You guessed it. He said maintenance.
The other night, we were talking. And by talking, I mean I was face down over Steve's lap while he paddled away. It turns out he does have some definite ideas on what disrespect is and he had just been giving me time to adjust to everything else before he started enforcing that rule. I don't know how he does it, but he knew that I had been thinking about it that day.
Anyway, right in the middle of spanking, he suddenly stopped and said "I think we need maintenance after all."
To say I was surprised would be an understatement. We had discussed the concept of maintenance before and agreed that neither of us liked the idea of it. I was so shocked that he had said it that I actually sat up (not the best idea in the middle of a spanking) to ask why.
Well it turns out Steve's been doing some thinking (and I'm beginning to suspect reading as well). He's noticed that I do good for a few days to a week after a spanking, but then start going downhill. It's nothing major at first, but those little things start to add up. So he's been thinking about maintenance as a way to stop the slide before I go too far. But he made it clear that he was just thinking about for now and didn't plan to implement it yet.
It's been rattling around in my head ever since. At first, my thoughts were along the lines of "Nope, not happening. I'm not a car and I do NOT need to maintained." I just couldn't wrap my head around the thought that I would be spanked to avoid getting spanked for misbehavior.
But then I did some reading and realized it was more than just a preemptive spanking. It's also a way to reinforce the roles in a relationship, a who's who reminder of who's in charge, a way to keep a submissive in the right frame of mind. And that's when it clicked.
You see yesterday I was frustrated because Steve had let me off the hook not once, but twice over the same thing. I was really struggling to find and hold onto that submissive mindset. I did end up texting him at work to let him know how I was feeling about him letting me off the hook, and he texted back that he had realized that himself and would try to be firmer.
When we went to bed last night, we talked some more. Then he did it again. He reached right into my head and pulled out those thoughts of maintenance/role affirmation/who's who spankings/whatever you want to call it. And in talking about it, we realized that maybe we do need that right now, at least while we're still getting used to this new dynamic in our relationship, to help us find and maintain our roles.
He needs it to remind him that he's in charge, that he has a responsibility to step up when I step out of line. While it's okay to occasionally let me off the hook for something minor, he needs to remember that it can easily turn into a slide backwards if he's not careful.
I need it to remind me that even though he chooses to be nice and let me off the hook occasionally, it's not an invitation to take advantage of that. I need it to remind me that he's in charge even when he chooses not to spank over something. I need it to help me dig down and find that submissive core inside me.
So last night was our first role affirmation (I refuse to call it maintenance). Like most things we're encountering with DD, it was a learning experience. At first, I fought it. Even though we had talked about it beforehand, I was having trouble submitting to it. So I called a time-out for a minute so I could talk to him about it.
I told him it felt detached. I guess I should have explained better because he took that to mean it wasn't hard enough and stepped things up. I called another time-out. We talked about it some more before we realized the problem. You see with a punishment spanking, he lectures while he spanks. Yet he wasn't saying anything last night, just spanking, so it came off like a spanking without purpose. While I knew in my head why we were doing it, I needed to hear him say it.
Once we realized that, we continued on. Even though the swats stung, it was easier to take. I didn't squirm or move out of position. I didn't kick. I didn't put my hands back. I submitted to it. And even though I didn't cry, I did feel better when we had finished.
Afterwards, he held me in his arms and kissed me. The kiss turned into something more and we ended up making love. Then, something very rare happened. I laid down and fell asleep right away. I don't know if it was the spanking, a combination of spanking and lovemaking or just feeling at peace, but for once, insomnia was not an issue.
Maybe there are some perks to this.