Monday, August 14, 2017

DD Interview

Sometimes it's nice to step back and summarize the significant parts of this lifestyle. I've mentioned having the privilege of getting to know JGirl in the past year or so (in the off chance you are unfamiliar, see Taming of the Shrew blog to the right!), and how great it is to have a healthy, experienced friend within the lifestyle to connect with. This past week she suggested we do an interview about living the DD lifestyle, and I was more than happy to participate! Here are her interview questions and my responses:


1) How long have you two been a DD couple? 
We've been doing this a few months shy of three years now.



2) Did you always have a Dom/sub or power exchange relationship, or was this a very big change for you?
Well I think we both really wanted it to be this way, but I was just too stubborn and misled by societal expectations, etc. I would tell people he was the boss, decorate our bedroom in his favourite colours, let him do the bills, stuff like that, but I definitely was really fighting for equal control all along. It didn't occur to me how much I would actually enjoy serving him.


3) What do you think is the best benefit of this dynamic? 
Definitely the reduced/shorter/less-intense marital arguments. It just works better to have one person call the shots, where before we would go round and round forever. Now when he shuts it down I always think I'll need to respectfully bring it up again later, but I rarely see it that way once I've stepped back from things.


4) What do you find hardest?
This is pretty basic, but it's very hard for me to show submission when it seems I'm not getting anything in return. It just takes so much physical and emotional energy to begin with. The dynamic definitely wouldn't work if my submission was conditional/reactionary, but it sure would be ten times easier that way!


5) If you could pick an implement to toss in The Great Submissive Bonfire of 2017 without repercussion, what would it be?
Absolutely 100% the lexan paddle! It's made with the stuff they use for bullet-proof glass, and is supposed to sting like an acrylic paddle only way more intense. It is so unbelievably painful, I dread it so much. What's worse is that it doesn't usually leave marks so I never even have the battle scars to show for it!


6) Which rule do you find easiest to obey?
Probably acts of physical submission, like doing things for him when he asks. Even when I'm not feeling up to it, the decision to get him coffee, rub his back, wear a skirt, etc. always seems like a pretty explicit choice to be unsubmissive or submissive.


7) Which is the hardest?
I seriously struggle with being able to stop speaking my mind or stating my case when he says we're done discussing something. At least three fourths of all of my punishments are because of this one thing! It's just really difficult for me to stop when I feel I'm being misunderstood. And Bruce adds that although I'm getting better I also have trouble being still during harsh maintenance/punishments.


8) If you could give someone new to this one piece of advice, what would it be?
Let the HoH/Dom truly call the shots; even though it's tempting, I think things work infinitely better when submissives don't make suggestions unless asked. Lucky for me Bruce shut this down from the start- before DD he had been very laid back about being in charge, but when he agreed to give it a try he said we'd either be doing everything his way or we wouldn't be doing it at all. Once I stopped giving input on how I thought things should be he really started to own it and get into it much more. Even if things weren't going the way I wanted them too, the authenticity of that was actually very hot! And eventually he became interested in hearing my opinion on things here and there, so by now he's taken a fair amount of my thoughts and preferences into consideration anyway.


9) If you could project yourself five years from now, where would you like to see your dynamic?
Well I still get punished quite a lot, more than I think most couples with a few years of experience, but we have two babies under sixteen months old so hopefully that will naturally change as the madness settles a bit. It'd be great if in five years we're in the same kind of rhythm that JGirl and Jason are ;) Seriously, I know she's mentioned "getting" each other sort of automatically by now, like to a point where his expectations and her needs are pretty intuitively obvious to the other without needing to articulate much. We are learning and getting better, but we are definitely not to that point yet. I hope we find ourselves moving closer to that type of thing as we both continue to gain experience and maturity along the way. I won't deny that it's a lot of work, but the payoff of all of that work is seriously awesome :)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Implements

Bruce commented the other day that he is really satisfied with his implement arsenal, and as it seems pretty well rounded and terrible from my perspective I figured it was worth a blog post. Of course, different things work for different people. Some D/s couples I know only use household items, or some HoHs prefer to make all of their implements by hand. Others simply buy them from spanking implement stores. Bruce does use household items on occasion, but not typically. And since he doesn't spend much time at his workbench, particularly when he is busy, we basically fall into the third category.

As far as acquiring them goes, Bruce expects me to do my research on this and present him with a few options before buying. He'll mention that we need a better paddle or a quiet implement, and tell me to get on it. When the DD forum was up and running someone had suggested using Caneiac.com, so that's the only place I've ever gone; their stuff seems... ah... built to last, and the packaging is super discreet which is nice. Embarrassingly enough we've ended up with more than one broken paddle, but even Bruce would say that those were a result of some pretty intense punishments. The site is a tad kinky for my taste, but really in the way of spanking paraphernalia stores I imagine it's about as tasteful as one could hope for. At any rate, here are the three spanking implements that currently reside in our home:

Lexan Paddle
This is Bruce's favorite, and he uses it alone or with the others for nearly every spanking. It is polycarbonate, the material used to make bulletproof glass, and is known for delivering an exceptionally excruciating sting. We originally had an acrylic paddle, and Bruce chose the lexan as a replacement since it was supposed to be "unbreakable" with a similar but way more intense sting. Bruce loves how it almost never leaves lasting marks regardless of intensity, but I rather hate that. It is horrible to experience unbearable pain only to wake the next morning and see that my backside looks nearly unscathed. When he uses it for a particularly long or harsh spanking it will leave a vague redness, but that's about it. So for all of the above reasons, I really hate the lexan paddle. But I suppose that's the point.

Looped Cane
When my mother in law offered to stay one night a week to help care for our babies, Bruce told me it was time to find a quiet implement. I have no idea why he specifically chose this one out of all of the "whippy" choices I presented him with, but it definitely fits the bill. I also hate this implement, although I am ambivalently grateful to be held accountable even when company is present. On a few rare occasions he has even pulled me aside with daytime visitors and used it. While it requires a great deal more control and restraint than the lexan paddle, I believe it is slightly less painful. But this one leaves marks almost every time.

Leather Strap
Bruce calls this one "cute," as it is not as painful as the other two. While it is admittedly less intense, I still say this implement leaves a deeper sting than the others. I've never been punished with it, but he has used it along with the others during maintenance, and it is usually the main implement for the rare occasions when I receive a good girl spanking.

So there's the list. Again, different things work for different couples. But since Bruce is all about intensity, and isn't one for considerable variety, these three implements work for us. I have a special kind of distaste for each of them, but I appreciate the purpose they serve. And I especially appreciate the man who uses them ;)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Submissive Challenge

Unconditional Respect: I believe very sincerely that this is the heart of true submission. It takes little to no effort to behave respectfully to Bruce when I am feeling appreciated, heard, honored, or loved; the challenge is to show respect when I am feeling under-appreciated, neglected, mistreated, etc. But doing so in these times shows my commitment to him and to this dynamic more than anything else ever could. It is in these times where we BOTH end up deepening our commitment to the each other and to this dynamic we're involved in.

This week our little family was confronted with an upsetting situation that has pushed Bruce and I even more than we are already currently being pushed. I'd prefer to avoid specifics, but we've been upset, overwhelmed, and exhausted for the past few days, and this next week will be even worse .So since it will be almost impossible not to feel under-appreciated, neglected, etc. in such extreme circumstances, this is a great week to focus on unconditional respect! The challenge I propose to myself (and anyone who wants to join me!) this week is to show unconditional respect in the following specific ways:

Mon - Thank him for a specific sacrifice he makes or has recently made for the family
Tues - Ask him in the evening what I can do to ease the stress of his day
Wed - Serve him in an unsolicited way (back rub, packing his lunch, etc.)
Thur - Tell him about a specific quality or trait that I find sexually attractive

Beautiful things always seem to happen when we shift our focus away from ourselves, so here goes. I realize it won't make things any simpler or easier, but at the very least it will prevent me from doing some unproductive and potentially destructive self pitying. Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Order vs. Chaos

Really think about these two things for a moment. Maybe it’s on my mind because I have two babies under 14 months and chaos abounds, but I’ve been thinking a lot about how the Bible says that God is a god of order. And what is order really? Above all else I know that my fruitfulness as a wife, a mother, a worker, and a servant is directly proportional to the amount of order present in my life. It makes sense that order is right; everything functions better within it.

So a few days ago Bruce seemed irritated with me, and he started acted irritable to the point of being unkind. He left to run an errand, and I decided to text him about how we had left things. I tried to think of how I wanted to state my case: to describe how his actions were hurtful, defend where I was coming from, and explain what I felt was unfair… it all honestly made me feel very tired, especially while juggling an infant and pre-toddler. I knew I would go to a lot of trouble to say all of those things diplomatically, only to have my words come out wrong and/or be received poorly. I could almost guarantee it, and I just didn’t have the energy to waste. Nonetheless, we needed to be right with each other so doing nothing was also not an option. Suddenly it dawned on me that I did NOT need to state my case; I merely needed to let him know how I felt and ask him what he wants me to do about it. He is the boss, so his word is final… Changing my focus to simply meeting his expectations rather than how to align my expectations with his surprisingly felt clear and even freeing. Rather than wrack my brain to find the most concise and diplomatic way to speak my mind, I simply texted: “The way you’re treating me feels unloving- if I’ve been disrespectful to cause that please let me know what I’ve done so I can avoid doing it again.” Sure enough, he had been feeling disrespected. Of course we were both misinterpreting each other’s actions, but discussing that in detail would have led us down a defensive and destructive road. And we didn’t have to go there since the goal was much simpler than that: we merely needed to get right again based on his expectations. He told me what he felt I had done wrong, and before I could launch into defending myself and what I had meant, I remembered the goal and merely asked what I should do differently in the future. Oddly enough, focusing only on that eventually enabled both of us to understand the other more fully. I won’t pretend the whole exchange was easy or that we handled it perfectly because it wasn’t and we didn’t. Even still, things were made infinitely simpler (and got us back to adequately loving and respecting each other much faster) by maintaining this hierarchy, this order within our marriage.

Order… one of us has to be the boss; we absolutely have equal value, but only one of us can be the head. Two heads don’t work. And he is the one who has to be the head because, though society works hard to smother it, God planted a desire within him to lead and a desire within me to submit. Why is that so politically incorrect? Because secular society does not understand equal worth outside of sameness. Sincere Christianity understands it perfectly: we are all sinful, all sins are the same, Jesus paid for every single one of us… we all have true worth in God’s eyes, and not one person matters more than another. When that is truly and deeply clear, having different strengths and weaknesses isn’t frustrating or offensive, it’s beautiful. I admit I’m still programmed to forget, but the more moments of clarity I have the more I glimpse the true perfection of the whole system, and the more I want to function within that perfection. I trust my husband’s leadership, but more significantly I trust my Creator’s system. Bruce isn’t always a perfect leader and I am often an imperfect submissive, but this system of order has never failed us. (It should go without saying, but to be clear I am not saying that God’s design specifically encompasses marital spanking and discipline; they are just one flawed human implementation of His perfect design.) I think about the friction and confusion that existed in our marriage before we honed in on all of this, and I can’t believe the difference. We did have moments of clarity before, but they were interspersed with confusion and frustration that was often aimed at each other. If I’m honest with myself there was a fair amount of anger, hurt, miscommunication, bitterness, and disconnect. The system of two heads just didn’t work. His leadership and my submission may be far from perfect. And if we’re discussing flaws then really the entire idea of Domestic Discipline may well fall into that category. But there is no question in my mind that imperfection within a perfect system is far superior to any kind of functioning in a system that quite simply does not work.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Reluctant Testament to Harshness

Since the birth of my son 6 weeks ago my pain tolerance is stunningly low. Thankfully DD stayed very present throughout our two back to back pregnancies, but the intensity and harshness of the spankings lessened quite a bit. So now that my body is returning to normal, the physical harshness of Bruce's corrections is doing the same. I'm guessing postpartum hormones are also at play because I can tell that he is taking my struggling into account, but it doesn't really seem to matter; it takes one good set of strikes to set me panting and gritting my teeth just trying to get through it.

I can't say that I like the harshness on any level, although I certainly prefer it over spankings that are too light. I've come to accept that my fantasies of getting those sexy not-too-harsh-not-too-light spankings are just that; fantasies. The maintenance and discipline I get generally ranges from past my tolerance limit to way past my tolerance limit. Bruce has explained his reasoning in this more than once: if I don't mind the spanking then submitting to it really isn't a relinquishing of control at all. He's also mentioned that the intensity of the spanking needs to match the intensity of my personality. So regardless of my opinions and preferences, the harshness is here to stay. And if I'd like to be able to readjust to it as well as possible then there's no getting around it: we've got some work to do.

So before I could lose my nerve I asked him if he could help me get myself back in shape so that I could submit better. He assured me that we would have a thorough session the next night, and wow was he serious about that. The anticipation all day had me so nervous by the time he sent me to the bedroom, and to my horror he came in after me and pulled out the strap, looped cane, and paddle, and laid them all across the bed. Perhaps because of the gravity of that I suddenly felt very shy and exposed, to the point that I couldn't look him in the eye. As I undressed while he waited I honored my resolve to tell him that I trust him and that I want to submit well and that I WILL submit well. He pulled me over his lap and gave me a long hard warm-up that already had me squirming. When he started in with the strap I was again panting and seriously struggling to maintain composure. I forced myself to hold still, but when he moved onto the looped cane I couldn't help crying out. He told me that I needed to be quiet, so when I felt him switch to the lexan paddle I put my hand over my own mouth. Doing that helped me stay quiet somehow, and I forced myself to stay still even though the spanking was excruciating by this point.

My efforts to convey a submissive heart through demonstrating a submissive body were effective; he paused to rub me and soothingly remark that I was being a good girl. The thrill of realizing he was pleased with my stillness made my determination to remain still skyrocket. Nonetheless, it felt like the paddling went on forever, and although I remained still I started crying. Eventually I was sobbing, and he leaned down to me and made me look him in the eye. He said I was going to be strong now, and he somehow adjusted so that he could watch my face as the spanking continued. To lose all privacy in reacting to the pain left me feeling indescribably vulnerable and exposed, but still he remained. He leaned in to kiss me, and again I thrilled at the awareness that he was pleased at my submission. His sexy and skilled hands began mixing pain with pleasure, and he continued kissing me between sets of strikes. He told me how I deserved the spanking, and how I needed to take it well. He finally put the paddle down and finished with a hard hand spanking, and by this point my backside absolutely felt like it was on fire.

When it was over we made love, kissing and connecting more deeply than we have in a long time. When I laid in his arms afterward I told him it was almost cathartic the way I have to give trust over to him, and to surrender all control. I asked him if he felt similarly, and although he laughed at the word cathartic he said that yes it felt nice. Again, I can't say that I will ever like the harshness, but I guess that's the point. While I want a spanking that is not too harsh to handle, experiencing true surrender to him fills a much deeper void. Somehow he knows this, and I feel so cared for that he bypasses what I think I want to give me what I really need instead. In the end it's an ambivalent and strange feeling, and I admit that some part of me does wish I would never have to submit to something so hard. The dread I feel beforehand is almost crushing, and the pain I feel while it's happening is intensely upsetting. But the connection and closeness we experience as a result is so sweet that it absolutely overshadows everything else. While parts of this dynamic are fun and playful, the responsibility to lead and the commitment to submit is more than serious. He expects me to trust him completely, and he strives every day to be worthy of that trust. And oh I respect that so much. I love him so fiercely that the opportunity to show him just how fully I do trust him is truly worth all of the unpleasantness along the way.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

What Kind of Person Wants This

I've been awake a lot in the middle of the night these past few weeks. The endless amount of late night infant feedings have necessitated finding something to occupy my mind in order to keep me awake. Bruce has frankly insisted I find something that does NOT involve babies or motherhood, which pathetically left me with no ideas. Meanwhile, for the past year or so I've had the privilege of getting to know Jason's Girl (see Taming of the Shrew blog to the right). I love our friendship, in part because it is wonderful talking with a fellow submissive who is emotionally well-adjusted and in a longstanding, stable D/s relationship. Bruce is fully aware of the value I place on our connection, and as she has recently become a major success as a Romance Novelist (pen name Jane Henry), he generously suggested I read some of her books to fill the time. I've not read Romance Novels before, but several midnight hours and six books later I can personally testify that her books are fantastic! (I believe her blog has a link to her author's page; if you enjoy Romance Novels it's definitely worth checking out.) Anyway, after finishing her Boston Doms series I decided to further peruse the D/s Romance Novel scene. When I kept bumping into reviews of a D/s book by a New York Times best selling author I eventually gave in and downloaded the kindle version. Imagine my disgust when I found that, just like 50 Shades, the characters who engage in a D/s relationship were once victims of abuse. Of course I'm in strong support of healing from traumatic pasts however necessary, and if having this type of a relationship is helpful in doing that then I applaud those who do so. Nonetheless, the perpetual stigmatization of D/s relationships correlating to abuse victims frankly pisses me off. What is that really saying anyway? Among other things, it suggests that D/s relationships are so twisted that they only serve as a vice or even therapy for those who have suffered physical or sexual trauma. I know firsthand that this is entirely inaccurate, but how do I validate that argument? Well, with all of the extra time I've had lately (ha, ha, HA) I decided to further investigate the validity of this correlation.

Much to my surprise, several reputable websites have plenty to say on the topic of D/s relationships and those who participate in them. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in May 2013 was featured in an article by Psychology Today; they highlighted the study's findings that "BDSM Practitioners," namely dominants and submissives, were actually more conscientious, less neurotic, and had a better sense of well-being than those with "vanilla sexual preferences." The article went on to say: "Common assumptions about people who participate in BDSM are that they psychologically anxious and maladjusted, acting out a past history of sexual abuse, however... available research evidence suggests that these assumptions are probably not true" Well then. How about that?

They weren't the only ones to weigh in on the character of those interested in dominance and submission. LiveScience.com discussed similar research at length with this conclusion: "...Studies have failed to show evidence that enjoying sex with a side of pain is linked to psychological problems... in fact, these studies suggest that BDSM practitioners may be better off psychologically than the general public." The article went on to say that such individuals "tend to be more aware of their sexual needs and desires than vanilla people," thus implying that these people are more likely to have a healthier sex life and a healthier sense of self.

Another reputable entity addressing D/s participants was The Huffington Post: they produced an article stating that past assumptions that BDSM proclivities might be correlated with previous abuse mental disorders are contrary to research, and that people with such preferences actually score better on many mental health indicators than the general population.

Finally, the Smithsonian website cited several studies indicating that a staggering 36-65% of the general American population have BDSM preferences. What fascinating and validating statistics! And yet even the Smithsonian observed that "In spite of the evidence that BDSM is commonplace—normal, even—those who openly adhere to the lifestyle are frequently marginalized."

Marginalized indeed. Now I admit I have only been a part of the D/s community for a few years, but virtually everyone I've encountered within it has faced a time where they assumed that their desire for such a power exchange meant that something must be wrong with them psychologically. And even though society has a rich history of inarguably erred judgment in regards to "acceptable" and "moral," its marginalization of such preferences play a huge role in this self-doubt. Heaven knows I've been there myself. But maybe its time we turn the tables and shame society for its high-handed ignorance. I trust the man I've pledged my life to so fully that I find empowerment in fully surrendering control to him. He loves me so much that he desires to commit himself to the worthiness that such power and responsibility requires. While this challenges and stretches us, it certainly doesn't make us any more broken or damaged than the rest of the population. It does make us better, more selfless versions of ourselves, more fulfilled, and deeper in love than ever. The way I see it, that makes us pretty damn healthy.





Sunday, May 21, 2017

Emotional and Physical Submission

A lot has happened since my last post- my baby boy is now just over two weeks old, and I am now over thirty pounds lighter! Having two babies almost back to back has made me forget how nice it feels to NOT be pregnant... no more swollen feet or struggling to get out of bed... the best part is that Bruce can once again wrap his strong arms around me and hold me tight when we sleep- not that we're doing much of that right now! Of course life is crazy with a newborn and a one year old. But I've still had a few note-worthy moments of submission.

One such moment happened after our roughest night yet; we'd just completed night #3 of virtually no sleep, and were suddenly dealing with nursing issue as well. Add postpartum hormones to the mix, and I admit I was more than a little weepy. Bruce told me I needed to try to be positive, and my gut reaction was to defensively suggest that he have more compassion, as he couldn't possibly understand postpartum hormones. Somehow that thought led me to recognize and lament how far we were from things being so right between us; him being pleased with me for submitting, and me enjoying his consequential affection. By some grace it occurred to me that this was still possible, so I decided to be the cheerful wife he was seeking no matter how ridiculous it seemed. I forced myself to stop crying, put on my baby sling, and wore my newborn while I made breakfast and straightened up the kitchen. To my surprise after faking pleasant for twenty minutes or so, I actually felt quite a lot better. And then I realized that this is what he had wanted for me in encouraging me to be positive- he wasn't lacking compassion at all, he was right there with me trying to help me find a way to beat the baby blues. He did it because he cared AND because he had the perspective that I was lacking. Gee I think this realization has hit me more than a few times... shame on me for forgetting it so often. 

Another more physical moment happened a few nights ago: for weeks now he's been telling me that it will take a fair amount of maintenance to make up for lost time and to bring us back to where we need to be. A few mornings ago he suggested we may need to have the first of many catch-up spankings that evening. So after an exhausting day with my one-year-old and very needy newborn, I reluctantly paused next to the bed and asked permission to crawl under the covers and go to sleep. Just as I feared, from our bathroom sink he gave a firm "No." My heart sank a bit, and almost immediately I could feel my breathing speed up; it had been so long since I had gotten a serious spanking! My body wasn't ready for this. My mind wasn't ready for this. He came to me and had me bend over the bed while he reiterated that I need to stop talking back, and that we need to get back on track. I actually whimpered at his removing my pants and underwear, and by the end of his warm-up I couldn't help but cry out. When he started with the paddle I could tell he was using less force than usual, but even still I just could not take the pain. Every strike reached my core and left me reeling. He asked me to confirm that I've needed correction like this, and after some prompting I managed to respectfully affirm that I did. As the spanking continued I panted for breath and after several more strikes I heard myself beg for it to stop. He paused to drop the paddle and move his hands to my hips, firmly but affectionately. In a calm, even voice he said: "Stop. Breathe, baby. Breathe." I focused on his command, and somehow his firmness mixed with affection made me want to obey him more than ever. Soon he was holding the paddle again, telling me to bend further, and when he began again the tears started immediately. I absolutely could not take any more, and I needed for it to stop. But regardless of that fact, it simply wasn't stopping... like it or not I was subject to his discretion and there was nothing I could do to change that... I had No Control. Over the situation or even over my own body... And then once again I felt the gravity of truly having no control rush over me. It had been a while, but the feeling was familiar; humbling, scary, and yet strangely so very freeing. When he finally dropped the paddle on the bed he held me in position for a moment, and I waited for him to bring me back to my feet. When he did he hugged me hard, and I sobbed into his shoulder. I told him that I'd forgotten how scary and awful this can be, and his embrace tightened in the most perfect way. He said now that my body was back to normal we will be doing it more so that I don't forget again, and that it will be good for me to keep the memory of this feeling fresh. I cringingly but sincerely agreed. 

While it had been happening all I could think about was getting through the next set of strikes, and all I could feel was an overwhelming feeling of helplessness. But when it was over the realization of having submitted to him so completely felt almost euphoric. It made the prior scariness and discomfort worthwhile, and I even regretted that I hadn't taken it better. Here I am, a grown woman being spanked by her husband- It is crazy how something so unconventional and so simple can be such a powerful symbol of submission, but it is. Lying in his arms with a stinging backside I suddenly remembered how intentional and challenging it is to relinquish control, to trust someone else so completely. I suddenly remembered how fulfilling and right it feels once the feeling of helplessness subsides. I would imagine that in a similar way the responsibility and rightness of leading came rushing back to Bruce as well. I won't deny that Domestic Discipline sounds strange to anyone who is unfamiliar with the concept. But I cannot deny its power and effectiveness in reminding us of the value of leadership and submission in a marriage. It does have moments of serious unpleasantness, and it does stretch us in new and sometimes unsettling ways. But the connection and clarity it brings overshadows all of that. Even now in the midst of physical and emotional exhaustion I am more thankful than ever that we have it in our lives.