It is an unavoidable truth of the story of us that I need more than he does, and it has never been a comfortable position.
I can remember when I first knew that I wanted us to live in our D/s dynamic 24/7. For months, I struggled to find the words. We lived in another country, not so far from home, but far enough that I was lost. Nothing fit quite right, I felt even more isolated than I always do, and I was drowning.
We created a dungeon in our basement, bought a round bed to fill it (and the room was a glorified closet – so small that the bed literally filled the space.) A room where we could play loud music, make a little noise during athletic sex without disturbing our then-young children? He was all for it. Playful nipping, a little hair tugging, a couple of light slaps across my ass during the height of pleasure – these were all things that were in his wheelhouse. Fun, easy, a little edgy, he was all in. I, of course, wanted more.
I remember an evening, him making dinner in the kitchen. “So you’d do anything I asked, whether you wanted to or not?”
I nodded, sure of myself. “Anything.”
He stopped cutting carrots and looked at me for a long moment, appraising, his dominant self reaching self awareness for maybe the first time. “Go jump in the pool.”
It was July, and it was warm and muggy in the kitchen. I was fully dressed, and it was dark outside.
Without speaking a word, I opened the sliding door, and as I moved toward the pool, it was like gliding. I could feel his eyes on me. I stepped into the cool water, and it was a baptism. I was forever changed. I broke the surface, gasping and blushing, and he was there behind me, smiling with a newly discovered secret pride as he helped me out of the pool. That night, we talked for a long time about what it might mean, what it might look like, all of his hesitations and concerns. We had a nicely athletic, but still mostly vanilla bout of D/s tinged sex, and in the afterglow, he said to me, “Is this what you need?”
Basking in the warmth of his arms, his attention, I said, “Yes. This is what I need.”
He kissed me on the forehead. “Then this is the way it will be.” It was his Daddy tone, the tone that brooked no nonsense. I slipped into a deep and peaceful sleep, safer than I’d ever been.
But, of course, that wasn’t the way it was the next day. There was parenting, and housework, and work, and he could not maintain D/s all the time. And every time, it was like an iteration of that stupid trust game you play at leadership retreats where you fall backwards, expecting the other person to catch you – every time I looked for my Master and he wasn’t there, it was like I’d leaned backwards, further and further until I felt my head striking the floor. This was not a sentiment he could understand.
D/s during sex, though, he could maintain, and he was a natural. Still, there were details on which we could not connect. I wanted to talk about safewords. He didn’t understand. “There’s a big, easy to see difference between the ‘Nonononono!’ shrieks you make when I tickle you versus the moment you look at me and say, ‘Wait. Time out. Stop.'” It took me a while to make him understand that I wanted to play with Yellow. I wanted him to push my boundaries. I didn’t know what I wanted. I knew that I needed the jolt from my crippling depression that rough play brought. I also knew that this wasn’t the best frame of mind for me to be playing with getting to know my impact limits. I couldn’t say any of it clearly.
Instead, I waited until we were all set up in our shiny new dungeon room. I asked him to tie me up, which he did willingly. We’d discovered a new leather shop near our new temporary home, and I’d asked for a flogger, which again, in the spirit of adventure, he’d obliged. I asked him to hit me with it, which he did.
It felt good at first, then less so. At any time, I could have said – ‘Wait. Stop.’ I didn’t want to. The impact was more than I wanted, more than I thought I could bear, but I wanted to see what would happen if we kept on. We were babies, and he didn’t know to check in. From the perspective of a brand new dominant with zero masochistic tendencies, it makes sense. If someone ever struck him harder than he wanted, there would be no reason not to speak up.
When he stopped flogging, ready to fuck, I was not at all ready. I wasn’t turned on – I’d been somewhere entirely different, off in subspace, exploring the boundaries of pain, and sex was the furthest thing from where I was. We were in different quadrants of the galaxy, and while he was giving me what I asked for as foreplay, I was struck with several shockwaves for which I wasn’t at all prepared.
There was a sense of emotional release, though I hadn’t begun to use those muscles yet. There was a sense of hurt, even though I rationally knew that he was doing exactly. what. I’d. asked. him. to. do. Some inner submissive part of me wanted him to check in, wanted him to understand where I was, wanted him to know it wasn’t the right time to casually try to fuck me. I was full of adrenaline and all kinds of physical reactions I didn’t know what to do with. And, of course, I was weathering a major bout of depression (to this day, in hindsight, the worst depression I’ve ever been through) So I did the only thing that made any sense, when he released my bonds and wrapped him arms around me, I curled up into the fetal position and sobbed like the world was ending.
He had no idea what was going on. I couldn’t use the words to tell him. I made the mistake of saying “I just got more than I wanted.” So, impact was off the table. For a long time.
Over the years that passed, we got better at D/s, we got better at communication. I would have told you six months ago that we had gotten better at impact. From time to time, when the kids weren’t around, we’d run off to the bedroom where he’d rain a series of blows on my bare ass, me squirming and squealing, until I hit my limit. It was fun, and it was good, but in honesty, I liked the warmth and flush afterwards, the rush of adrenaline at the end better than the actual impacts, until a couple of months ago.
Impact had always been a short game, a thing to do to prove I could endure it before moving on to the main event. Then we had a week at home, kids at school, no work, nothing else to do but play. One day, at my (much better communicated) request, we spent a long afternoon with impact, and I found a whole new reaction. I like the impact that stings, that I can’t maintain forever, but we found the way to impact that doesn’t hurt – that feels good. All afternoon, he swung one tool after another, the flogger, the paddle, the lexan rods that I’d cringed from before, and they all felt amazing. I wouldn’t have minded pushing further, but I had learned my lesson all those years ago, and I didn’t ask for more than that.
Giving me pleasure with those implements changed something in him, changed the way he saw impact. A few days later, he started pushing me, striking a little harder, edging me into that yellow territory that I wanted so much all those years ago, a territory I’m ready for now, and so is he.
Yesterday, he took me from a distracted and distressed frame of mind, running his hands over my body, striking lightly as my skin warmed. He paused, looked at me with that analytical look that I love so much, saw me hiding behind my hair and told me to go and tie my hair up. He followed me to my vanity and watched patiently as I tied it up. He directed me to wear my plug (a punishment for trying to push him into giving me the spanking I wanted earlier.) He worked over my body with the butter-soft flogger, with the heart shaped paddle. My distress by now was long gone, but he wanted to use his belt, and wanted me to have a brief break before he started with it. He sent me to go fetch my Kegel beads and clean them. He put my Hitachi in my hands, and moved to the front of where I was bent over a wedge pillow to put his cock in my mouth. The belt came down across the surface of my ass, already blossoming with bruises by now, harder and harder.
Ten years later, and here we were, pushing into that tricky yellow zone I’d wanted so much to visit, so long before I was ready. Now, though, I leaned into the strikes, pushing his cock deeper into my throat, and knew that it was okay that I wasn’t sure whether the belt was too much or not, knew that we’d learned how to navigate this landscape, over years of practice and halting steps forward.
We’re still not as 24/7 as I would have us be, though we’re closer than we were ten years ago.
Last night, I shifted in bed, trying to get comfortable and failing. Some sort of obnoxious insect crept into my bra and bit me not once, but twice, and I was itchy. Daddy told me twice not to scratch, but twice more I got distracted by watching television and forgot not to scratch. Two warnings and Daddy was not going to give any more. “Do I need to tie your hands all night so you don’t scratch?” I froze, images tumbling through my head – our last attempt at playing with rope, cut short when I got dizzy and had to ask to be untied (you can see the pattern…), the pretty colored rope, coiled neatly and waiting for us to have the attention and focus to play with it again. I bit my lip. I definitely did not want my hands tied tonight, not with my side itching like fire, but I loved that he had threatened it. Daddy smiled at me, seeing the wheels turning in my head, but still looking to get his message across. “Is that what you want?”
I smiled, settling down into the sheets (and maybe running my side against the bedding a little to alleviate the itch.) “No, Daddy. Not tonight, anyway.”