Monday, January 30, 2012

To know

Other languages have more words for "knowing" than English does. But I don't know the other languages i know well enough to know if the "knowing" words convey the sense i'm looking for: the sense of being able to state a fact or explain a concept vs. truly understanding something deep in your being.....

He has ways of making me know things.

I love words, but some things take feeling them to really know.

He has a way of doing, a tone to his actions that make me know, whatever it is i need to know.....
   That he treasures me
   That he holds me to expectations
   That he will let me run with my head to a point, but he will not let me go past his limits
   That he has forgiven me
   That he is the one in control
   That even if i don't like it in the moment, i do need the pain
   That this is who we are.

Friday, January 27, 2012

There's always more...

Or maybe i'm just really, really slow.

[This post runs the risk of being TMI - ironic for the kind of blog it is, but it's a touchy one for me]

This all started for us in the bedroom.  That's where our problems lay at the time.  The progression from there was just what naturally happened.

We've come a long way - i've come a long way.  In my previous life, i barely let him touch me; the parts of my body i was unhappy with were forbidden, and frankly, that left very little.  This morning, my husband laid me out on our bed and claimed my entire body - touching, stroking, rubbing, scratching, possessing every bit of me. He transports me when he does this.  All my focus is on him, not on my body or my perceptions of my body.  My skin reaches out and listens for his touch. My body responds to him alone, not to me.

But there are layers in everything, aren't there?  Learning your way past each challenge seems to just reveal a new one.  And I fall into the trap of thinking that, just because i can't see the next dragon to slay, there must not be any more.

He loves making me come - he just does - he always has.  And now, well - i think he's a kid in a candy shop, or a boy with a new toy, literally.

And the issue, the touchy part for me, the dragon, is that my body hasn't turned that over to him.  Orgasms are not multiple or easy things for me.  They don't happen *to* me, I have to participate, at least mentally.  I have to nudge them along.  I don't mean fantasizing about something else, maybe even the opposite: i have to be very there.  I have to focus and maybe even work for it.  In the end though, they remain under my control, and not even particularly good control at that.  I work to do what he wants, to follow his lead and give him what he is asking for.  But somehow following his direction, however faithfully, doesn't feel the same as just getting out and letting him drive.

This feels like a failure to me.  I don't think he sees it that way, I'm not sure.  It's both very subtle, and quite overwhelming for me.  I don't know if this is a "just the way my body is, no point in worrying about it" thing, or if it's in my head and is in fact related to not letting go of some level of control.

and i can't even imagine - if i could slay this dragon, what on earth would the next one look like?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

sometimes it's good for him to let me keep the control - just a little

A really unusual turn of events had me driving 5 teenager boys through a snowstorm in the mountains with my husband to be picked up later to meet us.  The highway was passable, but slow and a little anxious. I'm very familiar with driving in snow - just not mountains.  At our destination, the roads were not cleared and the 5 teenagers came in handy pushing the van out of a few spots it wasn't designed for.  We got everything done that we needed to do, then i left with two of them to drive through more snowy mountains to get my husband.  By the time we got to where he was, i was on edge with the prolonged concentration of that kind of driving.

Typically, my husband prefers to drive - actually, prefers is a little mild, he almost always drives.  It's been a thing as long as we've been together.  As i pulled up to pick him up i was having a little trouble letting go of the steering wheel.  I had been on and managing weird conditions and feeling very responsible for the boys in my care over a very long day. It occurred to me all of a sudden that i was not at all sure i would be able to switch off so easily.    I was pretty certain that if he drove, i would still feel a need to be in in charge and "on" and that might end with me acting in some pretty unacceptable ways.

He must have had a clue that would be the case.  He slid into the passenger side, told me he loved me, and off we went.  Once we we all safely back where we needed to be, i was finally able to let go and turn off.

                                       - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I wrote this a few days ago and have been hemming and hawing about publishing it.  Reading it, looking at it from the outside a bit, makes me feel very conflicted.

I sound, to me, like someone who is only marginally competent, like i've given up any ability to handle stresses or situations or make decisions or manage day to day life.  Like i've given over my brain with my consent.

I really, really don't like this image of myself.

And i know damn well it isn't what my husband wants of me.

The fact is, what he wants of me is to be more, not less.  He wants me to take on challenges.  He wants me to think and function independently, but with him, not away from him.

It was a stressful day.  It would have been for him as well.  In the end - it is more helpful to each of us for me to be able to do what needs to be done when it needs to happen, and for him to be able to trust that.

And i don't think i've lost that confidence somewhere, I do think i've lost sight of the fact that it's really ok for me to have it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

somewhere along the way.......

Somehow it just happened.

It all turned into that thing that i never thought it would - that thing that intrigued but repelled and scared the piss out of me all at the same time.

Somewhere along the way he stepped completely in front and i find myself needing to keep up.

At some point he moved into his own skin and is moving and stretching and loving the feel of it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

tying things together

This one is going to have - as my husband would say - lots of words.  

I have felt odd about my last post - wondering why i needed to think about "feeling like less" - since the idea that any person is somehow of less value than another isn't one i've ever accepted.  The right and wrong of the whole question should have been as obvious to me as it was to everyone who commented.  But there was something - not a truth in the idea - but something i felt like i was missing  - some point i needed to catch.  

During the same month or so - i had some tough times with my husband - specifically - times i needed to submit and failed to in spectacular  ways. 

Even i was able to recognize they were probably related.    

My instinct was that i was feeling too full of myself - that there was an element of humility (not humiliation-they are different) that i was lacking recently.  But that's as far as i was able to figure.

My friend who helps me figure things out sometimes was able to help me see some important things about all this.

Things with my husband had come up when i felt like he hadn't listened to me or heard my side of things.  They were not small issues - they were things i felt very strongly about; i felt i was right and that they were important not because i was right but that being addressed correctly was important to our family.  I didn't accept his decision and i blew up - tears, yelling, lots of not so pretty words.  

The part that i had trouble with is that he didn't back down when i couldn't come his way. I wasn't upset that he didn't cave in and go with my way, but that he kept pushing and I felt like it was too hard, that i was at my end and he was going to have to back off, come back to it later, take a time out.  But he didn't.  I was confused and very, very angry.  I had gone beyond where i knew how to go.   

My feeling is that he was really reading it wrong and being very defensive himself - and i didn't know if i could really learn to swallow my pride and ego in times like that.  It was also a struggle between whether i trust myself and what i see - or trust him, when we see things differently.  Again, it's easy to see that as pride and ego; but somehow it felt deeper than that - like my giving in did make me less than him somehow - that my view and thoughts are second class.  

My friend asked if holding on to my pride and ego get me what i want?   No, but its a very ingrained thing to do.  "So?"   He pointed out that it was a fear - that it would have cost me a bit of who i believe i am and that is the crux of the fear. 
He made several more points that have helped me work my way through this thing:
        "Being submissive does not and has never meant being a doormat and you must be able to voice your opinion. Often this dynamic should not change your right and ability to disagree or promote a different agenda, what it changes is how you do that."

        "The root cause of almost all fighting is the desire to be right. D/s as a relationship model is about removing that desire and replacing with a far more co-operational approach."

        "So I think as you move forward in thinking about your submission you should not think so much about what you have to give up or how you just have to accept, but in terms of how you park ego and pride to allow honest communication to occur - communication that deals with solutions instead of being right."

These things have helped me see why i reacted so strongly, what was making it such a difficult thing for me, and how to try to change my responses.  

 A lot of working this through was done with my husband.  I was able to tell him why i had so much trouble, how i had felt.  And he explained his expectations for how i respond.  I can see that he will listen to me, but that i need to learn to trust that i can put my pride and my ego aside and that it doesn't make me less in his eyes.  


Monday, January 9, 2012

submissive as less than

A few things i've come across and read lately have painted the picture of submissive being "less than" Dominant.

They were subtle - and from people within the lifestyle  - so it wasn't the ignorant "submissve must mean doormat" from someone who has no idea about anything.

But the message was clear - it was still - a submissive is somehow less than a Dominant.

Obviously -  sub is sub - literally - below;  by definition and convention - bottom, subject to, subjugated to, and under, among other adjectives.

But this kind of "less than" that i ran across was more along the lines of  less value, less desirable, less admirable, less how a person ought to be, than a statement of relative position in a dynamic.

The implication was that submissive is a stage to go through and learn from, but ultimately to outgrow.  Or - submissive is for those who can't quite cut it at being Dominant: as in "those who can - do, those who can't - teach" - except with Dom and sub instead. 

My knee jerk reaction to this implication was indignation.

Then i thought about it awhile and thought maybe it was the predominant view, or maybe even reality, in parts of the BDSM community with which i'm not familiar, that is to say - lots of parts.  Maybe in clubs, for example, where people are D or s perhaps  independent of a partner...maybe in that context people do tend to grow through stages of submission --> Dominance.

Then i mulled it over for a few weeks and started seeing other sides to it:

Being ruled, being overruled, being subjected to humiliations - no matter how small, or physically dominated or - well - the list goes on - all these things are designed to put one in (her) place.  They are potentially - or in other contexts would be very demoralizing, deflating, probably damaging.  They work to maintain the power distribution and meet the vastly different needs of the people involved (the D's to be dominant, the s's to submit).

But there is a very fine line between maintaining a dynamic and breaking one person down by building yourself up; doing actual damage; each party believing the D is just a more worthwhile person than the s.

Or is there?

Maybe i'm supposed to truly want that - maybe that is the issue - maybe that is truly what submission is.

I am saying this sincerely, not sarcastically, maybe to truly give oneself, to truly submit, one has to believe that (she) is not as valuable as her Master/Dom.  Or - to see it the other way - maybe i am not truly submitting if i don't believe he is altogether better than i am.  

I know  i'm not there.  I'm not outraged or even indignant at the whole thought anymore- but i don't want to be less than.  I admire my husband enormously and will tell you he is more than me in a great many ways, maybe in most ways.

But I don't think i believe he is more worthwhile as a person than i, and i'm really not ready to accept that i am less worthwhile as a category.

But can one really be submissive without that shift?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

observations - ours and others'

Our holidays were generally good - time with lots of family over Christmas, and reconnecting with good friends over New Years.  We traveled then we hosted several extra families in our house.   We are fortunate, and blessed, in so, so many ways - and we are thankful for this.  My husband pointed out to me that the picture presented in my blog didn't reflect this. 

My two most recent posts have been downers - i know.  I absolutely believe that with ttwd - our highs are higher, and the lows are tougher to take.  The disconnect and the disappointment in myself and hence, frustration with him, that i felt so acutely - wouldn't have been blips on the radar previously.  I know that whatever we are in the midst of figuring out - is important.  And i know that, in spite of the wilder ups and downs, neither of us thinks we aren't much better off now.  (Follow all the double negatives there?  ttwd = good)

In various conversations over the holidays - some things people said struck me and i tucked them away to think about:

Close friends - who have known us for more than 20 years - commented that we were visibly so much happier together than we have been before that they thought it was altogether too cute (not sure they considered cute a compliment - but the happy part they did).

In talking in generalities about relationship styles, i joked that i just say "yes dear" and agree to whatever i'm asked to do - and that makes the relationship easier....  One of our friends became really animated and adamant that i shouldn't tease my husband that way - that it was cruel to let him think such a thing was even possible...  

Funny thing is - he is one of the ones who said we are too cute - he never put 2 + 2 together.  I suppose i should think more about how i had appeared - or actually had been - all those years.  Maybe i need to think about how i appear still.

I asked my husband about his views in the conversation about giving and taking started by Jake and continued by Aisha - esp my discomfort with the thought that i make things more work for him now - because it is more effort, more engagement, more work for him to pay attention to me than when we had more parallel vs. interconnected existences.   He pointed out that it has always been his nature to want to be challenged, to not take the easy path.  Among other things, he runs marathons for fun and relaxation: putting in effort for things he values is who he is. I had never thought of it that way before.

The next month has the potential to be difficult for me.  He will be gone - a lot, and our time when he is here will be  filled with family.  Family is good of course, but after the past few weeks, the submissive me knows that i will struggle without his control.  And - the greedy little thing in me really wants some attention too.  I have a feeling i will be learning a lot about active submission - and hopefully self control, i have a feeling they are quite related.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

just off

I feel like recently we are a machine all out of whack - the gears mis-matched, the drives mis-aligned, the belts slipping all over -  lots of energy being put in and all of it being sucked into the noise and clatter and wasted motion - very little of use being produced.

I don't seem to know how to communicate anything to him.  And i feel like he is listening differently - in a way i don't know how to work with.

I have no idea if this is just bad timing: the two of us each just being off for whatever reason.  Or if there is some fault in the foundation that is now destabilizing us.   Or if it's one of those breakdowns that seems to be necessary leading up to some next step.

But - it's hard to fix a machine while it's running.  To figure out where to start putting things back in place - you have to stop it, tinker with it, start it slowly, see how it's going, stop, tinker some more....  Sticking your hands in and trying to move things around while the wheels are flying isn't so easy.

To be more specific - and less metaphorical - we have a house to run and a family to raise - we have to communicate about everything from the mundane to the very serious.

Lately - i can't seem to get it right.  I don't tell him things i should, i do express things i shouldn't - and in ways i shouldn't.

Communication needs to happen and goes right and wrong in all kinds of relationships.  So i think maybe i'm trying to make it too complicated - trying to make it somehow different - to fit our "different" dynamic - maybe that's where i'm screwing up.  Or maybe it is different now, maybe the expectations are really altered - and i'm just not hitting the target?

I'm very frustrated with myself for not being able to see where my problem is and address it.  And - rightly or wrongly - i'm frustrated with him too.  It takes two.

What i really want is for him to him to stick his hands in the machine, straighten everything out, and fix it all.  But it takes two - so i at least want him to stand next to me and peer in and while we try to figure out what's what.