Sunday night, as we got into bed and I was prepping for some foot rubbing and Mad Men watching, Belle was in a funk. She wasn’t too enthused about watching TV and she had a lingering resentment towards me and a silly household squabble that had transpired an hour or so earlier. I thought she was being a more than a little over the top with her reaction, so I ended up on the other side of the bed for 45 minutes while the TV show washed over us. The foot rubbing never happened, either.
Earlier in the day and over the course of the entire weekend, I was trying to be the best guysub I could. She had made me a list of items she wanted accomplished and I did nearly all of them. In addition, I made dinner twice (something she made a point of commenting on – she’s very happy that I do this now). After dinner on Sunday night, she said she’d clean up if I got the kids going downstairs with the Wii, but changed her mind and told me I’d clean up while she relaxed and watched them bowl. She continues to have a freer hand when it comes to giving me extra tasks to perform and that makes me happy.
Anyway, once I cleaned up the kitchen and set up her coffee for the morning, we settled in to watch a family movie with the kids. It was during the movie that the ridiculous household squabble took place (the kind only someone who’s lived with someone else for a long time can really appreciate). Long story short, there wasn’t any toilet paper in the downstairs bathroom. She got really pissed (really) and that’s what was hanging over the bed when the lights went out.
After the show was over, she told me to get naked and snuggle into her. I did so, but she was still simmering and pissy, so I eventually moved away from her. I wasn’t mad, but I also wasn’t feeling compelled to be all subbie while she was in that mood and, I thought, berating me for one simple thing while ignoring my effort all weekend to provide the best service I could.
Somehow, this ended up putting Belle in a self-doubting funk. She was worried that I wasn’t happy and that she was doing the domme thing wrong. This, too, kind of pissed me off because, in fact, I am not unhappy and did and said nothing to indicate that I was. I haven’t criticized her, haven’t shown any displeasure with her (that I know of), haven’t become annoyingly insistent with my sexual frustration, and I wasn’t even arguing with her over the toilet paper. I tried to contain my annoyance, though, since she was in a vulnerable place.
I told her she was doing it right because she was doing it the way she wanted it done. I have long since realized that my preconception of how she’d dominate me is useless and I should be (and am) happy simply with her continued commitment to the paradigm. I also reassured her that I am happy. I can’t say there aren’t things I’d like to see change, but that’s to be expected in any relationship of any kind (yes, even the lowercase side of a D/s relationship can wish for some things to be different).
The thing that worries me the most about where we are now is the amount of sex we have. It’s hard for me to express this since, of course, I’m not supposed to be in control of when or how often I get sex, but this issue is the longstanding bugaboo in our relationship. And the fact is, over time recently – and especially since I’ve taken a literal “hands-off” approach to her body – the amount of sex we’ve have has declined. She used to let me pleasure her 3-4 times a week. Then it settled down to about twice a week, supplemented with other kinds of body service like the foot massages. Now, I’d say it’s about once a week with an even greater ratio of non-sexual services. As I said, this has happened at the same time I’ve stopped actively coming on to her but has also coincided with a marked increase in the frequency in which I’ve been locked up.
If you’re currently cooking up a response to this along the lines of, “Just be happy she controls you, locks you up, etc.” or to accuse me of topping from the bottom, or, my personal favorite, “This is why you should be careful what you wish for,” or some other formulaic thing, please keep it to yourself. I think this is more complicated. Even in a D/s relationship, there’s an implicit responsibility on both partners to satisfy the needs of the other. Submissiveness does not equal an abdication of all sexual satisfaction (though I do admit my “satisfaction” has become much more complicated). I’d also like to point out that I’m not saying we have a huge problem here. Only that it’s a potential problem with a significant history in our relationship.
I asked if she wanted to continue with the D/s or take a break. She said she wanted to continue. I then asked if she wanted me to continue with my program of (as much as possible) total non-aggression with regard to initiating sex or if she wants me to go back to being a partner who has some right to try to get something going (while still respecting her right to ultimately decide). There are pitfalls for her in both approaches. If I remain non-aggressive, we will have less sex and she will feel guilty (as she did Sunday) because of it. If I’m allowed to come on to her, she will feel guilty for turning me down (as she will fairly often). The key to happiness here is for her to try not feeling guilty because I’m happy either way. Really. My ability to become non-expectational has improved remarkably. Even though she had intimated earlier in the day on Sunday that she’d allow me a chance to pleasure her, it wasn’t forthcoming and I felt no anger or resentment whatsoever. For me, that’s a huge accomplishment. It didn’t really matter, though, because she was still upset.
She has no answer to my aggressiveness question. She can’t tell me which approach she wants me to take. This is frustrating to me, but I’m trying to be patient. I have unilaterally implemented the non-aggression approach, so I suppose I could always start being more forward, but I feel I need to wait and follow her lead. I do want more sex (and by “sex”, I mean opportunities to share her orgasm and more teasing and denial), but I am conflicted with regard to how much I should expect or how far I should take this need. When you’ve signed up for denial and frustration, where’s the line? How far and in what way can a submissive such as myself try to change the dynamic?
At the end of the day, if what she really wants is one orgasm a week with four foot massages in between (and as long as she occasionally maintains my desire), I can be satisfied. Honestly. And I want her to know that.