Sickness and Mastery

Dedita has been sick. She is hot and cold, has aches and stiff joints. It is the flu and has had her laid up for a day and a half. On Sunday night as the flu set in, she began to show how she acts when sick. She was cranky and combative but incredibly servile and tried with all the energy she had to clean the house and finish her chores. I watched as she fought  the sickness like a little girl fighting the need for sleep and I was enamored. It is in these off moments that we learn more about ourselves and our relationship than anywhere else.

A sick slave is both sick and a slave which is to say that I as her master have to be both firm and caring. She needs to be looked after by the loving and the brutal sides at the same time. If you do not take care of the flu, the sickness will take over and make her miserable but it is the dynamic that gives her comfort and shows love. The strange thing is that as I saw this developing, I could see that it was a place I not only could understand, but one I enjoyed.

I got medicine out and made her take it while she sat on the couch trying to wrap her head around the work she had to do for the day. It was too strenuous for the state she was in so I gave her nighttime medicine so she could sleep. While she slept I got my writing done for the day so as to be able to pay attention to what she needed in the way of care. I left several of the smaller tasks in place throughout the day so she could feel like she was active. She lays out my clothes every morning and packs the boys lunches. These chores are quick and relatively painless so she could work on them in the moments when her energy returned and be done before it waned again. I helped her with a few of the heavier chores such as the dishes to make sure she felt my presence and knew that even though she was sick the house was being managed.

She hates to be touched when sick but like all little girls, she needs to feel strong arms around her, especially in these moments. I would kiss her forehead and rub her back frequently but briefly so as to not over stimulate her sensitive skin. I have clothing requirements for her. She is to wear skirts and dresses, always being sexually available to me but in these moments I know she is not sexual. I let her dress down, wear pants, big wool socks, etc for now but I still have needs so when she is better I will be more than making up for this dry spell the flu has imposed on me. I use this time to think of ways I can use her body. I browse the internet for ideas and let my blood warm with future torments.

The most interesting thing I have noticed about how my Dedita is when sick is that she is a cranky brat. She has a short fuse and is easily irritated. Little things that are the way things are she would normally accept but make her growl and snap when she is sick. I do not let these pass without comment or a stern look that tells her that she has stepped out of line but the punishments will not come until later. A quick word in a sharp tone puts her back into place and then I let it drop. No need to drag out lectures when she is not acting herself. These little bites and barks are nothing more than the flu talking. I am not going to train the flu out of her so while they cannot go unattended, they can not be changed.

Our oldest boy is home today, sick with the flu. Dedita is still sick and lonely as I try and write and take care of him as well as her. I am gathering them together and we are heading out to the thrift store. The fresh air and change of venue will do us all good. I am looking forward to the time away from the house because it helps her to remember her place in the greater world; at my side

The Chronicle of a Newly Minted Master

Original: http://gregorystgermain.tumblr.com/post/30982923852

It has been four years since ZG and I started our first explorations of the power dynamic. Up to then I had no idea that people voluntarily gave up control to others in these types of games and relationship. ZG was reading trashy romance novels where the heroines were strong, brash young things just waiting to be put in their proper places by stronger men. We were on vacation, just the two of us for the first time in years, and in the morning I was feeling horny. She was not and after a little back and forth about who this always seemed to be the case she turned to me and said, “You are in control. You don’t have to stop just because I don’t like it.” It was a revelation for her. She was able to give up control and be used as someone else desired. It took me much longer.

 

When we were young…

That first encounter told me I could use her but at the time I did not understand what was meant by the word “use”. I felt as if it meant that I could roll over onto her in the morning and fuck until I came then I was to  pull out and grab a shower. I thought what I was being offered was nothing more than a warm hole on occasion without the need for foreplay. Don’t get me wrong, the idea of having a fuck toy at your beck and call was alluring even before I knew what that truly meant. I was simply not aware of what that could really entail. What she was really offering me was the ability to use her in any way I wanted. I could fuck her mouth, cunt, ass. I could fold her in half or try and fit both my hands in her ass. I could put my dick so far down her throat she passed out. I could fuck her with bottles or dildos. It meant things I did not even know were things (suturing and genitorture) and things I could not even imagine liking (rape and watersports). What I was being offered was a new way of looking at the very foundation of relationships. What I did not know then was that what ZG was offering me was a way of gaining control of my life that I had thought was not possible.

I am an observational learner. I have to see something happen to understand it. I could not pick up a book on being a dominant or master and read about the ins and outs of power exchange. I had to see the interaction, watch people control and be controlled. I had to try and fail and try again and fail again until I was comfortable. I started with simple D/s and tried to define it as something that happened in the bedroom only. ZG and I were an egalitarian couple and I was afraid that even though she said she wanted it, I was going to end of fucking things up by pushing this too hard. D/s was not enough for us and we struggled to build this new dynamic on the constantly shifting sands of uncertainty. She did not know what she wanted. I did not know what I wanted and more importantly neither of us knew what we wanted.

It has been four years now and I am starting to understand what I want more. I can see what is available in the way of relationships and control. When you have someone who gives of herself so completely, the way they dress, the way they act, the way they sleep and eat, you begin to feel like you have a place in her life. I like having that place. It makes me secure to exert control to that level. A submissive is willing to give of themselves to a point. There is always an implied veto where they can say no to a command if they feel it is too unreasonable and it will not destroy the relationship. A slave does not make that distinction. They give themselves so completely. There is no thought to saying no. This is comforting because it means you can focus on making decisions not figuring out how to make the decision stick. It also means that you have to choose your path with a level of intent and meaning you would not have to have if it were a D/s paradigm. That person who has given everything she is to you must be taken care of. she must be handled in a way that watches out for her because she is putting her faith in you in a way that is pure. It is a lot of pressure but it is also an amazingly liberating way of living.

 

So things change, people change, interest rates…

I do not have the relationship I wanted with ZG. We talk about it now and again and both agree it was a pipe dream to think we could have it. We were not the same people when we met. We did not know what was out there, what we wanted, who we were. It is sad to see things change when you can still remember the good times. It seems so easy to think back and see how you got where you are and feel that maybe, just maybe you can retrace your steps and try again. You can’t. Time is a path we walk down backwards. You cannot go back. You cannot know what you have learned. You can only hope you learn from the past and work to be a better person from what you learned. I hope that I know myself better now. I hope I understand what I need better and the things I did before that let my past relationship slip through my fingers. It saddens me to lose something that meant so much but I will not let that get in the way of me making things better for me and mine.

 

PS – I have been thinking about the idea of ownership because of this but will leave that for another post.

Sunday

ZG and I are separating. It has been a long time in coming or is a sudden change brought about by the actions of a few short minutes. It really depends on your perspective. It is not how I hoped it would be. I do not feel good about and the sadness that is filling the air these days is almost too much to bare. In the end it will be ok. We will all be ok. These are the honest lessons of this life we lead. It is neither good nor bad, it just is.

I still think we should have taught the class on polyamory. The five of us in the chaos that is our lives could have had a round table discussion to explore the dangers, the benefits, the ideals and the realities of living like this. Is it worth it? Does it work? The verdict is still out. No one said it was going to be easy.

Is it worth it? Is the attempt to hold multiple relationships of that level together worth it? That is question for each person to answer individually. I think so. For me the love you feel for different people is worth the pain that it may cause. Then again, maybe I am just a glutton for punishment. The pain can be intense. The loneliness that you can find in a crowd is almost too much but I know that none of us meant to hurt the others. We are human, we have human flaws and those flaws give us the remarkable ability to implode and explode and cause collateral damage.

But we grow. We change and try to become better people, deciphering the difference between the wants brought about by self-doubt and fear of change and the needs of the soul that unconsciously starves. The journey is not over, in fact this seems to be some of the darkest days but I do not regret heading out in this direction. I have found pieces of myself that I would have never found otherwise.

Making lunches and changing lightbulbs

I have always had an image of a dominant man based on my father living in my head. He is tough and smart, creative and sarcastic. He is the kind of guy that avoids a fight at all cost but when cornered is not afraid to cheat because in a real fight, there is no such thing as cheating. He works with his hands and he fights for what is fair. He is a lot of things but most of all he is a provider. He is the guy who brings home the money in callused hands with tired eyes. He is doing most of the heavy lifting behind the scenes, behind closed doors he is being tougher, meaner, more intense knowing that he has an obligation to support his family. I have always wanted to be this guy; I have always wanted to be like my dad. The thing is that in many of the physical ways I am not like my dad and frankly, never will be. So how do I become this man, this dominant father figure if I do not have the strength or skill set that he possesses?

It was long before I was fired that I knew that making the money was not going to be my thing. ZG is the bread winner, she almost always has been.While it was never a bone of contention between us, it was a challenge to setting up the D/S dynamic. Well, in my head it was a challenge at least. We were both working which mean that we were both bringing in money but she was bringing in more which I wanted to find some other way to be in control. My instinct (which I later was to discover was right) was to take care of the house. The problem is that my brain was still infected by this poison of mediocrity that insists that house keeping is woman’s work and that woman’s work is not dominant. Ah, the conundrum…

The thing is that the more I thought about it, the more irritated I was by this thought. Why was it that I could not do what I am good at and be in control? Why do I have to be a mechanic or a day trader or a pilot or Chuck fucking Yeager to be dominant? Dominance is not about the what but about the mindset. If you are waiting for someone else to make the decision then you are submitting. If you take the moment (whatever that moment may be) and act as you see fit, then you are dominating the situation. This is not a home that I am keeping for someone else, this is a kingdom that I am ruling over. I am not making lunches, I am feeding my people; I am not changing light bulbs, I am making sure that the lights are on. A king does not make the money, his subjects do but he makes sure that it is spent right. He makes sure that they are warm and safe and that the treasury is not blown on wants before the needs are met.

This was all before I became a “man of leisure”. Now I have doubled down on this thought. Partially because I have had to  (this is all I have left to offer) but also because it this what I wanted from the beginning. This is what I do best. It is my castle, my kingdom over which I rule. It is really the mental state that you are in rather than the actions that gives you control or not. I am more confident and in control now in these little acts than I ever was being the boss of forty people. I am doing what I want and that is a confidence creating thing.

Being a Good Dom Means…Waking Up on Time.

I woke up nearly an hour late this morning. This is no small feat when you consider the fact that ZG, M and I all have alarms on our phones set to go off at different intervals with different tones. It was another late night that started out with the intention of going to bed around midnight but as the saying goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” It was after three when I finally pulled ZG from her corner of the couch and told her we had to get to bed. In the morning I crawled over her AND Mariela to shut off the chorus of alarms.It set my whole morning off. I did not get the boys on the bus which meant I had to drive them to school which meant that I was not able to make lunch for ZG and M. In general the morning was a fail. It is the butterfly effect; one small thing can ripple into the future causing havoc along the way. It is the way reality work through a series of chain reactions. If I am going to be able to my job and keep this house running smoothly then I am going to need keep focused on the small victories and defeats. It is incremental that life is won or lost. Day by day we figure out if we are closer to happiness or farther away. Getting to bed on time, making sure the clothes are washed, the garbage is taken out; making sure that the house is straightened up on a daily basis. None of these tasks take more than a few minutes but each of them plays an integral role in the overall success.

The same goes for writing. I have to get something written everyday. It does not have to be much, it does not have to be profound, speak to the soul, talk about kink. It simply has to be words on the page. Every day that I write is a day that is closer to a day where writing is normative. I want to get back into a habit of writing. I will get back into a habit of writing. It will just take time and patience. It will take follow through and most of all it will take getting up on time.

A Newly Minted Man of Leisure

It was the first time I had ever been fired. Well, that is not completely true. There was the one time when I was twenty-two and living in Florida. After a third week in a row of working forty-eight hours and sleeping fifteen in a three day period, I buried my phone under a pile of dirty clothes and went back to bed. My boss at Ruby Tuesday’s begrudgingly told me that he had to fire me for the no-call/no-show but that if ever I needed a reference he would be happy to help. So while technically it was not my first time being terminated, this was the first time that I did not see it coming.And I totally did not see this coming. Sure the warning signs were there. Sure I was running out of things to do, there was new management, the physical publishing industry is a sinking ship. All of these things pointed to a threat but I was a good employee and had added a lot to the value of the company. Or so I thought.The thing is I had been talking about quitting and becoming a full-time stay at home dad and getting back into writing for nearly six years but inertia is a bitch. Every time we got more money we just upped our spending and were happy with paying for help with the kids and around the house. We had become accustomed to taking the easy way out. As I look back at it, getting fired was really the only way I would ever make it happen. Our hand had to be forced. So when ZG, Mariela and I were sitting on the back stairs of our house smoking in the shock of the moment, there was a feeling of excitement and relief.

I woke up the morning after like a kid on his first day of school, wide awake before the alarm went off, slightly nervous but eager to get started. There are so many little projects around the house that need to be done. Little tasks that just never seem to get done in the few hours that were available. Everyday I would wake at 6:30, get the boys on the bus then get in the car to get ZG to work before driving across town to get to my job by 9. I would work to 4:45 because any later meant I would not be able to get to the boys by 6 which was the latest they could stay in their after school program. Then it was home to make dinner and clean up before it was 8 and time for the boys to get to bed. A couple of stories later and I was not sitting until 9 at night. By then the last thing I wanted to do was clean or change light bulbs or think about the storage room that was a wreck. Add to this a active social life, a wife and a girlfriend and you can start to see that my days were packed and really left no time for chores let alone writing. Now I am free to spend my day getting things in order, paying bills and buying stamps and getting groceries which may sound like a pain in the ass (I am sure that it will start to drag after a while) but for me this is the life I have always wanted. It is one of the ways that I show my dominance. It is my house, my castle, my little fiefdom where I can be in control and take care of the ones I love. This could be the Universe’s way of putting me back on track.

Addendum: A few thoughts five days later…

The schedule has settled in a little and I have found a great online task manager to help to structure the things I want to get done each day. I am now sitting in a coffee shop writing, truly writing again for the first time in a very long time. I know that this will not be easy. I am not a fan of things being too easy. I like the struggle, the reward that comes with overcoming a challenge far more than simply having things handed to me. In the end this is the way it is supposed to be. Like the difference between fate and Destiny (a post on that difference coming soon) this reaffirms where I should be going with my life and what I should be doing with my days. Out of all of this I am reminded how insanely fortunate I really am.

~MN

Symbolism

ZG and I have had an open relationship for about 8 months now, and while that is not a long time (especially compared to the 10 years we spent in monogamy) it has been an amazing time of growth for each of us as individuals and for us as a couple. We have had ups and downs, talked of compersion and played with jealousy. We have argued and made up and in the end are closer today than we could have ever been before. Our learning is far from over, but I don’t think anyone would argue that we have experienced a great metamorphosis in this time. As we near our tenth anniversary of marriage this coming October, we felt that there must be something we could do to symbolize this change and this growth. So, without ceremony (as we’ve done most things in the time we’ve known each other), we casually decided the other day that we would move our wedding bands from our left hands to our right.

I had been thinking about wedding rings for a few weeks now. One of the joys of having an open relationship is that I am now “available” again. I find myself looking at women’s hands all the time, looking for rings at the grocery store and at work, when picking up the kids from summer camp and talking to other parents. I am, after all, an objectifier, looking at people as a collection of pieces, and the left hand specifically had become a new focal point for me. It was a place to start. If a cute teacher at the gremlins’ school had a ring then there was really no point in flirting, now was there? As I became aware of myself doing this I also became more aware of my own ring. I began to wonder how it was that I could explain my forward behavior if I was wearing a ring on my finger. The whole “we have an open marriage” schtick has been ruined by infidelitous jackasses and just seems hollow. On the flip side, removing the ring is not an option because it is symbolically shortchanging the very thing that is most important to me in my life. I am very much a happily married man, and not only am I unafraid to show people this, but think that it is important that anyone I meet knows this. I am looking to get to know people, to date and have fun, and yes possibly to even fuck people, but that is not to say that I am looking to forsake what I have with ZG. So I found myself stuck in a place of looking for unattached fingers, while very conspicuously wearing my own ring. I was a living paradox.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the living room…
…ZG was having the same thoughts. Our opening up has had a very clear evolution to it. It started with play partners and then moved to having more emotional connections to play partners, to toying with the ideas of “dating” for more than just the sex of it. It was only a matter of time before we moved into the realm of looking at the people that we met in our everyday lives as potential partners. So while I was checking out the ass on the newest member of our accounting team, ZG was trying to casually note whether the good-looking new guy in her office was wearing a ring.

As with most things in our shared lives, we started to talk about this conundrum while on a recent road trip (sans children). When talking about all the nuances of this particular philosophical question, ZG made the recommendation of simply moving the rings from the left hand to the right. It was such an elegant, simple thing. It was something we could do right then, while driving. There was nothing special needed, no ceremony, no special contract or ring or other piece of jewelry. It was a small gesture that could mean something special, something that we wanted it to mean. This was not the end of our old relationship nor was it the beginning of a new relationship, but it was a moment, a threshold, a mile marker in the life of our relationship. It was a moment that needed to be marked in some way, but in a way that neither attempted to replace the past or create a new future.

At first it was an odd feeling. The indentation on my ring finger is very pronounced and the weight of the ring on my right hand seems odd. I am not a jewelry wearer so I am acutely aware of the movement of my one piece. I had developed some habits and quirks around my ring. I would tap it on hard surfaces, I spin it, generally play with it absent-mindedly when nervous. These are the little things that constantly remind me of the move. This may seem like a sad thing, that I am noticing the fact that it is missing but that is not it at all. Every time I feel for my ring on my left hand I am reminded of the fact that we have moved it, I a reminded that our relationship has evolved and grown. I am reminded in a very real and tangible way that we are more complex and complete in our relationship today than ever before.The movement has me thinking about my ring and subsequently my marriage more than I used to. This symbolism is perfect because it is the opening up of our relationship that has made ZG and I think about our lives together more than we ever did when we were monogamous.

For us, this simple symbolic gesture has been a perfect marker of the evolution of our relationship. We are as strong as ever, but are constantly evolving and growing to learn more about ourselves and each other, something that has made us happier and more complete. To me, I can’t think of a better reason for a right-hand ring.