I am going to change gears for this post and then pick up the TJ & Kim saga next time. I will say that it’s great that Kim recognizes she has an unhealthy view of her sexuality. Even greater, she has the strength to verbalize it and the fortitude to try and address it despite how mortifying it makes her feel. Each time we talk it is clear it is very difficult for her to talk about it, but she forces herself to do so. More on that on another post.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, DOMESTIC DISCIPLINE!
This Agreement marked the 4 year anniversary of our adopting DD as our first DD agreement was March 15, 2015. It seems like an eternity ago. My life is so amazingly different. A level of fulfillment, joy, happiness, excitement, and endless other words that don’t do justice in articulating the positive differences in my life. I hope my 300+ posts serve as a testament to the positive differences.
I believe everyone could benefit from going down the first few steps of my path, even if their path is not forged in Domestic Discipline. Simply – be 100% vulnerable and authentic to your mate, then diverge and take whatever path presents itself.
My last DD Contract expired in March. Can you believe it? I didn’t write a dozen or so posts about reconciling my fears and desires into the changes in my Duties and Obligations. My lack of documentation was not just because I’ve been neglectful of my blog this year. It’s simply because we only made some minor changes that reflect we are both at a comfortable and fulfilling spot in our journey.
I came out of our 2017 negotiations a bundle of nerves – a mix of happiness, eagerness, apprehension, and sadness. This time? Meh.
Last time we went into our final negotiations with an outline of six major things we were changing. This time – no major changes. We added points of clarity to recognize some things we’ve already incorporated and just needed to codify. Here are some of the notable things we updated:
Funny how we never noticed, but Mike pointed out that throughout the Agreement, he is “Mike,” yet I am referred to more formally as “Jennifer.” Shouldn’t he be “Michael?”
Although some people do call me Jennifer and no one calls him Michael, it made sense. We like the more formal air it gives to our Agreement.
This was to codify a change we made a few months ago regarding lectures. You can read that post for what was behind this change. Simply, I wanted harsher lectures.
The prior contract had wording such as, “When Disciplining Jennifer, Mike will strive to maintain a professional businesslike tone, avoiding a condescending or degrading tone.”
The new wording, “…Mike will strive to be stern and maintain a somber and serious tone, and lecture her as he sees appropriate. He may use any condescending and/or degrading terms of his choosing.” I can use our Maintenance Sessions to discuss terms I did not like that I don’t want to be repeated. And if it is too much during the verbal chastisement, I can always use a safeword, no different than physical punishment.
Mike has cranked up the lectures over the last few months. He is still finding the right amount of condescension that he is comfortable with that at the same time doesn’t exceed my comfort levels. I’ve encouraged him to keep dialing it up and I would let him know. Much like other limits, you typically don’t know what they are until you exceed them.
As Mike often reminds me, physical wounds are easier for him to see and easier to heal. Lectures are 100% emotional and it’s hard to judge when you’ve gone too far and the healing process may be longer. I’d something snarky and funny and self-deprecating, but, yeah, I’ll keep that thought in as it would probably get me spanked. Why?
NO SELF-DISPARAGING REMARKS
This was Mike’s idea and I agreed. He doesn’t want me referring to myself as a whore or a slut or anything disparaging. This arose in part from his reaction to my “Whoring me Out” post which I wrote about in Post 271. Unfair exploitative whoring. He felt that with him being able to include disparaging comments in lectures, he didn’t want me reinforcing those terms by referring to myself that way. He did say there could be some latitude when I am clearly joking or we engaged in play, but the humor needs to be clear and the setting needs to appropriate.
He summed it up as, “Self-depreciation is one thing, self-loathing another.” Not that I am someone with any self-esteem issues or feelings of inadequacies, but I understand his point. It’s like my mantra’s – words are power and the more they are repeated, the more power they have in your mind.
I think this one will be easy enough to adhere to; however, I know my attempts at humor some time cross the line between what is fun and what is foolish. Oh well, nothing a few well-earned spankings can’t correct. hee-hee.
Our Agreement has a section about deferring to Mike’s judgment. We added some wording to make it clear it isn’t just about after the fact, such as once he has made a decision. But also before the fact. That is, I need to consult with him on any major decisions before making my opinion known to anyone. I mentioned this one in my prior post re the Godfather reference.
This was also Mike’s idea. I really liked it as it thrills me to tell people I need to check with Mike. Depending on the audience, I sometimes say, “I must check to see if Mike will allow me.” It makes me feel so submissive and vulnerable, yet so secure and confident in my submission. I have no qualms about making my deference to Mike’s authority over me known to others.
I’ve also found it may prompt a question like, “So you have to ask permission?” And in keeping with our “If asked, do tell” policy, I say yes! And sometimes that prompts more questions, sometimes not.
IF ASKED, DO TELL
The prior contract required me to get Mike’s permission before I could tell anyone about any elements of TTWD. We updated the new contract with how Mike has loosened this to what we call an “if asked, do tell” policy. If someone asks a question, I can answer it honestly and provide no more than the minimal amount of information to do so.
This demonstrates how far Mike has come in his confidence with our lifestyle. He tends to have an “I don’t care what people think” streak in him, but it is has a few guard rails that can be tough to penetrate.
Here’s another area that wasn’t really changed, just clarified. We made it consistent with wording from Kayla’s contract. We don’t make it a point to compare and contrast our agreements, but where we are already similar in practice, Mike prefers we use the same wording. He said this helps reinforces the sameness with him, as well as makes the differences easier to spot and remember.
The wording already gave him complete authority… “Mike may demand any sexual or physical activity to be performed upon or by Jennifer on him or any other person at any time and Jennifer shall comply without hesitation.” It now includes some pointed wording such as “Anything. Anytime. Anywhere. Anyone. Without hesitation and without regard to the surroundings.” There are still some controls such as hard limits, safe words, and my ability to use the next Maintenance Session to request any modifications or cessation of a particular act.
WORDS ARE POWER
Beyond the items noted above, a few other wording tweaks, additions, and subtractions, all with the intent to provide further clarity. Remember, words are power. And ultimately the words we put into the Agreement are not as important as the wordsmithing process itself. The conversations we had were priceless.
We don’t let the contract rule us. We rule the contract. We don’t run to the contract to see what it has to say, but we do periodically review it together to ensure we are in sync with our expectations and agreements to one another. We look at the contract as a living, breathing, thing. Not a hammer.
Having to articulate my desires, for both myself and for what I desire for Mike, our marriage, and those around us, is an incredible gift to our relationship. And having Mike do the same is just that much more incredible.
You can do this in your relationship. All it requires is one ton of vulnerability, and equal parts love and compassion. Hint: the hardest part is the vulnerability, assuming the love and compassion are already there. If they aren’t, you will never be able to be truly vulnerable.
For us, every part of TTWD has been the byproduct, not the goal, of our being vulnerable, loving, and compassionate. Your results are up to you and your relationship – DD or kink or whatever I have, is NOT an automatic byproduct.