Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Perfect Class for Us

As you may recall, Steve and I made the decision to go back to college for our degrees. When we selected our classes for this semester, we basically compared the list of courses offered to the list of courses we needed to take for our respective degrees, weeded out the ones that required prerequisites and went from there. Since there is some overlap between degree programs, we ended up taking three of our four classes together. It wasn't until today that it hit me how perfect one of those classes is for us as a DD couple.

Can you guess what that class might be?

If you guessed communication, you would be right. To be exact, the class is Introduction to Interpersonal Communication. According to the syllabus, we will be learning about things such as the communication process, listening, perception, non-verbal communication, conflict and dysfunctional communication, just to name a few.

How perfect is this class for a DD couple? We're always talking about how important communication is to the relationship. This is our opportunity to learn how to communicate better. I'm curious to see how the class helps us.

In other news, it turns out Steve's schedule change has been postponed. Initially they said it would happen at the end of this month. Now they're saying it's the end of next month. I'm trying to just take it one day at a time. If I think too much about how much longer we're going to have to deal with a lack of alone time, I'll lose my mind.

Thankfully, now that classes have started, my schoolwork is keeping me pretty busy so I don't have a lot of time to think. I understand now why my advisor said he thought I was being ambitious to take this many classes during the summer semester. With the semester being almost half the length of others, classes have to move at a faster pace to cover the same amount of material. Basically we're covering two weeks of work each week.  I do feel bad for Steve, though, as his work keeps him busy enough and now he has all this schoolwork on top of that.

The submission exercises are helping keep me sane through all this. He sent me to the corner again yesterday. Initially I was a little disgruntled about it, but in hindsight, I think it was a good move on his part. The first time I did it because he told me to, but also because I was somewhat curious about it. Having satisfied any curiosity I had with the first trip to the corner, I didn't feel the need to go back there. So when he sent me there again, I had to make a conscious choice to submit. I came away feeling a lot more centered and I think I'm starting to recapture the submissive spirit I had before his schedule went crazy.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Submission Exercises

Ever since Steve's work schedule changed for the worse, we've been trying to work out how to maintain DD when we don't really have time for it. We were really struggling to find a workable option when one of my friends from chat who is in a long distance relationship suggested a possible solution-submission exercises.

Now the idea of submission exercises isn't anything new. I've saw it mentioned here and there before. EsMay had a few posts on submission exercises as I recall. However, most of what I've read seems to consist of the HoH giving the exercises while he is with his partner, not when they're apart.

But with a lack of any other options, it was worth a shot. So we talked about it and came up with some ideas for exercises he could text to me during the day while he's at work. Then I waited for the first one to come.

It came yesterday around lunchtime. Corner time for 15 minutes. I have to admit I was surprised. We're almost to the two year mark with DD and we have never used corner time. It was discussed at one point and then dropped.

So off I went to the corner. Well the wall to be exact because all of the corners in our bedroom are full. I suspect that cleaning out a corner will be a task in the near future. It was the longest, most boring 15 minutes of my life. Nothing to do but think. And fidget, which I probably wasn't supposed to do but he didn't say I couldn't and he wasn't here to see it and think to tell me to stay still.

I think the hardest part for me was not turning around to check how long I had left. I had set the timer on my phone, but since he had made it a point to say I couldn't take it with me to the corner, I had laid it on the bed behind me.

It did seem to reinforce my submission so I guess we can call it a win. I texted him when it was done and told him how I felt while standing there. He seemed pleased with the results. I have a feeling corner time may now be on the table not only as a submission exercise, but also as part of punishments in the future.

I'm curious to see what he comes up with next.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Do you need a spanking?

Him: Do you need a spanking?


Me: YES!! I've been telling you that for two weeks.


This new job of Steve's is going to be the end of me. The original schedule already cut down on our time together. The newest schedule completely eliminated it. No time for adult activities. No time for spanking. No time for anything.

He had yesterday and today off and we were supposed to get some alone time but life conspired against us. Our daughter was supposed to go to my friend's house Saturday night and stay until Sunday afternoon. My friend's hubby and kids got sick Saturday morning so she couldn't babysit. Then a bunch of uninvited visitors showed up yesterday. The evening ended with our daughter getting sick and me knocking myself out with pain meds because I had a major headache. Today our daughter was still sick so instead of going to school, she spent the day in our bed. Needless to say, we didn't get any alone time like we planned.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Spatulas, Sirs and Other Such Things

I've been posting lately but not saying a whole lot about us or our DD journey. So I figured it was time to bring you up to date on what's being going on, including some interesting developments.

First up, for those who have been wondering, Steve loves his new job. It's turned out to a bit more than either of us expected, but we're adjusting. When he first started, the job was supposed to only be 40 hours a week Monday through Friday. His first day they asked him if he would be willing to work a little past his scheduled quitting time. Being the new guy and wanting to make a good impression, he said sure.

He's worked overtime nearly every day since, including a full extra day this past weekend. His first week he had 54 hours. He had over 60 hours last week. With him up early to get ready and then working late, we haven't got to spend much time together. Most evenings he has been coming home, taking a shower, eating supper and heading straight for bed. By the time I get our daughter down for the night, he's usually asleep.

Now if you've been reading here a while, you know that I don't do well when I'm not getting one on one time with Steve. That is especially true when DD has to take a backseat.  I get cranky and if it goes too long, submission flies the coop and I stage a rebellion. I keep spiraling downward until I find myself face down across his lap with a very sore bottom.

This one has been different somehow. It's almost like a switch in my head finally clicked. Instead of getting upset, I tried to be understanding and made an effort to do things to support him. Things like taking on chores that he normally does, rubbing his back without him asking, laying out a clean towel and clean clothes so they're ready for him when he showers, and packing his lunch the night before so he doesn't have to worry about it in the mornings.

Another clicky moment for me has been with RA. As you well know, I struggle with asking for it when I need it. I also have a hard time dealing with it when it is delayed. I did a lot better with all that this time around. When I recognized that I was feeling pretty disconnected at the end of the first week, I let Steve know. I made my request a little clearer a few days later when nothing had happened by that point.

For various reasons, it ended up delayed some more. It was nearly a full week after I had first requested it before it happened. But I somehow managed to keep it together and keep my attitude in check the entire time, which is huge progress for me.

Earlier in the day on Saturday, I was following links and managed to find myself on a page offering instructions on making implements. Despite the fact I've regretted every implement I've ever bought Steve, I found myself strangely fascinated by the idea of making one. Thankfully someone from chat talked me down from that idea, reminding me that I really didn't want to make the thing that would be used against me.

Unfortunately she wasn't with me a little later in the day when we went to the dollar store and I came across a silicone spatula/icing spreader thing. I don't know if I was attracted by the bright color purple (my favorite) or burning curiosity about it, but before I really thought it through, I tossed it in the buggy. After we got home, I second-guessed myself and was about to just put it in with my cake decorating supplies, but I ended up giving it to Steve with a brief "I saw it mentioned online a few times." comment so he knew what was up with it.

It made an appearance at RA that night. At first, neither of us were too impressed with it. I had to agree with his assessment that it was a bit wimpy. But he kept going and before long, he figured it out and I changed my mind about it. The point of impact seems to have a lot to do with it. He could swat the center part of my cheek all day and it wouldn't faze me. If he smacks the inner or outter edge of the cheek, it's pretty stingy. The sit spots just plain hurt. I actually yelped when he got them.

It did seem to be a good warmup for the paddle. While I do not like the paddle at all, I could take it a lot better after being warmed up with the spatula. When RA was finally over, we kept talking and I asked that it be brought back as a weekly thing instead of as needed. Since I seem to do better when it happens on a regular basis, he agreed and said we'd start back on Monday. I did grumble a little bit over having another spanking coming in only two days, but I think he knew it wasn't real grumbling.

Sunday night Steve surprised me by deciding to issue a reminder of the chores I have to do Monday. It was fairly mild for the most part and he just used his hand, which surprised me because he generally saves his hand for the fun spankings. It was decidedly one sided though. My left cheek took all of the swats, something I pointed out to him only to find out that was his intent. Apparently he wanted to focus his attention.

He threw me for a loop by insisting on the addition of "Sir" to my responses during the reminder spanking. While it has popped out occasionally with previous spankings, he's never insisted on it. It was a good move on his part, though, as it kept me fully focused on what he was saying and really reinforced his dominance.

Last night was our regular scheduled night for RA. Since I'd already got spanked the two previous nights, it was mostly talking with a few swats thrown in for good measure.

Today I'm feeling much more centered and connected. I'm happy with the progress I've made in not only asking for RA before I spiraled, but also keeping it together despite it being delayed.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Advice for Newbies

Since joining chat, I've had the pleasure of meeting a number of newbies to the DD/TTWD life. When they find out that Steve and I have been on this journey for nearly 2 years now, I often get asked what advice I can offer them when they're starting out. It's a good question so I figured it deserved its own post.



There is no right or wrong way.

Once you start researching DD, you're going to find a lot of information. Chances are, some of it's going to be conflicting. You're going to wonder who is right about how DD should be. Here's the thing. They are all right, at least for their relationship, but that might not necessarily be the right way you and your partner should practice DD.

I have yet to meet a couple that had it all down pat from the start. It's going to take time and a little bit of experimenting to find what works for you. Don't be afraid to throw something out if it isn't working or try something new that you haven't saw anywhere else. The right way to practice DD is what works for you as a couple.

Keep in mind that those needs may change over time. If something has been working for a while and suddenly stops working, take the time to figure out why it's not working any more. You may need to make some adjustments.



Follow the KISS principle with rules.

Keep it simple. If you're starting out with a huge list of rules, chances are you're going to have trouble remembering all of them, which is going to lead to frustration on both parts. Or one or both of you is going to feel overwhelmed or inadequate because the large number of rules means a lot of punishments at first while you adjust.

Pick just a few to start out with. The 4 Ds (no disrespect, no disobedience, no dishonesty and no dangerous behavior) are a good starting point. Or you can simply pick a couple things that you want to work on.

The rest of the rules will come over time as the need arises. When we started out, we had 3 rules. We condensed the 4 Ds down to two rules (dishonesty falls under disrespect and dangerous falls under disobedience). Our third rule was a major peeve of Steve's that we both wanted worked on. After nearly two years on this journey, we only have 7 rules.



Communicate, communicate, communicate.

There's a reason nearly every DD blog talks about communication. None of us are mind readers. It's important to let our partners know what's going on in our heads.

If something is going wrong, talk. If something is going right, talk. If you don't know what's going on, talk. If you can't get the words out of your mouth, write them down in a letter or type them in an email or text.

Keep in mind that your partner may communicate in different ways than you do. You may find that your partner has been saying the things you wanted to hear all along, just in a different way than you expected.



It's okay to ask for what you need.

This one was a tough one for me to learn. I'm very independent and I don't like asking for help from anyone, not even my husband. I didn't want to admit I couldn't do it on my own. I didn't want him to see me as needy or too much work.

Over time, I've come to realize that it's okay to ask for what I need. In fact, he prefers that I ask. Otherwise he's left stumbling around in the dark trying to figure things out while I just get frustrated because he's not reading my mind and giving me what I need. It all goes back to communication.



It's not all sunshine and roses.

You're going to struggle at times. Both of you are. It's okay. Sometimes those struggles are needed so you can learn something you might not have learned otherwise.

Don't be afraid to lean on your partner. Even if there's nothing they can do to fix your problem, talk to them. Let them know what's going on inside your head. They'll appreciate it. Trust me.



Be consistent.

While this advice is commonly given to the dominant partner, it applies to the submissive counterpart as well. Consistency tells your partner that you're committed to the relationship. Consistency tells your partner that they can trust what you say.

If you say you're going to do something, then follow through. If you have a legitimate reason you can't (an emergency, illness, etc), let your partner know so they're not left hanging. Then follow up at the first available opportunity.



Seek out like-minded people.

DD can be lonely at times. If you have that one person outside your relationship that you can tell anything to without fear of judgment, that's wonderful. But if you don't have that person, it's a good idea to seek out others who do live in this dynamic. To be honest, I'm not sure we would have made it this far if I hadn't been able to talk to someone who understands. I've made some amazing friends in this community, friends who have supported me through the rough patches and offered advice when I've been struggling.

Join the community. Start a blog or start commenting on blogs written by others in DD relationships. Many of us have our email addresses listed on our blogs so you can email if you wish to speak more privately. We were all newbies once and we don't mind answering questions as long as you're polite.

Try out the chat rooms. I have a couple listed on the sidebar on the right side of this page, but there are more out there. An internet search will turn up some forums and groups as well.


I hope that helps those that are just starting out or thinking about DD. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment, email (addy is on sidebar) or come find us in chat (also on the sidebar, just look for Dana and Steve in the chat).

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Respect





Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking on respect. One of the reasons I brought DD to Steve was that I didn't like how disrespectful I was to him at times and I wanted to change that. While I've got better about it since then, it's still an area I sometimes struggle with.


In an effort to get a clearer picture of what disrespect is, I picked the brains of some of the guys in chat yesterday. I asked them what they considered to be disrespect. They were kind enough to give me some examples.
  • saying you will follow their advice, then doing what you want to do instead
  • using words like "fine" and "whatever" when they're explaining why a behavior is unacceptable
  • contradicting them in front of others on small issues
  • mocking or sarcasm in front of others
  • walking off without replying
  • slamming doors or banging stuff around

I also did some searching online to see if I could find more examples. I found a really great blog post that had a huge list that the writer had compiled from various places. I'm not going to link it here because it's not a DD blog so they might not like a link from one, but if you search "what is disrespectful to husbands?" it should be one of the first results. Rather than duplicate the entire list, I'll just share a few here.
  • telling him what to do
  • yelling or cursing at him
  • undermining his authority as a parent by refusing to enforce something he's said or by stepping in when he's reprimanding one of the kids
  • second-guessing or questioning all his decisions
  • withholding sex because you're angry or using it to manipulate him
  • not showing appreciation for the things he does
  • mothering him

Now clearly every guy is going to have their own idea of what disrespect is. If you hang around us for a while, chances are you'd hear me call Steve a goober, most likely in response to him saying or doing something silly. Now some guys would take that as being disrespectful, especially if it was said in front of others. However, Steve knows it's just my way of saying "You're being goofy, but I love you." He takes it as a term of affection rather than disrespect.

I'd like to say I've never did any of the things that I found in my research, but it would be a lie. I'm human and I make mistakes, especially before DD when respect wasn't high on my list of priorities. I still make some of these mistakes even now.

My research has given me plenty of food for thought and I'll definitely be talking to Steve in the near future to get a better understanding of what he sees as disrespect. In the meantime, I'm going to try to focus on doing away with those behaviors that I already know are disrespectful.