Saturday, May 29, 2010

me and conditioning

Years and years ago I tried to watch the movie "Clockwork Orange." It is the only movie I have ever walked out in the middle of. I generally avoid movies that I think will be about human cruelty to other humans and this one was extreme. I couldn't stomach it. But the other part that disturbed me too much was the idea of re-conditioning peoples' thoughts and feelings and responses. I've never seen the ending, so I have no idea if or how it all worked out. But the idea of conditioning or brainwashing really disturbs me.

I know that life is conditioning us, shaping us every day, all the time. Nothing, since our first few cries at birth, isn't in some way conditioned. Babies get fed or cuddled or tended to when they cry; so begins the conditioning, very early on. Our innate nature also plays some part in our personality: how we set ourselves up for the experiences which might shape us, how we respond to events and what changes are then allowed to happen in our psychic makeup as a result. It's the old nature vs. nurture debate.

I wasn't looking for answers or even for something different when I stumbled onto a lot of new ideas, and into the world of D/s, but the ideas sucked me in with a force I had not experienced before. I read and read and read. And a good deal of what I read was other peoples' thoughts on how their version of D/s works for them: their mechanics and logistics, their styles, and their protocols; but, mostly I read about how it makes them feel, how they react to the things that are done or said, their responses to the realities of the dynamic.

The things I read resonated with me. The ideas of the dynamic appealed certainly, but I also started to recognize in myself a lot of the feelings other people described. These weren't feelings I had had before. In fact, I started to respond to things in my life in a way opposite to how I would have previously: things like wanting to serve and wanting to make him happy. Previously, I would have felt put upon or slighted or that it wasn't fair if I ended up doing more of whatever. It just led to resentment and unhappiness. Now I like having chances to do little things for him and feel twinges of guilt when he needs to do things I normally would have taken care of.

The same is true for a lot of other very new ways of thinking and processing and responding. I see myself reacting to something a certain way, a way that is very different than I ever would have before. And more than that, I feel myself experiencing feelings I never used to - feelings that would have been very incongruent with the situation previously -from expecting me to make is coffe for him each morning to having him tell me he plans to provide guidance and oversight as I start my new job. These should both create feelings of burden or indignance or even outrage. Instead I feel pleased that it makes him happy that I do his coffee for him; and on a larger scale, I am embarressed and ashamed that he knows my weaknesses, but grateful and oddly warm and fuzzy knowing he will actively hold me to accounts even in my job.

What I have wondered and worried about for a long time now is the idea of whether these new feelings and responses are really me - or have just been conditioned or absorbed by my subconscious from reading about them. The rewards seem to be quite pleasant for the writers, I crave the feeling they have, something about it all strikes something deep within me. So maybe all my new feelings are really nothing more than power of suggestion and knee-jerk responses to things I've read? In that case, would it be a good idea to follow this path?

On the other hand, maybe these new ways of thinking and feeling and responding are newly conditioned or learned, and maybe they have just replaced other behaviors and responses that had been conditioned a long time ago, by other forces. Has this reading and learning let me shift my inhibitions and previously conditioned responses to the "real" me? I've done some serious soul searching to try to figure out if I'm just falling into something -like a fad - or are these new feelings honest adn true to me. As far as I can tell, they are.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A taste of power

I wonder about a lot of things - hence the title of the blog.

I wonder sometimes what it feels like to be on the other side, not because I want to be there, I've been there- or at least, not here, and this way is better. But what must it feel like to be the one planning, deciding, setting the pace, giving or denying, teasing or fulfillling, trusting the other person only to go along (and enjoy)?

I know so intimately how it makes me feel to be, figuratively at least, on the bottom. I know what it does for me to be done to, to not decide or plan, just to comply, to know only that he will do what he will to me. I know the feeling of listening with my entire body for sensations that will come, but I know not what or where or how. I know the waiting and anticipating. I know the focusing on a sensation being created in one very central point, but I can't guide it or alter it or even encourage it, only experience it. And I know the trusting that it may hurt, but it wont harm me.

There are a few moments where I do get a taste (bad pun) of being on the other side. He gives that power over to me, quite gladly; and I, uncharacteristically, quite enjoy it. It may be terribly, terribly un-domly of him, but I'm sure he doesn't care. He guides, makes (not so subtle) suggestions, directs from above. But he still has to anticipate, receive, experience, and most importantly, trust that what I do will be pleasurable, and WON'T HURT HIM. [He's fairly adamant about that last bit.]

For my part, I love hearing his responses. I love the twitches and jumps as I first run my tounge around him. I love the catch in his breath as I find just the right spot. I love the way he stops exhaling altogether, only breathes in deeper and deeper as I oh so delicately pull his balls into my mouth. I love his moans as I find that spot just below. I love the stillness of his body as I bring him all into my mouth. And I especially love the sudden urgency as he decides he is finished letting me set the pace and he grabs and shoves and holds me right there.

Friday, May 21, 2010

please stop

I've never asked him to stop doing anything to me before.

[Well, that's not entirely true. The first time he used a closthespin on my clit- it starts out tantalizing, then builds to arousing, then annoying, then painful --> all good; then it abruptly shoots off into a level and kind of pain that scares the hell out of me. I think I am, reasonably or not, afraid of nerve damage. What a horrible place to have nerve damage? So, that time I panicked.]

The point is though, that whatever else he has done, I've not asked him to stop. I've yelped, moaned, cried, sobbed, screamed, and tried to move away, even fought to move away. But on some level, I have been afraid that if I asked him to, he would stop.

But it slipped out this time - please stop.

He didn't stop of course, and I'm sure he wouldn't have any other time. It was something in my head. So he carried on and I got a little lost after that.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

do one thing every day that scares you

In the past week we have chosen a new town, a new neighborhood, new schools for our children, and a new house to be our home. All from scratch so to speak. A friend of mine sent me the above quote (from Eleanor Roosevelt) and pointed out that we are probably caught up, at least through next week.

This week has, however, left me absolutely no time to think about anything extraneous, our relationship included. I'm pretty sure this works just fine for my husband, he is much more in favor of doing than analyzing the doing.

For a long stretch (for me) our relationship has just been. This is unsettling for me. On some level, if I haven't deconstructed it, it hasn't really happened. This is overt in my blog and in my constantly wanting to talk about things. But it is also a running thing in my head, the blow by blow analysis as things happen. And I haven't had time for that even.

This morning I finally had a few minutes to ponder: We operated together pretty well. We made a lot of really big decisions, together, without strife. So much so that I asked my husband at one point if he were just capitulating to my opinion since I wasn't feeling like I needed to be fighting for it. It felt very different. He made decisions about how or what we would do, and a few times those did register because, well...because I thought we should do them differently. But - they registered, and my mind moved on.

Beyond the realization that it worked, better than ever in fact, came the realization that it worked in spite of the fact that I hadn't mentally examined, analyzed, and come to a conclusion about every last detail. So the conundrum: putting no thought into a realtionship means it can't grow or evolve and would likely stagnate or crumble eventually, just being may allow the individuals to thrive, but it doesn't really allow the entity created by the two together to be dynamic at all; on the other hand, thinking about a relationship is not the same as living one, analyzing is not the same as enjoying or experiencing, and sometimes quiet inside my head is nice.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

fits and starts - or - like a river

"Life is really crazy for us right now." I find myself saying that a lot - not just now - but over the past few years, no - actually many years. I guess it boils down to life just is crazy. It moves, not forward in a nice predictable way, but all over and with all kinds of crazy accelerations and reversals. I know someone who compares life to the flow of a river - he's not the first one, I'm sure, but I'm borrowing shamelessly from him. Our river always seems to be straight off a glacier, down a steep mountainside, in a windstorm. Except that, when I look backwards at it, it seems so pleasant and lovely. I don't know if that has more to do with the way our minds gloss over the difficult stuff in hindsight (why else would I have had child # 2), or the fact that, in the moment, I tend to see things as more daunting than they really are.

The fact is that we are in transition now. I have been a professional student for some time. I've recently finished being a student and have taken a "real" job. We are packing up and moving, far away. And we have a very short time in which to do it. The past year has been a year of finishing one phase of things and planning for the next. It feels good to finally know what needs to be done, and to begin doing it.

The past year has also been a huge year of change for my husband and me. My discovery of D/s and our initial efforts to learn, and to reshape our marriage, coincided with the hardest part of my studies. Maybe it was fate, or just a huge coincidence, or something quiet within me knew I needed a different way of being. It was a time that I needed all my energy to be focused on finishing - and being a wife, and raising children, and ailing parents, and, and, and... Yet I was obsessed, distracted, and off balance by this new thing, these bizarre new feelings, and I couldn't put the genie back in the bottle. It seemed to me then that the timing couldn't have been worse.

It has been just about a year since we stepped into this particular river (and yes - i find myself frequently wet - take that as you will). I have changed so much, and learned so many things about myself, and about my husband, and about how we can interact. There was a lot of "well, I would never" that passed my lips, at least in my internal conversations. Except that now I do, and happily. Words and ideas and ways that I had found frightening, repugnant, weird or extreme have come to be enticing, intriguing, useful or already integrated into our lives. I am slowly learning to read and listen with a more open mind.

I feel we've barely started. I certainly feel as if I know nothing. If you go with the peeling layers of an onion analogy, I'm still clinging to that papery outer skin. I even avoid taking those polls about "how do you identify?" because I feel like I don't know enough to know if this is really me. Am I submissive? I mean the adjective, not as a noun; I'm not wading into the miasma of trying to label us. Am I submissive? An awful lot fits. An awful, awful lot grabs me, pulls at me, socks me in the gut and levels me. To some extent, people form some identity based on what speaks to them, what resonates and what doesn't. In the end, if the proof is in the pudding, it is working, so much better than "not D/s" was.

Mouse asked recently if falling into submission was a slide down a slippery slope or a jagged edge on which you catch then slip, catch, then slip some more. For us, for me at least, because that's who I can really speak about, it is a jagged edge, fits and starts, a raging, calm, winding, wide open, slow, churning, never the same spot twice, river. I get stuck on something, then work through it and move on. I get really stuck, throw a huge fit, calm down, work through it, and move forward. My husband has even joked that he can predict what my next post will be like based on the pattern of ups and downs. It is much like the rest of our lives. And, in the hind view, the panorama from the vantage point of now, it has been quite lovely and good.

The timing for my initial introduction to all this really probably could have been better. Why did this particular self discovery led to such an obsessive frenzy? Why couldn't I just take bits and pieces and ease into it all? Why did it have to be more like a drug addition than, say, taking up piano lessons? But now that we are here, somewhere downstream, I am glad, so glad, we jumped in when we did. I will save the nuts and bolts for other posts, but I know I am handling the changes and challenges in our lives better than I would have, I know I feel more connected to my husband than I ever have, and I know he feels stronger, more confident, and more joyful in us.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

two words

There are two words that I had found off-putting. Actually, they both made me fearful and defensive and a bit indignant. Of course it is the meanings of a word, the connotations and implications of the concept a word represents, that are important to us, not the word itself; that is very true in this case. Over time, I have become less indignant and defensive about each of these words (ideas), although still somewhat fearful. I wouldn't say I understand them any better now, they are not simple ideas for me. I still find them off putting and fear provoking, but also intriguing, hopeful, attractive. I think I have come to want what I think they offer.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Have you ever.....

found yourselves sitting on the sofa with him, waiting... waiting....
for a very awake child to fall asleep (teenagers should not stay up so late)
watching hockey even though only one of you has even a passing interest in the game
waiting and listening for movement from the child's room,
for all the sounds of not sleeping to cease

because he's been gone for a long time, and you were before that,
and now it's been a very long time
and he has been texting his thoughts and his plans and even his dreams,
in which you figure prominantly
or at least your body does

and you've sent pictures, as requested
and playing with yourself,
even with the toys
barely takes the edge off
the desire grows when you are unaddressed, unattended to

but so do the not so nice feelings:
not sleeping makes you tired,
missing him makes you lonley and resentful,
being without his influence makes you antsy, bratty
lacking his control lets you grow off-balance
and you start to doubt

and over the time apart, the need grows
you can feel it in your skin,
and in your psyche

and now he is so close, right next to you
teasing you even
pinching, tweaking, mmmm...kissing
making promises about setting you straight again
as soon as the child falls asleep