Tuesday, July 26, 2011

i am submissive - just wondering

I am submissive - most certainly in my relationship with my husband.  I submit to him.

And this is the point at which most often people go on to say things such as, "But in all other circumstances, I am strong, independent, intelligent, feisty, a leader; really - I'm dominant, except to my husband/HOH/Master."

As much as people repeat that submissive does not equal doormat, no one seems willing to be considered anything remotely like submissive outside of their relationship.  Not only are they not submissive - but they consider themselves dominant.

I'm not at all convinced that the word or the trait 'submissive' should be applied (to people) in contexts outside of intimate relationships/play/ttwd.  I think that, used in the context of work, or extended family, or any other social dynamic, the word submissive is almost universally equated with doormat, pushover, shrinking violet, the runt of the litter cowering in the corner.   Who wants to admit to that?

I am not dominant in the wider world.  I'm not a doormat or a pushover.  But i'm not the one who must be in charge.  I can be; if i am the one in charge, i do that well.  But i prefer to play nicely with others.  I'm good on a committee.  And i love teaching: it's in charge, yet still collaborative, it requires leading by convincing and motivating, not ordering and directing.

I am an introvert and i am shy.  I strongly prefer not to be the center of attention, ever.  I can be downright anxious  meeting new groups of people or in certain social situations.  I don't consider this the same as being a doormat or pushover.  I think many people do, or they equate shyness with  an  inability to function or make decisions.

Certainly there are those who struggle with social anxiety to the point that it is paralyzing, or who are timid to the point of being unable to protect themselves, just as there are those who are extroverted or gregarious to the point of being obnoxious blowhards, or worse.  Just as i am shy and an introvert, certainly there are people who identify themselves as submissive in ttwd who are not at all shy and who are quite extroverted, and everything in between.

Of course i am strong, of course i am intelligent, and independent.  Who would not claim to be?  There are so many types of strength and so many situations people face which require strength.  Likewise, there are so many kinds of intelligence.  I think everyone lays claim to those in some form.  

I'm not really sure what 'independent' is meant to mean.  I am very much intertwined with my husband and my family and even in the connections in my life beyond them.  Does that make me not independent?   Isn't the point of D/s to strengthen certain connections, not sever them?   Maybe 'independent' means I am capable, high functioning, accomplished, self sufficient, and many more adjectives that are considered good, but which are really not very well defined either.

So yes - I am submissive: I submit to my husband.  Beyond that - I am a lot of things, and there are many traits i do not posses, just as with everyone else out there, including those who are dominant in ttwd.  I think it would be ok to have a full stop there - no need for further clarification, justification, explanation, or especially further assumption.

Monday, July 18, 2011

light vs. dark

There was a website of stories i ran across the very first day i discovered the ideas of BDSM. I think i read each of them several times back then but i hadn't looked at them for a very long time. I was looking for one specifically for a friend, and with some digging i re-discovered them. [I had to use the wayback machine - thank you David.]

They were absolutely typical - a training school, random chance encounters, punishments, first times...  Some were tinged with a touch of anxiety about the unknown, but they were generally quite tame. Those stories led me to others, some of which had a decidedly darker tone: stories with uncomfortable self-discovery, pain, humiliation, fear, terror, non-consent, real danger....  And of course all of them spoke to me, some of them enough to make me question myself for being drawn in rather than repelled.

The edge, the anxiety about what will happen, the fear in what does happen - that's part of the appeal of course.  And even now, i don't fantasize about sunshine and daisies.  When i imagine the things that really rachet me up - there are no bubble baths or long walks on a beach.  That book title had it right: screw the roses - give me the thorns. 

But that is fantasy, and in no way do i want my real life to be dark and fearful, or even edgy or anxious.  Life by its nature has enough uncertainty, anxiety, worry, even despair and grief.  I want, and I need for my relationship with my husband to be a source of stability, trust, refuge, joy and love.  And by and large, our relationship is sunshine and daisies - metaphorically speaking. 

So why do i want the dark stuff??? 

Maybe if my relationship were a dark and fearful thing i would dream of  rainbows and light.  Maybe my attraction to the dark side is a luxury, only possible because of my good fortune currently. Am i trying to inject a little chaos and fear like a bored, over-indulged teenager?  Going down this line of thinking makes me feel petty and spoiled, and maybe i am; i'm honestly not sure what to think of this. 

Certainly i am fortunate because of my husband and in our relationship. And part of me really wants to think that is ok, that it is a natural urge to want to improve and maintain something you value.  I know that the various aspects to ttwd have strengthened our marriage all around.  It has provided both light and dark for us; it has taken us further out on the spectrum in both directions.  Our relationship is stronger and easier and better, but we also explore the dark and scary, seamy underside.  I know him more and i trust him more deeply than ever, but i am also sometimes afraid and on edge and hurt and struggle sincerely to get away from him. 

I was chatting with a friend about these thoughts and he put it all in perspective for me - he does that well - i seem to just get lost in the wondering.  A few of his thoughts about it:
    Once again, it is all in the balance: to truly enjoy the light and understand it, it needs to be kept in perspective by the dark.

    If he canes your ass raw and fucks you hard, the next time he hugs you gently in the kitchen, it means so much more. 

    To never know the bite of the cane is to never experience his raw power and desire and to never truly know the emotion behind the hug, this is the communication of D/s.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

attention whore

We call our dog an attention hound - except we use the word whore when the boys aren't within earshot.  He nudges and nuzzles and pushes and follows and will do just about anything to be petted and paid attention to.  He is beyond persistant and he is shameless.

And i wish i could get away with all that too. 

I am a greedy little thing - i want more and more - more contact, more time, more touch, more containment, more pain, more arousal, more HIM.  I want to feel him over me, i want to feel his hands on me, i want to sit very quietly at his feet, i want him to push me, i want to moan and scream and cry for him, and i want him wrapped all around me. 

If i thought it would work - i would follow him around, nudging and nuzzling and rubbing myself all over him, i could stare at him with big green eyes - i would even wag my tail if i thought it would work. 

When we've had enough of the dog's persistance, we tell him to "Go lie down!" 

 I could go lie down, or sideways, or bent over, or on my knees, or anyway he would want. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

butting in


Yes - the whole thing is about communication - lots and lots of it - at a deep and soul baring level - and all that...

Yes, I know, but...

It is one thing to be expected to answer, honestly even, when he asks a straightforward question, to respond to him when spoken to, to have the "shrug it off" option taken away.  It is even one thing to be expected to come to him with concerns, questions, things i feel i need to or should say.  It is hard sometimes - but it makes sense.  Those are important, useful, open lines of communication, and more to the point - things i think he probably does need to know.

It is another thing entirely to have him demand access to and intrude, at his whim,  on any of my thoughts, ideas, curiosities, passing fancies...  It makes me bristle having him read over my shoulder when i email or chat, having him watch what i google or what i browse.  It's the same with his having/using my passwords, or asking what my plan is for my day, or what i did today, or, or, .....  My least favorite question has become "whatcha doin?" in that singsong tone. 

I know most people don't like to be eavesdropped on, or have someone read over their shoulder, or feel intrerrogated.  The phrase "butt out" exists for a reason.  It definitely makes me defensive and sets me on edge.  It feels very, very different from answering a direct question about a specific issue.  It feels instrusive and invasive. 

It is the same feeling i fought against when i was learning to let him touch me at his whim.  It was easy to give him access to my body in the right context - when it made sense to me, when we were clearly engaged in that kind of activity.  It was extrememy difficult to give him that access when i couldn't see the point, when he felt like it but i didn't, when i thought it was the wrong time.  I still occasionally have to fight back my impulse to protest, but i'm learning and i'm better.

I have learned to be open and honest when we are having a discussion that i feel is important, also when i can take time to craft the response or the message.  (That doesn't sound so open and honest though does it?)  This is a whole 'nother thing though, and i'm finding it very hard to learn.

Friday, July 1, 2011

shades of color

It seems to be all over, and for some reason I've run across versions of it A LOT lately: slaves live to serve their master's desire, most importantly - forgoing their own to serve his/hers; they are different from "just subs" in that subs can say no, change the game midstream, in essence - arrange things to get just what they want out of it.

Makes a nice clear dichotomy indeed.

But i think life is much more analog than digital - more hues than black or white.

He has no interest in the term slave - i'm His, His toy, His girl, His wife, all HIS - that is His view.  And i have to agree with him - because i do agree with him; I have always been his, it's just that now he is free to exercise that ownership. I also have to agree with him because I've agreed to do so. (See all the pretty circles this goes in)

No i can't say no - well i can - the phoenetics still work. But i certainly can't change the rules mid-stream and i can't just arrange it all to get what i want out of it (i.e., he's not doing it just to humor me - it took me long enough to be convinced of that).

And yes - i can say no, really - if this whole thing suddenly just didn't work - it would be serious, there would be long discussions, and meeting of minds, and regrets, etc - but we are first and foremost people who love and are devoted to each other - not "only if we can have it this way." We would find another way. Not a case of my changing the rules to the game on a whim though.

And really - it isn't a game. It is our life. We are serious, funny, irreverent, dedicated, imperfect, responsible, carefree, attached, adventurous ..... and all the other things people are in different proportions at different times. But we don't view life as a game, nor our relationship.

Add the biggest, prettiest circle of all is that often, in small things and in the big picture, he wants me to get what i want, wants me to be happy, wants me to be more....So i am. I am serving his desire, and when i don't, he fixes that, one way or another. It just so happens that in his case, his desire includes both of us.

I know this sounds very much a defense of our relationship against some imagined attack, or an attempt to fit into a mold somewhere....

Really - it's just that it struck me this time around: reading "the gospel of slave vs. sub" left me feeling much less of "shouldn't i be like that, i must be wrong?" and more that what i was reading didn't fit my experience of it. There just isn't enough nuance, enough color, to cover the humanity of it.