D/s is weird. Weird in that from the outside and to the uninitiated, it looks like the D side of the slash is in control but from the inside it’s clear that’s not true. It’s the lower-case consonant that sets the parameters of the dynamic (limits, boundaries, etc.) and, therefore, the rules the D has to follow. So no, the D’s power is not limitless. They call the shots and the sub wants them to, but the shots they call are enumerated by the sub. But it’s not always the case that the sub’s Dominant is all that interested in calling shots regardless of which are available to them.
Some of us came to understanding our submissive nature later in life after pairing up with an unsuspecting partner. That can be catastrophic if the partner is not in any way cool with their other half’s inclinations to submission and unable to indulge them. Of course, that’s not me. I have a great spouse who’s willing to make all kinds of accommodations, but she’s not sexually dominant. She’s not naturally motivated by or wired for it. Seems to me guys in my boat (S.S. Subby McSubface) have two options. They can hope and wish and push for their wives to be active dominents or they can accept their wives’ more passive dominance. I think of it as the Mistress vs. the Goddess
Before I go any further, the usual caveats about this being from my point of view and not in all ways encompassing of the infinite diversity of human sexuality apply, etc blah blah.
The basic difference between the Mistress and Goddess, in my mind, it that Mistresses demand submission and Goddesses accept (and perhaps even expect) it. Some women (and men, but that’s not what I’m talking about) get off on playing within those boundaries established by the sub and pushing buttons and seeing how far they can go. Call them sadists or whatever, but they’re wired to find pleasure in how the sub responds to them. But my thinking is most women aren’t wired like that and while they may come to appreciate the benefits of having a submissive husband, they just aren’t going to ever be the kind of parter who will be forceful in asserting their dominent position. In those cases (more or less the case I’m in), the sub needs to find a way to project their submission onto their partner in kind of the same way religious devotees worship a theoretical deity. They need to construct in their minds a suitable target for their submission taking advantage of the topography of their surroundings. I know I’ve done this with Belle. At least she’s a tangible person who can interact with me and not some invisible sky friend throwing lightning bolts down from the sky or killing my crops with drought.
I say all this because recently our D/s dynamic kind of sputtered out. Sometime around the beginning of March I started to feel it slip away to such an extent that I found no pleasure in wearing a device (though I did for a little while only because it was expected). Then, she let me out just before leaving for a trip and forgot to tell me to go back in and I didn’t remind her or put it back on by myself. When she got back, I said I didn’t want to wear it and she didn’t push it. This kind of thing has happened before for short periods, but the big difference is, other than when she initiated, I also pretty much lost all interest in sex, too. I tried to look at porn but I just couldn’t. Like, it wasn’t just uninteresting to me, it kind of annoyed and even disgusted me. I never touched the penis and never even thought about it. Not sure I even had an erection outside of the nocturnal kind and/or when Belle wanted me to.
So, what the fuck, right? In unpacking this with the therapist Obi Wan, I came to understand that I was kind of like a religious person whose faith had been shaken. Not because of anything overt that Belle had done, but because of life. She’s been very busy at work and traveling and, I’d say, in a grumpier mood than usual. Any one of these things or even the combination of them over a short period I could deal with, but this was sustained for weeks and longer. Long hours at work followed by more work when she got home followed being absent and then perhaps flavored with my own issues led to a general collapse of the dynamic’s infrastructure. Even in the best of times, I need it to be bigger and more elaborate than she needs it to be so I’m by necessity “holding up” more than one half of it. When the footings on her side got a little crumbly, I couldn’t do it anymore and it fell down.
But my submission and our rules are too ingrained to disappear completely. Instead of unilaterally disengaging and doing my own thing sexually, which is what happened years ago and led to all kinds of issues in our marriage, I simply shut down. If I can’t get a hard on looking at porn I can’t jack off and come without permission and that means I never have to deal with the reality of what that would have meant. My sex isn’t just mine anymore and acting like it was would have been too much to deal with so I just packed it all up in a box and put it on a shelf. But my sexuality is a big part of who I am so this left me dispondant.
I never really said only of this to Belle. I didn’t want to be perceived as being unsupportive of her and what she needed to do with her job. So I just let it all happen. In general, Obi Wan thinks I don’t do enough to ensure my needs are being taken care of in the relationship. He thinks I tend to avoid conflict with Belle. He’s probably right. Of course, “ensure my needs are being taken care of” is an interesting concept for a sub, but it makes sense when the D/s dynamic as seen as an overlay to the foundational relationship. My needs are, to a certain extent, for my needs not to be taken care of, but only in the dynamic. Down in the foundational relationship, I was feeling neglected and maybe a bit taken for granted.
Again, Belle didn’t do this on purpose. She wasn’t being a terrible spouse. But I didn’t say what I was thinking because I was afraid it would cause her to think I was not being supportive to her needs and I didn’t want to get into a fight about it.
Last week, we were away on a family vacation. Except for one night, it was close quarters for ten days. I hoped and expected that the trip would be when I turned a corner on all this. Not sure if it’s because of my expectations, but by the end of the trip I found myself a lot more interested in the penis that I had been for nearly a month. To the enxtent that yesterday I put the Looker 02 on. Porn was all of a sudden super hot and had I not locked it up I would have been pulling on it. This is not to say I or we are out of the woods or there won’t be some backsliding. Belle’s still busy. No reason to think that will change. Maybe this is just a little bit of sunlight breaking though some clouds or maybe a high pressure system is settling in. No idea.
Obi Wan thinks Belle and I should see a therapist together. He even gave me some names of kink-aware people he knows (he doesn’t really do couples). I don’t know if we’ll take it that far or if we’ll figure it out but ourselves. Time will tell.
7 thoughts on “B.Y.O.D.”
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I’m glad to see you writing 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
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<long thoughtful reply that I couldn’t get my brain to assemble correctly and deleted> It sucks but baby steps are good. Hope everything continues to improve.
I like Obi Wan. And as much as I hate that things haven’t been great, I admire you for sharing the reality. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be in my bunk with your tumblr.
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Glad you are back. Well wishes for both you and Belle
I love your comparison between a Mistress and a Goddess. Very well written.
As far as bringing up your needs, it’s my own personal opinion that a sub’s first responsibility is to serve his Domme happily and enthusiastically. If there’s something impeding his ability to do that, he needs to speak up.
It’s possible that she may just not know there’s a problem. I’m definitely more Mistress than Goddess, and even I’ve had phases where I got busy and wasn’t quite aware of a problem, or the extent of a problem, until it was brought to my attention.
So it may not cause a fight at all, and there’s a very strong possibility that she won’t feel even remotely that you’re not being supportive of her. It’s absolutely possible to let her know you’re feeling this way without undermining her authority or your dynamic.
Because she deserves you at your best, doesn’t she? Attentive, eager, and compliant. Of course she does. And you cannot be expected to carry the entire relationship on your own (what’s more, based on what you’ve written about her, she seems intelligent, compassionate, and loving. I highly doubt she expects you to carry it all on your own).
So what do you need in order to be attentive, eager, and compliant for her? Tell her. As her sub (depending on your dynamic, of course, and I’m not going to pretend to know your dynamic based on the blog) you owe that to her. Even if it’s uncomfortable. Even if you’d rather not say anything.
I’m obviously not a therapist, but as the random Internet stranger, I would definitely recommend talking to her about it.
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Eerily parallel to what’s been going on around here (which is why it even took a month to find this post), compassionately thought through and beautifully woken. Thanks.