Once upon a time, I was able to go to him out of the blue and tell him i thought sex would be far better for us if he changed the rules. I was even able to tell him - repeatedly and specifically - that i thought i wanted for him to cause me pain and to use me in weird ways. These weren't easy things for me to tell him, but i managed to be coherent and grown up about it.
Somehow, some things have changed.
The smallest, simplest, shouldn't-even-make-me-blink things make me feel self-conscious, silly, out of place, or very small and at a loss for how to respond. After almost two years - asking permission to get into bed with him makes me stare at the floor, giggle, and act like the silly, pre-teen girl i never was. I've asked him, but he won't tell me how he wants me to be in that situation, and I feel like i have no idea at all how to respond. As a ritual, it ought to make me feel very submissive, quiet, demure maybe - but this one doesn't do that for me.
He sometimes gives me tasks - with a time frame - and they are things that shouldn't be that hard. This post by Jake hit on one thing. Occasionally, my husband will send me links to websites and ask me to choose three things - usually they are toys, of a sort. He makes it clear that he may or may not ever purchase what i choose, but he wants me to show him what i've picked. I find this incredibly difficult to do. It is hard for me to show him what i might or might not want; to think about what really does arouse me; to admit, even to him, what i so very much don't want to admit i find intriguing.
I don't think he's going for humiliation; somehow to me, humiliation seems like it should be deathly serious. But he gets an evil grin when something is clearly hard for me, or makes me uncomfortable, or better yet gets me to blush. He has that Chesire Cat grin every night when i ask to get into bed. And he pushes forward with these kinds of tasks with the same glint.
There's a really fine line for me between uncomfortable, makes me feel silly or self conscious, or even blush - and over the edge into angry, or shut down, or totally pissed off. So maybe that's the thing...Sometimes it feels like play - in the very best senses of the word: not so deathly serious, joyous, connecting - like the bedtime ritual. But it's also got a challenge to it every time, it's him pushing me to go with him and keep myself from moving into anger and withdrawal.
I still have trouble (obviously) thinking about us in terms of humiliation. Mostly, i imagine that some things are really just that, in principle, it's just that i'm such a weenie/cheap date/easy target - take your pick - that it hardly seems the right term. I've also had a fairly dim view of the idea of humiliation used in this way - which is to say, honestly, it scares me.
This is another area where i really don't know my husband's feelings about the whole thing either. If past experience is any indication - there is more to it somewhere deep in my head than what i see right now, and in his as well. I have to add though, that two recent posts, one by mouse and one by sin both gave me a different perspective than i had before. It's not where i am, or where we are i suppose, but a nicer view than i had previously.