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. 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.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Final Countdown

I am so overwhelmed right now- baby #2 is due in two weeks, and it seems like everything is a mess. Work is crazy as I'm trying to transfer everything to others before I leave, but thankfully I only have a few more days of that. The nursery is probably 75% ready, but some major things still need done. And then we need to find my nursing pump, install the car seats, etc... so much to think about! 

I am definitely overwhelmed, but I am also a little scared. We just learned last week that Bruce will have to be regularly working overtime from May to August, all while working full time through the last year of his graduate program. So for those first three crazy months of my son's life Bruce will be away from home about 60 hours a week, and when he's home he will still have work to do. Frankly, I am devastated by this- those first few months are so draining that when you experience it together you almost can't help bonding in the intensity of it all. But this time we're each going to be so drained in very separate ways, and I can't imagine how this won't drive us apart. Even last time there was a slight disconnect when he went back to work: I couldn't really understand what it was like to work all day and then come home to such a high-needs environment, and he couldn't fully understand what it was like to have no break from the constant dependence of such a little baby. We worked through it, but it was hard, and now each of us will literally have double the stress. I'm just not sure how we will make it work. 

But Bruce assures me that somehow we WILL make it work. And he assures me that DD will be very present, which even at it's ugliest and most upsetting does help prevent the escalation of nastiness that can ensue in its place. 

I do know that feeling under-appreciated is the single issue that traps us in a downward spiral of disconnect and frustration toward each other. So even though it will be easy to get lost in my own needs during this time, it is critical to our relationship that I stop and focus on how I appreciate all that he does. And not just say "I appreciate you," but to show it, through affection, little acts of service, and acceptance of things that I know he cannot control. Of course all of this will work best if he shows his appreciation for all I do through the same. As always, the more affection and appreciation he shows the easier it will be for me to submit, especially in the areas that are hard for me to be submissive. But even if these needs aren't met I will do all that I can to display unconditional submission, because as I've mentioned more than once, that's where it all matters most, where the rubber meets the road so to speak. 

So if I don't post in two weeks then you'll know that I went into labor on or before my actual due date! If that's the case, I've been excused from posting until next time. Whew these next ten weeks or so will be rough, no doubt about that. But I love that I will have this blog to return to every two weeks, to take a moment to stop and process our use of DD along the way. Wish me luck friends. And if you think of it, feel free to send some submissive vibes my way :)

Monday, April 10, 2017

50 Shades from a D/s Perspective

So Bruce and I finally caught up with the rest of America and watched 50 Shades of Grey (the first one) last week. Many D/s couples didn't like the films, so we went into it expecting to see a glamorized, dramatic, and inaccurate representation of the Dominant/submissive lifestyle. Maybe for that reason we actually kind of enjoyed some of it. The acting was badly overdone at the beginning, but they seemed to get into a groove and eventually it was kind of fun, if only superficially. In my opinion the highest point of the film was the recurring theme of flying- the symbol of trust, abandon, freedom, etc. was a surprisingly sweet and clever subtlety that pervaded throughout the film. We both honestly found it somewhat entertaining until the last few scenes, at which point our reaction to the film totally changed.

**Spoiler Alert**

By totally changed, I mean that even our physical posture shifted from being cuddled up on the couch to a sort of uncomfortable stiffened disgust. I can't remember my specific outward reaction but I remember that Bruce eventually uttered, half to himself, something along the lines of "what the fuck?" Wtf indeed.

At the end of the film there is a weird, disjointed escalation of events; Christian comments that he wants to punish Anastasia (the reason is unclear- maybe because she won't commit to his clear, specific, and admittedly bizarre terms...?). She says she wants him to punish her then, to show her how bad the worst can be so she can better understand him. Ok so it's already getting a little weird, but from this point on it just became so unclear and disjointed that it was actually offensive. I grant that Bruce and I may have felt that way because of our specific use of DD/Ds but for the sake of him and me (and others who have a similar dynamic), allow me to break it all down:

1) He tells her he is going to hit her six times, and he expects her to count... and then he just starts doing it.
No lecture, no reiteration of how he cares, no stating the value of punishment. He doesn't even offer any clarification on why he is upset. He just starts punishing her. [And not at all central to the point, but he's so hardcore that he has written contracts and a special room, yet his worst punishment is six strikes with a leather implement? The strikes are supposedly horribly severe, but I can't imagine any real life submissive identifying such a punishment as severe, much less 'the worst']. Anyway the whole punishment scene is a terrible example of what I've found to be both the hardest to swallow and the most meaningful part of a D/s relationship. Of course every couple is different, but as Bruce and I do take things to the point of harsh, not-so-erotic punishments, I believe this is the heart of it all- it is in these moments of "wow I really hate everything about this" that the concept of true power exchange becomes very real for me. Trust is built, we're both pushed farther in our roles, and the whole relationship changes in an almost tangible way. With the movie, the relationship debate raging throughout the entire film is explicitly addressing such a power exchange, and yet it is at this point that things become the most vague, conflicting, and meaningless. Seriously?

2) He finds gratification in the actual strikes, like in the pain itself.
I'm obviously not on the pain-inflicting end of things, but from what I understand and from what Bruce articulates to me, sadism so not the point of any of it. Maybe a little pain is erotic, but really hurting the one you love in the context of something serious like this? I feel strongly that the pain is a necessary by-product of the power exchange- by itself it lacks meaning and it certainly lacks eroticism. In example Bruce has never initiated intimacy after a severe punishment, and after severe maintenance (ahem, both of which he clearly articulates the point and value of before finishing) our intimacy holds a pointedly more intense sort of affection. Again, every couple is different, but for Bruce and me the motivation and symbolism behind the pain is the point. In Bruce's words "The infliction of pain is not for my benefit, but for yours"- the idea is for me to eventually benefit from his direction, which is logical and at the same time erotic to each of us for different reasons; for me because I can see that he so strongly desires to lead me, and for him because he can see that I trust his direction so completely. The giving and receiving of pain feels like a very innate aspect of the dynamic- I have to say that when the movie was over we both found it challenging to articulate what we knew and felt to be true. Still, I know very few couples who would say that the pain itself is the point.

3) Even after endless discussion defining dominance and submission, she is horrified at the seriousness of the punishment.
Wow. So the movie sets up dominance and submission to be acceptable if unconventional, but only on an erotic level. When things get serious, a line is apparently crossed and the whole thing becomes morally reprehensible. I guess the suggestion is that one size fits all- eroticism laced with dominance and submission is okay, but serious moments of dominance and submission are only for messed up people- specifically those that have suffered child abuse and are "fifty shades of fucked up." Ouch. Even worse, the movie ENDS this way. What? Yeah Christian, I was okay when we explored the concept of dominance and submission at length and to extremes [i.e. sleeping alone, anal fisting... whew...], but now that you spanked me really hard and without foreplay It. Is. Over. Society is already full of people that find dominance and submission to be morally reprehensible; it felt pretty awful that even 50 Shades of Grey portrayed some really valid aspects of D/s in the same way.

I actually feel a lot more lonely in the lifestyle since watching it. I guess it just seems like a great opportunity was wasted, and that the chasm of misunderstanding between the D/s and Vanilla community just grew so much wider. It makes me want to go on a talk show or something and explain how they got it all wrong. Haha, now that would be sure to earn me a true punishment! But I guess as awful as punishments in our house are, I can at least be grateful that they are far deeper and more meaningful than those of the 50 Shades variety.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

DD-Induced Emotional Breakdowns

We've experienced two different DD-induced emotional breakdowns just this week. Allow me to reiterate for the hundredth time how we are in an intense phase of life right now...

So sometimes submission is so deadly serious that it is devoid of any type of eroticism, at least in the moment, and the situation you face tests your capacity to submit in the most extreme ways. A few nights ago we had one such moment. We were talking about something meaningful to me, and then suddenly (at least from my perspective) he said we needed to stop talking about it for now. This is classic OCD looping; I think we're having a productive conversation only to find that the other party feels we are merely rehashing. The horribly disorienting part is that I can never recognize this, even after it is brought to my attention. When he said we had to stop I think I knew somewhere within me that doing so was probably the best course of action, but most of me just felt so frustrated and cut off.

I tried to calmly explain myself, but the more I tried the more frustrated we both became... nearly a half hour later he finally demanded I retrieve the paddle, and the anger and hurt I felt in that moment was so incredibly strong. I begged him not to spank me right then, but he wouldn't have it. Oh I felt he was being so unfair and off-base. Luckily we've both previously identified fairness as an invalid aspect of whether or not I submit, so I knew I had to obey. I angrily did as I was told, and soon I was bent over the easy chair while he briefly recapped the situation in a lecture. I felt so angry that when he asked if I understood I chose silence, even though I knew it meant receiving more strikes, rather than affirm his logic. He of course spanked me more in response, and I merely clenched my jaw and cried angry tears. The spanking hurt so badly but part of me just didn't care. After a while I literally couldn't take any more and finally had no choice but to affirm that it was right to stop. I did so as briefly as possible, and when he sent me to return the paddle I even swore at him under my breath. Back on the couch he insisted I sit close to him, and he put his arms around me while I resentfully tolerated his embrace.

We watched a show together, and although he refused to let me express myself, he didn't stop holding me. Eventually I softened enough to at least sincerely pray for help to put it out of my mind, and of course from there it wasn't long before I not only accepted his embrace but clung to it. He had done exactly what we'd agreed on, and I had been the one to not uphold my end of the bargain by resisting so heavily. I regretted my actions and anger so much, and once again felt so grateful to have found DD. He finally has the tools to shut me down before I can ruin the whole night. Pathetic that I'm that broken, but there it is. When I think back on it now, the whole thing does seem erotic, but there wasn't even the faintest hint of that while it was happening. But I strongly believe that submission without eroticism, these times are what make the dynamic truly authentic.

I had another somewhat different DD-induced emotional breakdown within a night or so of the previous breakdown. While this one was gentler, more loving, and devoid of anger, any breakdown is nonetheless upsetting, intense, and frankly exhausting. I had dressed especially nice for work that day because I knew we were going out to dinner together that evening. Heels, a pretty blouse, matching jewelry, and even matching lace underwear... before I was pregnant this would happen at least twice a week or more, but lately (as I've been pregnant for nearly the past two years now) it happens far far less. By the time we finished dinner, put our daughter to bed, and collapsed on the chaise lounge in our bedroom it was unavoidably clear that he hadn't noticed my efforts in the slightest. In fact, he asked why I still hadn't changed out of my work clothes! I began to do so, admitting that I wished he would have noticed the difference, not that there's much that is sexually desirable about a 7+ month pregnant woman. He came to me and hugged me, apologizing for not noticing. He said he had thought I looked nice but hadn't really stopped to think why, and true or not that made me feel a little better.

At this point I was almost completely undressed, a state I avoid as much as possible with my very pregnant figure. He guided me toward the bed and I reached for my tank top. When he pulled my hand away I begged for him to let me cover up a little, but he said no. Suddenly the vulnerability and insecurity of being so exposed in a time that I wished not to be had me crying hard. The vulnerability somehow felt so much deeper than just clothes. He spoke gently and lovingly, but spanked me long and hard for "saying stupid and untrue shit about my wife, and the mother of my children." As the loving sincerity of his words washed over me I cried harder, profoundly aware of the fulfilling of a need that I didn't even realize I had. I needed his approval and his praise. And in the humility of being overworked and very pregnant I needed to feel a little dignity. Strangely enough, in that moment he was giving me just that. When the spanking was over we made love and I settled into the crook of his arm feeling exhausted but very cherished and loved.

So there it is: two breakdowns in one week. Wow is this a time of life we will remember forever with its unrelenting way of stretching us both. Nonetheless, the closeness and growth that both of us have been experiencing is rewarding to say the least. I admit I am thoroughly and utterly exhausted. But all things considered I really wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Using My Words

Since I really am a bit of a control freak Bruce pretty much runs the show DD wise- the when, why, where, and how is always his deal. The idea is that I keep him informed about how I'm feeling, and he keeps that in mind as he makes decisions. But when time and energy is desperately lacking it is easy to just let him make the decisions and forget about the keeping him informed part. Since I'm an emotionally transparent person he can usually tell when I'm not communicating my needs, but I seriously have been so wiped out that even I haven't thought about how I'm feeling enough to realize that I wasn't communicating like I should have been.

But last week I was talking with a wise submissive friend of mine about submission amid exhaustion, and with her help I realized that I DO have some thoughts and feelings concerning our use of DD right now. Specifically I feel like I need more reiteration of my responsibility to submit, and more reassurance of his presence as leader. Of course meeting these needs is not solely Bruce’s responsibility. Still, we originally agreed that I would share how I’m feeling so I figured I would at least do that. And so when we crawled into bed a few nights ago I referenced a joke he made about my needing more maintenance, and admitted that more frequent maintenance may actually be helpful for me.

Funny how no amount of closeness relieves the awkwardness and humility of admitting that as an adult woman I may benefit from being spanked more frequently. Bruce and I tell each other everything, but it was still truly painful for me to spit out. He responded by agreeing that more maintenance would be good for me, and assured me that he would try to make it a more frequent occurrence. Not only is he unwilling (with good reason) to commit to a scheduled frequency, but lately there are at least three nights a week where I absolutely cannot stay awake past 9:00. So no promises, but I knew that he at least knew how I felt.

So flash forward to a few nights later, Bruce informed me before dinner that I would be getting heavy maintenance later that night. I asked for this, and I appreciated that he was following through. Logically I knew that going through this would help me, but emotionally and physically I already felt so desperate for it to NOT happen. As usual I was completely depleted at the end of the day, and nothing sounded worse than heavy maintenance. To make things worse, by 9:00 he was knee-deep in work and I was extremely exhausted. I asked if I could sleep on the couch until he was finished, and he said that was fine so long as I knew I would be getting it later on regardless. I really must have been tired because despite the heavy dread I was feeling that’s pretty much the last moment I remember until an hour or so later.

He woke me and we went downstairs. I immediately remembered what was coming, but said nothing as we brushed our teeth and got ready for bed. Soon after he told me to undress, and in no time at all I found myself over his lap on the bed. He gave me a long hard warmup and already I was fighting tears, perhaps a combination of physical exhaustion and increased blood blow during pregnancy. He gently told me that I needed to try to be stronger as it would be getting a lot worse. Sure enough, it took exactly three strikes with the lexan paddle before I was sobbing into the pillow. I wanted to stay calm but I really felt as if I couldn’t take it. Before long he was firmly insisting I quiet down and hold still as I was crying out into the pillow and struggling hard to stay in position. For the first time ever during maintenance I felt the need to tell him I love him, so I sobbingly did so when he paused between strikes. He softened momentarily as he assured me that he loves me too but that I was long overdue for a hard session. He even asked if I realized as much and I quickly agreed that he was right. I knew that he was but it didn’t make it any more emotionally or physically bearable. After what felt like an eternity it was finally over and he initiated intimacy. In fact, having reached a much needed emotional release it took a great deal of effort to stop crying even though the spanking had stopped. During intimacy I felt very reconnected to him, and I believe he felt the same. Afterward I laid in the crook of his arm and he told me that even though I had struggled he was proud of me for submitting. While I’m certain I will dread it just as much the next time, I did feel reassured of his leadership and reminded of my responsibility to submit. I hate the term “survival mode,” but we both truly are spent unlike ever before, and in a sense we are just trying to make it through right now. Still, we went out of our way to make it work; I went out of my way to pinpoint and articulate my feelings, and he went out of his way to accommodate my needs. Throughout the next few months we won’t always have enough energy left to go the extra mile. Still, it’s nice to know that we can do it when necessary. It’s even nicer to know that no matter how spent we are, doing so is totally worth it.