Posts Tagged ‘relationships’
We’ve been working on discipline and service over in the Submissive Playground course, so I’ve been thinking a lot about both.
Earlier this week, rife didn’t want to do the dishes. I wouldn’t go so far as to say he was being “naughty” (though he did apologize for being so later). It was getting late, and I gave him a direct order—”Go do the dishes”—and instead of heading into the kitchen, he hopped onto my lap, kissing me, flirting.
“What if you can’t resist my boyish charms?” He giggled, and I laughed and kissed him back, and he gave me that dimpled smile that I can never resist. But … I’d been thinking about discipline. About order. And, about what it’s like to be a Daddy to someone who grows up, and what it’s like to be a Dominant who is firmly In Charge.
His task this week is to get off every day, and as such I lifted all orgasm restrictions that are usually in place: he can touch himself, he can use any toys he wants, he can come anytime I touch him—he doesn’t have to ask. I did leave one restriction in place, and that’s that he cannot use any toys in his ass without my permission, that hole being my domain exclusively for almost two years now. Having all this permission lifted seems to have made him a bit more bold this week, a bit more playful.
I like it.
(It has also helped that we both are finally, finally recovered from the Holiday flu, which lasted almost a month.)
He rocked his hips on my lap a little, and immediately I felt myself getting hard. He wanted to play. I wanted to play.
I caught his wrists with my hand and said, “I gave you a direct order: “Go do the dishes.” You think you get to just play whenever you want? You think you don’t have to do what I say?”
He backed off a little, sweet and shy, and started to defend himself with a comment, but I pulled his body up and started shoving him toward the bedroom, with a plan. He tried to dig his feet in to the floor and resist, but I slid him easily just by pushing. (Halfway through the kitchen, he mumbled, “Stupid socks!” and we both burst out laughing.)
I know from experience that he can take me. He was a wrestler, he plays rugby. I am a poet who likes to hike. He pinned me five times in a row when we wrestled on an LA beach. I’m bigger than him, so sometimes my size can pin him, but he’s fast and strong and knows the tricks. But that’s part of what makes it fun—I know, on some level, that he doesn’t want to win. That he resists because he likes me to push him.
When I shove him face-first onto the bed, I pull his pants down to his knees, his shirt over his head. We’re both laughing and breathing hard. I gather a few things from the shelves and use them, one by one. First the gag. Then the hanky tie around his wrists. Neither of us are laughing now. Then the little tube of lube to fill up his ass, followed by my fingers—”You may as well relax, boy, it’s going in one way or the other”—and finally, the thick butt plug.
I leave him there for a minute, pressing against him. I whisper some things in his ear … things like, you’re not actually in trouble. I like it when you flirt with me. But I like it when you do what I tell you to do even more. I love the way you make me want you, make me pull in the reigns. I love you. Good boy.
He softens and lets out a couple little moans. I feel our bodies line up, then pull his briefs back up and say, “Leave your jeans. And go. Do. The. Dishes.”
He lifts his head and there’s a pool of drool on the bedspread. He gets up, still with the gag and the wrist tie and the plug, goes to the kitchen; I heard the water start to run and the clink of dishes in the sink. I sit on the small couch in our bedroom and write, thinking about power, thinking about what I am going to do to him when he was done. After a page or so I hear some clattering in the kitchen, and it doesn’t stop, and I know the tie on his wrists are in the way of his task, so I go to remove it, playing with the plug in his ass as cost for this convenience. He bends over the sink to give me his ass, moaning and drooling around the gag. I leave him, briefs now wet, to finish the few things left and go back to writing a little longer.
When he comes into the bedroom, I barely look up. “Down,” I point next to me, our signal for kneeling, and he does, leaning his head on my thigh. I finish my thoughts in my notebook and stand up, strip my pajama pants and briefs, spread my legs around him and pull his head to my cunt.
“Ohh, you still have that gag, isn’t that unfortunate,” I tease. He moans, trying to rub against me, feeling that I’m already hard … and dripping. I let him struggle for a minute, but want his open mouth too much so I undo the gag and toss it aside.
“Thank you, Sir,” he says, and lowers his mouth to my dick, tongue cupping and sucking. In the right mood, I can let him do this for a long time, but I’m a little too eager to relax tonight. I want his fist, I want a thrashing come, I want to shove in, I want to be shaken at my core.
I start working his head on my dick, then holding him steady while I move my hips so I thrust into his mouth. “It’s been a while since you came with my dick in your mouth,” I lean down so my mouth is close to his ear. “Do it for me.” I pull his head away and hold him by his collar, bring my hand down to jerk myself off. “Can you do it if I come all over your face and I make you watch?” He strains at his collar, stretches his tongue to lick me. I can feel his body taut and getting close. He’s straddling my leg and I can feel him rock the butt plug against me. The denial will tip him over the edge. Maybe I’ll just shoot down his open mouth, maybe I’ll not let him touch me. I feel … something … building in me and I want to use him to get myself there, to work it out of me. I jerk it and he gasps, shakes, thrusts forward. I feel his body tighten, and open, then relax, and he collapses against me.
I say some little reassurance things, telling him he’s a good boy and I like using him, and we sit for a minute, touching softly, that sweet pillow talk kind of mood, until I stand up. “Come on,” I say, lying on the bed; he follows me, and I shove him where I want him. “Inside.” I say. “Your fingers. Now.” He works in one, then two; I hand him the bottle of lube and he works in more. I float, working myself up, sliding my fingers around my clit and feeling my tissues swollen and hard, needing, eager. Sometimes it is hard for me to come, but I am determined to tonight. I barely notice when he slides his fist all the way in, just feel that full pressure of being stretched inside.
It is hard to describe my own orgasms. Maybe they have become increasingly internal and complex over the years I’ve done more bodywork, maybe because I’m shy. Sometimes I see kaleidoscope colored patterns, or have visions. Sometimes I feel like I’m scrunching up my face and trying so hard, never quite sure if I’m actually going to reach the kind of release my body is craving.
But sometimes, like last night, it all just comes together, and I have someone so perfectly willing to do precisely what I need, that I can have transcendent experiences in my own bed, with my boy, with just our bodies and our love and our power.
He pulled his fist out when it was too much, and teased just the right spot with his fingertips while I jerked my small dick. Every part of me tensed and gathered. The climax was a relief, a release I can never quite control, where I yell hard, my throat chafed and voice horse afterward, and I groan, and I squeeze out everything I can, until it’s just all flowing so smoothly that I burst open, and the yells turn into sobs, those full-body, chest heaving, I’m-not-sure-I’m-going-to-stop-crying kind of sobs. I breathe. I cry. I trust the sweet feeling of my boy’s body, resting gently on mine, know that he’s there if I need anything. Grateful that he’s there. Grateful that he can hold me the way he does, that he can serve me, that he can take my need for controlled behavior and instructions and tasks and turn it into a way to make us closer together. Lucky to have found him. Lucky that he chose me.
I pull him up to me and wipe my face, catch my breath, as my crying stops. We hold each other in the quiet for a little while. “Thank you for doing the dishes,” I say.
“Thank you for motivating me,” he says.
I fell asleep thinking, That, right there, is the kind of discipline and service that I like.
Featured image borrowed from The Crash Pad Series. More about the featured images is coming soon!
As I’ve been exploring deeper into power theory, like D/s and M/s, and as I’ve been trying to understand how my relationship with Kristen went wrong and in what ways power played into that, I’ve been thinking more and more about responsibility.
I’ve been meditating on the basics: What is it? How does it work? How does one “take responsibility”? What kind of responsibilities does one have—as a partner, as a lover, as a Daddy, as a dominant, as a friend? How does responsibility shift and changes when circumstances are not ideal, such as when someone is grieving (you know, hypothetically)?
Raven Kaldera and Joshua Tenpenny, whose books on M/s I have been recently devouring and whose theories I astutely agree with, mention in one of their books that a dominant’s hunger for responsibility must be equal to or greater than their hunger and lust for power. That resonated deeply with me, so I have been chewing on how to act from a responsible place, how to behave responsibly, how to hunger for responsibility, how to be responsible with my power.
We commonly use “responsibility” to mean our obligations—the things we have agreed to do, or the things other people have put on us to do that we may or may not have agreed to—and how we cope with those obligations. It is my responsibility as a cat owner to make sure my cat is fed, for example.
But when it comes to interpersonal relationships, what our responsibilities are vary greatly from person to person, and from culture to culture. My responsibilities to my parents might mean, to me, calling them on their birthdays and going to visit once a year, but to another person, their responsibilities to their parents might be visiting them every day, or might be sending one holiday card annually. Same with lovers and partners: I might think my responsibility is to respond to texts or emails from lovers is to respond when I can get to it, but my lover might think it rude and irresponsible of me not to reply right away (especially when now, with iMessage, you can see when your texts have been read). I suspect some of the expectations in relationships are built on our love languages (quality time, acts of service, gifts, physical touch, words of affirmation).
The expectations we place upon responsibilities of those around us are often unspoken and unconscious, and therefore difficult to make clear. Making those clear is a key piece of good communication, I believe.
But that’s just one piece. We also use the word “responsibility” to talk about one’s behavior in any given situation, such as, “They’re not being very responsible,” or, “they’re not acting very responsibly.”
I started breaking down the word responsibility into its two parts: response and ability. Response-ability. And that led me to my first conclusion about it: responsibility is your ability to respond to any given situation. But how does one “respond”?
Most of the time, I think we are reacting, not responding. Reacting is the knee-jerk impulse our combination of body, mind, experiences, emotions, and self tells us to have. We get an email from a boss with some critique, we feel insulted. Our lover asks something taxing of us, we feel put out. Not everybody has the same reaction, of course—depending on our unique histories, unique bodies, unique patternings, we react in different ways; many of us have different reactions to the same emotions, too. Some people feel insulted and fight back, some people feel insulted and become paralyzed, some people feel insulted and run away.
I think that responsibility is your ability to take the reaction you have, process it through your thoughtful higher self who wants the best for everyone involved and can see many perspectives, and choose your response and your next actions intentionally.
Let me put that another way. My ability to respond well to a situation, to be responsible in my role or job or relationship, depends upon my ability to notice my knee-jerk reaction and use that as one piece of the data that I gather before I decide what to do next. Other pieces of data you could use as you analyze the situation include:
- What would the high wise imaginary counsel inside your head, made up of all of your mentors and favorite people, advise you to do?
- What would your counsel of very favorite people advise you to do? (Perhaps you should call them to ask?)
- What would the best possible outcome for all people be?
- What would you say if you were really telling the truth about this situation?
- How do your ethics ascribe you to behave?
- What would yourself in ten years say about this situation?
- How do your spiritual or religious beliefs guide you in this quandary?
- Where are the places where your ego, pride, or stoicism are getting in the way?
- Where can you use your great strength to be more vulnerable in this situation?
- Where do you feel this pain, sorrow, longing, anger, or frustration in your body?
- What does your bodywork or therapy point you toward?
I’ve been chewing on this difference, between reaction and response-ability, for at least a year now, trying to figure out how to be sure I am exploring what it means to be responsible with the privilege and power that I hold. Because, as the cliche saying goes, “with great power comes great responsibility,” and as I’ve been seeking more and more great power, I want to make sure I have the great responsibility part down as well. I don’t think “responsibility” dictates a code of behavior specifically so much as it dictates an intentional response, and that is a comfort to me, as I try to continue to sort our my own wounds, heal my own heartache, and continue to pursue my lust for power.
1. What insight about polyamory/open relationships would you share with your younger self?
My partner and I have been together for over 20 years and we’ve been poly the entire time. There have been a few times that we stepped back from having other lovers because we needed some space to focus on each other. I’ve had lovers & playmates, as well a few ongoing secondary relationships. So one thing I’d tell my younger self is that things will change, and then they’ll change again. Don’t expect otherwise- there will come times when you struggle against changes that will happen anyway, and fighting them only made it harder.
Something else I’ve learned from being poly is that it requires the ability to talk about and process feelings quickly and efficiently. Of course, that skill will benefit any relationship, but when there are multiple people, each with their own needs and desires, as well as their feelings about each other, there are a lot of moving parts. If I could, I’d tell my younger self that the best way to learn how to process well would be to build social networks full of people who are dedicated to open-hearted, honest communication. Yes, therapy helped. Yes, workshops and books helped. But getting to see how other people do it and getting to practice it with lots of friends made it much easier to develop those skills in sexual/romantic relationships.
It’s also really easy to get smug about it. Being poly doesn’t make you more evolved or better than anyone else. If you think it does, you’re being a jerk. Don’t let it happen.
2. What has been the hardest thing about navigating multiple relationships, and how have you overcome that?
Well, scheduling used to be one of the hardest, though google calendar is a big help. :-)
Sometimes, the New Relationship Energy I feel with a new partner can make things tricky for my partner. Fortunately, I’ve gotten better at managing that initial crush phase, in part because I know that it doesn’t last more than a few months. Sometimes, it deepens into a new dynamic and other times, the connection ends when the NRE does. I’ve learned how to let it take its own shape and be present with it, without letting it spill out into my partner. Usually. And when it doesn’t, she knows that she can tell me to take a break from talking about it, which makes it easier to manage.
3. What has been the best thing about being open/poly?
At this point in my life, I rarely have sex with people I don’t have a heart connection with. Having said that, I have a lot of people in my life who I love. Some of those people are lovers and some aren’t. Each of those relationships is unique and each offers different gifts, pleasures, and delights. For me, whether we have sex or not is really less important than whether we can be open with each other about what we think, feel, and want. Being poly has been a lifelong practice in how to love each of these wonderful people in the way that works for that dynamic. It’s like I get to have all of these different flavors of love, some of which have been in my life for years and others are more fleeting. And the more I practice it, the more kinds of love come my way. It’s really quite delightful.
Being poly is also a really great way to make room for different desires and interests. I don’t expect to be able to give my partner everything she might want, so I like to create the space for her to get it elsewhere, and vice versa. That has given us much more freedom to enjoy the many things we do offer each other because there’s no resentment forming as the result of unmet needs.
4. Anything else you’d like to add?
There isn’t any one way to be poly. That can be challenging because you have to figure out what works for you, which means making mistakes along the way. You’ll feel hurt sometimes, and you’ll hurt others. Learning how to apologize and reconnect with people is essential. Don’t expect perfection- plan for bobbles.
Don’t keep secrets. That doesn’t mean you have to tell everyone everything, but if you’re withholding something that you know someone would want to know about or that they deserve to know about, lean into the fear and do tell them. Withholding leads to secrecy and resentment, both of which kill relationships. There’s plenty of room for privacy within a relationship, but not for secrets. So if you can’t be honest about what you want or what you’re doing, either stop doing it or learn how to be honest.
1. Shower ever day. Even if you have to cry through it.
2. Put on clean clothes, even if they aren’t your favorites. Or do laundry, and wear only your favorites.
3. Behave well toward Kristen. She loves you, you love her, even if you are numb and can’t remember.
4. Write. Because it heals you. Because you can’t do anything else. Because it makes the most sense. Because it is your deepest practice, your deepest craft.
5. Run. When you want to get away from yourself and these emotions, get them out of your body. Go back to boxing class. Take out the anger on something else.
6. Grow the fuck up. Behave like an adult. Stop the self-pity. Stop the over-indulgence of your feelings. Stop taking yourself so seriously.
7. Read. Read poetry if you can’t get into long things. Read indulgently. Read grief memoirs and buddhist philosophy and ttantra and open up to healing. Ask yourself, what do I need to do to heal today. Read more.
8. Work. Set reminders in your phone for appointment times because you can’t keep track of time. Calendar everything. Make work a priority. Finish projects. Make art. Focus on this, if nothing else.
8a. Don’t publish over-indulgent blog posts that attempt to tell the “whole story” and draw some conclusion. Write poetry. Write about feelings. Write about love and sex and grief and loss and abandonment, how scary it is to watch Kristen bloom, and how much it matters to let her. Learn what over-indulgent blog posts look like, so that when you do write them, you don’t hit “publish.”
9. Go outside. Feel the earth. Drink water.
10. Pray. You are not alone, even though you feel you are. Faith is when you see no hope, and you do it anyway. Times like this are why we practice. Lean on your practices. Everything is temporary.
11. Behave well toward yourself. Take care of your body. Eat well. Nourish. Buy a fancy new soap so showers suck less. Make a list of your favorite foods, then eat them. Start watching a new TV series when you can’t be in your brain anymore. Be alone when you need to be. Practice impeccable self-care. Forgive everyone, and maybe yourself most of all.