Sunday, November 19, 2017

When It Just Doesn't Work

We all know that DD is intense; emotionally and even physically it's a huge commitment. And like all intense things, there are times when you think "Maybe this isn't what I want after all." I can count on one hand the amount of times I have felt this way about DD. But two nights ago I was definitely wondering whether we've made the right call to commit to doing this.

I know I really sound like a broken record, but it is impossible not to preface 90% of my current thoughts and experiences on DD with the fact that we are in a really busy year of our lives right now. A blessed, sweet, sweet time for sure, but Bruce is essentially committed time and energy-wise to the equivalent of two full-time jobs, so my working full time while we have two under two is especially intense.

So Friday night I snapped. I can't remember the last time I spoke to Bruce that way, so needless to say I found myself bent over the bed in a lot of discomfort in no time at all. Boy was it a harsh spanking. I knew I deserved it and I tried to take it well, but it just somehow felt isolating and sad. The whole beauty of DD is that it prevents the isolation and disconnect of stonewalling, but once the spanking was over I felt more alone than ever. As always he had hugged me while I cried, but it frankly didn't feel like we were reconnecting like we usually do. So as he got back to what he was doing (as usual he had work to do) I couldn't stop thinking about how I had just gone through all of this emotional and physical upset only to come out as disconnected as ever. At least stonewalling isn't overwhelming and painful, right?

But the real question was why didn't I feel loved and reconnected with my husband as usual? The answer, we've decided now in retrospect, is that neither of us had extended as much grace as usual to the other. And as anyone successfully practicing DD knows, a LOT of grace is required on both ends in order for this whole thing to actually work effectively. My disrespect was extreme, totally devoid of grace to begin with, and although he was controlled and calm the spanking he gave lacked true forgiveness (grace) as well. Of course to put it simply I just shouldn't ever talk to my husband that way. But in the few instances where I have been exceptionally out of line in the past, Bruce generally remains gracious in his reaction. If it's hard to imagine a gracious spanking, suffice it to say that I feel very loved and forgiven when it is all over. Yes it feels pretty awful to be punished, but I can deal with that awful intensity because when the spanking is over so is our disconnect, in totality. But this time the grace just wasn't there, and we just didn't really reconnect.






So tonight once the kids were in bed and I was straightening the kitchen, I asked Bruce to help me articulate what the takeaway of the whole thing was. He reiterated that I just really can't talk to him that way, but said that the bottom line was that due to our considerable stress we just weren't at all gracious to each other, so it just didn't work. I asked him if he felt confident that we could avoid that situation in the future, and in his very frank way (a quality that I have come to both love and hate) he simply said "I hope so." But then he reminded me that no matter what, we'll eventually figure it out. And he's right; so DD was ineffective and upsetting last time. Maybe at some point it will be again. But we are committed to each other so I know that we'll find a way to work it out; we always do.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Punishment and Exhaustion

Last night I asked Bruce what I should blog about. We had a truly insane week, filled with unusually stressful work situations for both of us (because of this I got a pass for posting last Sunday, so here I am tonight). Anyway, I asked him what I should write about because DD seems to be very blah for us right now. When I told him this he seemed to understand- he asked if I meant how things feel uneventful right now because we're just trying to make it, and I said yes. As we are in our most exhausting season of life thus far, we both know that we definitely don't use DD enough. Just a few minutes before typing this Bruce commented that we really need to get on a better maintenance schedule so that I can have a better attitude more easily. He wasn't complaining about anything I've done, he really was just commenting on the need for more maintenance, and I know he's right. It sounds too exhausting right now, but it helps us reconnect, and it helps us maintain our roles better. And when we do that everything runs smoother; we get more done, we function better with our babies, and we enjoy our time more. DD truly helps our marriage on a lot of levels! But the exhaustion makes it hard to keep up on it. Especially regarding keeping up on punishments, as these take even more emotional and physical energy (for both of us) than maintenance.

So imagine my reaction when, after my most insane day last week, we collapsed into bed and he told me it was time for my punishment (for sassing and overreacting, my specialty...). We literally had just gotten home and put the babies to bed, and it was so late that we went straight to bed after that. At first I thought he was kidding, but he wasn't. I begged to postpone it for another time, and I seriously would have cried right then if I wasn't so incredibly tired.

It was no surprise when the spanking began just as harshly as ever, but I just could not take it on any level- emotionally, physically, mentally. He used the strap and the lexan paddle, and the harshness easily sent me past my tolerance limit. Having no control and feeling unable to take the discomfort, I began crying in no time at all. In some part of my brain I did feel a sense of relief at being forced to submit to him, but most of me just felt completely overwhelmed. Of course things wouldn't have been much different even if he would have chosen a different night; every night that week was nuts. Still, it was just so intense to go through at that point. When it was finally over he painfully but passionately initiated intimacy (which ended very nicely to say the least), and when it was over he held me. Where I usually process the entire thing in a way that leaves me feeling clear and fulfilled, I laid in his arms feeling... exhausted. I hadn't had the energy to process fully or really much at all. Still, some part of me was fulfilled, particularly in the fact that we had just connected exclusively. Whatever the spanking was, it didn't include my work stresses or his, it didn't even include our babies or the home tasks that needed completed. It was just about him and me, and our interaction with each other.

When I had asked Bruce for ideas on what to write about since we were kind of in a just-getting-by mode, he had eventually suggested I write about what just-getting-by DD looks like for us. So there it is. It isn't perfect- it's inconsistent and doesn't leave as powerful an impact as it could, but it IS still present. We are still connecting and still devoting energy to each other, which is more than I can say for a lot of couples during this stage of life. So all things considered, I'll definitely take that. Which is good, especially considering that, as Bruce would say, it isn't really up to me to begin with ;)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Just for me

Whew, rough week. A lot of things just didn't go well, and it left me asking myself why exactly I want to be a submissive wife. An easy mental response to that question is to tick off all of the external factors that are often connected: because it works, because it’s sexy, because my husband "deserves" it, because the reward is worth the work...

The above mentioned things are all legitimately connected to submission, and I am blessed to be able to identify them in my life most of the time. But the fact is that they are not always present; sometimes it isn't sexy. Sometimes it doesn't work. Sometimes Bruce doesn't seem so deserving, and sometimes there is no reward. So what then? There has to be some sort of motivation because submission requires a lot of mental strength, emotional clarity, energy, and most of all a lot of self control. So when those external factors fail you (and they all do at one time or another!) there needs to be a sustainable motivation beneath it all.

Have you ever read Proverbs 31? It's about a wife of noble character, and boy is it humbling to read. Paraphrasing destroys context to a degree, but here are the verses that always stand out to me the most:

Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.
Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life...
She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day's work...
She is energetic and strong, a hard worker... her lamp burns late into the night...
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.
When she speaks her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.
She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.

Now of course there are plenty of Biblical references that require a lot of men as well, but whew is this a lot; up before dawn, lamps burning into the night, energetic, wise, kind, dignified... as I've mentioned already, aspiring to these things requires a good deal of mental strength, emotional clarity, energy, and self control. But as a Christian I've noticed a theme in all of God's instructions: yes, He wants us to do the right thing simply because it is right, but being our creator He also knows exactly what will bring us long-term, personal fulfillment, and He wants that for us. Yeah it sucks to choose self-control, to be selfless and patient, to work all through the day. But it feels pretty amazing to build others up, to help loved ones, and to enjoy an organized home.

So personal fulfillment, that's a worthy and unwavering motivation. I'm aspiring to submission because I personally desire to be this type of a wife. I also want to be an example for my daughter so that she can also enjoy the kind of long-term fulfillment that these characteristics can bring. Of course we all have to make our own choices and discover things for ourselves, but I would love it if one day she decides to reject society's lie that submission means being a doormat without self-respect, and as a result sees for herself how fulfilling and energizing it can be to yield to another.

I can't always control the external factors, but I can always control me. Be the change you want to see in the world, right? If we all just focused on ourselves the world would run so smoothly. I may not be effectively submissive all of the time, but I can at least aspire to that, and keep improving myself: The struggle is definitely real! But I know I can rise above it, even if only for myself. I do after all love self improvement. And I’m worth it :)

Sunday, October 1, 2017

I Don't Want to Do This!

Submitting is hard. And as we all know, when both partners are spread thin it is hard to feel that one's efforts are being reciprocated. Of course at the end of the day Bruce is using a percentage of what little energy he has left on making sure I feel loved and cherished, and I am spending a similar percentage of my remaining energy trying to make him feel appreciated and respected. But when our needs aren't being fully met due to an overall lack of time and energy, it's hard to feel loved, cherished, appreciated, or respected. And then of course it becomes difficult to even give the energy you had already been giving to build up the other... enter the Crazy Cycle yet again. I admit I am struggling to act respectful due to this perceived lack of reciprocity, and I have no doubt that he is struggling to act lovingly for the exact same reason. I think we both know that either of us singularly hold the power to set the cycle spinning in the opposite direction, but boy is it hard to be the one to step up to the plate in the midst of all of the other things we need to be doing right now.

Last night Bruce and I sat in my son's nursery like we do every night; me nursing my son and he holding my daughter. It was story time and we were reading the Dr. Seuss classic "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish." It's really a pretty random book, and towards the end Bruce read a page that asked the reader if they had done any of the things described. It followed the question by saying:

If you never did, you should; these things are fun, and fun is good.

Although I think we both get the spirit of the quote, it hit us a bit differently based on where we're at right now in life. After reading the above line Bruce lowered the book, looked at me, and said "That's really great logic, especially for a kids' book... 'yeah, I'm not gonna do that because it's not fun'... what a world it would be if we all decided to live that way." He said it lightheartedly and I sort of chuckled with him, but I thought more about it after story time was over. Everyday really is an awesome day because we are in love and have two healthy babies. But there are so many times throughout the week where I explicitly think "I don't want to do this." For example waking up at 4:30 every weekday, whittling away at my work to-do list, cleaning up after dinner, washing my breast-pump, choosing respect over reaction... and lately pretty much every time I have to submit to a spanking. Yes, it's always unpleasant to a point, but even maintenance is something I have been dreading lately. I know it brings a much needed reconnect, but even still at the end of the day I am just So. Damn. Tired.

So as the evening wound down last night Bruce told me to head downstairs and wait for a spanking. I knew it was just maintenance, but even maintenance brings a physical and emotional intensity that I simply did not feel capable of handling. I brushed my teeth slowly and felt my heart sink as I entered the room; the looped cane, the strap, and the lexan paddle all lay across the foot of the bed. I whimpered something about saving the blended spankings for punishments, but as he helped me into position he merely said "You get to dictate what happens here?" To make matters worse, he referenced a REALLY stupid joke I had made about my spankings being typically short while her gave me a lengthy, harsh warm-up. Everything within me wanted to be anywhere other than bared over his lap. I squirmed a good deal, but when he started in with the looped cane I forced myself still. When he was finished with that he went on to the paddle, and eventually he finished with the strap, giving long and thorough hand spankings in between each implement. Needless to say the whole thing lasted for well over a few minutes, and it was overwhelming to say the least. By the time it was over I was very uncomfortable, but as it was only maintenance the feeling of being so clearly overpowered felt purely erotic. In fact so much so that I, um, went over the edge without permission, earning me yet another strapping... but I digress. In fact... I admit I only mention that because it was just really incredibly hot ;)


Anyway, when it was all over and I was laying in his arms with a thoroughly heated backside, I found myself thinking as usual that the discomfort and emotional intensity had been worth it after all. The connection we enjoyed as a result of all of that expended physical and emotional energy, THAT was fun. So I guess the bottom line is that all of the not-so-fun things that need done do eventually bring about something that actually IS fun; waking early creates a calm start to my day, my work produces a service that brings a sense of fulfillment, cleaning the kitchen creates a pleasant home environment, etc. So if I view submission in this light, it makes sense to choose respect and service during the times that I'd like to do anything but that; respect makes my man feel the way he should, and eventually that begets loving gestures. It's like my submitting to being spanked last night: the initial unpleasantness of forfeiting control eventually led to a thing that wasn't at all unpleasant, but a thing that was extremely pleasant. In fact, it was downright fun.

And as Dr. Seuss says, fun is good ;)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Acceptance

Hi all. Let’s talk about the insane amount of work it takes just to live and do the right thing… yeah, raising two little babies while both working full time (actually Bruce is working way more than full time) involves early mornings, long work hours, repeatedly pumping/breastfeeding, getting kids ready for bed, lack of sleep, etc. But the real intensity comes with pushing past just going through the motions to do what’s right- be a productive worker, help our infant get plenty of nourishment, sleep, and love, teach considerateness to our pre-toddler, eat healthy and stay in shape, maintain healthy relationships with friends and family, and of course make time for each other and our marriage. I am so mentally and physically drained that I don’t even have the energy to process the exhaustion. Ha, in fact I am pumping myself full of caffeine as we speak just so I don’t fall asleep before actually posting!

But being spread so thin has done something great for my “Type A” perfectionist, OCD mentality; I have learned to accept a lot more. Now if you read my blog at all you know I’ve been specifically working at submitting and accepting the imperfections of our dynamic for over two years. But now this acceptance is running deeper; I’m not just dealing with or tolerating (I hate that word) things, but I am sincerely accepting them, embracing them even. And in regards to submission… not getting my way, internalizing better, receiving verbal and physical correction… acceptance is no simple task.

Let me be blunt and say that the exhaustion catching up with us this past week has taken a toll on our use of DD and even our sex life. Not only has it been a *cringe* full week since we’ve been intimate, but I honest-to-goodness got out of the shower this morning and noticed the unusual smooth/softness of my backside. Bruce has been telling me for three days now that a couple of not-so-submissive moments have warranted a serious punishment spanking, but we’ve been crashing so hard at the end of the day that it just hasn’t happened. But today after putting both babies down for a nap he followed me into our bedroom to get the monitors and much to my dismay he pulled out that horrible lexan paddle. He made me lay across the bed, and as he slid my pants and underwear down he reminded me that this was a punishment spanking, and that it would be harsh. Wow oh wow was he serious about that; it has been a very long time since I’ve been spanked that hard.

Here’s where the acceptance part comes in: I have shared with Bruce more than once that it helps me submit better when he achieves the same level of discomfort through more slightly-less-intense strikes rather than fewer especially severe strikes. Nonetheless I received relatively few (twenty?) strikes, all of which were very, very breathtakingly intense. As I’ve articulated to him before, that kind of intensity makes physical and even mental submission virtually impossible. Now I admit I am out of practice, so as I sensed and as Bruce later articulated, the amount of force he used was not really as harsh as it felt. At any rate I definitely squirmed, even to the point of getting out of position, cried, and begged for it to stop. He kissed me and rubbed my bottom between strikes two or three times, but each time when he returned to using the paddle it was so awful that I bit the pillow to keep from screaming. Since the intensity compensated for amount of strikes, in the end (and even now) I was definitely uncomfortable but no more sore than usual. But I just didn’t have the chance to get into the right frame of mind, and so I didn’t experience the kind of release that is so cathartic for me. Nonetheless, I truly accepted his choice to spank me this way, and when it was over he kissed me again and we made love without anything negative between us.

Earlier this evening I told Bruce that I intended to blog about this afternoon, so upon request he shared his motivations behind my punishment further, if nothing other than to confirm what I already knew. He said that he knows that I dislike being spanked that way, but that sometimes the point is for me to do what he says, especially when I dislike it. He reminded me that even though I wasn’t still or quiet, my taking the spanking was submitting in a way that was potentially even more significant to him. He’s right of course. And after all, it wouldn’t be a punishment if I didn’t really dislike it. I accept this especially because we’ve agreed that punishments should be particularly undesirable.

As important as it is to do all of this accepting, even true acceptance doesn’t mean I should ever stop seeking a stronger and deeper connection between the two of us. I really believe that continually seeking improvement is the best combatant of stagnation and apathy. So my goal these next two weeks is to purposefully pray for Bruce and myself, that each of us have the spiritual strength and clarity to be the best parent and spouse that we can be. I will try to be more sincerely submissive than I have been the past few weeks because it’s the right thing to do. After all, doing the right thing is a worthy cause, even when it is exhausting. And when it keeps me from experiencing a punishment like the one I had today, well that’s certainly an added bonus :)

Monday, September 4, 2017

When He's Angry

I'm perpetually struck by the difference between being on the receiving end of Bruce's stonewalling vs. Bruce's spankings. Stonewalling (shutting down emotionally and even verbally) seems to be a default for many men when they are angry, and I find that interesting. Inversely, it's really hard for men to buy into this whole idea at first- I remember Bruce was really apprehensive, citing that it sounded abusive, unmerciful, etc. This hesitation is honorable, and I can understand how a man might feel that stonewalling is a more noble course of action when they dislike the way we are acting. And actually I think it IS noble to respond that way to another male. But women are different: we crave that emotional and verbal connection more than anything. So while it is something that works for men, from my perspective stonewalling turns out to be pretty much the most hurtful possible way to react to most women. When Bruce used to react this way it felt so isolating and unkind that I would often lose it crying or even get angry that he could be so hurtful. But Bruce had assumed that when he was angry at me it was just better to shut down than to react. But was it?

It's interesting to consider the alternative of spanking. I know I shouldn't type this too loudly even within D/s circles, but we've agreed as a couple that Bruce can use spanking when he's angry. I know it's not for everyone, but my OCD looping is a very in-the-moment thing, and he wouldn't be able to shut it down nearly as often if he could only do so when he was feeling calm and collected. And doing things this way also prevents us from letting DD fall into the background when life gets overwhelming or intense.

While it really does work for us, let me say a few things about our use of spanking while angry:

1) It is imperative that Bruce is always in control. That's not to say things haven't been more harsh than is ideal before, but if things ever went to an extreme then we would obviously have some reevaluating to do

2) It only works if I own my portion of this choice- it cannot fall completely on him when he doesn't handle things perfectly. While we try to avoid it, a less-than-ideal experience is always a possibility. Rather than making a big deal out of it I accept these times because I feel the benefits outweigh the detriments.

3) It is unsettling to be seriously spanked by the man I love, and when he is clearly upset it is exponentially more so. In all seriousness, spanking while angry is not for the faint of heart. But it still absolutely beats the shit out of stonewalling!

In example, the other night I did something that made Bruce really upset. Without hesitating he dropped what he was doing and led me over to the couch and bent me over for a spanking. He spanked me plenty hard, and he was clearly angry- his typical softness and patience was replaced by irritable harshness, and it was emotionally unsettling enough that I was crying almost immediately. Even though I was the one to suggest the concept I truly hated going through it while it was happening.

But when it was over he hugged me and we went on with the night... together. While it was undeniably unsettling, I know exactly what the alternative would have been: The old Bruce would have shut down, and the old me would have become more hurt/angry until we both ended up in a shouting match, probably saying hurtful things that would have stuck with us for days. I am so thankful that this method of conflict resolution is a thing of the past! Now Bruce simply does not stonewall- he doesn't turn away from me or give up on staying connected; he comes toward me and doesn't even consider becoming disconnected as an option. To men stonewalling may seem like the honorable thing to do, and to society spanking your wife is the same as stripping her of her dignity. But to me my husband coming towards me in the interest of staying connected is a thousand times more loving than his turning away or shutting down in anger and exasperation. I know DD isn't for everyone, and I'm not saying it should be. I'm just saying that it actually makes a lot more sense than mainstream society would have you believe.

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 :)