Thursday, August 31, 2006

Unlocked - and Hint at the Truth

No deep thoughts, just an anecdote:

I mentioned in "Tip-toeing" that my beloved presented me with a necklace as a virtual chastity device. We haven't talked much about it beyond agreeing that it means what it used to mean, which is that I can't masturbate with it on, and I can't take it off; she has to do that. It was a brief, all to telegraphic conversation to be really satisfying, but infinitely better than nothing - sometimes I feel like a prisoner struggling for a glimpse of sky.

I decided to test this theory today as she was giving me a haircut, and asked if I could not wear the necklace this evening. She responded "Why?" and I said, "Well, if it means what it used to mean, I have some activity I'd like to engage in." She said "OK," but I suggested that "it would work better" if she removed the necklace and put it on again. So she took it off. My, how heavy it felt. As she left, she said, "Have a nice shower" with a little wink.

I decided to wait - she's out tonight. Our conversation would have been a little longer had my sister-in-law not driven in to the driveway - bad timing! But I'm glad we talked about it at least a very little anyway. I'll take my pleasure after doing an errand or two and getting thoroughly "lathered up" surfing the net.

And I don't know how the necklace is going to get back on; most likely I'll have to ask her, which will be OK.

In the meanwhile, I'm running an errand for a female friend of hers (who is not a particular favorite of mine - my beloved called in an off-hand manner just after she left and asked if I would). And doing a couple of things around the house that I hope she'll notice.

I'm probably not very good at this, but so help me I'm going to try to get this to work this time.

For reasons I'll try to remember to explain soon, the old Chris Williamson song "You can know all I am" is running through my head.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Habits, Compulsions, and Bliss (Oh My!)

Being on vacation has been a wonderful tonic for looking at the habits of my life, particularly since this vacation has had two very distinct parts. The unprecedented one was five days along together - a first since the kids were born. The second was four days at "the beach house" - my father in law's, and one to which we have been going for close to 40 years (yikes!). And I found my mind-set was very different in both places.

While we were traveling around, it was just the two of us, and we were in places we hadn't been before - one of our favorite things to do. As I mentioned earlier, I most definately was not going to make this about what I want to have happen in our relationship. We had a wonderful time punctuated by a couple of interesting and fun things. We were distressingly close to where Candace's and Chris' profiles say they are. I wish we had been in a place to say "Hello," but we're far from there yet and I can't imagine that they'd have had any interest. The Venus On Top folks have monthly "munches" (as do many "alternative lifestyle" organizations). Perhaps we could brew something like that up. But not for a while, at least for us.

The fun stuff: lazy sex on a vacation morning, ending with a lovely orgasm for her and none for me. I'll have to admit, that was my idea (the sex, that is), because once we get started, it usually unfolds in whatever way works for her. Sometimes that's intercourse because that's what she wants. But about as often, it's her climaxing other ways and our figuring out that we're done. I always find that fun, and so it was on vacation.

While we were on our own, it was (I think) relatively easy to maintain that attitude of submission and service. Even just sitting around a camp site, there were about five times when stuff needed to be gotten from the car. I just went up and did it (as opposed to that subtle dance couples do - "I went last time..." "Do you want to get..." "Do you suppose we need...") That felt good.

I laid off the shaving at the camp site, but as we were leaving, she said, "I like it better when you shave." I said, "I figured I'd wait till we got to the hotel tonight." And then I went "DUH - Hello?!?!" and got my shaving stuff out of the car and shaved in the camp facilities. Little things, but fun.

And then at the hotel had really great sex - at least by 50+ year-olds standards, and managed to be fairly late for breakfast. It's fun being this age and a little irresponsible. In fact, one of the things I'm hoping will emerge from making the FLR nature of our relationship more explicit between the two of us is a sense of shared adventure and excitement exploring something new. And there were one or two things I'm not sure I would have done otherwise that did make sex great. That ended with a rollocking climax for me (as well as for my love), which certainly changes my mind set about this stuff - often not for the better.

And then we dropped back into family life with a vengence: picked up the kids and went to my father-in-law's beach house. Wow - in-laws, friends, kids, a mob and a half and we all had a great time. But not a place to be particularly intimate, and not a place where I can find much in the opportunities in the way of "service" or "submission." Partly, I suppose, that's a good thing - life here is so relaxed that no one ends up doing much that they don't want to do. Partly, I think it probably is a result of my being so "satisfied" (so as not to say "sated") - I wonder if I'm looking for those opportunities as carefully as I might otherwise.

So what does that say about my "Bliss?" Saratoga reflected on bliss and (I think) it means rather a different thing to him than it does to me. But it's just the kind of post that I love reading his blog for - I read it, don't think I "get" it, and find myself thinking about the ideas in it a couple of days later.

Saratoga used "bliss" as a jumping off point for a contemplation of whether male submissives find the idea of the "femdom" relationship much more interesting - "blissful" - than the reality. As he so succintly put it, "that idea is, as conceived, more fetishistic and toppy than truly submissive." And I think the point is very well taken - the idea of the femdom relationship is very different from the reality. And most male submissives have much more experience with their fantasies than they do with reality (present company included, I'm afraid).

In fact, I think there are three aspects of a male submissive's (or at least this male's - I'm becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the "submissive" label - more on that later I hope) fantasy or longing: the fetishy part (leather, boots, whips, etc), the cosmological part (women are superior to men, which might also be called the self-esteem part), and the relationship part (as in wife-led marriage or female-led relationships). Unravelling the relationship among those three things will be, for me, key to figuring out what I'm looking for.

Back to Saratoga and "bliss" - in the end, he wonders "whether something as-yet unattained, such as a prospective FemDom relationship, which depends upon a compatible, uncontrolled element, one's Domina, can actually be a person's bliss." I take Campbell to mean something different by bliss. My understanding of it is that "bliss" is the place that you go that recharges you; the place that when you go there, you're more energized after doing the work that you do than you were before you got there. Put another way, it's the place that you have to go, whether you want to or not.

It's true that your bliss could (I suppose) be completely internal; an internal fantasy that doesn't involve anyone else. But "following your bliss" is, I think, a lot of what the Web is about: enabling people to conceive of what's important to them, express it, and (most importantly) interact with other people who find their bliss in the same general corner of the congnitive universe. That's what makes the Wikipedia happen, and I think it's what makes all these blogs happen.

Is this my "bliss?" Well, here I am, so I'll go with this definition for a while.

This post has been written in parts, and since I started it, several opportunities have come up for "service" - fetching things on the beach, carrying things, doing dishes. It feels good. And it makes me think that the opportunities are there, I just have to look for them.

I'm somewhat dreading the return to "real life" - too many committments and too much to do.

I got so wrapped up in writing this that I forgot where I was going: Habits. Seeing the difference in my attitude and interest in submission in three different contexts - vacation , family, and everyday life - I wonder to what extent this interest is a "habit" - part of the way I've structured my world. It goes back, in some ways, to the comment I made about a meditation experience I had in which I couldn't conceive of "every day life" without my interest in submission.

If I changed my every-day circumstances, would this interest go away? "In my younger days" I thought that. But I've come to see the wisdom of the saying "Wherever you go, there you are" - it's still you. And though all the changes that have taken place in my life, this interest still returns. So I don't think it's just the circumstances of my situation, nor just "habit". I think that habit got created (in some way) from who I am. And that's the vaunted thread that I want to weave in to my life.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tip-toeing towards the dance floor

...or maybe just tapping our toes. A little bit of background, though. Five or more years ago my wife and I were talking about chastity and chastity devices. I actually ordered one of the first "production" CB-2000's. Alas, my anatomy and the CB-2000 aren't compatible, and it was nothing but a curiosity. My wife was somewhere between mystified and displeased by the whole thing, but was willing to go acquiesce.

The conversation continued very sporadically over the years and we came up with the idea of the "virtual" chastity device. I don't remember how it transpired, but in the end she bought me a gold necklace, and I (I think) came up with the idea that it would be our "chastity" device: I would neither put it on nor take it off, but would ask her to, since she gave it to me. But that I wouldn't get any sexual relief while the necklace was on unless it was in the context of sex with her.

That worked... sort of... for a while. But then the necklace developed its own kink (literally!) and in the end it came off for repairs. Which proved impossible and there it languished for several years. Lo and behold, for my recent birthday, another gold necklace appeared, this one more durable. Though the presentation was low-key, after a thoroughly enjoyable morning of connubial bliss, I asked...

"So, does this still mean what it used to mean?", to which she replied, "I don't see why not." It turns out the presentation was a little lower-key than it might otherwise have been due to the otherwise delightful presence of my sister in law, who dropped by for the birthday.

So here I sit, satisfied, so as not to say sated, not particularly attentive (for which I'm not particularly proud, but the day has been filled with domestic and work-related pandemonium), and wondering how this little scenario is going to play out.

I wish I could remember better how it came a cropper last time - I don't think it was just the necklace getting messed up.

I do remember about a year ago deciding to ask for permission to masturbate one morning and getting the reaction "It actually doesn't make any difference to me whether you do or don't." Which was actually true, and not meant in a malicious way, but cut me to the quick. I don't think I responded well. Since then, I haven't brought it up. Which made the necklace thing a little more surprising.

The domestic pandemonium will continue until we leave for vacation on Friday, so I don't expect I'll be posting much until we get back on September 1st.

Thanks for all the comments, and I guess I'll have a lot of reading to do on everybody else's blogs when I get back.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Two to Tango



Sooo frustrated.

This experience really has made me realize that it takes two to tango. There certainly are things that I can do to prepare the way for a relationship in which my wife is the dominant partner. Like practicing submission and getting my ego out of the way.

But for me it's hard to keep that attitude when there's nothing coming back. More pointedly, when I fear that if she knew what I was doing, she'd be pretty pissed off. Doesn't that sound counter to the whole point?

So if her wish is for me to forget about anything related to femdom, isn't that what I as the submissive, should do? On the one hand, of course. On the other hand, of course not. Were I able to wave my magic wand and have had (or even just have from now on), no submissive thoughts, no frisson whenever a femdom topic came up, I'd probably do that. It certainly would make my life simpler, and femdom is not making my life more satisfying right now.

Right now, it's making it more painful.

There is some scenario of the "perfect submissive" that makes submitting by not submitting perfect. For some reason, I'm reminded of an old Fassbinder movie, "The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant", I don't know why, or even if it's relevant; I haven't seen it in years. But regardless, I am not that "perfect submissive", though I'm sure the story of one such would make a pretty good piece of art. I'm not a novelist either.

I tried "being cured." I really think I gave that a good faith effort. Several thousand dollars worth of good faith effort, along with many many hours. Maybe therapy is a longer process than that, but that seemed to be all that was going to happen in my life, for time and money reasons.

And for a while, it worked. Why? Even at the time, I didn't know. But for a year or so, while perhaps not totally gone (or perhaps so), this wasn't around. It was neither a particularly good or bad year, as I dimly recall it.

But it's been back for a while (four or five years) and I'm going with the theory that 40 out of the last 50+ years say more about my life than one does.

There as another moment in which being submissive went totally away. It was in the context of a very deep meditation experience, the details of which I won't go in to. However during it, I heard the voice of the meditation teacher say, "I can take that away, you know. Do you want me to?" And for a split second, I say "Yes," and I saw what my psyche would look like without being submissive.

And there was this huge hole. And I was terrified. I honestly and totally could not conceive of myself without this aspect of my persona. And I "ran" in the other direction.

I have always thought of that as gift that was offered me, that I spurned. But writing this, I've come to think of it more as a challenge that I was issued, that I couldn't accept.

It is a moment of grace to be offered a "healing" without all the interior work that makes the healing happen from within. And it takes a certain kind of strength and faith to accept that healing. I'm honored that it was offered and disappointed in myself that I lacked the strength or faith it would have taken to accept it.

But that leaves me with having to do the work to build the foundation, and then the building, brick by brick, as it were, until that hole becomes filled and becomes part of what makes me stronger, rather than weaker, (at the risk of mixing metaphors...)

So how do I do that? It takes two to tango.

We're taking a vacation soon, one that will bring us tantalizing close to the location listed by a prominent blogger on these subjects. I'm not ready for a conversation even in the remote chance that one were possible with this blogger, so that won't happen. More to the point, I want this to be a care-free vacation. It will be more fun for her than for me because I know this will be on my mind, but this is the first kid-less vacation in 12+ years and I'm not selfish enough to turn it in to psychotherapy session about myself.

When we come back, however, I think what I've been calling the conversation has to happen in some form or another. For now, I have to think lovingly and constructively about how that could happen.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

"To live as that grey creature in that grey world from before I let myself dream"

I don't often post about other people's posts (I figure that's what comments are for), but this post by "lenora" really touched a nerve. She comments on the remnant of a blog about spanking, which the poster removed, leaving (among other things) the note that forms the title of this entry.

It's a subject that's been rolling around in my head for a while: "Can I not do 'this'?" My current working answer is "No, I have to do this." Or, in other terms, "It's part of who I am and it's not going away."

This was the realization that impelled me to start this blog

Among the men who are interested in power relationships (sheesh - some time I'm going to have to do an entry on terminology - "power relationships" vs "D/s" vs "wife-led marriage" vs "female-led relationships") there is this common theme: "I threw all my 'stuff' away; I'm done with this now." Some call it "purging." But it clearly doesn't work for some large number of people.

[OK, the logician in me feels compelled to point out that millions of men could be doing this, 99% of them successfully, leaving only us disgruntled 1% to bitch and moan about it. But somehow I don't think so...]

One of the comments at "Lenora's" referred to it as "trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube." Can't be done.

So those of us, all of us, who have a desire like this, for something "different" from main-stream sex or intimacy, are we all nuts? Dysfunctional? (OK, so I talked about this before. I'm clearly still not at ease with it. No surprise there - the venture of this blog is to become at ease with it.)

I really really think not. We got this way somehow - endless debates over nature and nurture may be interesting to some, but don't do a lot for me. (Another aside - there are those who say that if it's "nature" then we must accept it, but if it's "choice" - or maybe even "nurture" - then we don't need to. Thus making the debate very important. I don't think I buy that line, though.) Our goal, all of us, is to live a fulfilling happy life. Our challenge is to find a way to get from where we are (in that "grey world") to where we want to be - and maybe even discover that place as we go. And by doing so, make it easier for those who come after to live in a world colored the way they actually are.

A while ago I read "Babbitt" by Sinclair Lewis; an excellent portayal of life between the World Wars in the U.S. At the end, "Babbitt" says to his grown son:

I've never done a single thing I've wanted to in my whole life! I don't know as I've accomplished anything except just get along. I figure out I've made about a quarter inch out of possible hundred yards... Don't be scared of yourself, the way I've been.

Babbit wasn't at the end of his life, but he wasn't talking about transforming himself, either. But I'm done "living as that grey creature in the grey world."

Friday, August 11, 2006

Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

This seemed so easy and self-evident a week or two ago.
Just Submit

... I wrote in a post that I seem to have edited out of existence.

But the opportunities for doing that seem to feel few and far between. Partially, that's because we live almost insanely busy lives. But partly it's my waxing and waning attention to details.

Last night I was contemplating this post, and I gave myself the proverbial dope-slap and went up and did a load of laundry. Laundry is perhaps something I should do more of (our division of labor is that I do the dishes and she does the laundry). But right now I'm trying to keep this to something I can realistically do.

Today we were figuring out how to get to the movie we want to see amid all the other commitments. I think she said that she didn't want to eat out, but I still mentioned that I was interested in Chinese food. As I said it I realized I shouldn't have, and she suggested bringing home take-out if I wanted. I think we'll just cook at home.

This is a funny area because we work together well and tend to get along best when we're engaged on a project together. On the other hand, if I'm serious about a wife-led marriage, I'm going to need to learn to defer instinctively on all the stuff that is just preference. Submitting to her preferences seems to me to a good long term goal for a wife-led marriage, and in the short term about as much satisfaction as I'm going to get. On the other hand I think she has a right to expect that on things where a second set of thoughts would contribute to the best possible outcome, I have an obligation to contribute that, and once I think the point is understood, let her make the call. That should be a fun mental exercise.

We're planning a vacation - just the two of us - for the first time in since-forever, and it has been an interesting process trying to figure out when to defer and when to say what about my preferences. We probably won't go to this particular place more than once, and I'm figuring out how I feel about letting go of some of the things I always thought I'd do there. Mostly this is because there isn't time to do what I want, so I think her judgements are good ones. But even if they were just differing preferences, I would love it (well, I think I would love it) if they just went her way in the context of an explicitly defined wife-led relationship.

Maybe someday.

For now, I advice to myself is to remember to look for the little things; pick up on the "you coulds" and "why don't you's". I know I missed at least one yesterday; who knows how many more went right by me.

So I guess the opportunities for submission are endless if I just look for them. That will be a fine exercise.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


One of my biggest frustrations in my forays around the blogosphere is finding a wonderful entry and forgetting where it was. Or even posting a comment to it and forgetting where I did that. Hey, maybe it's a 50+ thing - or actually, I think it's all the activities that get packing into everyday life at this point.

Anyway, even though it's out of the chronology of the thing, I hope to come back here and link to my favorite posts in other blogs.

  • I commented on UHC's AllForHer blog, regarding the dynamics of communication and wives who choose to help their husbands on this adventure even though it's not their top preference, at "Feeling frustrated and happy"

  • In the context of discussing cuckholding, an activity far off my personal "radar" screen, Mistress Laura's Boy talked eloquently about how important and satisfying it is to be controlled. As this is the center of what I love (as far as I've been able to tell), it was very satisfying to see it in someone else's words.

  • Tom Allen wrote the best account of how submissive desires got brought in to an existing marriage that I have ever read, bar none. It's in two parts and very very much worth reading. Scary. Moving. Inspiring. And something I could see sharing with my beloved. Currently one of my favorite posts of all time because I want the courage to do the hard work he describes, so that we can get our lives and relationship to a place like that.

  • I haven't read all of Ms. Rika's site in along time, but I remember her essays well: one no nonsense attempt to separate fantasy from reality. Googling, I happened upon a short thread that, in her characteristically direct style, makes short work of the "stealth submission" concept. The nut of it is here.

  • Saratoga wrote a couple of amazing posts on teamwork and femdom relationships. Which brought up all sorts of thoughts for me on equality, equity, and sameness. He also mused on whether FemDom relationships were more intense than FLRs and vanilla relationships. Finally, a question about submission versus the "Knight and Lady" metaphor. I commented, with moderate coherence, but there's a ton of stuff here.

  • Candace wrote an interesting post on communication and language, and the effect of moving to an FLR in a marriage. The comments were good too - mostly reinforcing my feelings about how differently we tend to communication, and making me hopeful that moving to an FLR might have beneficial effects on the communications issues my love and I face.

  • "Her" wrote a post on "training" "pet" (aka "him" I guess). In what was almost an aside, she mentioned "it is his job to tell me what care he needs." It was enough of an aside that I didn't focus on it at the time, and I was more struck by her care and concern for him. It really felt like the kind of relationship I'd like to build. But other commentors noticed the "needs" piece and posted eloquently about it. And "Her" said that it was one of the more difficult areas of their relationship. Certainly it's one of the most challenging ones for me in my relationship.

  • Candace wrote an interesting post questioning the relationship between sex, love, and submission. It started a good comment thread, including a very insightful comment by Queen'sKnight1 on agape versus eros. His comment included the following:

    It has been said that sex leads a man to love and love leads a Woman to sex. i think that in a good relationship, the two are intertwined. my birthday passed recently and W/we celebrated on Saturday night. i had to lay completely still as my Wife tickle tortured my entire body with Her tongue. Then, for six or seven times, She impaled Herself on me and brought me to the edge, withdrawing at the last moment. When She withdrew for the last time, i lay cuddling Her, literally shaking all over, almost in tears because of the overwhelming unrequited lust i felt for Her. Yet it was a sweet mixture of eros lust and agape worship at the same time. With the lust unsatisfied, the love of Her as my dearest friend is helped to remain in full bloom as well.

    My birthday too recently passed, alas with no such interaction, though that's been my fantasy for years. That feeling of "overwhelming unrequited lust" for my wife is what I get a hint of when she chooses not to have me release when we have sex. But it's all to seldom.

  • "Lady Julia" writes about masturbation and control. That kind of control I find incredibly erotic.

  • "her" on why she trains "pet". Beautiful and sweet and somehow close to what I want.

  • "Saratoga" writes the best description I've ever read of what it feels like when pain and pleasure intertwine. This is so hard to describe and this post really sums it up for me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Follow Your Bliss

Joseph Campbell popularized this phrase in his interviews with Bill Moyers in the early 1980's (I think). Here's the quote from the Joseph Campbell Foundation:

If you ... follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.
My general formula for my students is "Follow your bliss." Find where it is, and don't be afraid to follow it.

I always hated it.

I mean, the sentiment was all well and good, but like Karin Kinsella's reaction to the voices her husband hears in Field of Dreams, my reaction was "I hate it when they talk like that." In other words, what does this mean? And like so much else having to do with enlightenment, the answer was right in front of me, and I never saw it. Right now, I'm going with:

Femdom is my bliss.

How did I come to this conclusion? It's the "place" where I go when I'm tired, or when I need to recharge. It's the place that I'm almost never too tired to think about or pursue.

It also reminds me that "your bliss" is often not something that's comfortable or something that fits in to your life, or that fits in to the conception of who you think you are. Often it requires giving something up. So the only question I have is, "How does this differ from an obession?" Or a compulsion? Or an addiction?

Over on "Candace's" blog she's been doing an interesting inquiry into the limits of dominance and submission. Along with that came an inquiry into dignity and trust. Buried deep in the comments to that post was my first attempt at setting out some thoughts on this: that the same act can be functional or dysfunctional, loving or abusive, depending on how it plays out in the psychies of the people participating. So it's really much less about the behavior than about how the behavior plays out for those involved.

Back in prehistory I did a modest (I think - by the standards of these things) amount of therapy with a guy I really liked, about my interest in femdom. I think he liked it enough to put me in one of his books; I'm not sure what kind of flattery that was! Through whatever process, we ended up at an "addiction" metaphor for this interest, and it's one I've carried around for about 6 or 7 years. It gave a special sense of immediacy to those I know who are dealing with alchohol addictions, and I've seen what it's done to their lives. It wasn't something I was happy carrying around, but also wasn't something I was ready to address - as in going to "Sex/Love Addicts Anonymous" - yes the 12-step model for "sexual addiction."

As a result of reading the blogs I've come across (mostly, but not all yet linked over on the right) I think I'm changing that metaphor. The reason I'm so reluctant to take so much of this at face value is because it challenges that metaphor. If you really can have a loving, caring, functional relationship that strongly explores power exchange, dominance and submission, then the addiction model becomes much less relevant. And what does that say about me and having had an unfulfilled life not "following my bliss?"

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Alpha Birthdays

My wife and four of her friends turn 50 this year. So they decided to throw a birthday party for themselves - that's the kind of women they are. They invited about 40 of their "closest friends" over for dessert and a long gregarious evening was had by all.

Before the desserts, the couples got together for dinner and our host toasted the "alpha women" - the college professor, the banker, the best-selling author, and the public official. The "Alpha women" phrase was his, but was eagerly adopted by the women themselves - you could tell it fit their self-image.

So who are the husbands of the "alpha women?" The elected public official (not married to the other public official, however), the poet, the english professor (not married to the other professor), and me. Jeez, I don't know what I am - technology evangelist, author, wrangler of complex databases, father.

It was such a beautiful moment, such (in some ways) and innocent moment, but one that reminds me how little we know about our friends. I am willing to bet good money that none of the other couples deal with this issue that I grapple with daily - wanting to deal directly with the issues of power in our relationship. On the other hand, do I know that? No. Are they happily married? I think I know them well enough to say "Yes", several though dint of hard work on their relationships; others I know less well.

Is it fair to my wife that I deal with this - that at some level we have to deal with it? I suspect not. But, as we so often tell our kids, life isn't necessarily fair. And I appreciate the work she's done with me on this in the past, and I'm still getting up the gumption for what I suspect we'll have to do in the future.

In the meanwhile, I'm still trying to be more attentive to those little comments of hers - "You could..." Little tiny things (in the context of a busy weekend) - eating chips on a picnic, saying "I should stop eating these but they're too good," to which she responded "Just put them away." Normally, I'd have blown that comment off, but instead I did the double take and put the chips back in the box. It was fun, too.

There are more difficult moments. It was stunningly beautiful out, the kind of day on which I have to get out and do something. My preference was a slightly-more-than-modest hike up a local mountain. She hated that idea, and rather than sulk about it, we talked about alternatives, ending up with a long bike trip in which she met me for lunch half-way through. Was that a "wife-led" moment? Not necessarily, but it was two people working together to come out with a plan that worked for both.

I like that. I think she did too.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Stormy Weather

It amazes me how fragile this entire edifice of female-led relationship can be in my mind. Not that I stop thinking about it or stop wanting it, but that I become unable to pursue it.

My strategy right now, as I outlined previously, is just to submit to my wife's judgement - as many posters more eloquent than I have pointed out - not because she's smarter or because my judgement is inherently flawed (both debatable points), but because it just works better.

And when I manage it, it works well. But it is hard. A couple of little successes last night - I wanted to update this blog, but she suggested "You could work on the home-office orders." And so off I went - about a 1 1/2 hour event that I'm afraid to say I didn't do with particularly good grace, at least at the beginning. But in the end the submission was it's own reward and the work got done.

Our son suggested that we watch a TV show we have on DVD, and since she was doing that, I did too - though only for a while. Faced with the choice of playing the instrument I've just taken up (and play rather poorly, but enjoy quite a bit) or watching a TV show I've already seen, that wasn't a hard choice. But going in to watch TV was a nice moment - I decided to have a fudgecicle and got one for myself. When I saw her on the couch, I immediately offered it to her. She accepted and I got another one from the fridge for me - and then one for our son. Awkward moment when it wasn't clear if there were two more or only one in the freezer. Selfless as she is, she said to him "I'll eat half mine and give the rest to you." He demurred but it was a non-issue since there were more in the freezer.

So why "Stormy Weather"? Because each time I got near her, it felt like two positively charged magnetic poles approaching one another. There was this "space" the I couldn't get in to near her. Partly I'll guess this was my own perception, but I'll guess that it was partly based in reality too. It's the thing that drives me the craziest.

In a comment on one of the blogs I read (shoot - I'll find the link later) a caring dominant wife pointed out that she had realized that the easiest way to punish her errant husband was to send him away - to another room, to the other side of the room, from her bed. That being so devoted to her, the separation was the simplest and most painful form of punishment.

Amen to that! So this sense of distance, this sense of not being able to get close to her drives me crazy. It makes me think that perhaps this is all a fool's errand, that there is now way in heck that this is ever going to be more than my fantasy.

But for now, I'll keep faith with myself, and with the confidence that if I really to defer to her and don't expect any change in what she does, that eventually I'll have the courage to ask for what I want, and she'll have the example to see that it's not about "leather and lace" (two things she hates) but it is about creating an emotionally satisfying relationship for both of us.

On another note, "Rich" posted an introduction on the very fine Venus On Top discussion list which has generated a lot of comment. His story and mine are so similar that I must comment, but I want to give it the time it deserves to do so. That's what I was starting to do last night when the home office work came up. I will comment, but it may take a while to find the time.