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?
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:
- 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.
- 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!
- 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
withoutof 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?