Ninety Three Seconds

I’m certain I was yammering as we walked through the door. There was a plan: to drink, to cook, to eat, and to fuck.

I had assumed in that order, and therefore, was not expecting to be held by the hair and drag/pushed into the living room. That was certainly a surprise.

But when he pulled the pillows off the sofa and dropped them to the floor before me, I had an inkling.

And when he pulled his phone out and fiddled with it after ordering me to masturbate, I had another inkling.

Some time after the orgasm, after he’d given me a taste of him, after he’d told me to get dressed and make him a drink, he’d nonchalantly told me that it’d taken me 93 seconds to orgasm.

“Because you were watching me,” I explained.

Manual override on my own could take an hour. Any sort of stimulation when he’s watching me takes significantly less time.

Dinner was decent.

It was during the fucking when I was asked how long it took me to orgasm earlier.

I don’t know how the fuck I remembered the number.

But I did. “Ninety three seconds, Sir.”

He started to smack me. Slowly, then quickly, altering speed and intensity.

And then he stopped.

“How many is that?”

Well. I don’t know. Maybe it’s like the pillows and I’d had some sort of nonverbal cue. Or maybe it’s something I always do, the counting.

“Fifty.”

I could hear him smile. I felt the swell of my own pride in getting it right.

Here’s what he doesn’t know. I think I lost count somewhere after the next 20. I dropped into some altered state for a moment and when I came back….I could have sworn we were at 83, not 93.

But those last five smacks were double handed and hit hard.

Maybe they counted for two.

Submission and control: an introspective essay about the inverse proportionality of job satisfaction and my craving to submit

Introspective. I guess if I had to whittle myself down to a short list of words, introspective would be one of them. The first step is to acknowledge what I want. The next is often to uncover why I want it.

This is reminding me of a frequent phrase that kids so often hear growing up from their parents (or parental figures). “Because I said so.”

That was rarely a satisfactory answer for me growing up. I mean, I was a more-or-less well-behaved child, so I’d do what was asked of me (as long as it wasn’t clean your room or do your homework, because fuck that noise), but if I felt that something they wanted me to do was unjust or unfair or unnecessary, I’d ask why, and when the answer was “because I said so,” it felt….I don’t know, like I was operating in the dark. What if the goal for said task could more easily be achieved by other means?

Example: Parents telling me to take my shoes to my room while I’m in the middle of watching a TV show before the days of DVR and being able to pause live television.

I’d negotiate. “I’ll do it after the show.”

“No, now.”

“Okay, but during commercials.”

“No, now.”

“Why now?”

“Because I said so.”

That was really aggravating, because I would miss out on something I was enjoying for a task that didn’t really seem to have any specific reason to have to be done “right now.” The goal was to have my shoes end up in my bedroom. What was the difference between that happening during a time that was inconvenient to me versus ten minutes later when I wouldn’t miss any of my show?

Suppose they had told me, “Because we’re showing the house to a realtor and they are arriving in a few minutes.” Well, then. Now there’s a prioritized reason for my shoes going back to my room right away. Except, if the goal was for the shoes not to be on the floor when the realtor arrived, another option might have been to put them on.

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m usually pretty goal-oriented vs task oriented. Tell me what the goal is and I will get us there. That’s how I am in most things, including work. Tell me how much you need me to raise and I’ll put together the plan to raise that much. But the goal needs to be reasonable. Suggest a fundraising goal that is double what I achieved last year without any additional resources, and you bet your ass I’m going to ask “why!?” Likely also, “Are you out of your mind?” because I don’t appreciate being set up for failure.

But there’s not so much “why” involved when a D/s dynamic pops up in my relationship. That’s when I get much more task-oriented. The difference there is that my goal is to please, and this is done by completing tasks. There is a lot less “why” involved when the answer is “because he wants me to.”

If you’ve known me for any significant amount of time, then you know that the cycle of dissatisfaction with my job is…well, cyclical. I’ll amend that to say – it’s not so much the job, but the environment of it. The leadership here is inconsistent, more than a little bipolar, and it makes me feel off-kilter. Within my department we have a secret motto: “Stop asking why,” because so much that happens here doesn’t make sense, and we know that the things we’re tasked with are counterproductive. When we start asking why, we start getting frustrated.

I have a real problem with being in a non-consensual D/s dynamic with my workplace. As a department head, I should be part of the team that helps us reach our goals. To do so, I want answers to “why” and the opportunity to suggest innovative ways to achieve those goals.

I don’t like it when the answer I get is “because I said so,” especially when I know what they’re asking of me is counterproductive.

I’m on one of those cycles right now. The most important task I have today is to not quit. This takes a lot of energy, because right now the only control I really have at this job is my ability to walk away. I want to focus on what I have to do, but I’m having some trouble with it because my anger and frustration keep getting in the way.

I started daydreaming. This usually leads me to the understanding of what I want. His fist full of my hair, his low, measured tone, and a command.

I uncovered my want. I want to submit.

Then I ask myself, “why?” What does that desire address, because I don’t always feel that way. Not since I pulled my life together and got shit under control.

That was the key. Control. Consistency. Expectations. (Sanity.) There’s a lack of all of that at work and I start to feel paralyzed by the disorganization of tasks and priorities and ideas in my head.

I want to feel productive, so I asked my lover for an assignment. It’s that simple, I figured out what I wanted and why I wanted it, and then I asked for help. To be clear, we’re not in a strict D/s relationship, though there are sometimes elements of D/s in our interactions. He candominate me. He does not always choose to do so.

But today I requested it. I asked for an assignment to hold me over until the next time I see him. Some people would call that topping from the bottom. You don’t want to know what I call those people. (For the record, I call it communicating with my partner.)

I want to submit because I want to feel control again. Sounds weird, right? Usually people talk about submission as the idea of giving up control.

But, today with a job I keep trying not to quit because I feel like success in this environment is unreachable, my future seems a little bit foggy and unstable. By assigning me a series of tasks- my lover has given me a chance to feel that I am in control of my success because the tasks and deadlines are clearly defined, the goals are achievable, and I have a sense of accountability toward him.

All things I wish I could feel in my day job.

On Submission

The challenge was to define “What’s sub mean to you?”

Sub to me is a sandwich. Or a type of submersible watercraft. Or a prefix that usually means “below.”

I don’t think of myself as anything remotely related to the word “below.” This probably one of the reasons I began rejecting the label for myself. (Not that “bottom” is much better in that regard). Too often, the term “submissive” is thrown about as something that is below or beneath its dominant counterpart. I don’t think that’s how it works.

So I’m going to clarify, because I’m a word nerd and I need to clarify. Am I writing about what submission means to me or what it means for me to be a submissive?

It’s easy for me to say what submissive is not. Or, rather, why I don’t identify as such anymore. It’s a label that seems to carry with it too many assumptions that don’t reflect the whole of me. When I say “I am not a submissive” what I’m trying to convey is that “submissive” is not all that I am. It’s a characteristic, not a character.

But it’s in there. Part of me. One of the little Russian nesting dolls that make up the whole of Phi.

So, how do I describe it? How do I isolate that characteristic, make her a character and assign her that label? What does her submission mean, to me?

I’m going to use an example from my current relationship. Even though there is not a strict D/s dynamic to it, there are times when he is more D and I am more s. There are times when that’s not the case.

There was one evening when his D was prominent and brought my s out for the whole evening. On her own, she’s a bit more quiet and reserved. She’s very obedient; she listens carefully and asks questions because her mission, her goal, is to please him. To make him proud. To serve.

She serves best by asking questions to ensure that her actions meet with his demands completely. That means identifying loopholes that could have gotten her out of something uncomfortable. She doesn’t mind discomfort as long as it’s intentional.

But if he didn’t mean for her to be uncomfortable, she doesn’t see any reason in enduring it; so she asks.

A strange thing happened that night. Frequently when he comes over, we prepare dinner together. That night, because he was very much in D mode, he supervisedwhile she prepared. Usually, after dinner, I (or we) clear the dishes from the table and take them to the kitchen. I usually leave them there overnight, opting to spend more time with him and deal with the mess in the morning than take time from him and do them in the moment.

But that night, in submission mode, that wasn’t an option. Not because he demanded it – not in the slightest. He went upstairs and she set about washing dishes, wiping counters, and sanitizing the stove top. She even preset the coffee machine to brew around the time she thought he’d be waking up.

That was my submissive head space. She wanted everything to be perfect. Clean. Her service resulted in sacrificing time away from her lover, but in service to his comfort. Not that a few dishes in the sink would have made him uncomfortable – but that’s her: she goes above and beyond.

She wants him to be proud. She values his approval, and unless he’s given her some other directive, she’s on autopilot to do whatever feels right to ensure his happiness.

This might have something to do with prior “training.” The last time I was in a D/s relationship, my domestic duties were the measuring stick by which my former partner used to rate my performance. And, in my original D/s relationship: that with my mother (she said, tongue-in-cheekly), it was VERY much valued, despite my not being quite motivated by duty or submission to do it.

What drives her? Love. I’m pretty sure that’s the only thing that really can drive her anymore. It used to be something else: need. In the absence of love, need was a handy substitute, but not a lasting one.

Do little aspects of this character pop up now and then during times when I’m not necessarily in “submissive” mode? Sure. Like i said, it’s really a characteristic, not a character. I’m very rarely in a 100% submissive state of mind anymore.

But it can happen. It did, that night.

I’m sure it will again.

But that doesn’t make me a “sub.”

Conducting Scene Negotiations from the Bottom

As someone who identifies on the submissive/bottom side of the tilted fence, I really enjoy it when a partner has that take-charge and confident sort of attitude, especially when it comes to negotiation. Kind of like how it’s an indication that a restaurant serves really good food when they bring out fresh-baked still-warm bread from the oven over stale dinner rolls, the way a top conducts a scene negotiation is usually an indication of their experience and talent in leading the scene itself.

The riggers I’ve played with tend to be the best when it comes to scene negotiations. I think it’s a byproduct of them having to take classes in order to get any good at the thing they do. It’s kind of built in – understanding safety, questions to ask, etc. – and it totally inspires confidence in me to be able to let go and let them lead the scene.

And, while there are definitely classes for things like spanking, flogging, and other fun impactey things – it’s kind of a skill you can learn on your own without the benefit of learning from many others’ years of experience.

No, not all tops are created equally, and frankly – some of them are quite mediocre at scene negotiation.

So, as much as I would really dig for a new top to be a fuckin’ pro at this stuff, sometimes I’m the more experienced one in the scene and I have to lead the negotiation myself, or risk getting hurt in a bad way.

That’s not really a risk I’m prone to taking lightly. This being my body and my emotional well-being, I’m kind of the head honcho in charge of taking care of it.

So when a super cute dude asks me to play and I’m like, well….hell yeah. I want his super cute hands to be all fondling and grabby and stuff – I have to be prepared to deal with the possibility that super cute dude has been a “dom” for about six hours and needs a little guidance.

Here are some things that have helped me be more comfortable in leading the scene negotiations.

1) Remembering that I hold the highest responsibility for my safety. It is absolutely okay to ask someone how long they’ve been doing X, what their experience is in Y, and asking to inspect and approve each and every toy they want to use on me.

2) It is absolutely awesome for me to look at a toy and say “nope, not that one.”

3) If they try to convince me at that point that the toy I just noped out on is “not that bad” I can absolutely end the scene before it starts.

4) I have written out my list of limits and requirements and I have them pretty well memorized. It is okay to tell a new play partner “do not bruise me.” It is okay to tell a new play partner “Don’t hit my feet.” It is okay to tell a new play partner “I like to untangle the rope at the end of the scene as part of my decompression.” Everything from what gets used to what my needs are for aftercare are absolutely awesome to discuss up front.

5) I can control whether or not I let myself go into subspace. If I’ve found myself having to lead the scene negotiation, it is absolutely okay for me not to be the worlds greatest and most responsive bottom so that I can stay alert and keep tabs on what the top is doing. I can still have a fun time without going into orbit.

6) It is absolutely super-duper cool for me to correct a top mid-scene if they are going too hard, hitting the wrong spot, touching something they didn’t ask to touch, or doing something I’m kind of uncomfortable with. It is absolutely okay if he or she fucks up and I correct them and they say “Oh, sorry” and doesn’t do it again. Their next bottom will thank me.

7) If they don’t like it, they can go find someone else to play with.

Any other bottoms have some tips on handling scene negotiations from the bottom? Any tops out there learn from something their bottom has brought up that they didn’t think about?

I’m a big fan of the “exchange” part of the “power exchange.” Can you tell? ,k

Jury Duty

I’d been out late the night before and really hadn’t felt too inclined to try to look put together that morning. Living on the far end of my county line, Jury Duty meant having to drive an hour to the “Hall of Justice,” and potentially sit through hours of nothing before the hour drive home.

It’s not that I was fond of going to work, but at least then I knew when my day would end.

I threw on a pair of jeans, a black tank-top, a grey sweater and pulled my hair into a bun at the top of my head. Today wasn’t a day for hairbrushes or makeup.

I arrived about 10 minutes after my call time of 8am, but they hadn’t finalized the checking in process. I was the last juror to be checked in before they started the orientation video.

It reminded me of the sexual harassment training videos I used to be subjected to back in the 1990s. Feathered hair, pearls, shoulder pads. It was a 90s video that looked like it was made in the 80s.

I’d been dozing off some time after the morning break when I heard them call my name.

Well, fuck.

I’d sat on a jury before. It was a civil case that only lasted two days. I’d hoped to get out of this day without having to go into a courtroom at all.

I made my way to the courtroom and sat down. I was tired. In my rush to get out of the house on time, I’d not had any coffee.

When the judge entered the room, I perked up a little. He was…well, he was kind of hot. He came in with a smile and a sexy beard and the big flowy robe and it just felt like everyone in the room responded to his authority.

Yeah. Put a subbie girl in a courtroom with a hot, young, charismatic judge. This is going to go well. I suddenly felt very aware of my disheveled state. I could have at least put on some mascara or lip gloss. I self consciously undid the bun and ran my fingers through my hair, untangling the knots inspired by bedhead.

It looked like a domestic battery case. The questions they were asking during the jury selection process had to do with abuse. When it was my turn, the lawyer asked “Have you ever been hit or sexually assaulted by a man?”

Well, fuck. I’m under oath. I’d had spent the previous evening being slapped around and manhandled by a friend.

“Um…with or without consent?”

I was immediately excused by the judge to go back into the jury pool where I would have to sit and wait for an unknown number of hours.

When the lunch break came around, I couldn’t wait to get out of the building. I followed a crowd of people toward a shopping center with multiple restaurants and selected the one that looked the least crowded.

I’d just been served my ice water when the judge walked in.

I know I blushed. I must have blushed hard enough to alter the temperature in the building, because he turned and looked right at me.

He came over to my table. “May I sit?”

“Uh. Sure.”

WOULD IT HAVE KILLED ME TO PUT ON A DRESS THIS MORNING?

He sat down across from me in the booth and leaned back. He wasn’t smiling with his lips, but his eyes were definitely showing a hint of mischief.

“You know why I had to release you from my courtroom?” he asked.

“No.” I had an idea, but I wasn’t really sure.

“I’ve seen you.”

I wasn’t expecting that. “Seen me?”

“Yes. I’ve read your stuff. I even saw you post this morning that you had to go to jury duty, but of course I never imagined…”

“Oh.” I was turning red again. “Are we friends?”

“No,” he answered. “I never added you. I don’t add many. This job…-”

“Right.”

We chatted for a while. I started to feel a little more relaxed as he did. We made jokes about pervertables in the courtroom.

The allotted lunch time was ending and I had to start walking back.

“Do you have somewhere to be after your day here is over?”

I thought – laundry, cats, shower, masturbation….

“Nope,” I answered.

He pulled out his phone. “Call me when your day is over. I’ll show you my chambers.”

I grinned.

“What?” he asked.

“You’re so gonna fuck me with a gavel.” I laughed jokingly.

He stood up, leaned over the table and whispered in my ear, “I so am.”

Vignettes in Perspective

I cried at a silly love poem yesterday in which a Dom loved his Brat with all her bratty ways.

There are reasons why things like that trigger me.

Here are some of them:

_____

Conversation with my Husband:

“I can’t remember the last time we had sex.”

“It wasn’t that long ago.”

“It hasn’t happened since before my last birthday. That was six months ago.”

“No, it hasn’t been that long.”

“It has.”

“Maybe this weekend.”

“You said that last weekend.”

“I’m a failure as a husband.”

“You’re a wonderful husband. But it makes me feel like you don’t want me.”

“Of course I want you. You’re the sexiest woman I’ve ever known.”

“Then why don’t you ever want to touch me?”

“I love you. I love you so much. I know you’ll leave me some day.”

“I’m never going to leave you. Never. I just want to feel wanted.”

“I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“You won’t ever be without me.”

Tags: dead bedroom, neglect, emotional manipulation, depression, communication, marriage, sex, codependency

_______

With the first guy I rebounded with after Husband passed away: 

“Are you going to be there?”

“I wouldn’t miss it. I’ll be there.”

“I know sometimes you don’t feel up for it, but I’d really love for you to be there.”

“I’ll be there. Nothing could keep me from being there.”

Tags: neglect, lies, depression, broken promises, rebound romance, grief, needy, clingy, disappointment

______
The day I knew it was over with that guy:

“Where is he?”

“He’s probably not coming.”

“Has he called?”

“Nope.”

“It’s your birthday.”

“Yeah.”

Tags: neglect, sadness, friendship, breakup

________

With the second man I’ve ever loved – the one who shattered my heart:

“Say it.”

“I don’t want to.”

“Say it.”

“Please don’t make me.”

“Say it, now.”

“I love you.”

“I don’t know how to respond to that.”

“You don’t love me.”

“I don’t know what love is. I don’t know if I love you or not. But I’ll promise you this – no matter what, I will always be your friend.”

“Then just acknowledge my feelings. Tell me you know.”

“Okay.”

“I love you, Sir.”

“I know.”

Tags: emotional masochism, doormat, BDSM, love, emotions, vulnerability, fear, communication, long distance relationship, star wars

______

“I want to talk to you about something.”

“What’s up?”

“How would you feel if I took on a second sub?”

“Online?”

“Yeah, just online only.”

“I guess that’s fine. I love you, but you’re on the other side of the planet. If you need more than I can give you, I don’t want to stop you.”

“Are you sure?”

“Just promise me one thing….”

“What’s that?”

“I get to be your favorite.”

“That will never be a problem.”

“I love you.”

“I know.”

Tags: poly, long distance relationships, broken promises, communication, emotions, regret, love, submission, idealism, emotional masochism, unrealistic expectations, doormat, codependency

_____

“I’m coming to meet you.”

“How long will you be here?”

“Three months is as long as I can legally stay.”

“I love you.”

“I know. Look. I can’t promise you I’m going to love you when I meet you.”

“I understand.”

“And I’m not sure if I’m comfortable having sex with you.”

“I understand. I love you, Sir.”

“I know.”

Tags: excitement, anticipation, fear, emotional masochism, unrealistic expectations, doormat.

_____

“She’s coming to visit here a week before I fly out to you.”

“Oh.”

“I’ll call you every day.”

“Okay.”

Tags: No he didn’t.

_____

“I have something to tell you.”

“What’s up?”

“I told her I loved her last night.”

“I’m happy for you.”

“You are?”

“Yes. Because now you know how love feels, and you’ll know if you love me too when you meet me.”

Tags: This is not going to end well

______

“I unpacked your suitcase.”

“Good girl.”

“You should have told me yourself.”

“What?”

“You left the open box of condoms in it.”

“Oh.”

Tags: That was fucked up.

______

“Why are you crying?”

“Because you’ve been here three days and you still don’t know how you feel about me. I think maybe you just don’t love me. I really thought you did. I felt like you did. But you love her. Not me. You’re living in my house, sharing my bed, and you go downstairs each night and tell her you love her. And all you can tell me is that you know.”

“You’re silly.”

“Let’s just go home.”

“I brought you here because I wanted to tell you somewhere special. I do love you. I’ve always loved you. I will never stop loving you. I loved you before I flew out here, and I knew it the moment I saw you at the airport.”

“Then why didn’t you tell me?”

“I’m telling you now.”

Tags: timing, vulnerability, emotional sadism, fear, catharsis, vindication, relief

_______

“I’m in pain. It’s really bad.”

“I need to drive her back to her car.”

“It’s REALLY bad. I don’t know if I should go to the hospital.”

“I need to drive her to her car and I’ll come right back.”

*30 minutes later*

“I’m sorry. I have to drive her all the way back home [350 miles away]. She’s distraught and she can’t drive herself.”

“I’m still in pain. The cramps are horrible, I think it’s going to kill me.”

“I’m sorry. I’ll get a bus or a flight home tomorrow.”

Tags: That wasn’t even the first time.

______

“I don’t feel comfortable being myself when she’s around. She gets uncomfortable when you kiss me. She doesn’t even like it when you look at me.”

“Don’t worry about her. I’ll handle her. You be yourself.”

“It won’t end well. She’ll throw a tantrum like she always does.”

“I told you I’ll handle it. You don’t have to worry about it.”

Tags: unrealistic expectations, communication, emotional manipulation, I told him so

_____

“Look, maybe just don’t be so touchy feely in public.”

“You told me I should be myself.”

“It makes her uncomfortable.”

“You said you would handle it.”

“You were grinding on me.”

“I WAS NOT GRINDING ON YOU. That’s not even a phrase you would ever use. You got that from her.”

“It doesn’t matter. You do as I say.”

“Apparently, I’m the only one who does.”

Tags: Straw, meet camel’s back.

_____

“It’s over. When you come back, your stuff will be packed.”

“Okay.”

“I can’t believe you’re choosing her over me.”

“It’s for your own good.”

“You never loved me.”

“I will always love you. I keep hurting you, and I can’t keep doing that to you.”

“Then why are you picking her? Because she’s more of a challenge? Because you have to work harder to get her to do what you want?”

“Maybe.”

“I gave you everything you wanted, and you held back everything I wanted. You wouldn’t even fuck me.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You should be.”

“I am.”

Tags: I should have started letting go then.

______

“Hey. You called?”

“I hadn’t heard from you in a week. It’s Christmas. I thought you’d have reached out.”

“So, nothing is wrong?”

“It’s my first Christmas without him. I’m not doing well emotionally today.”

“You should reach out to your friends.”

“I thought you were my friend.”

“I’m tired. Going to bed.”

“Fuck you. Goodbye.”

Tags: broken promises, asshole behavior, last time we ever spoke.

_____

And I haven’t gotten to the recent stuff.

There’s a reason why I’ve spent the last few days choking back tears.

Because the good girl never wins.

The Punishment

“Ugh,” she cringed. “This really isn’t necessary, Sir.”

“Shut up,” he answered as he sat on the bed beside her restrained body and ran his fingers along her thigh from knee to hip.

“Aren’t there better ways to punish me?” she asked.

“Not really,” he couldn’t help but chuckle. “You love all the other things I could do to you, and you don’t respond well to being ignored.”

“You could make me write lines.”

“I could,” he leaned down and sank his teeth into her fleshy inner thigh. She moaned and strained against the rope.

“Please,” she begged, her face horrified as he lay on his belly between her legs. “Please, not this. I’m sorry I fucked up, Sir.”

“Shut up,” he growled, as his mouth made its way toward the source of her dismay.

“But, Sir, you’ll get tired of it and I’ll feel bad. It takes too long this way. At least let me go wash up. I just feel so….,” She didn’t get to finish before he stuffed her discarded panties into her mouth then returned to his previous position.

“I said shut up. You earned this punishment. Now relax and take it like the good little slut you know you can be and maybe I’ll feed you my cock later.”

He’d finally found a punishment he loved to administer that she hated to receive.