It’s confusing…

Wondering how being true to my submissive self and respecting Xander’s need to not be on dominant duty can go together.

I’m not posting often these days, and that’s mainly because don’t know what to post. I’m often confused about where we are at, and it seems to change too quickly for me to be able to name wherever we’re at when I think I know. I can write about the confusion, though.

So here’s what I do know:

I’m a submissive woman and lover, and always have been in my primary relationship, long before I could put a name to it. I’ve made my peace with this. I long to connect with my partner often and deeply, and to love fully, giving all of me to someone who is worthy and who wants to take on all of me, and will love me in return. I know I wither and get really anxious when I can’t have that for long periods of time. I know I thrive with external accountability, and that I can create some of that by myself, but most I can’t.

I know that my husband Xander is a dominant man, and that he loves me. I know that he’s kind and generous to a fault – it’s really hard for him to say “no”, even when it would be better for him to do so. The counsellor called it self-sacrificing. I know he’s burnt out from working in a toxic work environment for years and that he has not recovered from that yet. I know he’s got a frozen shoulder and that takes a lot out of him, and I know that most days, most hours, he’s not feeling even a little bit dominant because he’s struggling just to get through the day, and I know this because he told me so. I also am reasonably sure that there’s an element of depression in the mix which may or may not be caused by physical reasons. I do know that as soon as he started supplementing his testosterone, “my Xander” started coming back. He had more energy and was emotionally more responsive to me. I know he still needs a lot of alone time, and that he’s uncomfortable with some of the expressions of dominance that I find hot, especially with giving direct verbal orders and overtly taking control. I know that he doesn’t feel ready to start consistently being “my dominant” and holding me accountable again, and that he currently has no idea what I actually mean by “D/s” for us, also, because he told me so.

And I know I don’t do things halfway. I’m all in or not at all, and I don’t know how to be measured in my emotional responses or in anything else, really. And that’s where being married, submissive, and trying to please my man gets very confusing these days. Allow me to back up a bit more to explain.

I introduced D/s to Xander about three years ago, and in the first two years, I more or less told him what I wanted from him and he wanted to to give me what I wanted, and in the process learned to spank really well. Just as before D/s entered the scene by that name, he made all the big decisions, and he provided and looked after all of us. I learned to obey him and to treat him with respect, and I discovered just how happy and peaceful my mind got and how much I got done when he was actively dominating me in some way. I trained myself to behave in a submissive way so his inner dominant could come out into the open. Unfortunately, the latter didn’t really happen, at least not in the way either of us expected. There were moments, and they were glorious, but that big shift from “Mr Nice Guy” to “Mr Domly Dom” that I’d dreamed of and he’d hoped for never really happened. (I’m coming to think if that shift exists as such, it’s likely to be a lot more subtle than a personality transplant…). I stopped interrupting him or offering unsolicited advice and learned to be mindful of my tone. He liked that he could stop an argument with “Enough!” (and I mostly heeded it), but more often, it didn’t occur to him to use the power I’ve given him. And all of it, he said, never felt “natural” for him, not even after two years of often daily spankings. But oh, did I EVER swoon when he got those dominant looks and moves just right…

I did a really stupid thing over those two years, though, and that’s coming back to bite me in more ways than one now: I used to provide the lecture that he wasn’t giving when he spanked me for broken rules – in my head. He definitely spanked me like he meant it and like I needed it, but I’d mentally add the stern words that would help me improve my behaviour or mindset. I thought he’d say these things if he knew how to, and that sooner or later he would, so wasn’t this just harmless fun (because stern is sexy), and helpful? Turns out, neither. Firstly, Xander didn’t know I was doing this, so based on my thanking him for my discipline and my subsequent behaviour changes, he could only assume that what he was doing – spanking me mostly silently – was all I needed, and that he was doing it just right. But what’s worse, the brain doesn’t know the difference between real experiences and intensely imagined experiences, and it keeps changing with repeated experiences. Basically, I tricked myself into seeing Xander in a more dominant light than where he was at the time, and when reality intruded in a way I could no longer ignore, I thought that he’d been pretending all along. But while he was indeed trying to “fake it till you make it”, I’d been doing most of the the pretending myself. I had been really happy, though, until then. I really thought and felt we were “progressing” beautifully on our D/s journey. (And my memory is probably smoothing out the bumps in our road, too.) What happened instead was that we were growing together in some aspects, and apart in others.

When at the end of last year, both Xander and I were so exhausted that there was no power to exchange, I pulled the plug on our D/s as we’d been doing it until then. I’d been putting a lot into it without getting enough out for it to be sustainable. And, even if it was in glimpses only, we both knew by then that Xander is dominant, but that the outer expression of that dominance is very blocked. But I couldn’t settle for “imitation D/s” anymore. I really want to submit to him as my leader, because I know how sweet life is when he does lead us, and because it wears me out and makes me anxious when I have to be in the lead for too long. And because I truly believe that he’ll be happier, too, when he can freely express his masculinity in more direct ways than now. But we’re not there yet.

But, underneath, in those two years, the ground under our feet has shifted. Though we never got to where it was all natural for both of us, we both couldn’t go back to being entirely vanilla if we tried. I feel awful when I speak disrespectfully to him (and he can’t abide it anymore either). I can’t not try my best to obey him. I want his explicit permission for a thousand things. I crave his guidance, and I still run to him when my mind runs amuck, because I know that even three minutes on the phone calm me like nothing else. I tell him every time I’ve cried in his absence, and when he’s in the house I go to him when I need to cry (it used to be a rule). I want to serve and delight him and make his life better.

I love him. I want to give him what he needs and wants. I want to make his life more peaceful, not more problematic. And I want to submit to him. And right now, those aren’t entirely compatible. In the last year, before he started getting a handle on his health, he was in no position to be anyone’s dominant, so I pulled up those uncomfortable big girl panties as best as I could and did what I could without spankings, accountability or dominance. But now… he’s coming back, and because I can’t do things halfway, or “ease into things”, my inner submissive is roaring and craves all the dominance from him as soon as he gives me just a hint of Dominant Xander. Even just a sexy spanking flips my switch to “full-on submissive craving” while at the same time my heart cautions me to not even go there, as he said he’s not ready, and because I believe that unwelcome submission would be yet another burden on his already overloaded shoulders. I just don’t know how to be with all that. I don’t know how to honour myself when I crave with every fibre of my being to submit deeply and fully to him RIGHT NOW when the loving thing is to not push him into a role he said he can’t fulfil yet.

I don’t know if it ever does get easy to “lean into the dynamic in times of stress” rather than back off it, but for us the point is moot anyway as we’ve not yet gotten to the point where it ever was easier for both of us. Currently, what makes my life easier makes his harder. And I don’t know how to balance my needs with his when I can’t trust that he’ll say “no” or “not now” to me when he really should to protect himself from emotional or mental overload. I can’t relax into enjoying feeling submissive and that “all is right in my world because my Dom’s got me” in response to his newly emerging signals of dominance as I have to anticipate that tomorrow or the day after that, he’ll be back to not being able to be that. And yet, one spanking, and I’m on cloud nine for a day or two. And then I get resentful if he’s not stepping up to pull me back in when my mood slips again.

As I said, it’s confusing.

So far, I got nothing but “wait and hope and love him and communicate as best as I can” for the meantime. Helpful suggestions are welcome.

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.

Standing Taller

A change in our dynamic has
changed my body posture for the better.

Meerkat standing tall
Taller, like this?

A few days ago was the last day of my “trial month” as Xander’s “little slave girl”. This trial run of a deeper dynamic has brought us such positive changes, we both wanted to keep things this way.  I let him know how  very important it was for to me to mark the change from ‘trial’ to ‘for real’, and he replied: “Well, we’ll have to have a ‘little slave girl’ ceremony, then.” However, as the evening of that day came around, we were both too tired for anything resembling a ceremony.  But as I was lying snuggled up to him, we talked for a while about the way forward and committed to it with him as my “Master” and me his little “slave girl”. I know we will mark the new state of things with a celebration or ceremony when we can, but emotionally, with a few simple words and a hug, the transition from trial – play? – to fact was done. It strikes me this isn’t unlike a wedding, where the the vows and signing of the documents – the formal acts that signify the partners’ intention to merge their two lives together for all times – are only a short and partly prosaic part of the whole ceremony.

So what has changed? At first glance, nothing – just like when we first were married after having lived and loved together for more than a year. But just after a few days, the ground has shifted noticeably between us. I have begun to see myself differently. I feel I’m truly “his” now and no longer feel the need to hold back anything of myself. I can trust more and more that he’ll tell me what he does or doesn’t like. And Xander has been leading with more self-assurance in my immediate and complete obedience.

I must have been 12 or 13 years old when a schoolmate’s mum commented on my hunched shoulders and that I was “burdened with too much responsibility”. I also remember thinking, in the peevish way of teenagers who don’t have anyone to confide in, “Really? Ya think? And what do you want me to do with that insight, lady?” Today, I don’t even remember who she was, but I’m going to send out my thanks to her for her astuteness and for speaking up, because today, I’m sure she was onto something. With the Master / slave girl between Xander and me, all responsibility now ultimately rests on his capable shoulders and is off mine. 

And, much to my surprise, my physical default posture has changed: I am standing taller and my body doesn’t want to slouch, even when I’m tired. For as long as I can remember, my shoulders have been a bit hunched. It’s gotten a bit better since I’ve been rowing for exercise, but Xander would still sometimes admonish me to keep upright. I didn’t like my slouching either, and I’d try, but the moment I stopped paying attention to it, my body would just go back to hunching over.

Geisha kneeling By Japanexperterna - [1], CC BY-SA 3.0, https-::commons.wikimedia.org:w:index.php?curid=33219775
Geisha sitting in seiza

I am delighted every time I notice it: When I do the dishes, the kitchen sink feels and looks just a tiny bit further away. It’s a bit easier to chop veggies with my chef’s knife as the height of the countertop feels a bit more ergonomic. I even had to adjust the rear-view mirrors in the car. And as I am writing this, my shoulders are relaxed where they should, and I’m sitting and typing with ease.

In short, I feel more beautiful, more graceful, more aligned with who I am, deep inside. If there is such a thing as an “authentic self”, then I definitely feel I’m closer to living it now, day to day, and my body tells me as much.

Picture credits:
Meerkat: Public Domain
Geisha sitting in seiza: Japanexperterna – [1], CC BY-SA 3.0, https-::commons.wikimedia.org:w:index.php?curid=33219775