Friday, December 11, 2009

Different paths - mileage may vary

It seems there are many paths to take towards a loving consistent DD way of life. I am very conscious about not saying towards a perfect DD life, because I don't think that exists - just like I don't think a perfect marriage exists. Both (or maybe in our cases they are one in the same) are living breathing things that take lots of nourishment and constant care to keep them thriving.

Melanie and I were talking the other day and some of the differences that exist occurred to me. One of the important benefits of DD, actually it's the most important to me, is the closeness and connection that it can bring to a relationship. I've always been a fairly closed off person and through DD I've allowed some of my layers to be peeled back - sort of like an onion. Somehow though DD; Dan paying attention to me, me knowing he is at least in part through him spanking me the layers start to peel away. The result of that is a warmer and closer connection to him which I love and I believe he loves too.

The problem that we haven't yet fully figured out is how to keep them peeled back. It's like we are on the same page for a while and the layers are moving but then we stall and it's almost like the layers start to grow over. This is a difference between Melanie and I. I think she can get to the 'layers are peeled' place in a couple of ways; Thomas being loving and consistent with DD in their house will certainly keep her walls down (or layers peeled) but I also think with effort she is able to decide to let her layers peel away but either way it leaves her raw and open to hurt. And so she has to be really confident that Thomas will treat her with kid gloves.

Whereas I don't have the first clue how to peel back my own layers or tear down my walls - though I have seen with DD they can move on their own. I truly want the walls down; at least towards Dan, as I believe this will keep us more connected - more of a unit, and I think DD is a method towards making that happen. But I think because we haven't figured out exactly what DD means in our every day life the layers don't tend to stay peeled. So it feels like we take two steps forward and one step back.

I do think I am figuring out that spanking itself is a key for me and my layers. I'm not sure why and I'm not sure how, but if nothing spanking related happens for more than three weeks or so, I can feel my walls going back up. I can feel myself getting more tense about things in general. Maybe I'm just enough of a doubting Thomas (no offense Thomas) that I need the concrete reminder. If that one piece is there (Dan paying attention to me and I am reminded of this by a spanking) and it can be counted on - the rest of life is easier to take. I'm pretty sure that we'll get there. Dan has been really great of late. But we're still working on the finer points. It's hard for him to think it's okay to spank for the normal stuff in the course of our lives. He'll say things - so I know he's not completely ignoring it or me - like 'stop, you're being snappish', or 'that's enough', or 'stop it right now'. It's mostly just little stuff. But I think there will come a day when he decides that's enough to spank over - or three of those things is enough. I'm not going to suddenly start being a royal brat that does all these awful things so we'll have to figure out what things will warrant a spanking and hopefully we'll find a way to keep the layers from growing over again. I truly believe he'll eventually get to a place where he'll be comfortable spanking over the day to day stuff because I think that may be the only thing that gets me spanked often enough for my layers to not start growing over again.

I was saying to Melanie - my way is frustratingly, excruciatingly slow. It drives me insane some of the time - sitting and waiting for something to happen - waiting to find out whether Dan meant what he last said about DD; whatever it was. But the result for me is frustration or anger - occasionally I can get hurt too, but really I keep my walls high enough to protect me from that. Melanie, however, can get really hurt as she opens herself up by putting her walls down and trusting in Thomas. If he doesn't follow through with what he said he was going to do; or worse yet if he's just insensitive to her needs in general - the result for her is hurt.

So sometimes I look at her and many others I know and think OMG we'll never get there. We often seem stalled in the same place or the steps we take make baby steps seem like giant leaps, but we have not had these huge starts and stops with lots of ups and downs and wild fluctuations and massive hurt and crying jags. We're walking in a relatively straight line - even if it's taking a long time to get there. Others I know, in some ways including Melanie, took off at rocket speed and have gotten much further than I ever have only to have these wild ups and downs and a measure of drama along the way. I'm not sure which way is better; certainly they both have pros and cons and I believe both are equally successful.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Two Sides...

There are two things I need from my husband.

1. I need him to be my rock. I need to be able to lean on him, to rail against him, to push with all my might – and I need to him to be immovable in his care and affection of me. Immovable.

2. I need him to be the soft place I land when I fall – my safe place in this world.

Is it fair for me to ask both these things of him?

I ask these things with the understanding that he’s human – he will not always come through for me. But I need him to try with unwavering commitment.

We’ve had several conversations about how he struggles with balancing in these things – or at the very least understanding how they can coexist.

I really feel like they are two sides of the same coin. If he is all of the first things to me – my immovable rock, then – and only then – can I trust him to be my safe, soft place.

A phrase is coming to mind I can’t quite bring up – something about velvet steel. It’s an accurate image in my head but I can’t think of the phrase.

I hate having DD compared to parenting but there just are some comparisons to be made. I am those two things to my child. I am the boundaries she needs, her guide through everything, and I am the place she runs when she needs comfort.

I want those things from my husband. I think from our conversation today he understands now what I mean but…

Is it fair? Am I wrong to ask this of him?

Monday, November 2, 2009

When the cat's away the mouse totally ignores the house

The kids and I picked Dan up at the airport after he'd been out of town on business. We had a nice dinner out and then came home well after dark. We pulled into the garage and he went to get the mail. While at the box he called all three of us outside with him claiming there was a problem with the house. As he's told me in the past that I forget to turn the lights off too much I correctly figured I'd left some lights on and I immediately started laughing. I knew exactly where this conversation was going to go and what the result to my butt was going to be and I couldn't stop laughing. I thought that was a bad sign for my laughing problem. He led us around the house like a haphazard troop until we had all but circled the house and literally every single room was lit up like Christmas. Even the unfinished basement. And me... I was nearly hyperventalating I was laughing so hard. He was trying to get the kids to guess what was wrong with the house and they weren't getting it and I had tears streaming down my face.

With my history of hysterical laughter at the wrong moment, you can imagine I was more than a little worried this was not a good sign of things to come. Due to our schedule it took several days before it was time to deal with my inattention. He pulled out the small leather paddle that had bruised me so intensely the last time it was used and told me that not only was it for the fact that every single light was turned on in the house while he was away, but several other issues of inattentiveness as well;
- I’d not brought in a single newspaper while he was gone (I don’t read them and despite the fact that he’s mentioned it in the past it almost never crosses my mind)
- He IMed me on trash night reminding me to get our son to take out the trash. I confidently assured him it had already been taken care of (I mean what kind of idiot can’t remember to take the trash to the curb) I’d even pulled our 2nd trash can oub because we’d gone over our normal one can load….. Well it turns out in my cockiness after I put the extra trash in the 2nd can and took it to the curb.... I went inside and totally forgot the original, bursting at the seems can. Oops.
- While he was away I had not signed our younger son’s agenda even once signifying he’d done his reading for the night. I did make sure the reading was done; I just didn’t sign the paper. I’ve got no excuse for this one – well I do, but it’s so bad that it just makes it worse.

He had me lean over the bed and he pulled down my pants and underwear and began. He started out really lightly and very slowly built up the intensity. He got to a medium intensity and held there for a while and I definitely got the feeling I could get seriously turned on by some more playful domineering in the bedroom that would include that kind of thing. It seemed inappropriate to be having those thoughts so I pushed them away and before long he was going harder and those thoughts were completely gone all by themselves.

For the most part I was really concentrating on making sure I didn’t laugh, though as it turned out I really didn’t have the urge to which I was very happy about. Well that is until he asked me if I’d gone over the health review with our older child that evening. He’d specifically asked me to after I mentioned I wanted it to get done. I didn’t tell Dan, though I knew that our son had a few more days before it had to be done so it wasn’t that high on my priority list when I mentioned it. But I never told Dan that and he had very specifically told me it was my responsibility to make sure that got done that night. Oops. Once I told him no that I hadn’t done it, I didn’t go into any explanation as I knew it was irrelevant, he went a lot harder. Then he asked me to list the four reasons, no make that five reasons I was getting spanked. Man was that hard. And then I couldn’t come up with the signing the agenda one. I got to that one and said “I have no idea what the fifth one is” okay that was a painful answer. Eventually it came to me, but not before I collapsed to the floor a couple of times to get away from the paddle.

My overall impressions were that I thought he did a good job of heading down the road towards helping me get in the right mindset for this, though I think the world series being on in the room (which I wanted to be on as much as he did) took away from that a bit. While he was talking to me, not quite lecturing, he kept looking up at the TV which was behind and above me. I think a more serious tone about the stuff that matters to him would continue to push me where I think I need to go, maybe even reiterating what he said from time to time.

As far as the intensity is concerned overall it was pretty good though it could have either been harder or longer, or maybe both. It didn't feel quite finished, but not in a bad way. He seemed physically uncomfortable during it, standing and sitting repeatedly, so maybe we need to work on a different position.

I would be very interested to keep going at the medium intensity that he spent a bit of time on for a much longer period of time. I'd be interested to see how that effected me. but I'd need to know it was going to last longer going in. I'm wondering if maybe more time would let me think more about the issue and give my mind time to let go of my astonishment that I'm actually in that position, but only of course if he was comfortable doing that.

Let me tell you when he asked me questions in the middle - That was really, really good. That was the place in the whole experience that was the most.. uh.. real or intense or something as far as my mind was concerned. The whole way he handled that - how when I didn't know the 5th reason he just calmly went a lot harder - it brought it home to me in a different kind of way that this was his show, not mine. Even when I finally did remember and managed to get it out he told me I wasn't specific enough and asked for more detail and until I said what he was looking for he was wailing away really hard. I can't say I liked how that part felt on my butt, but I definitley liked how real that felt for my mind.

Overall I'd say it was a very good and positive experience - one that leaves me feeling closer and more connected to my wonderful husband.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

The right sentiment, the wrong approach

So after my last post Dan and I had a long conversation over the course of a week or so and we ended up in a really good place, though we were still preparing for the big conference and that was taking up lots and lots of time. We managed to work together very much like the team we are. I felt closer to him again. Part of that long conversation involved me taking DD off the table - I told him I wasn't wed to it, but I was wed to the closeness it seemed to bring to us and if he didn't want to do DD that was fine, but he needed to come up with another way to bring us that closeness. I told him I believed he was getting a lot out of DD and if he did want to do it, he needed to own it and own what it brings to him as well as what it brings to us. He gave it some thought and agreed - he did get things out of it and he liked what it gave to us he definitely wanted to do it.

Flash forward - we've made it though the conference and it's two weeks later and during the last month or so he's been really nicely HOH-y. Lots of swats, lots of decisions, I feel protected and cared for...... but

Of course there's a but - enough time has passed without there actually being any spanking that it's starting to feel a little ... uh... staged, fake, uh something along those lines. Like it's just lip service. I can totally see his mind working. He knows he should spank me, but it's not like I'm running around like an idiot giving him all these obvious reasons and I know him, he doesn't want to fuck it up so he's doing nothing. I can see him think about it - hmmm maybe I should use that as a reason to spank her - but what if she doesn't like that reason - what if it's not good enough - I want to do this right. I totally appreciate his thought on this and I've been really wanting to let him figure this out. I've said from the beginning that I fully expected we'd have a longer road to travel to get to some semblance of regular and consistent DD and I've been totally correct on that score. I really feel like we're sitting on the cusp - he gets it - it's good for him, it's good for me, it's really good for us. He's just heaped all this extra pressure on himself because he's worried he'll get it wrong which has led to total inactivity.

I've been thinking in the past week or so.... okay I'm ready for you to do something. I really don't want to have to "turn the crank" again. I don't want to be in charge, I don't want to decide, but okay now, I'm ready.

So now we get to this weekend. We've got a lot on our plate this weekend and it was really stressing me out. I asked him for help and that didn't go well - mostly because of a bunch of mis-communications but we ended up yelling at each other which we almost never ever do. Then today, on Saturday I had just a stupid day - lots of things didn't go all that well and I was still stressed all day. I can see Dan is worried about me, he wants to take care of me and make the stress go away - I love him for that.

but... he came into our room tonight after the kids were down and closed the door and said... I have a theory of what might help you. I think I've waited too long to give you a stressbuster. It's two weeks after the conference and I think I should have been helping you out more and I think it could be helpful to you. So if you're willing and if you want me to, I think tonight I could give you a stressbuster. I told him that I didn't really "get" stressbusters. Oh, he said, well I could spank you because you were snippy to me, or because you're va clempt (don't know how to spell that), or cuz you yelled at me last night. Hey, you yelled at me too. Yeah, but I don't like to be spanked. Then he said - you have absolutely no sense of humor about this do you? Nope, I said. Well, I'll be downstairs if you need me. And he left.

I told Melanie about this conversation and she asked how I felt about it. After some thought I told her "I feel like it won't work for me if he's asking for my permission, particularly when if I don't specifically give it he leaves." I really think if I'd said.. yeah honey that sounds like a great idea it would have totally pissed me off. I sat there and stared at him thinking - oh wow, go Dan I'm glad you finally got there on your own - I should totally let him do it so I can then give him positive feed back and we can move down this path but - I couldn't do it. I was already too stressed I just couldn't add more to me and that's what it would have been.

What would have worked for me....
Over the past couple of weeks.... There have been lots of times when I could see it crossing his mind... I should probably spank for that, we-ell maybe I should wait for something bigger, yeah I'll wait. I think he should have just done it - just gone ahead and spanked and then let us talk about it afterward. Maybe he'd have done it for something I didn't agree with and it would have pissed me off, maybe it would have been blah, maybe it would have been wonderful. I won't hold an attempt against him.

For me - DD is about feeling protected. Feeling cared for. Feeling paid attention to. Why him deciding he should spank me makes me feel that way I have no idea. But it's not the spanking, or it wouldn't matter if I was the one to decide it needed to get done - so it has to be that it's his decision to do it. He's watching me, he's seeing something, anything, some way I could be better; nicer, more respectful, more careful with myself, my health, gotten more sleep. Something. Anything.

I really think we both get something unexpected out of this, but until we practice this regularly and consistently and unfortunately for my butt I think that means actual spankings, we won't learn what actually works for us and what doesn't. It might turn out that we rarely have spankings. It might turn out that we have them scheduled every other Sunday no matter what's going on. We might find out that longer but lighter spankings work best for us or that shorter and harder ones are better or as is my guess there is a place for both.

But we won't learn anything until he's ready to decide to do something and not just decide to ask for my permission to do something.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Turning the crank

We have this cycle. And maybe the cycle changes each time - for the better - I'm not sure if that's true of if I'm just making excuses. Frankly I'm tired of the cycle and I want off. But I don't know what off means. I don't want to go back to the way it used to be - which wasn't bad - but felt less close and connected.

Wait - let's talk about the cycle. I say something specific about DD to Dan (sometimes through email, sometimes a conversation, lately it's been through this blog; he reads it. I've actually avoided blogging here because I was hoping the cycle might change - but ... not so much. So back to it... I say something do Dan and he says... "you know I was just thinking I should spank you for this or that. In fact if you hadn't said something tonight I was going to talk to you about it tomorrow." and then he spanks me. Somewhere in there before and/or after we'll have this good and in depth conversation about us and stuff and whatnot and it leaves me feeling like we're on the same page. For me the aftermath of those things is always a sense of being closer and more connected with him. We're more in tune; a team - I feel more love and happiness and security flowing around our home. I can so easily overlook things I would otherwise find annoying - or if not overlook certainly they don't really bother me. (Like leaving the bread open or the milk on the counter).

For him - I don't know what he feels - but he'll act as though he's more in tune with me. We seem to joke more, play more, there seem to be lots of places where he'll get all "HOH-y" even in jest as in "AH AH AH Stop right now" or "Enough!" or he'll just come up and whack my ass here and there to accentuate his point. This will last for ... eh... a few weeks until it slowly dwindles away. Maybe that happens related to his travel schedule, maybe not, I don't know.

But then we get to this place we're in now, where we're basically roommates again. We get along great. We still laugh, but less. We have sex - sometimes more sometimes less - but even that feels less connected. It'll bother me more if he gets up afterward to go back to work (in his den downstairs) or it'll bother me less and that will bother me more. Any HOH-y things that he does are now few and far between - just today he said... "you're the leader (on a house project we're working on) but I'm still in charge" I stopped myself from saying... "Yeah right", I thought that was the mature thing to do.

It's not that I like to be spanked per se, I really don't - it hurts. (though I will say I'm very interested in playing with spanking and pain in a fun and sexual way, but am not sure Dan's yet ready to try that) But for me, it seems a small price to pay for the connection and harmony it brings to me - I'd like to say to us, but I think Dan would argue that point - it's not logical enough for him (but I think he'd be wrong). I've told him repeatedly I want more spanking in my life, I want to feel his ... presence. I want to say feel his authority but again I know he'll read this and I think he'll balk at that word - want to argue and dissect the language of it. (ok he doesn't really argue at all) What he does do is say over and over - I want to meet your needs, keep telling me what you want and we'll see how it goes. And I keep telling him and he'll dutifully repeat it back in his own words to make sure he really gets what I'm saying and then.... not a thing. At least not until I wind the little crank on the side of our cycle again by saying something to him and then it'll all start over again..

Maybe the fact that today, 8 weeks to the day since the last time he spanked me, he made the comment about him being in charge is something I should view as a sign he won't always need me to wind the crank - maybe not. But for me - as time passes and the stuff related to DD that he does is less and less I feel less and less important to him. I feel less and less connected to him. More alone. The bread and milk kind of things he does bother me more and more. I don't like this cycle. He asked me the other day... are their lesbian couples who practice DD too (as if that's what we do) and again I refrained from saying something snarky and immature. I think I should get a prize for that.

I know he'll say - Man, I'm sorry, it's just the project I'm working on (which is in a little more than a month from now and is certainly a huge time sucker). But I don't buy that. By the time the project rolls around it'll have been a quarter of a year since he last spanked me. (assuming he doesn't read this little post and notice that I'm turning the crank) And in every quarter of every year there's a lot of life that happens; big and small. And I want to be his priority - always.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Maslow's Hierarchy

So the last few months - maybe even 6 or 8 months - DD has just been barely existing in this house. As I mentioned the last time I posted (which was in May! I'm so lame.) we've had a lot of life stresses lately. This economy has effected my husband's job very badly. As of last week or so things are looking up, he's working steady and things are great! This is a huge relief, of course.

But while all of this has been going on, I was very frustrated that our DD was just gone. Slowly but surely disappeared. *poof*

And things start to get better at work and suddenly two days later Thomas is being all HOHy and saying DD things. And all I can think is, "What in the world?!?!" And frankly it made me mad. I felt abandoned when the DD died and to suddenly have it back because he was happy about work really made me feel.... secondary I guess is the best word.

So today while I'm showering, I'm thinking. (It's a good place to think. No one is usually talking to me - at least not steadily. My child came in three times to ask for things! lol) Anyway, I was thinking about the switch and then I started thinking about Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

Don't think I'm crazy. Just stick with me here.

So first there's the basics on that chart. The first level we still had. The 2nd - Safety, yes. Security, definitely not! The 3rd level, yes. The 4th? His self-esteem was shot - not supporting his family in the manner he's used to was driving him crazy. He was getting so depressed. I had to - in fact - kind of take control of our life and give him things to get done and activities to keep busy with so he didn't sit and go stir crazy.

As we got further and further from having had security, the worse it got. Actually, at first it was like he was more focused on DD but as time went on - not so much.

And really I think DD - in the realm of relationship ideals - goes in that top level. It's not just function as a couple... DD gives us a system by which to function in harmony.

Without all the other things it just came toppling down around us. I think certainly it withstands normal life stresses but unemployment type situations are not normal.

Everything is okay now at work and it seems to already be reappearing.

I just thought the thought itself was interesting. I bet Maslow wasn't thinking about DD or spanking, eh?

I wish I'd had this thought before we went through this last year or so. Maybe the next time some major life thing throws us for a loop I'll be better prepared for our reactions to it DD-wise.

Monday, July 20, 2009

That intangible connection

Dan and I get along so wonderfully well - it's just easy. We truly like each other. That said we'd been distant from each other. Life just got in the way. He had a heavy travel schedule for work, the kids were running us in opposite directions, then a project he works on got some bad reviews and even though he had no control whatsoever on the parts that people didn't like he took it very personally and sort of retreated into himself. I knew he needed the space and I did my best to give it to him, but still... we weren't a unit - we were two people living in the same house getting done what needed to get done.

I was lonely.
I was missing him. It effected both of us. We just weren't us, we weren't fighting exactly, but we were distant and separate. It had been gradual, but it was there and it just didn't feel good - we just weren't connected anymore. We were still going through motions, but we were laughing a lot less and smiling less and just... life wasn't as rich.

The tension was getting to me and I did some things I wasn't proud of and ultimately confessed to him via email. I chose email because I knew that would give him the time and space he'd need to digest what I was telling him and for him to decide how to deal with it. The odd thing for me was that just hitting send on the email made me feel closer to him, almost like the world was falling back into place.

The next night he spanked. Hard. I could go into the spanking, but I won't - the point here is - since he's spanked - really since he got home and we were both awake the next day even before he spanked - we've been connected again. We've been laughing and joking and easy again. I don't know what it is exactly. Is it that I had to be honest and vulnerable to confess my sins? or to lay there and be spanked? Or is it just that we were paying attention to each other again... me to what I did and how it effected him and him to dealing with me and letting me know he wasn't happy with what I did. I really don't know - but what I do know is that we are back to being us again. The laughter is back, the comfort is back, the easy is back, we are back.

I think maybe that a spanking; both the giving of it and the receiving of it is an intimate act that forces you both to be totally focused on each other and maybe it's that focus that solidified our being back. If I have to deal with a week of sitting a bit uncomfortably and some serious bruises - well that is a really such a small price to pay for such a big and valuable thing. I love my husband.