It’s occurred to me that I may have created a false impression about my relationship with my wife, Joy. When I write for this blog, naturally I tend to select anecdotes or experiences that illustrate successful instances of Dominance or submission or bondage or spanking or whatever. After all, that’s what you’re here to read about, right?
But over time, this may have painted a picture of a fairly idyllic life, in which Joy and I always get along, the adventures I plan always go smoothly, we always have wonderful sex, Joy is the perfect submissive, and I never make a mistake. If that’s the impression you have, my friend, think again. Joy and I have an excellent marriage with a strong strain of BDSM thrown in to add fun. However, it’s important to realize that no relationship is perfect, everyone makes mistakes, and frankly, none of those idyllic descriptions I listed above is true…
…except for the wonderful sex—that one’s pretty much true. But of course, you know what they say: “Sex is like pizza. Even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.”
Anyway, just because I don’t often write about the mistakes, lapses and failures doesn’t mean they don’t happen. I thought today I’d start an ongoing series of posts about areas that Joy and I continue to work on and common pitfalls we’ve fallen prey to, with the hope that you can learn vicariously from our experiences. Today’s topic is going to cover the area that I, personally, need to work on the most, and it has to do with patience and limits.
Joy is not the idealized submissive, who will give herself unequivocally and surrender to every request or requirement. Frankly, though, I’m glad—someone like that wouldn’t be any fun. No, Joy is very much a real woman, and she struggles with both her conflicting desires around submission and with a variety of limits, each of which present a challenge to both her and I. But that’s what makes this whole thing fun, isn’t it? If something’s easy, it’s generally not worth doing. But if it’s hard…oh, that’s where things get good!
Anyway, Joy’s limits have several times become a point of contention. My biggest failing as a Dominant is that I want to go too far, too fast. I see a situation I want to create, or an activity I want us to do together, and my natural instinct is to charge straight for it. That’s why I write again and again in this blog to go slow, accept incremental progress, and take baby steps—it’s to help me try to follow this advice myself! Over time I’ve learned to try to rein myself in and proceed at a more measured pace, but there are times where I still, somehow forget this lesson, or where even though I remember, I underestimate how slow I need to go. Generally when I do we run right up against one of Joy’s limits.
I’ve mentioned before that Joy has a limit around exhibitionism, but really it’s broader than that. Her limit encompasses all graphic displays of sex or sexual behavior, and it’s tied to her upbringing, in which she was taught that sex is for bad girls, good girls only tolerated it because they had to, and it only was permissible with your husband behind closed doors (and preferably in a dark room). Over time we’ve made very large progress against this limit (and frankly she’d made good progress on her own before we met), and her comfort zone has hugely expanded. We continue to progress gradually (Joy would say “insidiously”), but the limit remains.
A couple years ago I gave Joy an assignment—I gave her a website to visit (Ultimate Surrender—highly entertaining—if you haven’t seen one of these clips, watch one of the free ones all the way through, as the end might not be what you expect) and asked her to select her favorite video clip from it. When she had done so, we would watch the clip together.
Now I was pretty confident that these videos would appeal to Joy. My hope was to learn a little more myself about what D/s behaviors and situations attracted her, but I also hoped that she would learn a bit more about herself and what she desired. And, if watching it together raised the excitement level in the room and led to a little post-video hanky-panky, that was all to the good.
Joy completed the assignment. She picked a video—a good one! And we watched it together and I was right—it excited her very much, extremely much, and naturally that in turn excited me. However, the experience of watching this video together, having to acknowledge the depth of her response on viewing it both to me and to herself, and being unable to hide it due to the ferocity and rapidity of the orgasm she achieved triggered her limit. She shut down, became teary-eyed, wouldn’t talk, and left me alone and unsatisfied in the playroom. She went to bed without even letting me know where she was going.
All of this was my fault. I misjudged how far I could take this particular activity and how much it would push her limit. And if I’m honest with myself, I had plenty of clues beforehand to be able to make this call correctly. As usual, I got all caught up in the excitement of my vision for what we would do, and let that excitement sway me away from my better judgment. In retrospect, I could have make any of several slight modifications to slow down and take smaller steps, and that would have avoided the whole crash-and-burn. For instance, I could have:
- Selected the video myself instead of requiring her to choose it. That way she would have been able to hide behind the idea that it was my desire rather than hers that drove the experience.
- Asked her to send me a link to the video and watched it myself, rather than requiring us to watch it together. That way her reaction to it would have been hidden.
- Blindfolded her and let her listen, but not see, while we watched it together. The blindfold would have helped her to feel shielded and somewhat removed from the experience, even though she had already seen the video and knew what was in it.
Since that time, we’ve made considerable progress, and this particular activity would now fall clearly within Joy’s comfort zone. Nonetheless, I still remember this failure, and am particularly cautious when planning adventures that risk exposing Joy’s desire for sex and submission for herself and others (even me) to see. So far I’ve been cautious enough to avoid falling into this particular trap again, but I always have to remind myself, and it’s a struggle. Please keep your fingers crossed for me!
Hope this proves educational, and dispels any ideas you may have had that we live the perfect life here Chez Jake.