I recently completed another trip around the sun. To celebrate the occasion, my husband (and boys) gave me really, really mundane kitchen implements. In fact - i got a shiny new pepper grinder, and one hot pad - yup - just one - cuz they thought one of my current set was still serviceable. There are lots and lots of wonderful things my husband is teaching the boys about being good men; birthday gifts is not one of them.
The thing is - there is usually a personal gift, just for me, not for public consumption. That gift is always very well thought out and planned, and usually very effective, and very appreciated. It's just that the world doesn't see it. This occasion was no exception.
My posts lately, for a good bit in fact, have been heavy on introspection and deep thoughts, mistakes made and lessons learned. Of course, that's because that is what life has mostly been recently: growing, growing pains i guess. The fantasy of it all, and the fantasies underneath it all, seem to have faded away a great deal. I guess the honeymoon's over... On to real life and all that...
I think that some of the overall benefits, the day to day effects, the really concrete stuff that makes our relationship and our family life better comes at the expense of the idealism, the fantasy, the imagination. I'm a pretty sensible girl, i know what is important, and i wouldn't trade the current feeling of closeness and (yes) intimacy that i have with my husband for anything. But i do miss that dark edge, the flip flop in my stomach at times, the sudden quickening of breath, the anticipation of being transported.
For us, the physical things that are peculiar to BDSM, or at least to *our* practice of it, are not used for punishment, or even discipline in a very strict sense. At one time, they would be used to help restore my sense of balance, or maybe adjust a wayward attitude. But lately, that has been accomplished more through words and effort. And I trust him, i don't need to go through daunting physical challenges to learn or to show my trust in him.
Which has left me wondering what role play might have for us at this point. Is it something we will just outgrow? Was my once-upon-a-time intense need for pain a delusion or a passing fancy? And what about the fantasy, the anticipation, the edge? Are those also things that get left by the wayside? Are they part of the honeymoon only? Are they a "less mature" way of expressing ourselves and we should outgrow them? Because i don't really want to give them up, but i do see that their role is not the same as it had been.
I've seen people write about not calling the physical interactions of BDSM "play", the arguement being it is real and serious and not pretend or to be taken lightly. I suppose that i have plenty of real and serious in my life already. My committment and submission to my husband is not perfect, but it is not taken lightly and is certainy not pretend. I can't help but think of our physical expression of that as play. It is all the best things that play is, free, expressive, physical, fun, challenging, exhausting, uplifting, revitalizing...
And i think that, at least right here, right now, play is exactly the right role for it: something to look forward to, a way for us to explore and express ourselves, a way to push each other, a way to realign those subtle shifts of power that get a little off in the day to day, a way to find joy in each other. And the special gift he gave me on this occasion? It has me (very intentionally i'm sure) swinging between anticipation and fear, between the excitiment of a deep rooted fantasy or maybe unexplored kink of mine and wondering if i'm just nuts. It has me a little in awe of him and a little on edge. Thinking about it takes me outside of the day to day and to a place that is just him and me.