Tuesday, October 27, 2009

gone fishing

or ...how 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.