Sunday, January 29, 2012

Underestimating our Doms

I do it far more often than I like to think.

From what I read, I am not alone in this.

Yes, we do tend to put our Doms on a pedestal. We tend to want to believe that they walk on water. We *need* for them to be as close to perfect as we think we are far away from perfect. We need for them to be everything we think we are not.

Because we have chosen to live in a particular way, within specified relationship roles and guidelines, we are indeed free to express who we are to the fullest extent possible. And that is absolutely the most wonderful, fulfilling, feeling I have ever felt in my life outside childbirth.

But there are times when I think we forget the rest of the picture. We forget that we, even when we are living our submission to the fullest extent possible, are only half of the equation and that no relationship of any sort is achievable when it is out of balance. Oh yes, it is easy to remember that our Doms are just as Dominant as we are submissive. But what about the rest?

We tend to worry a lot about how they will react if we are less than perfect in our submission. If we fail to maintain their standards we wonder if they will lose interest, and leave.

My how we underestimate our Doms.

I learned this particular lesson during the summer I was working full time at a physically demanding job with crazy hours and little pay, while going to grad school full time. It was challenging to say the least and for lots and lots of reasons, and y'all know how worried I was about Padrone's pleasure, satisfaction, happiness. I worried that he would find someone else to scene with (believe it or not I would have been alright with that if it weren't for the fact that our own relationship started in much the same circumstances), and more upsetting - I worried that he would be enticed by someone who was more available than I was (and am).

I do cringe when I remember just how worried I was that summer. Yes, it was about me and my own insecurities. But it was also about Padrone and how I really didn't think about how little faith I was showing in him. He is such a wonderful man, and so wonderful to *me*. And I have commented, typed, before about his commitment to me and our relationship. But somehow that was lost in the shuffle at that time.

I am not alone in that line of thought.

Why is it that the men we hold in such high esteem, we tend to attribute some pretty ugly qualities whenever we don't meet some arbitrary standards? I mean, yes, I do understand that they have high standards for us in terms of behavior and such. But we have even higher standards for ourselves. And honestly, I believe that tends to leave us totally inflexible in a lot of ways. That inflexibility about our own standards of behavior can create inflexible expectations for both ourselves as well as our Dominants.

The simplistic view is that if we don't behave within a specific set of behaviors that not only have we failed, but that our Doms see us as failures. When we believe that we are seen as failures what happens? Usually we tend to do whatever we can to "fix" things. In other words, we take control over ourselves. Why? Do we really not believe that our Doms can control us when we are less than perfect?

Much has been written about submission not being meaningful if it is easy. I believe that thought is often translated into "submission is *only* meaningful if it is *not* easy", which is not necessarily true. Both subs and Doms often see the more difficult aspects of submission as the most meaningful, and forget about the day-to-day things done to serve, please, and obey that are not always difficult or which become less difficult over time.

We think, many times, that it is our responsibility to keep our Dominants from having any kind of difficulties in the relationship.

We underestimate them.

Maybe, just maybe, it is when Dominance is more difficult that is just as meaningful as when submission is difficult. Maybe Doms should be stretched in ways equal to the way we want to stretch our submission. Maybe being a Dom is difficult in ways that we may not think of, but the ways we *do* think make it difficult .... really aren't that difficult .... maybe it is mostly because the things *we* think are difficult are merely things we would *find* difficult if we were the big D.

Maybe there's a reason we aren't Dominant. Maybe, just maybe, our own strengths lie in different directions and allow us to be who we are and let them be who they are. (Not necessarily who we think they are or should be or react how we would)

When we take such a heavy responsibility for our relationships it is as if we believe that they have no responsibility for anything other than giving us the control we need to be fulfilled as a person. We lose sight of the fact that they are equal partners in our relationships, bearing equal responsibility for their success.

We underestimate them.

Believe it or not, they really *are* as great as we think they are. They are just as strong as we give them credit for being. Even in the BAD times. Even when we *aren't* as great as we think we should be. Even in the crazy times. As Padrone tells me, and sometimes I literally have to remind myself of that in the few times when he gets upset with me....He isn't made of glass. Getting upset now and then won't hurt him, much less break him!

Neither would running a dishwasher or having to masturbate when I can't be available. I even plan to teach him how to use a washer, but don't tell him I said that! But the problem we have is that we submissives think that our "job" in terms of keeping our Dominants happy, is meeting every freaking need they may possibly have and if they have to ask us for something, we've somehow failed.

Maybe our failure is in not understanding that these men are strong, capable men and that their universal expectation of us is that we do our best, given our circumstances. They are flexible enough to understand that life happens, circumstances change, and they are pretty darn good about changing their behavioral expectations of us based on those things. (One more admirable trait that we forget about when we take them off the pedestal and replace them with our own behaviors.) Yes, I do believe that part of underestimating our Doms is that we hold our own submission up as what makes the relationship work (or create problems, as the case may be). I do not believe that is true any more than I believe that one person can see-saw alone!

Padrone, I offer my sincere apology for underestimating you. I have no excuse other than the fact that I did not realize just how much control I was retaining by assuming such a heavy burden of responsibility for the health of our relationship. While I comment on, and deeply admire, your commitment to me and to us....somehow I still wanted...want? prevent any weakening of that commitment. Guess what? It's not going anywhere. And even if it would not be *my* responsibility for it happening.

If I truly believe in you...that you are the person I think you are....then my responsibility is to let go of the idea that your happiness is based on what I do or don't do. I have to accept that you are happy with me because of who I am, rather than what I do. Yes, I have talked about this before, but never in terms of how that attempt to retain absolute control over the health of our relationship underestimates you as it does. God...Padrone, I am so, so sorry.

Thank you, my Padrone, for being who you are. Thank you for letting me grow and learn and change to become the best person I can be, and the best slave for you. I am yours...through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Totally and irrevocably yours.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My Power, My Pleasure, My Pain

There are so many thoughts running through my brain, and none of them seem very well formed, so this particular blog post may make absolutely no sense at all. But it is what it is, whatever that may be!

First, I am very much enjoying my semester so far. The changed assignment has been so very different than the other situation was, and I thoroughly enjoy going to work again now. I am very grateful for the change!

My school started back last week, and until the first full week of March I will have two classes per week, so it will be interesting but good. I'll be busy of course. I am going to get some help with one of my assignments from the teachers on my new hall, since they are very much the type of people who will help me out like that. I love it, I really love it, y'all.

But on to what is strongly on my mind....

I have seen so much discussion lately about the relative ease or difficulty of submission. I have read blog posts written by women who seem to constantly struggle to be pleasing and respectful, and I have read blog posts by those who would have us believe that their submission is the pinnacle that we should all strive towards.

And it just seems to me that so many people aren't in this lifestyle to be who they are, to fulfill their lives by being freed to express their very core as fully as possible. I understand that the level of Dominance and submission in each person's makeup is different. I understand these things are relative and extremely individual. But I have stopped reading many blogs because of these very reasons.

I know it doesn't matter ... my blog reading habits that is. But I just wish I could say...just be yourself, be happy in what you do. If that isn't possible, then rethink it. The whole purpose for any relationship, and the dynamics within it, is to make the participants happy. If there is more strife than peace, then something isn't working. I am also not talking situationally, but rather generally, of course.

I think this type of relationship has become more popular in recent years, to the extent that many people are trying to live a fantasy that is being perpetuated faster than those who would try to present a realistic view of how we live D/s can overcome. It seems that our voices are becoming like cries in the wilderness. We are being dismissed as "downers" while the glowing accounts of the perfect life of D/s are perpetuated as gospel. I understand the appeal. What I find disturbing is the effects on so many people when the unrealistic expectations of D/s as the ultimate problem-solving dynamic fails. Instead of people looking at their expectations as being unrealistic, they tend to judge themselves, and that is ...destructive. I know this, as some of you know, from personal experience.

I do, at times, still struggle with the idea of perfection in my submission. And you know, I think Padrone has created a situation in our relationship that allows me to be as "perfect" in my submission as I can be. His expectations are things that are not unrealistic, although they do require diligence on my part to perform. But frankly, if I were expected to stifle my sassy attitude, or my analytical nature, or even my questioning him at times, then both of us know that neither of us would be happy in this relationship. You know...if Padrone doesn't like who I am, then he would not be happy anyway. And if I didn't care enough about Padrone to speak to him with respect, then I would not be happy either.

I have said for years that this type of relationship is not a power is an exchange of authority and responsibility. It is a defining of roles, with expectations of behavior on both sides of the / defined within those roles. It is a definite and outward show of respect on the part of the submissive partner, and a constant attitude of respect on the part of the Dominant.

But Padrone is no more powerful in this relationship than I am. He has the control and the authority and the responsibility yes. But his *power* is only equal to my own. He cannot control me any more powerfully than I submit. The little ways that I show my submission are often very powerful in and of themselves, in that they increase his own feeling of power over me. That is why Padrone loves the spontaneous, unsolicited, shows of submission as much as the formality that is inherent in our communication. And you know what? we can feel just as Dominant or submissive as we want to, but without the consensual expression of it, it means absolutely nothing.

I think what I am trying to say is that we are nothing without each other. We are so much in love, and so very appreciative of each other, that showing it is natural and so very fulfilling. But it is only because Padarone has been amazingly patient and caring and concerned with making it work. Rules, punishments, expectations, corrections, discipline, use...everything has changed and grown as we have changed and grown. Our circumstances change, as everyone's do, and Padrone sees that far better and much sooner than I do. He is flexible and adaptable, which means that our relationship grows and changes in wonderful and positive ways. What *doesn't* change, however, is who we are and they fact that we express it in ways that we both need in our lives. This song, by Seal, has a line that caught my attention on the way home from work the other day. I just like it, and thought I would share: