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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.