Don’t hold someone else responsible for your happiness or pleasure.
This has been my personal credo without really knowing it. While I may not have always consistently lived it, I believe Mike and I have been successful in instilling this in our children. I believe it comes from my mom’s credo of “Love Life, Every Moment, Every Day.” But it was Kayla that helped me fully connect to my version of that. As my mom passed her credo on to me, I have passed my version of it on to my kids. And, in less than a year, Kayla has come to not only understand it, but to believe in it and incorporate it into her being. The impact has been significant.
I started this post with the intent of talking about my views on sex. As I wrote, it morphed into something else. So, there are two parts to this post. The first half is a bit of a ramble inspired by the second half, which is where I finally get to my intended topic.
Oh, this is a bit of a divergence from the Kayla-Michaud saga. I do have a little update to share on that. But that will be for another post.
Gone is insecurity. Gone is harmful behaviors. Gone is anxiety, especially around groups. Gone is bottled up emotions. Gone is indecisiveness. The list goes on. It’s been quite a transformation in the last ten months. And she looks more healthy. Her body language and general “glow” about her personifies her new found positive energy.
From her manifesto, to how she has handled every aspect of our relationship over the last ten months, to how she is handling Michaud thus far — Simply put, she has found herself and is pleased with what she has found.
She deserves the credit as she forced herself to open up. She accepted significant changes in her environment. She allowed her perceptions about life and herself to be challenged (that is extremely difficult for anyone!). Allowing yourself to be that vulnerable requires a lot of strength. There’s that “vulnerability” thing again. I seem to write a lot about its’ power (Posts 67, 68, 129, 134 to name a few).
I believe I’ve come to realize that vulnerability is the path to taking responsibility for your happiness and pleasure. Vulnerability is about opening up your complete and true self and then taking responsibility for your complete and true self. In so doing, you allow your complete and true self to be your core source of happiness and pleasure.
ISN’T IT IRONIC?
A bit of irony with this creed is that if it is not already instilled within you, it may require the help of someone else to help you fully live it, as it did for Kayla. I believe some of you may say, “But Jenny, the irony doesn’t end there. Isn’t Domestic Discipline all about giving up responsibility of yourself to your husband?”
My unequivocal answer is, “NO! Not even close.”
Pre-DD I thought I was living both this creed and my mother’s. While I guess I was to some degree, I was inconsistent and failed to realize something extremely important to living this creed. Simply, the creed applies to others as well. I am not responsible for OTHER’s happiness and pleasure. It wasn’t until I embraced DD that I truly was focused on my happiness and pleasure first.
My DD was about taking responsibility for all the things that got in the way of my happiness and pleasure. More specifically, my behaviors and thinking (i.e. my “intentions”) were the source of my unhappiness. (Post 30. I Found my Thrill is all about that).
In Domestic Discipline, we codify our behaviors and thinking under headings like Honesty, Obedience, and Safety. And we refer to violations of these things as being “Disobedient.” We then take responsibility for those violations through what we call “Discipline.” We allow someone to administer that Discipline. The disciplinarian is not responsible for our actions and happiness.
For as much as I have been referring to our “3.0 DD” as no longer being “mine,” I now realize it is still totally mine. I am responsible for it. Mike in many ways is simply the administrator of it. That is not to diminish the importance of his role. It simply recognizes that ultimately, it is still DD, Jenny Style.
Okay. I didn’t intend to go that route with this post, but it was a nice realization for me and it connects things full circle back to vulnerability and letting go of my intentions (which I touch on in all those posts I’ve linked to throughout the post thus far).
Now then, I intended to share how this creed ties into my views on sex. So, let’s talk about sex!
LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX
Mike, Kayla, and I talk about sex with the casualness typically reserved for talking about the weather or what to have for dinner. We were having one of these conversations in the context of Kayla’s impending coitus with Michaud. I thought my take on things might be of interest.
This is a bit disjointed as these were snippets of thoughts I had throughout the conversation, which was too lengthy (and boring) to share in full. But, I think it conveys some of my “major talking points.” Ha.
Here it comes again. It starts will vulnerability! You have to allow yourself to be vulnerable in order to truthfully and completely talk about sex. I believe people who openly and honestly engage in a discussion about the physical feelings of sex along with the issues of both intimacy and passion are the ones most likely to have a thriving and fulfilling sex life. It takes a lot of vulnerability to have such a discussion.
In my opinion, an otherwise healthy relationship can be a healthy sexual relationship if you recognize that love, intimacy, and sex can go hand in hand, but doesn’t have to. If we expect them to all be one and the same, we’re likely to be unhappy and likely to make our partner unhappy. Recognizing that can help solve a lot of problems both in and outside of our relationships.
If we come to relationships understanding that great love doesn’t always equate to great sex — and — that sex isn’t an automatic by-product of intimacy — and — love can exist beautifully with or without intimacy or with or without sex or particular sexual acts — and — sex can exist beautifully with or without love — and — making love, intimacy, and sex all work together takes some effort, and such effort should always be enjoyable, enlightening and engaging — and— here it comes, We are Solely Responsible for our Own Happiness and Pleasure. . . including happiness and pleasure from sex, love, and intimacy — if we do all of that, then, I believe we can have a sex life full of true happiness, pleasure, and fulfillment.
MANAGING ISN’T INSTIGATING
I believe many people never buy into that, especially women. Instead, many people simply manage their happiness, manage their pleasure, manage their sex, love, and intimacy. They work within unspoken assumptions that they have and that they misinterpret (but never question). Those can be assumptions about themselves, or about their partner. They never venture outside these assumptions. They never test or even speak about those assumptions. The thought of open dialogue about such things creates a vulnerability that is too great to imagine. Thus, you continue to just get along and manage instead of engaging and growing.
INSTIGATING MY HAPPINESS
That’s where I was pre-DD. I assumed I was “loving life, every moment every day.” But as soon as I woke up and realized I wasn’t truly fulfilled, I immediately responded with my own creed. I took responsibility for my happiness and pleasure. . . . as well as sex, intimacy, and love. And in my first step towards “waking up” I had to become vulnerable to myself. I explored my thoughts and challenged my assumptions about happiness and pleasure. I then made myself vulnerable to Mike and explored and challenged those things with him.
Taking responsibility forces you to allow yourself to be vulnerable. I became the instigator of my happiness. I “forced” Mike and I to address things we never addressed before. We talked about what happiness was for us, what pleasure was for us (both sexual and otherwise). We freed ourselves to share and act on many thoughts and desires. In doing so I instigated our growth, our evolution, our intimacy, and our sexual adventure.
Become the instigator of your happiness, of your love, of your pleasure. Again, not saying you do that through DD or any kink. That’s where it led me and it’s worked wonders, but I am sure it leads to many different paths that have a common theme — fulfillment and joy in life!
Okay, enough of my rambles. I’ve got a cute story to share re Kayla and Michaud. Next post!