Tag Archives: marriage

265. Joy without submission?

205

The post before last I posed a question about why Mike was more in tuned than I was regarding our little bit of “drifting” from our regular DD routines.   I ask it because I find it curious.  I am not troubled by it.  In fact, I think the fact Mike noticed it before me is a milestone in our DD.  Up until then, I was the one either asking for more discipline or lamenting over something feeling “off.”   It’s great that Mike noticed it and was willing to say something – albeit a bit vaguely.

It’s been awhile since I’ve taken a philosophical self-analyzing trip into my DD journey.  So now is a good time to do that.   

THEN WHY SO JOYFUL?
It was odd that Mike noticed it first, but it was more odd that I wasn’t anywhere near sensing it.  My level of fulfillment and joy over the last several months has been sky high!  Does that mean I would prefer a softening of our DD and that I am not getting as much joy from it as I once was?  

Oh, and before I answer that.  I would not be bothered by either a yes or no answer.  Certainly, a “yes” would pose a challenge in that we would have to work to reconcile the different needs, but I am confident we could do so if needed.  It isn’t realistic to assume needs will never change, and we are committed to finding equitable solutions to any differences we face, kink or otherwise.   

HOWEVER, my needs haven’t changed, nor has Mike’s.  So, YES, I still want the level of D/s we attained before we drifted a bit.  Perhaps I am not yearning as much for it, but I not only enjoy it, I know I need it – emotionally and as part of being the wife, mother, and person that I want to be.   It is actually a good thing that I can find contentment in other aspects of my life.  It isn’t either I have D/s or I shrivel up and die.

Fulfillment has many facets, and being submissive is an important one, but not the only one.  I am sure there are times where I need to be more in my submissive headspace than other times.  Just like there may be times Mike needs to feel his dominance more than other times.  So why wasn’t I needing it as much lately?  Where has my fulfillment been coming from?

There are many joys in my life that transcend submission.

FAMILY!
I won’t re-hash all the great developments with my kids, but suffice to say, it is hard to not feel fulfilled when your kids appear to be happy.   Okay, I won’t re-hash them in detail, but here’s a summary as I can’t resist showing some pride in my kids! 

T1 bought a house, and is getting married to a great woman who I adore.  T2 graduating college, finding a great job, and growing into full adulthood.  J, who has exceeded all the expectations we had for him just a few years ago.  His growth and development despite his disability has been amazing.   

And then there is Kayla – I love her and she loves me.  I am so happy for her and all she adds to my marriage and my family.  And most importantly, she is happy.   Being out in the open about her has also been a great emotional booster for all of us.  

And there’s more – extended family!  A great relationship with my sisters, with whom I can be open and honest in sharing my life choices.  And re Kayla – my parents, nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles — while not everyone is as accepting as I would like, it is still liberating to be open with it.   And their (well, some of them) willingness to give naturism a try further shows their openness and acceptance of my family.

FRIENDSHIPS AND FINANCES
And even more…
friendships!   A close friendship with John and Donna, our “unique” relationship with Matt, and a great group of pals in my “lunch bunch” friends.  I also think the relationship with Matt has been invigorating.  We are over the “honeymoon” phase of it so it has lost a bit of its mystique, but, I know I got an emotional boost from it all.  I still do, just not what it was when it was all new. 

And beyond the emotional fulfillment, Mike’s work has been going well, so finances haven’t been an area of stress.  And with T2 done with college — the finances look even better.  We can finally start ramping up funding our retirement and making sure J can be supported for his lifetime.

NUDISM
I have to give nudism some credit as well.  It really has had an amazing positive psychological impact on me and my family.  It has boosted everyone’s self-confidence, not that it was particularly lacking.  It also tightens the already strong emotional bond we share.   Can’t explain it – it just does.    Perhaps adopting nudism is the ultimate in “vulnerability.”  And if you read my countless posts about vulnerability, you’ll know all the positive results that come with allowing yourself to be vulnerable.   

SUBMISSION
And it isn’t like we took a hiatus from our DD.  I have remained very submissive throughout my daily activities and have had the occasional punishment.    Our “drift” was very subtle.  So my need for submission was still being fed, just perhaps a little bit smaller helpings.  

ITS NOT ALL ABOUT MY DD
Yes, I admit it.  Not every ounce of my joy and fulfillment comes from feeding my submissive mindset.  That’s a good thing.  My identity as a submissive defines my relationship with my husband, a relationship that is the largest contributor to my fulfillment – but not the only contributor.

I think sometimes when joy is lacking in one facet of life, you subconsciously try to make up for it somewhere else.  Perhaps that is why I sort of took my eye off of my DD.  I didn’t notice we had backed off a little because I am getting so much fulfillment elsewhere.  My submissive-mindset-fulfillment-meter could actually dip a bit and I didn’t notice it.  That’s okay.  Our needs are not a constant.

And to Mike’s credit, it isn’t like he wasn’t feeling fulfilled by our kids and aspects of life beyond just the two of us.  He recognized he also feels great about all of those things I have mentioned.  I think the difference is every day he was being the Dom that Kayla needed, giving him a point of reference for our D/s.  That vantage point allowed him to sense the widening gap between the fulfillment he was getting as her Dom versus the fulfillment he was getting as mine.  So he said something – and I am glad he did.

The result was the tweaks and refocusing that I shared on one of my previous posts.  You do know what that means, don’t you?  More opportunities to be disciplined.   And that is not just theoretical, but a fact.  Yes, there has been an increase in discipline. Hmm…maybe there is a spanking story coming up?

Next: 266. Domestic Discipline Throwback: A Spanking two-fer

262. Give up, give in, or give it all you’ve got!

261

DD ANTIPATICO?
I mentioned I have achieved the right balance of D/s as far as feeding and fulfilling my submissive mindset.  But what of Mike’s dominant mindset?

While I have no doubts that we are one, we are dealing with something we have never dealt with before — we are not quite on the same page in our D/s journey.  I feel I have arrived at the sub I want to be and with the level of discipline that helps me be the person I want to be.  I have never taken it for granted how fortunate I have been to have Mike be on the same page as me.  If I needed a little more, he delivered it.  If I needed less, he backed off.

JEN IS FEELING FUNKY
Feeling like I have achieved my desired level of submission means I am not as emotionally invested in my day-to-day, moment-to-moment thoughts and actions.  I love being submissive and couldn’t imagine backing off of a single rule – but, yes, my enthusiasm has been a bit, “meh!”

It could be my pre-menapausal-hormone-funkiness toying me.  Whatever it is, I feel more like I am physically going through the motions of my duties, obligations and punishments without the same level of emotional connection I once had.

It just came to me — I compare it to a feeling of being on “auto pilot.”  I just don’t have to give my submission any thought.  My submission is part of me.  That’s a good thing – no, that’s a great thing!  I love that!  I’ve been working hard towards that for several years!  But. . . 

Because being submissive is now my default state of mind – a reflex – I am missing the emotional journey of it all.  There are certain emotions I no longer need to visit. The emotions to motivate myself to behave a certain way — no longer needed.  The emotions needed to self-reflect and ponder what I was doing and where things were going – no longer needed.  The many ways I surprised myself or that Mike surprised me as we unwrapped another dimension to our relationship – no longer a surprise.

It reminds me a bit of my feelings as a child with the build up and excitement around the holidays.  Christmas comes, and maybe you get everything you wanted, and when it is over, you are happy, very happy.  But, you miss the build up and excitement of it all.
That’s sorta of where I am at.  Very happy, but without that wonderment, amazement, or doubt that I once had.  Is that a bad thing?  My answer – no.  But. . .

MIKE IS FEELING SPUNKY
Mike told me he wants to explore more Dominance over me.  This is a first for us as until now, it was typically me asking for more Dominance.  Couple this with where I am at with our D/s, and, well – we aren’t eye to eye on what we are doing!  Yikes!

It really goes to how lucky we have been in that this is the first time we are dealing with this in the three plus years since adopting Domestic Discipline.  I know it could be worse – we could be going in opposite directions.  But we aren’t opposite – it is sort like I am wanting to stand still and he is wanting to keep moving.

Mike has had an outlet for his desire to be more Dominant.  Kayla has always enjoyed a deeper submission/more Dominance from Mike.  Mike said that he enjoys where things are with he and Kayla, and has discovered he would like to be a bit more dominant when it comes to he and I.    

He admitted that this feeling is part of what drove him to have me pursue Matt.  While cuck may sound like a submissive act on his part, he feels it is a dominant act to require me to have sex with Matt.  This is also why he loves to give me orders on what to do when he is watching Matt and I.

As we were sitting watching tv, Mike looks over to me and says, “I have been feeling this need to dominate you more.  I am not sure in what ways, but, just this nagging feeling of needing more submission from you.  I want you to come up with some ideas and we can talk more about it at our next Maintenance.”

“Yes, Sir, may I ask a few clarifying questions?”   

“Yes, you may.”

“Are you feeling a need to ramp up any particular area,  such as more rules, or more restrictions, or more acts of service?”

 “To be honest, I don’t have anything specific.  Ideas on any aspect of your submission will suffice. Let’s explore your ideas at Maintenance.”

This was his second time of saying “let’s discuss more at Maintenance.” Thus, I felt I shouldn’t question this further and simply wait until then to discuss.

MY REACTION IN MY HEAD
My initial reaction that I thought to myself was, “Don’t mess with this great thing we have achieved.  We are finally at this point of balance, “of equity,” where I am fulfilled and things are working great.”

Of course, it didn’t take me long to realize that equity isn’t just about my fulfillment.  It does start there, but it doesn’t end there.   

WHAT DOES EQUITY SAY ABOUT THIS?
I have to give my relationship with Mike everything it needs to be successful.  Not because Mike demands it, but because I demand it of myself (and we expect it from each other).  So what does my relationship need here?  Well, it needs MY needs to be met, and it needs Mike’s needs to be met.  And based on what he said, those needs are a bit unbalanced right now as far as our D/s goes. 

Three ways to reconcile this:

  1. GIVE UP
    I don’t ever give this option any thought, but keep in mind it is always an option one has.  If something is important enough and you are so dissatisfied by it, then “going nuclear” and giving up the relationship is always an option.
    .
  2. GIVE IN
    Part of me is leaning towards this.  After all, the irony wasn’t lost on me that we have had this exact conversation many, many times before — except it was reversed, with me seeking more submission.  Mike was always willing to listen to me and incorporate my wishes with whatever he was willing to do.  I should grant him the same consideration he has always granted me.  That is equitable, right?    There is nothing wrong with “giving in” as long as it is not something you feel strongly about.  When Mike “gave in” to my requests for him to discipline me, he wasn’t abandoning a deeply held conviction to not doing so.  While it wasn’t in his nature, he was willing to explore with me and give it a try.I feel I have worked very hard to find the level of submission that works for me. I like where our D/s and DD is at.  As a result, I feel deeply invested in the efforts to get where we are today and I am not inclined to just give in.

    We also just went through our Contract renegotiation exercise eight months ago after a lot of time and energy went in to expressing and codifying what we wanted.  I am already a lot more submissive now than before that Contract.  I love that, but am not looking for more.

    In this case, my giving in is not an option.  Mike could also give in, but honestly, I don’t want him to just for my sake.  He expressed this need within him, and I want to help him fulfill it.  We just have to figure it out.  I want him to be vulnerable enough to express things I may not agree with, so the worst thing for me to do is trying to shut him down on this issue.  I appreciate he is telling me what he needs, and I want to help him fulfill his needs. So, him giving in also not an option.
     

  3.  GIVE IT ALL YOU GOT  (i.e., negotiate)
    When #1 and #’2 aren’t options, then you simply need to seek alternative solutions.  That is what a negotiation is. And, to truly give it all you got, you have to bring all of yourself to the negotiation.  That means, you guess it, more vulnerability.
    .
    We both have been extremely honest about our needs and desires.  Not just sharing what they are, but what they mean to us and how they make us feel.  At the same time we appreciate what the other person’s needs and desires mean to them and how they make them feel.
    .
    You must have vulnerability, honesty, and love as a foundation for a “negotiation.”  With that foundation, negotiation doesn’t mean we hoard our chips and say,  “I’ll give you this one if you give me that one.”  That’s “equality” creeping in.  You aren’t looking to achieve an equal solution, you are looking to achieve an equitable one.  No keeping score!The result is you freely give the relationship the “chips” you are able to give without compromising your overall needs or with expectations of getting a chip in return.

THE RESULT
We worked it out.    Yeah, in prior posts when I first started alluding to this issue, it hadn’t yet been resolved.  But now it has.   

SO JEN, WTF IS IT THAT HE WANTS?
Oh, yeah.  You probably wonder what are these “more dominant” things we wants?    I think that makes for another good cliffhanger!  Ha!   Seriously, I purposely didn’t want to get into what the specific things were.

I didn’t want you to put your own value on whether the specific things I suggested or that he had in mind were reasonable or not.  It doesn’t matter what value you put on them – and frankly, it doesn’t matter what value I put on them.  What matters is the fact that Mike valued them.  Whatever it is he needs as a Dom is no more or less important than what I need as a sub.

WHAT ARE YOU IMAGINING?
But — I will share what those things are in another post.  In the meantime, it gives me a bit of thrill to think of all the crazy, sick, and twisted things you are likely imagining.  Imagine away!  Feel free to comment and share what you are imagining, if you dare!

Next: 263.  Returning to Dominant Headspace: He wants me to do what?

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

256. More Matt

256
THE LATEST WITH MATT

Mike and I talk about Matt with some frequency.  It is all about keeping in sync on our priorities and desires.  It’s been almost two months now since Matt and started our weekly date nights, plus we spent a weekend together at the coast.

Our dates consist of dinner followed up by some activity – we’ve done a comedy club, laser tag (I didn’t know those things were still around), and a painting class – so yeah, not just “dinner and a movie” although we’ve done that too.  And of course, sex!  In fact, we’ve sometimes skipped going out and just stayed in for lots of sex!

DATE NIGHTS WITH MATT
One night Matt took me to a strip club.  I had never been to one so was definitely curious, but also concerned.  The feminist in me still exists, and my concerns were about the young women being exploited.  This may irk some people for me to say, but, after my experience, frankly, I think it is the horny men that are being exploited.

Anyway, it was an interesting experience.  I actually asked Matt if we could repeat it.  I was very stand-offish and skeptical at first and didn’t really loosen up until the end after I had many conversations with the young women (costing Matt quite a few drinks to keep them interested in my boring questions).  I can see it could actually make for a fun and sexy date-night if I was more flirty and fun.  Next time!

That’s one of the reasons I enjoy myself with Matt — I can sort of be a different person and do things I wouldn’t normally feel comfortable doing.  I am not Jen-the-mom, Jen-the-wife, or Jen-the-anything.  I don’t seek to offend Matt and prefer he enjoy my presence, but frankly, I ultimately don’t care.  I can act out on impulse and be whomever I want for the night.  It serves as a nice break from my normal routine.  Hey – I heard that.  You just said, “Since when does ‘normal’ describe anything you do?

SLEEPOVERS
I am now spending the night at Matt’s on every other date-night, per Mike’s edict.  I’ve stayed with Matt three times now.  With J out of school, I think we will run out of excuses for where mom is in the morning.  Lots of early “doctor appointments” and “errands” lol.  On the off date-nights Matt and I come back to my place for sex.  Mike loves to watch.

We’ve talked about having Matt spend the night, but with J out of school, it will require some morning hi-jinks to keep Matt hidden.  And for now, T2 is home  — by the way, he graduated college and is leaving in a week to take a great job out-of-state. His girlfriend is moving with him.  Now back to our regular programming…

We will soon figure something out to make a Matt sleepover work because Mike is going to be out-of-town for work for several days in a few weeks.  Mike asked Matt to stay with me at our house and Matt agreed.  I accept it, but admit that it will feel weird.  I know it sounds dumb, but, having sex with Matt is one thing, having him sleep in “OUR” bed with Mike gone is another.  Funny, but I said to Mike, “I want Matt sleeping on my side of the bed and I will sleep on yours.”  Somehow that made me feel better.

SEX
I think I wrote a bit about this before, but sex with Matt is different from sex with Mike, and in a lot of ways mirrors the difference in the sex between Mike and Kayla.  With Matt, it is way more raw – more noisy, more sweaty, more raucous.   Mike and Kayla are a lot like that as well.

It isn’t that Mike and I can’t be those things together (sometimes we are), but, it just isn’t our preference.  I don’t know if it is 20+ years of vanilla sex that has conditioned us to prefer that from one another, or if we simply prefer our sex with each other to be more tender.  When we talk about it, I think the issue is when Mike and I have sex together we are more focused on the other person, whereas when we have sex with others, we are more focused on our own enjoyment.

That sounds selfish, especially about Mike and Kayla as we both love Kayla dearly, and what Matt and I have is not love at all.  But the D/s dynamic with Mike and Kayla is one that includes their sex – that is what Kayla desires of her submission.  Whereas with me, one-on-one sex with Mike and my submission to him are still more distinct.  Not totally mutually exclusive, but not totally inclusive as it is with Mike and Kayla.

Whatever it is, Mike and I find fulfillment in allowing the other to experience the joys of sex with other people.  He loves to see me as a sexual being – as someone who thoroughly enjoys sex – and I do.  When he watches Matt and I, he loves to give me directions.  He said it gives him a thrill to “order me” to do certain things with Matt.  In addition, there are times he tells me to be very explicit in telling Matt what I want him to do to me.  Mike loves hearing me ask for certain sexual acts.

Neither of us feels we are losing something when the other has sex with someone else.  I can’t explain it.  I am even surprised we both feel that way.  But we do, so it works for us.

JOHN AND DONNA
I haven’t mentioned them in a long time.  We still see them a lot and spend time each week at their house.  Those visits often, but not always, include sex.  In fact, at least on one of the nights Mike will be out-of-town, Kayla is going to spend the night at John and Donna’s.

I think the reason I don’t write much about them is that there isn’t anything new to write about.  Basically everything I shared before sums up our ongoing relationship with them and well, suffice to say it is ongoing!

UPCOMING EVENTS?
We are still talking to my parents about J’s annual stay at their house during the summer.  The last two years we’ve used his absence as an opportunity to explore some deeper forms of D/s, M/s, BDSM, or whatever (Post 31,  Post 150).   We hadn’t talked much about it until last night’s “Joint” Maintenance Session (Post 249).   We have some tentative plans, including some of the kinks we want to explore, which I’ll share on another post.

Next: 257. More Kayla

248. Secret Ingredients Revealed

248

If you thought I could end my last post the way I did and move on to something else, you must be new here.   I was dying to elaborate!  And in doing so, I’ll share two of the secret ingredients that I feel helped Mike and I flourish in Domestic Discipline.

My last post shared several “trivial” things for which I was punished.  Early on in our DD it was these “trivial” things where Mike had the most difficulty.  He didn’t want to be seen as being mean.  Even with me telling him it was okay and that it was what I wanted, it took time for him to be convinced.  I don’t think that is out of the ordinary for a DD dynamic that began at the wife’s behest.

But frankly, early on, I also had difficulty with accepting discipline for these “smaller” indiscretions for all the reasons I wrote on my post before last (in the “Smells Like Jens Spirit” section).  

INGREDIENT ONE:  CONSISTENCY
I hear sometimes from people who are struggling with adopting DD.  I remind them that I didn’t start from where Mike and I are today.  We had to go through a process of learning and accepting our roles.  It didn’t just happen over night, but what helped us immensely was a commitment to consistency.

I was extremely fortunate as a newbie sub, in that, while not perfect, Mike was highly consistent from the start.  He put aside his reservations and just “went for it” as he puts it.   He would overcome his hesitancy by telling himself, “Well, this is what she said she wanted.”  

Mike was extremely fortunate as a newbie Dom in that, while not perfect, I was highly consistent from the start. I put aside my reservations and just trusted my instincts.  Those same instincts that gave me my DD epiphany.

When you both adopt a firm commitment to consistency, it helps you overcome your doubts and anything that may cause you to otherwise hesitate (such a the things I shared in 246. Subconsciousness of Wrong).  Over time it all became more natural to us and more fulfilling and second nature for us.  Mike is a wonderfully consistent Dom and, if I do say so myself, I am a very consistent submissive.

INGREDIENT TWO:  COMMUNICATION
Our commitment to consistency was backed by our commitment to frequent, open, honest, and
complete transparency in communicating our thoughts, dreams, and desires.

What’s tricky about this ingredient is that it isn’t an ingredient by itself.  It is a compound that is formed from lots of other ingredients.  The primary one being, you guessed it, vulnerability.   Showing all your vulnerabilities and accepting all of your partners vulnerabilities requires love, trust, compassion, empathy, respect, understanding, and host of other ingredients.  And guess what, you can’t just feel those things towards your partner.  You have to feel them towards yourself – and that is even more difficult. 

Love your partner?  Trust them?  Respect, empathize, etc, etc?  No problem.  Now, love yourself?  Trust yourself?  Respect yourself?   Humm, sometimes that’s really difficult.

Yeah, getting all those mixed into the powerful “communication” recipe is not easy.  You may be great in some, and need work in others, and if any aren’t “just right” then it will show in how fulfilling your final baked product is.

And both Mike and I agree that our Maintenance Sessions were invaluable in the successful development of our DD.  Not only are they phenomenal communication tools, but they aided early on in making our commitment to consistency easier.  Knowing that we were never more than six days away from discussing our concerns, allowed us to worry less about what happened in between those six days, giving us confidence to do what was necessary to be consistent in applying and accepting discipline.

Ultimately, communication comes back to vulnerability.  I won’t repeat all my thoughts on vulnerability, other than to say it is the most elusive yet most powerful ingredient in any relationship, DD or otherwise.  (several posts on Vulnerability are linked in FINDING MY HAPPINESS section of my Shortcuts).

And getting this recipe right is not a destination.  It is the proverbial journey.  It’s never perfect, and perfection can not be the goal.   Progress, not perfection!

MIKES PERSPECTIVE
Mike has told me that once he fully understood what I wanted — not just heard me say it, but understood it in his mind and soul – he found it easy to be consistent.  And what helped him understand it was my consistent feedback to him – especially when I would thank him.  He said he desperately needed my approval and gratitude.  Without it, he believes he would still be struggling with consistency.   And THAT is why a sub giving thanks is part of my Golden Rule of Domestic Discipline.

And the other part of my golden rule is for the Dom to give the sub praise, and I told Mike that his praise was equally as valuable as my thanks was to him.  He never fed into my own “consciousness of wrong.”  He was always supportive, praising my efforts and my commitment to “finding myself.”

I realize Mike is Mike.  Everyone is different.  There are newbie Doms who don’t need such reassurance, and newbie subs who don’t need such praise.  Thus, while I believe the basic ingredients of my recipe can help improve all relationships, D/s or vanilla, the mix of those ingredients must be based on what works for each individual person and couple.  And you can’t figure out that mix if you don’t communicate.  So if you are looking where to start, start with communication.

MIKE LIKES TO DOMINATE ME
Mike told me that he realizes now that 
he enjoys the power and influence over me.  He didn’t always feel that way.  Just as I had to overcome my “subconsciousness of wrong,” so did Mike.  Just as society tends to view my submissiveness as a defect, they view Dominance as mean at best, brutal at worst. And those views once weighed on him. 

Even for those who accept D/s, I sense that there is a tendency to more readily accept the joy the submissive gets from being submissive than there is to accept the joy the Dom gets from being dominant.  Somehow the latter is more likely to be deemed as inappropriate.  Submission is soft, beautiful, vulnerable, evoking empathy.  Dominance is hard, brutal, and invulnerable, evoking disdain.  That’s unfair. 

It took Mike a long time to admit he enjoys disciplining me.  As he explained it, he misconstrued enjoyment as being a preference; meaning a preference to spank me, find reasons to do it, lookto do it above all else, delighting in my pain.  No, it is NOT any of that. It is not a preference he has.  But, he does enjoy it.

I can enjoy my submission, not because of the pain, but because it represents fulfillment, joy, and pleasure in my oneness with Mike. Yet, somehow we want to deny the Dom from enjoying his Dominance for the fulfillment, joy, pleasure in his oneness with the sub.  The truth is, Mike can enjoy it.  And he does.  It’s not a preference to the act of discipline.  It is simply my preference to be submissive and his preference to be Dominant.

TRIVIAL THINGS
So back to the topic that started this rant.  When it comes to “trivial” things for which I am punished – there really is no such thing.  A failure in a commitment is a failure in a commitment, no matter how small or large.  While t
he significance of the failure may influence the type of discipline, it should never influence whether or not I am disciplined. 

Not every transgression requires a physical punishment.  Sometimes sufficient discipline is simply Mike’s disapproval – a verbal discipline.  Mike sometimes gives me a warning when he believes my actions are inappropriate or teetering on the edge – but a warning is not the same as ignoring – and frankly, sometimes his disapproving words are as powerful as a smack on the bottom.

Consistency is sacred.  It is more important to be consistent than to give thought to ignoring a transgression.  And if you agree with that, then remember what it takes to be consistent. . . communication.  And what does it take to have great communication? All that stuff I already wrote about.

Experiment with your own recipe using my ingredients.  See what wonderful things you and your partner can create for your relationship. 

Next: 249. Sometimes Reminders don’t have to be Spankings

234. Calculate Your Domestic Discipline Readiness

234

Anniversaries are a wonderful time to reflect, reminisce, and take stock of where it all began.   March 17 marked three years since Mike and I formally adopted Domestic Discipline.  

There are so many positives in my life

  • The Relationships:  Kayla, John and Donna, Matt.
  • The Household Processes:  finances, cleanliness, order
  • Marital Health:  absence of arguments and tension
  • The kids:  all well on the children front (okay, 2 of them are adults, but, they are always your children regardless how hold they get).
  • Mental Health:  overall “nourished” feeling about life.     

Our DD currently feel effortless – more so than at any other time.  We continue on this good groove,  attributed to finding the right balance after taking a few months to adjust to our October contract.  In it we adjusted our Maintenance Sessions,  added Rituals, the added mantras, a dress code, and other items.  Those changes completed the seemly subtle, yet significantly impactful, evolution of going from being “submissive to Mike” towards being “Mike’s submissive.”   

I guess 20+ years of working at it with negligible results gave us the motivation and mindset to work hard at mastering our DD.      

HOW WE’VE DONE IT
I’ve opined as to why DD has worked for us. If you’re new, go 
to My Shortcuts and check out the posts under “Finding My Happiness” or “Thoughts on Being Submissive.”  I re-read a lot of those posts and realize I’ve left off two foundational pillars of successfully exploring DD.  All else, the fun, the love, the vulnerability, the discipline, the eroticism, the tears, and the journey—are built upon consent and trust.   Let’s explore Consent and Trust, Jenny style.

CONSENT = PERMISSION + AGREEMENT 
I am not referring to the simple, “No means no” consent.   I am coming from the perspective of an established consensual relationship that is considering DD.  

There are two parts of my consent equation.    

  • Part One:  Grant permission.
    Easy to understand, not always easy to execute.
    Requires communicating how you allow the person to treat you.
    Sounds simple, but not if you don’t yet know what it is you will or won’t accept. 

Jenny’s tip:  Not sure what you want?  Start with communicating how you feel and how you want to feel.  This gets you and your partner on the path towards filling in the blanks regarding what you both are willing to accept (rules, punishments, etc).

I had reservations about granting Mike permission to spank me or discipline me in any way.  I didn’t wait to fully reconcile those reservations — else I would still be waiting.  With enough communication, I felt he basically understood what I would allow and I felt I basically understood what he was willing to do.

  • Part two:   Understand and Accept the permission being granted to you.
    Hard to understand, hard to execute.
    This requires being receptive to, and understanding of, what it is the other person wants to give.  
    Two potential areas of failure.
    –  One, you may not be receptive to what the other person wants.  Someone may give you consent to spank them, but if you don’t want to do it, there is no consent in the relationship for spanking.
    –  Two, you may be receptive, but you don’t understand it.  You think you understood what they wanted, and when you delivered it, they resisted or resented.
    This requires communication and trial and error (see Tip below).
    Before we started DD, Mike and I had lots of discussions – sharing our thoughts, concerns, research.  Once implemented, our Maintenance Sessions have been a vital communication and calibration tool – even three years later.  If either part of consent is absent, I see lots of starts and stops, ups and downs, and a very challenging time ahead.

Jenny’s Tip:   Don’t wait on perfection.  You can talk this to death and never get anywhere.  No matter how well you articulate your needs via the permission you grant someone (Part One), those needs will never be FULLY understood (Part Two) until you actually start doing it.   Some times to best understand something, you just have to experience it.  Communicate to the point you feel there is sufficient consent, such that, with Trust, you are ready to try DD.  What constitutes Trust?

TRUST
A DD myth is that it is about abuse and, well, weirdness.  Actually, it’s about trust (okay, and perhaps a little weirdness, so what?).  In DD, trust goes beyond a simple confidence in someone else.  Trust trumps the possibility of harm and embarrassment.  The result is incredible intimacy.  Once it starts, it snowballs.  The intimacy creates clarity in communicating, improving consent and trust, thus improving intimacy.  Repeat.

It is this feeling of trust that enables you to share your desires with your partner.  Without trust, you’ll never be able to share, thus never able to begin to truly address consent.  There are three parts to my trust in Mike: 

  1. Part One:  Hearing each other
    Confidence that we listen to each other’s needs  – both stated and unstated. 

    Jenny’s Tip:  This can only happen if you actually communicate your needs. 
    And not in some “code” or inference, but directly stating what you need and want.  This is not easy.
  2. Part Two:  Understanding each other.
    Confidence that Mike understands what I am saying (and I understand what he is saying).  Not just the words, as we often fumble for the right words – but we find an understanding about the intent and the meaning behind the words we say.

    Jenny’s Tip:  Sorry, but this is NOT done through osmosis like most relationships expect and believe.   Nope, it requires dialogue.  Not just a, “Okay” or “I get it,” response, but a back and forth, open and frank, self-revealing emotional conversation.   As such, Part Two tends to be the hard one!
  3. Part Three:  I accept myself / Mike accepts himself
    If I am fearful or full of self-loathing, I may fool myself into believing I have accomplished Part One and Two of Trust.  If I am desperate, I may simply wish he heard my thoughts and feelings and read between the lines because I would be too afraid to fully reveal them.  Simply put, you can’t trust someone else if you don’t trust yourself.

    Jenny’s Tip:  Accepting myself doesn’t mean I have made sense of my feelings.  I can still have doubts.  I did not understand why DD appealed to me.  I accepted that it resonated with me in a way nothing else did.  I accepted my feelings without of shame or guilt. . . had to correct myself there.  I accepted my negative thoughts but didn’t let them impact what I thought about my worthiness as a person or wife.  I knew the idea of DD would sound irrational to Mike.   It is entirely okay if your feelings are irrational — just share them. THIS HAS BEEN HARD FOR ME because I tend to want to reconcile and rationalize my thoughts before sharing them.  I have come to understand that people relate to irrational thoughts — because we all have them.  Air them with your partner, and you’ll be on the path towards trust, and ultimately consent. 

THE COMMON FACTOR IN CONSENT AND TRUST
Clear, frank, self-revealing emotional communication.  Yes, I already stated that before, but it was worth repeating because it is difficult.  Most couples don’t discuss their needs, especially not when it comes to DD or kink.  This diminishes intimacy, diminishes their ability to consent, and erodes trust.  DD absolutely requires ongoing, detailed discussion.

Delving into Domestic Discipline often means exploring parts of yourself and your relationship that you are unsure of.  How do you effectively communicate something that you are unsure of?   With difficulty.  But a foundation of consent and trust makes it less difficult and provides a means by which through ongoing communication, you become more and more sure of yourself, sure of your partner, and sure of you DD.

DD READINESS FORMULA
Since I stated happiness as a formula, I’ll summarize a “readiness formula” to evaluate the likelihood your relationship can successfully engage or sustain DD (or any kink).

The formula is: (( P + A ) (5T)) – 100O) = Readiness to engage DD

That is, Permission + Acceptance (aka Consent), multiplied by 5 times Trust, then subtract 100 times the frequency at which you rely on Osmosis versus open and honest communication with your partner.   Yes, if osmosis is your go-to communication technique, exploring DD or kink is probably not for you.

This will undeniably, irrefutably, indisputably, and incontrovertibly determine your relationships readiness to engage in Domestic Discipline (or kink in general).

At least I think so.  Maybe not?

Next: 235. Seeking inspiration

224. It’s all good: Behavior, Life, Love, Openness, Nudity

224

I feel so alive right now and in such a good groove on so many levels.

BEHAVIOR IS GOOD
I haven’t been disciplined in just over two weeks now.  I didn’t even get a chance to share my last spanking, so here it is in brevity.

I told someone I email back and forth with the city in which I live.  That is a no-no, and a big one.  Mike is very tired of me pushing the limits of our privacy rules.  The spanking was significant, even more than the New Years Eve one, and include the very real threat of losing my blog if I ever again disclose things like that without his permission.  Mike has shown he does not make idle threats.   He means it.

I was going to have a post all about it but it’s been so long I no longer feel compelled to share.  Suffice to say I was feeling pretty down about it.   I feel bad for pushing Mike to the point he had to make such a “nuclear” threat.  Compounding my feelings was that it was all part of about 4-6 weeks of some major “submission” fails in my book.

It caused me to focus more intently on adhering to my commitments and it paid off – like I said, I am now just over two weeks since my last disciplining.  As much as I prefer not being disciplined, two weeks discipline-free makes me all the more thankful for our maintenance sessions!  They have been welcomed and critical to helping me stay in a submissive mindset.  

LIFE IS GOOD!
Things are great on the D/s front, I am enjoying my volunteer work, J is doing great health and behavior-wise, T2 will be graduating college in May and has two job offers he is considering (leaning towards taking one in San Diego), and T1’s upcoming nuptials fill the air with excitement.  Kayla is wrapping up her first year of grad school (excellent grades), and seems to be in a good grove with her boyfriend, Michaud.  

LOVE IS GOOD!
Mike’s work is going well, and our relationship has never been stronger.  Mike and Kayla have also become exceptionally close and it warms my heart to witness it.  And my relationship with Kayla is strong as well.

We are human, so occasionally there are petty things that come up, but we hit them head on and talk about them whenever they arise – never let them fester.  Typically it deals with differences in how Mike treats us.  We all understand we have differences in our relationships with each other, in our needs as individuals, and in what Kayla and I thrive in as submissives.  But still, there are times we need to remind ourselves to appreciate these differences and not let them interfere in our happiness. 

Thankfully, such interference is few and far between.  I only mention it so as not to paint an inaccurate picture of constant bliss.  We are human, thus subject to the frailty of human emotions.   And a poly relationship with a married couple can exploit those frailties for everyone involved.   Thus communication and love is so extra important.    Love conquers all!

OPENNESS IS GOOD
Adding to all of that, it feels wonderful to be more open with who we are.  I know this seems contrary to Mike’s fervor over online privacy.   He draws a distinction between not hiding in the real world and being “out there” online.  He was feeling it was unfair to Kayla for us to have to hide things, as if we were embarrassed by it, which we were not.  And he felt i
t would be unfair for our kids to learn of it some other way.  And as for D/s, he wasn’t  enthusiastic with sharing, but he recognized it was also too difficult to keep hidden from those that frequently interact with us. 

He also knows my proclivity to push any flexibility he showsif I had my way, I’d be on YouTube singing the praises of my lifestyle choices.  Thus he has drawn a line with what I can and can’t share online and expects me to adhere to it.  And in “real world,” he still does not want us talking about it for no reason or without his permission – and when we do, give the least amount of information as needed.

Oh, one major “openness” breakthrough with Mike has to do with Kayla.  At times when she has to be introduced, we’ve given the awkward, “She is a family friend who is staying with us until she finishes school.”  (Post 112).  This description always made us feel bad, as if we were discounting what Kayla means to us.  Now, if asked or if simply introducing her, she will be “my girlfriend, Kayla.”   Easy enough for me to get away with without people thinking anything of it, as the term has platonic connotations when I say it.  But Mike will also be saying this.  It will certainly raise some eyebrows.  I am excited for Kayla as I know it makes her feel very good – very valued – that we are willing to do this.

NUDITY IS GOOD
E’s revelation excites me.  I’ve shared a little bit about my upbringing in so far as some of the values championed by my mother than were instilled in me.  Here’s a tidbit I haven’t shared before that is both curious and humorous.  I was a child nudist!  

My parents told me my penchant for wearing my birthday suit began as soon as I was able to take my own clothes off – and even before I was potty trained.  Once i figured out I could pull a diaper off, off they came.  Suffice to say my parents had extra incentive to quickly get me potty trained. 

My mom said I would complain that clothing was “heavy and itchy.”  I think I had some overactive tactile response to clothing.  She would try to get me light and loose-fitting materials, but no avail.  By around age 5 we seemed to have negotiated an arrangement where I was always naked at home, but understood I needed to wear clothes when certain people came over or we went out.  My parents were very accommodating, never making me feel bad for wanting to be clothes free.  Their “everyone else has clothes on” seemed to convince me that I should too without feeling bad for preferring to be naked.

At the start of first grade (just turned 6) I got the “you’re a big girl now, going to school, yadda yadda. . . thus you need to start wearing clothes.”  I remember not understanding why it was a big deal to be naked at home.  I vividly remember my mom asking me at what age I think I should stop being naked around the house.  I told her, “when I have boobies because that’s what bothers people.”  I once thought this innocent answer was cute, but grew to take it as a sad commentary that still applies to society’s views on nudity.  I digress.

Growing up there wasn’t a lot of nudity (other than me) in the house, but there also wasn’t any shame in it.  If I happened to wander in at an inopportune moment, neither my parents or siblings cared – and any questions were met with age appropriate answers – much like how Mike and I run our household.  

On my seventh birthday, I boldly announced my decision to start wearing clothes around the house.  I remember it made me feel grown up to proclaim this, even though I still wanted to be naked.  At that point I confined my nudity mostly to my room.  My routine was after a bath I would dry off and stay naked as I made my way to my room and I slept in the nude.  It stayed that way all the way until college.  From there I got in the habit of wearing pajamas and pretty much retained that habit until embracing D/s.  

Today, being naked around the house has rekindled the “naturist” within me.  I loved it last year when Mike, Kayla, and I were nude on our Immersion get-away.   And now with E, I’ve found a kindred spirit in the desire to be clothes-free.  Fortunately, Mike is supportive.  We are eagerly planning a getaway this summer.

A question remains whether we will bring J with us.  We might go during the two weeks of the summer he spends at my parents.  But we also might just take him.  The nudity isn’t a concern for us, it is the accommodations.  With his disability there is a lot we have to consider, from accessibility, dietary needs, and entertainment.  If we can find the right place, we may take him, otherwise, we won’t.

Oh, this reminds me of a skinny dipping story of my youth!  Perhaps on my next post!

Post 225. Pansexual (and a skinny dip story)