Sunday, November 28, 2010

Love, Serve, Obey

Love, Serve, Obey

That's been my manta with my beloved since we started our FLR some months ago. This morning, lying with my head in the crook of her arm, I realized a bit more about what is happening with that mantra.

I love her all the time.

When I serve her, I get to say "I love you" with my actions. A day when I don't get to serve her is NOT a good day. Though that happens, it doesn't happen very often. That's why it's important for me to know that she knows that I'm serving her. What's the point of saying "I love you" if your beloved can't hear it? (Okay, it's not completely pointless but I hope you get the idea.)

That's related to the point of Lady Grey's post on Please, Thank You, and Denial . For me, there are two big caveats in referring to this post: 1) The relationship that kicked off Lady Grey's thinking is very different from ours, and 2) Lady Grey's relationship is very different from ours. Nevertheless, I get a thrill when she says:
When I'm faced with [a gift from my submissive], I simply say "that's very nice" or something of that sort, which acknowledges the gift without having to say thank you. I'm not thankful that he's brought me a gift any more than I'm thankful that he's following my orders. It's expected. Following orders is expected. Being given gifts is expected. There's a constant expectation and assumption of service in a D/s situation ... and the only "please" or "thank you" that will be heard is when it's coming out of my sub's mouth.
I have commented before that my beloved is a hyper-considerate person. "Please" and "Thank you" are in her nature. And while I wouldn't try to change that, I felt that it was important to acknowledge where a service being performed by a submissive is different from a gift being given in a symmetrical relationship (for lack of a better term - our relationship is asymmetrical, which isn't to say un-equal, but which is probably worth its own post). Put another way, I do things for my beloved not ONLY to make her happy, but to tell her that I love her. So for us, finding a way to distinguish that might be very useful.

Obedience is something I get to do less often, which makes it more fun and more valuable. That having been said, I'd like to do it more (unlike some other pleasurable activities which I could mention...). Obedience is my way of answering her implied question: "Do you love me?" The harder obedience is, the more, to me, it says, "Yes, I love you." That's the value of her making tasks harder, or making them gratuitously hard. She sends me little "I love you"s by text or IM on some days - little silly things to do like not sitting down for a period of time or not eating something, or eating something I don't like. That way she says to me, "I want you to be thinking about me" and "You love me enough to do this, right?" I am very grateful for those, and I am grateful for the difficulty they present.

Even my nightly check-ins with her by e-mail have that value. They say, "Do you care enough about this relationship dynamic to do the inconvenient thing and e-mail me every night?" Fortunately, the answer is (almost) always "Yes." The consequence for not doing so, is the (harder) reminder, that I said it was, and forces me to contemplate the reason why it didn't happen.

Monday, November 22, 2010

How it’s going, what’s working, and what’s not

My beloved “suggested” that I write a post on “how it’s going, what’s working, and what’s not.” So here I am.

How’s it going? At the most basic level, it’s going well because I really feel like I can be all of myself with her. So in that sense, after 40 years of hiding who I am, I don’t have to do that with the person who’s most important to me. That’s pretty darn good, and it’s important to keep that perspective as I run down the rest of this post.

We had two dear friends visiting this weekend, friends who have been through at least one iteration of “going public” with my need to be submissive, an iteration that A) didn’t go anywhere, B) wasn’t very stable in my dynamic with my beloved, and C) didn’t lead us to a life style that worked. But that was a long time ago, and arguably a necessary stepping stone to get to where we are today. All that notwithstanding, it felt very awkward to me not to be able to share with these friends the most important thing going on in my life.

So why not share it? One practical reason is that my beloved was away for the week before our friends arrived, so she and I didn’t have any time to talk about it. But in another sense, it felt like too much information. As far as I know, only one person who knows who I am reads this blog (other than my beloved). And I don’t think that person actually follows it, especially given its sporadic nature of the recent past. And with the agreement and the counters, it feels a little like “too much information” to share with friends. I suppose we could have shared the reality with them without sharing the blog, but as I said, we didn’t have an opportunity to talk about it.

But perhaps more importantly, my relationship with my beloved now seems to be more about “how we are with each other” than “what we do.” I think perhaps it’s a little more “how” and less “what” than I might prefer, but in the end we’re looking for a balance that “tells” me (emotionally) what I need to hear, but is fun and satisfying for my beloved. So if that’s got more “how” and less “what” than I might prefer, maybe that’s OK.

What is the most important thing to me about the “Female Led” aspect of our relationship? (So called for lack of a better term, but I think it’s not a bad term in and of itself.) It’s her knowing that I’m happy doing her will because it’s her will. And my knowing that she knows this. Not to wander into the hall of mirrors here, but it’s the back-and-forth knowledge and communication that’s important to me. Doing something hard is, well, hard. Doing something hard but knowing that my beloved knows I’m doing something hard is very satisfying. I haven’t figured out a way of asking for that feedback and I don’t think we’ve naturally come up with one yet, so that’s something to work on.

I think it’s involved in the idea I have (never successfully implemented yet) of disparity play and the talk and acknowledgement of that play. And it’s part of the same dynamic as orgasm control by my beloved – orgasm control being a particularly potent form of disparity play: “I’m getting pleasure and you’re not because we agreed that that’s how it would be.”

So one aspect of what’s not working for me would be my beloved being annoyed at my not coming upstairs because I’m doing my evening chores (writing daily reports, managing cash in her wallet, finding her cell phone, etc). Believe me, at that point, it’s not because I don’t want to come upstairs. But if I’ve left them to the end of the evening and they have to be done….

Perhaps I need an established consequence for each of the chores left undone, so that she could just say, “Come upstairs,” and it’s my misfortune that I didn’t get things done. Perhaps she would be comfortable saying “Are all your chores done?”, that being a command to get them done immediately.

Getting back to the idea of talk and acknowledgment of disparity play, which is kind of like teasing (in a good way), I have this fantasy (not completely articulated) about a dialog we would have where I need to admit and acknowledge the privileges I’ve given up, in a conversation with her. There’s something about the power of the spoken word that this invokes: Just waiting to come to bed is less powerful than, “Do you want to come to bed?” “Yes” “You will when I invite you to.” The bratty sub answers that question, “No” and then spends an unpleasant night not in bed or cold on the floor without a covering.

In summary, what’s hard is when we’re not talking about what we’re doing. Talking about what we’re doing is, to me, almost as important as doing it because it assures me that this isn’t all in my head. I can pretend my beloved wants me to do something and then do it, but what’s the point of that? I’d rather do one tenth the “stuff” because she wants me to than ten times as much because she’s like “Yeah, I guess you could do that.” But if I do one tenth without communication, then that’s almost no different than doing the ten-times-as-much without communication, and less fun.

Now that there’s a counter on the site, I can remember how long it’s been since I had an orgasm. Being required to know that number and report it on demand would be another verbal form of disparity play: I need to know, she doesn’t.

I don’t know if this is really a summary of what’s working and what’s not, but it’s what came to mind. Often when writing prior posts I’d get all hot-and-bothered, and I was waiting for that to happen when writing this one. But I think that dynamic has changed since we’ve started doing stuff, rather than my just fantasizing about stuff. Does that mean the energy has gone out of the blog? I think not, but it has changed a bit.