relationship

Artful Service Homework

sexy-maid

i was able to finally complete my homework from Miss Amy Red’s Artful Service class while flying to NYC for our Valentine’s week trip!

What makes service feel artful to you?

Art is defined as skill acquired by experience, study, or an occupation requiring knowledge or skill (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/art). So if we were to simply use these definitions, any service that was studied or someone was knowledgeable in would be considered artful. However, i feel that there is something more to service being artful, in that is it done with added grace, intention, attention to detail, and love. i can easily prepare Maximus’ bed at night—i do it every night He’s home—but i can be much more loving and attentive about it: gently removing the pillows and arranging them extra neatly beside the bed and on the dresser, lovingly smoothing out the quilt after i spread it over His side of the bed, fluff and caress His pillow. This is much different than tossing the pillows off, roughly pulling the quilt up and flipping the covers back. And it doesn’t matter whether He’s watching or not, being artful about it in this manner makes a difference.

i’ve heard it said many times that you can taste when someone cooks while they are angry, that it actually changes how the food is prepared and tastes. Love is an important ingredient in food and in all service. Doing service with love and intention changes the experience for both the giver and the receiver.

  • What do you enjoy about service?

i enjoy the act of doing something for someone—it gives me joy and an expanded sense of purpose. i have been in a service profession all of my adult life and was drawn to it to help those who needed it. my leadership style is servant leadership, in that i work to provide resources to others so that they can succeed. Being helpful, improving people’s lives makes me feel good! i enjoy serving Maximus because it helps make His life even better, takes a lot of stuff off His plate so He can better focus and achieve more for Himself and us, and He truly appreciates it—that’s huge! But i also enjoy service because it allows me to use my skills, whether in cooking, home maintenance and repair, gardening, decorating, playing the piano, proofreading, making PowerPoint documents, active listening, leadership advisement, etc.

  • What qualities set some service apart as being artful?

As i mentioned above, having intention, going above and beyond just completing the task, value-added, something that surprises and delights, done in a graceful, beautiful manner.

What increases the connection in acts of service?

Having focus and mindfulness increases the connection. Including touch, eye contact, slowing down all increase the connection. Doing something extra, anticipating needs or desires also increase this,

  • 2 ways to focus your attention that could increase connection in service interactions

As noted above, eye contact and touch/physical interaction can increase connection in service interactions.

  • What tools do you use to communicate your intentions wordlessly?

Body language and eye contact, positioning.

  • What do you appreciate about your partner in artful service interactions?

During artful service interaction i appreciate Maximus’ response and reactions. It is more than just a “thank you,” it is a look in His eyes, tone of voice, a deeper connection. Oftentimes i am rewarded with play, attention, whether it’s immediate or delayed.

What makes service more unique and intimate?

Knowing your partner’s preferences, touch, eye contact, positioning.

  • What style or service archetype are you curious about exploring?

As noted in Our M/s, we have incorporated attributes of 1950s Housewife, Victorian, CEO/COO into our D/s. We are extremely interested in exploring high protocol and have discovered the Libertine Social Club in our region, which will give us a chance to learn more and try it out.

  • What “ordinary” act of service would you like to try charging up?

i would be interested in charging up our bedtime ritual. i have several tasks for this, but i would like to find ways to increase our connection and intention as we go to bed. This is something i need to bring up to Maximus to see how He feels about this and what we can do to achieve this.

  • Can you make it more (choose one or more) valuable, enjoyable, beautiful, irreplaceable?

Valuable, enjoyable, and beautiful

What can improve or correct existing service?

Awareness is a large part of improving or correcting existing service. If you are not cognizant of areas where service can be improved or corrected, you will continue to operate at that level. It will require some self-discipline to evaluate performance, and evaluation, feedback, discipline, correction from Maximus as well.

  • What obstacle have you experienced recently?

During the last review of our rules and protocols, we noticed that we have not been sticking to the rules and protocols regarding door opening. i have been opening my own doors, especially car doors, which is a violation of Maximus’ expectations. While this does not seem like a service, it serves Maximus’ desire to be a gentleman—disregarding this robs Him of something important deep within Him. It also serves as a reminder to me that i am His, that there are expectations i must operate within, and causes me pause to remember our relationship.

While i have been better about this since we discussed this issue, there are many things i can do to make this more artful. First, i can use the pause to actually reflect on our relationship rather than look at my phone (as is often the case when waiting for Maximus to come around and open the car door to let me out), second, i can look into Maximus’ eyes and then nod during these times to convey my appreciation and connection rather than simply thanking Him, which i do every time, third, i can incorporate touch when i pass Him during these interactions.

  • What category(s) does that experience seem to fit with?

Incorporating these things can make the experience more valuable, enjoyable, beautiful, and irreplaceable. Why irreplaceable? Because i know Maximus holds doors for others, but He does not receive any of the response i described above from anyone, which will set that interaction to a higher level than others, increasing our connection, and strengthening our relationship.

Categories: 24/7, BDSM classes, D/s, M/s, Miss Amy Red, protocols, relationship, rituals, submissive housewife | Tags: | Leave a comment

Love thyself

aime-toi

i’m in Portland, staying with a close (vanilla, non-lifestyle) friend of mine. i found out last week that she’d gone through a breakup several weeks ago. Her live-in boyfriend of several years left her over the holidays and she’d been struggling through it. i picked up something on a Facebook post that told me the answer before she’d replied to my text asking what was going on. So i invited myself down as soon as the Portland snowpocalypse ended.

She is drowning in grief. i remember that feeling. And it’s more than a loss of a companion, a lover, additional income, the beloved dog he took with him, the debt he left you straddled with, the lies you now realize, it’s the loss of your former self, that strong, assured, self-sufficient woman, PERSON, you were when you attracted him in the first place. It makes you mad, sick inside, that you let it come to this. How did i let myself down and let another person, a relationship steal my self-worth?

And you feel like you’re never going to get it back.

You will. But the answer is not in anyone else–it’s in you. It’s been there the entire time. No, you are not going to be the person you were before, ever again. That person is gone, but in its place will be someone stronger, better, smarter. You have to believe this. But its going to take work. i know it sounds cliché, but you have to fall back in love with yourself.

And you have to forgive yourself, stop beating yourself up for being in the relationship, for whatever damage happened to you. Let it go. Don’t let it poison yourself any more. It happened, it’s done, dust yourself off and move on.

So i’m here to be a shoulder, an ear, arms to hug and hold, maker of soup, and out-of-the-house-taker-outer. We drank champagne, toasting her strength and our unending friendship. i’m proud of her, her accomplishments before and now. And i look forward to watching her fall back in love with herself.

Categories: balance, relationship, relationship needs | Tags: | Leave a comment

Dancing and D/s

 

heal

“After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.” — Ann Richards

Maximus and i had our first introductory dance lesson last week and it was Wonderful!! It really was a great date night idea and Maximus was in heaven. i wore my new John Fluevog Heal shoes, which the instructor fell in love with, and they were perfect for dancing in (the instructor even remarked on that after checking them out).

Besides the instructor, i was the only woman and there were three men, including Maximus. It was nice to have a small class, but it would’ve been nice to have an equal pairing. We learned the steps separately, at first, and then paired up, switching partners between songs. While i didn’t want to switch partners, it gave me a chance to experience different styles and what worked, and kept me from trying to manage my lead, as while i might be tempted to do that with Maximus, i wouldn’t do that with a stranger! We learned the Waltz first and then American Tango. We spent considerably more time on the Waltz, learning how to turn the woman and then how to rotate the step together. i thought it was a lovely dance. We rushed through the tango as we were running out of time, and it required a lot more work by the woman, and i’d like to spend more time learning it.

i discovered that ballroom dancing is just like D/s:

  • There are defined roles

There is a leader and a follower. It is clearly defined and the leader is in charge of deciding where we are going and how we will be proceeding. Should the follower try to take the lead, toes are going get stepped on! Staying in your roles makes for a smooth and beautiful dance.

  • The leader must be strong and confident

my mom has always said, “Fake it ’til you make it,” meaning, be strong, even if you’re scared to death. The follower is depending on the leader to initiate the movement, even when they are learning. The leader’s arms must be strong so they guide the follower in the direction they wish to go.

  • Communication is paramount

In dance, you communicate with your connection, your body, your eyes, and this is vital. The leader must be able to convey their expectation for the next step, the direction they are going, how they are doing it. Without this communication, things fall apart.

  • The follower must trust their leader

The follower is not in charge and they have to trust that. If you don’t trust your leader, again, toes will be stepped on! Breathe, relax, and allow your partner to lead you. Don’t top from the bottom.

  • The leader is showing off their follower

In dance, as in D/s, the leader shows off the strengths of their partner, spinning them, doing things that show off their body, taking advantage of clothing to display their best.

  • It takes practice

You’re not going to get it right the first time, or the second time, and after you do get it, you’re going to have hiccups! It’s not a “one and done,” it’s a skill that takes attention. There’s always more to learn, things to add, things to refine.

  • It takes patience

You’re both learning–be patient. As the follower, you can’t rush the leader. Don’t get frustrated, be a helpful follower. Toes might get stepped on, steps out of sync, moves forgotten–it’s ok. Pick up, carry on, and continue to learn together.

  • It is supposed to be fun for both partners

It really should be! If it’s not, figure out why and fix it. Perhaps you’re not following your role, not communicating, not being patient. And sadly, perhaps it’s not the right partner for you.

  • Connection is the key

Hold on tight–we’re in this together!

We’re both looking forward to the next lesson Friday night. This time we’ll learn Salsa and Bachata. Maybe we’ll stay for the open Argentine Tango lesson afterward to figure tango out better. Maximus wants to do private lessons with our instructor after we finish this series, and i think that is great!

i think this is good for us. Not only because it’s something fun and social, but that it builds upon our D/s, teaches us skills we can apply in our relationship, makes us better partners. i’m excited for our future, to see how we grow from applying these skills, both in dance and in D/s.

Categories: 24/7, BDSM relationship, D/s, dancing, date night, Fluevog shoes, relationship, trust | Tags: | 1 Comment

Our Book Club–Devil in the Details III

devil-details-iii

Last month Maximus selected Devil In The Details III – The Art of Mastery- A Mentoring Trilogy: Volume III “Sustainable Structure & Training” part of The Devil in the Details: the Art of Mastery
series by LT Morrison for our personal book club. We’ve read the other two books in the series, but this was by far our favorite and most useful to us. The other books were about the theory of M/s relationships, but this volume was about the application of these theories. It detailed contracts, training, rules, rituals, and protocols and offered examples of each through stories and actual documents used and developed by Morrison. This was something we’d been looking for and both Maximus and i highlighted a lot of this book for our discussion.

A lot has come out of our reading. First, Maximus has asked that i keep a binder to keep our Rules, Master Preferences, and Entertainment Journal. The rules section will hold Appendix 2 of our contract, which is our house rules, rituals, and protocols. i am also to go back through the historical archive of our contracts and rules and indicate the date of which each rule was taught to me. Master Preferences is my list of things i have learned about Maximus’ personal preferences, such as the fact that He hates olives and that the Seahawks are His favorite football team. The Entertainment Journal is a record of guests (vanilla and kink) we have hosted, what was served, what we wore, entertainment provided, which room they slept in, etc. In addition, i am to develop a system to track preferences of any and all of our guests in terms of allergies, special needs, favorite beverages, etc., so that i can be best prepared to best host them.

There are some changes to our contract and rules as well. i have pages of notes for additions, edits, alterations of our contract and rules that i will completing over the next several days. i will do them in stages and journal about each section and then update the Contract and Rules page after we have reviewed and signed. As is our norm, the rules we discussed and i verbally agreed to last night when we went over them go into effect immediately.

As always, discussion about our contract, rules, ritual, and protocol makes us feel just so connected. Going over what we’d read and how to improve our D/s relationship by applying the concepts introduced in this book took hours, but gave us a greater understanding and connection. To me, it gives some more framework in areas that we hadn’t thought about or had operated under but not codified.

Maximus loved the last section of the book with a parable of two wolves:

“Son, there is a battle that goes on inside us all. It is a battle between two wolves.”

“One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, and ego.

“The other wolf is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

His son thought about it, then asked.

“Which wolf wins, Dad?”

He smiled and look at this young man, so much like him.

“Son, it is always the one you feed.”

Going over our contract, rules, rituals, and protocols feeds our Good wolf. It never feels oppressive, controlling, or confining, it feels like an enhancement and strength. i’ve never gone away from a contract discussion with Maximus feeling upset or like i’ve been screwed–i always go away joyous, light, happy, and more connected.

Our Next Book

ms-mastery

Our next book will be Master/slave Mastery: Updated handbook of concepts, approaches and practices by Robert J. Rubel, Ph.D. and M. Jen Fairfield. i’ve read this book already and requested to Maximus that we go over it together for our next book, which He agreed.

We will go over sections once a week, as we did with our last book, but i will reserve our review until we finish, unless there is something i need to journal about before the end.

 

Future Reading Material

i do have a running list of books for Our Book Club, but do you have any recommendations? i’d love to know what others have found helpful in M/s, D/s, protocol, ritual, BDSM, domestic discipline, etc. Please feel free to comment suggestions!

Categories: BDSM, BDSM contract, D/s, Dom/sub, LT Morrison, M/s, Our Book Club, relationship, training | Tags: | 4 Comments

2017 Relationship Vision, Values, and Goals

Somehow Maximus and i missed reviewing our Relationship Vision, Values, and Goals last year–that should tell you just how chaotic last year was! We’ve never missed a year, so this was a big deal.

Values

We started with our values. As before, we brainstormed values and i wrote them on Post-It notes. We came up with quite a lot!

2017-values

We came up with:

  • Travel *
  • Friends
  • Fun
  • Entertainment (Parties, Movies, Theatre) *
  • Adventure
  • Fitness *
  • Family
  • Learning
  • Work
  • Financial Stability
  • Home *
  • Support (emotional, physical) *
  • GOT *
  • Health
  • Mindfulness *
  • Patience *
  • Contentment *
  • Happiness *
  • Balance *
  • D/s *
  • Sexuality
  • Honesty *
  • Disclosure *
  • Communication *
  • Accountability *

Then i compared them with what we came up with in 2014. A * indicates a new value from last time. i stacked duplicates and added what we felt were relevant from 2014:

  • Faith
  • Organization
  • Compassion
  • Cleanliness
  • Autonomy
  • Selflessness
  • Creativity
  • Spontaneity
  • Order

We then worked on ranking them as to their priority in our lives together. As we went along, we realized several were supportive of major values, so it ended up as a tree of sorts. As always, this process lead to a lot of discussion on meaning and level of importance–which is just as important, if not more so, as the exercise itself!

2017-values-ranked

Here are how our values worked out for 2017. It’s a bit more complex than last time. The bold text is a major category, supporting values are bulleted beneath. It has surprised us both times that faith has come in last. i think that the events of 2016 really influenced us, in that health ranked second this time, above family and career.

 

 Our 2017 Values

Our GOT Relationship

  • Support
    • Emotional
    • Physical
  • Patience
  • Mindfulness
  • Compassion
  • Selflessness
  • Autonomy
  • Accountability
  • Communication, Honesty, Disclosure
  • Sexuality
  • D/s

Health and Fitness

Family

Work, Career, Lifelong Learning

Financial Stability

Home

  • Cleanliness
  • Order
  • Organization

Fun

  • Friendships
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Adventure
  • Spontaneity
  • Parties
    • Vanilla
    • Kink

Faith

So going forward, these are the values we will use to guide our decision making processes.

Relationship Vision

Now that we’d completed our values, we looked at our existing relationship vision to make sure that it still applied. And we found it did:

GOT – a lifelong, harmonious, loving, committed relationship together.

There was some discussion about this as Maximus thought it should simply say, “GOT,” but i need it spelled out.

Goals

We started by going through our 2015 goals since we hadn’t worked on 2016 goals and reconciled 2015. Turns out, we did a pretty good job of completing our 2015 goals. We noted that some were completed in 2016, so while we hadn’t written down goals for 2016 we did have an idea in our minds of what we wanted to accomplish based upon the task two years ago.

i’m not going to include the goals here as i have them in an Excel spreadsheet that i use to track our goals on a quarterly basis.

It feels good to be back on track with our Values, Vision, and Goals. It is a nice way to start a new year, knowing we are on track with each other and have things to check ourselves on.

new-year1

 

Categories: BDSM relationship, communication, D/s, openess, Reflection, relationship, relationship needs, Relationship Vision, Values | Tags: | Leave a comment

A Dominant with a Heart

heart

i’ve not journaled for a few days as i’m trying to wrap my head around something. A week ago, Maximus went to the cardiologist for some chest pains that He’d not been telling me about. This was pretty upsetting to me as we do have a principle of “over-communication” in our contract, that applies to both of us, and He’d not mentioned a thing. i only found out when i overhead Him talking to the cardiologist on the phone the day before (i wasn’t eavesdropping, He was talking loud enough in His office that He could be heard in mine).

Maximus still didn’t really relay what was going on, said it was just a checkup and repeat stress echocardiogram, so i didn’t go to the appointment with Him. Mistake. The cardiologist was waiting in the wings to go over His echo and pulled Maximus in for an immediate consultation afterward. Turns out there were some changes from His last echo. He still went way over the maximum (that’s the competitive nature of Him), but things were different on the echo itself. Maximus left the cardiologist with an appointment for an exploratory cardiac catheterization and potential stent placement between Christmas and New Years, along with cardiac meds.

i heard about it over the cell phone while He was driving, in between lots of appointments. It was not a good conversation, i was confused, He was anxious and upset. He didn’t get home until 10 PM after planned Christmas shopping and dinners with His daughters, and we had a lot of conversation about what had been going on, what was happening, miscommunication, anxiety, etc. We’re better now, but it was a difficult day.

i’m so frustrated, though, and i know He is too. Maximus is in stellar shape, swims miles every day and eats healthy (He’s been consistently vegan for the past six months after His last stress echocardiogram, and Had been mostly vegan since i moved in two years ago). We thought we’d be able to keep His heart healthy with dietary changes, but it didn’t work. Everything i’ve read, every conference i’ve been to over the past eight years touts this as being the case. And it didn’t seem to work. And i don’t understand why. And i’ve heard about problems with stents clogging up and needing to be replaced. But i’m not an ass, i don’t want to not do something Maximus needs because i just don’t like it–if He needs it, He needs it. i just need to understand what is happening.

So i have questions for the cardiologist. i wasn’t there at His impromptu appointment and didn’t get to ask them. Fortunately the cardiologist understands and will do a phone consultation with Maximus and me a few days prior to the appointment.

Just have to be patient until after Christmas to ask them…

Categories: 24/7, cardiac, fear, relationship, vegan | Tags: | Leave a comment

Happy Half

xmas-wine

i’ve mentioned Happy Half a lot, but don’t think i’ve ever explained it.

Happy Half appeared in our amended contract of April 2016, however, i believe it started prior to that, sometime between September 2014 and April 2016, just wasn’t codified until last April. It started after i became frustrated with Maximus’ work-life balance–well,  really, the lack of it. Maximus can easily work twenty hours a day, as long as He gets a swim in at some point. He won’t really eat, other than grabbing a banana, oatmeal, or a plate of almond butter (yes, i really did say a PLATE of almond butter) and He doesn’t have a quitting time being that He works from home when not traveling. There’s always work for Him to do and He can just get wrapped up in it and lose track of time.

That was fine when He was single, but when i moved in, it made it difficult for me to navigate things like dinner time. i could never figure out when to plan for dinner and i always felt like i was interrupting. We discussed that He needed work-life balance and find a way to end His work day when at home, both for His mental health and time for us together. He mentioned that when He was growing up, His father would come home from work, state, “Mother, bring me a drink,” and His parents would sit together in the formal living room and visit about their day. Maximus and His brother were not allowed in the living room during this time–it was adult time only. After His parents were done talking, His mom would put dinner on the table and it was family time. Maximus had really forgotten about this until we were talking about needing a transition time from work, but found the idea really attractive for us.

Maximus has always had a “No bras after 5:30PM” rule, even before we were D/s, and it’s one of my clothing rules. So He decided to incorporate the end of His work day with the no-bra rule. As Maximus can get completely immersed in His work and lose track of time, i am to knock on the office door at 5 PM and after He acknowledges me, inform Him of the time. He will then notify me whether the 5:30 Happy Half time will work or if He needs more time to complete whatever project He’s in the middle of. i inquire what He’d like to drink for Happy Half and/or may make recommendations/suggestions for Him to choose from.  And then i leave Him be.

i often work on dinner prep during this time. i also prepare our drinks, any hors d’oeuvres, and set up space for Happy Half. During the colder months, Happy Half is inside, generally in the Family Room. When weather permits, we have Happy Half outside either at the deck table or chaise lounges so we can enjoy the weather and scenery. Setting up the space just entails that the area is neat and tidy, coasters present, television is off, music may be on, wine decanted (if serving wine) or champagne chilled, and glasses set out, etc. If we are having cocktails, i will have things at the ready to mix at the kitchen island so i may serve fresh drinks when He leaves His office. If Happy Half will be indoors, i will often just wear an apron and stilettos, but if it is cold, i may wear nice clothing. If outdoors, i wear whatever clothing is appropriate for the weather (sans bra, of course!).

Maximus starts Happy Half with a toast to us. Then we catch up on our day. If it is a Monday, we may incorporate my training into Happy Half, unless training requires more time, in which case Maximus will schedule that earlier in the day. The goal of Happy Half is for Maximus to transition away from work and for us to reconnect. To avoid making dinnertime too late, it is meant to be thirty minutes, thus the name Happy Half rather than Happy Hour, but it can be extended as necessary, although it is always a minimum of thirty minutes.

Happy Half has been incredibly important for us. Not only does it set a quitting time for Maximus’ work day and allow me to plan for dinner, but it reconnects us and sets the intention for us to come together every evening. It gives me a time that i can bring up things i need to discuss with Maximus rather than interrupting Him during His work day. And it really reinforces our D/s every single day. And i love how it incorporates the 1950’s style into our relationship that i wrote about in Our M/s.

Categories: 24/7, BDSM relationship, Happy Half, relationship, submissive housewife, togetherness | 1 Comment

Utility sub

So not all of our D/s is sex…a lot of it is, in fact, utility.

When i moved in with Maximus two years ago, i asked if He would add me as an authorized person on the utility accounts, that way if something went wrong with telephone, internet, gas, water etc. while He was traveling i could deal with it. And it turned out to be a good thing, as problems did occur while He was gone every once and a while and i was able to fix them without bothering Him. This is a prime example of how i am COO in our CEO/COO D/s relationship.

We rented out our condo and moved into a beautiful lake house the end of this summer. i was tasked to handle the transition, which i took on happily. Maximus likes to brag that He did 0.4% of the move and that i only did 99.6%! It went smoothly and i accomplished my main goal which was to have Maximus unplug His computer at the hotel, come to the house, plug in His computer and be able to start working again without interruption. i handled the installation of new hardwood floors, utility stops and starts, landscaping, movers, packing and unpacking, arranging, etc. We moved in on a Saturday and had the house ready for overnight guests the following Friday and weekend!

The Pacific Northwest has been inundated with rain for the past three months–record rain–and it’s kept me from doing a bunch of stuff in the yard i want to do. We finally had a sunny morning two days ago and i was able to get out and get things winterized. With all the landscaping work, we’ve amassed a huge compost pile that is really just too big to deal with and is full of evergreen boughs, sod, rose bush trimmings which are near impossible to compost effectively. So i decided it was time to add yard debris to our garbage service so we can whittle this down over the winter when we don’t have grass clippings to deal with. i went into the house and got the last billing statements from Maximus’ file so i could call the company to change our service. To my surprise, i found we had an invoice dated that day with a huge credit on the condo and a past due notice on the house for garbage service! Maximus hadn’t said a thing about it–which He was under no obligation to do–but usually He asks me if there are discrepancies like this. When i got through to our service provider, they added the new service and checked our accounts, confirming that i did close our condo service and start house service in September, and that we had no credit or outstanding balance. Maximus had probably just taken care of whatever the problem was. Being that we’d traveled to Desire and work had been so hectic for Him before we left, i figured the mix up was due to that.

Maximus got home from three days of work travel that night and as i updated Him on everything i’d done while He was gone, i mentioned the garbage service invoices. He did not recall seeing them, the credit, or the past due notice, but did remember filing the invoices. He’d said He was just so distracted with work stuff (it’s open enrollment time and His company is finally switching to benefits packages of the parent company that bought His. He’s had to figure out and change EVERY benefit program He’s in and it’s been confusing, frustrating, and time-consuming).

So i offered to take this off His plate. i already deal with all the utility changes and set them all up for the new house. i had been watching the utility bills the first month or two when they started coming in because i wanted to confirm they were billing us as they said we were when i set things up after Maximus had a question about a huge cable bill we got.

“Why don’t i just take utility bills off Your plate, Sir?” i asked. Long pause…

“I’m handling that,” He replied.

“You’ve been so overwhelmed with everything with work. i already am the contact with our utility services and know what should be happening with our bills. i can simply log on to your banking and take care of them, and take care of any issues that arise.”

Uncomfortable silence from Maximus.

Per our contract, Maximus takes care of the finances other than my few bills. Per our contract, i come to Maximus every month, kneel in front of Him, and present a written request for a check to cover my expenses. i must perform whatever act He requests at that time in order to receive the check. i don’t have any problem with this and it’s worked fine, but since we’ve moved, my bank is further away, making depositing the check kind of a hassle, thus i often hold them until i have two or more checks to deposit and simply transfer money around to cover my bills.

“It could make things easier for You. Instead of having to write me a check to cover my expenses, i could pay those expenses directly from Your account when i go to deal with the utility bills. Less interruption in Your day and something off Your plate.” And i explained the issue with depositing the checks from Him.

“I’ll have to think about it,” He replied. And we went to sleep.

Last night during Happy Half, Maximus shared His trepidation over me paying the utility and my personal bills from His account. It triggered Him, and i hadn’t known. Turns out that JB, his second wife, approached Him to do this very thing and ended up taking large sums of money from Him and overspending His accounts before they got divorced. After thinking about it overnight and during the day, He determined, “This is a great thing! gabriella’s taking something off My plate, which is what i want and need her to do.” He realized that with everything on His plate He hadn’t changed the account number in His bill pay and had been paying on the closed garbage service account rather than the new one–and He missed the bills that should have caught His attention about it. And unlike with JB, we have a contract, intense trust, and would not have the issue He had before. And, we have separate banks, i added, i cannot easily transfer the money between the accounts between the two institutions.

But He had one request. “I really, really like to read the inserts in the utility bills…there’s good information in them a lot of the time.”

And i replied, “And i would really, really like to read those too! Right now, i never see them because You recycle them when You’re done reading them when paying the bills. How about i put the flyers on Your desk next to the bills i’ve marked as paid when i’m done paying them and ready for Your review and filing?”

Win-win!

“And will you pay the paper bill, too?”

Categories: 24/7, D/s, financial submission, relationship, submissive housewife, trust | Leave a comment

Not Poly

couple-holding-hands

i have a confession to make…Maximus and i went to Desire 2016 with the understanding that it was our last trip to Desire with the Life of the Swingset group. Yes, you read that right. But…we left Desire 2016 already booked for the 2017 trip with the Swingset.

So what was the deal? We are swingers, we are non-monogamous, we are kinky, but we are not polyamorous and at Desire 2015, we felt like the odd couple out. It seemed like there was such a big focus on polyamory that we started to feel like we were with the wrong crowd. And it wasn’t just a bunch of people we didn’t know or hang out with, we had friends, close friends actually, that started exploring poly after the 2015 trip.

And it squigged us out.

But we’d already booked the 2016 trip and we really like our friends, especially our poly-exploring friends!

Maximus and i talked about this dilemma quite a bit. What was our issue with poly? Was there an issue with poly?

First, we both view poly through a frame of infidelity. Both Maximus and i were unfaithful in previous relationships and Maximus had a previous spouse cheat and leave Him for this other person. We both understand the concept of poly, that it’s not cheating. And we both understand the comparison of polyamory to parental love, in that you can love more than one child, thus you can love more than one adult. In Maximus’ case, He and JB met another couple through a swinging website and all was great with the four of them as swinging friends. However, JB and the other husband fell in love and worked very hard to convince Maximus and the other wife (Ms. W) that it would be super fun if Maximus and Ms. W fell in love too–they could have a four-way relationship. But it was never called poly, never really was poly in that Maximus didn’t have feelings for Ms. W and it was just a ruse to distract Maximus and Ms. W from what was really going on. In my case, i cheated because i was lonely. My first husband, PiperC was professionally jealous and just plain stopped loving me because of it. i cheated to feel connected with people and to have sexual fun, but they were never poly relationships.

Second, we just see a lot of drama with poly relationships. When Maximus and i started seeing each other, we were fuck-buddies/travel-buddies. We lived three hours apart and had an understanding that we saw other people. We really weren’t dating, just friends with like interests (sex) and available to be a plus-one for anything, including travel. Ms. W was still in the picture as they were friends and Maximus carried a lot of (unsubstantiated, self-inflicted) guilt for her divorce, and was just one of many women He was FWB/FBs with. However, after a while, Ms. W became very possessive of Maximus once He and i took our relationship to the next level, and portrayed her relationship with Him as something it wasn’t when speaking to me or anyone else. Maximus was completely unaware this was happening and it caused a great deal of angst for us (as seen in posts in the beginning of our D/s relationship). So again, it wasn’t poly, but there was a component of three people and a lot of drama.

Unfortunately, we hear about/see the drama our new poly friends go through. And it’s heartbreaking for us. i am very empathetic, so seeing friends going through difficulties is hard for me. We’ve even had friends with situations similar to what Maximus went through with JB, in that two couples met, one husband and one wife liked each other and wanted the other husband and wife to like each other and all go poly in that configuration–but the other spouses weren’t into each other. It’s hard for Maximus to see that happen as it triggers some bad feelings. So we worry about our poly friends.

It’s not like we haven’t explored what polyamory is about. When i divorced OneGuy, i decided to figure myself out and explored all types of sexuality and relationships. Being that i had gotten into swinging with him, i wasn’t sure whether swinging was a me-thing or a we-thing. i had friends who were exploring tantra and i got involved in that, which got me exploring LoveTribe, and all different types of relationship avenues. i talked with, slept with, dated all kinds of people in different relationships, including polyamory, asked a lot of questions, and determined poly just wasn’t for me. Maximus and i even discussed poly when we first got together, having both just read The Ethical Slut and other books, but it just wasn’t our thing.

What brought this posting up was going through our D/s contract last week. Our contract outlines that we are primary relationships with one another, that we cannot be contracted as a Dominant/Domme or submissive to anyone else, although we can be in scenes with others in Dominant/submissive roles. Maximus stopped us at this point and wanted to discuss polyamory, wanting to make sure we were still on the same page about the topic as before. We talked about poly, about what it was, our feelings, and i just simply replied, “You fulfill all my needs–i just don’t need anyone else.”

And that’s where we are. We fulfill each others needs and we just don’t have any desires that aren’t met by the other. Furthermore, we endeavor to meet each others desires, whether it is something we can do ourselves or require assistance from others in doing. That is our joy.

So what changed with Desire 2016? We let poly be other people’s kink and didn’t let it bother us. We didn’t let ourselves worry about our friends in poly relationships–it’s there thing and it makes them happy, or not at times, but it’s their thing to deal with. We are here for them if they need a shoulder, but they understand we are here for support and not at all for direction. And we didn’t let it bother us that we were not poly amongst lots of poly people.

i did have a wonderful afternoon with a very special woman friend who is fairly new into a poly relationship situation with her spouse and another couple. She and i have always connected, both being s-types, and i feel very close with her. The following evening she pulled me aside to talk and she shared how special our afternoon together was and how connected she felt with me. It was such a wonderful moment, one i will always cherish. i wasn’t sure, however, what it all meant, being that she had started into polyamory. Maximus and i spoke about it and i decided i would just simply go talk with her about it. It was a great conversation and one we needed to have anyway, as Maximus and i needed to know how to navigate our relationship with her and her husband now that they were poly with another couple. She and i are connected but not in a polyamorous way–more of a soul sister, connected, loving way. It was great to have the clarity and not get squigged out by ambiguity.

Because we changed our perspective of the dynamics of this group we love, we will be back at Desire with the Life on the Swingset for years to come. i love this group!

YKINMKBYKIOK – Your Kink Is Not My Kink But Your Kink Is Ok

Categories: 24/7, Ethical Slut, polyamory, relationship, relationship needs | Leave a comment

Where Have i Been?

tired

i know it’s been a long time. What happened? Well i got tired. Turns out, my thyroid gland pooped out, caused by my adrenal glands pooping out a couple years ago, unbeknownst to me. It appears that stress from work and Ironman training plus a severe bout of influenza back in 2011 led to my adrenal dysfunction and caused my uterine fibroids, polycystic ovaries, and endometriosis in 2012, for which i had my hysterectomy (see It’s Hysterical for more). However, the underlying cause wasn’t recognized, so the hormonal imbalance caused by the hysterectomy taxed my thyroid gland to the point where i couldn’t function in my daily life. Thanks to an astute naturopathic physician, i am on the road to recovery!

The puzzle pieces came together this fall and i’ve been going through treatment to recover, which has been my primary focus in life. Maximus has been wonderfully supportive during this time and He pretty much curtailed our D/s so i could heal. That has been difficult for me, as i felt He was pulling away, but we’ve talked about it and i understand.

As i am feeling so much better, nearly back to my old self, i asked Maximus if we could return to our D/s and He felt it was a good time to do that. So this past weekend we went through our contract, made a couple of updates, and are restarting my training.

Contract Updates

Appendix 1, Sleep. Maximus wanted to make an adjustment to sleeping arrangements if i was involved with swinging play without Him. He feels that sleeping with someone is very intimate, more than fucking someone, so did not want my sleeping with anyone else. However, He has come to realize that may be primarily with me sleeping with men. i am seeing a bi-female right now and we are talking about her staying the night later this week and Maximus felt it would be acceptable to Him if she slept with me in our bed rather than the guest bed. Thus, it was amended that:

Should the submissive be in a situation of separate play, she shall sleep alone, not with any other parties, unless negotiated prior to engagement.

Appendix 1, Sex. We thought this had been struck from the contract in our last amendment, in fact, i’d documented the change in Contract and Rules Updated post in November, but it was still in the document that i was to post in my blog about any orgasms outside of Maximus’ presence. We removed this clause as it was preventing me from masterbating.

Appendix 1, Work/Life Balance. Maximus requested that i help Him attain a better work/life balance.

The Dominant wishes to conclude His business day at 5:30 PM. In order to achieve this, the submissive shall notify the Dominant at 5:00 PM and serve drinks at 5:30 PM for the transition from work to home. The typical transition period will be approximately 30 minutes, termed “Happy Half,” for discussion and drinks to allow the Dominant to unwind from His day prior to dinner.

Appendix 1, Training. i really am out of training with this long break and have developed some bad habits. While our contract specifies that Maximus shall train me, He felt it was important to reiterate this in the appendix to set up scheduled training times.

The Dominant will schedule submissive training as needed.

My training will be conducted weekly and i will journal about these sessions.

So that’s where we’re at. It feels like a couple years of starts and stops and starts and stops, and it has been. We both feel that life is settling down, that the disruptive major life changes are behind us now and we can focus again on our D/s.

Categories: 24/7, adrenal fatigue, D/s, hypothyroidism, relationship | Leave a comment

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