Tag Archives: vulnerability

321. Perception is Reality

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This post is a bit of a rant.  There is no particular story with this post.  Just sharing various disparate thoughts about perception.  It’s a bit about how it is so easy for all of us to be hypnotized by fragile and comforting lies and disregard those inconvenient truths that undermine those lies.  It’s also a bit about our fear of being vulnerable.  I am not throwing stones.  I am not immune from this.  None of us are.

I’ve done four or five posts about fielding questions from my sisters regarding TTWD.   One was questioning me again, and it reminded me a lot of what I posted the last time she questioned me (239. Filters: As you sow so shall you reap).

Since we are sisters, you’d think we share a lot of the same filters.   We do, but they are not exact.   There are things she takes as fact that I do not.  And things I take as fact that she does not.  Of course, we all like to think facts are facts, but there are facts and there are also beliefs, and there are things you want so badly to believe that they become facts to you.   And all your behaviors serve to reinforce these “facts.”  Such was the point of my about Filters.

And without getting into the specific details of my sister’s questions, it was basically about the swinging and the sex I have with other men.   Yeah, I REALLY shouldn’t have ever told her about my blog!!   Oh well, too late.  Hi Sis!  

When we have these discussions my intent is to help her understand that this dynamic is right for me.   For one, I know she cares about me and she wants to be convinced that I am convinced.  But of course, I understand that believing in my dynamic is important to me.  I am very invested in it.  I want to believe it so badly that it is not a belief, it is a fact. It must be.   

And for her, my dynamic is so foreign to her that refuting it is important to her.  She is very invested in abhorring it.  She wants to believe it so badly that it is not a belief, it is a fact.  It must be. 

So I give her the most meaningful evidence there is.  The unequivocal, undeniable evidence of MY experience. Where I am today and how happy I am today in all aspects of my life.  Nope.  She is not only unshaken in her stance, but even MORE convinced of the “truth” of her beliefs than ever before.  

It’s a classic case of what psychology literature calls “motivated reasoning.”  Motivated reasoning is how people convince themselves to remain convinced of what they want to believe.  It’s that “filters” thing I mentioned in that other post.  You seek out agreeable information and you “let that in” very easily.  Simultaneously you avoid, ignore, devalue, forget, or argue against (i.e. filter out) information that contradicts your beliefs.  And thus we have Fox News.  LOL.

Seriously, I am not throwing stones.  I am not immune to this.  I don’t read or follow any blogs that say any of TTWD are bad, but I follow plenty extolling its virtues.  I surround myself with people who accept my lifestyle and avoid those who don’t (or they avoid me!).  I love reading things that promote being vulnerable, open, honest, and trusting in your relationships.  And to me, I assume that vulnerability must extend to include sexual desires and fantasies. 

Here’s an interesting article that definitely won’t do anything to change your mind about anything.  I guarantee it!  But it did help me better articulate my thoughts for this post.  Here’s another great post dealing with perception from a blogger I follow whose blog is titled,Must be this Tall to Ride.”  

And I loved the final sentence, “It’s merely an opportunity to check your own biases and bullshit at the door.”  

That’s really hard to do.  I am fortunate that I am close to my sister.  We can have very frank talks about anything and everything, and no matter if we agree or disagree we love and respect each other. 

We both have something in common that really helps us to have meaningful conversations.  We both strive to check our biases and bullshit at the door and are receptive when the other is quick to challenge the other persons’ biases and bullshit.  Well, at least a little receptive.  It’s still hard.  No amount of sisterly love can make such discussions easy.

So what is my point of this post?   I think it is to illustrate that we all look for validation of our actions and feelings.  And guess what?  There is almost always plenty of stuff out there to validate them.  You just have to focus on what validates them and ignore what doesn’t.  You’ll feel vindicated and validated! 

But that is not what personal growth is about!  Personal growth is about challenging your beliefs and perceptions about the world.  And that’s the similarity between me and my sister – we are willing to have our beliefs and perceptions questioned.  We both joke that growing up we didn’t understand why the sermon’s at church didn’t end with “any questions?”   We came to understand why, but I digress. 

It’s that willingness to challenge my perceptions that allowed me to consider DD.  And it’s what has allowed me to be open to all of life’s possibilities.  To me, that is what it means to truly be alive!   And my willingness to fully be open to life’s possibilities has changed my life in ways that go beyond TTWD.  

To get something you never had, to experience something you’ve never experienced, to live a life you don’t have but always wanted — you have to be open to something you’ve never been open to.  Of course, it’s uncomfortable.  It means challenging and even disregarding the comforting lies that blanket your life. 

And yes, it doesn’t have to mean being open to being a Dominant, or being submissive, or swinging, or anything kink related – but here’s a hint — it’s sure fun if it does!

It doesn’t even have to be a life-altering thing.  Just pick one thing that you believe as fact, and really allow yourself to be vulnerable and challenge that belief.  For me, it is as addicting as it is painful.  Yep, it’s painful to discover the falseness of something you swore was fact.  But it’s also liberating and addicting.   If you haven’t figured it out, I am addicted to vulnerability.  

It’s official.  I am a weirdo. 

And if you DO want it to be life-altering, don’t just be vulnerable to your own closely held “facts,” but be vulnerable to and with your partner in life.  Now THAT is life-altering! 

Yawn!  Okay, Jen, enough of your drivel.   You do get spanked now and then, don’t you?  Tell us about that.   And you speak of all this sex and swinging, but where are the details?    Forget your friends and family and your rants.  Give us the tea!!!

Alright.  I’ll consider it.

 

313. Contract update – 4 years of DD

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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.

CONTRACT
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:

NAMES
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.

LECTURES
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.

DEFERENCE
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.  

SEXUAL OBEDIENCE
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. 

NEXT: 314. Can I watch you have sex?

312. Oh, you want me to do THAT! (TJ and Kim Part III)

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A bit more background before the “reveal.”  Yes, I can be a tease. 

Kim shared that she knows TJ masturbates and watches porn.  She actually encourages this.   Yet more evidence that she is able to take a “sex-positive” stance regarding others, but is unable to do so for herself. 

 She has tried to watch porn but it reinforces her distorted views that enjoying sex and having your partner enjoy it means you must be open to all things and you must “perform gymnastics in the bedroom” (a phrase she repeatedly uses).   To be clear, I think porn can contribute to a healthy sexual relationship for a couple, and even be healthy for an individual, but if your views on sex are already entrenched in dark and painful thoughts, it is not going to improve your sexual health. 

PORN / BDSMLR
As a quick aside – our own porn viewing habits are such that we typically don’t watch it together.  No need for that as we can put on our own “show” when we are together.  There is some viewing on our own, but mostly it is done in fun.  A “porn sharing game” of sorts that we play.  We like to find things that turn us on and share them with each other.  Sometimes in a strict, “this is just fantasy” way, and other times, “can we try that?,” or, a flirty, “this made me think of you.”   

Our porn habits add to our open sexual dialogue and exploration.  Oh – one thing we started doing lately is using bdsmlr.com as a way to have some fun and explore and share our fantasies and desires.  The three of us share an account and make comments on pics, gifs, or vids that we like.   The comments are sometimes in fun, sometimes reflecting truth, sometimes reflecting fantasy.   Check us out if you are interested.  We are FunsomeThreesome.   That site is a bit “aggressive” if you ask me.  A bit more “ugly” stuff that I’d prefer not to see, but to each their own.  The way we use it is fun for us. 

Back to a regularly scheduled programming. . .

KIM MAKES A REQUEST
Kim told me she had something to ask me.  I recognized her uncomfortable and awkward demeanor as a clear sign it was something related to sex as we had previously had several direct conversations about sex.  I was encouraging her to masturbate and offered to show her in what I joked was either in a “view only” mode or a “hands-on” mode.  She declined.   I thought perhaps she changed her mind.

I admit I also thought perhaps she wants to have sex with me.  She did admit to “playing around” with another woman once.  I am open to it, with Mike’s permission of course.

Then she asked, “Can I watch you and Mike have sex?”

I wasn’t expecting that.

I replied, “I’ll ask Mike.”

She said she wanted to know what I felt.  This led to an interesting discussion about my submission.   So changing gears a bit, here’s how that discussion went.

MY SUBMISSION AND A GODFATHER REFERENCE
I told her my feelings about it are tied to Mike’s feelings.  I want to know his thoughts before making my own conclusions.   She then adeptly asked me, “Forget conclusions, just tell me what you’re thinking.”

I told her I did not feel comfortable sharing my thoughts without first discussing it with Mike.  I explained it is part of my agreement with Mike to respect and support his decisions.  I don’t want to put him in a position of being the “bad guy” by taking a stance that differs from mine.  One way I do that is simply not to take a stance before discussing it with him.

This is actually something that arose from our last contract negotiation – about which I haven’t even written!  I’ll get to a post on that soon.   The short of it is that I need to better demonstrate deference to Mike’s views and decisions.  Sharing my own thoughts and conclusions with others, before sharing it with him, is not consistent with that deference.

I told her, “Ever watch the Godfather?”

“Yeah, TJ loves that movie.”  (Don’t all guys love that movie?  I mean, it’s good, but, men seem to think it’s great.  I think seeing the power the men in the movie have connects to a desire most men can relate to.  It’s basically about a misogynistic culture where certain rules and laws don’t apply to the men.  I digress).

“There’s a scene where Vito Corleone tells Sonny, ‘Don’t ever let someone outside the family know what you’re thinking.’   Well, we’ve adopted that mindset where we both want to present a united front to others.  Big decisions – and I would call this a big decision – require a dialogue with Mike before I share my thoughts with others. 

It’s not that I don’t have a voice.  It’s that my voice is heard by Mike first.  Then based on his conclusions, we form our united front.  That’s how I like it and what I have agreed to with Mike. 

Kim still pressed.  I soon understood that she was very insecure about the question and had a lot of anxiety about not getting any indication as to my feelings.  So I did add something that probably tipped my hand just a little bit – 

“I am happy to help you in any way you want that Mike agrees to.  I am not saying that as an indication that I will obey Mike regardless of my thoughts on this.  I mean, I will obey his wishes, but my reason for saying that is because I want to help you.  In other words, my willingness to help you is because I am willing to help you, and of course, I will obey Mike’s wishes on this or any other way I can help.”

I tempered her thoughts on this being a “done deal.”   Sure, I’ve told her of a lot of our sexploits, but she shouldn’t assume that means Mike agrees to everything.   He is cautious with our “Circle of Trust.”  He doesn’t know her or TJ other than what I’ve shared.  So while I don’t want to guess as to what his decision will be, I know that it isn’t something he considers flippantly.

TJ’S THOUGHTS?
Kim already ran it by TJ.  She told me he was supportive but would want to talk about it with the four of us.  Fair enough.   I’ll ask Mike and if Mike is agreeable, we’ll all talk.

Kim admitted she was feeling tremendous anxiety over this.  The thought that the four of us need to get together to talk through this because of her own hang-ups puts all the focus on her sexual shortcomings.   It’s a lot for her to think about.  She feels very exposed.  In my lingo, she feels extremely vulnerable!   

What a great opportunity to share with her all my thoughts on vulnerability.   I only have a few, hee-hee.  Of my dozen or so posts on this topic, my favorites are Post 30.  I found my Thrill,  Post 67. An Esoteric Ramble and Post 129. Submissive ramble: Vulnerability, Respect, or Love?.  In fact, I think those are my favorite posts of all-time.  They sum up my ideology regarding what it is to really love yourself and others. 

Thus I proceeded to share with her all the wonderful things that come from allowing yourself to be vulnerable.  And she already took the hardest steps.  She had the courage to be vulnerable to TJ in telling him she wanted to ask me that question.   In addition, she was vulnerable to me in actually asking.  And TJ also showed vulnerability in being open to the idea.  There was more to his response than just, “Sure, ask her.”  But I felt it wasn’t relevant to go into detail as overall he was supportive and accepting of the idea.  

MIKES THOUGHTS
I asked Mike.  And his answer?   Next time!  hee-hee.  I am liking these cliffhangers!

NEXT: 313. Contract update – 4 years of DD

248. Secret Ingredients Revealed

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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

241. Blogoversary, Anno Blogini 2

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Blogoversary or Blogiversary?  Is there an international arbiter of such things?  The WPCC  (Word Press Central Committee)?  Or perhaps the IBBV (International Bureau of Blogging Vernacular)?   I used “Blogiversary” last year, but I like “blogo” better as it sounds funnier to me.  So, blogoversary it is! 

On my first blogoversary I wrote about my favorite topic – Vulnerability!  I have so many posts dedicated to that topic.  Some of my favorites can be found under Finding my Happiness in my Shortcuts.   I think it’s an appropriate topic again.

LOVE BEING VULNERABLE, EXCEPT. . . 
The anonymity of blogging allows me to share personal and intimate parts of me without the IRL implications.  Unfiltered writing also provides me greater insights into my own feelings, motivations, and desires.  Insights you can’t get by thinking as such thinking is never as thorough, as focused, or as organized as writing. 

I don’t give it a second thought to share that I submit to my husband and allow him to discipline me.  There is no hesitation to share the sexual experiences I have with Mike, other men, or the experiences we both have with other women.  I don’t hesitate to share details on various punishments or rituals that we have.  Yep, I pretty much tell all without pause, even though I know that any one of those things are likely abhorrent to some of you (let alone those who abhor every one of those things).

DON’T (YELLOW) RAIN ON MY BLOGOVERSARY PARADE
I am undeterred, unapologetic, and share without hesitation.  That is, except for punishments related to drinking pee.   Yeah, sorry.  That festive feeling of a “blogoversary” post has just left the building! 

Pee is not a “go to” punishment from Mike’s, but, it happens more than I let on.  When I write about a punishment that includes it, I either give it slight mention (so as to diminish it), or even omit it entirely.  Mike is aware of this and as part of my “honesty” rule he has told me that I am not to omit “integral” parts of any punishment I chose to write about.  I don’t have to write about it, but if I chose to right about a punishment where it is included, I am not to omit it.  I’ve even been punished for omitting it.  You can imagine how (see, I sort of mention it, but I don’t give details).

I can share details of how many spanks or other whacks I got, my feelings about each one, whether or not there was lasting soreness, my remorse, etc.  But, not when it comes to drinking piss.

HARD LIMIT?
I’ve often thought of having pee as a hard limit.  I’ve hesitated because part of me likes giving Mike the ability to do something I find so distasteful.  It’s a bigger deterrent than spanking.  If he ever chooses to give me a warning about something, all he has to say is something like, “Do you need a drink to help adjust your attitude?”  While always quick with my responses, I am extra quick with an emphatic, “No, Sir.”

Instead of making it a hard limit, I told Mike I simply want to add a hard limit in that I do not want to have to write about this element of my discipline in my blog.  That is, no punishing me if I omit it as part of any discipline I share here.  

CAN I DO THAT? 
We consulted the Domestic Discipline Assembly on Hard Limits (known as AssHal, of course).  Assembly Chair, Neil Inlick, agreed that I could, but also ruled I had to explore why I felt this was necessary.   By the way, he also ruled that because Hard Limits are so important and must remain under the full control of the sub, I was allowed the exception of “telling” Mike what I wanted regarding hard limits, versus “asking” or “requesting” it.  He did however, let me off with a warning that in the future, I should start such conversations with, “Sir, I would like to discuss a hard limit that I am considering.”  This way there can be a respectful conversation before I “tell” Mike of my decision.   Warning noted!    

WHAT’S MY PROBLEM?
I believe my desire to avoid sharing this is that I attach deeply negative things to the act.  It goes beyond feelings of vulnerability, humbleness, or shame.  For me it comes too close to feelings of humiliation and degradation.  (Feelings explored in 178. Embracing Shame).

Pee as a discipline began with our last immersion when Kayla brought it up.  She subsequently agreed to make it a part of Mike’s options for disciplining her.  I was open to trying it, and ultimately agreed as well.  I wanted to test and push myself and I still do.  I just don’t want to write about it.

Writing about it gives me a feeling of being negatively judged.  I know the judgment is 100% my own.  Let’s be honest, I am not concerned about judgement from you.  Spank my butt, bind my breasts, clamp my nipples and clit, stick a butt plug in me, give me an enema, scold me, send me to my room to stand in the corner, whip my boobs, slap my palms, watch me go to the bathroom and the list goes on.  I’ve shared all those details without reservation.  But pee?  It’s just different for me.  Ultimately, it is my own judgement that I am concerned with, and frankly, I haven’t reconciled what this punishment really means to me. 

I have the right to make this a hard limit such that I don’t have to ever write of it again.  Problem solved.  But, a funny thing happened.  As I was writing my last post,  I had this urge build inside me.  Even though I now have this clear “out” and don’t have to write about it, I suddenly have this desire to push and test myself even more.  So, I am going to write about it in detail right now and see how it feels.

YOUR IN URINE
The pee related punishments I receive typically consist of a one-time drink that is straight from the source – Mike pees directly in my mouth.  There have been some extended pee punishment such that I must drink throughout an entire day.  I can be called over at any time to partake, sometimes directly, sometimes from a glass he fills.  If he sees me drinking something else, he might stop me and top off my cup with pee.  Yeah, the day long pee punishments are the worst.     

I have the right to use safe words to slow down how quickly I must drink and can even call “red” to stop it entirely.  It may be surprising to learn but most of the time pee is almost tasteless. . . just a little “off.”  Rarely it is putrid and undrinkable. (226. Kink Research).  When it’s been bad, Mike will allow me to dilute it with water or some other drink, which helps.  Only once have I had to call red when it was just too much. 

Whew!  You know, sharing that wasn’t so bad.    It feels very uncomfortable, yet also feels good, to “own it.”  Maybe I will keep sharing when this happens.  As it isn’t a common thing, I guess you’ll never know if I do or don’t share.   Okay, enough pee pee talk. 

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF BLOG 
Switching gears back to the blogoversary  – April 23, 2016 was my first post.   Thank you to everyone who reads, likes, and comments.  

I am just over 400,000 views and this year have been getting at least 40,000 views each month off of around 7,000 visits each month.  That is 3x the views and 2x the visits of what I was getting a year ago.  I like it that I get 5 to 6 views per visitor each month as I suppose it means you all are intrigued enough to read/re-read multiple posts.

I had no idea if there was an audience for what I wanted to write.  When I made my first dozen or so posts I hadn’t research or read many blogs and most were pretty tame and far from lascivious.  I didn’t care, I started this blog for myself.   I had a deep desire to write out my story for no one other than myself.  As self centered as this may sound, I was amazed with myself – my decisions, my desires, and of course, with my DD.  It was so opposite of me.  I was vanilla, and in an instant was transported to, well, to any of these wonderful flavors.  Clearly not vanilla!   

It was akin to leaping from black and white Kansas to polychromatic Oz, and instead of the scare crow, tin man, and the lion, Mike and I have had adventures with Kayla, John&Donna, and now Matt.  
 
I dove into my blog much like I dove into Domestic Discipline.  I learned that there is a wide kink community online and on WordPress.  Writing continues to be very fulfilling, and like I wrote last year,  I strive to be even more vulnerable in my future posts, even if that means writing about, um, er, well, you know.  Do I really have to say it?  Um..er.. well, okay.  Pee.  There, I said it. 

THANKS TO. . . 
My top commenters are NaughtyNora, Lurvspanking, and CollaredMichael.  I’ve had the most traffic off clicks from a link to my blog that is on My Bottom Smarts (Thank you Smarts!)  If you want to find links to a bunch of spanko blogs in one place, visit My Bottom Smarts.  Honorable mention goes to Our Naturist Blog whose link to a recent post of mine has driven 250 visitors this month.  Yea for the nudies

AND THANK YOU!
It thrills me that my experiences and thoughts have resonated with a few people, let alone the numbers represented by the stats.  I know most of you are lurkers and some of you probably read because I am a freak show curiosity.  For the rest of you I think I am either an interesting resource for your own DD or D/s journey or just an escape of some sort.  Whatever the reason – thank you!  For those who lurk but never comment, I’d love to hear why you come here.  If you are afraid to comment, email me.  My email is in my About section. 

Two years of sharing and I still get the same fulfillment in blogging that I got when I started.   Thank you for being part of that.

Next: 242. On the Nudie Farm

230. My Happiness Formula

230

Change of pace in topics.  (and yes, that’s a real formula, see the end of this post for more on that).

If you have read enough of my posts, you know I am a champion for vulnerability… being vulnerable to those around you fosters communication, trust, openness, oneness.   I have found tremendous happiness through vulnerability.    But there is more to my “happiness formula” than just vulnerability and I want to share what that is.

Indulge me as I take up a post to write about something other than my sexcapdes and spankplotations. 

MY HAPPINESS RECIPE
No, it’s not the above formula.  Mine has two ingredients.  Vulnerability (no surprise) is one.  And it shares space with another key ingredient of my core beliefs regarding happiness.  This ingredient, combined with vulnerability, creates a magical elixir.  Through it you can
see yourself clearly, you can be more confident, more creative, make sounder decisions,build stronger relationships, and communicate more effectively.

Having this thing makes you less likely to lie, cheat, or steal.  You can be a better partner, better parent, better employee, better citizen a better version of yourself.

And what is this second ingredient to my magical elixir?  

SELF AWARENESS
It seems simple.  Who should know us better than ourselves?  But – it’s actually not so easy because our ego often warps our views of ourselves. 
Ignoring our shortcomings is one thing, but we all have a tendency to justify them.  Self awareness means not just being aware of our shortcoming, but actively working to change them.

Most of us have some degree of one or the other type of self-awareness (discussed below).  But studies have shown only about one-in-eight people fit the criteria of being fully “self-aware.”

WHAT IS SELF AWARENESS?
Definitions are tricky as words mean different things to different people.  Generally, we are talking about how one monitors their inner self.  I like to think of it as consistency between how WE see ourselves and how OTHERS see us.  For most people those two views are grossly inconsistent. 

ARE WE TRULY WHO WE THINK WE ARE?  (Internally Self Aware)
Internal Self awareness is
not thinking of ourselves in the context of how we control or influence our lives.  Internal self-awareness is thinking of ourselves in the context of how we impact those around us.   

Internal self-awareness can be how we see our values, passions, and aspirations.  How we see our thoughts, our feelings, our behaviors, and how we evaluate our strengths and weakness — all in the context of how these things impact those around us.    There are many studies that show the more we truly understand how we impact the environment around us, the happier we are and the less anxious, stressful, or depressed we are.

ARE WE TRULY WHO OTHERS PERCEIVE US TO BE?  (Externally self-aware)
External self-awareness is not just understanding how others view you. External self-awareness is being open to allowing your understanding of how others view you to influence you.  

External self-awareness is understanding how others view us in terms of our values, passions, behaviors, strengths and weakness.  People who know how others see them are more skilled at feeling empathy and are better at taking other’s perspectives into account.  People who see themselves as their partners do (or family members, friends, etc., do), have better relationships with those people.

ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER?
You can have one type of awareness without the other. You can be clear on who you are (high internal self-awareness) but never challenge your own views or try to identify “blind spots” in your views (low on external awareness).

You  know your shortcomings but don’t want to address them nor seek feedback from others regarding them.  I know people like this.  I was once very much like this.   The challenge is that your ego creates a false narrative of how others view you.  You are duped into thinking others either see you as you see yourself, and if they don’t, they are the ones with a problem, not you.

You could be someone very focused on outward appearance…wanting to appear a certain way to please (high external self-awareness) but at the expense of what is important to you and fulfilling to you (low internal self-awareness).  I know people like this.  They are pleasers…pleasant to be around at times, but in my experience also display passive aggressive tendencies because they are not truly happy, and may be downright depressed.

NEITHER?
The
n there are those that have neither.  They don’t have a good understanding of who they are, what they stand for, or how others see them.

And if they are completely devoid of these understandings, they become the “victim” of everything around them – overly sensitive to slights or insults and quick to assume everyone is “against them.”  They strive to perfect and dramatize a personal narrative of suffering.  And soon it becomes self-fulfilling as they become frustrated with themselves and their relationships. 

What’s worse is I find these types of people tend to seek out others like them, to form an alliance in their victim-identity.   They may even go so far as to seek out an offense in order to complain (Twitter trolls!).   They are crybullies!

VICTIM AS A VERB
I am differentiating being a victim of things that happen to you and becoming a victim.  Clearly, people are truly harmed by people, nature, and circumstance.  There are many injustices out there that negatively impact a lot of people.  I am not writing about that type of victim.  I am writing about a victim mentality. 
I am writing about victim as a verb, not a noun.

At one point in my life I let too many people like this into my life.  They are emotional drainers and if you aren’t careful, you can become a co-dependent in their victim-hood.

BECOMING SELF-AWARE
I am not going to try to give my how-to’s.  You can Google “how to become self-aware.”
It simplest terms, it requires self-reflection — that’s easy.
Oh, but wait… the trick is HONEST self-reflection — that’s hard.

That’s where vulnerability can help.  Being vulnerable with those around you makes you open to sharing your self-reflection and hearing and understanding their perceptions of you.

And self-awareness is not a destination, but an ongoing process.  Once achieved, it can be easy to slide out of it.  It’s that ego thing that can trick us into over-valuing the beliefs we are deeply invested in and devaluing things that are contrary to those beliefs.  It doesn’t take long for something nefarious to sneak in and before you know it, you are beholden to a false narrative about yourself and the world around you. 

And that is not a recipe for happiness.

Btw, that formula in my heading, that’s a real thing someone came up with.  While I think mine is so much easier, check out this article if you want to decipher that formula.

Okay, enough lecturing from Jenny.  I’ll get back to my typical tantalizing tales of steamy self discovery.  I guess that’s part of my happiness formula too! 

Next: 231. Some Fun, an Ending, the Future

228. Addicted to Vulnerability (psst..and a spanking story)

228

I got a spanking last Friday after almost three weeks discipline-free.  That’s a long time for me.  I enjoyed the break.  I was feeling a bit down after many transgressions to end and start the year.  Constantly failing to do as Mike expects (and I expect of myself) wears on me and I was starting to feel like I was failing.  The nice stretch of excellent obedience helped reinvigorate me.  

THE TRANSGRESSION
Mike asked me to organize a bunch of family papers…insurance, invoices, tax documents, stuff like that.  I forgot!  He linked my inattentiveness to my
prior transgression of spending too much time on the internet…”You don’t forget to log on the first chance you get, but you forget a chore I assign you.”

THE DISCIPLINE
He was working from home when he realized I failed to do as he asked.  He told me to get a paddle and the nipple clamps with the chain and come back to his office.  He put the nipple clamps on me and added some weights that pulled the chain down.  He had me bend over and he spanked me 10 times on each check with a paddle – so 20 spankings. I then had to organize the files and return when I was done (the clamps stayed on).

I returned to his office about 45 minutes later.  He removed the clamps, lectured me a bit, then told me to stand in the corner.  In about 10 minutes he called me over.  He told me to firmly affix the clamps back on my nipples myself.  He then had me bend over and said I was getting 10 more on each check and, “There will be more if the clamps fall off.”  There is always a bit of jostling to my body during a spanking.  The weighted clamps start swinging, but almost always hold.  I guess I cheated a bit and didn’t have them on as firmly as I should.  One fell off half way through, and the last one fell off on the very last strike.  Thus he gave me an additional 10 more per cheek.

In all that was 30 on each cheek, and in various spots such that my entire ass was very red.  He then peed in a glass and had me stand in the corner and he gave me a few minutes to drink it up.  It was a lot!  Luckily it wasn’t too bad, pee can be pretty tasteless at times.  Anyway, yuck, I know.  This was a bit unusual for a punishment but not unheard of and I accept it.

When I finished drinking he tightly clamped my nipples and told me to stay in the corner.  Again about ten minutes later he walked up to me and told me to take a step or two back and lean against the wall.  There was no count, but I was spanked maybe 10 or 12 more times.  He then told me to pull the clamps off…not unclasp them…simply pull until they snapped off.  Ouch!   We then had our closing ceremony and that was that.  Sore butt and sore nipples!

THE REFLECTION TRAIN
I am almost three years into my DD and find that I don’t reflect on punishments as much as a once did.  I accept them and move on.  But, with almost three weeks punishment free, it put me in the mood to ride the reflection train. 

First stop, give thanks.
Before considering a negative thought for even a nanosecond, it is best to first give thanks.  I am thankful not only for all that DD has given me — more fulfillment than I ever had in the ~24 years of marriage that preceded our DD.  But I am thankful for our routine that allows me to maintain the submissive mindset that I love and thrive in.  Spankings from our Maintenance Sessions and our “leave the house” policy (were I get a quick reminder spanking anytime I leave to go somewhere with Mike) showed their value during the almost three weeks I went without discipline.  

Second stop, doubt.
Yep, even if just for moment, I sometimes take a quick stop at the Doubt Station and wonder why.  Why do I accept this?  Why do I need this?   I think occasional doubt is healthy.  You want to allow yourself to reassess things from time to time.  It doesn’t take me long to quickly squash those doubts.  I simply think through the answer and “poof,” the doubt is gone.  I thrive being submissive, I love everything about my household environment.  ~24 years of non-DD was never as fulfilling!

Third stop, “What if?”
My mind then takes a stop at the “What if?” Station.  I tend not to stay here too long either.  Personally I find “what if” to be unproductive.  But sometimes getting lost in thought doesn’t have to be about finding personal growth.  It can just be entertaining, and playing “what if” can be like a short imaginary adventure (or nightmare).  I wonder, back when I first brought up DD – what if Mike had rejected the idea?

It wouldn’t have made him a bad person.  Clearly, this dynamic is not for everyone.  Where would I be..where would we be…without it?   Worst of all, I’d be the same controlling Jen I used to be.  Mike wouldn’t be as happy, I wouldn’t be as happy, J wouldn’t be as happy.

And beyond no DD, would it mean no Kayla in our lives?  That crushes me too – we love her so much!   And I guess we would just have continued our platonic friendly relationship with John and Donna?  Clearly no Matt, and perhaps E not opening up to us about her naturism?  My lunch bunch friends would just be lunch bunch friends, unbonded over sharing some of our deepest desires.  Sex toys?  Probably few, if any.  My nipples wouldn’t be pierced, my blog wouldn’t exist, and the list goes on and on.

I feel so fortunate that Mike was open to exploring this with me.  He met the vulnerability I was showing with vulnerability of his own.  It takes two to have a successful DD or D/s relationship.  I am so fortunate to have Mike embrace this as he has. 

Last stop, Revelation!

My mind then takes it’s longest stop in it’s journey — the  Revelation Station.  Is there something my thoughts can reveal to me that perhaps was buried in my psyche? 

It begins to reveal itself to me. 

The old Jenny was impenetrable, vulnerable to no one, but who was nourished by the vulnerability of others — some life crisis people would share with her, eliciting her advice and guidance.   On the surface you could extol positive virtues on that Jenny — helpful, caring, loving, nurturing, wise.  In hindsight, her behaviors can be seen in a more accurate light – she had a need to feed off the tragedy of others.  That’s pretty pathetic.

Sure, others received some benefit in having a compassionate shoulder to cry on, but that compassionate was more selfish — about my need to feel better about my insecurities, my shortcomings, my unstated desires, as well as to continue to cover up and suppress the desires I didn’t even recognize were in me.

It changed when I became vulnerable through DD.  Yes, I still like to talk with people about their challenges, hopes and desires, but now it is truly from a compassionate, loving place.  Through my own vulnerability, I feel complete, confident, and courageous.  I am more honest with myself than I ever imagined possible – more honest with Mike and those around me in ways that would have scared the hell out of the old Jenny. 

Honesty — yeah, that’s the courageous part.  You have to have a lot of courage to be so honest about your needs, your hopes, your desires.  It takes tremendous courage to make yourself vulnerable to someone.  But once you do and experience positive results, it becomes addictive. 

I believe that’s were my satisfaction from exhibitionism comes from.  It isn’t just about sexual exhibitionism.  It is an emotional exhibitionism.  I am thriving off making myself vulnerable.  I think that is what makes Mike so adamant about reigning me in.  As I said before, if it were up to me, I’d be putting all of this on a YouTube channel, not an anonymous blog.   

And I don’t do it because of any need for attention or “look at me.”  I do it because I discovered the key to others being truly vulnerable to you, is for you to be vulnerable to them.  It then feeds on itself.  And for a vulnerability addict like myself, provides an amazing high.   

I never really understood that before, but it makes so much sense to me.  I guess that’s why I have so many posts dedicated to vulnerability.   (67129, 134 and others. And now I get why, to fall in love with someone, you do this).  

Vulnerability is an amazing aphrodisiac .  Either that, or I am just an eccentric psycho succubus slut of a weirdo.  Humm..nah, that’s not it.  Ahem, well, maybe one out of four?  You’ll just have to guess which one.  HA!

Next: 229.  Heading to Splitsville?