For the first time in the nearly two years I've known John Brownstone (and the 18 months we've been a couple), my submission to him was difficult. For a day, it felt impossible.
No, he didn't strap me to something and beat my ass. He didn't loan me out to someone else (something that is equally terrifying and intoxicating). He pushed my boundaries, though, and he scared the hell out of me.
And I survived.
Submission isn't all spankings and forced orgasms.
I know, I know, it's hard to believe, right? If erotic fiction, porn, and Tumblr has anything to say about it, all you have to do to submit is say, "Yes, Sir (or Ma'am)," bend over, and take it like a good girl (hell, or boy). The reality is that Dominance and submission (D/s) outside of the bedroom means giving up control, allowing someone else's desires to be placed before your own, and agreeing to set rules, conditions, and protocols.
Everyone's version of that is a little bit different, but forget the details, and that's the short and sweet definition of submission.
You might have to wear specific clothes - or not wear them. You might not be allowed to go to a specific place or do a specific thing after a certain time of day. You might have a set type and number of household tasks to complete every single day. That's what real life, day-in, day-out submission looks like.
My submission this week? The one that tested my strength and sent me into a spiraling freak-out?
Daddy made me go to a lifestyle social event without him.
Here's the deal. I am a classic introvert. I don't talk to people (face-to-face, y'all) that I don't know. I don't like to do new things by myself. I hate anything unexpected.
Because I've been working from home, two things have happened. One, I'm practically a hermit. I don't leave the house unless it's family related - school, errands, and time spent with Daddy and the boys. Two, I have zero in-person friends anymore. I have plenty of friends online (hi!!), and I have friends where I moved from, and we text and phone. But no one that I can go to a movie with, meet at Starbucks, or whatever.
When I came home from my monthly Brazilian wax the other week and admitted it was the best conversation I'd had in a long time, Daddy decided something had to change. (And I know he's right...I can't keep living in my self-induced introvert bubble. I know that. Really. I do. Remember that when you read what happened next.)
I fought against my own submission
Our area holds a weekly "Coffee Time" where kinksters come together in safe, vanilla settings and just hang out. Sometimes it's at a Starbucks, sometimes it's a restaurant. Hell, sometimes, it's at the dungeon. Daddy came home on Monday and informed me that I would be attending on Wednesday. We'd talked about the need for me to get out and that the coffee times might be a good option, but I thought I'd have more warning. I thought I'd have time to prepare. Nope.
He knows me too well. Had he given me time, I would have worked myself up even more than I did.
The morning of, and he didn't mention the event. Had he forgotten? I hoped beyond hope, but I'm also honest to a fault. When he mentioned watching TV that night, I reminded him of my plans/his plans for me. But I offered to stay home because cuddling on the couch with him was definitely preferable. No go. Le sigh. Well, okay.
I didn't think much more about the night ahead - purposely. I knew it would make me a wreck, and I had to focus on work.
I did get a raging migraine and was sick to my stomach - for seven hours. Migraine meds didn't help. Caffeine didn't help. Special foods didn't help. By the time Daddy came home, I was barely functional. I couldn't hold my head up. I couldn't keep my eyes open. I was completely drained of all energy. He was sympathetic, but only to a point.
While I was laying upstairs, willing myself to feel better, it finally occurred to me that I didn't have real migraine. I was scared. The moment I admitted it out loud, the pain eased. It didn't go away, but I didn't feel like I was about to die, either. I did a bit of deep breathing, got myself together, and managed to deal with dinner (cereal totally counts as a meal, y'all).
But I still felt bad, and now I was forcing myself to face the fact that I hate making small talk. I hate meeting new people. I hate being the only stranger. My fears made me angry. Daddy and I took our evening walk around the apartment complex, and I was short and snippy, not wanting to talk. Before I left, I leaned against Daddy and sobbed, and then sat in our room alone and sulked.
I had to face my own demons - and conquer them.
The problem is not that I'm just anti-social (which I am in real life). It's that I have memories of being rejected by groups of my peers as far back as elementary school. (And I thought I don't look back, lol.) I have always felt awkward with new people. I can and do catalog my faults often:
- I have a horrible resting bitch face - because I'm always deep in thought. I have been called intimidating because of that.
- I have a loud laugh - it can be abrasive and obnoxious to some.
- I am happy to let the silence linger - I don't need to talk, and I prefer to listen.
- I truly do not know how to do small talk. Just don't have a clue.
**If I'm comfortable with someone, every bit of this goes out the window. I can talk people in circles and act like the life of the party once I feel like I know someone.**
I'm also aware of what I am capable of doing. I can fake it with the best of them. I know how to walk into a room and plaster a smile to my face. I did it for many years in my old career. But to choose to do it??? Oh hell no.
Intellectually, I knew that everything would be fine. I knew that people would be polite to me, and I could fake it, if I had to. But I didn't want to. I wanted to do this on my terms, in the way that worked best for me, when I was most comfortable. (Which, because of babysitter issues, might be never. The only reason I was able to go at all was due to Daddy's willingness to watch the boys.)
That's not submission - it's not about my terms and my comfort. Yes, I can let Daddy know how I feel about something, but per our arrangement, he gets the final say. And he said I had to go.
I survived and thrived.
To compound the issue, I had to drive myself - in the dark - to a location I've only been to once or twice. I tend to get myself turned around, and knowing that, I was nervous for a second (and more legitimate) reason. But, promptly at 7:30, I kissed the boys and Daddy walked me to the car (probably to make sure that I really left, lol).
I made it and only got turned around once at the very end. There were cars EVERYWHERE. Holy shit.
I took a deep breath, sent the "I've arrived safe" text to Daddy, and walked to the front door. Two women were in the lobby, headed outside, and they shooed me into the main room of the event.
With slow, tentative steps, I walked in. I looked around in complete shyness, just taking it all in. As promised (by Daddy and the event page on Fetlife), everyone was friendly and inviting. I even saw people I recognized from a munch (but of course I couldn't remember names). I sat down at a table by myself, content to listen and people watch.
And then it happened.
My people found me. The sweetest woman, a fellow babygirl, came over to introduce herself and say hi. She received permission from her Daddy to sit with me (I don't know that for a fact, but it's an easy supposition to make after being there). We talked for several minutes, and then one of her good friends walked in - another babygirl. Someone else who is more comfortable with "Daddy" than with the name of her partner.
They invited me to sit with them and for the next hour or so, we talked and joked. The two women were clearly good friends with a history of all kinds of things - vanilla and kinky. I found them both fascinating. I found myself wishing I was part of their circle, but frankly, I was just glad to have the company for the evening. Watching them with their Daddy made me miss mine, but by the end of the night, I was good. More than good, actually.
Before I went to bed that night, both women were my friends on Fetlife, and I was able to admit to Daddy that I think I could handle going to another coffee time on another random Wednesday. And yes, I admitted that he had been right all along. I was fine. People were nice. And I met people I would enjoy hanging out with again. For the record, I was able to admit that before I left - I just didn't want to go do something new by myself.
Just before our eyes finally shut, my feelings were hurt one more time. Because he was so sure this was good for me (and he was right), he didn't feel bad that I felt so horrible, that I cried, that I had a seven hour "migraine" (okay, okay, it was a psycho-somatic something brought on by stress, whatevs). I cried again, right there in bed.
"Don't you feel bad at all that I cried, that I was in pain?" (There may have been wailing, y'all.)
He cuddled me in his arms, admitted yes, my pain always makes him feel bad, and then fucked the daylights out of me. All in all, it was the perfect way to end the hardest day in my D/s life (so far).
The lesson? The sexy stuff is fun, even when it makes you nervous, and yes, pushing sexual boundaries can be very difficult. But there are all kinds of other boundaries that can be pushed, and sometimes it's hard as hell. At the end of the day, if you trust your Dominant, you'll be okay, but that doesn't mean you won't freak out first. Oh, and if you'd like to read the whole situation from his point of view, click here: Southern Sirs Place