Where do we go from here?

… in which I begin to find out what sort of D/s couple we might become.

I love the haunting finale of the end of the musical episode “Once More, with Feeling” of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 6, episode 7).  In this episode a demon makes people break out in song and dance and reveal their innermost secrets (and sometimes spontaneously combust). After the Scooby Gang jointly defeat this demon, they sing: “The battle’s done / And we kinda won / So we sound our victory cheer / But where do we go from here?” The music isn’t nearly as upbeat as this sounds… minor and open chords and all. So, yeah, the baddie is defeated, but at a huge cost. No one can go on like before pretending they are “fine”. All cards are now on the table, and with these revelations, the characters need to find new ways of relating to each other.
That’s pretty much what my life felt like after our Christmas break.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast on stage
Where do we go from here?

For those who haven’t read the last (mammoth) post, here’s the summary: Just before Christmas 2017, I called a big fat stop to our D/s as we were doing it – or increasingly not doing it. Ten weeks of being half a world apart and single-mum-ing it had left me exhausted, and I simply couldn’t carry on as before. In my absence, Xander had reverted to his pre-D/s ways, and due to work and other reaons was also exhausted, and unable and unwilling to give me what I wanted. And with our D/s not being a power exchange but a power sinkhole, I quit. I quit going through submissive motions and I quit carrying 90% of our D/s life. I quit acting “as if” and supplying in my head what Xander didn’t do in terms of dominant talk or actions. And it took Xander several weeks before he could even tell me what he still wanted in terms of D/s.  I did not like being in limbo. I didn’t know how to BE with Xander without his/our/my rules.

Eventually, we did talk and look at the broken bits of our D/s life and what we could put together again. It wasn’t much. Most of those conversations were difficult, painful and heart-wrenching for both of us, but they were worth the effort. We ended up agreeing on quite a few things:
D/s is a way we both want to relate to each other. It feels right when we do. And it’s become part of who we are, not just what we do.
D/s or not, our mutual love and commitment and our marriage stand firm.
Xander told me of his own accord that he wants back what we had (something I hadn’t really gotten out of him before), and that we would get back to it some day, even with my additional proviso that it’s got to be coming from him this time around.
We both came to the conclusion that I’d done everything I could to help Xander get comfortable with the Dominant we both know is inside him, and that it hadn’t worked. That there were other things blocking him… definitely fatigue, and probably depression or something like it. He agreed it might be a good idea for him to try something different, as his method of “stuffing down any negative emotions” instead of dealing with them clearly wasn’t working anymore. So he’s been regularly seeing a therapist for much of 2018, and it seems to be doing good things for him.

“The battle’s done / And we kinda won / So we sound our victory cheer. / Where do we go from here?” To be honest, I don’t think the battle is “done”. But we definitely “kinda won”: we are emotionally closer again, and our marriage stands strong even without relating to each other overtly in a D/s way. Days with spankings or sex are few and far between, but we are very gentle with each other and cut each other a lot of slack for not being able to do it all and be it all. We spend time with each other and go on very vanilla dinner or movie dates. We are renovating and building a sound-insulated den in our house where we will be able to spank without fear of being overheard. Xander changed jobs and is now not hating his work life every day. And recently, Xander put his foot down on my bedtime, which required a “Yes, Sir.” (And that’s a whole new blog post.)

I don’t think the trimmings of our D/s life – you know, the stuff with rules and spankings galore – are going to come back quickly. I’ve done therapy and I know first-hand how hard it can be and how much energy it takes to revisit and heal old trauma and shitty childhood conditioning.  Right now, we both still struggle with low energy, lack of privacy/sound insulation, and two young kids who suck dry whatever energy Xander might have left at the end of the day, when he brings them to bed. But he won’t always be in therapy, and my adrenals will hopefully recover (it’s looking good now), and the kids will at some point learn to go to sleep by themselves. The den will be finished one day.

I am very grateful for and happy in the harmonious, peaceful, and loving D/s marriage we do have. Over the last two years, the underlying current of our marriage has irrevocably changed to this dynamic where he leads and I follow – and it doesn’t need to look like in the novels. (Does anything, ever, really?) It’s a marriage dynamic in which we support each other in the best way we can. Where I can now gratefully accept pizza nights and time out in a hot bath when he says so, and where I can ask him for a spanking, and he can say, “Sorry, not today,” and I can be at peace with it, knowing he heard me.

And that is a very, very good thing.

And something to build on. We’ll get “there”, wherever that will be. He said so. And when he says he’ll make something happen, he will, come hell or high water. I just have to be patient.

An End of Sorts… and not yet a new beginning

A summary of what happened over 6 months of preparing for travel, being apart for nearly 3 months and coming back together. Not surprisingly, it changes things.

It’s been impossible to write a blog post during or right after our big overseas trip, because during I didn’t have time or space to write anything, and afterwards, well, I had no effing clue where we were at, Xander and I. I wrote most of this post 6 weeks after returning and I finally came to an understanding of where we were at – which wasn’t where I thought we’d be. This post spans half a year of time and a huge shift in my heart, so be warned, it’s a long one. I made every effort to keep it engaging…

So, our big trip overseas spanned three months, starting in August. We wanted our (bilingual) kids to spend enough time surrounded by their “minority language” that it would click and become their go-to language at home. And that worked. Sadly, Xander had to go back to work, so we were (literally) half a world apart for nine weeks, with the kids and me on the other side of the earth. Overall, it went pretty well, considering, although it was hard, hard, hard. Over the last two years, I’d come to enjoy and depend on Xander’s lead and frequent spankings at home, but I coped surprisingly well with being on 24/7 for this time and having to call all the shots, and all without spanking – I had only two meltdowns worth mentioning in that whole time. Then again, I had to keep it together because of the kids, so I couldn’t really afford to melt down and wallow anyway.  I had to dig deep into my reserves, because I couldn’t replenish them during that time and, on my return, have relapsed into adrenal fatigue. But I’ve dealt with adrenal fatigue before, and my recovery is going well this time around.

So, that much for background info. But you’ll be wanting to know what happened with Xander and me, and our dynamic. In summary: It changed.

End of train tracks

I wondered how much of our dynamic I’d need to function well while away, and how we’d make that happen. Well, it didn’t start well. In the months running up to the trip, Xander had very little free time or headspace due to work pressures and ongoing tiredness. I supported him as best as I could, giving him space, but I also told him, more than once, how much of a problem his lack of emotional presence and engagement was for me. There was nothing either of us could do about it, so I just submitted as well as I could, and carried on, always hoping for that holiday time. He said, “We’ll have three weeks together, with no work to worry or house maintenance for me, that’ll be our time to reconnect! And we’ll have some family around who could surely look after the kids for a few hours for us to get away.” Three whole weeks! It’d be wonderful! But to cut a long and tedious story short: It didn’t happen, and it wasn’t wonderful. It was a catastrophe. In the first week, too much travelling and visiting, being in other people’s spaces all the time, weather so hot and muggy we could barely function to begin with, and one particularly toxic family visit made it impossible to have privacy or find energy for anything.
We had our first “real” conversation and connection (of more than five minutes) ten days into our trip, and that wasn’t fun either, because by that time I was so furious about having been sidelined for so long and not seeing any effort on Xander’s behalf to connect with me that I fairly ripped him a new one. Plus, he hadn’t held up his side of our agreement, there’d been no check-ins of any kind, and he barely even asked how I was doing. After that, we had one lovely morning away together when we went to pick up a rental car. The rest of the three weeks was packed too full with visiting. We were back on the same page in one respect, though: dejected about the lack of connection options. Hoofuckingray.

And then he went home, and I was trying to find some form of normal with the kids. For the first week, connecting with Xander didn’t even happen daily because he was travelling in other time zones and our schedules just did not match up. So I put on my big girl panties and coped. “He’ll be home soon, and once he’s back into his daily work routine we’ll find regular times to connect.” Well… he got home, he was jet-lagged, he was working, he was tired… in short, all things I understand, but I still got pretty angry at his lack of initiative to connect with and support me. It made me feel like that short chubby awkward girl with the cheap glasses who keeps hoping for a crumb of attention of the gorgeous, smart hunk two classes up. Looking back, it had been quite a while that there were only two ways I could get his attention: insisting on it in a thoroughly unsubmissive bossy way (I need this from you NOW) or being in a state of emergency, and I was getting damn tired of that pattern. He had no idea how to dom me from afar and didn’t try out any of the ways I’d written down for him either, so I did what I’ve been doing the past two years when he’s been overloaded with other things: I’d spell out what I needed from him, plan the way I’d like to do things, get his stamp of approval for that, and carried on as if this had been his idea, as if he’d actually follow up by himself, and pretend to be content in my little bubble of somewhat submissive space, fuelled by knowing that he loves me and wants me to be happy. It were mostly the memory of his dominant energy when it does come out which kept me going, and my stubborn determination that if I do this long enough, he’ll eventually come around to doing his part. My mantras were “Fake it till you make it”,  “Submission fuels dominance”,  “Work on what you can control”, “Be the submissive you want him to make you be”, and “Your role in his life is to be a joy, a blessing, a smile, more often than a pain in the ass. You are a reflection of his dominance with your words, your deeds, and your demeanor.”  After all, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck, right? Or at least it might one day grow into one.

So, I made it through. We made it back. I yearned to settle back into being his little slave girl, only to find that the “Master” had really disappeared. In the two months he’d been alone in our home, missing us and being by himself, Xander had slipped back nearly all the way into his old “nice guy” ways, and would not exercise any dominance over me. He was even asking my permission to do things again. I know he asks out of consideration, and I appreciate the spirit behind it, that he loves and respects me. And I do want him to ask about my opinion or how I feel about him going on a motorbike ride on a weekend day, but I so ever do not want to be the one calling the shots for him. His spanking skills were still there, but I pretty much had to beg for him to make time for that or not get any. So, in short, I didn’t get spanked much, we didn’t have much sex or quality time or conversations. Having to jump up and down and do cartwheels to get his attention was seriously getting old.

Additionally, in the time apart, he’d gotten used to looking after himself instead of all of us, and I’d gotten used to deciding and getting things done without his input. I didn’t see him changing back, and he was signaling his unwillingness in many ways. For the first time, I found myself increasingly unwilling to submit to him. It was one thing to submit to someone who leads well, but I got the impression his judgment on what we needed had taken a serious hit.

A week before Christmas, I threw the towel. I simply could not continue as before. I was deeply unhappy with the how I’d been carrying the emotional bulk of our our D/s and marriage, and that he wasn’t showing any inclination to increase his engangement. He said he was happy with the way things were, that he thought they were fine for me, too, and that he didn’t have the energy to dominate me. I can’t begin to describe how hurt and how angry at myself and at him I was. I felt like an utter fool for making his life so dandy and comfortable and myself into his low-maintenance submissive and slave girl. Had I turned myself into the proverbial doormat?

Now, I have to back up a bit here and set something straight: This summary sounds like poor me is complaining about how selfish Xander has been doing it all wrong all along. But that’s definitely not the whole story, so while it was my experience, it’s not true as such. It wasn’t selfishness or disinterest that made him act this way. And I realised that what I did needed to change, too, because I had been contributing to the situation, and not a little: Over most of our D/s journey, I’ve practiced submission in areas I wanted him to want from me (and he sure liked it) and in things he said he wanted from me, all fueled by very little input from him and lots of input from myself. I learned to make do with spankings instead of the leadership and dominance I craved. I was (and am) practicing good self-care, to meet many of my own needs so he wouldn’t have to. But now he was telling me he didn’t even want to do that.

Fatigue – both his and mine – helped me realise that what I’ve been doing is not sustainable. And I was no longer willing to do this by myself. So, that day, I really felt like quitting, although I couldn’t and can’t imagine our marriage entirely without D/s now.

There are a few things I know deep in my bones. One: I do love him, and I want to make his life good, not miserable. Two: I know that in my closest personal relationship, I am and always have been submissive by nature, so I couldn’t not be submissive to him if I tried. It’s not in me. And three, this whole “submission brings out dominance” thing clearly wasn’t working for us, at least not the way we both had hoped. For a day or two, I thought “my brand of submission brings about complacency,” but now I know that isn’t so. (More on that later.) So, quitting entirely wasn’t going to happen.

But I knew I couldn’t go on in the same way. I’d have to find a sustainable way to be true to the submissive part of me, one that didn’t rely on him feeding his dominance back to me. So, I took off my collar, cried hard for a few minutes and then texted him: “You were right, this is probably more my thing than yours. And I’m the only one I can control. So I will stop giving you submission in areas you don’t want anyway and in areas I can’t give freely without hoping for your dominance in return. I am still your wife, and I still love you, and I’m still submissive by nature. And I agree it would be smart for us to start over on the D/s. No more little slave girl for now. I’m sorry I put so much pressure on you. Please forgive me.”

He got this wrong and told me not to flip flop between extremes, we’d talk later. And we did, briefly. I explained to him that I wasn’t flip-flopping. I wasn’t playing hard to get so he’d up his game. I’d simply stopped doing what I began to realise was not good for either of us. I’d grown resentful over giving in areas where he hadn’t asked me to give and keep giving. I realised that the behaviour I thought to be submissive had been fueled increasingly by how I wanted our relationship to go, not necessarily his wishes. And last but not least, I hadn’t been communicating honestly with him either. My man spanks really well, but the whole lecture or expressing his feelings or expectations in words are not his forte. (Yet.) So, while his spankings without the lecture do smart and release endorphins, they don’t do all that much to get me into a different headspace or heartspace, and because I wanted it so much and thought I needed it, I’d simply supplied my own dialogue in my head, never telling him I did. So of course he assumed that his spankings as they were were “doing it” for me, when the secret ingredient hadn’t been his implement on my butt so much as what was happening in my head – but not between us. I finally realised that wasn’t much different from fantasising about someone else while having sex, so I sheepishly told Xander what I had been doing and stopped doing it.

And he did not object to any of it. He said we’d figure it out, but as he was massively exhausted, we postponed proper talks about where we would go from here to the Christmas break. And until those talks started, I felt in limbo – I had no idea where we were at nor how much I could even do about it. I did not like that one bit, and not in a sexy way. And I had no idea if we’d ever get back what we had, if Xander even wanted any of it.

We did talk. And because that leads much more to where we are now, that goes in the next post.

Intermission until Dec 2018

Just a very late heads up that this blog ain’t dead yet.

I am overseas with the kids for several months, and because Xander is back at home earning our travel expenses and I’m mum-ing and dad-ing 24/7 all on my own, I barely have time to string two thoughts together, let alone a blog post.

But I’ll be back! Probably even with a story or two of how I/we managed while literally half a world apart for many, many weeks.

What I need

What happened when Xander got something wrong, spanked me very hard, and what I made of that.

Weekend check-ins are a funny thing… they either don’t happen at all or, if they do, they are often more intense than the everyday, weekday ones. We tend to be more relaxed and have more time, and if the kids are busy enough with their play we might leave them alone for a few minutes longer. (If they’re out with the nanny, that’s when the fun really happens. Sometimes.)

So, last Saturday, after a leisurely breakfast, the kids got stuck into a new movie, and I asked Xander if we could we “go to the back” (our code for “rules and morning spanking”). He asked, a bit tongue-in-cheek “You really like your spankings, hm?” I had to tell him, “To be honest, I don’t like them so much anymore, but I know I’ll have a much better day if we do our check-in.”

In the bedroom, he sat on the bed and I kneeled before him to recite my rules. We were both relaxed and in a joking mood, and Xander was fiddling with the tawse in his hand. Now, I do like the tawse – mmmmh, leather! – but man, he’s spanking hard these days. And having the implement right in front of my nose (where I couldn’t ignore it) made me nervous, because it reminded me that soon after the warm-up, it was going to sting me a lot before I’d begin to like it again — and only if Xander decided to give me some of the fun sort at all.

My first rule is “I’m your little slave girl, and I love you.” The second half, while absolutely true, also allows him (and me) a good read on how connected I feel to him, by the way I say it. Most days, I’ll say “and I love you very much.” That day, with the tawse in my face, I said, “and I love you… I think.” We had a good laugh, and I found my way back into saying my rules properly. When I was done and on my way over his lap, I kissed him and said, “I love you very much.” Because, I really do. And because I’d just sassed him and he was holding a frickin’ tawse. He laughed and replied: “That’s good, and it doesn’t change a thing. Because I love you, too, and that’s why I’m giving you what you need.”

I was still laughing for the first three or four strokes. But he was spanking hard and fast, and this spanking very quickly turned into no fun at all. I went from laughing to something much closer to crying in a heartbeat, but it didn’t appear as if Xander realised it. In every maintenance spanking, he takes me slightly past the point of my tolerance, but this one was much worse than the “usual” maintenance. I normally don’t beg for a spanking to stop, because unless something else is wrong (like a cramp or such), he won’t anyways, and it’s understood that the moment I’m over his lap, my job is to submit as gracefully as I can to what he gives. But this time? It hurt bad enough that I was begging ‘Please, no more!’ several times. And nope, it didn’t change a thing. That spanking felt like it was going on and on and on. I was pretty sure he still thought I was laughing, and if I’d somehow told him in words, “I’m crying,” he would probably have let up a bit, but I chose not to. I just tried to keep quiet enough so the kids wouldn’t hear me. I had squirmed too much for his taste earlier, so he pinned my legs and short of me safewording, this spanking – like all of our spankings – was going to be as long and as hard as Xander decided. And you know what? Although I can say with certainty I didn’t want the thrashing I was copping, and even if I was pretty sure he was gauging how hard and long to spank me on the faulty assumption that I was still laughing, I was really, deeply OK with it. The moment I lie down over his lap, I submit to him, fully. I get my say in what happens back after he decides we’re done and I may get up. And frankly? I wouldn’t want it any other way. I want him to be in control.

picture of person with question marks over his headBut something about all this still had me baffled for days, and I couldn’t figure out what. This definitely hadn’t been the spanking I wanted, and I wasn’t all that sure it was only what I needed, either, and yet I was happy with the way it had gone. I kept wondering if something was wrong with me. And only through writing this post it finally dawned on me why this really was all OK: It’s that by now we have done this long enough that I can trust my man to get it right even when I think he’s getting it wrong. This is what makes this is a power exchange, and not an abusive relationship: I’m handing over control of my own free will, and he takes it and does with it what he thinks is right, because that is what we both want. In return, he’s giving his leadership, strength and care to me in a way that I can’t have any other way.

Later on the day of the spanking, I told him that after the third or fourth swat, I hadn’t been laughing anymore, and he confirmed he hadn’t been sure. “It’s really hard to tell some time.” He didn’t apologise. He didn’t have to. Because, while he may have misread my emotional state, he absolutely didn’t misread the responses of my body over his lap and he really did give me what I needed:

His dominance.
His strength.
His control.

And a spanking worth writing about.

A Clever Response

… in which Xander turns the tables on me as I try to beat him at teasing banter. As a good dom should.

I love a good round of witty teasing banter, sparring with puns, and clever double-entendres. It’s hot! But because in this arena I can beat Xander, I have to be a bit careful. I do love my man, after all, and no one enjoys being shown up. And in the heat of a good banter, I have to pay attention not to cross the line between funny and no-longer-funny just because I can’t resist this joke that just fits too well…

So last Sunday morning, I sassed Xander with a few quick-witted replies in what I thought was good-natured fun. He didn’t even engage. In that relaxed tone that says “I’m in charge and I know it,” he simply said, “You do remember I can extract revenge for that now?” I opened my mouth for a really good comeback – and then I realised what he’d just said, and I closed it again. I may be sassy, but I’m not daft, and he’s spanking hard these days. Also, he doesn’t usually talk much about spanking or threaten them much, so I was feeling like I was treading on very thin ice. So I refrained from saying the first thing that came to my mind. And the second. And the third.

Goldfish breathing
Open, close, open, close, open, close, and no sound comes out…

When I was done with my goldfish imitation, I carefully said, “You wouldn’t be that cheap… would you?” He grinned and replied, “Oh but I will. And it won’t even cost me a thing. But it’ll cost you.” After a pause, he added: “Tell me, what do you think it’ll cost you?” I thought for a minute and then mumbled, “My pride and some of my dignity, I guess,” and then I got quickly busy with something incredibly urgent and important in the kitchen.

I really wasn’t sure how I felt about what had just happened. I crave his dominance, and I do want to please and not hurt or annoy him. But I do love our teasing! Had I really been out of line with this? Was this something he felt a bit sensitive about, and I hadn’t known? Or was this a general, “don’t get sassy at all” thing now? I thought we were having fun! Or were we still, and he was just having a bit of fun with me now?

I couldn’t stop thinking about it. When we went to bed Sunday night, I asked him outright if I’d overstepped that morning or hurt him. He said no and told me not to worry, so I didn’t. Have I mentioned how much I love this part of our relationship, when he tells me not to worry, and I can actually let it go, just because he said so? Best. Thing. Ever! So, I snuggled up to him and went to sleep.

Now, Monday morning maintenance tends to be thorough, because due to the lack of a morning routine, we often miss it on the weekends. And since a solid spanking tends to put me in a good frame of mind, and Xander likes to make sure I’ve got a good start to the week, he delivers. And that Monday morning, he definitely delivered. It took me a good long while that day to arrive at the “true surrender” point when I got all floppy and heavy on his lap when I accept that the spanking ends when he says so and not a moment before. I was so glad when he finally, finally decided I’d had enough! He rubbed my hot backside for a bit and then he said, “And now we’ll deal with yesterday’s sass.”

silicone spatula
The “black beast”, a “Scullery” brand silicone spatula from the kitchen aisle. And a box of Skittles. Because they’re sweet.

Yikes! On top of THAT??? It was a good thing the submission hormones had already kicked in, or I would have jumped straight off his lap! I tried to remember stuff like “I wanted this” and “it’s only pain” and “it only feels like forever” and tried to steel myself for what came next without tensing my body again.
I felt him hold the implement to my backside, like he often does before he deals me those particularly hard single smacks. Next came that scary feeling of nothing as he pulled back, and then – a soft, soft pat on each cheek. I never thought the “black beast” could kiss as well as hit, but apparently, I was dead wrong. Lucky me!

My first ending to this post was “And in retrospect, I’d say he won that round of banter – unfair and square. And I love it that way.” But now it isn’t how this ends. Because after I read this to him last night, he said, “So, is that what happened? You still don’t get it, do you?” And this morning it finally dawned on me just how long a game he plays and how hard I lost this round, and that he actually won this fair and square. Darn his domly poker face!

And I still love it that way.

Reality Check

… in which I realise I’m not nearly as good at keeping my rules as I thought.

During a recent weekend check-in, Xander asked me how well I was trucking along with the rules I’d just recited. I said, “Alright…ish, I think,… Master.”

So he made me recite my rules again and expand for each one how well or not I’d managed to keep it of late. Then he would sum up my answer with “So that’s another no.” Oops. I couldn’t really contradict him, either. Now, the longer this interview went on, the more I dreaded where this was going.  It sure felt like he was making a mental tally list, and he was keeping that domly poker face that tells me exactly nothing.

Checkmate by Robbert van der Steeg
Checkmate, mate.

Now, a lot of my rules have an “at all times” attached to it. Like my respect, obedience, and honesty rule, and the “I am mindful of my tone” rule. If you ever tried to stick to those 100% of the time, come rain or shine, then you know how hard that is.
Some of my rules are restrictions on behaviour I want to control better. I can’t always stick to them by the letter, even if I do in spirit. And it’s not the end of the world when that happens. Example: “I don’t have alcohol or sweets without permission, except for two pieces of chocolate per day.” So I have to ask for anything else, and since I don’t ask very often, I usually do get permission – for this at least. But sometimes, when I’m about to melt down with the kids (an even bigger no-no, remember “mindful of my tone at all times”?) and I know that a single piece of dark chocolate right now can help me get back into better-mum-headspace, I won’t even message my man, but I do the needful thing, have that piece of “Samoan single origin 70%” crack, get back on track, and tell him later.

So, pretty much all of those not-sticking-to-my-rules were minor infractions. The big ones I always tell him anyways, and the little ones I usually tell him, too. Nonetheless, these instances still are, technically speaking, not sticking to my rules.

So… I finally arrived at the end of my list, and had gotten “So that’s another no” for about 90% of my rules. He didn’t say anything, just looked at me, still poker-faced. Inside, I was squirming like a whole can of worms while I waited for his response. When it became clear he wasn’t going to say anything, I finally asked, very quietly, “So what happens now?” After a seemingly endless time – at least a second or three – he answered, “Nothing. I just wanted us both to be on the same page regarding your keeping your rules.”



Picture: Checkmate, by Robbert van der Steeg. https://www.flickr.com/photos/robbie73/3409076832

The onus of my submission is on me

My commitment to submit cannot depend on my feeling submissive or not. And, why my man did absolutely not want to “just punish me” to help me improve my behaviour.

A word of warning, before we proceed

This is a more philosophical, maybe even categorical post. If you want to read something light that makes this submission gig feel easier, this may not be the post for today. If on the other hand, you’re prepared to put in the work that being submissive requires, then maybe a dose of reality may be just what the doctor ordered. That much said…

Commitment is a decision, not a feeling

It blows my mind how much this “little slave girl” thing continues to make things so much clearer to me in terms of my submission. Between the realisation that Xander’s lack of energy is likely due to depression and that my “job” as his wife and as his little slave girl is to support and serve him, not to be “yet another job” he has to fulfil, it has finally occurred to me that the onus of maintaining my submission actually rests squarely on my own shoulders and not on his.

Painting of Woman carrying firewood
Detail from “Woman carrying faggot” by Mihály Munkácsy

My commitment to being Xander’s submissive is a decision which makes certain attitudes and behaviours a requirement, as per our agreement of how I express my submission toward him. “Feeling submissive” certainly makes maintaining theses attitudes and behaviours a heck of a lot easier, but it is not a prerequisite. My role as Xander’s submissive requires obedience, respect, honesty, and transparency of me regardless of if I feel like it or not. If I expect him to make me feel submissive in order that I might maintain my submissive role, I actually expect him to do half of my job, and that’s not fair. (And if I demand it of him, well… that’s not even remotely submissive to begin with, is it?)

I’m not saying that in a good, working D/s relationship the Dom doesn’t need to dom his sub. It’s a relationship and as such needs both give and take in order to exist. And if Xander didn’t appreciate my submission or didn’t show willingness to honour his side of the equation and act dominant towards me, at some point, I’d certainly reconsider my willingness to submit to him. But, the work and responsibility of submitting to him is 100% mine. The work – and responsibility – of guiding and protecting me are 100% his. And that also means I don’t tell him how to do his job (anymore, cough, cough), but that’s another can of worms which I’ll open another day.

But for this pledge of ours to live as dominant and submissive towards each other to be worth anything, it has to be unconditional. It cannot depend on how dominant or submissive we feel in the moment, or on the time of month, and not even on the behaviour of the other.

“If you just punished me…”

Which brings me to the next point: Many a submissive on this journey – and I don’t exclude myself from that group – dream of their dominant to have very high expectations of her, and to discipline or punish consistently when she fails to meet these, maybe with the odd exception for mercy… It sounds hot and comparatively easy, so what’s not to like? “If you punished me consistently and harshly, I’d learn to behave so much better so much quicker, and you’d benefit from my improved behaviour.” Been there, said that. Guess what? Just like for so many other women, it didn’t happen for me, and at the time, I was very disappointed. Didn’t he care? (He did, and that is why he did not do as I asked him to. Read on.) And couldn’t he see how serious I was about this? (Actually, no, he couldn’t – yet.)

Usually, this request doesn’t come from a wife who is already good at being submissive, sticking to her rules, or who is consistently obedient and respectful. So her own poor track record is very likely one reason why –from a loving dominant’s point of view – punishing her for behaviour she might have shown for years could sound like a bad idea. The other reason is the dominant partner’s need to protect. In a nutshell, he doesn’t want to hurt her, and before he can trust she really wants to and can change to the more submissive stripes she claims she now has, he is not going to risk her goodwill and trust through the possibly damaging action of punishing her time and again, in the vague hope that’s really what she needs.

“Not so fast, little sub!”

Xander explained to me that, because he loves me and cares for me, he doesn’t expect me to do things I can’t do or things he doesn’t believe I can do. And he sure as hell doesn’t want me to fail and get discouraged or resentful. At the time I thought he could have advanced me some trust on this, but now I have to admit he was perfectly reasonable not to. So, I learned: If I want my man to expect a higher standard of behaviour from me, it’s up to me to demonstrate that he can – by making that standard my own as best as I can, whether he holds me accountable for it or not. Because Xander loves me, he had to believe I am capable of succeeding at something before he could feel free to require it from me.

follow the instructions
Follow the instructions…

Because I want this dynamic, I ended up submitting to Xander’s lead in how I went about improving this behaviour. I accepted and tried to implement his practical advice with as much grace as I could (which wasn’t a lot at times). I learned to receive (rather than reject) his encouragement and perspective when I felt I wasn’t doing so great. Over time, I actually got better at it. And when he saw I was able to control this behaviour better, it did become an expectation. This behaviour was something that, two years ago, he said he’d never spank me for. Well… I have learned much better self-control, and nowadays, if I do not uphold the “new” standard, I will get my backside warmed for it – and more than I like.

And we come back to the original idea…

And here I come full circle to where my submission is my responsibility: While acts of dominance from him do elicit submissive feelings in me, my commitment to submit to my dominant is not a commitment if I make it depend on how I feel in the moment. And if I want him to be able to expect my submission, then it is up to me to show him I’m able, willing, and striving to honour my commitment regardless of the circumstances. I’m not saying I must succeed all the time but he must be able to see I’m trying.

And before you think I’m one of those “perfect subs” and start rolling in the pedestal or gallows, here’s the reality: While my commitment to submit to my husband does not depend on my “feeling submissive”, my success at being a “good submissive wife” depends on it far more often than I’d like. (That’s one reason for our ‘permission denied’ games – they help me feel submissive) And frankly, I can’t see how submission could exist in a relational vacuum. It is hard to submit day-in-day-out to begin with, and even harder when things throw us off-course (Hello, life!) and I don’t get the submissive feel-good hormones. So while the responsibility for my submission is and remains mine, the success of it is a joint effort for sure.

Any thoughts on that? I look forward to your comments!