Strangers

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I pass by a couple at lunch hour just about every day. I see them as they meet under one end of a bridge as I pass by. Under that dirty downtown bridge they spend their hour together, sometimes kissing and nuzzling, sometimes just holding each other while the rest of us hurry by.

I don’t know them, or really much of anything about them. I know they are middle aged, reasonably well kept, and work in nearby office buildings. That’s about it. In some way it’s good that I don’t know anything about them. It allows me to believe that they are so enamored with each other that they can’t stay apart. I can pretend that they live for these little moments together. Because I see such a small sliver of their lives, I don’t have to consider their lives outside that one moment. There are no bills to pay, kids to chase, or chores to do. As far as I know, they live in a fantasy world of sunshine and rainbows.

Passing by an seeing them always makes me smile and brightens my mood. They are an oasis in an otherwise drab street.

At times I’m jealous that I can’t live in their fantasy world, but I know that it only exists in the construct if my mind.

Sometimes it’s difficult to live in the here and the now; when the breaks are piling up and beating you down or when there just aren’t enough hours in the day. But here and now we all are, and we have to find that little respite for ourselves. Just enough to keep ourselves going, and maybe be that bright oasis for some other lonely traveller.

Australia

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I was talking to an old friend the other night.  She and I have been friends for nearly twenty years, and have been with each other through good and bad.  Both of us are only children and we have formed some sort of substitute sibling bond.  We have spent most of our adult lives hundreds if not thousands of miles apart but have never lost touch for long.

A couple of years ago, she decided to get married.  She’s never been able to commit to anything for long so I was very surprised.  It wasn’t her first offer and I think that she accepted because she had passed that magic age of 30 and felt familial pressure.  I didn’t have a great deal of faith for their future but hoped I was wrong.  I was not.  After a year or so, she realized that she had lost her feelings for him, and didn’t want to continue.  Soon after she left him.

The other night as we discussed what she wanted in life and what comes next, she announced her intentions to move to Australia.  She has a job offer of sorts over there and thinks it’ll do her good to get away and have a fresh start.  She doesn’t have kids or pets, nothing tying her to any one place.  It got me to thinking about how much our lives have diverged in the last six or eight years.

Having kids has changed me.  Beyond the added responsibility of being a parent, it has strengthened my resolve to stay married to their mother.  I can’t take the easy way out, throw up my hands and say ‘this isn’t working for me’ and leave.  While jetting off to a new life in Australia sounds like a wonderful adventure, (and I must admit I’m a bit jealous) I couldn’t imagine life without my kids.

I have been having difficulty lately because I wasn’t sure if I was still in love with my wife.  I love her, I’m just not sure I’m in love with her.  I’ve never seriously considering something as rash as moving out, but was having difficulties going through the everyday motions with any enthusiasm.  After our recent ‘second honeymoon’ fell on its ass, I resented my wife not putting forth continuous effort.  This was just another in a line of frustrations and I felt like I had lost all desire for my wife.  The Australia talk reminded me that for all of our problems and frustrations, my role as a husband and father trumps all other considerations.  Content or not, I’m here to stay.

Life is a series of challenges, and it’s time that I step up to another one.  I’m going to be with this woman for the rest of my life, I have to find a way to want it again. I have to fall back in love with my wife.

Investment

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Anything that we do requires an investment of some sort. It can be monetary, time, or an emotional investment, and for most things in life that are worth doing, some combination of the three.

Marriages are especially reliant on investment because it requires two people to make a daily commitment to each other. This involves attentiveness, compassion, and genuine devotion. I believe that love is delighting in the happiness of others, and lasting love is continually finding ways to generate that happiness. Just going through the motions will only breed apathy and resentment in your partner. These are the two most deleterious feelings in a relationship. ‘I don’t care’ and ‘why bother’ will only lead to division. Only by constant active effort can a relationship of any type remain strong.

When children are added to the mix, the investment increases exponentially. Not only do parents have to continue their devotion to one another, they must give more of themselves as they invest in their children as well. This may feel like an insufferable burden at times, but it is a burden that must be carried none the less. Children are very aware of strife between their parents and will suffer for it. Though time may become thin, parents should not lose focus on their devotion to each other. The family is a whole and if any member is neglected the whole is diminished.

The D/s dynamic can be beneficial because it forces the participants to be conscientious of each other and exert real effort to the relationship. The inherent structure of a successful D/s relationship increases investment in each other. The catch is that both participants must have a vested interest in living within the structure. It takes time to develop a personal connection in any relationship, especially in D/s. Though you may start out with some idea of how you want your structure, only time and practice will tell you what really works for the two of you. Both members can gain a great deal of happiness and personal growth and will be brought closer together by the devotion required, however a tepid commitment by either party (be it a lapse in focus or an unwillingness to embrace the relationship) will cause the relationship to crumble and both will come away hurt. This life is one of the greatest examples of getting what you give.

All investments involve risk, be it a stock tanking, a business folding, or a relationship going cold. Often these risks can be mitigated by active management. Being proactive and not reactive is the best strategy for success. Planning and communication are two elements of being proactive. Once you develop your plan and discuss it, you can revise it to meet the needs of all involved, and together have a guide for enduring hardships.

There is a quote that I like quite a bit from Winston Churchill that I keep with me “It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.” It’s a tall order, but if you are truly invested in something isn’t it worth doing what is required?

Routine

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This past week we took a little holiday away from home. It was nice to get away from the routine of our everyday life and spend a few days with the kids. We spend a lot of time in our regular lives doing the have tos; jobs, housework, etc. Though we still had to take care of the kids as well as cooking and the like, it was a welcome break to do things at a leisurely pace and at times do nothing at all.

Another great thing about our trip was the condo had a great whirlpool bath that the two of us could retire to with a bottle of wine after putting the kids to bed. Spending some intimate time together made me very happy and continued our trek to a closer marriage. While there was the expected kissing and fondling, we spent a lot of our baths just talking. Talking about us, what we wanted, how we felt, and what we wanted to accomplish in the next few months. Each night the world condensed to just the two of us. Stripped of our regular distractions we were able to focus on each other and really enjoy each other.

When we returned home from our trip, we had a few days before returning to work and our regular routine. We each spent time purging our respective offices and doing some needed bits around the house. By Saturday though, we were both somewhat spent and a little cabin feverish. We spent most of Saturday and Sunday in the house together but not ‘together’.

We enjoyed our week away from our regular life, and it was also good to have a couple of days off from each other, but now it’s time for us to get back to it.

What’s in a Word

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A question that my girl asked while we were discussing our D/s relationship struck me.  ‘What does submissive mean to you.’  It’s a question with a nebulous answer.  To me, no one can define another person’s submissiveness.  It is intrinsic to the individual.  A dominant can define the expectations of and protocols required for the submissive partner, but that is simply defining the limits of their relationship.  The best definition that I can provide of submissive is a person that is mindful of the needs and wants of their dominant and is made whole by pleasing their partner.   At the same time, the submissive must be mindful of their own wants and needs. They must be able to let go of enough control to acquiesce to the will of another, yet ensure that they do not cripple themselves in the process.  The beneficial D/s relationship is a two way street of attention and care, it is not enough for one to demand and the other to blindly obey.

There is a big difference between dominance and domineering.  Being the dominant partner requires a great deal of forethought and consideration.  Exacting your anger on or scapegoating your submissive is abuse.  Abuse is not only physical, but can be mental as well.  A sub must want to serve.  If your attitude and actions as a dom are solely for your own pleasure and your sub is compelled to act purely on fear of punishment or humiliation, you are not holding up your end of the relationship. If you beat an animal until it behaves, don’t be surprised when it bites you.

 

 

 

The Return of the Sun

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This has been a grey week. Rainy grey weather, distant grey me. No particular reason, just spent the week in a funk.

I couldn’t get physically comfortable because I pulled a muscle in my side last weekend. It doesn’t hurt all the time but every once in a while I’ll move the right way and it explodes in cramps and pain. I have a high pain tolerance and can muscle through discomfort, but Tuesday night I could hardly manage standing long enough to cook supper. The rest of the week it has been an inescapable dull ache.

I have felt emotionally blank all week. There’s a vacant feeling that I get. Almost like an addict jonesing for a fix, but I can’t tell what for. I haven’t been able to spend much quality time with my girl this week which I’m sure has contributed.

This morning I stood at my office window and watched the sun rise over the clouds and spread over the city. Shortly the morning fog burned off and the skies were clear. Watching this I felt as though my own funk and fog were slowly lifting. I still have intermittent pain in my side, but it hasn’t bothered me since. I feel more alert and alive.

Is there some meteorological psychological connection in my brain? I don’t know, but I’m glad to feel like myself again.

The Long Winding Road Part 2

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Part 1 goes over some ‘how I got here’ history, and will help readers understand me, but is not necessary to read the following:

…I soon found a nice vanilla woman, and decided I could put the previous part of my life behind me and start something new.  It’s hard to tell someone that you want this type of life with them when they have no concept of what you’re asking.  Thanks to the media portrayals and generalizations, there’s an immediate supposition of violence and abuse.  She had seen my toys, and I had tied her up a few times, but there was never more than kinky sex.  Only after five years did I feel comfortable enough to broach my interest in D/s with my second wife.

After a long period of frustration in our marriage, we had grown distant.  We jump started our sex life this past Christmas day and were soon discussing fantasies and turn ons.  I decided that there was no time like the present to let her know my feelings towards D/s.  I had a great fear of rejection, but it was wrong to keep hiding a part of myself that was creeping ever more to the surface.  The problem was I had no idea of how to succinctly express myself, nor did I do any preparation to help my explanation.  If I had it to do over again, I’d take a day or so to collect my thoughts.  As it is, I’ve stumbled along and made some mistakes.

I have had great difficulty articulating what I am looking for and my kinks.  All my previous partners either a)led; b)knew what role they wanted; c)had been exposed to a variety of kinks.  After the ‘spank me’ incident, I was more hesitant to push the relationship because I felt like I was walking on eggshells.  My hesitation caused some initial difficulty because our D/s interactions felt forced.  Both of us felt uncomfortable and we were unable to enjoy the moment.  We’ve since gotten some good communication going and have gotten past it.  I’m still not sure what our roles will be, and that’s fine because we’ve been doing this for such a short period.  The disparity in experience between us has made her somewhat uncomfortable.  I wish she had someone that has been there before her to talk to.  We’ve got a long future ahead, and I have confidence in our communication and our desire to please each other, but having someone else to talk out her feelings with would be helpful.

Perception and preconceived notions have been another stumbling block for us.  There are a lot of visual elements of BDSM that I have been around so long that I don’t give them a second look, or they have a special meaning to me.  An example of this is early on my girl told me that she didn’t want a dog collar.  I took this to mean either a literal pet store collar or a traditional wide leather collar with D-rings.  I understand her feelings because of her association of these items with the traditional ‘violent’ bondage image.  I think there’s also a notion that wearing something of that nature diminishes her status as a human.  I have always seen a collar (and especially decorative chokers) as a symbol of submission itself.  For me, they are a way for a dominant and submissive to have a visual reminder of their devotion to one another.  But how do I explain the differentiation?  Is it a critical element of a D/s relationship?  Is there a need for a physical manifestation/representation of submission?  These are the questions I struggle with.

Not to give the reader the idea that everything is gloom and doom, I just needed to unload a couple of things.  It’s cathartic.

I’m very happy with the way we are going.  I look forward to our future and our exploration together.  Every day brings us closer together.

Long and Winding Road Part 1

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I grew up with loving parents in a mostly stable home.  My parents were loving and wanted the best for me. It wasn’t until I was much older that I understood the extents that my parents went to hold their fights until I was in bed or out playing.  I also didn’t know the level of anger and resentment that they shared towards each other.

My mother, while Emily Post on the outside, was insecure and overbearing, much as her mother had been.  She has difficulty with compromise, and thinks she must protect people from themselves.  My father was busy running his company, and was often away at work, even when he was home.  I was in my twenties before I really knew who he was.  These are the two elements that influenced me the most when I was growing up.  I learned to stay distant from people, especially those who professed love, and I became fiercely independent.

My sexual life began somewhat unexpectedly and quite awkwardly at 15.  There was an older girl that I had known for a while (I was friends with her little brother) that ended up on my lap at a party.  I was too young and stupid to understand, but she had some serious self esteem problems and used sex as some sort of escape/drug.  At that age, I lacked the self control to say “we’re drunk, and it’s not a good idea” so I lost my virginity to someone that I hardly knew in an event that I have never looked back on fondly.  Maybe it was because of this that I started looking for something of substance in the future.

I had girlfriends in high school, but nothing serious and no real sex.  In college I dated one girl for a semester, then met someone who would change my life.  She was exciting, exotic, and had no shame in discussing her sexuality or her kinks.  I was 19, and she showed me what BDSM could give me that I had been unconsciously seeking.  We never really formally dated, but we spent hours exploring what turned us on.  I can trace my knowledge of D/s to then, but I think the seeds were planted at a far younger age by watching my parents.  I think the cold war there fostered some need for absolute love in my ideal home.  Said exotic woman and I did not keep in contact after that year as she moved on to grad school.  It’s the first time that I really understood how much you could miss someone when they’re gone.

I met my first wife not too long after.  We did not like each other at first, but came to be friends and eventually lovers.  We moved in together and not long after began our own exploration.  She was the most submissive person I have ever met.  She liked service and rough sex, two of my biggest kinks.  I thought that was her personality, but over time I understood that it was conditioned upon her by years of abusive relationships.  We spent six years of wedded bliss unconsciously living in a D/s home.  We experimented with all sorts of BDSM elements, some successful, some not so much.  We spent a lot of time exploring her masochism, and I learned that I’m very good at playing sadist, but my heart’s not in it.    Eventually normal life began to take its toll on the marriage.  We laughed less, and sex became more about fucking than love.  Faced with careers on opposite sides of the country, she decided it wasn’t worth trying to make it work.  Looking back I’m glad she did, because it made it easier for me to divorce her.

After the divorce I spent some time playing without any real commitment, and while I enjoyed scenes, I never found the emotional element that made it so pleasurable in the past.  This detachment did allow me to explore some kinks as an observer or as a limited participant with others.

I’ve decided to make this two parts because the history bit is over and I’m about to go down the rabbit hole…

Dividends

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Though the D/s dimension of our marriage is still in its infancy, and we are still feeling out what and how much we want to do, I can already see a massive improvement in the way we treat each other, especially after we get cross.  Words cannot describe how happy this makes me.

This week has been rough on my girl.  The kid is deep in the ‘I want I want me me me’ stage and the baby is teething so she’s been battling with the kid in the evening and is up and down with the baby during the wee hours of the morning (all of this on top of her day job).  Last night we got the kids to bed and started watching a movie.  She fell asleep on the couch pretty quickly, and stayed out until the movie ended.  Almost immediately after she woke up she snapped at me and I reacted poorly.  This used to be a terminal condition for the evening (and the next morning), as she would go to the bedroom and I’d stay in the den.  After a half hour or so, I got a text message.  ‘I’m sorry.’  Immediately my frustration faded and I went up to see her.  We fell into bed and tried out our new We-Vibe 3 during sex (don’t have one?  Go buy one.  Your wife will like it.  Seriously.)  It was the first time in a long time that we’ve had a dust up and were able to immediately put it behind us.  (Back to the We-Vibe 3, it’s a great toy for couples, especially if she’s into clitoral stimulation during sex.  Feels pretty good on your cock too.)

This weekend, my girl is going on a girls only scrap-booking weekend.  Knowing that there would be no sex until she returns Sunday, we tried to get one in this morning only to be washed out by the kid.  We made a tentative date for lunch, which also fell through (beyond our control).  We spent the day texting naughty photos and teasing with the plan of a romp before she left.  Because of the kid’s antics and trying to getting packed up in a hurry this evening, she was a little frazzled when I got home.  We tried to get in a quickie before she left.  It felt forced and I ended up snapping at her before we could really get going.  I was wrong, and apologized. 

She was still mad.  After getting dressed she came down and I assumed she was getting her stuff together before leaving.  I came into the kitchen as she started feeding the baby.  Then she ordered the kid and I pizza, went over all the preparations she had made to make daddy daycare easier, and set up my coffee maker for tomorrow morning.  As she did these things for me, I realized though she was (justifiably) mad at me, she was doing an exceptional job of caring for me.  She was putting aside her anger to take care of my needs.  I drew her in for a couple of long kisses, and I could feel her body relax.  We smiled at each other and the weight was lifted.  I told her to take her ben-wa balls with her so that she could stay as horny as I will without her this weekend.  At that exact time, her ride showed up and she was distracted with getting the car loaded.  As she was getting ready to head out the door, I cast my eyes up toward the bedroom.  With a lustful grin, she ran and got them.  Should be a nice two hour car ride for her.

There was no theatrical act of submission last night or tonight or even a discussion of tasks she needed to do before her trip.  There was only my girl, going out of her way to take care of me even though she was still busy packing.  I love her, and I’ll have to plan a special reward for her on Sunday.