Dominance and vulnerability: A case study

Jun
2013
25

posted by on musing, random memories

After writing my previous post about vulnerability, I thought I’d follow up with an example of how it feels to me.

My boy and I had not been together all that long, I was at his place. It was about 10.30pm. It was winter, a foot or more of snow on the ground outside. I went to the toilet and used the last of the toilet paper on the roll. I looked around for more to put in holder, but didn’t want to go scrabbling around in his cupboards.

This is what happened next.

“Hey,” I said, and came out of the bathroom waving the empty roll.

He looked up.

“Oh…”

“Oh?”

“I’ve run out.”

I looked at him. I was staying the night, we would probably not go out again until we were hungry the next day. I made a face.

“I’m sorry, Ma’am. But I’ve got tissues!” he said hopefully.

I scowled at him, he lowered his eyes.

“Is it snowing out?” I asked.

We both went over to the window, I put a hand on the back of his neck. It was a gesture that had always been incredibly sweet between us. He melted under it, leaned into me slightly. Snow was falling lightly.

“Yes, it’s snowing…” he said.

“Hardly at all,” I replied.

“You don’t really want me to…” He let it trail off. The shop was a couple of blocks walk.

I looked at him and raised my eyebrows.

“Really?” he asked, “But it’s *snowing*!”

“Yes, really,” I said.

“What?!! Come on!”

“I want you to go out and get some more toilet paper.”

“Now?! It’s nearly 11pm!!”

“I know.”

He sighed. “I can’t believe you really want me to go out there…”

“Yes, I really want you to go out there.”

He trudged over to the coat rack morosely, shoulders hunched, got his boots and coat on.

“Be careful out there, boy.”

He gave me a resigned look, sighed. “Yes, Ma’am.”

————

But when I add my internal dialogue, THIS is how it FELT.

“Hey,” I said, and came out of the bathroom waving the empty roll.

He looked up.

“Oh…”

“Oh?”

“I’ve run out.” [What really? Ugh]

I looked at him. I was staying the night, we would probably not go out again until we were hungry the next day. I made a face. [This is a problem. I guess we can go out and get some. I wonder if HE will go out and get some…]

“I’m sorry, Ma’am. But I’ve got tissues!” he said hopefully. [I guess that would be okay, but I’d really like him to go out and get some now… wonder if he will…]

I scowled at him, he lowered his eyes. [Oh my god, he is so fucking adorable!!]

“Is it snowing out?” I asked. [How big a thing am I asking of him here? I’m not going to make him go if it’s a blizzard out there.]

We both went over to the window, I put a hand on the back of his neck. It was a gesture that had always been incredibly sweet between us. He melted under it, leaned into me slightly. Snow was falling lightly. [He is so lovely, he knows it’s coming now…]

“Yes, it’s snowing…” he said. [Hmmm… okay, he really doesn’t want to go…]

“Hardly at all,” I replied. [… but maybe… he will anyway…]

“You don’t really want me to…” He let it trail off. The shop was a couple of blocks walk. [Okay, that wasn’t too hard up against the idea… he’ll probably go…]

I looked at him and raised my eyebrows. [nudge prod…]

“Really?” he asked, “But it’s *snowing*!” [Hmmm… okay is he really resisting, or just needing a push?]

“Yes, really,” I said. [A little push.]

“What?!! Come on!” [I try to read him. He is half kidding with this over-the-top response, I can feel it. I’m pretty sure he will do it, even if he is pushing back…]

“I want you to go out and get some more toilet paper.” [Saying it as a full request now: “Yes, I’m asking this of you.”]

“Now?! It’s nearly 11pm!!” [Is this the final resistance? Or is he really not going to do this? I think he is just checking me… okay, let’s go… And quietly, I am going ‘please, please do what I ask…’]

“I know.” [Another push…]

He sighed. “I can’t believe you really want me to go out there…” [I feel the shift in him, this is acquiescence. I’m relieved, I know he’s going to do it… Then I get all melty warm: Yay, he’s going to do it!! OMG so lovely!!!]

“Yes, I really want you to go out there.” [Solidifying the request, so he knows he is doing this because I want him to.]

He trudged over to the coat rack morosely, shoulders hunched, got his boots and coat on.

“Be careful out there, boy.” [A sweetness, a pat, encouragement, an endearment]

He gave me a resigned look, sighed. “Yes, Ma’am.” [I melt, totally, at this]

I want to close that story to say that when he got back, he was skip-happy over it, that I’d ‘made’ him do it. I had feared that he might come back a bit sulky and I’d have to lift him out of it, but when he walked back in, he had a shit-eating grin on his face, all happy that I’d asserted my authority and pleased with himself for doing it. It was incredibly awesomely sweet. And the NEXT time, asking for something similar was no longer new territory, and my trust in him meant that the vulnerability around *those* things diminished.

So fucking lovely when it works!!

And THAT’S what makes it worthwhile to take the risk every time.

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36 comments

36 comments

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