In conversation with my partner and a friend this weekend, I was reminded of how much I am learning about myself through submission. I find as each week passes, I gain a better understanding of myself, my partner and what seems to work for us.
I posted a short while back about my changing relationship with pain. Lately I find myself paying close attention to the sensations generated by different instruments wielded by my partner. When we use something different, I will often offer a description of how it is similar or different from sensations generated by other toys. I find I have a preference for my partner's hand, the warm up flogger, and the cup side of our wooden spoon. I like broader surfaces or toys that stimulate a broader surface. I like the crop, but am less fond of it when it is used as a cane. Whips and belts fall into the same category for me. If it stings a small area intensely, I need more time in between blows. I also prefer a regular rhythm to the blows and seem to be able to pace myself better if I can anticipate the cadence.
If I don't get enough time in between blows or if I get startled by a break in the cadence or a sudden surge in the intensity, adrenaline often kicks in, over-rides the endorphins, and instead of an experience of surrender it becomes an exercise in stoicism. Sometimes, I don't recover from the startle because too much adrenaline has engaged and I literally can't wait until it's over. Subspace is unattainable for me in this sort of circumstance as well. Now I don't have to achieve subspace every time during a spanking. There are other aspects of our play that can get me there as well. I just found it interesting to learn that avoiding an adrenaline dump seems to make a huge difference for me. Having been in a number of car accidents over the decades, my experiences with pain and adrenaline have not been pleasant and very negative learned associations are likely coming into play here.On a lighter note, I find I am enjoying the shift in the dynamic between J and me outside our bedroom as well. I find I am paying closer attention to what is happening with J and take real pleasure in nurturing more than I used to before. I like the thrill of having J come up behind me, reach around and tweak my nipples or nibble on my neck while I'm doing dishes. J is more possessive and demonstrative than before, readily showing affection, concern and, of course, lust. The notion that my body is available for pleasure and so desired by J has had the effect of making me feel prettier than I've felt in years.
Little rules and rituals are being established as well. At home, I am no longer allowed to wear a bra as J is quite fond of tormenting my nipples. If we are going out, J has the deciding vote on what I wear. Almost every night, whether we play or not, J spanks me for a short time. This is enjoyable for both of us, and oddly enough, I don't seem to get night sweats as badly if I've been spanked before bed. (Don't you just hate menopause?) These rules and rituals are growing gradually, but they are very special to me. I love the way J looks at me when I've just come downstairs having changed out of my work clothes into something more comfortable and gotten rid of my bra for the day. The knowing smile, with more than just a little bit of pride thrown in makes me feel beautiful.
The overall impact of our evolving D/s relationship has been striking. Whether through spankings or bondage, nipple play, following her orders, letting her dress me, etc., submitting to J has enabled me to experience surrender and joy like nothing else previously in my life. J sees it in my eyes, hears it in my voice and feels it in my body. It has drawn us closer. We are more comfortable and relaxed with each other and are laughing more than ever.
And I am counting my blessings daily.