I wish there was a way to avoid stress completely. Well, the bad kind of stress, I mean. The good kind of stress is often the pressure we feel when we have a deadline and sometimes we pull magnificence out of our ass and think, "How did I do that?"
But the negative stress is the one that leads us to hide away in ourselves, curl up with our bad feelings, and shut everything out. And yes, it happens in D/s relationships. No one is exempt from the bad effects of too much shit in your life, not enough time with your partner, and the minutia that often seems overwhelmingly important.
John Brownstone and I are no exception. Lately, we've been going through the motions of our relationship because of more outside stressors and pressures taking all of our energy and attention. Granted, as Dominant and submissive, our motions don't look anything like our past vanilla relationships.
- We don't yell at each other but we don't talk as much, either.
- I don't refuse him sexually, but he's not exactly asking for much.
- We don't ignore each other. Not on purpose, at least.
So what does a rut look like when you're D/s? For us, it's kind of boring.
I do all my tasks, but he doesn't swat my ass, pinch my nipple, or any other fun acknowledgement of what I'm doing.
Neither of us is up for sex so while I might always be available (barring illness or injury), neither of us is trying to get in the other's pants, either.
He's Daddy, and I'm babygirl. But sometimes the playfulness is lacking, and at other times, my servant attitude is out the window. Sure, I'm kneeling and doing what I'm supposed to, but it's just another thing to check off my list. And yes, he appreciates all I do, but it's followed by a pat on the head, not a smack on the ass.
It's not the end of the world, and it's not the worst thing ever, but to me, it's the start of a path I don't want us to go down. So, y'all know me, I decided we needed to do something about it. We talked it out over a couple of evenings (he'd been working late all week so it was hard to find time to have deep, meaningful conversations).
We came up with a few ideas:
Use Our Roles to Manage Our Stress
Instead of believing - rightly or wrongly - that neither of us has time to feel our most Dominant or submissive, we need to use our roles. If he feels out of control at work (which he does), home is the one place where he has total control. Command me, order me, hand me tasks.
Of course, I admitted that after going so long simply being responsible for what I know needs to get done, and deferring to him, receiving direct orders might throw me off. But I'll get over it. At the same time, I also let him know I need to feel my place more. I'm in charge of so damn much every day that having him take control is a relief.
Throw Out Our Typical Routine
Before anyone wonders if we've gone D/s-light (and there's nothing wrong with that, by the way), we are so accustomed to our routine, schedule, and responsibilities as Dominant and submissive, he doesn't have to ask or tell me to do much. He does, when something comes to mind, but it has become very rare.
We need to throw off the routine. Shake things up. Change things around. Surprise the hell out of ourselves. Does my Type A self hate that idea? A little. I like knowing what to expect at any given moment. But I think we, as a D/s couple, need the change more than we need the routine right now.
Kink as Stress Relief
I am a masochist. He's a sadist. We get great pleasure and a major release of tension from impact play and pain. Spankings, floggings, hell, even hair pulling will do wonders for our state of mind - and the tension in our muscles.
He uses spankings to calm me down, release my tension, and center me. But what about him? I know he always feels better after the rougher stuff, when he lets his sadist out to play. He worries about going too far, forgetting himself in the moment, and causing me real injury. I reminded him that I have a safeword, and I need him to trust me to use it.
I asked (because I didn't know) if top space makes him as loopy as sub space makes me - which would seriously impair his reaction time and ability to know when to stop. For him, top space makes him hyper-focused on every single detail. In my opinion, that's yet another reason not to be so concerned that he might go too far. (And of course, my masochist self is thinking Yay more spankings!)
So where did we end things? Well, we're working on it. It doesn't help that I'm about to go out of town for a week to take care of my mom who's having surgery. I've spent this week getting my work and home life ready to be without me for a week, while also preparing myself for a week away. We're still talking things over, trying to figure out what will work best, but we're also both putting in an effort in small ways, too.
He's telling me to do more things (and my submissive heart loves it).
I'm being more conscious of my place when I complete my daily tasks.
I'm asking for permission and more questions in general.
He's pinching nipples, pulling hair, and smacking my ass much more often.
It's not everything, but it's definitely a start in the right direction.