Thank you tori for three excellent questions. This is a long winded answer to the first one, because yesterday was a day that answered it.
Last night i was being a little cheeky shall we say during my asking to get into bed. My husband was a little tired and not in the mood for cheeky. He threatened to get the dog's leader and leash and pull me for a few laps around the room to get me in line. I must have made a not altogether penitent noise because he said, "Oh, I see," and asked me if that was actually a fantasy of mine.
That was a really tough one for me. The day had been one that i spent really wanting, really looking forward to the possibility of some time alone with him. He spent the day driving 6 hours through a snow and ice storm, and work sucks, and other stuff... I was craving pain and really rough handling, he was absolutely exhausted and on edge.
I'm getting better, but i still go bad places in my head sometimes when i don't get what i want - i know - not the point in the first place, and not very mature in any case. The bad place has to do with my doubting that this is good for us, because clearly i want it more than he does, and it's not supposed to be about me, and i'm just forcing him to be weird and kinky, and he would be better off if i would just give it up......Blah, blah..... I go there a lot less often than i used to, and in fact, until the leash comment i was good yesterday. He had a horrible day and i did what i could to help.
But the fantasy question put me off - i didn't want him to think i am so weird, and i didn't want to be so needy. He forced the issue. I broke down before i could actually admit to him that it would probably turn me on, admitted my insecurities about being needy and too much for him.
This is the part where I finally answer the question. He told me that he is so thankful that i took such a huge leap of faith years ago and admitted to him what i thought i wanted, trusted him not to run away or dump me or think of me as perverted. He told me that he is so incredibly happy with our relationship now - the whole relationship - and that he can't imagine where or how we would be if i hadn't asked.
Sex is just one piece - our sex life before was terrible, and that was because of me. Submitting fixed that - pretty much instantly. But the openness and trust and really getting to know one another and really paying attention to one another that this demands has made our relationship stronger and deeper than it was then and than it would be now if we hadn't made this change.
Tori of course asked for specifics - so - beyond the sex - which isn't trivial, we each talk to the other, i can't hide from him because he won't allow it, and he doesn't hide from me because he now knows i will really listen. We have ways to resolve things that do come up without power struggles and each of us fighting for our side out of ego and fear. We can resolve things without lingering resentment, they get resolved and are done. But i think the biggest improvement, the biggest strength is joy - we each find joy in the other, and we want to bring joy to the other.
So - sappy as hell i know. Doesn't fit the mold of D/s or M/s or kinkyness or whatever. But it's the answer.