I’m grateful to have my Dom back. And for last year’s struggles

… in which I look back over the last year and forward into the future.

Sometime in the middle of December, Xander asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I quietly told him: “I want my Dom back.”

Come Christmas, I unpacked a waffle iron. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted that, too. I’d picked it myself, after all. Four big square Belgian waffles in one go, great nonstick coating, and… oh, wrong topic, ‘scuse me!

Yes, my Dom came back, too! We could have rung in the new year with a countdown spanking, only that life got in the way and we were bushed and asleep at 9 p.m. And he didn’t come back all at once, but it built up slowly over December. When Xander started coming out of his lack-of-testosterone-funk, he gave me a few fun spankings, we started talking again about D/s things, and once or twice, he put a play collar on me for bedroom fun that didn’t involve going to sleep early. And a few days after Christmas (and after a good spanking and sexy time), he had me read him the list of “My needs as your Submissive and Wife” that I wrote for him a while back, and we talked about each point. At the end of that, he said he didn’t want me to get hurt again when he couldn’t keep it up, and that’s why he didn’t want to commit, but he was willing to give it a good shot. I told him that “domly perfection” wasn’t on my list of needs. His willingness to learn together with me how we can live our lives showing our love to each other in this way is (finally) good enough for me. (Yes, I’ve learned, too.) So, in short, I’ve got my Captain back on board, and I’ve been properly spanked and loved in the last two weeks. I’ve got an updated list of rules, and we’re both doing our best to live our respective sides of the slash. And we’ve got a new communication hack: When I’m hankering or itching for a spanking, I’ll tell Xander “I’d like a spanking, please”. When it’s gotten to the point where I know I need a spanking, I’m to tell him “I really need my medicine.” Then he knows I need his active support to keep our life calm and peaceful.

You could even say we’ve got a new “project” in the works, too. As our D/s ways of interacting popped up again, I noticed how much I’d slipped in terms of showing respect to Xander. So, I told him of my resolution to consistently show him respect in my words, actions and tone of voice, and I asked him if he was willing to hold me consistently accountable for that for the duration of January. He agreed and has been paying attention and giving me feedback, both positive and of the discipline sort.

When he went back to work I struggled a bit, as he wasn’t physically around and mentally occupied with the go-live of a huge long-term project, and because I had my period (which often makes me feel down, sad, and neglected), but I coped alright. One thing that helped was that on the day before my period started, I hated how ornery I was feeling and asked him for a good “put me in my place” spanking, and he gave me one that has me still noticing it when I sit down today, four days later. Ouch, but yay.

I am so very grateful that we’re back on the D/s road, because I love the closeness and much improved communication when we engage this way, and because I love submitting to my man when my submission is welcome. And now that it feels we’re on the other side of them, I am also grateful for the struggles we overcame in the last year, as each of them brought its gifts. I intend to bring the lessons learned in this yearlong intermission forward into our “new” D/s, because they were good lessons.

train tracks going through water towards a cloudy sunrise

Things I’m grateful I learned this year

I learned that I am always going to have a submissive heart in my marriage, and that being submissive isn’t the same as being a doormat. It doesn’t mean always saying “Yes, Sir” in words or actions. “No, Sir, that’s not cool with me” can be just as important. It’s not good for our marriage or for me when I stop communicating my needs and desires to my husband. Just as Xander is in service to me and to our relationship, I am in service to him and to our relationship, and if his actions or lack therof are hurting me or harming our relationship, I have to let him know instead of suffering in silence. He loves me, and he wouldn’t hurt me or us on purpose. So if I don’t tell or show him my hurt, he won’t know to stop doing that thing, or start doing that other thing again because I need it.

I’m grateful I learned that there is a difference between being submissive, feeling submissive, and actively submitting to my husband, but there are big areas of overlap between all three.

I’m grateful I learned the term “sub frenzy”. I recognised that I’ve been there a lot in the first two years of our D/s life. And over the course of the last year, I learned that I can do life without overt D/s or DD. I may not like it, and I’m nowhere near as happy or effective as with accountability and a freshly spanked bottom, but I can do it. Even for a long time. That’ll help in the future, when our D/s life goes through low phases.

But the biggest thing that we both learned over the last year, when we were both suffering from fatigue, was to cut each other a lot of slack when we couldn’t do our respective jobs and to have faith that the other one is doing his or her best. I want to keep that goodwill, even if in our D/s relationship we have defined expectations of each other again. Because, clear expectations or not, we’re still only human, and life happens, so sooner or later we will drop the D/s ball. Despite my best efforts, I will have days when I break the rules, or when I don’t even want to play by them. Despite his best intentions, there will be days when he’s inattentive and can’t or won’t follow through. And that doesn’t mean one isn’t interested or invested, it means one is human. And it’s one thing to tell one’s beloved “it looks to me like you’ve dropped the ball”, or “when you drop the ball, I feel XYZ”, and it’s another thing entirely to assume and accuse the other one of disinterest or personal or moral failure because they dropped the ball.

I want to keep in mind that Xander loves me, and that means he gives me whatever he can when he knows what I want and need. When he’s doesn’t, it’s not because he doesn’t care or he doesn’t want to give it to me. It could also be that he simply can’t, either because of reasons inside or outside of him, or because I haven’t communicated what it is I want or need, or both. Or because he’s human and sometimes forgets things, too.

There is almost nothing outside you that will help in any kind of lasting way, unless you are waiting for a donor organ. You can’t buy, achieve, or date serenity. Peace of mind is an inside job. – Anne Lamott

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.

What’s in a “Yes, Sir”?

… in which my ideas of what “Yes, Sir” means for us were challenged.

These days, our D/s river runs deep and doesn’t surface often. I think it’s largely because we don’t have enough energy (or power) which could be exchanged. But it certainly continues to run, only far beneath the surface. Our two years of overt D/s have changed us: Regardless of spankings or none, we both like our life better when he’s the boss and I’m not. Xander looks out for me, and lets me have downtime and outings. I do my best to obey and address him respectfully in word and tone. I keep him in the loop of how I am doing emotionally and mentally, and I communicate my needs and preferences clearly. I support his need for downtime and give him what he needs. And I try to stick to my slow weight loss plan as best as I can, because he made it clear how much he’d like me to get my pre-kids figure back (me, too). He doesn’t ask much of me above and beyond that, and that’s pretty much as far as our D/s goes most days.

We communicate well and don’t fight much, we’ve found easy ways to connect emotionally, and we have each other’s backs. It’s a good marriage, and though I do miss the special closeness, relaxation, and the spring in my step and increased self-control I get from being well spanked and well bedded, the lack of these two are really my only complaint. It could be so much worse!

But recently, Xander put his foot down, and I was surprised I didn’t know how to respond. I’d been going to bed much too late, and I can’t afford to. I get really grumpy and irritable with the kids when I lack sleep, and it affects my health. After we’d sorted out the miscommunication that led to it all, he told me how I was to do things from now on. I was surprised and a bit thrilled (because he hasn’t told me how or what to do in a long time), and mostly relieved. And this was the sort of interaction that required a “Yes, Sir” from me, but – I couldn’t say (or rather, write) it. Not because I didn’t agree with him, or because I couldn’t submit to it, but because it meant so much to me, and I couldn’t say it without knowing if it was as important to him as it was to me, and what it meant to him. I’d been running on assumptions for too long, and I didn’t want that to happen again.

Manga of a girl saluting and saying
But what does it mean??

I remember how at first, saying “Yes, Sir” to my husband felt a bit awkward, but how much I loved the feeling of sharing a naughty secret with him when I said it aloud. I loved the way it made me feel submissive when it was for something that came easily and the way it reinforced my commitment to obey him when it was hard to say.

After the bedtime discussion we had over our phones, his final message said, “OK, I think you get it. So this topic is done.” I had no trouble accepting it. But I just couldn’t bring myself to write “Yes, Sir.” In fact, I didn’t know how to respond, so I didn’t respond at all. When he got home, I told him in person that I accepted his dictum, but I couldn’t say “Yes, Sir” to it just yet, and I’d need to talk with him about why. He said, “I did notice you didn’t reply at all.”

Later that night, I told Xander I needed to know what “Yes, Sir” meant to him before I would use it again, because it meant so much to me, and I couldn’t bear thinking it meant one thing but later finding out that it didn’t. He said, “It is very important to me. But it’s just information. This is how you tell me that you accept and will abide by my decision.” Spoken with dom-ly finality. His tone said clearly this was not open to discussion. And here I was, full of all the feelings, and he obviously didn’t feel the same… I struggled with that. After a while, I quietly gave him the “Yes, Sir” for the bedtime decision and told him I needed time to think about all of this. He said, “There’s nothing to think about”, but he also knows me well enough to give me that space when I ask for it.

It took me a whole day to mull over his view that “Yes, Sir” was “just information.” What about the D/s and the erotic thrill and all the… feels?!? Didn’t he, couldn’t he, …? But after much deliberation, I arrived at the conclusion that he’s right. Or did I simply submit and accept that this was what “Yes, Sir” was to mean for us? As I’m writing this, I can’t tell if in this case, there’s even a difference, because if I truly want him to lead me, then I do need to follow his lead. And that means I will have to let go of at least some of my ideas on how he “should” lead and instead, accept how he actually does lead. (I can always respectfully tell him if I like it or not.)

I can and do “Yes, Sir” again, because now I know it means the same to me as to him: that I accept and will abide by his decision. And at the same time, every instance of “Yes, Sir” is also an affirmation that I still want this, that I still want him as my Dom and that I still want to obey him and follow his lead. And that is a good place from which our D/s, the one according to his rule, can grow.

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.

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!

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