Sunday, April 27, 2008

Standing at the Brink

So here it is Sunday.

A week ago Saturday, I told my beloved that the "Uniquely Rika" book should be arriving any day. It did arrive, but just before I had to leave on a one-week trip, so it's been sitting on my desk unopened for the last week. The suspense has been killing me!

I do remember her first comment, which was, "You've been pretty obsessed by this stuff recently." To which I could only answer, "Yes." In fact, I think I've been more obsessed by it than she knows, and certainly more than I would like.

Perhaps the most important thing she said was that she's feeling in some way pressured by this - let me be clear - because she wants me to be happy, not because I'm running around saying "Would you like me to do this", "look, I did that that", "Oh my, I forgot to do that, what a bad boy I am..."

I'm a lot more interested in sex than she is. So when I know I can't have sex on my own, then in the mornings, I tend to get pretty cuddly. She interprets this as a request for sex, which, based on our arrangement, it isn't. It's an invitation, which she is totally welcome or encouraged to ignore, explicitly reject (which she never has), or accept. But she feels she's "supposed" to be more interested than she is.

We talked about this for a long time and I really really tried to explain how satisfying it was for me to be able to offer, or request, and for her to have no pressure as to whether she wanted to accept or not. This has worked well when we do have sex (which is mostly oral or manual) in that if she doesn't feel like intercourse, she just doesn't offer it. She knows I love that, and, though a little surprised by it, has seemed to find a way to work with that that works for her. I asked if she could give me some signal that she's satisfied and will not be wanting more. I suggested if she said "I'm done" or "None for you today" or "Thank you", I'd know what to expect and how to "wind down" and not continue thinking we were going some place we weren't. She settled on "Thank you" (not to surprising, knowing who she is...)

If we can get to the same place on "offers" in the morning, then perhaps she might feel less pressured. She likes to make other people happy, so the idea that the focus of this exercise might be on just making her happy is a part of the growth process for her - not because I want her to change, but because this is a long-running issue for her that (I believe) she agrees would make her happier if she dealt with.

Sometimes, like maybe a year or more ago, I remember having a conversation with here where all this stuff had faded away. It does that sometimes - sometimes I feel like I "go sane." But I've never been able to correlate that with anything else in my life, so I'm very skeptical of the "This will just go away" argument.

What I did say was that by exploring the way we're exploring, and talking, I'm looking for a happy medium - a way to being submissive or service-oriented that allows us to get to a place where I can be happy, without making her unhappy - without impinging so much on her life that she finds it unacceptable. I expect this will mean submission or service at times when it seems pointless to me, or even tedious (though in a weird sort of way, that's kind of attractive), and at other times controlling my needs to something kinkier than she has any desire for. But hopefully finding a happy medium where I don't have to have this interior life that she either knows nothing about or can ignore.

I think we're together on the fact that my asking for what I need is important. And we've identified those hand-ful of things that are important to her - things that say "I love you." I don't think she really believes that there are "service-oriented" things in here that could be of any use to her, just ones that she hopes won't be a nuisance, but that just my supposition.

We also talked about what the kids know - both are sexually-aware teens. We figure they've gone over the bookshelves pretty carefully, where there is a handful of Anne Rice (the Beauty series), some Robert Mapplethorpe, and The Story of O. But it falls in to that grey area of what one really does or doesn't want to know about the private life of those in the rest of one's family. Certainly nothing's happening between my beloved and I that they're going to see that's going to ring any bells.

What with yard work and the like, my beloved and I have had the chance to take a couple of showers together - something we don't do often, but which has given me the opportunity to wash her feet and help get the callouses off of them. I enjoy that a lot, and (echoing the realization I read on someone else's blog - by now I don't remember which), I ask her for what I want, which is to wash her feet and told her that I'd join her in the show at any time. My new goal is to listen for the shower and ask if I can join her and do her feet; doesn't happen often because she works and home and can shower at odd hours when I'm not around. I haven't had a chance to ask yet, so we'll see how that works out.

Some time ago, my beloved broke a bone in her foot and as a result was wearing sandals a lot. Though she's never been one to paint her nails, she suggested she might ask our daughter, the one with fashion sense, to paint her toenails. Feeling surprised and dismayed, I blurted out "Is that because you thought I'd enjoy it too much?" - not suave, but she took it in the way it was intended, which was I think, her fishing for whether there was interest. So I did for a little while, but got too wrapped up in her asking me to re-do them when they needed it, so it didn't work out in the end.

I won't make that mistake again - I intend to ask her if I can do her toenails, and if so, it will me my responsibility to keep them looking good without her asking. At least that's my theory.

So I've been gone for the last week, "Uniquely Rika" has been sitting in the USPS box on my desk, since I was traveling with one of our children, and there was no way I was either going to read or hide the book in a hotel room.

Having gotten back, now I get to read it and then, as we discussed, precis each chapter and share it with my beloved. From that I hope we'll make a plan, or more likely, start and exploration towards creating a lifestyle that works for us.


Oh, but there I was in a hotel room finally having a chance to sleep in, and I did think about rituals and what they're for. I need something that says "We're doing this - it's not all just in my head." The necklace goes a long way towards doing that, since it's something I'm wearing all the time. But sometimes the reality creeps in that she really wouldn't care if I ignored it entirely and just satisfied myself. I should ask her to check this, but that's my impression.

Some weeks ago when we had a good conversation about this arrangement with the necklace, I suggested that I have the opportunity once a day to thank her for this arrangement and tell her how much happier I am when she controls my sexual satisfaction. All she'd have to do is listen and acknowledge - essentially it was giving me permission to talk about this with her once a day. That didn't work out well - I don't know if I didn't find the right wording or what, but it felt stilted and silly and we only did it once or twice.

But in the spirit of "Mistress Laura's Boy"'s entry on "Everyday Rules That Keep Me Focused on My Mistress", I did try to think about why reminding me was important, and I think it is that affirmation of the fact that "We are doing this." I don't imagine she's going to expect me to do a lot of stuff, that's not her style, but I was wondering if we could create an "arriving home" ritual. Some men write about kneeling naked in the entryway etc, things I might like in fantasy, but are never going to happen in my life.

But, as she's usually working in the home office when I get home, I wondered if I might have a required routine - drop all the junk that seems to need to come in to the house with me, approach her wherever she is, assume some unobtrusive position standing near her,and just wait for her to acknowledge me. I mean, I'm coming home, so I'm going to interrupt her anyway with the business of the day, so it might as well be at a moment she chooses, and I get the satisfaction of waiting, and the little ritual of it, and she gets to be bothered less. Something I may suggest soon.

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