Tag Archives: fairness

260. More Mike, Jen, & Kayla: Equity vs. Equality

260

OPEN MARRIAGE
Labels are always tricky.  I don’t like the word “open” in the context of my marriage.  It infers “always open” as in, no barriers to entry and just picking up whatever the wind blows in.  It’s not like that.

It is open in this context – we are open to the concept that love is not finite nor needs to be confined to just two people.  My marriage indeed has barriers – say, four walls and a roof – it is just that the doors aren’t sealed shut.   We are open to answering a knock and evaluating whether or not we let them in.

ANSWERING QUESTIONS
As we are now open about Kayla, a few brave souls have asked questions – both people in my family and, during our vacation, some of E’s family.  Neither Mike, Kayla, or I had any qualms about answering any questions. and most were directed to me.  I think being the wife they felt I had some sort of aggrieved status that made my answers more credible, or at least more interesting.  

Many of the questions inferred concerns which fell into the same three buckets as what my sister’s expressed about my DD.  It’s degrading, it’s unfair, it’s unhealthy.  I used some of the same responses I used on my sisters as shared in Post 136. 

People seemed generally receptive.  They at least seemed to respect that I had thought through those issues and at least reconciled them for myself.  I learned if I answer their questions truthfully and with conviction, they quickly go from being concerned to simply being curious.  That curiosity often led to discussions about our views on relationships in general.

As I mentioned, I used an approach similar to that in Post 136 in answering their questions.  However, as it just so happens, I came across an additional way I can express myself going forward and I wanted to share it. 

INSPIRATIONAL CREDIT
I credit livingwithx.wordpress.com as my inspiration (i.e., I copied a lot).  I encourage you to read his About section.   I love to reflect and get all esoteric – but I know I do it in a wordy and rambling sort of way.  I appreciate his ability to be succinct.  What takes me an entire post to try to convey, he accomplishes in a few words or bullet points.

The concerns people expressed to me were often rooted in confusing  FAIRNESS with SAMENESS (which I covered in Post 136).  But it is deeper than that, and livingwithx explained it in a way that I feel was more eloquent and powerful than delineating fairness from sameness.  Their concerns were also rooted in confusing EQUITY with EQUALITY.

You can pretty much substitute his word, Equity, with my word, Fairness, as well as his word, Equality, for my word, Sameness.  It isn’t so much the labels that were powerful to me, it was in how livingwithx defined them.  

Equity is giving your relationship everything it needs to be successful.
Equality is making sure everyone in the relationship is being treated the same.

It’s simple. In your relationship, do you value success, or do you value sameness?  The answer seems obvious, but society conditions us to focus on the latter.  People are quick to identify the injustice of the smallest inequality.  So much so that they often overlook the devastation that comes from a lack of equity. 

As I illustrated to my sisters in Post 136, their drive for equality in their relationship has led to a lot of inequities.  I am not saying they are miserable — they are happy in their marriages.  But I am saying their relationships with their husbands could be more fulfilling (and they agree!).   And part of the reason is their focus on equality over equity.

Next time I am posed with a “Kayla” question, I think I will start it with a statement that in my relationship with Mike, we value success over sameness.  Then let the conversation go from there.  I believe most people agree they want the former, not the latter.  If so, then it is simply about finding what it is that your relationship needs, and go for it.  So did my relationship actually “need” Kayla?   More on that in a bit. 

WHAT DOES EQUITY REQUIRE?
Many people have relationships where they settle for less than what their needs require.

Ouch!  I think that deserves repeating.   Many people have relationships where they settle for less than what their needs require.

Why do people stay in such relationships?  At least try to invest the equity it takes to improve things.  As someone who has always been very self-reflective and in constant state of investing equity, it is hard for me to relate to someone accepting an equal relationship over one that is equitable.

I’ll admit though that my investments in equity didn’t always pay off.  Partly because I wasn’t being honest with myself regarding what I really needed and partly because I wasn’t being honest with Mike in communicating what I thought I needed (i.e. I lacked vulnerability).  Oh, and partly because Mike wasn’t in an equitable state of mind because he was also focused on “equality” plus, he wasn’t always open and honest about what he needed (i.e he lacked vulnerability).  So yeah, just wanting and seeking equity doesn’t mean you’ll get it.

So if equity isn’t about seeking everything your relationship needs to be successful, what is it?   Oh!  It is about finding what it needs to be successful.  How do you do that?  It’s a learning process.  So how do you learn that?

IT STARTS WITH YOU – YOU ARE #1
I know it sounds selfish, but first, you have to know what you want and then, you must be willing to ask for what you want.  Simply put, you need to find a partner that fulfills YOUR NEEDS.  Nothing really selfish in that.  That is relationship 101.  Why would you want a partner that doesn’t do that?

In order to have your needs fulfilled, you have to communicate them (i.e. you have to be vulnerable).  My plethora of vulnerability posts can be found in the Finding My Happiness section of my Shortcuts.

IT THEN TURNS TO THE NEEDS OF THE OTHER
While it starts with you, it doesn’t end with you.   Equity requires that you focus on the needs of the relationship, which means – others in the relationship.  In order to have your needs fulfilled you have to be willing to fulfill your partner’s needs as well.  It is through that emotional and physical investment of fulfilling each other’s needs that you create EQUITY.  It doesn’t matter if the emotional and physical investments of each person were not EQUAL.    

In our case, there was a change in what I needed from our relationship and my life.  That change happened to involve DD.  I had to understand it first, then had to communicate it – that is, I had to ask for it.  That understanding/asking is laid out in my first half-dozen or so posts.

I was then fortunate enough to have a partner in Mike who was willing to invest his equity (efforts, emotions, actions, ) in fulfilling my needs as he saw that there was potential for my equity (efforts, emotions, actions) to fulfill his needs.   And what if there is a situation where partners don’t agree on the equity?   That’s where communication and give and take have to come in, and in our case, Mike’s role as HOH comes in.

What if you are having too many situations where we can’t agree things are equitable?  To me the result is that the relationship can’t be fulfilling.  Someone – maybe everyone – is settling for less than their needs require.  You can only do that for so long before resentment builds, leading to a downward spiral that self destructs the relationship.

DID MY RELATIONSHIP “NEED” KAYLA?
You can’t always define everything your relationship needs. It is more about addressing each of life’s situations and opportunities as they come.  So we didn’t “need” a third and then go looking for one.   Instead, our relationship has a need to remain open and honest about everyone’s wishes and desires.  This leads us to be open to life’s possibilities…in this case, the possibility of a third, such that when the right situation presented itself, it happened.  

Does that mean we are open to a fourth?  Why stop there.  A fifth?  Well, sure, why not? I don’t foresee that happening, but I know our relationship will take whatever path it needs to take to ensure success.  I can’t imagine how more people would add to our success, but frankly, I could have never imagined how Kayla could have done so.

So that is my long-winded way of laying out my thoughts on my marriage.  I don’t know that I specifically answered how it is that Kayla fits in to our “equity”  Or how say, John & Donna, or our overall sex life,  Matt, nudism, and oh yeah, and Domestic Discipline – how does all of that fit into our “equity?”    I think the simplest answer is, “It just works for us.”  Wow. This entire post could have probably been just those 5 words.  

With that settled. . . what of my inference to Mike’s Dominance perhaps evolving beyond where I would like it to be?   Well, that all makes for a good next post!

NEXT: 261.  A bit more on Kayla

202. A Weighty Subject (of Fairness)

202

There are several things I want to write about.  I want to “unpack” some emotions and reflections on my misbehavior per my prior post.  I also want to talk about Kayla and what she was referring to in the statement she made (also from my prior post).   So, with that, I think I’ll start with something else completely. HA HA!

QUARTERLY GOAL
Our new DD Contract provides for Mike to set Quarterly Goals for me.  “Such goals are to be focused on Jennifer’s self improvement…”   As I shared, Mike’s first goal for me was to lose 18 pounds by January 18.  The Quarterly Goal falls under the Respect Mike as Head of Household subsection of our Obedience clause.  Missing the goal would result in a punishment since it would be disobedient of me to fail.

18.3 pounds to be exact.  I started at 153.3 pounds, goal is 135. I am 136.8

I am confident I’ll make it.  The pounds have come off more slowly lately but 1.8 pounds in two weeks is doable.   Mike is going to weigh me three times on the 18th (morning, afternoon, and evening) and take an average.  Oh, in case you are wondering, I am 5’6″.  By the way, I weighed between 160-165 for most of my 40’s.  I slowly lost weight about the time our DD started in 2015.  I wasn’t dieting or focusing on it.  It was the byproduct of simply taking better care of myself and being more active.

I feel great and found it easier to lose than I anticipated.  I think my submissive mindset helped.  It also helped that Mike held me to an exercise regimen else I could be punished – I always kept to my exercise schedule.  Also, Mike made me ask him for permission if I wanted a treat — an occasional cookie or whatever.  I never had to ask because I never wanted such treats.  

HOLD ON, DID YOU SAY YOUR HUSBAND MADE YOU LOSE WEIGHT?
I feel compelled to share my thoughts on Mike’s choice of weight loss as my first goal.  If you think the topic of being a submissive wife isn’t incendiary enough, throw in a husband’s demands about their wife’s appearance and you have a very incendiary topic.  It reeks of self-serving misogyny,  a furthering of the chauvinistic patriarchy.   It serves to objectify women which deepens the blame women get for the lustful and licentious urges of men.  It promotes women as vixens, as sirens, as monsters.

Or not.   Yeah, I guess it could be all those things, or could just be that Mike has a preference regarding my appearance and I am happy to oblige. 

My submission is about Mike’s preferences; mundane preferences regarding the household or bigger topics like sex, my behavior, or even about my personal appearance and weight.   I’ve loved the new “dress code” and I love the thinner me.  And it’s not like I am thin.  I am a good weight, not thin, not to fat.

If Mike were to ask me to lose more I would consider it, but could “veto.”  We agreed that I can use a safe word on any Quarterly Goal if I felt I could not handle it or it became too burdensome to continue.  As for the next Quarterly Goal, well, Mike hasn’t said what he has in mind.

WHAT’S GOOD FOR THE GOOSE?
If you recall, Mike committed to losing 12 himself.  He didn’t have to but said he wanted to provide a “supportive” environment.  Well, he is falling short.  He has lost eight and I don’t see four coming off in the next two weeks.  Obviously there is no consequences for him other than I win bragging rights.   Now is that fair?   

FAIRNESS IN D/s
I first wrote about the concept of fairness in D/s in Post 136. Submitted Wife.  I’ll try not to repeat myself.

Is it fair that Mike does not have to suffer consequences for not meeting his weight commitment?   In fact, is it fair that he doesn’t have consequences for any of his mistakes or negative behavior?  Why should I get spanked while he gets off without even a slap on the wrist?   D/s seems inherently unfair.

I imagine this idea of “unfairness” is hard for some new submisssives to accept.  To those who see it as unfiar I say that D/s is very fair.  Any idea of unfairness, while understandable, is framed in a distorted view of what “fair” means.       

I believe those who see it as unfair are confusing Fairness with Sameness.  Yes, roles and responsibilities are not the same in D/s, but that doesn’t make them inherently unfair.  I have taken on a unique role in our household, and Mike also has a unique role.  They are not the same, they require different types of commitments, thus must be judged by different criteria.  They both have consequences, but those consequences are different.

It has happened many times where I have been punished for a behavior that Mike has been guilty of too.  That is not the point.  His behavior is not in question with the roles and responsibilities we have established.   His behavior is not relevant to my Duties and Obligations – Duties and Obligations that I helped create and that I committed to.  It is no different from if some other woman behaved contrary to my rules.  So what!?!!?  It is not relevant to my performance of my Duties and Obligations.

Mike has said that punishing me for behaviors he is guilty of actually has an impact on him.  He does reflect on it and it gives him resolve to not repeat it.  But that is a by-product of a healthy D/s relationship.  It isn’t a stated requirement.

And consider that Mike has his own set of duties and obligations that differ from mine.  He has to consider the impact of his decisions.  The impact on me, on Kayla, on our relationship.  It is a big responsibility.  He has to make difficult decisions, such as what occurred in the last post, knowing those decisions could anger or disappoint me or Kayla.  With power comes great responsibility.

Yes, I find it fair that Mike is subject to his own self-discipline regarding his behavior, and that I am subject to his physical discipline regarding mine.   That’s how D/s works.  Sure, corporal punishment is the technique used to guide my behavior and reduce conflict, but that reduction in conflict gives space to love, adoration, respect, and fulfillment.  The “Discipline” in Domestic Discipline is love. Sounds fair to me.

NEXT: 203. The S*ck and F*ck Mystery