puzzlepieces

Musings about life and my journey

Need

I had some startling realizations yesterday.  

Master and I had had a very low key week – it was my spring break, so other than the times that I had to go on active Mom-duty, we were together for every minute.   It was *very* relaxed, mostly consisting of lounging around his house drinking coffee and playing on our respective computers or watching basketball.  I was *really* getting my head around the idea that this was just a *normal* relationship.  Pleasant, low demand, low intensity.  And it is.

As long as we’re together.

Yesterday, after running some very domestic errands, Master dropped me off at my apartment and he went back to his house, with the comment, “and we’ll figure out what we’re going to do tonight, later.”  I thought this was cool; an opportunity to kick back and be *me* for a couple of hours.  I could do all those things I used to do by myself that I couldn’t do with Master around (wait… what are those things???  Oh, yeah, there aren’t any), I could move freely around without asking permission to do anything (why, then did I hesitate every time I had to use the bathroom?).  In short, I realized that there was nothing I could do *without* Master that I couldn’t do with him, and after a couple of hours, being without Master just kind of sucked.

It got worse.  I got antsy.  I did some chores.  Made a list.  Did everything on it.  Did other chores that weren’t on the list.  Cut the hair off of the cylinder in my vacuum (ick), scrubbed out a lower cabinet in the kitchen that rarely gets used.  In between, I checked my phone for a text saying that he missed me and was coming to get me.  I cooked dinner, did the dishes.  Checked my phone – a text; asking if I was watching the basketball game, which led to a lighthearted, friendly exchange – but no sense that he was ready to have me back with him.  I started to feel anxious.  Really anxious.  It was like sub-drop – I curled up into my head and began thinking all sorts of horrible things, over analyzing everything, worrying that I’d crowded him, if he just wanted a break from me, wondered how I was going to fill my time until I saw him again, tried to avoid thinking about the possibility of going to sleep without him.

I did *not* want to admit this anxiety to him.  I did not want him to think that I was so needy, so weak, that I literally started working my way towards a panic attack at the thought of being away from him any longer. I knew that he was so proud of how competent I am and how well I could function independently, and I didn’t want him to see that I couldn’t anymore.  But I also knew I’d be in no end of shit if I freaked out and hid it from him, so I texted him.  Within a few minutes, he was on the road to come get me.

I felt so relieved and ashamed at the same time.  As soon as he wrapped his arms around me, I felt some of my anxiety lift, but tears streamed quietly down my face the whole ride home.  I felt so pathetic, so needy, so demanding.  Wasn’t I, as his slave, supposed to be at *his* beck and call – not the other way around?  I know that nothing is *supposed to be* with us, but… well, just nothing made sense.

“It’s not needy to say you don’t want to be away from your Master,” he assured me.  So I said those words: “I don’t want to be away from my Master.”  He laughed and we smiled together.  But did he hear the subtext of “I’m afraid I *can’t* be away from my Master”?

Tomorrow will be an interesting (*laugh*) test of that.  I have to go back to work.  Away from Master all day.  I don’t worry so much about that, though, since I will be extremely busy with specific things that need to be done – more things to accomplish than I could possibly get done in any given day.

Maybe that’s the key:  next time I need to be apart from Master, for whatever reason, I need to have a very structured purpose, a set of specific things I need to accomplish.  I need to be engaged.

Master is in no way disappointed in me for my bit of a meltdown.  He is not disgusted by my need, in fact he showed me just how much he needs my need – that symbiosis that makes us Master and slave.

There’s more that I learned, but I still need to roll those thoughts around a bit before committing them to text…

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It irks me sometimes when folks try to make the whole BDSM thing into some secret, elite club with a social hierarchy and code words and jargon and a secret handshake.

It’s my life, for Pete’s sake, and I don’t feel the need to give it a title, label, give each activity an operational name, or even label my role within it. 

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the “names” people give things in this life and how it “should” be done.  S-types, especially, get hung up on what sub-group they should pigeonhole themselves into:  sub, pet, brat, slave (sex-, service-, and love-), masochist/pain-slut, etc.  I’ve even read thoughts about the things we do in the “vanilla” world to not be obvious about our lifestyle – someone labeled that “silent protocol.”  There was a spate of readings recently about the “Old Guard” and how the founding kinksters decided that we were supposed to live this life.

I am Master’s slave.  I don’t care what “kind” of slave I am.  I do what he asks, tells, and expects.  Simple as that.  I am often coddled and spoiled like a pet; I am often impudent and tease him like a brat would.  Those have a lot more to do with us as “people” than it does with us as Master/slave.  Yes, I like pain, which, by definition makes me a masochist, so I guess I’m okay with that label.

Master and I don’t feel any need to rub in the faces of the world at large what it is that we do, so we are subtle about our dynamic in public.  We’ve never felt the call to set up specific protocol and title it “Operation Vanilla-world” or anything. 

Master makes coffee in the morning.  Last night, he made and served me dinner.  I spend very little time kneeling and awaiting his next command.  He doesn’t have my passwords or PINs.  He does not micromanage my life.  And to those who want to tell me we’re doing this wrong?  Here’s my middle finger.  I don’t want to be a part of your pretentious little club.  We’re people having a relationship in the real world.  I don’t remember putting in my application to the Freemasons.

This life isn’t rocket science.  It’s life.  The way we live it, whatever we want to call ourselves, however we choose to do it, it’s good.  And “good” is enough label for me.

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Myths…Busted

I think back to the things I wrote when I was embarking on this relationship with Master and I have to laugh just a little.  I was hesitant, anxious, even fearful of what it would be like being a slave – especially when it dawned on me that he would move here and this would be a full time thing.

Now he’s here, and other than the time that I spent at work last week, we’ve been inseparable for the past 10 days – including two road trips –and I’ve had a few of my misconceptions cleared up.

So, what have I imagined over the past 4 months or so?  And how have my perceptions changed?

  1.  I would lose myself in this whole slave thing and lose focus on the other important things in my life.    Yeah, big wrong.  It has been made VERY clear to me that my job and my family are AT LEAST as important as my duties to him.  Sure, once those things are taken care of, I am at his beck and call, but only then am I free to lose myself in that fuzzy headed feeling that I so love now to fall into when he wraps cuffs around my wrists and ankles and gets that firm tone in his voice.
  2. Master would be particular and rigid about certain things and I’d stress out about trying to do everything perfectly.  Um… no.  Turns out, as long as stuff gets done, Master doesn’t give a shit how I do it.  He likes his coffee a certain way, and I’m not to leave dishes in the sink overnight, but really, he’s one of the most relaxed and realistic people I’ve ever spent time with.  He hasn’t blinked an eye at the fact that my cat leaves butt hair in the carpet or that I have left clean clothes folded in the laundry basket.  He knows that I’ll vacuum it up within a day or so and put those clothes away eventually.  It doesn’t need to be perfect – I don’t need to be perfect.  The things he *does* want done a certain way?  He tells me, and explains clearly.
  3. I would spend every moment with him on high alert, with an undercurrent of sexual tension all the time. Well, a big chunk of the time we’ve spent together has involved moving, unpacking, and driving.  Riggggghhhhht.  *Lots* of sexual tension there.  Other times, we’ve spent lounging on the couch or on my bed, watching TV, using our computers, or with him sleeping while I crocheted.  We’ve been busy doing productive stuff or resting from it.  Yes, I’m aware of his needs – when his soda gets low, when he’s getting hungry, tired, sore from overworking his shoulder – but it’s not felt different than it does when I tune into the needs of anyone I care about:  my students, my sons, my friends.  There are moments of that sexual tension, absolutely, and I relish those moments, but they don’t take up EVERY moment.
  4. Master would sit back and relax while I ran around serving him.  I have cooked and served several meals to him while he lounged.  However, he wakes well before me usually, so he makes coffee, and the other night, since he was up looking for something we could cook for dinner – HE cooked the pizza we decided on.  He’s a grown man who’s lived on his own for awhile, so he’s perfectly capable and willing to do a lot of stuff on his own, and sometimes it’s easier and more convenient for him to just do it himself, rather than asking me to do it.
  5.  I’d be constantly bruised and marked. Given everything that we’ve been getting accomplished and the energy we’ve exerted doing it, those leisurely, lengthy play sessions that resulted in a multi-colored butt and delicious aches haven’t been a constant thing.  We’ve taken time out for intimacy, definitely, and a day doesn’t go by when I don’t get a firm swat on the butt or a painful pinch to a nipple to remind me that he is a sadist and I am his masochist.  But, no, at the moment, my canvas is reasonably unmarked.
  6. We would get all in each others’ business and get sick of each other quickly.  Let’s see… again, except for when I was at work, we’ve spent EVERY minute together.  We spend a lot of time just quietly *together*.  We’ve driven to another state and across this one.  We’ve worked hard together.  We’ve fallen asleep in each others’ arms every night and woken to each other every morning. I’m far from sick of him, and I’m pretty sure he’s willing to keep me around for a little while longer. *grin*

It’s been a big couple of months for me, a HUGE couple of weeks.  Every day I’m learning, settling in, letting it sink in that this *is* my life, and it’s soooo fucking good. 

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I Am Woman; Hear Me …

  • Insult you in ways you don’t understand so that you think I’m complimenting you.
  • Flirt my way into getting whatever I need – even from strangers.
  • Rage in frustration over the injustices of the world.
  • Coo in sympathy of your plight.i am woman
  • Rant using a dictionary full of four-letter words.
  • Belly-laugh at snarky comments or inappropriate jokes.
  • Weep inconsolably at a tender moment in a cheesy movie.
  • Giggle uncomfortably when my emotions are too intense to process.
  • Scream in agony and pleasure.
  • Squeal and moan obscenities when I am out of my head.
  • Sniffle and sob at the realization of how much I am loved.
  • Nag you to put on a sweater or other some such motherly admonishments, whether you are my child or my friend or my Master.
  • Tell you everything I am thinking – respectfully, of course.
  • State my opinion and back it up with a wide variety of logical and emotional arguments based on my experiences, observations, and documented evidence.
  • *Not* respond to random provocations.
  • Whisper “I love you” at the moment you most need to hear it.

 

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My Language of Love

I just took the 5 Love Languages assessment. 

 

No surprise here – my love language is “Acts of Service.”  What this means is that I feel most loved when people “do” – it also means that this is how I express love.  I do.  I act.  I fix.  I serve.

I actually took the quiz, suspecting this because Master and I had been talking about it.  When we first met and entered into this relationship, I questioned how I would be a useful slave to him.  I knew that my use as a sex toy would be fun, sure, but that it wouldn’t be enough to keep Master satisfied on a long term basis.  I wanted to be more.  Turns out that the area of my own life that I have worked so hard to master for myself, has been where I have been most useful to him:  I’ve become the “organizer.”

This upcoming move has meant a lot of work for both of us, which has been difficult while we both worked and dealt with the other necessities of our lives.  With him being from out of state, we couldn’t take unlimited time to look for a place for him to live when he moved.  We spent hours together online, searching Craigslist and other sites that offered rental properties, viewing pictures together.  When we realized that we were starting to re-view properties, and that we couldn’t remember which was which, I made myself useful and created a table, listing the properties we both liked, the links where we saw them, brief descriptions, contact information, and notes about our contacts with the people.  This became a very useful tool when we set out to look at the actual properties last weekend.  I was able, with my limited knowledge of the surrounding areas, to plan a route that wouldn’t have us flitting from one end of town to the other and back again.  We struck gold on the third property. I made the phone call to the realtor and arranged a meeting, and within 2 days, the agreement was made.

Since then, I’ve been useful in scrounging up warm, strong bodies to help unload the truck on Saturday when he gets here.  It’s a situation in which I have access to resources that he doesn’t, so it only makes sense that I utilize them to help.

It’s a relief to know where my use is – though Master says that being me is as useful as I need to be (incidentally, my 2nd highest score on that assessment was “Words of Affirmation,” and he’s *totally* speaking that language!).  I have a purpose.  I have a future.

I have everything I need.

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Becoming Me

I make a difference, I know that.  Sometimes I forget this, until I am bombarded with reminders, as has happened over the past few days. When that happens, I am also reminded of who it is that I want to be.

I want to be useful and helpful.  I want to have something to offer people.  I want to be able to give good information or provide some needed service.  Today I had the opportunity to help a friend/colleague and her child.  It involved nothing more than a bit of footwork and explaining, in a clear, coherent way, their problem to several people who were in a position to assist.  When the situation was resolved, I felt wonderful, not because it really did anything for me, but I was able to lift the burden of this particular difficulty off of the shoulders of someone I care about.

I want to be reliable.  When I say I will do something, I want people to know that it will be done – and done well.  I had a parent of one of my students express some frustration to me today that his child had not received some services that he probably should have.  The parent said that he had asked before for some help in accessing these services, but the person he asked never followed through.  I looked this man in the eye and said, “It will get done now.”  He smiled at me and said, “I know.  You will take care of it.”  I knew this parent from working with another of his children, and he knew that when I say I will take care of something, I do.  He knew he could rely on me, and that made me even more determined to help him.

I want to be competent.  I want to know what is expected of me and to do it well.  I am sometimes frustrated at work because the powers that be like to make educational practice into a moving target, so the expectations change so often.  However, I have my own strong and clear philosophy on what it means to teach kids, and that is my guide.  I plan and carry out my actions based on that, and I do it *very* well.  No matter what kind of cluster-fuck the system plans, I do my thing.  I am equally competent as a slave to my Master.  I listen.  I learn.  I pay attention.  This allows me to do what I need to do to keep him happy and proud.

I want to be a good communicator.  This means expressing myself clearly, but it also means listening.  This has been something I’ve had to work on.  I still find myself talking about me more often than asking about others and listening to what’s going on with them, but I’m really improving here.  I’m aware of it, so I make it a point now.  It’s improved my relationships with people tremendously.  Clear and open communication is a requirement with Master.  From day one, we’ve had a “full-disclosure” rule.  This means that I *must* tell him what I’m thinking, feeling, etc. – though, if I’m having a hard time processing and understanding it myself, he gives me plenty of time to work through it.  In return, I need to listen to him and understand where he is emotionally as well as logistically.

I want to be authentic.  I want to walk the walk.  I am a slave and proud of it, and I don’t want to pretend to be anything else.  This doesn’t mean that I have to announce it to the world, but it does mean that I need to carry it with me at all times.  My behavior with Master and my behavior with my colleagues should not be terribly different (well, other than the whole kneeling and begging to be spanked thing… *laugh*).  I serve.  It’s who I am, and I’m going to embrace it in all aspects of my life.

I want to touch people.  I want their association with me to have a positive impact.  The other day I got a text from a dear friend reminding me of how much I have influenced her and how much she appreciates it.  That text nearly made me weepy.  I don’t always need the accolades for making a difference, but it *is* nice to be reminded sometimes that what I do and say has an impact.

More than ever before in my life, I am aware of who I am and what I want to be, and the two have never come to close to matching as they do now.  I’m still working on being everything I can be, being the person I am proud of.  It helps that I have others in my life now who believe in me and will support me in my striving to improve myself.

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Whirlwind or The First 100 Days

I realized today that 100 days ago tomorrow, Master and I began our correspondence.  It seems like a lifetime ago – not because the time I’ve spent with him has dragged or anything, but because who and where I was 100 days ago is a lifetime away from who and where I am now.

100 days ago, I was sleepless and weeping over a man who did not deserve me, nor could he have handled me.

100 days ago, I was angry and lonely and full of self-doubt.

100 days ago, I questioned my desire to be a part of the BDSM world.

100 days ago, I didn’t believe I was lovable.

Today, not only am I part of the BDSM world, it is part of me.  An integral part.  It is who I am – and it always was; I was just not ready to accept it.

Today, I am loved, happy, and fulfilled, and have no doubt of my worth or my ability to love and be loved.

Today, my Master went home to pack his belongings so that he can move here next weekend.

Today, I have a new life. 

I no longer weep about what happened in my past.  I no longer apologize for mistakes I’ve made.  I look only toward my future – OUR future.  For the first time in a long time – maybe ever – I can see that future and look forward to it.  I have purpose.  I have found where I belong.

It is common practice for people to put arbitrary timelines and benchmarks on relationships.  In some cases, it’s not a bad idea.  However, sometimes lightning strikes, and it is just… right.

It has been a whirlwind.  So much, so quickly, and so very, very right.

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A Good Reason

I realize that some of the things that Master expects of me may seem rather silly to others.  Some of the things may seem cruel, or humiliating, or… something.  I don’t see them that way because I know he has a good reason for expecting everything he expects.

While some Masters or Dominants may require certain things or do certain things for the sheer reason that they *can*, Master has made it very clear to me that whatever he asks, whatever he does, there is a reason, and he is always sure to explain it to me – if I don’t already understand.

He requires me to keep up with my housework and my job-work.  The reason for this is so that when I am with him, I don’t have to worry about those things.  Also, being on top of those things just makes me feel better about myself.  Despite how slaves may be portrayed, most Masters – or at least my Master – want their slaves to feel like productive, useful, confident women.  The tasks involved in housework also help to structure my day.

He expects that I do some simple exercises.  This is not to manage my weight or because he doesn’t love my body, but keep me toned and healthy.  Again, this makes me feel better about myself, and is another task in my day that gives structure.

Because I do both of these things – not necessarily *for* him, but under his direction — knowing that he will hold me accountable for them helps to reinforce our dynamic, reminding me that ultimately, he is in control of every aspect of my life.  If I find myself avoiding doing those things, a reminder from him will slip me back into my slave headspace where I willingly and happily bow to his will.

Other, more personal expectations also reinforce our roles, illustrating that even my most basic and intimate activities are his to command and control.

He has me write to process what I’m thinking so that those thoughts don’t interfere with our goals.

In short, everything that Master requires of me serves to reinforce our dynamic, which is the foundation of our relationship and the foundation of everything we are building together.  To me?  That’s a pretty good reason.

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Punishment

In my field, I spend a *lot* of time using behavior modification strategies.  I’ve studied the concepts of reinforcement and punishment many times during my education and career (and as a parent), but honestly, as I started thinking about what I wanted to write here, I had to refresh my memory about the fancy words that went with the theory.

Reinforcement is used to increase the likelihood that a desired behavior will be repeated.  Positive reinforcement involves providing a positive consequence when the desired behavior is demonstrated; negative reinforcement means withholding an undesired consequence when the desired behavior is demonstrated.  Punishment is used to decrease the likelihood that an undesirable behavior will be repeated.  Positive punishment introduces a negative consequence when the undesirable behavior is shown; negative punishment (also called extinction) is the withholding of a positive consequence.

While, we learn these fancy terms when we learn about who to modify the behavior of children with behavioral issues, in reality, we all work on these principles.  In short, we will continue to do something as long as we get something we want for doing it, or avoid getting something we don’t want.  We will avoid doing something again if something unpleasant happens because of it, or if we *don’t* get anything we want from it.

In any relationship we enter into, particularly in the beginning, these principles apply.  If we behave in a certain way with a new beau and he brings us flowers, we’re likely going to behave similarly in the future.  If we behave in another way and he ignores us for a few days, we’re not likely to repeat that behavior.  Pretty simple.  We don’t *call* it behavior modification, but we do modify our behavior to get what we want and avoid what we don’t.

An M/s relationship works much the same way, but the inherent structure and clearly define roles brings it to a somewhat different level.  As a Master sets down his expectations, he is within his right to utilize any of these strategies to ensure that his slave is disciplined to behave in a way that pleases him.

For me, personally, positive reinforcement is probably the most effective tool.  When I do something and Master tells me how proud he is of me for doing it, I am *highly* likely to continue doing it.  I’m a sucker for the “good girl” line, and to hear him tell me that I make him proud.  When I behave as he wishes, I avoid his disappointment (negative reinforcement), which is a consequence that I fear, probably irrationally in Master’s case, as he has repeatedly emphasized that I could not disappoint him.

If I behave in a manner that is displeasing, I always believed that the most effective punishment would be to ignore me; to withhold the show of affection he so often demonstrates (negative punishment/extinction).  However, I’ve learned that positive punishment is pretty damn effective for me, as well.

The first time we spent time together and I got a look at Master’s “toys,” he asked me to pick out the implement that would be used for “punishment.”  I chose a scary looking, black wooden paddle.  The idea is that if that paddle is ever used, it will be *only* to punish me for misbehavior, and if it is used, no matter how much I get off on pain, I was *not* going to like this.  I was quite sure I would never experience it because I had no intention of ever defying Master.

Misbehavior, however, can also mean carelessness and neglect, and one night, when he had asked me to text and wake him at 8:00 pm so he could get ready for work, I got distracted.  At 8:15, I had an “Oh, SHIT!” moment, and quickly sent the text, apologizing profusely.  He responded with “I love you,” and I figured all was okay and the matter dropped.

Next time we were together, the black paddle came out of the suitcase for the first time.  I knelt in front of Master, as he asked, “What time are you supposed to wake me?”

I whimpered, “8:00…”  and I received 3 rather unpleasant swats draped over his knee, leaving me blubbering in tears.

The tears were not so much from the pain – honestly, the pain was not as intense as much of the pain I *ask* to have inflicted upon me. It hurt, yes, but what brought the tears was the fact that he *did* punish me, and that I deserved it.  I had gotten careless and neglected to fulfill a very simple duty, and he was well within his right to remind me of what was expected of me.  More than his right, really – it’s his responsibility to me to reinforce the behavior he expects of me.

You might say, “Gosh, how humiliating to treat an intelligent woman like a child that way…” and you’d be right.  More than the pain, it was shaming to me, and that’s part of the reason it will never happen again.  Couldn’t he have simply scolded me and gotten the same result?  Probably.  However, had the understanding that I may be punished have been introduced and never used, I may not have taken the threat of it seriously.  By using it as he did, which was exactly as he had promised, I know that it is one of many tools he can use to ensure that I act in a way that helps our relationship be successful, and I *will* do my damnedest to make sure he doesn’t have to use it again.

Incidentally, after those swats, he cradled me in his arms while I cried out my shame, and he assured me of how very much he loves me.  Also, I have taken to setting the alarm on my cell phone to remind me to wake him on time.

So much of what goes on in an M/s relationship is the same as what occurs in any “vanilla” relationship.  However, to me, it seems so much more straightforward when the roles and structure are so clear.  There’s so little possibility of manipulation or misunderstanding, and that eliminates the possibility of drama and strife.  Some of it may seem harsh and Spartan, but given our goals, it’s necessary and very effective.

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An Important Ritual

“A ritual is a well-defined sequence of words and actions designed to focus attention, establish significance, and achieve a beneficial result”(Serge Kahili King, “Rituals and Modern Society”).

There’s a certain ritual that Master and I perform when we are first alone together after being apart.  I’m not going to give details because what it entails is our private business, but it’s something that’s become rather important to me, and he’s asked me to explore why.

Very early in our correspondence, before we ever met face-to-face, Master presented a scenario to me and asked for my reaction.  Honestly, it bordered on a hard limit for me, but after some conversation about it, I agreed to keep my mind open to the idea.  It was *not* something I was ready to do right away.

Yet during the first weekend we spent together, we took a step toward it.  I admit, I surprised myself with how readily I accepted it.  The next time we were together, I accepted the rest of the scenario.  Now, I have come to look forward to it – to need it — as part of our natural protocol.

The act itself is not necessarily erotic.  It is extremely intimate, though, and that brings a certain eroticism to it.  More than that, however, through it I am symbolically re-initiated, re-claimed as his each time we’re together.  My outside cares and worries and responsibilities are erased, and I become firmly planted in my active-slave headspace.

It is not something I’ve ever done with anyone else – I would never have considered it before – and that fact makes it “ours.”  The fact that it is such a private and intimate thing that I will not share the details of it, even if asked, reinforces “our” ownership of it.  It creates and symbolizes a bond between us that no one else shares.

As we spend more time together, more activities become “rituals.”  They focus our attention on our roles, establish the significance of them, and have the benefit of maintaining our dynamic.  And to me, that dynamic means freedom, safety, and most of all, love.

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Actually Ashley

Just another sarcastic ashhole.

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To Keep it Real, Keep it Silly

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May the bridges I burn light the way

thekinkyworldofvile

This blog contains themes of an adult nature. It is intended for audiences 18 or older. This blog is NOT SAFE FOR WORK. If you are offended by nudity, explicit sexual material, or images of BDSM then this is not the blog for you. Have a great day!!

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