I was listening to a radio show about play, but of a much more generic nature. The interviewee was the head of the National Institiute for Play. Who knew such a thing existed? Turns out that there is evidence that play is in fact a need, and not just among children. He cited research into the benefits of play in adulthood: beyond providing joy, relaxation, etc., play also enhances, among other things, adaptability, problem solving skills, intellectual flexibility, empathy, and a sense of irony. All of these seem like good things to me, well - I love irony, but I'm not quite clear on why it may be important. But it turns out that play is good for you.

I'm kinda new to the particular variety of play of which Jz had been speaking, but the NIFPlay talks about 7 types of play and all 7 seem to fit. "Attunement play" involves things people do to get "in tune" with each other; "body play and movement", "object play", and "imaginative and pretend play" probably don't need an explanation; "social play" involves something called 'rough and tumble play'... nuff said; "storytelling-narrative play" is what so many do so well here on these internet 'pages'; and "transformative-integrative and creative play" is that which takes it all to a whole new plane.

So, eat your veggies, take your vitamins, and play - it's good for you!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What you said today - you thanked me for going along with you when you woke me up at 3 am (something about that hour): I really, really love that you assume and just take. It seems so up-side-down, but there it is.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I should probably explain a little bit about myself and why I’m here; to me it’s a very strange thing, to anyone who may find their way here, it probably isn’t at all.

For the past many years of my marriage I had been not so interested in sex. I said no – an awfully lot. I knew that this was terribly unfair to my husband and I tried over the years to change, but couldn’t. Last spring I decided to try just not refusing at all, but I wasn’t completely able to do that. So I texted my husband (couldn’t do it out loud) and told him I wanted him to not allow me to refuse him – at all. The change was instantaneous, like someone flipped a switch. I’m sure a lot of people will shake their heads - of course, duh! But I had no idea what was going on.

So I went exploring and reading and researching. And we are trying to figure out what to make of all this and where to go with it. I’m still kind of shy to talk about the sex part – but we are both enjoying that exploration. It’s the potential changes to the rest of our relationship that I (we) are thinking about and considering. A lot of these posts are directed to my husband because he’s the one who really needs to know what I ‘m thinking. I’m pretty sure other people have wrestled with some of the same questions though, so I guess I hope that people will offer their insights when possible, and hopefully my understanding will evolve.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

need more boxes

I'm having trouble with the boxes again today. Last time - writing things down did allow me to at least feel like I wouldn't lose the trains of thought, and I was able to move on to what I needed to do. I'm hoping that will continue to work. The trains today are a lot more like dragonflies darting around than trains however.

I appreciate your agreeing to read some about these things. It's interesting that I have been obsessively reading what I can online, and giving it all a lot of thought. But I am not in any hurry to have you pass on to me whatever you are reading. This surprises me actually. Something is different because the real (previous) me would have insisted that we work on this together, with the same information, etc. The only reason I can think of for this is that I really don't want to drive your thoughts or ideas about all of this. I seem to have dragged us into this, but if we decide (together) to pursue any aspects of it, we need to have each reached that point on our own. And, this is the part that i find really weird, I don't think i want to know your "secrets." In the little bit that we have done, I have loved being surprised by what you have come up with.

I am trying very hard to slow down, realize that there is no deadline or rush. Partly it's working.

I am leery (that's actually not a strong enough word) of becoming a burden to you. You have so much to deal with right now as it is.

There is a mental struggle i go through: there is no one to judge what or how we do any of this as right or wrong - it is our relationship. As someone put something to me, in a different situation - the end result is partly the main effect of you and partly the main effect of me but mostly the interaction effect of the two of us. On the other hand, this is not a way of relating to one another that either of us would have dreamed of without having stumbled upon a body of literature for it, so to speak. So I do think that there is some value in learning about it. The question is how? How much?

I guess that's enough dragonflies for now.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I feel like I need to write this down. I’ve never felt the urge to put my feeling down on paper, never kept a diary and always hated any assignments that were remotely like journaling. But right now I can’t stop the swirling in my head – I hope that writing it down will help me “put things into boxes” like you said. I have always admired your ability to compartmentalize and then juggle everything going on in your life. I have never been able to force my brain to move away from whatever path it felt like taking. Fortunately, it usually went somewhere useful, but not always and I just don’t have a mechanism for putting certain thoughts aside and shifting focus. This may take a lot of boxes.
Since I don’t know what has caused the wonderful changes in our relationship, I am afraid of what will happen if I shift my focus away from that. It fees so fragile and tenuous and new – and I really do not want to lose it. Since I don’t know why it started in the first place, I don’t know what it would take to kill it.
You are absolutely right about my dissertation – 2 months is not long at all and I have so much yet to do. I remember being quite focused before my proposal and prelims – but I’m not this time, and I absolutely need to make that everything between now and then. I am glad for your help – you’ve been so patient and encouraging through this process – it is time to be done.
I mentioned to someone a few days ago that I was very happy and excited and instead of taking baby steps, I wanted to run. I think I knew at the time that I was in the flats and that there were hills looming. And now I’m at the bottom of a huge one, with a headwind. Quite frankly – I’m scared. I know that if the hill is big enough – I need to walk. But I am very subdued and anxious about making any progress, or just turning around and quitting.
The biggest things I’m struggling to come to terms with:
Is this thing even real? Neither of us can even bring ourselves to say the words dominant or submissive. I remember when I got my first job and lived on my own – for sometime it didn’t seem real, like I was playacting. When we first got married, it took some time till I didn’t feel like we were just playing house. And growing up, working, getting married – those are expected activities with lots of examples around of other people doing them. There isn’t a single real world example of this for us to see, only virtual, online, or in books. So much of it really, really resonates with me. The few things we have done have seemed to fit us each awfully well. But I, at least, tend to lose myself in fiction, what if this is just an extended case of the same thing?
I’m still trying hard to accept that you are not just faking it or doing it for me to humor me. I know you’ll get tired of doing it, but re-assuring me helps. This is one of those things where I can’t make my brain do what I want it to.
I am really, really struggling with is it ok for me to let you be in any way responsible for or even involved at all in my actions or lack of. It feels very lazy, childish, like I can’t manage my own self - but on the other hand – it feels good. I have never doubted that you care for me – but this is a deeper feeling. But is it right? Isn’t it just irresponsible?
I’ve never really let you into my head – and vice versa I think – our hearts absolutely – but not our heads. This terrifies me. This also feels lazy, incompetent – to have someone else need to go so far as to help guide my mental processes. You are right about the issues of my family and school – I do shut you out and you should insist that I talk to you about those things. It’s not fair to you for me to be upset and not let you know what’s going on.
This is a lot of work for you. For both of us, yes. But it seems like a lot for you.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I have a million thoughts in my head right now.

You asked me to write about what i want and what i want to try and what I want you to read, etc....

I will add a list of things I would like to try, at least I think I do - hard to know what I will really like. I have put a list of the blogs that are (to me) worth looking at - some for thinking about this kind of dynamic some are just plain good erotic reading.

What I really want though - is to know what you want.

This whole thing - looking from the outside - is terribly weird looking: it looks either like gaming/Dungeons and Dragons or something like that - or like ultra right wing "because the bible says so." I don't have much stomach for either - although I realize I have more ability to work around the gaming/fantasy thing than you do.

But I see this as a way we can modify the dynamic of our relationship (too new age?? too psycho babble??) For me it boils down to - in our sex life - I was in charge simply because i said no all the time and you respected that, and that was wrong and I knew it but had no idea what to do about it. Giving you that decision making power was indeed the cure.

There are a lot of other small areas where i feel like you have acquiesced over the years simply to avoid conflict. Not big issues, but a lot of small things. At this point - I really just want to know what you want - what your preference is. I'm sure that there are things for which you truly have no preference, or not enough to bother thinking about it. Sometimes i think you do - it would probably be easier for me to believe you when you say you truly don't care if in some areas you did. And - believe it or not - and all evidence to the contrary - I like (occsionally) being able to make you happy - which is easier to accomplish if you actually care about something one way or the other in the first place. Or even just for you to say - I think i might like this -so could we/you try it and I'll see.

This all applies to sex - but outside of that too. I am certainly not looking to abdicate responsibility - or shift more burden to you. I am not going to turn into a blonde bimbo unable to make a decision or function on my own and I don't think you are ultimately responsible for my successes or failures - any more than I am for yours. So - no - I'm not exactly sure what I do mean for it to be - maybe it really should stay only in the bedroom (or basement/3rd floor) but maybe there are other areas where you would like/would find it easier/would maybe even enjoy having me go along with your decisions or sugesstions.

So i get the impression that you would really rather not discuss any of this any further - that you would be happy to just go with how things are going. The problem is that I'm not - I think I have gone as far as i really can or want to with reading and researching for now and I would like to start doing something. So even if it is nothing more than us talking about it - even if just for you to say that it's ridiculous, no way, too much work, too silly, we're too busy, whatever. But I do think that if it is just left hanging - I will be resentful, and that will undermine any of the goodness that has happened.

I guess ultimately iwhat i really want right now is to know if YOU want to explore this all in any depth, or if you would just as soon not really but you will because I seem to want to, or you feel like you would really rather not at all.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

i woke up again at 3 this morning and couldn't fall back asleep
i lay there thinking about you - imaginging/remembering your hands on me
your hands feeling me, making me feel,
moving my body to where and how you want it
i ached to have you there and not imagined

this is something very new
previously i cringed at the thought of what you must feel touching me
so i never really experienced the feel of you on me
and i dont think you felt right to take command of my body

i never had this kind of aching before
now i can't imagine going back
i think you feel the right of it now
i hope it is pleasing for you
i hope it becomes part of you