It’s been some time since I wrote about my personal life, something that used to be somewhat of a trademark for me as a blogger. There are a few reasons for that. Some negative things have happened, and I don’t want to complain or seem like I’m bitching. I also find that my fiction is not only received more positively (duh) and elicits more comments and interaction, but also that it is easier to hide behind, even in my real life. So, I’m taking a break from erotica tonight to delve into the current state of affairs in my marriage, specifically the power dynamic, which we are struggling to define and build.
Some time back, I wrote a related post that you may want to peruse if you like this one: The Yoga Sutra and D/s.
My yoga instructor urges us to soften in class often. When we are holding a difficult pose, our breathing deepening to compensate, filling the room like the sound of rushing ocean waves, building in intensity as our bodies struggle to remain in position. She reminds us by asking us, in her soothing voice, “Where can you soften? Where are you tightening? Where can you ease into the pose?” When she does, my attention is instantly drawn to those areas that are clenching: my toes, my glutes, my jaw, my forehead…all the places I usually hold tension. And then I make the conscious effort to release them, to soften, as she has encouraged, and to breathe my way through the challenge. I don’t do this enough off the mat, outside of the studio…at work, parenting, in my marriage, in the bedroom…
My instructor points out that each pose is composed of many elements, which is what, in my opinion, makes yoga so beneficial. Any pose, especially those that are difficult, requires that we find our center, root ourselves and balance, find strength where it is necessary, and ease into it in order to hold it for a period of time. This takes focus and intentional breathing to accomplish, and even still, I often fall out of position or fail to hold it…or even achieve it at all. Accepting challenge often means failure, but failure that involves reflection leads to growth and improvement. This is how one becomes better…at anything.
Between difficult poses, there is usually a counterpose intended for release and balance. I revel in these counterposes, because, like any release, they give me pause and time to reflect on what went right or wrong with the original pose. Some days, more goes wrong than right, but I always push myself to the point where I know I am still capable and yet reaching as far as I can to improve and challenge myself. The problem is, I only do this in certain areas of my life. And the one area where it is most needed (submission) is often the one where these strategies are the most neglected. Actually, they are worse than neglected…they are absent.
I’m better at this with an instructor crooning support and guidance in my ear. Much as I am better at sex with someone saying “cum for me” and gracing me with a “good girl” when I do.
Now…humor me as I attempt to make some connections.
Recently, Mr. D and I had a bit of a falling out. Or, I should just be honest and say I went psychotic on the night of the full moon and spouted some shit I should have kept to myself. He asked me what I’d do if he laid me out naked on the table, covered me in sushi, and invited some old friends over for a bit of a reunion. After a few drinks, I took this information and mulled it over in my mind, finding the idea ill-timed, as we are just now re-experimenting with D/s in our marriage. Really, up to this point, we’ve done little…certainly nothing new…and definitely nothing like what he proposed. Now, I realize he was simply gauging my reaction. And considering how explosively I put it down, it is no wonder that he not only doesn’t trust my conviction, but also that he doesn’t really want to invest much in the re-invention.
With some time and space between my outburst (which also turned into a litany of reasons why I find him lazy and frustrating – yay! go me…wife of the fucking year after a few beers!) and now, along with a few uncomfortable conversations exploring why neither of us are as invested in rejuvenating our D/s exploration as we need to be for it to work, I have begun to put yoga and D/s together again (it’s amazing the clarity that blossoms for me in that studio).
First, there is trust. In the studio, I have to trust the instructor to know what we, as students, are capable of. I have to trust that she will know when we need encouragement or realignment…when we will need reminders or refocusing. I have to trust myself to know when I have reached my limit or when I am not pushing myself hard enough. When it comes to D/s, I am a not only a wimp…I am not committed enough (a.k.a. lazy), and I, quite honestly, top from the bottom constantly.
I need to learn to apply what I learn on the mat to every part of my daily life. Specifically, when it comes to D/s. Emotionally, I know there is something about D/s that appeals to my deepest essence. But, my brain gets in the way. I become resistant when I perceive the challenge to be too great. I don’t follow my instructor’s advice. I don’t notice where I am tightening and then soften, easing into it, breathing my way through it. No…instead, I panic…I resist. And then I lash out and shut down to protect myself from humiliation and facing my fears. Fear that I won’t measure up. Fear that I won’t like it. Fear that I will hurt Mr. D because of it. Ironically, though, my unwillingness to face all that is doing more damage that if I were just openly vulnerable about it, voicing my concerns and investigating the causes.
At the root, I need to trust him to know what I am capable of and to know that he will only push me to the edge…not past it. That’s a difficult thing to ask another human being to do. In fact, it’s impossible without constant communication…and that is one place where I have seriously failed Mr. D. Because of that, he also has trust issues with me. He doesn’t believe that I will commit to this. He doesn’t believe that I am open to what he has to offer. He’s afraid of being rebuked or rejected…of getting his hopes up only to have them dashed when I say I’m not interested in pursuing this path.
The thing is…I am. I so very much am. And I know that this is, like yoga, a place where I must balance strength and softening with challenge, self-awareness, and reflection. Also, this is not just about me. And, as Mr. D has pointed out, I usually make it about me. This is not just about what submission can do for my mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being. It is about what I can do for him. It is about service and pleasing another human-being.
Not all yoga poses are terribly challenging, but even the most simple take mental concentration and bodily awareness. There is child’s pose…that comfortable rest position, much like the majority of my marriage — the easy friendship and humor, the way we curl into each other every night as we fall asleep, our routines and habits. And then there is grasshopper pose — where I constantly feel like I am going to fall on my face and bloody my nose, humilating myself.
Mr. D and I have worked through the minor, superficial D/s moves. The hair-pulling and rough sex, a few D/s toys, choking, power dynamic role-play, some minor humiliation. But, thus far, we have not broken through the barrier that moves us from pedestrian experimentation to a committed lifestyle (even if only part-time).
It takes both of us to cross that bridge (or jump from it; I’m not sure which is the more appropriate metaphor).
I know we are both better, happier people when we embrace our natural power dynamic. But neither of us have been doing this lately. And Mr. D has pointed out that he feels I have always fought submitting fully.
And I’m not sure why. I AM sure it is NOT because I don’t really want to submit. It’s also NOT, as he recently posited, that I do not want to submit to him.
What it really comes down to is living the principles I learn on the mat in my every day life. I need to embrace challenge, with the full knowledge of what I am capable of and not ready for…yet. I need to relax and accept what my body and mind have to offer and what Mr. D wants them to do, knowing that, in doing so, I am not only stretching myself and growing because of it, but that I am also fulfilling the one person that I love more than any other: Him.