The following post has been co-written, because we feel that a Dominant and submissive perspective to rules is important. Please let us know if you have any questions! As a side note- we are not experts, and there is no one right way to create a rules list. We aim only to inform those interested in how we do things.

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Lars’ Perspective

Rules can be a very useful tool for achieving goals and maintaining a certain standard, but can also be detrimental when not implemented properly. I see rules in 2 different categories- rules to maintain and rules that lead you where you’re going. “Maintenance” rules are things like respect, honesty and self care. These should be the foundation of any relationship as they help keep it healthy. Once you establish those baseline rules, you can create goal oriented rules for “where you want to go”. Those rules could relate to working out for weight loss, or even wearing a butt plug to train for anal sex. Depending on where you are and where you want to go, rules can be developed to help meet those goals or needs. Rules can change during the span of your relationship, and I recommend regularly reviewing your rules, adding and editing as needed.

Once you have determined what your rules list looks like, make sure that it isn’t too long. As my good friend Mr. Swanson once told me, “It is better to full-ass one thing, than to half-ass two things.” When you feel your sub has begun to manage well with the initial list, you can add more rules in as needed, and remove the ones that no longer serve you.

When it comes to enforcing your rules list, it is really important that you remain consistent. I believe rules lists should be accompanied by rewards and punishments lists. What is the point of rules if there is no accountability? If your sub is anything like mine then structure and consistency are some of the most important factors to having a functional and happy D/s dynamic.

When choosing rules it is important to be realistic and not go balls to the wall at the beginning. You can start small and work up to the higher protocol stuff as you and your sub grow together. It is very important that you are able to track successes- you can use sticker charts, apps, chores lists, etc.. Just make sure that you are holding yourself and your sub responsible for following rules and meeting goals.

Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts on rules. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a note in the contact me section, or in the comments.

 

 

slars’ Perspective

Creation

Creating a rules list can be a daunting task! When you are first getting started in a power exchange dynamic, i think it’s especially challenging. When Daddy and i first started our dynamic, it was solely with DD/lg. We joined an online community and quickly learned that a lot of the people there were single, and therefore didn’t have rules. We did a lot of research online, looking for examples we thought we could base our rules on, but even that proved to be a challenge. And then we met some couples who did have rules, but didn’t want to discuss them with us! It felt like a whole bunch of dead ends. We pieced together a rules list on our own, and had to work at tweaking them regularly to find our groove. Before i continue- if you are reading this and feeling like you have hit dead ends when making your rules list, reach out to us on the contact page. We would love to help! Don’t get discouraged! Anyway, we created our list. Do you want to know something crazy? Our first list of rules had over 70 rules!!!! 😰 You may see online that some Tops make their bottoms memorize their rules. Nope- how on Earth could i memorize 70?! Moral of the story- start simple. Decide what the top priorities are. Here is an example of 5:

-Do not disrespect Daddy- this includes back talk, profanity, and eye rolling

-Take care of your body- shave regularly, eat 3 healthy meals per day, exercise 3 days per week

-Accomplish all chores before playing

-Bed time is 10:30 pm, wake up at 8:30 am

-No spending money without first asking

These are non sexual rules that set boundaries for every day life. Starting with rules like those help build structure, and also make consistency for enforcement a lot easier in the beginning. You might also introduce a chore chart, to help make rewarding your bottom easier. Tracking successes is important! So once you have determined the every day rules, you can add in rules relating to personal goals. They could be education related, for weight loss, learning something new, saving for something… Whatever your goals are. i really like having goal oriented rules because they help keep me accountable. But achieving goals also really boosts my self confidence, and makes Daddy proud. i love the feeling of accomplishment! After choosing your goal oriented rules, if you are sexual, add in some rules for that too. Some examples could be:

-No masturbation of any kind

-Do not orgasm without permission

If your rules list starts looking hefty, slow down. Make a list of ideas you can implement later. Daddy and i meet every Sunday as a sort of reset, and part of that is discussing rules. Sometimes we remove one, sometimes we add one. Your rules list can change over time. It probably won’t stay as what it started as. And that is actually a good thing! Be flexible, communicate, and write things down! Okay next….

Implementation

How do you implement this lovely list that you created? Well, you will want to create a list of rewards. What does your bottom want to be rewarded with? An allowance, gifts, outings, orgasms? In a Master/slave dynamic, rewards may not be a thing. Do you want to reward your bottom? my personal vote is that in the beginning, rewards are important. You’re creating new habits, and psychologically rewards help motivate. What will your bottom need to accomplish to earn each reward? Set the goals. 1 month of 100% chores being done means a trip to the zoo, perhaps. And once you have decided your rewards, move on to a list of punishments. The list of punishments is likely to change. If you have never explored spanking, that is a good place to start. Daddy has cold showers on my list, because i absolutely hate the cold. But spankings, He has to be careful with, because i am a masochist. So when He spanks me, He uses phrases like, “you broke the rules, and I am punishing you, I am disappointed.” His disappointment in me is the real punishment, but His words are what makes the spanking unpleasant. So you’ve chosen your rewards and punishments. You have your list of maybe 15 rules. You are ready to implement them….

Enforcement

And now your bottom has broken a rule. What ever are you to do? Consistency is key!!! Let me repeat: Consistency!!! That is why having a shorter list of rules in the beginning is important. It is easier for a bottom to remember and easier for a Top to enforce consistently. Use your punishments list, and as you feel comfortable, pull some ideas out of your back pocket if you want. Just keep in mind the levels of consent that you have with your partner. And don’t forget the power of rewarding your partner, even if its just telling them they did a good job! There is no one right way to make a rules list. If it works for you, it is right! And remember, if you have questions or need a little advice, feel free to comment or contact us! Good luck!

 

This post was originally featured on Married and Owned.

To quote Bananarama, “It aint what you do it’s the way that you do it, and that’s what gets results.” This is something that I think is important when you are thinking about your relationship, particularly if you are introducing D/s to an existing relationship or thinking about establishing or reviewing the rules and rituals which will help to reinforce it. I recently read Kisungura’s post, Knowing your why and it made me think that so often with D/s, it is not so much what we do but how and why we do it. I realise that at the start D/s can seem that it is something new and different but actually, you really need something that will fit into your life and be sustainable. Unless the life and relationship you have currently is one which requires a complete overhaul, it is likely that you will just be redecorating and remodelling what you have, rather than casting it all aside to start again. So what you do may be similar to the sorts of things that you have done before, but the way that you do it and the meaning and reasoning behind it will often be what has changed.

 

Frequently during discussion, we see that while one couple does it one way, another does it the opposite way. Initially this may seem contradictory but in actual fact, it is because the meaning and the perception of that act to those particular individuals is what counts. I remember a very heated topic chat about service where this became apparent. There were differing views as to what was and wasn’t service, based on what worked and carried meaning for that couple. There really is not a right and a wrong here, expect for the obvious if it works it is right and if it doesn’t it is wrong. This is a rule that HL and I have tried to follow since we learnt the hard way that there was no one true way and that our way was the one for us (although we certainly would not suggest it would be the one for all of you).

 

The rules and rituals which we have serve to reinforce our own power exchange. The things we do are essentially based around respect, self-care, and nurture and over time we have found that the ones that have stuck are the ones which are important to us. Initially we made the mistake of trying to incorporate things which we had read others did, or things which other more experienced people told us we should be doing. This failed, quite spectacularly in some instances. It was hard for me to remember to do things which held no value to us and it was hard for HL to reinforce them for the same reason. Obviously what each couple does will depend on them but, for anyone who is interested, there is more detail about the sorts of things that work for us here and here

 

Some of what we do will help to reinforce the feeling of submission for me and Dominance for him so essentially it is there to support the power exchange. Some will be about me thinking about him and making him the focus and my motivation for what I do. We try to meet the needs of the other and that is easier when you are fully connected on an emotional and on a physical level, so it will be about talking and listening as well as showing the other person that you are thinking abiout them and demonstrating how much they mean through your actions. Through constant effective communication, the level of trust will grow and the level of intimacy that is created as a result will strengthen what passes between you. 

 

I think that whether you are starting out, or part way through your journey it is always good to stop and ask yourselves why you are doing the things that you are. What do they add for you? How do they contribute to your growth as an individual and strengthen you as a couple? Whether you wait for a door to be opened for you because that is part of the respect and care that your Dom wants to show you or whether you hold the door open for him because that is part of how you show your respect and service to him, really is immaterial. Whether you  initiate things sexually because he wants to know that you love and desire him, or wait for him to initiate them because he sees your body as his, will not matter as long as the way that you approach things is adding value to your dynamic. 

 

All so often, when making sense of the world, we tend to focus on the actions that we see without always being aware of the thought and reasoning behind it. Within a relationship, this sort of approach doesn’t really work that well as it can lead to things which lead you to feel like you have failed or have not got it right. It is not what you do but how and why you do it that is important and those are often the things which are not discussed because they are particular to the individual and to the couple. If you can come up with things that fit with your lifestyle and which are significant and hold value to you, then the chances are that they will be easier to implement, to reinforce and to sustain. 

Hello! The following post contains discussion points from the chat hosted at The Safeword/s Club. Join us for our next chat, on Monday, July 30, at 9:30 pm EDT to discuss Rules!

These notes are the opinions of Lars and slars of Married and Owned, and the participants of the chat, and do not reflect the opinions and views of the entire BDSM community.

So… you’ve decided you are kinky! You want to play around, explore, experiment… you have added all of the toys and gear you could ever hope for in you cart online, and when you go to check out, the total is $12,742.89!?!?!!

What on Earth are you to do?!

Enter: Pervertables!

Pervertables are items that you might find and use in your everyday vanilla life, that you pervert for kinky uses. It could be a wooden spoon you normally make sauce with, repurposed as a paddle. It could be a tension rod turned into a spreader bar (i will share how we did this in the DIY section of our blog). It could even be a length of rope from your garage, turned into a flogger! Pervertables are only limited by your imagination!

A few things to keep in mind when getting creative at home:

-Safety first- DO NOT insert vegetables, things that can leave splinters, things that could break off, etc, into your orifices. Not only will they put you at risk for humiliating emergency room visits, but they could have chemicals like pesticides or bacteria on them. Doesn’t sound fun, or worth it!

-Always test your pervertables before you use them. Make sure they will not break during use.

-Remember that quality matters. Sometimes it is worth it to spend a little money on an item designed for what your needs are, rather than Jimmy rigging your own.

Examples shared:

  • Wooden kitchen utensils
  • Curtain tie backs
  • Rope
  • Shower curtain rod
  • Chains
  • Sequins, feathers, fabric
  • Craft store items
  • Hardware store items
  • Scarves
  • Pantyhose
  • Clothes pins

The possibilities are endless! Have you ever made pervertables or kinky DIY projects? Share in the comments below!

Quote of the evening by Foxy:

Pervertables are innocent objects that get bent to naughty purposes.

I like to be in control. Well, that’s not entirely accurate – I hate to feel out of control. At some point in my life, I started controlling situations by anticipating other’s responses and preempting them. Basically, I could tell what someone was going to say/do and got ahead of them. I could nudge them in the direction I wanted to go by putting words in their mouth or strongly suggesting the direction in which I wanted to go. Here’s what that looks like:

I wanted my boyfriend (now my husband) to go further physically, but I was too prim to make the first move and felt like it was his place to lead our physicality. I was too sexually hungry to leave it to chance, though, so I orchestrated a situation in which we could be alone and started a game of truth or dare (or something similar). He played along and, after plenty of provocative hints from me, ended up daring me to take my shirt off. I ended up where I wanted to be (partially naked), but I had gotten him to “lead” it. Problem solved.

This has become a part of my security. I am safe in the knowledge that, in general, I can get my way and find the satisfaction I’m looking for by manipulating people. It’s typically benign manipulation (I’m a good girl and don’t do “bad” or criminal things.) and it’s often what they wanted to do, just on my timeline. I use logic and empathy and feel safe because the people around me tend to agree with me and go along.

I got to a point around February of this year where I was beyond tired and close to a breakdown. I had assumed too many responsibilities and taken all of the decision-making off of my husband because I trusted my own choices over his or anyone else’s. Something had to change or I was going to break. Our journey into D/s is a long story for another post, but we decided to try incorporating it into our everyday lives. I needed the release of submitting to him, and he needed the boost of Dominating me. He became my Master and I became his pet.

One night not too long ago, Master and I found my “control hold” of manipulation and subversion in our D/s relationship. I was nudging the relationship and him in the direction I wanted to go. I wanted him to be more Dominant over my decisions (because it gave me a thrill every time he was), so I asked him for permission often. I wanted to try out a few toys, so I showed them to him and sent him links. I found ways to bring conversations around to where I wanted them to go, and often got my way.

In some dynamics, this level of input from the sub might work. The sub might have trouble expressing herself, and her Dom needs her to trust him enough to take care with her desires. For us, it put pressure on M to go in the direction I indicated a strong preference toward, despite his reservations or desire for a different pace. I was showing him the Dominance I thought he should exhibit and making it clear that’s what I expected.

This came to a head when he told me that he felt he couldn’t meet my expectations and was getting worn out with the demands I was placing on him. I was handing him a heavy burden before he had time to brace himself, and certainly before he asked for it. I was going at a different pace than he was and making it look like he was leading. My desires were mostly fulfilled, but I wasn’t truly submitting and I certainly wasn’t trusting him.

We talked for quite a long time, with both of us getting upset at different points. I told him I was afraid that if I didn’t orchestrate events and push things in the direction of my desires, those desires were going to go unfulfilled and leave me feeling deprived. What he said next was a reality check for me.

“You are going to have to trust me to take care of you.”

I was shocked to realize I didn’t trust him to meet my needs. The physical and financial needs of our family? Sure, all day, every day. My emotional, spiritual, and sexual needs? Not hardly.

I was so used to protecting those vulnerabilities by controlling as much as I could that I didn’t have a clue I was holding myself back almost entirely from his Dominance of me. It’s not submission if the decisions are not in the Dominant’s hands, and I was leaving very little up to chance or his choice.

When I let myself consider what true submission would look like, I was petrified. I would have to give him access to the parts of me I hid the deepest and protected the hardest. I wanted to trust him with those things, but I trusted myself more.

I still remember what it felt like to come to that emotional crossroad and choose to walk down the unknown path, blindfolded, with him guiding me. I was so scared and so sorry I had hurt him by withholding myself from him while asking him to be Dominant. He held me while I cried and wrestled with every instinct telling me to retain control, to not trust my husband and Master.

That night was a turning point in our D/s journey. I didn’t suddenly become a perfect submissive because I knew where the problem lay, but I have been more able to recognize when I am clutching something too tightly and need to give it to him. He has become much more aware of my trust boundaries and has been slowly pushing them back, baring the things I had covered and showing me he is worthy of my trust.

We are both learning what things Dominance requires of the submissive and what submission requires of the Dominant. None of it works well without deep and intentional trust.

Hello! The following post contains discussion points from the chat hosted at The Safeword/s Club. Join us for our next chat, on Monday, July 16, at 9:30 pm EDT to discuss pervertables!

These notes are the opinions of Lars and slars of Married and Owned, and the participants of the chat, and do not reflect the opinions and views of the entire BDSM community.

 

“Tonights topic is all about meeting emotional needs. Some of this might be elementary, but it’s good to review, because a healthy relationship with ourselves and our partners is the foundation for a solid dynamic!”

How do you fill your partner’s emotional tank?

-Knowing your partner’s love languages- Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, Physical Touch
Reference: The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
-Paying attention to your partner’s body language and words
-Making yourself available forgiving physical affection
-Responding quickly to messages and calls
-Having uninterrupted time together, showering together, finding time to talk and laugh
-Using words of affirmation to feed your partner, knowing that being repetitive is not a bad thing
-Handwritten notes, surprises, gifts
-NO glitter bombs 🙁

What self care do you implement to meet your own emotional needs?

-Quiet time, vegging out
-Baths, personal care
-Reading, video games
-Journaling, blogging

What do you and your partner do to satisfy your emotional needs during times of crisis and instability?

-Leaning into leadership and protective nature of Dom/me
-Finding comfort in impact play, using Sadism and masochism to clear the mind
-Communicating and holding each other
-Just being there, sexual or non sexual
-Giving space
-Focusing on aftercare

Are you comfortable asking for or taking what you need?

Challenges in asking for what you need:
-It is hard due to fears of being too needy or getting rejected
-Don’t want to be a burden
-Asking is embarrassing
-Fear that needs of partners would be opposite
-Fear that needs are too extreme

Things to avoid:
-Relying on partner to just know- mind reading
-Being manipulative, selfish, or explosive
-Going without, sacrificing actual needs because you don’t want to put your partner out

Important takeaways:
-Knowing that your partner wants and needs you to express and explain your needs
-When your partner is not available to meet your needs, implementing self care is helpful
-Recognizing that both parties have emotions and needs
-It is the responsibility of both parties to see to the other partner’s needs inside and outside the dynamic

When your partner has upset you, how do you approach them to discuss it?

-Using I statements
-Knowing each other better than anyone, understanding your partner’s fears and strengths
-Conveying that your partner hasn’t failed, isn’t stupid, relaying confidence in your partner’s abilities to care for you, even when they missed the mark
-Being respectful
-Journaling about the small stuff, but also talking about it, not letting it build up
-Knowing your partner can’t read your mind, not playing games
-Being honest and open
-Setting aside times to meet and discuss issues, questions, concerns
-Avoiding being harsh, manipulative, disrespectful

How do you sustain a D/s dynamic during times of distress?

-Having times of low protocol, taking breaks from formal dynamics
-Keeping with routines, intense levels of discipline, lots of aftercare

 

Special thanks to Emma for the quote of the night:
“Don’t write checks your ass can’t cash.”

This post was originally shared on Married and Owned

Needing a reset

Resets are not just scheduled meetings, they are necessary moments when one or both of us feels out of control, stressed out, or distant.

When babygirl needs a reset

my need for a reset is often triggered when the noise in my head gets so loud that i lose my centered submissive mindset. i can’t focus on anything, including D/s, and most of the noise is about my life outside of D/s. i tend to feel cranky and dissatisfied, teary, emotional, less focused, unable to concentrate, and i don’t feel like myself. At times i even catch myself fighting my submissive side, entering into alpha mode.

When Daddy needs a reset

My need for a reset is usually a response to baby’s need for a reset. But sometimes I find that I feel stressed out or dissatisfied with my level of control in our relationship.

Some of the triggers that cause us to need a reset:

-Work
-Children
-Family
-Health
-Small things building up over time
-Stressful situations
-Unexpected complications

When life gets in the way, it just isn’t convenient. It sucks. And it can be crazy making, because that peaceful D/s balance gets thrown way off track, which in turn throws us both for a loop. And sometimes, when things get really crazy, we don’t always notice the other’s need for communication, or a reset. When that happens, we kind of have to force ourselves out there, and ask for what we need. Some phrases we have found to be effective when bringing the need for a re-connection up in conversation are listed below:

Making I statements can help prevent miscommunication and defensiveness

I feel:
-Tightly coiled
-Wound up
-So stressed out
-Blah
-Quiet
-Depressed
-Emotional
-Distant

From there, we talk about why we feel that way, and what we can do to fix it. Sometimes it doesn’t lead to a reset, but instead we stay up late just talking. Other times, Daddy decides that a reset is in order, and we go from there.

Communication is imperative in a reset

When Daddy decides that we need a reset, it usually involves the following:

-a good hard spanking, impact play
-orgasms, including forced orgasms
-intense pain and pleasure, to the point baby isn’t sure she can handle it
-Daddy pushing the boundaries of baby, getting out of comfort zone
-communication

Daddy and i have come up with some preventive measures, to try to reduce the frequency of need for resets. Those measures include:

-Maintenance spankings
-Weekly meetings
-Changing things up, modifying rules, limits and expectations
-Utilizing code words that express a need, without having to spell things out; ex: I’m dropping
-Being aware of each others body language and behaviors
-Sufficient Aftercare

In general these things really help. But i want to bring up two things that i have tried to unsuccessfully research-

What do i do when we have had a reset, but i continue fighting my submissive side? Why can’t i achieve the headspace i am looking for?

This is something, especially in the beginning, that i really struggled with. Being a little means that i’m not always a perfect, meek submissive. i have personality traits that make me more difficult than some subs might normally be. i love serving Daddy, caring for him, and i never want to displease him. The issue is internal, like i just won’t let go, and i fight with myself. When this happens i have taken to trying the following:

-Meditating
-Posing
-Sticking to rules and rituals
-Re-reading our rules
-Being grateful for Daddy’s leadership, and hard work in providing for our family
-Deliberately doing acts of kindness for Daddy
-Actively submitting- turning my willful thoughts around as i have them, ex: no becomes yes, even if i really don’t want to do it
-Creating a mantra to help me re-balance

 

Another issue that i don’t think gets talked about enough, is when Doms get in a funk, and need reset. It is super important to note that just like subs need aftercare, Doms do too. Doms are still people in need of love, reassurance, and nurturing. Yes they are strong, yes they are in control. But they have feelings too, you know! With that being said, what do subs do when their Doms need reset? Here is what i suggest! Remind Him of the power He has. Defer to Him to help you make decisions. Thank Him for everything He does for (and to) you. Try to boost His confidence. Make sure He knows exactly how you feel about Him. Crawl across His lap and lay over His knee- give Him something to release His frustrations on. Ask Him what is on His mind, and make sure He knows that you are there to support Him, just as much as He is there to support you.

Resets benefit both parties, and are a really necessary aspect of D/s. They bring us back to the balance we need, with the right levels of power exchange, reassurance, and love.

 

We hope you liked our post on resets! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

This post was originally posted on http://www.marriedandowned.com

 

Our first post! Eeeeeee!

So Daddy and i have had to get creative lately- i had a medical procedure done that prevents us from having sex right now. And we have soooo much sexual energy and tension going on, so we have channeled it into pervertables and the like- gives us something to look forward to. T minus 2 days until go time!

Anyway, we have a gazillion toys, lubes, impact toys, etc. and they started overtaking our bedside tables, dresser drawers, closet… you get the picture. It was driving me crazy! And i was beginning to worry that our children were going to accidentally get into things. So naturally i begged Daddy to help me find a creative way to store all of our naughty goods! At first i thought maybe we could use a tool chest, because they lock, and because they have all sorts of handy drawers and compartments to fit all sorts of fun things. But then i realized how expensive they are, and hey, i don’t know about you, but we are on a budget! So thennnnn i realized we had a basically unused dresser we could modify, and off we went to Ikea to get all the liners, bins, and organizers you could ever dream of, if you dream of those sorts of things. i do.

We used the Ikea Hemnes dresser, pictured below. It has a pretty hefty price tag considering how small it really is, at $199, so if we didn’t already have it, i’m not sure it would have been my first choice. Nonetheless, it works well for our needs.

Note: everything but the toys and gear is from Ikea. i adore Ikea, and you should too.

Hemnes Dresser from Ikea

We started by adding drawer liners. i botched the measuring and cutting, naturally, so Daddy stepped in and fixed what i did, and finished the rest.

Then, we started with the organizers and bins, deciding how we wanted to lay everything out.

This is the result:

i am really happy with how it turned out. Everything is so clean and tidy, and in it’s place.

Oh, and if you were wondering what we did to prevent our kids from getting in to the drawers, we used a handy dandy magnetic locking child proof system!

So there you have it! Our innocent, white little dresser, that contains all of our kinky tools! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Price list-
Dresser- $199
Drawer liners- $3.99
White bins- $1.99 each (we got 4)
Gray cutlery trays- $2.99 each (we got 2
Clear organizer- $3.99

Here we are around 6 months into this journey. I was asked to write this and was initially nervous about writing it as I consider myself a private kind of person and consider this very private. However, this is about pushing limits and it is only fair that if I push Sweetgirl’s limits, I should push my own to better understand her needs and reactions to being pushed.

However, I feel a bit of a disclaimer is needed.

If you are expecting a literary classic you will be disappointed, I am no Charles Dickens, J R R Tolkien or George Orwell.

“Zero Option” by Chris Ryan is my goto book. By this I mean it lives in the car; it is not great a work of english literature but I enjoy the escapism. I see you’re asking yourself what has a book about a fictional member of the SAS trying to rescue his child from an IRA terrorist got to do with D/s relationship?

Well, are you sitting comfortably as this may become a bit of a waffling tale (but i refer you to the disclaimer at the beginning)? Sweetgirl has suffered with back problems and chronic pain from around 2008 and it has taken us to 2016/2017 to really get that to the point where she is comfortable and able to move about.

However, it was at a hospital appointment in July 2017 that the first tentative steps on our journey began. Hospitals have featured in or lives throughout our relationship so we tend to “go prepared”. This was her second visit to the “Pain Specialist” (only took 8 years to get to see him the first time). So once booked in and settled in the waiting room Sweetgirl pulled out her kindle and started to read. Now I admit to being a bit of a people watcher and, other than a pub there are few places better than a “waiting room”. So I am looking around and hearing snippets of conversations as the conversation in the room flows. I get to the point where I need to do something different for a bit, and notice Sweetgirl is reading 50 Shades of Grey. I remember being vaguely aware of the book when it launched as all the women in the office where reading it and again when the films were released I remember that same group of women organising a trip to the cinema with friends to go watch the adaptation. Can’t say I remember anyone’s opinion but knew roughly what it was about when I noticed the title.

Fast forward 30 minutes and the main character in my book had just returned home from a mission in other part of the world to find his girlfriend and son missing and an envelope left on a chair. Sweetgirl leans over and asks, “just read that”. I will admit I don’t recall the detail of the contents of the page, but I am reliably informed that it was a scene between Christian and Anastasia. Being honest it didn’t rock my boat as not the kinda book I would read (no one gets shot 🙂 ).

What followed next would be classed as the start of our Journey as SweetGirl leans over and says something along the lines, “Can we try that?”

Essentially what my wife of 17 years was asking was ‘can you tie me up and spank me?’  We’re sat in the waiting room of the hospital waiting to see the “Pain Specialist” – oh the irony! My wife who has been in pain for nearly a decade is asking me to give her more pain. If you have ever been to hospital and been asked about the pain you’re experiencing they have a pain rating of 1-10. Now, to give you a little perspective, Sweetgirl, for the last 8 or so years at this point, had existed at around 6-7 on a daily basis and that is with a cocktail of drugs. Here she is asking me to add to it, so I say ‘OK maybe’, and I’m thinking she is just trying to tease me a little, to pass the time.

Following the appointment we are driving home and talk some more. I expressed my concerns about adding to the pain and causing further pain/damage. After all, it is my job as her husband to keep her safe. She assured me that she would let me know. On top of that Sweetgirl is a little bit of a control freak so I wasn’t sure she would enjoy not being able to move etc.

So that evening I thought I would test the waters. Following getting ready for bed I decided I would see how well she would take instruction. So I had Sweetgirl lie on the bed and move her limbs out. I leaned in close and told her not to move and the rest of what I consider our first scene will remain private. However, I will say that Sweetgirl did very well.

That very simple scene, I think, can be classed as the start of our D/s relationship.

First Steps

What followed was the start of a lot of reading. They say google is your friend and can answer almost anything. This is true, the issue with this is that not all answers in google are true and verifiable. There is a lot of material out there.

I have on more than one occasion said, “an opinion is like an asshole – everyone has one,” and wading through the answers from Google it certainly seemed that way. In those early days we discussed a lot of things. One of the first suggestions I made was to join Fetlife. This was a kind of test to see how serious she was. Fetlife is an online community. It also has a lot of articles on it and is not a dating site like some of them are.  To my surprise she said yes.

On there is a questionnaire that will give you an idea of if you are Dominant and Submissive etc based on your answers to a series of questions. Sweetgirl completed a list of things she was willing to/wanted to try. I hear you saying to the screen why didn’t you do one? Well there were no differences between what Sweetgirl ticked and what I would have ticked.

This is where looking back has been interesting. When we first started we drew up a contract and looking at that contract it was Friday to Sunday only and Caning along with a few other things needed to be removed and it was decided that we would do some play at home but look to go away regular to a hotel to play properly.

However we seemed to move to full-time D/s quite quickly.

Those first few months were interesting, trying to balance learning and practicing enough to keep moving forward and reigning in Sweetgirl, as her natural personality is to run at a million miles an hour at anything she does. Left to her own devices and an unlimited budget we would have had a fully fitted play room by week 4.

Communication

Sweetgirl and I have been together for 23 years and married 18 of those and I would say that our communication before starting D/s was better than average. We have seen several “Friends” split up so consider our relationship strong and I put this down to us being a good fit and great communication. I do have a few sayings that I roll out all the time. One of my favourites is “I am not a mind reader. I can’t fix what I don’t know is broken”. Also I am a firm believer in “to the point” communication.

Every website/forum I have been on expresses good communication and I think this is important in any relationship but feel it is one of the main foundations that any D/s relationship grows from. I think you need to be able to be honest with the other party and not be worried about being embarrassed or worried they will think you are weird.

Regular communication I think is key. The ability to discuss things openly like any skill is one that needs practice. In the beginning we instigated “Downtime” this was an opportunity to discuss the dynamic. What was working. What wasn’t and if we wanted to try something.  Sweetgirl also kept a journal that I would read during this time. Writing things down made it easier to discuss sensitive topics that she may have found embarrassing.

Expectations of others

As part of my research into what being a “Dom” is I joined one or two forum/sites and started to chat. One particular evening I was chatting and someone asked if Sweetgirl would be chatting and I said that yes she would and more than likely do more chatting than I would. However, I wanted to get a feel for the forum first as I wanted to make sure she would be treated with the respect and consideration that I would treat other submissive’s with. One gentleman who was a sub by his own admission laughed at this and essentially said that as a sub she should not expect that. Funnily enough after about a week I left that site for a number of reasons but that response bothered me. I know and understand it was one person’s opinion. However the rest of the chat didn’t seem to disagree with him. This left me thinking that, if that was what would be expected of Sweetgirl then, honestly I have an issue with that. Forgive me if this sounds a little “man beats his chest”.  First of all in any setting Sweetgirl is first and foremost my wife and I expect anyone male or female to treat her in the same way Sweetgirl treats you. I do not ever envision a scenario where I would be happy for someone to treat her badly or with disrespect. In a social setting be that vanilla or D/s, my wife’s response to you will be dictated by your actions, and let this serve as a warning, she has over the years shown me the strength and fierceness of a lioness and she also has a razor-sharp wit, you better be prepared to get back what you give out and if you upset her then I will certainly have a few words for you.

From a D/s perspective she has been kind enough to give me her submission. I did not just take it! Therefore as far as I am concerned no one else has a right to expect it. She will always be respectful and polite as that is her nature, until she knows you well enough to be cheeky or you need reminding that manners cost nothing. As they say Manners maketh the man/women.

There have been other instances where I have got the impression that people think we are not doing this properly. The only thing I would say to that is that we are doing it in a way that works for us. But if you can show me a definitive globally agreed upon method (not sure it is possible) then I am all up for reading it and I will take the bits that work for us and incorporate that. We are in this for us no one else.

Practicalities

To give you all a little bit of back ground as I said we have been together for 23 years have two children (19 &25) both still living at home. The children’s ages bring about its own challenges as they are up later and more aware of “adult” themes.

There are I am sure that if you asked members of our vanilla friends and family they would suggest that Sweetgirl rules the house (believe her Mum recently suggested as much). However I have never felt not in control and the simple proof of this is the fact that I do not have a football team size brood of children, nor do we live in Noah’s ark. I have always felt that if I said No it was respected. However I think the biggest issue in taking the lifestyle fulltime stems from being together so long. If for instance I was to insist that Sweetgirl was to get up and make me a drink every time I desired one, when in the company of the children and family, this would be such a dramatic change in the relationship dynamic to people who know us questions would be asked. One of Sweetgirl’s recent requests was to kneel at my feet for a period time to help keep her focused. This is impractical as the kids would question it. So we got round it by her snuggling on the sofa. This seems effective as there are a number of positions that are available that mean her head is rested on parts of my body. However as long as her head is lower than mine she seems content.

Sweetgirl wanted a collar to show her submission early on and although collars and chokers are sold in most shops these days I felt I wanted something a little more personal. So I chose a piece of jewellery (this is the first piece of Jewellery I have had input in buying in 23 years as we have never really gone in for gift buying) that she could wear in everyday life and the only people who would know it’s significance is Sweetgirl and I (as ultimately the only people who this relationship matters to is us). We also bought a collar for the evening. With these two pieces of jewellery we have a ritual for swapping them that I think helps us remember what we are to each other. It is very simple Sweetgirl will kneel and I will remove which ever one she is wearing and replace it with the other. I will then ask her “who’s are you?” to which she will say “I am yours” that way she reaffirms to me everyday that she is mine. Recently I have made her a night collar that she sleeps in to replace the early purchases.

Actual “D/s play time” has presented challenges as when the kids were younger we were able to get away with more things and pass them off as playing games, however the age of the two kids is such as stated they are more aware of adult themes. They are very respectful and would never enter our bedroom without asking, however, we have had an incident recently when at home that Sweetgirl was getting a spanking and our youngest came out of his bed room and said, ” is that noise coming from your room?” Well I am sure you can appreciate that kinda put a stop to that scene. It has to be one of the few occasions in the last year that he did not have his ear phones on talking to his mates while trying to conqueror some distant island.

With the above in mind we decided early on that they were old enough to look after themselves and the two cats that we have for the evening/weekend. So we started to go away once a month to a hotel for the night where we didn’t have to worry about them walking in or the cats jumping on the bed. It made doing a scene so much easier although I do worry about disturbing the people in the next room as spanking appears to be quite loud.

We have used cheap chain hotels and some more expensive ones where we have had a suite. The options to play in the suite are expanded. I think Sweetgirl’s second spanking was taken with her bent over a table. Next time we go there I may tie her to the table.

I do find my self looking at everyday objects and asking myself, how can i use that in a scene???????

One of the funniest challenges we have encountered is the storage of all the toys we have purchased.

Under the bed restraints
Over the door restraints
vibrators /plugs
Spreader bar
crop
flogger
rope

Although it may not seem like a long list nor do i think it is exhaustive, I can assure you that it weighs some even without clothes. For the last five years both my children have “borrowed” clothes “by accident” and can only imagine their face where they ever silly enough to open the bag at the bottom of the wardrobe. This is why we keep it locked.

Recently when going back to see some Uni friends for the weekend our eldest asked if we had a bag he could borrow. Now I am of the opinion that he was aware of the bag we take away and expected us to say yes you can use the one we take away for the weekend. However his face showed disappointment when we said that we did not have one that we could spare.

Things to watch for

One if the biggest things for us was discovering “sub drop” this hit Sweetgirl hard the first time and neither of us where aware of it up in till that moment. As I understand it, it is the “coming down” portion of the rush of chemicals the body produces during a scene. It happened a few days after one of our first nights away and her first spanking. I am sure the effects will manifest themselves I different ways for different people and the effects will I suspect be different.

Immediately after a scene Sweetgirl gets shaky and anything up to a few days later she can feel really down. Just not herself. This I believe is the come down from the flood of endorphins that the body produces especially through impact play.

Now this brings us to after care. Again I think what works for Sweetgirl may not work for others. But cuddling and keeping her warm after a scene along with fluids and chocolate helps to stop the shaking. I keep an eye on her over the next few days just to make sure she is ok.

Benefits

One of the benefits I have noticed in the last 6 months is that Sweetgirl is calmer. I also feel calmer. Not sure if you will have heard of the chimp paradox by Dr Steven Peters. I first heard of this while reading the autobiography of Guy Martin and could relate so much to what he was saying about it. I have even given my chip a name. I have always had reasonable control over him, I consider myself a logical person, I like to have a plan, I accepted long ago that they never work but they are always a starting point and a base to fall back on. I find that especially useful in a scene. Following the loss of the family dog a few years ago I found that the chimp “rattled his cage” more frequently than he had in the years with the dog. Now like I said he is easy to control, a walk in the local woods, a run around the block or some problem to solve usually keeps him calm. But the last six months he seems to be quite content. This could be the mental and physical requirements of planning and acting out a scene I am not sure.

I also feel that my relationship with Sweetgirl has gotten stronger as a result of the D/s relationship.

Plans for the Future

We attended our first munch yesterday. A “munch” is as i understand it an informal meeting of people in the lifestyle. I feel it will benefit us both. She will hopefully create a circle of friends that will be there to help her through this journey when I am not the right person to help her.

Now people who know me well would be surprised that I have done this as I am not “A people person” and certainly not fond of large groups of people. In fact one time we went out with friends, one gentleman told Sweetgirl that I don’t suffer B.S. and it shows on my face. So I tend to not put my self in that situation.

I enjoyed the night. Sweetgirl was enjoying being able to discuss D/s without worrying about being judged. We had the benefit of meeting someone there that was a member and we had spoken to a number of times. But I would say that we felt welcomed and spoke to a number of people and even had a tour of the club. It is always nice to put a face to a name. Would recommend attending them if you can find one near you that you feel comfortable with.

I plan on taking Sweetgirl to some BDSM events this year. A wise man once told me that you can’t know everything at the same time. So I plan on taking her to some events so we can both learn and experience how other do the lifestyle. We have both ventured into the World Wide Web and from a dominant point of view we are not the most chatty. But i stumbled on a post from HisLordship on Fetlife advertising their website The Safeword Club and was thrilled to note that it was UK-based.  I think one of the issues we encountered where so many of the sites are global in nature and timezone can often dictate who is available to chat.

Times and preference have changed I think i have touch on than before but one for me is Rope. Shibari to give it what I believe to be it official title is truly an art form. Although due to Sweetgirl’s health issues and the practicalities (don’t have the space at home) I don’t ever see my self suspending her (but never say never). I do find just the basics of tying to be relaxing and a good way to end a play sessions as Sweet girl tells me that she feels calm and relaxed both during and after a tie.

When we first sat down and did a check list, Sweetgirl said NO! to the Cane but that has changed recently and I am now the proud owner of a cane, there are many like it but this one is mine. We tried it out recently for the first time at home and I was very impressed.. They are controllable and seemed to have Sweetgirl relaxed in no time at all. There is also a lot of scope for progressing with it. But I do need to practice more with it, but unfortunately the cat loves it.

The Flogger, we recently purchased a bigger flogger with suede ends. Our first was part of a kit purchased from Lovehoney, it is quite small and has rubber ends. I can only liken it to buying your first large engine car after driving a little city run around. I again need more practice with it but that little cat does like to hunt.

Closing statement

I apologise for the waffling, but you were warned. Also it is by no means a definitive review of the last 6 months. Part of the reason for that is that it seems to have passed so fast. But they do say time files when you’re having fun. I may even start my own blog just to be able to look back on.

So the ultimate question is what advice or what do I wish I had known before starting? I think that is a difficult question to answer, as the answer will be different for everyone. I think there are a few cornerstones that every relationship needs and this is applicable to a vanilla or D/s relationship

Trust
Communication
Respect
Patience

With these in place you can build the relationship to be what you need/want it to be. Also, don’t put too much pressure on yourselves as you won’t get it right first time all the time. Both sides need to be prepared to accept they have made a mistake. The ability to say ” I don’t like that” without worrying the other parties response will be “right I am not doing this anymore if you don’t do x.”

Think most important for me is to have fun.  If it becomes a chore, you need to re think.

Inspiration for a posts come from many sources, however, it is always good to read another person’s experiences in which you find reflections of your own life.

WildWestAngel wrote that there are often times when her submission seems to be slipping away from her.  The skills required to excel in her day job embrace her personality and it makes it harder for her to be the sub she desires to be.  As a result, her Dom sees less of her outward submission and in turn, he too loses focus. Continue reading “She’s Smarter Than the Average Bear!”

img_3238The power exchange that takes place in our D/s relationship is a key part of what keeps our dynamic alive, but it is not something which is easy to explain. I imagine that those in similar relationships can understand the significant part it plays, but for those who aren’t, or who are just starting out, I wanted to try to convey how it works. All relationships work in a circular sort of motion with the actions of one person feeding the thoughts, feelings and behaviour of the other.This behaviour then impacts on the other person in the same way and on and on it goes. In this way a relationship can end up in a downward spiral where the negative behaviour of one party evokes a similar reaction in the other, or it could be that the positive behaviour of one triggers a positive response in return. This is the way the power exchange works in D/s, with the submission of one feeding the Dominance of the other, and vice versa. Continue reading “The Power Exchange”