Wednesday, July 29, 2009A Life of Service
Lately I've been rediscovering the joy of serving. I had some issues with situational depression and such (unrelated to anything d/s), but now I'm getting my life back from the depths of apathy. My Lady is very wonderful and patient, and for that I cannot thank her enough.
When problems arise in life, the first place it shows up (at least for me) is in my sex life. I feel too tired and uninterested to do anything sexual or scene-related. On the off chance that something does manage to tickle my fancy while I'm hurting, I focus on that a lot to the detriment of everything else. So, needless to say, this causes conflict and makes my Lady feel as though she is not my #1 priority in life.
I've just about managed to turn that around, and whenever I'm with her, I try to impress upon her my need to serve. I jump to my feet when she wants water, I make sure the dishes are clean, the kids are taken care of, the trash is taken out, her feet are lotioned every night, and I tuck her into bed.
I have trained myself to feel awful when my Lady has to do chores that are typically mine, (which counter-intuitively) is a bad thing. When I feel awful, I get mopey and clingy, and that's no good for her, so now I'm retraining myself to only feel a little awful and not respond with "woe is me, do you still love me?" which is hard but so worth it. It also keeps me from letting more of my chores and acts of service slip.
Friday, July 03, 2009Defining my Dominance, part IV
Next on the much abused (by me) eightfold path is Right Effort. This is where the distinctions between the mental states start to become a bit muddy, but I'll do my best to make it clear.
Right Effort goes hand in hand with Right Action. Right Action has to do with doing things the way I like a submissive to do them--silly things that make me happy like the correct place to put my clothes or the correct way to make a bed. Right Effort, then, is the mental energy behind those actions.
As I see it, Right Effort means a submissive puts their mental energies in the places I think they should be. Less negative thinking, more focus on positivity and personal choice. They seek out help if they need it, strive toward self improvement and keep at the forefront of their minds how best to serve.
I like the idea of "effort," because it is certainly a struggle sometimes to maintain that submissive stance in mind and body. I have watched pet struggle when he just. doesn't. want. to do something I've requested. I'm never prouder than when I see him overcome the "I don't wannas" and put the Right Effort into our relationship.
Right Mindfulness, for my purposes, means simply remaining aware of our evolving state as dominant and submissive. I expect a submissive to be willing to think about and discuss our relationship on a meta-level. I want to be able to hear what a submissive likes and does not like, what seems to be working, and yes, even criticisms of my dominance. I cannot expect a submissive to communicate without acknowledging that sometimes they will want to talk to me about my shortcomings. I do expect them to be mindful of their desires, their needs, and be able to express them (see Right Speech). An unexamined life, to crib from yet another wise soul, is not worth living.
Lastly, Right Concentration
Right concentration as it applies to me is the learning aspects of BDSM and D/s relationships. I expect a submissive to remain updated on events we might attend, current information or websites we might enjoy. I confess this is where pet falls short most often, given his busy schedule and privacy concerns. I do expect in the future he will be more involved with community online and off, to the benefit of both of us.
And I believe that concludes my dominance series. I'm gratified so many out there found it helpful, and I hope to explore more in the future.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009Thoughts on a Comment
I'm in and out, I know. But we're here, and we're on Fetlife often too. I try not to write about petty daily things and save my writings here for the stuff I want to focus on with more intent.
I got a comment (back in March, yikes), and I want to address it. The author is quite poetic, lol, I doubt my writing has ever been so lyrical...
In every great beauty there is a portion of strangeness...does it follow that great strangeness acquaints with great beauty? Isn't this the same circle that in turning to the ends of pleasure transitions brightly into pain, and back again? which is to say that submission acquaints to freedom, education to oppression, and bondage to travel. Right action is opposite action to achieve balance, takes two to tango.
It took me a few moments to piece out what the person is asking here, but I get a question from it. I believe the person is asking whether it is normal/typical to crave both sides of that coin, perhaps at different times. Or perhaps, is it normal for a relationship to flow in and out of these states rather than being rigidly one top and one bottom and that is all.
My answer is yes. I think it is normal. It isn't ME very often, but it is pretty normal to see folks enjoy top and bottom, give and take, etc. I'm not much of a giver, as it turns out. I can intellectually grasp the concept of submission, even see the appeal, but I'm not keen on giving up power. However, when we're talking about the color of a long term relationship and life, then I would say I absolutely find myself outside my role, perhaps on the other side of it in the circular fashion the commenter describes.
An example: in October of 08 I became incapacitated by serious illness. I was couch-ridden for much of six weeks, and better but still needy after that for another month. I had doctor's appointments and more doctor's appointments to keep, and no way to transport myself there or even get from the car to the office without help. I needed pet to take care of everything from bills to family to decisions to bringing me food to eat while he was gone (there was a good 10 days I couldn't get up. at. all.)
In many ways, I became the dependent. I was incapable of running a household, making decisions, anything at all. He was forced to become dominant, keeping us all on track while I recovered. I gave up my power, I didn't like it and I still don't (I still am limited in some ways, and MAN does that piss me off.) But it was necessary.
But, you say, wasn't his role one of ultimate submission? Caring for me totally is nothing if not submissive. I think that is the point the commenter wanted to make--you can't live in one identity without room for others. Sometimes, things aren't as rigid as they seem.
In writing my series (yes I'm still writing it, sloooooooowly), it isn't so much to say "this is all there is for us." It is a way to explore the feelings I have swirling around, the strong desires and reactions I know but have trouble naming. In all things there is flexibility, and all things change. That is the first thing I learned about Buddhism--things always change. To assume they will remain static--whether they be roles or situations--is folly.
I'm interested to know what the commenter thinks, lol, too bad I'm so dang slow in reply. I'm thinking of everyone out there, and living this life, all the time.