A question that’s come up multiple times in reader questions is how we deal with Joy’s monthly cycle within the framework of our D/s relationship. Never having been a woman myself, I have little perspective on the physical, emotional and hormonal changes that take place and how they make Joy or any other woman feel internally. However, I can speak to what I do, as the Dominant partner, to work with and around Joy’s menstruation.
Generally I have identified four different “seasons” within Joy’s cycle. Before diving in to talk about them, I need to point out that I’m generalizing rampantly throughout this description. Things can change markedly from month to month, and sometimes a particular season is shortened or lengthened or skipped all together. However, I find the idea of breaking her cycle into four parts useful as I can tailor our various adventures to fit the particular season she is in, and usually when I have an especially “interesting” idea for us to try, I’ll wait until the appropriate season to enact it. Of course, the fact that things can vary so much from one month to the next means I don’t always get things correct…
The first phase comes immediately after Joy’s period ends and generally lasts for about a week. For the sake of the metaphor, let’s call this phase “spring”. During the spring season, Joy’s desire and sexuality are blossoming, but have not yet reached full flower, her desire to submit is strong, she is generally happy and optimistic. In spring she is willing to try new things, appreciates being Dominated, is aroused by a measure of pain, and is willing to discuss deep subjects and hidden desires if I bring them up at an appropriate time.
Spring is therefore a good time to open up a new area of exploration, introduce a new toy, or start a multi-part series of adventures that will reach their climax in the next season. Though her desire is strong, it’s not yet at its peak, and because of this spring isn’t the optimum time to try to move or overcome limits. The best adventures for this season tend to include a fair portion of Domination but feature both cruel and caring aspects.
Spring is followed by summer, with summer again lasting about a week…sometimes as much as ten days. During her summer season, Joy’s sexuality reaches its peak, and she can easily become consumed with lust and desire. She longs to be thoroughly Dominated, and she craves to feel taken, to feel used, to feel plundered. She remains willing to try new things, especially if they further her feeling of submission, and pain and pleasure are firmly linked together in her mind. Summer is the season in which confessions of hidden desires are most easily wrung from her. In fact, sometimes on particularly warm summer nights when the lights are out and she can hide behind her pillow, Joy might volunteer a fantasy that she longs to try. That, for instance, is where our experiment with “figging” came from.
Summer is the season of riding crops and nipple clamps, the season in which a series of adventures should be timed to reach its climax. Summer is the best season to attempt to overcome limits, using Joy’s heat as a lever. Summer is the season of blindfolds, serious bondage, the penis gag, and one orgasm after another after another. Domination is harsher, focusing on “making” Joy take part in outrageous acts and scenarios, with caring taking a back seat. Summer is hot, folks, and its adventures should be sultry, dark and sweaty.
Summer gives way to autumn, however. Autumn seems to last about ten days, though it can shrink to as little as a week and can extend to a full fifteen days at times. Autumn is a season of change and uncertainty, still full of heat and arousal but with a mixture of fear and anxiety added. During the autumn, it’s almost as though Joy fights an internal battle between her desire and her fear, between lust and anger. Submission comes harder during this season and tends to be perfunctory and driven by the knowledge that she ought to submit, rather than by a need to submit. Pain loses much of its magic and becomes simply painful, and new things intimidate more than they fascinate. During autumn Joy still becomes easily aroused and greatly desires sex. Using this lust as a lever can be very dangerous, however.
In autumn, adventures should focus on caring, and cruelty should fade to a minimum. Autumn is the season of the good girl spanking, which focuses on closeness and appreciation rather than harshness or discipline. Guidelines should be monitored and rules should be enforced, but gently and with caring. I return to old favorites for Autumn scenes, replaying activities that Joy knows and has enjoyed in the past. Limits, risks and any pain beyond a standard spanking should be avoided. Autumn is the most difficult time, a season to play it safe.
And finally comes the winter, the time of Joy’s period itself. During the winter, Joy seems quieter, possessing neither the anxiety of autumn nor the eagerness of spring. She needs to feel that she is wanted and needed, to be told she is beautiful. Joy is embarrassed about her period, and wants to keep it hidden and private. Because of this, we cease all activity during the four to five days of this season. We tried continuing maintenance spankings through one month, simply modifying our process to leave her panties on during the spanking, but she still felt embarrassed and uncomfortable, and results were poor. Since then, even maintenance spankings go on hiatus, and we wait until spring melts the snow before we begin again. While this may sound icy cold and lonely, in reality it is not. Winter is a time out from sex, but offers a chance for us to talk and be close without relying on desire to smash us tightly together.
Those are the seasons in our house–they may not be the same in yours. However, the idea of adjusting your plans and adventures to fit your partner’s cycle can be useful and powerful. I discover quickly when I have miscalculated or forgotten and tried something delicate at an inappropriate time of the month! I have far more success when I let Joy’s seasons be my guide and take advantage of each of them appropriately…