Sunday curiosity #8

I said that I wanted to change direction a little with this blog, and this is part of it, to step away from those powerful moments and talk a little about the ordinary ones, those moments that happen day in and day out, in between the beautiful and the powerful there is the ordinary, the routine. This is not my usual type of posting, though it is a moment in time, and it is an emotional reality. This Sunday curiosity is about the ‘things’ that we deal with, that we all deal with, whether we have a D/s relationship or not. I am posting this as a ‘Sunday curiosity’ to see how it feels, to see if it works for me, to see if it invokes a reaction.

My boy is a smart, thoughtful man, a man with his own mind, and he is not afraid to tell me when he thinks something is wrong, when he is uncomfortable, when something bothers him – I enjoy that about him, that he stands up to me. I am a woman in a relationship that is as complex as it is rewarding, I am difficult and sometimes not able to be the person I strive to be. There is no linear path that I stalk down, my eyes are not relentlessly looking forward, I do not expect my boy to blindly be behind me at all times going ‘yes Ma’am, whatever you say Ma’am’. I meander, I waver, I stumble, I go down many paths at once, I explain to my boy where I am going and why and sometimes he disagrees with me, we talk, sometimes I change my mind, always I bring him along. It is the bringing him along that makes it work. The day I can no longer bring him along with me is the day we are in serious trouble.

Sometimes, we struggle, my boy and I, and the reasons are many and varied, it is a relationship, and the D/s component adds another layer that needs to be nurtured and cared for.

He has, in the past week, missed complying with my instructions twice, not once, but twice. This is unusual, very unusual and it gives me a shock, it scares me a little. They were not big instructions, not serious items that were important, they were small-ish, but they mean something to me simply because I asked these things of him, and his non-compliance hurts me. The reasons for his transgressions are important, he is not wilfully disobedient, he knows that my asserting control, and him complying opens me up to him, connects us and makes us sweet and strong and we both work to make us strong. To break this dynamic, though, all he has to do is stop doing what I say… that’s it. All I have to do to break this dynamic is to stop asserting control. There is nothing secretly complicated about D/s relationships… he surrenders himself to me, I take him where I want us to go. If either of us stops doing that, we are broken.

“Where is it?”, I ask him, “I told you to keep it on…”.

“I took it off, because I thought that you couldn’t have meant what you said… I didn’t think it made sense with your second instruction…so I took it off…”. He explains his reasoning to me, his logic, his thought process.

I am surprised, and hurt. I tell him that he doesn’t get to decide what he will and won’t comply with. He is starting to close down already, I can feel it, the wall going up, he is shoring up his defensive position as I talk to him.

“Ma’am, what shall we do about it?”, he asks me after I finish explaining my thoughts, he doesn’t acknowledge what I am saying, he wants this conversation, this incident to go away, to be over. He thinks I am wrong, that what he did was justified.

His reason for not complying was so that he could make something else that he was doing for me sweeter, I understand that, and I feel bad that his thoughtful sweetness is backfiring on him this way. But I can’t let it go, I won’t. I feel as if we are disconnecting, each sending volleys over the wall blindly and I need to fix it before we start hitting big targets, before we really hurt each other with this.

I press him on it.

“I want you to tell me that you understand clearly what I am saying, why it is important to me when it seems trivial…”

He explains himself again, his reasoning, how he felt my instructions didn’t really make sense, he honestly didn’t think I could mean them, so he didn’t follow them, “…and that was the wrong thing to do, and I am sorry Ma’am, I shouldn’t have done it but I did”.

That should be enough, it should. I understand his explanation, he admitted he was wrong, he apologised for goodness’ sakes! Maybe that should have been enough, it seems like it should have been enough, but it wasn’t. I can be am a difficult and demanding woman, I want what I want and I look at myself sometimes and wonder if I am unreasonable, if I ask too much, expect too much, but I ask and expect it because I want him, and part of that wanting is my desire to bring him impossibly close to me and I can’t do that by letting things slide, I can’t, even though it is clearly easier to do that, to let things go even if I am not really happy with how they end up. I can’t, though, let things go when I am not happy with them, the day that I do that is the day that I really don’t care enough anymore to do otherwise.

I feel as if he isn’t really getting my point that it is not his place to arbitrarily decide if I mean what I tell him or not. I mean what I say and if I am unclear, he should ask. The ‘what’ in this is irrelevant compared with the fact that he looked at what I asked him, made his own judgement about whether it made sense, decided it didn’t, and so, put it aside. That way lies too many questions… I can’t second guess whether he will do as I ask him, I need my trust in him to be rock solid, I can’t make a relationship work if I am wondering about whether he will do as I say or not.

I try again, “I want to make sure you understand (beyond this) why it is important to me to know that you are under my instruction. I assume you get that and have no questions about it?”

He is frustrated with me now, and angry that I am questioning his commitment, his resolve. He snaps at me.

“You, seriously, after I went what fifty some days without coming? I need to get sleep instructions if you would like to give them, and then we need to talk again tomorrow.”

I struggle not to snap back, I take a deep breath, I don’t want this to get bigger than it is, I don’t want us to go to bed with it unresolved, I don’t want it to drag out. I know he wants to drop it, he is worried it will get ugly, that we will get heated and say things we regret. I also feel a little sick and worried that this will turn into something huge, but I want it resolved in some sense. I feel as if we are miscommunicating over and over and he is unwilling or unable to give me what I need. The more upset and angry we get, the less likely it is that we are going to resolve this happily.

I am terse now, “I am asking you a simple question, and it doesn’t seem that I am asking much from you except a ‘yes, I do understand why it’s important to you Ma’am'”.

He gives in.

“Yes I do understand why it is important to you Ma’am.”

I don’t question whether he means it, our exchange is now too emotionally clouded to see so clearly. I thank him for saying it, either way. He stiffly tells me I am welcome. We pet each other down a little then, the tense little exchange is the turning point.

“I know it was not a big thing baby, I just think sometimes that there is a danger that some of the things we do seem silly and pointless, but I place value in them, you know?”.

“Nothing I do with you is silly or pointless ever ever ever”, he breaks my heart a little.

“I am trying not to blow things out of proportion, but also I am loath to let things go because that way lies cute vanilla ice cream and cotton candy… I don’t do cute vanilla ice cream and cotton candy so well”.

“Cotton candy is for girls…”, he smiles at me seeking reassurance. I smile back at him and we make some tentative moves towards each other, each of us prickly and wary.

We hesitatingly touch each other’s wounds, they are raw, and we tiptoe around them a little. We talk of other things, try gently to make each other smile. I ask him to read to me in his honeyed voice that I love, to bring us close. This licking and petting and gentling down will continue for a day or so, we will reassure each other that we are ok until we are sure that we are ok. We will talk more about it when we are calm, when we regret the hurt we caused.

The next day, he is punished. In the aftermath, it is his job to try his very best for me, to be extra vigilant in the next little while, it is my job to be gentle with him, to be kind, to make sure he knows that he is my good boy, even when we have hit a glitch. We talk about how we can do better next time. I commit to him that I will be clearer in my instructions, to try to remove any ambiguity. He agrees that sometimes, even when he disagrees with me and believes he is right, sometimes he just has to say ‘Yes Ma’am, I will do as you say’ (not ‘Yes Ma’am, I agree’ which would be a lie, but a sincere acceptance that he will do as I say) regardless of how unfair he thinks it is.

We are sweet to each other, each of us needing that reassurance that we haven’t damaged anything. It is gentle and tender and a little desperate. We will be fine.

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17 Comments

  1. Sometimes, I disobey on purpose. Not big things; little ones. Sometimes it's because I want punishment. Other times it's because it's a necessary part of D/s. I can't be a perfect little slave all the time; it takes away some of the power dynamic when that happens.

    I find that it ebbs and flows, and when I'm frustrated, sometimes I'll “forget” a task. Sometimes it means I want attention, or there's something else going on.

  2. Britni: Thank you for your perspective, it is always good to see how other couples make it work.

    “Sometimes, I disobey on purpose.”

    I know a lot of people enjoy that sort of play, but I don't.

    In our dynamic, his obedience is a demonstration of his affection for me. My dominance is the same. When I ask something of him, and he does it, it is the equivalent of us making out in the corner. When he disobeys, it is like I am leaning in for a kiss and he is turning away. It is a rejection of my affection. It is not fun for me, it is hurtful.

    We can play with it at times when we are just being silly, but it has to be obvious that we are both in mood. Then it becomes a kind of cute flirting thing where he might saunter past me wiggling his arse to get me a drink or something instead of hopping to it and I might give him a swat and call him a slack bitch and tell him to hurry up and threaten him with awful things that he will love etc.

    “Sometimes it's because I want punishment.”

    I want to discourage it as much as possible, so my punishments are never fun, I generally make them dull, tedious and lonely activities.

    “I find that it ebbs and flows, and when I'm frustrated, sometimes I'll “forget” a task. Sometimes it means I want attention, or there's something else going on.”

    Yes, this makes sense to me. When it happens, I do wonder if something else is going on, what it means and try and draw it out. And you are quite right, it does ebb and flow and I will cater for that, part of looking after him is being able to read his moods and not setting him up for failure by demanding more than he can give at any particular point in time.

    I have just realised that this week his disobedience was unique because he wanted to justify it. Normally, it is just a mistake, he acknowledges it, he knows it was wrong, he feels bad, and we deal with it. This time, he wanted to argue his position, he felt that he was right and that, really, was why it hit me harder than a simple transgression.

    Ferns

  3. Ferns,

    Beautifully written. I sometimes feel like I pick issues apart. I try not to but it just seems to happen. Understanding is a big thing to me…I believe that understanding cuts down on complications.

    Sometimes I will take a seemingly small issue, twist and turn it like a Rubix Cube until I make some sort of sense w/ it.

    Great post.

    Faith

  4. This was a very hard post to read, almost as hard as the one last week. Mistress and i have had encounters very similar to this. i wish i could say we handled them as well as you did.

    i would discuss them further if you have any interest but not in a comment :)

  5. I enjoyed reading this entry and I hope you do more like it. I find that that it is the ordinary that provides such fascinating details into ones thinking and helps to put “the beautiful and the powerful” into proper perspective.

    You mentioned being “surprised, and hurt” as well as being “little sick and worried”, yet you never said that you were angry. Neither did you belittle or lash out at your boy at any time.

    You did a wonderful job of handling the situation and in the process, provided me with a bit more insight into the wold of D/s. Thank you for a great post.

  6. Faith: “Beautifully written.”

    Thank you, it felt awkward (in the writing) and gappy (in the telling), so I appreciate that. I realise that if I explain the entire incident, it would end up being interminable.

    “I sometimes feel like I pick issues apart.”

    I know what you mean, I tend to obsess over things if I don't feel as if they are sorted in some way. I write a lot to achieve the 'picking' part, and sometimes that reveals things that I would otherwise not have seen, so it can be useful.

    “I believe that understanding cuts down on complications.”

    It does, and I think many arguments boil down to not feeling understood. This one is a case in point. Neither of us felt understood. It is difficult, when heated, to get to 'I understand, I just disagree', because it inevitably leads to 'well, you don't understand then, because obviously, if you really TRULY understood, you couldn't help but agree!'.

    Of course, everyone should just agree with me, it would make life so much easier!

    Ferns

  7. Secretive Slave: “Mistress and i have had encounters very similar to this. i wish i could say we handled them as well as you did.”

    Well, we all do the best we can, right? I would love it if we could talk about difficult things without emotion getting in the way.

    Frankly, the fact that these conversations are always varying degrees of difficult and ugly is the reason that people let things go, let them fester. No-one likes to have difficult conversations where either or both of you may get hurt or angry. It is easier to turn a blind eye, but that way lies resentment because you then never get those items out into the light. It is infinitely easier when they are still small things.

    In the fantasy world, I would just tell him to shut the fuck up, smack him silly and he would suck it up. In the real world, that sort of thing would quickly leave me subless, and rightly so.

    “i would discuss them further if you have any interest but not in a comment :)”

    I am always interested in how other people deal with these things. Send me an email if you like (with your Mistress' permission – she may not like you sharing with a stranger).

    Ferns

  8. slapshot: “I enjoyed reading this entry and I hope you do more like it.”

    Thank you, I am finding the comments really interesting (as evidenced by my ungodly long responses!), so I will certainly be looking at more of the ordinary.

    “You mentioned being “surprised, and hurt” as well as being “little sick and worried”, yet you never said that you were angry. Neither did you belittle or lash out at your boy at any time.”

    I am slow to anger, things like this don't make me angry. If I am really angry, I will remove myself from a situation rather than try to deal with anyone in that state because it is rather pointless. I was ready to flare up in response to him snapping at me, but I really do try not to do that, and sometimes I even succeed!

    I would love to say profound and irritating cliches about how dominants should always be in control of themselves and that sort of thing, but it feeds into the fantasy that we are somehow special. We aren't, we are just as flawed and hopeless as anyone else.

    I do, though, feel responsible for my boy, for his well being and emotions, for keeping him safe (I know that sounds patronising, but when a boy is capable of incredibly vulnerability, he is also capable of being terribly hurt) so even when we clash, I have a part that keeps me in check because I can't bear to see him hurt, much less be the cause of it.

    And I would never belittle him in an argument, not ever. See above.

    “You did a wonderful job of handling the situation and in the process, provided me with a bit more insight into the wold of D/s.”

    Thank you. If course, if I was a twoo Dominate I would just have called him a worm and beaten him bloody with a stick… *sigh*… one day I WILL be a twoo Dominate… I will, I will!

    Ferns

  9. “I need to get sleep instructions if you would like to give them, and then we need to talk again tomorrow.”

    This actually made me laugh. I like that rather than simply saying “I'm going to bed” he still asked for instructions.

  10. Brids: “I like that rather than simply saying “I'm going to bed” he still asked for instructions.”

    I like that too, very much.

    It goes like this… we were having a difficult discussion, a disagreement, an argument. He wanted it to stop because he was angry, and worried that it would escalate. Despite his irritation, he was still willing and able to show me affection and respect by asking me for sleep instructions even though things were tense. He knows how much those things mean to me, to us, and I adore that he did that.

    I think that's lovely. Truly.

    Ferns

  11. Thank you for posting this! I also feel extremely hurt when the little things get overlooked and it's so difficult to know how to treat it like a little thing but still make a big deal of it enough to have it be an issue to address. (Um.. sorry if that sentence doesn't make sense).

    I'm making my boy read this now and I know it will cause us to have a good discussion like your posts often do. Thank you for sharing your relationship and growth.

  12. May: ” I also feel extremely hurt when the little things get overlooked and it's so difficult to know how to treat it like a little thing but still make a big deal of it enough to have it be an issue to address. (Um.. sorry if that sentence doesn't make sense).”

    No, it made perfect sense to me.

    I think there are three parts to disobedience. One is the act, and the second is the reason, the third is the response. The act is not really so important unless it is a fundamental tenet of the relationship that he has not complied with. The reason, though, is key, as is the response. If the reason is that he forgot and his response is ‘Meh, whatever’, then you have a problem. If the reason is that he forgot and his response is ‘Oh, god, I’m so sorry!’ and he genuinely gets that he made a mistake that matters, then that is no big deal.

    “I'm making my boy read this now and I know it will cause us to have a good discussion like your posts often do.”

    Oh, I am glad, thank you (hello May’s boy!). I think the bottom line is that disobedience breaks the dynamic. I can’t make my boy do anything, he has to want to comply and if he stops doing that, he is no longer submitting to me. I have to support him in his submission and I do that in various ways, and one of them is not to ignore transgressions because that sends him the message that I don’t care if he does what I say, and I do care, very much.

    Ferns

  13. As a sub, I can thoroughly identify with your boy. I often feel the need to justify myself, which my Master hates. He feels I have to do as he says, and sometimes, when I make mistakes, he doesn't get that I am willing to do exactly that. Sometimes I mishear, misunderstand or misinterpret what he is saying, and when he asks me what the heck I was doing/thinking I start to justify my actions, and I tell him that he was unclear. He hates that. I really think it's great of you to try and be more precise in your instructions so that something like that is less likely to happen in the future. Maybe your boy didn't want to ask if you meant your instructions in a specific way, because he was afraid of annoying you.

  14. N: “As a sub, I can thoroughly identify with your boy. I often feel the need to justify myself, which my Master hates. He feels I have to do as he says, and sometimes, when I make mistakes, he doesn't get that I am willing to do exactly that.”

    It's a tricky area. I understand the desire to justify yourself if you feel you have a genuine reason for the mistake, but there is a difference between reasons and excuses. The first accepts responsibility, the second doesn't.

    “I really think it's great of you to try and be more precise in your instructions so that something like that is less likely to happen in the future.”

    Thank you. It only makes sense that I bear responsibility if I am not being as clear as I could be.

    “Maybe your boy didn't want to ask if you meant your instructions in a specific way, because he was afraid of annoying you.”

    No, he is not afraid of annoying me, I encourage him to ask me if something is not clear. In this case though, he honestly believed that it wouldn't be a problem, so went ahead and did what he thought made sense.

    Ferns

  15. This was the sexient vignette i've read in months. Your straight up dealing with his disobedience despite all the awkwardness. It means you really care about your relationship with him. His initial desire to resist submission and then his acquiescence. Awesome.

    When did you and your boy feel that the bond of intimacy returned to your relationship? Was it right after this situation or was it the next day after the punishment?

    And can you tell us what the punishment was? How did you carry it out? Did he know it was coming?

    Thanks
    bi-bei

  16. bi-bei: “This was the sexiest vignette i've read in months.”

    Oh, surprising, but thank you.

    “When did you and your boy feel that the bond of intimacy returned to your relationship?”

    I like that question, even though I want to go 'hold on… the bond of intimacy was never broken', but it is quite right, that question, because even though it was a small thing, it does cause a little rift. It is the kind of little rift that could easily be papered over instead of repairing it because it doesn't *really* matter until the whole structure is full of cracks. It's the right question and well put, thank you for it.

    I think we started to repair it right afterwards, but it takes a little more work to fully 'fix' it. I'd say it was probably the next day after we had talked about it further. We both had to be happy that it was dealt with, that we understood each other, and then it takes a little more time to be sweet with each other to put it behind us.

    I was fully and completely ok when he made it a point to come to me and say “Yes Ma'am” the next day, without context, just to demonstrate that he 'got it'. *swoon*

    “And can you tell us what the punishment was? How did you carry it out? Did he know it was coming?”

    We have a punishment dynamic, so I didn't have to specifically tell him it was coming, so yes, he knew. I am not willing to reveal the punishment, but rest assured that it was nothing fun or even particularly interesting. It fit the transgression, made him think of me, and was somewhat awkward for him.

    Ferns

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