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 are 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 correlate with previous abuse or 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.