I am in an advice-giving mood and thought I’d tackle another issue I often hear about from those venturing into Domestic Discipline for the first time. You reveal your desire to your partner, now what?
I’ve stated over and over that communication is key. Clear. Truthful. Open. Complete transparency and all the vulnerability that goes with it.
Easier said than done. Even if you agree in concept, how do you execute it? It’s even more challenging when you aren’t even sure of any of the details beyond you want accountability for your actions. Even more, your partner may still be processing the fact that you are apparently asking to be disciplined by them. Given all that, how do you start codifying and clarifying what it is you want and what the other person is willing to give?
When I first approached Mike with my idea of DD, I was armed with a list of “Duties and Obligations” that I made to help articulate the things for which I wanted him to hold me accountable. This helped him understand which behaviors I wanted his help with. From that, we were then able to talk about the consequences. Yes… gulp, the “S” word – spankings.
In interacting with other women, I found that many aren’t able to clearly articulate the “Duties and Obligations” they want, but they do have a vague idea. How do they “get it all out there” so the can discuss these things in a productive manner when you are still unclear on the details and they are still in a bit of shock over the idea of DD.
It’s like trying to place an order at a restaurant and not only do you not know what is on the menu, but they don’t yet fully comprehend that they are at a restaurant with you. What then?
Two bits of advice… or two-bit advice, after all, I always preface my advice with this disclaimer: Take it with a grain of salt. Relationships are complex enough that when you add in the range of emotions that come from considering DD, you can’t rely on a one-sized fits all approach. Seek input from those that have been there, but use it to form an approach that works for you, discarding what you feel won’t work. Your approach should be highly personalized and not based solely on what someone else says works.
BIT #1: SPACE
Give both you of you some space between introducing the topic and discussing the details. In my early posts I wrote of saying to Mike, “We don’t have to figure it all out right now.” I acknowledged that this was a lot to process. I shared that I have been reading about this type of lifestyle and we should read some stuff together. From there I suggested we both understand the pros and cons and get an idea on how we will incorporate this in our lives. For the moment, I just needed him to understand my general desires and my need to be accountable to him. That’s plenty for him to process. No need to dive into details.
The key is that this “space” is not days or weeks. It could be almost immediate – go to the internet and show him things you read. Or it could be the next day, at most. Whatever it is, make a time bound commitment. “Let’s sleep on it and tomorrow after work, I can show you some things online that can help explain this better.”
Yes. No. Maybe.
A deep, honest discussion about DD is daunting. Recognize it isn’t just you, and that he, too, is feeling intensely vulnerable. Call it out. “This is so hard for me to articulate and I feel very vulnerable right now, but is so important to me that I know we can get through it.”
I didn’t invent this, but it’s a good time for a Yes/No/Maybe list. As you read through things you bookmarked online, talk about what each of you think. Is it something you want? Something they want? Yes? No? Maybe?
Heck, take my contract as conversation fodder. Go through it with them. Of course, you may need to add a fourth option of, “Hell no!” LOL.
I recommend for you to have already gone through it on your own. Then, as you ask him, after he response you. . . gulp. . . show him your answer. If it doesn’t match his, then stop and talk about it.
I also recommend you agree to put it on the collective “Maybe” list and commit that initially the two of you are only going to implement the matching “Yes’s” Talk about the “maybes” but don’t dwell on them or try to reconcile them at this point. The goal in talking about them is to better understand each other, not to necessarily reconcile them on the spot, as you’ve already agreed in advance they will go on the “Maybe” list to be discussed in more detail later.
And before you start, you need to agree on what is meant by Yes, No, Maybe.
Yes – I want to.
It can also mean, “I think I am willing to.” This exercise is meant to elicit conversation, not just “yes/no.” It’s okay to not be definitive. “I like the sound of that, it intrigues me. What this infers to me is… What does it mean to you? ”
No – I don’t want to.
Again, can also mean, “I don’t think I want to. What that means to me is…. what does it mean to you?”
Maybe – I might.
You might want to add your own conditions or limitations. “Maybe, if…..” Or, it just might be, “Maybe, I will have to think about that one.”
None of these answers are a commitment at this point. They are just assessments of how you generally feel about them. Once you’ve gone through it and identified your common answers, then go back and more formally agree on what exactly you are committing to — ideally, a written contract.
You might want to add one more category to your answers
Meaning, “No, I don’t want to, but I love fantasizing about that.” It’s a great way to open up and share your fantasies. There are a lot of things we all fantasize about that are best kept on the fantasy list. I found sharing fantasies with my husband to be a way for us to connect more closely and feel more at ease being vulnerable to each other across a broad range of topics. It’s a great way to exercise your relationship muscle.
There’s my two-bits of two-bit advice on how you might go about introducing this topic to your mate!