Friday, February 26, 2010

what's the difference?

The other night my husband grabbed one cheek of my ass and squeezed, hard. As he kept at that, his fingers explored in between, teasing just enough to hint at the completely unique, completely overwhelming sensation of anal play. He told me, a few times, that he really liked my ass. I finally asked him if this were something new. Hadn't he all along? (Yes - insecurity is often my default position in these kinds of things) He casually commented that I never would have let him do either of these things "before," that he hadn't had any opportunity to know. I protested of course and insisted that things (i.e., me and my responses) aren't really that different now. He told me to hush so he could carry on.

[Later] that got me thinking. I wondered if things are really so different now. I want to believe that our interactions, our underlying assumptions about our day to day being, and our physical relations are not so different now from then. I want to believe this because we had considered our marriage quite good, and because I don't like to face the obvious ways in which I had limited or stifled the good that we have discovered can be, in so many areas.

I write here about relationship a lot - and it is important, but thinking about how I hobbled him previously is kind of a bigger and more difficult pondering than I am up for today. But, obviously, he is right about what he said that night: as much as I want to believe that I was adventurous and giving and open in our sex life; it just ain't so. I would only let him touch me in some places, only for a little bit, only in certain ways, and only sometimes.... Many things were understood to be verboten.

And I can't imagine why or how I wanted it that way. I love all the ways he touches me, I even love the fact that he does, whether I think I want him to or not. I want to think that had he ever tried a little biting or pinching or restraining, that I would have discovered I really like it and we could have been on this road that much sooner. I know that instead I would have yelped, thrown a fit, and become even more closed off. And nevermind any of the toys, I would have laughed in his face. It turns out that some of them are so - effective. I am instantly aroused and transported when bound, just the sight of certain restraints alters me. And I downright crave the nipple clips. The "things used to hit with" produce their own special dread/excitement/arousal thing. I still feel awkward about some of the toys. We are new and experimenting and learning, but we are frankly having a ball at it.

The best part really is learning so much; not learning techniques, that just happens. But it is wonderful to discover things I never imagined about myself. The very best part though, is learning what he truly likes and wants and enjoys and craves, now that he has the freedom to find out himself.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

....and which is illusion?

You know that "He loves me...He love me not" game people do with a daisy? I always assumed the question was being asked to the fates at large - does he love me? Will it all work out? Or is it doomed? Will we not have happily ever after? Where you land on the last petal is the universe providing your truth. Now I think it could well be just the oppposing truths, both equally held, in one woman's mind. It does amaze me that I can, at different times, be utterly convinced of one thing, and at another fully believe the opposite. I know that moods, context, even physiology all affect how I perceive things, and our perceptions are really the only way for us to experience the world. But I would think there should be a mechanism in our minds that allows the perceptions to be studied, compared, filtered, and balanced out to arrive at a true picture of reality. It often just doesn't happen that way though.

Some days I am very self confident, purposeful, enthusiastic, I want to take on challenges and lead the charge. Others, I want to crawl into a hole and disappear, I can't do anything right, I feel like a fruad.

Some days, I know my friends value me, like me, care about me, and are honest with me. Others, I am equally convinced that everyone really just keeps me around because there is something in it for them, that they mock me behind my back, that I am a joke they all share.

Some days I float along feeling that our relationship is going blissfully well, that all the changes are good and positive, that this thing is very real, foundational to our lives, and that he is much happier in his new role. Other times I can't get past the fear that he's just humoring me, waiting for me to quit playing this silly game, that we aren't really doing anything, that I am a phoney.

Most days are spent somewhere in between, neither pollyanna nor morose. But how do we decide which is right, and which is an illusion?

Cold hearted orb that rules the night,
Removes the colours from our sight,
Red is gray and yellow white,
But we decide which is right.
And which is an illusion.

The Moody Blues

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I get tangled up in the symantics of this whole thing - but it's not really just symantics. Many people are much better than I at capturing complex ideas in words, expressing both the heart of the issue and the complexity. I try to see and understand the concepts and their applications, but ultimately I'm a scientist - study, theorize, test, sum it up.... This post is part of where I am right now in trying to understand. (BTW - it doesn't feel very concise, so I have a way to go)

People say you can't submit to yourself. It takes someone submitting for the other to dominate and someone to dominate for the other to submit. This has a certain face validity. One could attempt to dominate, issue a request command or what have you and the ultimate success or failure of the request lies with the sub. It is impossible to dominate if no one is submitting. On the other hand, is having someone dominate an adequate condition for submission? Each time a decision to obey or to submit is called for, the sub has to choose to obey or submit, or to not. Each time. So is that person submitting to the dom or to him or herself? This is really symantics and I have no answer - hopefully others do, I'm curious.

For people who want to move their relationhsip into D/s, the advice is often given to the "s" person to "act submissive," to encourage, allow, make room for the other person to assert his or her dominance. Practically speaking, that means that one person begins to obey, temper their speech, respond to subtle cues, even guess what the other person wants, all without the other ever having thought, intended, or expressed a wish, request or command. In spite of the fact that it seems intuitive that there would need to be someone dominating in order for one to submit, this is not invalid advice. The "me dom, you sub" thing is cut and dried in fiction, maybe in chat rooms or such (I have no way to know), and probably to a great extent in the real world with people who are experienced and know what the heck they are doing (again - not me, not us). In our real world, we are human, and we each want to protect the other, and ourselves. Essentially, for me to say to him - "I will do whatever you want" is not enough, I need to show him both that I mean it, and that it won't hurt me. I needed, sometimes still need, to some extent, to submit to things he hadn't specifically asked.

Carried to a ridiculous extreme (this is about symantics after all), if he wants me to decide something, or to be in charge of a category of things, or for us to work on certain things together, - if I go along with it - aren't I submitting to his wishes by assuming some control? He could ask me to be in charge overall and, in order to submit, I would have to assume charge. The converse is also true: when I went to him to ask him to be in charge, and he agreed, wasn't/isn't that his submitting to my wish?

I have asked a few people how they define "slavery" or D/s. I am not actually looking for a way to identify ourselves - if you read through here you will find none of that, or lots of waffling trying to figure a term that could be shorthand for this thing we seem to have. The pictures people paint of their relationships are quite varied, they do have some similarities, but are truly unique. Ours is no exception. It isn't the titles but the constructs people use which are of great interest to me - to the extent that they can be used in our relationship, to shift us around to an interlocking of pieces that snug together smoothly rather than needing to erode the non-conforming parts of each other to allow a better fit. In our case, finding that fit involves him working out how he would really like things to work, to run, to be - and me working to understand that and see how I can accomplish that - and trying to do it.

He doesn't read very much about all of this. There are times I wish he did. There are aspects of things that appeal to me very much, on any number of levels - some of them quite visceral - some more philosophical. Sometimes I do wish he would happen to somehow know just what I had read, and how I had felt about it, and to work it in. There are also things I assume he knows and find out he doesn't. The mismatch of expectations, knowledge and assumtions can be deflating at best. But I should know much better than to assume. So it is my responsibility not to assume, to tell him or show him what I find that is of interest or what have you. This feels like me leading or at least like asking for what I want over what he wants, so I fall back on the semantics: he has told me this is how he wants it to work so I need to do it this way.

The fact that he doesn't study what other people do or say or suggest means that, ultimately, what he imagines for us is his creation, not pieces of others' (real or fictionalized) dynamics cobbbled together - and this is what I truly want for him, from him, for us. So I do bring ideas to him and I give a LOT of feedback. And then I work very hard to shut up, wait, and see what he does or doesn't do with it. I am always surprised. He almost never responds in anything like a way I would predict, and most often not immediately. But when I do see his response, what he has done or expressed about it - it is always consistant with him. And this is always better than whatever I might have expected or thought I wanted.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


This is something deeper and less clear to me. It's something that I have always thought was very, very strange about myself, but I never had any context to use to even try to figure it out. But it is certainly there, whether I understand it or want it, or not.

I read every moment I could as a child. I much preferred to be immersed in stories others had created than to sit and daydream. When I did have mental free time (I'm old, this was pre-electronic entertainment), if the option was not there to read something, I did daydream. My reveries were likely not as imaginative as many; most often they were merely extensions of whatever make believe world my current novel had created. Very few of my daydreams related at all to my real world. I never imagined growing up, or getting married, or my wedding day, or any of the triumphs that seemed to be important in the world of that age.

But my mind did wander to needles, often. I would recall getting shots - a common enough occurrence for a child that age, I would dwell on it in my mind, the way a child worries a loose tooth with her tongue: it hurts to push it around, it calms to a dull throb if you stop, but that doesn't feel quite right, so you push and twist to make it a more immediate pain. This was what my mind did with needles. I would dwell on the memory of it, and on the idea of it. And the memory and the imagining seemed to be as much in my flesh as in my mind. I was allowed to get my ears pierced for my 10th b-day and I created that scene and reveled in it in my mind for months beforehand.

Even then, I wonderered that, of all the real world things my mind could choose to dwell on, this seemed to be the only thing it did. I was convinced that this all meant that I should be a nurse or doctor when I grew up. Ironically, I went into a health care field which involves no invasive procedures at all. I never did put it together that, in my daydreams, I was receiving, not giving.

I am reluctant to use the word fantasy about this. I was certainly well younger than puberty when this started. Even as I got older and began to incorporate the sexual into daydreaming, I really don't think I put the two together, certainly not explicitly or that I recognized. In fact, the imagining about needles subsided greatly as I moved through my teens, I had always thought that it was replaced by the typical teen obsession with anything sexual. And it probably was.

I don't know how much pre-pubescent day-dreaming is or is not sexual at its root. I am learning that pain is very intertwined with my sexuality, something I would not have imagined a year ago. Reading about the masochist's experience of play has a very distinct effect on me. But the first time I read about needle play, it was like a kick in the gut. It knocked the wind out of me. Memories came flooding back, memories which suddenly had a context. Of course it also had the the effect of being overwhelmingly arousing, and something maybe more that I can't quite put my finger on.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What BDSM does for me_D (maybe)

I came home from work the other night wanting to crawl out of my skin. Life is crazy - for everyone, I know we don't have a corner on that market. I both got behind and got slammed at work which means that I had to rely on my husband to take care of kid things that I would have done. This had me edgy and sleep deprived. Add in an erratic boss and office politics and I was pretty pissy. I also hadn't managed to run or do much else physical, so my body was as wound up as my brain.

Come bedtime I started antagonizing my husband. He doesn't love (read: tolerate at all) the hyperkinetic, goofy, juvenile, incredibly annoying me I sometimes morph into when I feel this way. I pesterd, and goaded, and pushed his buttons on purpose. Yes - I was really wanting really rough play. I craved, in my mind and in my skin and flesh, for him to physically subdue me and to drive all the hyper out of me. I have always had occasional moods like this, now there is something that I know is a perfect answer for it. But it wasn't possible then, and I knew it wasn't, but was conveniently ignoring that fact. Oh, but it would have been so welcome.

He knew what I wanted too. His response, after ignoring me and then asking me to stop, was a threat to make me sleep elsewhere - not a threat to do any of the things we both knew I was craving anyhow. He did have me do something for him - that helped - it wasn't what I really wanted - but it was what he wanted - so it helped - there's a loop to get caught in.

I feel like I should be self disciplined, responsible for my own actions, accountable for what I do and say and how I act. I should be able to do what I need to do to try to keep myself on an even keel: not get behind so I don't stress as much, run or other exercise. And I should do what I need to not take out my mood on those around me. I certainly don't always succeed, in fact I am an open book and there is really never any doubt as to the kind of mood I'm in, but there is no excuse for me to take it out on my family.

Of course there is the issue of it not really being a punishment if it's what I'm craving anyhow. Let's assume we'll call a spade a spade and that there is "stuff" that I want and other things that are really not what I want. The other night, whether you call it a punishment or just good hard play, it would have set me to rights. I could easily come to rely on that. But should managing my moods be my husband's responsibility? He absolutely knows me and my moods well, knows how to respond, what he can do to help, and more importantly what I can and should do to take care of myself. So why would it be right for me to shirk that and put the onus on him to intervene and set me straight?

Or is this part of what one submits also? Is it a deeper level of submission that I'm not seeing or reaching to turn over this part of myself - to "let" him have some kind of control of and responsibility for my moods? Is this something I do as part of his taking care of me? The particular form that submission is taking for me is far different than I had imagined, so maybe there is a way that this somehow fits in.

I think I have an idea about what he believes. I feel pretty certain that he wants me to push myself and manage myself, to practice being my best self.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The "S" word again.

For some reason, in my mind the relationship sorts of aspects of ttwd or D/s or what have you are very separate from the sexual aspects. For us this started with sex, it started with me submitting that aspect of myself to him. As we started learning about it all, I guess we saw some potential for the same ideas in our relationship as well. The changes in the dynamic of our marriage have not been as extreme, but I think that part is evolving more, and more quickly. The improvments in our relationship have been no less wonderful than those in our sex life. I have no doubt in my mind that those improvements are due to the focus on each individually; our relationship is stronger because we have paid attention to it, tweaked it, worked on it, and our sex life is better because of the pretty much wholesale change.

I also know, however, that these two are not really as mutually exclusive in reality as they are in my mind. My submitting to him in the actions of what we do in bed could only really go so far if I weren't also committed to truly being honest with him about my thoughts and feelings. Likewise, it would hit a ceiling if he didn't feel confident and right to ask, and to expect honest answers. It works the other way also, the closeness, the intimacy, the all around good feelings bleed over into the rest of our relationship and our lives as well.

I tend to write here mostly about our relationship; I think that this is where I have the most questions. Certainly this is where I have learned more about myself and about my husband, through the differences in how we relate to each other, and through the work it takes getting here. I imagine this is where we will both continue to grow, individually and together. But the sex is part of the journey as well - for us in any case. I have written before about my hesitancy to talk or write about sex in general. A lot of people do it very well, but among other things, I am afraid of sounding more juvenile or mechanical than being able to convey my real feelings about it. There have been some things though, about our sex life or about my thoughts and feelings, that I have started to want to write about, some rather silly and some I'm not really sure what to make of them. So I think there will occasionally be posts here that are a little bit of a departure for me, and pushing my comfort level as well.

For today, I will cop out just a little. This comes under the heading of "Duh!"

When we first started, I realized very quickly that I loved him being in control. His moving me, directing me, doing to me, was all sooooo much better than the other way. I had no desire to go back to 50/50, or me having veto power, or us sharing the decision making functions so to speak. In fact it distressed me a little to think about going back. I couldn't grasp how he could possibly be enjoying this arrangement, since, from my perspective, his role was no fun and would be a big turn-off for me.

I couldn't understand how he would want to always be the one doing the work, leading - what if he wanted to lie back and just relax, enjoy, not have to make plans, think about it, lead... ? I was very worried he would tire of carrying the load by himself and I really, really didn't want to go back. So I asked him - what if there is something you want me to do to you? "Well - then - I would just tell you to do it." -What if you don't want to have to think about it ? - what if you want to be surprised, just totally sit back and have me do the work? - "Then I would tell you to do that." ..............Oh?!?

Saturday, February 6, 2010


That was the name of a book our kids loved - a very long time ago. But it is also my emotional state, my thought processes, and my understanding of this whole thing at the moment. Since everything is now turned on it's ear, this all may not make any sense, and I'm pretty sure this isn't the end of it, and I really hope that it will evolve and clarify. It's also long - I apologize.

I had been feeling restless about where we (my husband and I) were with our relationship. Not bad - but ready and wanting to move forward. I think that must just be what happens to people: as you learn or try something new, as one step becomes incorporated and comfortable, there is an internal urge to try the next. But I had no idea whatsoever what that would mean or entail in a practical sense.

My husband is not interested in playing the manager for my life. There is no formal list of rules or chores or have-to's or don't-you-dare's. There is a long history of us living together, so I know some of his preferences, and we both know what needs to happen to keep the family and household running, and we coordinate to work out who can and should do what, when. In fact though, I feel like I don't know a lot of his preferences, like he is reluctant to express or impose his choices on me or on us, and I feel like I must have caused that reluctance over the years. It's a big part of the appeal and the potential for ttwd for me: it offers a way for me to step back and show him that I want to hear him. I had the notion that the way to move forward must be for him to exert more control over my day to day life, to somehow make it harder.

Patience not being one of my virtues, I decided to try something. I made a list of the things I think are important to him, about me: things he has hinted he would like me to do or change or pay attention to. The list had things like following through with my job search leads, exercising more, keeping things more under control with the kids and the house, and being more focused and organized so I don't end up panicking to get big things done last minute. My hope was that commenting on a list I generated would be easier for him than just telling me what he wanted of me.

He came back with a list of his own, a much shorter list, but a list of how he want's me to be. It had three points, and they boiled down to he wants me to be happy. He wants me to feel okay to really pursue all the oppurtunities that are now available in my career, he wants me to "stop sweating the small stuff" so I don't get so stressed about day to day to things, and he wants me to make time to do things for myself, things i really enjoy. My initial reaction was - good I can make lists of things I can do to work towards these goals - and that will make my husband happy. But as I really thought about it, it dawned on me that I would need to change fundamentally the way I work and react and even feel.

This part should probably be a whole other story - but since I don't know why it is what it is, I can't really write that story. The essence though is that I get deeply distressed having things done for me or things being about me. I am happy to be the one working to do things for others, to take care of others, to see to their needs. It is the way I want the relationship to flow. I can politely tolerate letting people do something for me, like haircuts or service at a restaraunt. I can, with effort, be gracious if a group is doing something in my honour; birthdays are tolerable, my wedding day was awfully difficult.

As the idea of having my husband focus his effort and attention on taking care of me began to sink in, I became more and more distressed. This was supposed to be about me doing more for him, it was supposed to shift the focus further off of me. I'm not even at all sure how to go about accepting or accomplishing this. The in-side-outside-up-side-down part is that this is far harder for me to submit to than just about anything else would have been. I know I have some serious challenges ahead.

The Irony of it all is that it should be easy for me to let him focus on me, to let myself be taken care of. Isn't that what most women want? Yet it is, short of him being sick or no longer in my life, the very hardest thing for me to face. To make him happy, I have to figure out how to let him make me happy, which at this point makes me unhappy, which isn't going to make him happy, which makes me unhappy also. Furthermore, I think it should be easy for him to want things for himself; I'm offering him really whatever he wants- but what he chooses is to take care of me. It's not just in-side-outside-up-side-down, it's also backwards.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What's in a name?

Clearly my parents didn't sit together, look back through their family histories, make a few lists, negotiate a bit, then decide that "greengirl" would be just the name for their firstborn child. It's a bit goofy as pseudonyms go, but it is quite apt for me on a number of levels, including at times the goofiness. Up to now my husband has simply been "my husband" when referred to herein. Other bloggers have very creative names for their spouses, SO's, partners, ...... So I have been thinking very hard to try to come up with a moniker for my beloved. I have rejected the suggestion of anything green for him (greenman, greengiant), and "he who has yet to be named" takes way too long to type. The thinking about a nickname for him led me to think about what the overall impression of him is in my mind; no small thing after this many years together. So, here are some of the possibilities I explored:

dominus - latin [master of a house , lord, master]. Transf., [husband or lover; a master, owner, possessor; employer; ruler, lord, controller].
This covers a lot of bases, most of which fit pretty well, it sounds strong and no-nonsense, but it doesn't really sound like a name.

ara -ae f. [altar]; hence [refuge , protection]; 'arae', plur., [name of certain rocks at sea].
I liked the connotations of this one. He is my rock, my refuge and protector. And he may be more than pleased to think of himself as the alter at which I worship. This one does sound like a name too, but it's too vowel-y a name. My husband is more of a consonant-y kind of guy. Besides - if you look it up it means a lot of other things in other languages; it's a Phillipina name meaning "beautiful eyelashes." So I just don't think it will work.

I tried a number of other single words (husband, lover, friend, guide, man) in other languages; he is true blue Heinz 57, but a good bit German and his family name is Scottish so those were on the list. Nothing that I could spell or pronounce easily made itself apparent.

Then there are the obvious: stud, big dog, lover-boy...... Yea, I just can't see myself typing any of those in any seriousness.

I even turned to literature. The frontrunner there was Petruchio, he who tamed the shrew. He had the completely recalcitrant, headstrong, utterly defiant Katherine eating out of his hand by Act V. Just picture Denzel Washington uttering these lines:
I will be master of what is mine own.
She is my goods, my chattels, she is my house,
My household stuff, my field, my barn,
My horse, my ox, my ass, my any thing.
It's quite an image. And along the way his methods would make most Dom's proud, objectification, humiliation, sleep deprivation....But, in the end, Petruchio's motives were suspect, actually they were pretty out in the open, he wanted the money. My husband's motives are all much more noble. I also think I might just be unable to keep a straight face thinking of him as "Petruchio."

When I try to capture an image to sum him up in my mind, he is so many things. He is my rock, my lover, sometimes the object of my worship, the one who tamed me, but also the one who pushes me, my friend. In a word, he is my husband. So, as unimaginative as it is, that word has come to mean so much to me that I think I will keep it.