Thursday, April 29, 2010

Passion and Need (borrowed from DV)

I'm taking a little break from figuring out punishment. Dauntless Vitality published this post, passion and need, a while ago and it struck a chord for me. Needing has been a theme for me lately too (any chance the needing and the whole punishment idea are related somehow?) The following paragraph is the part that made me really stop to think:

Then as things really move forward the NEED realy starts to creep in. When that person needs you and has to have what you offer. Is there anything better? In the context of most of the things I write about (D/s), need is everything. It's what makes things operate like a well oiled machine. A sub that really needs her Dom, and all he can offer her. A Dom that needs his sub, and all she gives him in return. Without need, it's just vanilla. Feeling the need, understanding it, accepting it, and not being afraid of it is vital. A sub needs her Dom, the control he gives her, and it makes her feel safe and secure with where she is. Without it she is lost. this also goes for a Dom. If he didn't need his sub, then what's the point?!?!

DV writes about needing as the goal, the defining characteristic, the brass ring of the whole pursuit. He has no qualms about it, he seeks it, celebrates it, and rejoices in it. My husband is not quite so ebullient, but he is passionate about it in a quieter way. He tells me, in a way that is absolute, un-self conscious, and without hesitation, that he needs me. And what he needs of me is to depend on him, to need him.

Feeling the need, understanding it, accepting it, and not being afraid of it is vital.

When I first discovered submission, started submitting, started feeling dominated, the sense of needing was overwhelming. My physical need for him was constant and unrelenting. That we could deal with though. My undefined need for everything else, I didn't know how to deal with. I didn't understand what I was needing, or why, or what to do with it, so I certainly couldn't express it to him. And it felt wrong, and greedy, and it scared me profoundly.

Clearly I was missing on the "understanding it, accepting it, and not being afraid of it." I'm still not clear on exactly what I need. I am, however, accepting that I need. I am seeing that admitting it to myself is not at all the same as admitting failure. I am learning that, in big things and in small, letting go and acknowledging the need and working with it doesn't cause the sky to fall. In fact, things work more smoothly, and with more good feelings.

A sub needs her Dom, the control he gives her, and it makes her feel safe and secure with where she is.

So, control, correction, discipline, punishments - they are all related somehow. I do need to feel his control, to have him impose himself on me and into my life. I have no idea how this should work or what form it should take. What I do know is that I need to know what he wants of me, and I need to know that it matters to him whether I have succeeded in that or not.

Without it she is lost.

Well, not truly lost. I wouldn't flail around the universe helplessly without him. He is physically away quite often and the house still stands, the kids are fed, I make it to work on time. If something were to happen to him, I would carry on, raise our children well, live my life. In my case, I think it's not a matter of being lost without it, it's feeling like I'm truly where I belong with it.

this also goes for a Dom. If he didn't need his sub, then what's the point?!?!

It has taken me a lot of time to figure out that it isn't anything I do for him that he needs, or the words I say, or obedience, or anything else that I can offer. He needs me to let go of myself, open myself, and allow myself to really experience my need of him, to believe it, and to live it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

How do I feel about punishment?

An awful lot of people describe their dynamic as having a strong punishment component, and many posts are dedicated to describing those punishments. On the other hand, I've seen relationships described along the lines of "punishment is not part of our dynamic," or statements to the effect that, "punishment is not a necessary component of all power exchange relationships." Still others talk about punishments being reserved for very large issues or rare occasions only.

We do not have a punishment component to our relationship. If I am annoying enough, he will ignore me or otherwise not give me what I would like. That's pretty effective. The overall changes in how we interact have eliminated a lot of the petty nastiness or mean words that used to crop up from time to time. And I've found that, for the first time in our marriage, he now expresses his disappointment in me when he feels it. That alone is enough to make me stop and look at what I'm doing or saying.

I have very conflicted feelings about this topic. To start with, these are my feelings about this. I have in fact never asked my husband how he feels about punishment. Among other things, it makes me feel very un-grownup, in a not nice, immature way, to think about going to him and asking him how he feels about the idea of punishing me. That's not a feeling that I've come to terms with.

From a fairly young age, I was pretty much left on my own as far as my behavior was concerned, no real monitoring, no accounting. I have managed my own behavior ever since, so the idea of being accountable, beyond in the 'natural consequences to one's actions and words' kind of way, is odd for me to consider.

There are times when I feel out of balance that I crave more control or maybe domination from him. I need him to impose himself on me. I don't think that punishment would be meet that need though, certainly not something contrived for the moment.

My emotional state has been an occasional issue. I think that is another post for another day really. But it happens periodically - not every time, but a few times a year, that I become irrational and have a total emotional meltdown. It's short lived, but intense, and he has no patience for dealing with it. He recognizes it for what it is, but it's never pretty. However, since I really can't control it, I'm not sure a punishment, or threat of one, would make any difference.

The punishment component, or really lack thereof, in our relationship, means that I've not been "forced" to do or stop doing anything. Everything has been my choice. I go along or I don't (so far - I do). I'm not sure what would happen if I didn't. Would he back down? What if there were a really big issue? It's one area of conflicted feelings for me: part of me does really want to know, at least that he would not back down, if not what form that would take; another part of me rebels at the idea of such a thing, and thinks I have managed quite successfully for many years now, thank you very much.

I think one reason I do want to know how he would react to a big problem is that I wonder how much there is an unspoken, "you asked for this, if you stop complying, that means we're finished." I realize that this is questioning his dedication to what we have agreed to. But the niggling feeling is there, and I'm not able to parse out in my brain how much my compliance is based on my own commitment, vs. fear of him deciding he doesn't believe I'm really committed. Of course, him walking away would be quite a punishment, so... round and round goes the logic.

Then there is the fantasy angle. Punishments and discipline, when written about in an erotic way, clearly meant to arouse and entertain, do just that. I am susceptible to that, but I am also fully able to separate fantasy from reality.

So, would I want him to come after me if I really did something to hurt him, myself, or our family? I don't think, I can't imagine, he would be moved to consider the idea of punishing me for anything less. On many levels, it would be reassuring to know that he would. On the other hand, if I had done something that horrible, there would be larger issues at play.

I have read many peoples' thoughts on this, and I feel the same conflict as many. I am a grown up. I have been responsible for myself for a long time and nothing has happened to suddenly render me incapable of continuing to behave appropriately, do what I ought, and manage myself. On the other hand, I have put many aspects of myself in his hands, and this was part of the package.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

just a kiss

The right kind of kiss, at the right moment, can.....

........reassure me that he's really with me

...........make me feel small and drawn in

.........quiet my mind

..........end a hard discussion with no hard feelings

......make me know I'm forgiven

...........let me know he's really listening

.........slow down the passion so we can truly savor it

.....ignite a fire where I thought the embers were cold

.........connect us like nothing else

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Needing is hard for me. It feels wrong, greedy. But the truth is, I do need.

I need you. I need to be touched and aroused and taken up and sent over the edge. I need to be controlled and maintained and kept humming and balanced so I don't go teetering off one edge or the other. I need to feel you.

I need to be played with and impacted and yes, hurt. I need to be bound and contained and forced, and pushed and stretched. I need to feel you over me, in all ways. I need this to keep me from careening out of control, or worse, just halting dead in my tracks.

I need to know that it's ok to need these things. I need to know you will recognize this, and handle it, and decide. I need to know that you want me to need these things.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


My husband doesn't love having relationship discussions. He much prefers concrete discussions about specific issues and what to do about them, rather than more general 'state of the union' type talks. So he hasn't been keen to want to spend mental energy on the idea of what we are or are not these days, and he has been even less interested in choosing a label. This blog being evidence that I feel differently about relationship discussions in general, I do agree philosophically that being able to fit a category or label is not important in and of itself. However, that always left a "but" hanging there in my mind. I don't care about labels, or appearances, or meeting arbitrary standards, but it felt like there was something important being thrown out with all that. I just couldn't put my finger on it. I finally got it though, and I can't believe I missed it before. I want (maybe need) to know what he wants of me, what he expects, how he wants things to go, how he wants me to view him, and us.

So I tried him asking that question. How do you want me to view my relationship to you, our relationship to each other? How do you feel towards me, in this context?

For that he had a quick answer, "I really, really want you to come to depend on me." He meant in a larger and deeper sense, but that is how he wants me to think of it. He isn't happy with the word submission for our relationship. He feels that submission is a physical thing, and he's quite happy to have it there. But for the rest, on all levels, he wants me to not just feel like I can depend on him, but to actually do it.

I need to consider what this means to me. It has a lot of implications. Some of the implications are easy, and clear, and already what and how we are. Other areas I will need to think about more.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

my state of mind

I've been down this road before, over this ground previously. But - I'm back here again.
The big decisions that we are in the process of making have me feeling like I am not just on a roller coaster - but on two opposing ones at the same time. I'm not doing a very adequate job of explaining my feelings about everything - not here, and not to my husband. As soon as my mind wanders towards feeling genuine excitement about my opportunities, something punches me in the gut and tells me I should be happy with what I have and not uproot everyone else on my behalf. The ups and downs have my emotions in a tailspin.

And as I spin, I have a really strong desire to have him take ahold of me and make it all stop. I have no idea how, but somehow, by force, make it stop. I can feel it in my skin, I want him to reach into my mind and shake me and stop the spinning. But in the same moment, my mind screams at me that it's not right for me to rely on him to get me under control, that I'm just making more work for him, that he has enough to worry about already.....

I do believe that he wants this responsibility and that he can handle it, but I obviously have not come to terms with it being ok for me to ask this of him. I'm not sure it's even possible for another person to have this kind of access or impact on me, maybe it's a moot point anyhow. And, since if feels so much like it's all about me, what on earth is in it for him.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

This I Believe

I've borrowed the title because it is appropriate, and it was actually a fascinating way to see other people, through what they say they believe. There are things a person can know, they are true or not and don't involve an element of uncertainty. To say you believe something, on the other hand, requires that you have a certain amount of faith, or at least that you have gone through a process to be convinced. You know things, generally, that have been or can be somehow proven or shown to you. You believe things, often, in spite of there being no possibility of the thing being proven or provable. Believing is stronger than thinking, or hoping; it means you have left the doubt and uncertainty about the thing behind.

It has been a year since we started this particular journey. I still couldn't tell someone what the compulsion was to change things so much in our marriage, but I asked, he agreed, and we have. I have had a lot of insecurities about things having to do with those changes over that time. One of the most fundamental difficulties for me has been wondering to what extent he is in this because he really wants to be, rather than to humor me or because he is afraid he would lose me otherwise.

It goes beyond irony to come to someone and say, in essence, I want you to be in charge, and here is how I would like you to do it. It twists the mind around - If he had come to me to say that he wanted to take control, and wanted me to submit to him, I'm pretty sure I would have told him to take a flying leap. So how would I expect him to react to my out-of-the-blue proposal. In my mind, the most likely response would be, "I'll play along until it blows over or she moves on to some other cute little idea."

I also worried that he felt trapped into complying - again, out of line with of the intention of his being in charge. Around the time I came to him with these ideas, friends of ours were in the middle of a hateful and cruel divorce. She had hit mid-life, lost some weight, dolled up, and decided her husband was no longer good enough. He either couldn't or didn't change to meet her new wishes, so she left. It was very, very ugly. I wondered and worried that my husband entertained my request out of fear of me doing the same.

A lot has happened in a year, and we have both learned and developed. I know we will keep moving, changing, learning and growing. I have come to believe a lot of things I had doubted, and I think the most significant one is that I believe he truly wants this too.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I had never used the cop out "Go ask your dad," or "Wait till your dad gets home" with the kids. If I were the one around, I took care of things, and vice versa. I did, on occasion, with particularly aggressive sales people or phone solicitors, fall back on a feigned helplessness, "I really don't know about all that kind stuff, I'll have to wait and ask my husband, he takes care of all those things." I'm not sure I ever pulled it off, but it got me out of the conversation. Lately I find it would be quite tempting to be able to send the kids their separate ways with a promise to let dad sort it all out, and then just walk away. I don't, but it's tempting.

When it comes to making other househole or life decisions, we had a pretty workable system: really big decisions were made jointly, smaller ones not. This was good most of the time, sort of, but occasionally left one or both of us feeling like we had lost a battle. The process for making decisions is a little different now, and overall it seems to be working. I do sometimes tease him with it, when it's to my advantage, "Oh no, really, you should decide what we will have for supper tonight." But there haven't been big, huge decisions to make, yet.

Now we are facing one, or many huge decisions actually. The difficulty is that I am at the center of it. I am faced with choosing to take a job or choosing to wait a while longer in my current arrangement. The implications for me have me losing sleep already, can I do this, what if I can't, what if I hate it, how do I know if it's the right position for me? The implications for the rest of the family are enormous - moving, new schools, new state, new friends, new everything really.

My husband is of course involved in helping to make this decision, he has shot down a few options already (ok - they were far fetched and I wasn't serious about them anyhow). But, more than that, he is very good at laying out all the angles of a thing to be looked at. He also helps me sort out what are truly the important pros and cons of each option, and what are my own biases or insecurities. He is pushing me to follow this path, not allowing me to give in to those insecurities. He also has experience, lots of experience, hiring people. This advice is helpful since this is the first time in my life I have ever truly had to interview for something.

So, he has veto power, and he certainly helps and prods with the process, but in the end, the decision has to be made by me. And I am quite frankly terrified. This is the big one, and more than any of the small or even not so small day to day decisions, I would so love to just say, "You decide."

Thursday, April 1, 2010

becoming closer by becoming more different

The increasing dichotomy of us:

Two flat surfaces lie together fairly well - there are not too many protruding areas or recessed areas to cause a poor fit or incongruence. Two surfaces with their own individual contours and shape may be able to be adjusted, manipulated, wiggled around to be made to fit fairly well. Usually this results in some chafing or eroding of one surface by the other to make the fit better. The larger the projections and concavities, the more finagling and twisting and re-shaping become necessary. But once the two are made to fit fairly well - the joined surfaces are more strongly joined. They are less apt to slip apart because the shaped areas interlock more so than two flatter surfaces.

But, what if you could increase the depth or height or overall dimensions and complexity of the contours of the two surfaces, while still maintaining congruence? What if there were a way to shift around the edges of the forms from the inside to find the best fit, the most harmonious coincidence of one boundary to the other. Then, increasing the differences in the shapes of the two more, rather than less, would lead to a stronger union between the two. One edge bulges out in fantastic ways, the other yeilds to follow the mirror contour. One draws back and receeds and the other follows to fill the void left. The boundary between two such surfaces could become so deeply and complexly intertwined, that each side lends strength to support the other's beautiful shape. These would be very difficult indeed to separate.


Mouse's post about subspace got me in a little bit of a funk - It's not Mouse's fault at all (really, really Mouse) - it's my own mental twists and turns. It's also a lack of understanding and my generally silly thinking.

I have no idea if I am submissive or not. I think this is a larger question than me, certainly at this point. In looking for information about submission though, subspace is mentioned far and wide - from blogs to "how to guides". It would seem, or at least it did to me, that it is part and parcel of being submissive, so much so, that it seems almost a litmus test for "are you or are you not?" And since I had not experienced it, I reasoned, maybe I "am not." Eventually I decided that I needed to set aside this particular line of reasoning as being un-useful. It went along with learning to be concerned only with us and our way of being.

But the notion of subspace hanging out there has impacted me in other ways also. On good days - I simply wondered what it would be like, sort of "gee, wouldn't that be swell." Other days though, frankly, the fact that it hadn't happened to me made me feel defective, not adequate, like I must be either doing it wrong, or barking up the wrong tree entirely.

It does seem that the whole phenomenon is at least in part related to endorphins or other neurotransmitters. This of course can occur in anyone. My husband runs marathons, his high that kicks in at mile 20 obviously has nothing to do with submission. I experienced the huge rush of endorphins (and whatever other hormones joined the party) during childbirth. I was certainly in pain, but became suddenly flushed, hot, energized, and also detached from the pain at a certain point. In fact, I've had the same flush of endorphins from playing, so I think it must not be the whole story of subspace.

I love when my husband and I can play, or, more accurately I suppose, have him play with me. (I know *play* isn't a great term, I haven't come up with a better one). Maybe someday I will try to put into words what it makes me feel, and what it does do for me, to me. I think he might like that actually. But it has been a lot of learning. Learning logistics of course. But also, starting from absolute scratch, learning what effect every thing has on each of us, on me to have it done to me, and on him to do it, how far to push, what lies beyond that, what to hold onto and pay attention to, and what to let go of. One of the biggest or most challenging things for me to learn how to let go of was thinking, especially thinking about how I *should* be responding instead of just responding. I do think the elusive "subspace" hanging out there was part of the idea of how I felt like I should be responding. It was something I had to let go of.

As I put in my comment on Mouse's post, I have a hard time making my mind do what I want it to. But I have been able to put aside thinking about what and how I should be doing or feeling and try to focus on following what he wants me to do.

And thank you Omega and Mouse for your comments and concern.