Secondary Poly

September 5th, 2013

Still not feeling well, so this may or may not make any sense. Today’s topic: poly. More specifically: strange ramblings from the secondary point of view.

Part One. Someone started a thread over on FL with this quote: “Primary partners usually have an expectation of permanency that is a foundation of talking about the future. They also have an expectation that they are the only people who will have any input in those plans.”

Now, how you set up your poly relationships is completely up to the people within those relationships. Some people go for casual secondary, or unlabeled hierarchies. Often primary relationships do tend to be more permanent than secondary ones. However, one look at the divorce rate in this country will tell you, intentions aside, relationships of any type aren’t always permanent. And people’s expectations vary. Hopefully, however, you have communicated those expectations clearly with any and all of your partners.

Me? I am a secondary partner to him, but I have an expectation of permanency. That expectation includes talking about the future. Now, it does not include me being part of his marriage decisions (house, kids, etc), but it does include me in hearing about those discussions, sometimes contributing to those discussions, and certainly being supportive of those decisions. We also have discussions about the future where all parties have input into making the decisions. The future is something we all intend to be part of, why would I not matter in those plans?

Part Two. Someone started another thread with: “Do you listen to your partner complain about their primary’s jealous, how much do you listen?”

I have a problem with the basis of this question. Do you listen to your partner? Dear gods, I hope so. Regardless of the topic, listening is part of the all-important communication upon which good relationships are based. Please, tell me you listen to your partner, as much as they need you to listen.

Second part of the question, listening to them complain about another partner’s jealousy. One hopes, that this discussion is being had with the intent of finding resolutions and solutions. Hearing about the problems makes you aware that they exist and can enlist you in the problem solving process. Another partner’s jealousy matters, not that you have to fix it yourself, but finding solutions can be a group process, if needed. Thinking everything is fine can lead to more problems than knowing there is a problem, so long as the problem is being worked on.

Third part is the word “complaining.” Let’s say the asker of the initial question meant something else. Let’s say they meant, how much do you let your partner dump on you about the other person. This is a different problem entirely. Getting only negative views about a metamore can be extremely damaging to your relationship with them. It can also damage the relationship with your partner, if all they do is complain to you about the other. It could leave you wondering if they do the same about you with that other person. There is nothing wrong with letting off steam, and being supportive of your partner, but try not to let yourself become a dumping ground of their negativity.

Part Three. When the structure doesn’t match the feeling. “Sometimes, someone is offering a specific relationship structure because it is in tune with how they feel about you. Sometimes, it is all they can offer, no matter how they feel about you.”

This was actually a discussion that I liked the basis of. Poly, aside from communication, is all about time and resource management. (Yeah, yeah, poly is about love, but I mean on the practical side.) It is true that love is not a limited resource, but many other things are. Days of the week, time at an event, space in a bed, money in the bank, energy in a person(we all do need sleep). So, it is important to remember that just because someone loves you, doesn’t mean they can give you everything you want, or even everything they want to give you. If you love and trust them, believe they are doing the best they are able, and giving you everything they can.

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Attachments

June 13th, 2013

Tonight, I went to an “Open Sangha.” The Encyclopedia Britannica defines a sangha as: a Buddhist monastic order, traditionally composed of four groups: monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen. In this case, it is a community coming together for meditation and discussion of Buddhist principles. This was my first time, and I found the meditation very relaxing, until my sitting position caused pain in my neck. And I found the discussion very interesting and helpful. It is the topic of that discussion I wish to write about here tonight.

We talked about letting go of attachment, not to things or people, but to outcomes. We talked about the desire to succeed, to be perfect, to be as good as, or better than. We talked about competition, and pushing too hard. We talked about wanting to prove something. We also talked about fear of failure, and it being so paralyzing, that we never try. We talked about attachment to expectations, our own, other people’s, of ourselves, and of others.

The answer we were looking for was how to let go, and sometimes when to let go.

We talked about trust and confidence. That having trust in other people, or confidence that things will turn out well, can help you let go of stress and worry over outcomes. If you can believe that what needs to happen will happen, then you can relax your death-grip on the details and be at ease with making it happen.

I am often obsessed with the details. Organizing things and people, so that everything gets done when and how it is supposed to. I can get so obsessed that I try to do all the work myself, because I get impatient waiting for other people to do it. Group projects are something I fear. I am so attached to how I think it should be done, or when I think it should be done. That the idea of depending on other people to do it scares me. When I’m ready to go somewhere, it’s time to go, I find it hard to wait on someone who is moving at a slower pace. This is something I have gotten better at over the years spent with hubby, but it is something I still struggle with. Being able to let go and know that nothing is perfect, arrival times vary, and what needs to happen will happen.

We talked about examining your intentions and your reasons. Are you doing this because you want to do it? Or because someone else expects you to do it? Are you trying to prove that you can? To whom? Is it really important to you? Or is it important to someone else? Is it your passion? Does it bring you joy? Or is it causing you harm? Just because you started something, doesn’t mean you have to finish it, unless you want to. Make sure you are doing things for the right (for you) reasons.

This is something I’m looking at in my own life, right now. And have been for the last couple years. It was a big question with the marriage – am I staying because that’s what is “expected” and other such thoughts. Am I doing MDQ because I want to? Or to prove I can? It turned out that, while MDQ was fun at first, it wasn’t really where I wanted to be putting my energy. My job is another example, having a steady job was important to me, but it stopped bringing me joy a long time ago. Now, I’m working towards a better job, that holds more meaning for me. On the kink side, my service. Service brings me joy, I like helping and serving, I am doing it because it is what I want to do.

We talked about my favorite topic: failure. We talked about learning that failing at something does not make You a failure. We talked about learning from failure (and success), instead of letting it define who you are. In the same vein, we talked about it being okay not to know everything. That asking questions, and learning, is far better than pretending you know everything, or staying silent so as not to lose face.

This is a hard lesson to relearn. I thought I had learned it in college, when I started sending out poems and stories, and collecting rejection letters. I didn’t take any of them personally. I thought I understood, but this was different. I could rationalize the letters – they were trying to fill a magazine of specific content, mine just didn’t fit their vision. It wasn’t a failure, I had succeeded in writing a story, it just wasn’t what they wanted. But things I actually want to do, that I don’t manage to do, these I label “failures” and I have to work very hard to not take that label on myself. It helps when I can learn something from it; when I can sit down, analyze and build myself up to be better.

We also talked about having fun, and feeling free to be or look silly. Not being attached to being unable to do something physical perfectly. I have a really hard time with this. I spoke of my RA, and how I’m fairly certain the forces of swinging a bowling ball with one arm would do no end of harm to me at this stage. Not normally important, but a group I’m in is thinking of having a bowling outing or league. Another group has a regular bowling night. I have my own ball, in a bag. I was never great at bowling, but I was passable for a kid. The thought of not being able to swing the ball properly is demoralizing to me. Some of my friends have suggested that I two-hand granny bowl the ball, and I could probably manage that without hurting myself. But the thought of looking that silly, standing up in front of everyone on the lane… It’s bowling, it’s supposed to be fun. These are my friends who see me drunk and silly every other month or so. What’s the problem? If we ever do get it organized, I’m going to have to just let go. And it will be ever so good for me to do.

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Is This The Life I Expected?

September 27th, 2012

Friends of mine have been talking/puzzling about their lives not being what they expected them to be. For some, this is causing great distress. So, I decided to take a look at the question.

Growing up, what did I expect out of life?

When I was little, I wanted to be an astronaut, doesn’t everyone? The stars held me in thrall. Then I found out that astronauts didn’t get to visit the stars, and sometimes their ships blew up, and I thought maybe I’d stay on earth til they got those things worked out.

Then I wanted to be a teacher. Until I found out that kids are cruel, and rude, and unmanageable sometimes. I thought maybe that wasn’t the best place for me, and maybe I didn’t even want to have my own.

So I turned back to the stars. I wanted to study them, from here on earth. Look out into them, and find the mysteries of the universe. Find other life. Figure out how life formed here. I was again in their thrall. But then I went to college, and calculus and E&M defeated me. So I turned away again.

To writing. I loved to read, it kept me entertained as a child, and I loved to write, to express myself in words, because my voice was so soft, and no one could interrupt me when I was typing or writing by hand. I could speak for myself in text, say anything and everything through writing. And I love it.

I work in a bookstore, because I love books. I love sharing knowledge, and helping people find the same joy in it that I did. I don’t teach, but I help them get the information they want. I do not go to the stars myself, but can help other people get there.

But those are only jobs and vocations, those are what I do. What did I expect out of Life?

Growing up in the church, I expected to stay in the church. I expected to be a good little UM girl all my life. To get married to a nice UM boy, and worship every Sunday, and be a part of projects and work groups. And then I got older, and there were politics, and other view points, and intolerance, and hate. My faith became more personal, less contained in a building, less constrained by specific doctrine. I still consider myself a Christian, because I feel I live by Jesus’s overriding message of Love. His words of love still speak to me, and I do my best to follow his example. I didn’t marry a nice UM boy, or even a nice Christian boy. But I did get married to a very Loving man. And to me, that is what is important.

But where did all this poly stuff come from? Surely that wasn’t “in the plan.” No, growing up, I expected to have a husband, forsaking all other so long as we both shall live. It was even in our vows. Promised before family and god. But that doesn’t seem very loving to me. To Forsake others? I didn’t date anyone in High School, but my college relationships were rife with flavors of poly. Not my first, he was a good Christian boy. But most of the ones after that. I didn’t have the understanding, let alone the language for it at the time, though. My second, still in love with his HS sweetheart, cheated on me and left me for her. I often played with him after that, even with a third friend sometimes, and still love him, though not in a romantic way. My third, had a ‘zip code rule’ that I always rolled my eyes at, but he and I had off and on things, despite his other relationships. My fourth, well, he was an odd bird, and I was trying to get back with others during that time as well. Hubby came into play that year as well, as someone I loved, but couldn’t be with. Then my fifth and sixth, openly admitting to love for hubby while dating them. Playing with others while things with hubby went up and down and round about. But things were so messy, that when I got back with Hubby after college, I made the mono-demand.

Which lasted just over three years, until we both started falling for others. My experiment exploded, so I returned to a state of poly=pain, and agreed to swinging. That didn’t go very well, either, and then we found the community here, and I softened and fell, back into poly, where I truly belong. This time, with resources, and language, and experienced people, who taught me to communicate, and to thrive in this lifestyle. Oh, it still goes up and down and sideways, but I am far better equipped to deal with it now, and far more able to accept the bumps and bruises, and keep on swimming.

That was the important lesson to me. It isn’t about trying to keep my head above water, that’s just a lot of thrashing around to keep from drowning, but you never move forward doing that. I’ve learned to keep on swimming, forward, through the waves, and tides. The only way up is forward, and it attracts fewer sharks if you swim fluidly forward than if you thrash around hoping to be rescued.

So, was this what I expected out of my love life? No. But it is certainly what fits me. Love, and plenty of it. To keep me going along my way.

But life is not just job and relationships. What about this kink stuff that fills my waking hours? What about the natural world and the stars I loved so much?

I grew up loving the outdoors. Going camping, going hiking, stargazing. Sitting by campfires, singing songs and exploring the woods. It is still my refuge. When things get too much. When I need to unwind. When I just need to get away. I go to the woods. I walk through the forest, I lie in the grass, I sit by the brook. Nature is still in my veins, but people now fill my heart.

I didn’t have a lonely childhood, in my mind. I had friends, I enjoyed school. I went to parties. But I didn’t have a Lot of friends, I didn’t do the social butterfly thing. I had a couple best friends. That I would spend most of my time with. I never expected this to change, and it hasn’t. I have kept my best friends, from HS and College, but they are far away. I have made a few more since, but not many. And it is with these friends that I spend my time. It is kink and poly that brought me to these new friends. And geekdom. I still do the geek-thing, gaming every week, and a group that goes to geek conventions and throws parties monthly. But the latter are also a part of my poly and kinky circles, too.

I’ve always had a kinky bone in my body, though, I didn’t know it at first. Or at least not what to call it. I found it fairly fast, though, when I got old enough. Kink, I discovered, made sense to me, and was something I wanted in my life. It became part of my regular life with my second boyfriend, growing with my fifth, and really expanding when I met daddy online, and then in person, though I didn’t find community until nearly a year after hubby and I moved back here, only just over four years ago. I tried once, just before we go married, but a missed connection kept us at bay for four years, due to moving out of state after the wedding. Kink, though, once I understood what it was, has always been an expected part of my life. And I am grateful for the people who have guided me, advised me, played with me, and taught me. Navigating the kinky community, and one’s kinky self takes a lot of work and skills that are not necessarily the norm in regular society. And it has also given me an outlet for my early desires to teach and my later desires to write. These things are a part of me and kink keeps them in my life.

What about submission? How does that fit in with my life expectations?

Did I grow up thinking about how wonderful it would be to be controlled? How much I wanted a man to tell me what to do? How much I wanted to serve him? No. I grew up learning to be an independent, free-thinking, self-reliant woman. I went away to college, I went to Ireland alone, I went to Australia to meet daddy. I moved out of the house when I got back. I found a job, I supported myself. Sometimes I fell down, and needed some help, but I was mostly independent of my parents. I got married and moved away. No longer singularly independent, but still in control. In charge of my life, working now as a couple, to be successful. So, where did this submissive desire come from? How does it fit into my life expectations?

In my kink, it has always felt like the natural role for me. At first, it was a desire to be done to, as I think it usually is. I wanted to receive all these sensations, I desired to be spanked, to be pinched, to be bitten, to be held down, to be bound. So in control, so strong, so independent. I wanted it to be taken away. At first, I wanted to know that these things were okay. That I could still be strong and independent, and in control, even though I wanted and liked these things. I didn’t have control over what turned me on, but I wanted to know that I was still in control of myself and my world. My body, my RA, took some of that control away from me, so I gained a desire to control the pain I experienced. I wanted to have the pain that I wanted, not that my body just threw at me. These things came first.

Then I met strong, dominant men, and it wasn’t just about play anymore. It wasn’t just about top and bottom. It was about Dom and sub. It was about being able to give up control, giving them control, and the freedom I found in doing so. Not just in giving to them, but in receiving as well. The give and take, the cyclical relationship, that requires love and trust and work to maintain. It feels good to submit to those I have chosen to submit to because they chose to dominate me in return. One-sided relationships happen, but they are not fulfilling in the long run. The joy and fulfillment I found in submission, blossomed from curiosity to expectation and is a part of my life I do not ever want to be without.

Expectations change as life changes us. But once we find those things that make our lives wonderful and whole, it no longer matters what we once thought we would be or do. It is what we are now, what makes us happy and fills our lives that matters most. No use worrying about what we thought would be, stay in the present, work for what you want now. Not what you thought you should have. If I’d stuck with my original plan, I’d be pretty much out off luck now, NASA’s ended the shuttle program. Expectations are helpful, but don’t let them stay stagnant while life changes all around you.

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Preparing for C.O.P.E.

September 6th, 2012

Last night was a new experience for me. One, I’d been expecting to have at some point in the last couple years, but it took a class for it to happen. Yes, my first waxing for hair removal experience happened with an audience. I generally trim my pubic hair, but shy from shaving it due to a tendency for infected in-grown hairs. Waxing, I was told, should be safer on this front. We shall see. The cosmetologist, licensed, but no longer professional (she both no longer gets paid to do it, and also enjoys it way too much), spoke to the class about proper procedure, cleanliness, ways to reduce the pain (most of which she didn’t do, as the class was called waxing for sadists), and proper techniques, as she applied and ripped the wax(and hair) off.

It was an odd experience, to say the least. Not excruciatingly painful, though a few of the strips reached a 7 or so on my pain scale. But the pain was fleeting, gone almost as quickly as it came. The harder ones were when the wax or hair didn’t come and she had to do the same spot repeatedly in quick succession. The first few strips had me arching off the table, until I got accustomed to the ripping. Some of the lower strips had me cursing (or propositioning, depending on your view) my friend, and eventually she asked me to stop screaming so one of the audience didn’t have to keep plugging his ears. The poor dear. Looking down at what she was doing was also a strange sensation. The first few times, expecting to see red, angry skin, I saw only smooth whiteness. Apparently my skin objected less than the hair follicles and the associated nerves. When she finished, it was the first time since puberty that I’ve been hairless, another unusual sight for me, and hubby. Several asked how I was doing, I was fine by then, but told them to ask me after COPE if it was worth it.

 

There has also been some preparation for COPE on the relationship side of things. He, the engineer and I had a group chat just the other day, to talk about expectations for our first major kink event together as a group, and their first time at COPE at all. It was a very good, and very long discussion, ranging from play, to protocols, to packing. We talked about scening together both publicly and privately. There was discussion of what “reasonable use” of Sir meant to each of us. We talked about appropriate behavior and communication, including bringing cloaks in case we are roomed on the vanilla side of the hotel. And we talked about having protocols that were natural and easily met. This weekend isn’t about trying to trip us up, but rather, about having a time to be together, play together and to take care of each other. I am very much looking forward to spending a weekend in his service.

 

And then I get to the clothes part of the packing. What to wear, what to wear. So many choices, and changes to be considered. Sleeping without Pjs has been decided upon, so I can at least not worry about that set of clothes. But let me ramble on the sets I think I might need: opening ceremony outfit, after play outfit, Saturday classes outfit, leave the hotel to eat lunch/dinner outfit, closing ceremony outfit, after play outfit, Sunday go home clothes. One might wonder why an after play outfit. Well, it depends on the ceremony outfit, but one of them will certainly be my new corset, and after a heavy scene, I just don’t see it going back on. So, what about just walking around nude after? Well, if it’s what he wants, that’s fine with me, but he tends to like outfits a little bit more.

So, I’ve got one outfit decided upon, probably the opening ceremony – make a good first impression, without having to wear a brand new corset for too long. I was thinking of bringing my saris for easy, toss and tie it on. Those might work really well for after play outfits. Easy on, easy off. I should really run them through the wash and hang them up so they aren’t so creased from being folded for years. Saturday class time? It’s always so cold in the hotel, but warm clothes aren’t generally conducive to practicing new rope work, and I do imagine most of our class time will be rope. My SAM tank top and a long sleeve jean shirt for easy cover up of arms or legs? If I wear that tank top, I’ll have to wear the “apology skirt” with it. Sunday and go out for dinner are the easiest, just a skirt and cute t-shirts. But what about that second ceremony/make an impression outfit? (I don’t think I’ve ever put this much thought into the clothes I wear to COPE.) I’ve got a lot of fun things these days, and less opportunity to wear them. I’ll have to put some more thought into this last choice. At least these days, I have appropriate footwear. The girls always used to tease me about going about in sexy dresses while barefoot, even at the start of the night. Some day I’ll have to dig my old prom dress out, and have it cut off me. If my high school peers could see me now…

 

A week and a day until COPE, so excited!!!

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Great Expectations

August 30th, 2012

While sitting in the theater, waiting for Avenue Q to start, hubby turned and asked me about expectations. Hubby felt that my boyfriend and I had a good handle on setting expectations and asked how we did it. Or more specifically, how He had done it with me. I jokingly said that when you tell a girl for a year and a half that you are a sexually satisfied man, and then start dating her, expectations start out pretty low. In all seriousness, though, he and I usually played three times a week during most of the year prior to dating, and had already started conversations on expectations and happiness.

One of those conversations began with him asking me if I could be happy without him suspending me for a whole year. I had passed through most of my newbie sub-frenzy by that point, so I could actually consider the question. It took a little back and forth before I understood the intent of the question. It wasn’t about him denying me what I wanted, it was about expectation crashing with reality. What if he got hurt (which happened)? What if we lost our suspension point (which has happened repeatedly)? What if I got hurt? The real question was did my happiness depend on suspension, or could I be happy without it? This started the thought process in my brain that expectations have to mesh with the reality of the situation.

Another set of conversations we had was him asking me if I Deserved to be suspended. At the time it felt like a trick question, given the dynamics we were involved in. But it was really about suspension not being a think I could deserve or earn. It was a gift, given because he wanted to. Not because I deserve it or expect it. Giving affection only because it is expected or only when someone has “earned” it can lead to abusive situations. For me, affection must be given because both parties want to give it. But beware putting expectations on what defines affection.

Back to the question that I started with. When he asked if I could be happy without suspension, he wasn’t asking if I would be happy not seeing him for a year, simply without one form of play. In our relationship, I expect to see him fairly regularly and I expect affection. Sometimes that means a hug, sometimes a text message, sometimes a flogging and sometimes it means dinner and a movie. When it’s been a long day, it can simply means his arm around me while he falls asleep. He shows me affection in whatever way he is able, mentally, physically and emotionally. As I do him.

Another way we have set expectations in our relationship was to write them down. In our contract with toy, we wrote out what all the expectations were. What we all did before play, what types of play there would be, and what could preempt or prevent play. It was very clear what we could all expect, and even then there were surprises.

So, what do we do then? What happens when expectations are not met? No matter how clear you think you have been, or how mutual you think your expectations are, you will still face disappointment occasionally. The important thing to do, of course, is to talk about it. What were my expectations? Were they the same as his expectations? What happened that caused them not to be met? Was it reasonable? Were the expectations reasonable to begin with? Was it just a special case that won’t happen again? How can we prevent this situation from repeating itself? Do the expectations need revised, or does one party need to be more conscious of meeting the expectation?

For me, another good conversation to stay on top of is wants and needs. My needs tend to be where I set my expectations, so I have to communicate that those things are needs. And I have to set reasonable expectations of where I’m going to get those needs filled. Being poly, they don’t all have to be filled by one person. Wants are things I would like to have, and I have to communicate them, too, else they won’t have a chance to be fulfilled. But the important thing to remember is that I cannot expect all my wants to be fulfilled all the time. Life isn’t that simple. But I can work on getting them filled through expressing them and making plans. And sometimes my needs aren’t met either, at which point we return to the previous paragraph of questions to have another look.

As always, the most important part of setting expectations has been clear communication. Second to that is acceptance that we are human and life isn’t perfect. Talk about your expectations. Unspoken expectations Cannot be met. Understand that life gets in the way, even of needs sometimes. Be flexible, accepting, and keep talking. And while you are talking, offer solutions. Once the problem has been stated, clarified and understood, move forward and find ways to avoid future disappointment from that source. During your conversations, if the other person has expectations that you cannot meet, have a conversation about why and about what can be done instead, or how to change that expectation. Expectations are a two-way street, both parties must be actively involved in setting, meeting and revising them. Everything changes, keep talking.

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Contracts and Expectations

April 29th, 2011

I’ve never written a contract with a partner before. Never had things spelled out explicitly in writing. Maybe I should have done before now. Maybe that would have helped certain things go differently. Either way, we’re trying it now. He, Toy and I. To organize our Monday nights and reduce stress and have time for play. It is very interesting and exciting, but maybe that’s because I’m an OCD writer.

The beginning of the contract is our expectations. As a group, and as individuals. Things that need to happen prior to Monday evening. Things that need to happen before he gets home. Limits and boundaries that need to be respected. Time and food considerations. Toy’s been teasing me about my section being blank. The thing is, I did write things in my section, but either she or they both liked and agreed with them, so they became group expectations, or the girls’ expectations instead of just mine.

Do I have singular expectations? I don’t have many limits when it comes to playing with him, and those I have, she has, too. They’ve both asked, don’t I have limits with her? Well, certainly, if I was just playing with her, but the point of this is that I’m not. I’m playing with them both. And where he is the top of the structure, my limits follow.

What about other expectations, outside of limits? They seem to be things implicit in the agreement. I expect toy and I will share the chores. I expect to have fun and share new things with them both. I expect that sometimes I will have to help toy destress after work before he gets home. I expect this all will take work and balance and commitment from all of us. I expect to learn and grow. None of these things are requirements that need to be delineated in the contract, however.

We have work left to do and a busy weekend ahead. More thoughts next week. For now, check out my new Corset Care and Bootblacking pages over at Care Of Kinky Clothing.

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Kneeling

February 24th, 2011

Kneeling has been on my mind a lot lately. Putting her on her knees on Monday. Kneeling daily to meditate and reflect for him. Talking about teaching her to do the same for us, and honor the practice.

Kneeling has always meant submission to me. When we agreed I would be his submissive, I told him one of the things I liked was to kneel. It began about a year ago, he taught me the position he preferred and asked me to work my way up to thirty minutes every day. To use the time to reflect on our relationship, and connect with him on days we are not together. I used it often last year to offer my submission to him.

Over the course events last year, I had disruptions in my kneeling practice. At times, I was so busy and spending my free time with other partners, and so would miss a day here and there. Last fall, when I was writing 500 words every day, I would not always kneel as well, it was a bad time for many reasons. But, I always come back to it, I make plans to find the time, create the time, or make it a priority again. For a while, I was kneeling at the club or at practice, but that was taking time away from us. So, I stopped doing that and returned it to the privacy of my apartment. I think part of me during that time also wanted the acknowledgment and attention of doing it publicly, and that was not the reason for it, either.

Why is it important to me? Why do I do it?

The most simplistic answer is that I am submissive to him. I have had a submissive attitude towards him since the first time he asked me if I had knee pads. I believe it would take something truly horrific, and then probably also complete separation for me to stop feeling submissive to him. So, I do it because he told me to, because he expects me to. Because, it is a sign of my submission to him. Due to various things, our play is limited right now. Kneeling for him and meditating on our relationship gives me a way to feed my submissive self.

I do it every day because I like to kneel, it is a comfort to me. And by doing it every day, I get my body used to it, I am able to kneel for longer, and some day I may even find a way that reliably does not cause numbness. Or at least less. I have already found that standing up, though initially difficult, does relieve the numbness fastest. Unless a particular joint is swollen on a day, the position does not cause much pain anymore. There is discomfort from the numbness, but the ache of maintaining the position is minimal, and only grows if I fidget or try to adjust. Staying still, I have found, is the best way to maintain for longer.

So, I kneel for him, I kneel for us and I kneel for myself.

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Reflection

May 20th, 2010

These last few weeks, I have not done justice to myself, my partners, or to you, my readers. Last week’s post was the best of the bunch, a description of a wonderful scene. But what has been going on? What’s been happening along my journey? What were those cryptic and scattered posts about? And what ever happened to those needles? Let me begin by acknowledging my failures and then discussing them.

Firstly, when I brought him the needles, I did not beg for him to put them in me. I had been told to do this, and I had agreed to do this, but I did not. Since realizing that failure, I have only begged for the needles twice in person and once on IM. Other failures and issues have come up, and I do want the needles and we have talked about them here and there, but I find myself putting aside this want while I work on other things. It is important to me, but I continue to give other issues priority.

My second failure was letting fear and uncertainty keep me from going into object space. I was not initiating it and when he tried, I was putting him off with some form of ‘not yet’ and then not going back to it myself. Since acknowledging this failure, I had two evenings when I began initiating but did not follow through, one evening when I followed through and only slipped up once, and one evening when I followed through for a majority of the evening, but then let outside influences disrupt my focus.

I also had last week’s scene where he put me into object space for the majority of the scene. I felt very grateful that he was willing to take me there again. Within the scene, it was also a very helpful anchor for processing as he had taken away my anchors of sight and touch. The focus that it created put me in a mindset of being an object for his pleasure and his use and allowed me to not just endure, but enjoy the pain, the fear, the tears and the relinquishing of control.

My third failure involved acting like a spoiled little child. I did not just question his decisions, I flat out told him no. I whined that I was learning and and that I was doing what he asked, all the while, doing the exact opposite by the very objections and fight I was putting up. I let my initial confusion turn into fear and doubt instead of being clear and accepting and communicative. I was so far into myself that I could not even see what I was doing. He took the time, once again to hold up a mirror and shine a bright light on it until I could see. He gave me back the paragraphs I had copied for him about being looking beyond imperfection, being happy, working hard, doing without question, being intelligent, helpful, serving and not letting fear and doubt get in my way. I had failed to do any of these things, and I was to keep the papers until I could actually live up to them.

The previous day we had a scene which had me kneeling for forty-five minutes, fifteen longer than I had ever previously done. It began with begging for the needles, and ended with the only thought in my head being that I could not get up until he told me I could. I had given over all my wants and needs to that one single thought, that one want – to please him at the expense of all else, by staying on my knees. It was quite a delicious scene, to let go that fully – freeing, and cathartic as I cried for the last ten minutes of it. He ended it by lifting me off the ground and onto the couch, covering me with a blanket and bringing me water. Our time was limited that day, but he made the most of it, for us both.

The next day, he had concerns that I needed time to reflect on that scene. Walls were broken down and I needed time to reflect and heal stronger. He also had concern for the number of people installing programming in my head and the possible dangers in that. Conflicting programming could lead to hesitation and doubt. Two people pushing the same button could take things further than intended if they did not know what the other was doing or thinking. This led to more communication with all my partners about wants and needs. Defining boundaries more clearly for all involved.

My fourth failure was being presumptuous and selfish and in a hurry. I tried to give back the paragraphs. I tried to play the I’m learning card again, forgetting that what he was asking of me was not just learning, but doing – putting the learning into action. And putting it into action consistently, not just for a few days. Giving the papers back was not ‘the next step’ it was four or five steps further along my path. I had only just begun putting my lessons into action, and in fact, just two days before, I let others ruin my focus and keep me from doing what I wanted.

I spent this conversation on my knees, where I had gone to offer the papers. He kept me there until I answered his questions. I stayed there because I had put myself there, offered that submission to him, and it was his until he was done with it. I did ask to get up once and accepted his denial. At the end, he set a timer for five minutes and told me to think about how not to end up there again, not on my knees, but having failed in that way again. He would burn the papers the next time, if we both did not agree I had lived up to them. I do not know how long I was on my knees that time, over thirty minutes I know, but beyond that it did not matter. I focused on what I had done and why, and on putting learning into action. When the timer went off, he asked me if I needed to get up. I said yes, and he told me to stand. I forced myself up onto completely numb feet, using the table for support. Looking into his eyes, and using my drive to do ask he asked as motivation, I was able to stay upright while circulation returned. Determination and motivation are wonderful tools.

My fifth failure was lack of focus and attention. I had some trouble assisting with suspensions last weekend. I had not been keeping up my tying practice. I did not read situations as quickly and as well as I should have been able to. I did not keep my eyes moving between all the participants of the scene. I am grateful that he was able to communicate with me about these situations and explain to me more clearly his expectations. We had five good suspensions each night, and the patrons all enjoyed their flights and are eager for more. I have since practiced my ties, and have a clearer idea of my responsibilities in our scenes. I expect further insight on this topic once we have both had time to reflect and discuss.

So, where does all this put me now? I am learning and growing and doing. I am making mistakes, I am failing, but I am still moving forward, albeit sometimes with tiny steps. I am lucky to have him holding my hand and guiding me – showing me the path when I lose sight of it or get turned around. Our love and trust for each other keeps us together, and enables us to overcome challenges, failures and miscommunications. The image of a feudal system just came to mind: I serve him and he keeps me safe. Sometimes, he asks more of me than I think I can give, but his belief in me moves me to go beyond my own expectations and push harder and reach further than I thought possible. I have a wonderful life, wonderful partners and I am learning and growing and doing more than I ever imagined was possible.

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Failure and Perfection

April 22nd, 2010

Failure of perfection. Perfection of failure. Fail again. Fail better. Make mistakes with confidence. Reach for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.

I grew up with the expectation of perfection. All A’s in school or there better be a good reason. High test scores, do well in academic competitions. Best behavior, don’t cause trouble. Be polite and kind to everyone. Do everything to the best of your ability.

So, what happens when failure is the expectation? When the object is to push and push until you fail? When failure is the road to growth? How do I reconcile this with my ingrained desire for perfection? Which, when it comes down to it, has become a fear of failure.

Well, it’s just one more fear to overcome, then, isn’t it? What am I truly afraid of? What does failure mean? Why is it scary? Failure equates to loss, for me. Loss of face, loss of respect, loss of pride, loss of love, loss of approval. I need to rewrite this equation. Failure is the road to success. Failure is the path to learning and growth. Great things have been accomplished in the history of man through even greater failures. If I allow myself to be paralyzed by the fear of failure, I will never even try. I will never grow. I will never know what I could accomplish.

I have allowed my fear to stop me these past two weeks. I have let uncertainty and hesitation keep me from growing. I have given fear the control instead of giving it to him. I have failed to try. To top it all off, I even failed to see what was happening and to communicate it to him. Fortunately, he saw it, and he did not fail me. He turned on the light and shined it in my eyes until I could see, and kept it there until I could understand and accept and admit it.

Now I take the next step. Eyes wide open, I accept failure. I will walk out on the wire and not look down for the net. If I slip and fall, I’ll make a beautiful dive on the way down. I will, as always, do my best, but I will not let fear hold me back. I will accept the risks, enjoy both failure and success, and learn from them, too. There are things I want to do, places I want to go, experiences I want to taste, fears to overcome, limits to break.

I am so lucky and grateful to have people around me who accept me for who I am, for what I can and cannot do(this list gets smaller every day), and who push me to be better than I ever thought possible. Who, when I fall down, reach out a hand and help me back to my feet. Who believe in me, even when I am at my worst and who rejoice with me when I am at my best.

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It’s a Crying Shame

December 2nd, 2009

Some months ago, I wanted to cry and I was ashamed of that desire. Not just cry, I wanted to be Made to cry. I wanted to be pushed so hard that tears came bursting forth in and uncontrollable fury. But I was afraid. I was afraid that this was a ridiculous desire. That it was childish to want to cry for no particular reason. That wanting the release and cleansing of flowing tears was simply weakness. I was afraid that it would change things, too, with whoever made me cry. I had never gone there before and it looked terribly dark. I did not want that unknowable change in my marriage, and that was a difficult decision and a difficult discussion. My lover, more experienced than either myself or my husband, became the giver of those tears. It was the release I needed at the time, and nothing was changed or broken in the giving.

Since then, my edges and the darkness have been moved and pushed and shoved. Tears are no longer shameful to me, but they still have a specific place in my play. There is still darkness when I think of bringing them into my home. The tenderness and love between my husband and myself seems incompatible to a tearful scene.

My lover, more often than not, gets the tears through fear these days. Threats of freshly remembered intense pain or of heightening the current level of pain can drive me over the edge. (Nipple clamps of various varieties are usually present in these threats.) Tearfully begging for mercy or for the pain to stop. Sometimes he grants it, and sometimes not, driving me further into tears or into complete surrender where the tears stop and soft stillness comes.

My other partner has only brought out tears twice. Both were corporal scenes, but they had a heavy mental elements that had more to do with the tearful response. In both situations, expectations were set, and tears came when I failed to meet those expectations. The pain levels were high, but it was the mental game that was more costly.

In the first, I was given a task, an object that was not to be dropped. It fell twice and tears fell swiftly behind it, but were gone again when he gave me another chance after a few choice strikes for the drop. It was an incredibly intense scene, the tears just one more spice in the delicious flavor.

The second, was a flogging scene set to music, and the final song came on, and he said he would flog the whole song at the same tempo and strength. I soon began to falter under the heavy strikes, and tears welled up as I thought I would not make the entire song. As I fell down and stood back up several times, his strikes never missed. Tears were flowing freely as I fell the final time, turning slightly towards him, but my back still raised to accept his strikes. He stopped then, accepting my surrender and my tears. His acceptance washed away my tearful disappointment in myself, and I smiled when he said I would do better next time.

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