I’ve been thinking a lot about balance lately.
First it came up in a discussion on Fetlife. The OP mentioned the need to “balance” her relationships, and someone else asked what that meant. Seems pretty self-explanatory to me, but the discussion that ensued was an interesting one, and I enjoyed reading other’s viewpoints. I may have more to talk about on that topic in an APL blog at some point.
Then it came up in a discussion I had with W on an entirely different topic. There’s something I want to do, or rather I want him to do something with me; he isn’t interested. Normally he’d just tell me I could find someone else to do it, but this one thing, well, I want it to be with him. And, as it turns out, it happens to be something he doesn’t necessarily want me doing with just anyone else, either. But neither of us really said that at the time. It wasn’t until later, when we started talking about it, that we realized these things. In fact, we both did the exact opposite: I got pissy, and frustrated and basically challenged him: “Fine, I’ll do it on my own.” Not wanting to hold me back from experiencing something I really want to do, even though he didn’t want me to do it, he told me to go ahead.
I was distraught by this. I know, I know, what gives? I get what I ask for and I’m upset. What the hell? But the truth of the matter is that what I’d really wanted was for him to take control at that point. I know I’m an adult and can make my own decisions and take care of myself–yadda yadda yadda. But I feel like…when it relates to kink…especially something where there is the potential for harm, it is his responsibility to take care of me, to watch over me, to make sure I come to no harm.
I wanted him to say “no.”
Even if it’s not something he is interested in, I feel like I--my health and safety and well-being (at least as it relates to kink)–are still his responsibility. And I was hurt that he apparently didn’t see it that way.
Granted, this is a big departure from where I’d been up to now (or up until a few months ago, when I first started realizing that I truly wanted and needed more control from him.) I’m a pretty independent woman, and I chose the term “bottom” for myself quite deliberately. I don’t want or need anyone telling me what to do–except when they are fucking me or hurting me. He knows this about me, and (I think) likes and respects it. Our relationship was predicated on it in many ways.
He hasn’t asked for that to change. It just…has. I can’t help the way I feel and how my feelings and needs have changed within our relationship. I can only express those needs, show him how they–and I–have changed, and see if we can’t find a way to meet them.
But it’s a delicate balance, being in a primarily non-D/s relationship with an independent, yet submissive, woman. A woman that has been known to flee from a relationship that was too controlling, to fight the shackles of D/s, even as she yearns for them. There are risks to him in allowing the relationship to go that way, in allowing himself to take more control. It’s a precarious position. He doesn’t want me to end up running away, feeling smothered, resenting him because he has.
But that–running away–was when the control was laid on me from the outside–when someone decided to exert control over me that I wasn’t ready to let them have–or worse, that I didn’t feel they deserved to have. That I didn’t feel they’d earned by being trustworthy and showing me that they could exhibit control, without abusing it.
The submission I feel with W isn’t something that he has manufactured with rules and protocols…and in fact he has never asked it of me. It is something that comes from inside me, in response to how I feel about him. I can’t explain it any other way. I want him to exert more control, not as game or because it makes me hot, but because it makes me feel safe. It makes me feel loved and secure. It is because I trust his judgement–even when it contradicts my own. I trust that he truly does have my best interests at heart and will do right by me.
We talked for a long time about it that night, and came away–I think–with a better understanding of what we each want/need from the other. We agreed to venture down this new path, but slowly, carefully, and to see where it takes us. This is a new space we are venturing into, uncharted and precarious. But I think, as we have with all the twists and turns of our relationship, that we will be able to negotiate it successfully. That even as the balance shifts, we will shift with it, and find our equanimity.
(I’ll be continuing with this theme in my next post.)