Sacred

Yesterday I wrote about experiencing a frenzy and honeymoon stage, and that our experience has been that the most profound and organic growth has happened in the time since that phase of things. That honeymoon was a necessary part of our awakening, but we had to slow and continue to allow for our relationship to be a priority in our lives amidst the bustle of normal life. That’s the only way it’s sustainable, and we both wish to live this deeply and vulnerably connected forever.

Living in this deeply vulnerable way fulfills us both in a way nothing else ever has – it’s our backbone. The only way to be truly loved is to be known, in my opinion, and that’s exactly what we are doing – allowing ourselves to be known and consistently making the effort to know one another. In doing so, M has been able grow in his unique leadership and I in my surrender, and we have had to constantly communicate and receive in order to know and be known. Profound isn’t even a word that summarizes the process. It’s not always easy but it’s worth every ounce of work.

Knowing M, being a part of his growth, and experiencing his evolution in our relationship mesmerizes me and fulfills me in the most soul-deep way. I asked for this, so I had to allow him to step up to the metaphorical plate, which included (still includes as we grow) him deciding what the plate looked like and me accepting the plate. That’s when the profound stuff happens. It’s truly magical.

Our growth and evolution has taken many forms, of which sexuality is one. We consistently communicate openly and vulnerably about ourselves and our sexual desires. For a long while, my desires and wants exceeded his – I’d had the time to read and think and it’s all I thought about for a long time. While M wasn’t blindsided, because we’d had some discussions, he also hadn’t had much exposure, and we weren’t as vulnerably open as we are now. Much of it was new to him and being so vulnerable was something we’d grown into and were still growing. Also, I wanted to sprint and he wanted to walk. I had to learn to walk, too, and trust in the process, in him. That’s what I’d signed up for!

We began to walk, together. There came a point where our desires seemed to even out, where we’d tried much of that initial pool of things on my ‘list’ as well as things from his as he grew and found what fit. We tried things in different ways, adding our own spin on it all, making it our own. We integrated it into life as life allowed. We allowed ourselves to settle into it, while continually talking about new things on the horizon. Sometimes new toys or new activities made their way into our repertoire. None of it was ever solely about sex – it was about our growth in these roles, in our evolution as a partnership, in our vulnerability and acceptance, and our open communication. It was about trust. I had to truly trust him to lead and walk alongside him, following him. He had to trust I’d speak up for myself and never lose that voice. The foundation of trust we have created is unbelievable, and absolutely necessary.

That trust lead to a level of comfort and freedom that has opened so many doors for us. M began to bring up for discussion lists of things I never imagined he desired. Hell, I wasn’t sure I did; I hadn’t considered many of them. They weren’t even on my radar. The tables turned while I walked alongside him, and it’s unreal. The feeling is unreal. I’m often awestruck. Now many of those things on that list are things in which we regularly engage. Some we’ve tried, some we have just began dipping our toes in the water, and others we may never try. Some are on my hard limit list. And this same process applies to the other areas of our lives, not just our sexuality. This will constantly evolve. That’s the best part!

The thing is, THIS is the feeling I dreamt of years ago. And it’s this simple place of walking at a pace that allows us to enjoy every moment of knowing one another, of evolution with M leading, of trust that allows us to explore our desires together.

It’s a sacred place, for which I’m grateful every day.

That’s Life

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I was the one who asked for us to take this journey – it was a logical next step for us. I proceeded to do a crazy amount of reading and research, and because my own personal journey was intertwined with this one, I’d had the time to think about it all. It’s all I thought about for a long time. M had to do all of that at his own pace and I had to allow for that. I had to offer him all I had to give while allowing for him to find what he desired, how he wished to lead, what he wished to ask for and receive. There was a period of rapid awakening in us both, doors being flung open and sheer excitement abound. It was a necessary part of the journey.

What we’ve found after more than four years, is that it was necessary for that to slow so we could get to the meat of things. So we could truly dive into the deep things that make us who we are, both individually and together. We found that in some instances I was expecting more of myself than he did, and I had to let go of those expectations of both myself and of him. In so many other instances, his desires and leadership have taken direction I never imagined, continue to do so, and I’m often challenged. In order to discover these things, we had to allow things to take their natural course amidst our daily lives, which include jobs, responsibilities, children, bills, home projects, sickness and surgeries, and on. That’s life: it doesn’t stop for us.

I believe the most profound and organic evolutions to our relationship have happened in the time since that frantic honeymoon phase. Settling in, trusting in one another, and having a dedication to continual growth and communication have been the catalyst. Trusting in our process has been the key, even when life seemingly works against us or it feels as though it’s slowing things or feeling stagnant.

Because, again, that’s life. It’s not all honeymoon and frenzy, and it takes every day commitment to the work of being in a deeply vulnerable relationship if it’s meant to be deep and vulnerable long-term. That’s where the most profound opportunities lie – in everyday life. In REAL life. That’s the only way this is sustainable for us – if we can customize it to work for us, everyday, amidst the bustle of everyday life, building a foundation for tomorrow, and not speeding to some fantastical end that misses out on so many opportunities to know one another. Because that’s the only way to see clearly the truest versions of ourselves, the best versions of ourselves.

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Set Me Free

Flesh awakened from a slumber

Your hand slowly traveling

I moan and hum, body alive

Your strength and control prevailing

Hips buck and wetness pools

As your palm makes its way

Inching down, from breast to mound

Fingers enter to play

Circling, teasing fingers threaten

Breath shallow, gooseflesh forming

“Come hither,” fingers say to me

Relentless massaging, reaction forming

Rhythmic clenching, fingers retreating

Palm striking delicate skin

Only to enter again, repeating

Pain-pleasure making me spin

In my ear, your voice commanding

“Not yet,” you say to me

“I’ll tell you when, My Love,” a whisper

“Yes, Sir,” my soul set free

(Un)Balanced

Someone mentioned to me recently that it seems as though, from the outside looking in, my soul is in turmoil much more than it is happy as M and I find our way on this journey. My responses to her were long and our conversation was pleasant, but it has made me think. A lot.

It’s true, but only partly so. There has been turmoil, but most of it has been inner turmoil as I let go, more and more, becoming bare and exposed, completely vulnerable to M. As I face, head on, all that shit I stuffed away for all those years. As I’m honest with myself and ultimately to M about everything, expressing myself freely for the first time in my life. Connecting with him on the most primal, bare level possible. Deeper than we ever imagined possible, in so many ways.

As I do those things, I also face who I am in my center, my core. My darkest emotions and desires. I am not ashamed of who I am or what I want, not anymore. I am proud to have found the courage to begin to embrace it all. Yet, there is a part of me that still wonders if the things I want and need are ridiculous. Therapeutic spankings are a topic M and I have visited and revisited.

The fact that M has any discomfort at all about therapy spanking/impact, sends me all sorts of mixed messages about whether I should want or need them. He intellectually understands my need, but he cannot relate emotionally. He may never fully understand, I don’t know. I’m not really sure how else to explain it or reassure him or help the process. There has been some misunderstanding about what it is and how it should work. We did clarify that a therapy spanking does not mean that I want to be black and blue and crying for days, that it is a spanking similar to any other, but it is a means for catharsis, which helped. Still, his feelings make me feel uncomfortable asking, even though there isn’t an unwilling bone in his body. He will do anything for me, he’s told me as much.

I know that my biggest hang-up is this: I felt like a selfish, bitchy, self-centered woman for so many years. I got my way by default.

Since I am so vulnerable, my emotions surface easily and they just pour out. Those self-deprecating feelings and thoughts aren’t stuffed away, they float around and become too heavy and I need to let them go. When I need a spanking, when I need impact, not for sexual release or for fun pain/pleasure play, but for true emotional release, I feel like that same selfish, self-centered woman – needy and burdensome. Especially since, after that spanking, I need to feel reassurance from him, loving words and physical contact. My preference is in the form of sex. To be so connected and trusting of him, then assured that he is still right there, after that dark core of me is exposed. He has expressed to me that his brain has trouble shifting gears like that – not that he doesn’t t want to comfort and reassure me, but that sex may not be feasible.

All these conflicting emotions make my asking very difficult.

I asked for us to live this way. I get so much out of it. I know he does too, there is no doubt in my mind. He feels there is a balance. But, sometimes, I feel like the pendulum swings in my direction more often. I don’t love that feeling.

Follow-Up to Don’t Look Down

We talked last night. Our issue from the evening before was cleared up pretty easily, it’s amazing how quickly an apology, a hug and understanding will make things better. Those questions I had yesterday about him, they were all maybe’s or assumptions. And they were false, mostly. He has had some trouble asking for my service, but he has been asking more of me and accepting more (and I love it). He’ll get more comfortable as we go – he told me he is enjoying what I’m doing and likes that he can ask for certain things! The responsibility thing – I had worried he felt burdened by that too, but it turns out it’s the exact opposite! He doesn’t find it to be too much and he knows if something is for my (or our) own good, it needs to be said or done. He prides himself in taking on the responsibility and has no trouble taking control in this area (he’s felt this our entire marriage, just silently at times), he’s just taking his time in certain areas, exerting control a little at a time and in more ways than maybe I’d realized. I find it interesting I can be controlled without even knowing it…ha!

I was worried about communication, but he said exactly what some of you wonderfully helpful women have said: to express concerns whenever I have them and trust he will lead us in the right direction. I worried he felt I was weak or burdensome for needing him or for feeling vulnerable sometimes. Again, it wasn’t the case. He loves that I need him now, that I can express it and let him lead. He told me he loves how we are living, that he is just as happy as I am. I never doubted his commitment to this, I guess I just needed to know all was well with him, we hadn’t really talked about it in a while. I feel a responsibility for his happiness too, especially since I asked for this. I was told to let that go….

I wasn’t unhappy or fearful or upset (other than with that one issue from the night before), I just had some questions. This all made me realize I need assurance from him, that I need us to touch base every now and then to be sure we are both satisfied with our direction. Not every day, just every now and then. I also need to trust that he’ll tell me if something’s wrong or he doesn’t like the way things are going (in the past, his silence meant he was resolved to my way of doing things). In the meantime, patience. PATIENCE. And, enjoy the happy.

Best of all, I guess I don’t need to worry about looking down. In fact, I really just need to hold on to him, he IS my safety net.

Most Days

Most days, I wake up tired, but I wake with intention and purpose. I never, ever hit snooze and I move about the day trying to forge my way, to make the most of each moment, to cross things off my list, to see and hear and appreciate all that is around me. I try to nurture new, positive habits, put all my effort into making each day of this journey a positive one for my family, even among the bumps and turns.

Some days, though, I wake tired and my intentions are foggy, my purpose skewed. My brain never quite fully latches on to the world around me. I get lost a little. These days, they are the most difficult. I don’t feel quite so sure of things, I’m too sensitive and sometimes, my immediate thoughts or reactions are a little too close to how they used to be. Then, I feel even worse, shaky, like I might crumble without him. While I’m not afraid to need him, a part of me is still uneasy when I feel like I so desperately do.

Teamwork

A few years ago, when I first realized I needed to do something drastic in order to feel better about myself, one thing I did was join a walking club. I was seriously overweight and this club became just what I needed, providing motivation, friendship and goals. I walked, then ran my way through 12 half-marathons and lost almost all the weight I ever gained. Yesterday, I signed up for one of the most challenging trail runs I will have ever done. I’ve done some shorter trail runs like Warrior Dash many times, which was fun and I’ve done Pretty Muddy on a ski slope, but that was kinda foo-foo if you ask me. Bubbles? In a race? And you call that an obstacle? I paid $70 for that. Never again. This one is longer and on a treacherous course with ridiculous elevation. I’m actually a little worried, you should see the disclaimer! But, I love a challenge and I’m just shy of my goal, so this is just what I need, something to strive for in the next few months.
By fall, my goal is to complete another half-marathon. I need a goal to work toward that is just mine, independent of all the other stuff going on in our lives. We even added it to the rules, it was his idea. We also find that it’s healthy and important that we make time for one another to move or exercise without the other. We love spending time together, but we need to be alone sometimes. I do some of my best thinking listening to my iPod, logging in the miles, alone.
Biking is my husband’s meditation and thinking time and I always make sure my schedule allows for his rides. Not long ago, he was recovering from another surgery and needed motivation (this was his 12th corrective surgery after a college sporting accident). Sometimes, he’s an overachiever in this area, and he decided to strive to participate in a charity race…180 miles in two days. After a surgery. So, I supported his recovery and made sure my schedule put him on that bike whenever he needed to train for many months. One of my proudest moments was watching him cross that finish line. I’ll never forget it.
This all means so much to me because back then, when I first started all this, he believed in me even when I did not. He arranged his schedule around my exercise, made it a priority and has supported me the entire time. It’s taken a while, but I believe in myself now too. I know I can set a goal, work hard and find success in the trying. And no matter how many more surgeries my husband needs, he’ll always be perfect and whole and everything I’ll ever need. I’ll always support his goals and he knows I believe in him too. He believes in himself. We make a good team.

Connected

While I was not raised in a strict religious environment, I went to Catholic school all the way to college. My home life was tumultuous, so I found comfort in the church, it’s rules, school, books, and learning. When I was younger, I poured myself into school and went to church a few times a week on my own, I just walked or went with neighbors. As I grew up, those church rules and it’s doctrine became a sharp contrast to my mother’s behavior, which caused me so much confusion, embarrassment, even shame. By 7th grade, I was so intent on a path so far from my mother’s that I actually talked to the nuns about becoming a nun! Of course, after my first boyfriend, this changed rather quickly. Even so, I went to confession regularly and I chose to go face to face so I wouldn’t feel like a coward (and I told the truth!), I couldn’t accept any less from myself. I welcomed the opportunity for absolution and penance. I often found comfort on my knees, in prayer, alone.

In high school, I really started to question the doctrine, it’s inconsistencies, and for a while I stopped going to church unless they made us. I think I needed to rebel against something I had control over and this fit the bill. Though I was a great student, I lived in my head most of the time, was very sensitive internally, and had difficulty connecting with others sometimes. I never felt anyone understood me aside from a few close friends. While maintaining my grades, I had as much fun as I could without getting caught. My mom trusted me since I got good grades and followed the rules, so I sort of took care of myself. The choices I made weren’t always good ones. I’d get upset at myself for doing exactly the opposite of what my brain knew I should do, thus feelings of betrayal. Betraying myself. Allowing myself to go against what I thought was right and good. Still, I’d wander into church now and again, on my own, simply to sit. To reflect. To hope. There was comfort there in the ritual. Stand, sit, kneel, pray. Confess and try to purge some of the guilt. Try to make sense of all those conflicting thoughts and feelings.

I spent a lot of time applying for scholarships so I could get out of my small town and my family situation. I left, focusing on college and trying to figure out how to be on my own, to trust in myself without all the craziness around all the time. The trusting in myself part was where I faltered. I tried so hard on my own, tried to maintain control, on the outside, at least. There was no church, a new city, no friends. I made a few close friends, played soccer, excelled in school, but I was empty. Again, I’d wander to the local Catholic church from time to time, simply to immerse myself in it’s ritual, to find comfort, to feel at home. Yet, there was guilt, feelings I’d betrayed myself over and over. Guilt at not being the person I knew I should be, could be.

Maintaining the facade of control was difficult, for many years, even into adulthood. Knowing what to do and having the courage to do it are two very different things. My courage came later. Much later. That guilt is still there from time to time, regret at having betrayed myself for so long, for going against what the church taught about being the best version of myself, who I knew I could be. To aid in this, my husband and I sought out a church and attended for a long time. For me, as I grew, it was always about feeling like a part of something bigger than myself, a greater good, a feeling of community and connection to a purpose. There was a gap that need filled and I was grasping at anything I thought could fill it – outside of myself.

While I still wander into church now and again, it’s not something I do often. I’ve found that I don’t crave the ritual or the confines of the walls in order to feel what I always needed to feel when I went there and to feel like I’m putting forth the same into the world. My experiences in church taught me to believe in myself, be true to myself, to find goodness all around me, to create goodness and to give of myself. I am finally at a place where I can embrace all these things. I’m able to look inside myself, see strength and accept who I am. I can look at M, see a leader and appreciate him. I feel a connectedness, not always from inside a church, not always from a god. I feel it with M – I draw strength from that connectedness, from our faith in one another. In our ability to provide absolution for one another, simply in our unclouded acceptance of who we are for one another. I find connectedness everywhere, all the time. On a run, in a handshake, in a nod and smile from a stranger on the street, in a hug, gliding on the water in my kayak, in a laugh or in tears and especially when I’m able to help someone in need. Even on a blog, when a few words from a wise person are able to punch me in the gut or squeeze my heart, I feel connected. Even amongst all the risk of the unknown. I can’t help it.

Over-analyzing?

I know it’s not a good idea to continuously over-analyze things, I really do. However, I was unhappy with myself for SO many years and now that I’m happier than I’ve ever been, I’d like to continue the happy. So, occasionally, I realize my motive for something might be negative and I ruminate on it a bit. Recently, I was worrying about why I might enjoy pain. It might sound silly to even care, but I saw a pattern emerging, one that is difficult to share.

When I started thinking about why I might enjoy pain, I wondered if it might be because I feel like I deserve it. Maybe I deserve to be punished, not for any current infraction, but for past mistakes, regrets, for being a bad person, making poor decisions, and on and on. Punishment for being me. I thought this might be true because I began to make some connections with the experiences we’d had thus far. Looking back, even the very first time he truly spanked me with more than hands, I wanted it to hurt. It had been a difficult day with my family (mom + sisters = crazy), I felt guilt and anger and hurt after being with them. Mostly, I couldn’t stop thinking about him and the spanking. I had anxiety that it might NOT happen, not that it would. Another example was after I posted the first part of my story. I put to words all that ugliness and guilt and shame. Then, I wanted it to hurt. I wanted it to hurt until I cried (or something, I just wanted more, a lot more). He tried, but I did not, I wasn’t even close.

Staying healthy and happy is important to me, I don’t ever want to go back to stuffing things away and ignoring my issues. Occasionally, I need to be sure my motives are healthy ones. After much thought, I realize it might be pretty simple: I like it, it clears my head, I don’t have to think and can just feel, it’s grounding and freeing and cathartic, and it’s consensual, end of story. I’ll be aware if it feels like it’s going to a bad place. I think I’m self-aware enough for that now.

There’s an honest peek into my twisted, over-analyzing brain. Sometimes it’s just exhausting, but in the end, it usually pays off.