guilt

Occasionally Married Man and I have long text discussions about life, kids, relationships, sex, and whatever else comes along, including guilt. Recently he shared the following:

Freedom is being able to choose what makes you feel good and bad as opposed to being pushed or pulled. Now you select a code of ethics that suits you… it’s based on love, respect, and your thoughts as opposed to a preconceived notion or externally injected belief.

Imagine a world with no jealousy or envy? That’s paradise.

Having been raised in a family in which guilt was part of the glue that held us together, it’s taken a lot of work for me to get past it. Guilt served as the driving force in so many relationships, and even helped to keep me in a miserable marriage for too many years. There is perhaps a healthy level of guilt which keeps us human, and I respect that. What I choose to ignore is that level of guilt which we, especially in the US, consider to be “normal” and dictates how we respond to one another.

At some point guilt becomes self destructive, not socially constructive. To feel bad for causing another being pain is to feel empathy. Guilt is not necessary in that case. It becomes negative reinforcement, whereas empathy becomes positive reinforcement. Typically, animals (including humans) respond well to positive reinforcement.

How did I move past my own guilt and get on with finding a better life? Talked to my friend Angela Lord at Feel Good On Purpose. I find that since my session with her last autumn, I’ve not had the same fear/guilt pangs that I had previously accepted as “normal”. I can choose to empathize with people, or I can choose to remove myself from a situation, whichever suits the situation best. There are times when guilt really serves no other purpose than to drag one’s self-esteem down, which is counter-productive in the grand scheme of things. My mind now reasons things through by asking “is that going to be a good thing for me to do, or will it harm anyone?” before I commit to an action. Guilt serves the same purpose, but at the end instead of the beginning. Guilt says “that was stupid. Look what you did” without offering much in the way of constructive help. It’s more deconstructive, really.

bed

He certainly is a man true to his word.

Friday evening I arrived on time, dressed as commanded, and was led upstairs to his room where he sat me down in a comfortable chair and told me to “sit there and look beautiful. Shouldn’t be too difficult,” while he cleaned up and disassembled his old bed. “The new mattress will be delivered in an hour, then I’ll change and we’ll go out to dinner.”

Flashback to a month ago when, tangled in sheets, sleeping dogs, and each other, I told him we’d need a bigger bed. Later he’d told me he had to put that idea on hold so as to afford some home repairs, and I let the matter drop. Now I know better.

There I sat, demurely watching him clean his room while he grinned at me and asked how my day was. He vacuumed, dusted, and even scrubbed spots off the floor while I held my hands in my lap, somewhat entranced by the sight of a man who wasn’t afraid to admit the sticky spot on his floor next to the bed was from a spilled bottle of lube he used to use on himself. “Funny that,” he mused, “I haven’t wanted to jack off for the past, oh, six weeks or so.” His eyes crinkled as he smiled at me, reminding me that we’d both found our need for self-pleasuring greatly diminished since we’d started enjoying each other’s intimate companionship.

Cleaning done, he led me down the hall to a large closet where he kept his “good” clothes. Considering that he prefers to spend his waking time dressed as comfortably and casually as possible, I wasn’t sure what to expect of his more formal wardrobe. There were some nice dress shirts, and bundle of decent ties, a sport coat, leather jacket, slacks, and a suit. He pulled me close and purred in my ear, “this is one area where I want you to be in charge. I know nothing about clothes. Dress me.” I picked out a silver-gray shirt, black pants and the black leather jacket. He chose a pair of black sports shoes. I said no. He dug around and found a nicer pair, to which I said yes. We both agreed a tie was not necessary for the evening, then hung the clothes up in his room and waited for the mattress to arrive.

The delivery truck was a little later than expected, but the two men hauling the new mattress and box spring up the stairs seemed to know what they were doing and were quite pleasant. Once the bed was set up, New Guy went upstairs to check it out and sign the invoice. Except… wrong mattress. Ours had gone to the previous delivery stop, so the men repacked it and hauled it all back down the stairs and into the truck. We sat. We waited. He apologized for things not going according to plan. Twenty minutes later the correct mattress was being hauled up the stairs, and we became the happy owners of a brand new queen size pillow top mattress and box spring. “Now we need new sheets!” he said with another wide grin.

I leaned over the bed to get a feel for it, face down and arms spread wide. Buttoning up his shirt, he turned to stand behind me and placed his hands on my hips. The height was just right, and I squirmed happily. He leaned in, holding my arms down, grinding against me, then moved away. “If we don’t go now, there won’t be any dinner,” he admonished. I stood, smoothed my skirt, adjusted my stockings, and stepped away from the bed. My stomach growled. Dinner, please.

Dinner was followed by a trip to his favorite local ice cream parlor and a drive across town to find bedsheets that would fit the new bed. Once the sheets had been run through the washer and dryer, we put everything together. Sheets, pillows (including a fancy new one just for me) and comforters were layered on. Where once had been broken-down bachelor’s bed with red plaid flannel sheets and rumpled old blankets, now appeared a rather inviting bed big enough for two (plus dogs) with crisp sheets and soft blankets topped by a clean duvet in my favorite shade of sage green (where that had been hiding all this time, I’ll never know).

Of course we christened it a few minutes later… and again in the morning. “You slept well,” he said afterwards. I asked how he came to that conclusion. “I watched you,” he said softly, “this morning before you woke. You were absolutely still.”

I hugged him close, thinking about how much this bed meant to both of us. It was a financial commitment as well as a social statement. The bed isn’t just his, it’s ours. I burrowed my face into his chest. “You did good, honey. You did good.”

sweat

Not really sure what to write about these days. We’re still finding our footing with this runaway train of a relationship, but it’s been good so far. Word geeks that we are, New Guy and I spend an inordinate amount of time on our iPhones playing Words With Friends, even in bed. Words such as unbelted, vagina, and dom elicit giggles, if not high scores.

Where several of my previous relationships were secretive and kept from the public eye for various reasons (mostly having to do with my stupidity in actually BEING in said relationships), he and I are often running into people we know when out in public. It’s getting to be a bit of a joke how often it happens, but I can’t complain. It’s wonderful to be with someone who is proud to show me off as his chosen partner. Every time I hear one of my friends say “he’s such a nice guy” I smile and nod, not mentioning how the “nice guy” wants nothing more than to tie me up and make me scream. He often fondles the cuff on my wrist, knowing it’s just a small mark of his possession of me. He has bigger plans in mind.

Last night was a cold one, but we managed to sweat enough to soak the sheets around us. I lay on my back with him inside me and above me, his forearm across my neck, keeping me firmly in my place. Leaning in close to whisper in my ear, he gave me my orders for Friday night, including what to wear. When he tells me to say it out loud, that he is my Master and I am his slave, I always feel a flutter in my belly as I say the words. It feels amazing.

In the morning I was in the kitchen cooking up breakfast, dressed only his bathrobe. An hour before that, I’d woken to find him hard and ready for a different sort of work, which suited me fine as I was already wet just from being near him. This time I was on top, but he asserted his dominance by encircling my neck with his hands, gently and with a look of wonder in his eyes. He’s still fascinated by his new toy, and is finding different ways to make it do what he wants.

I wonder what the weekend will bring?

anxiety

“I’m sorry,” he whispered as I lay beside him in his bed. “Why?” I asked, wondering what I’d missed. “Because you’ll have to tell your readers about the first time we slept together and didn’t have sex.” Considering New Guy had recently been told his mother might be dying, I figured it was just fine that I wasn’t getting laid. I snuggled in closer and kept my hands to myself.

Earlier in the week he’d gotten word that his mother was in the hospital and things looked potentially grim, and I’d offered to watch his dog while he went to visit her for a few days. He called to ask if I could come by the next day to pick the dog up after he’d headed out, and I said screw that, I’m coming over NOW.

“It’s raining and it’s late. Just come by tomorrow. I want you to be safe out there on the roads,” he insisted.

“I can drive in the rain. It’s only ten o’clock. I’ll be there in half an hour,” and I was. We curled up on his sofa together, saying as little as possible. Occasionally he talked about his childhood and family memories. I listened. He held me so tightly I feared he might crush a rib.

Around midnight he got up, took my hands and stood me in front of him. “Are you going or staying?” he asked. I didn’t need to think about it. “Staying.” Up the stairs to his room, then under the covers and wrapped around each other. Sleep came quickly but was over all too soon. Before first light we were up and I was making breakfast while he finished packing.

After a milky-white, dreary damp sunrise, he was off to the hospital three hours away and I was heading back to my house with his dog in the back seat. That was a week ago. I didn’t feel comfortable writing about it until now, as his mother has somewhat recovered and he’s returned to claim his dog. And me.

The first few days away were mostly quiet while he sorted things out with his siblings and the doctors. As his mother’s condition improved, text messages between us went from worried to wistful, peppered with longing and innuendo. One of his Masterly edicts is that if I play with myself, I have to tell him about it, which I did. I described what I was thinking, and where and how I did it. He did the same, texting me one morning at the very moment I was getting myself off thinking about him. It’s nice to be tuned in to each other like that.

Soon after his mother was well enough to be moved out of intensive care, he made plans to return to work and school. I had assumed that his first thought would be to head home and sleep in his own bed, but no, he wanted to see me before anything else. While he had me pinned to my bed and covered in each other’s sweat not long after arriving at my house that evening, he told me “you know, most Masters wouldn’t allow their slave to have an orgasm without permission.” I smiled at him, saying “I do it for you. Besides, I can’t stop coming once you’re in me.” He withdrew a little and held himself back. “I should make you ask for it. You’ll have to say ‘Master, may I?’ before I let you come again.” I think I must have laughed then, as I’m so extremely orgasmic that being touched just-so can sometimes set me off, and he knows it. But I did ask, twice, before we gave up on that idea and went with catching up on more than a week’s worth of sexual tension and releasing all that pent-up stress.

It’s good to have him home again.

pause

Week three with my new man, and things have slowed down just a bit. But not too much.

The weekend was a jumble of family projects, obligations, work and other diversions. Most of our discussions revolved around family and relationships. Making dinner last night in his kitchen, I had to laugh as yet another conversation went by with both of us saying “so I was dating this person before I met you, and…” We tend to bring up past relationships and talk about what we learned from them, which seems to be a healthy thing to do.

The start of the weekend was rough for me, coming out of a stressful work project that wasn’t completed until early Sunday morning (under his watchful eye, I might add). I found myself holding back, feeling out of sorts and wondering if maybe this was indeed the right relationship for me to be in. He could tell I was tense, and asked me what I was thinking. “I’m wondering when I’m going to find our you’re a serial ax murderer or something,” I ventured. “Why is that?” he laughed. “Because it’s too good. I can’t help but wonder what’s going to go wrong. I’m not used to this.” The thought made me squirm. “Don’t think. Just be,” he counseled.

Each morning for three days, one of us would wake up just before dawn and ravage the other. Taking it in turns, I found that while I enjoy taking him, I much prefer it when he takes me instead. It doesn’t matter if I’m on top or bottom, when he’s in charge, he is In Charge and there is no doubt about it. I’m told what I can and cannot do, how I may move or not move, and I submit willingly. We share an abundance of trust between us, and I know he would never hurt me unless I specifically request it. Several times while he had my wrists pinned, he played with the bracelet he gave me last week, pleased to know I’d not had any cause or desire to remove it. No mention was made of the ring, but I’m fairly certain he noticed it was not on my finger anymore.

There was a level of softness between us that wasn’t there last week. Between the stress of my project and his own family-related stress (which I choose not to discuss here), we were a bit subdued, but no less randy. I think we were craving more comfort than anything else, and spent a lot of time simply holding each other, confirming that yes, we both plan to stick around and see things through. A few times one or the other of us attempted to start a conversation around sex play, but it never got off the ground. Real life intervened, and we both stepped up to the task of dealing with it. I’m okay with that.

Sometimes simply feeling your lover’s heartbeat against your own is enough. Sometimes it’s more than just enough; it’s everything.

wrist

Because he told me to.

The new man in my life and I have been developing our relationship at a speed most of my friends find a bit dizzying. No matter. It’s like he can read my mind sometimes, asking if I’d be willing to try something that he wants to do or see me do, as if he’d somehow crawled through my head and found the little secrets I’d stashed away in little boxes, tucked under the rubble of my day-to-day worries and concerns. He finds them, each and every one, and opens them up to see inside, then asks, “would you do this? Would you do it for me?” Yes yes yes. I would. I will. I open up to him as I never have for anyone else, and welcome the intrusion. He takes no more than I’m willing to give, and is grateful for all that I share with him.

We’re apart during the week, living in different cities in the same region. It’s a 45 minute drive (we often do it in much less, traffic permitting) from his house to mine, and we both have day jobs. Arriving at his house last Friday, I carried my things upstairs to his room, and he watched me from a few steps behind, his desire palpable. After dinner downtown, he pulled me into a shop on the main street to inspect mattresses and bed frames, looking for a frame that would allow the use of restraints. Two weeks. It’s only been two weeks and already we’re looking for beds. The weekend before we’d gone browsing for restraints, so maybe it’s not all that surprising after all.

Last week during one of our daily phone conversations, he told me had questions he wanted to ask, but only when he could see my face and how I’d react. Saturday morning as we dressed for a luncheon with friends he wanted to introduce me to, he said “I want to see you dominate another woman. Is that something you’d be interested in?” I blinked at him, slightly unsettled not by the question, but by the fact that it’s always been a huge desire of mine to do that. “Yes, absolutely,” I smiled. “Good,” he replied, showing me the 3 x 5 card he’d written the question down on a few days before. “Got anyone in mind?” he asked as I wrapped my arms around him. I laughed.

Dominance and submission seem to flow easily between us. He finds it attractive that I’m a strong, independent woman, and I find it attractive that he can call a room to order just by saying something in his assertive, deep, resonant voice. While it’s gradually developing into a Master/slave relationship, I find myself feeling more empowered than ever before. Being dominated by him, possessed by him, I can let go. I’d always had an iffy grasp of D/s thanks to previous partners who didn’t care about me as much as he does, so I didn’t think I was really all that willing to try it. Now I can’t stop wanting it. He opens every door for me, plays the gentleman in public–because he truly is a gentleman–then in private holds my wrists and makes me say it, that I want him to be my Master, and I feel a lurch of fear in giving myself away to someone, mixed with a rush like falling out of a perfectly good airplane.

Saturday afternoon we found a sturdy metal cuff bracelet for me to wear, something non-fussy, light enough not to weigh me down, but heavy and solid enough for me to know it’s there. He put it on my left wrist, giving it a little squeeze to assert his authority over me. Looking at the gold ring on my right hand, he said “I hate that ring. I can’t wait to get it off your hand.” It’s an antique that I bought for myself as soon as my divorce was final back in 1999, the same year of his own divorce. “Why?” I asked, surprised at his statement. It’s my favorite ring, the one I never take off. “Because it reminds me that someone made you so unhappy. That you’ve been alone. I want to replace it with something that shows the world you belong to me.”

He doesn’t know it yet, but I took it off this morning as I stepped into my shower. I don’t need it anymore.

musical interlude

Catching up with w*rk today, so just a drop of music for your entertainment. I’d always liked this piece, but even more so after seeing the video.