I mentioned a while back that I did something that I’m always cautioning other men around here not to do: take a full blown fantasy scenario and dump it on your unsuspecting partner, and then expect something good to happen with it.
The Reader’s Digest version is this: a year or two ago, Mrs. Edge was off for a few weeks visiting family, leaving me by my lonesome. We had been moving away from the chastity device into permission-based orgasm control (which, in my case, meant “not any”), and with it, had put some tentative tendrils into something resembling a female-led relationship, although it probably looked more like a mistress/servant type of thing. Over the course of doing my yard work, shopping, cleaning, and spending my time alone, I began to form some fantasy scenarios to keep me occupied, and without the opportunity to discuss them with her, they sort of… took off in a direction I hadn’t given much thought to.
When she finally got back and we’d had some time to settle in, she asked what was making me so antsy. I explained that I had this idea that we could have a weekly “performance review” evening, at which we could have a nice dinner — cooked by me, of course — after which we could settle
in the drawing room on the family room sofa with a glass of wine (opened and poured by me), where she could go over how well I looked after her the previous week and note my shortcomings, after which I would be given some strokes with a riding crop or cane; some for punishment, and some strictly for maintenance. After which, I’d vow to do better, and we’d have some fun the next week.
Okay, seriously: I’m actually embarrassed to admit that this happened.
I mean, this totally came out of nowhere, so she wasn’t expecting anything like this at all.
And yes, it came out of nowhere for me, too. One day I was just mowing the lawn, and the next day I had some kind of tingle just thinking about it. But the instructive point here was that I had the better part of a month to let it percolate in my head; Mrs. Edge had never heard me ask for a spanking, let alone a punishment, performance review, or anything else. Again, I had been thinking about them, and building things up in my head, so what she heard was an almost-finished project that had no input from her.
This is often the case with guys who harbor domination fantasies for years, except that it often goes badly for them when their wife — who may have been much less disposed to anything not vanilla — just flat out rejects their ideas entirely.
In my case, Mrs. Edge was willing to listen; in part because we’d already spent some time in the past discussing how to best approach some of these ideas, and in part because I presented them as a fun, no-pressure version of a kinky date night. Her reaction wasn’t negative, but it was certainly guarded. We talked about how things would work, she asked a few questions, and a couple of weeks later we stopped by a local “adult emporium” and picked up an inexpensive riding crop. Why a crop over a paddle? She thought that a paddle seemed too much like Catholic School, and that a crop was more elegant, even if a bit stereotypically dominatrixy.
So, what happened? When we got home, she gave me a couple of whacks with the crop before bed, and then we put it in the drawer.
Where it stayed untouched.
The “performance review” nights turned into date nights, for which we made a rule for ourselves not to talk about our kids or our parents (readers of a certain age will understand what I mean here). It was nice to go out once a week, have a burger and a glass of wine and relax, but as the weeks, and then months passed, I found myself becoming frustrated. In the past, I’ve had to learn how to be conscious of not being too pushy for something that I wanted, but I’ve also learned that Mrs. Edge will often just not bring it up, hoping that I’ll forget about it. I brought the topic up again, and she seemed interested, and professed that she wanted to try it… but that didn’t go anywhere, either.
Does this sound familiar to anybody?
From the various blogs that I’ve seen come and go over the years, this is a pretty typical scene. I’m bringing this up because, despite the fact that Mrs. Edge and I actually have a pretty good relationship, we are still prone to the same kinds of frustrations and disagreements over expectations; especially expectations that are not communicated clearly or with the opportunity for input from both sides.
I won’t bore you with the mis-communications that we had over this during the next several months. Once in a while, I’d ask “Remember that thing I asked you about last summer? Are you still interested?” She would usually respond positively, and then… that would be it until the next time I asked.
In situations like this, it’s easy to blame the guy for being pushy, but that misses the bigger picture. Since it’s within a relationship, that means that there are two people who aren’t working together. Yes, the guy can be pushy or topping from the bottom, but if he isn’t getting good feedback from his partner, then he’s not going to know enough to change his approach. Fortunately, neither Mrs. Edge nor I are stupid. I took some time to step back and really think about what I had asked of her: in my mind, I was asking for a scene. But in her mind, I already had something scripted that she wasn’t on board with. So, I stripped it down to the basics, that is, what I was really hoping to gain from it, and asked her again.
“What if I were to ask you not for anything complicated, but something simple: For two months, once a week, at a time of your choosing, I’d like you to hit me with the crop, say, a dozen to a dozen and a half strokes. This isn’t a sexual thing, it doesn’t have to be a particular day. Tuesday after dinner. Thursday before bed. Saturday morning. Any time you feel up to it.”
I then added, “There’s no leather involved, no role playing, you wouldn’t need to get dressed up — not that I’d mind — you could even stay in your pajamas. We don’t have to turn it into a scene. Just five minutes, and we’re done.”
Now that she didn’t see a script involved, she was more intrigued. “Isn’t that going to hurt? What’s in it for you?”
“Yes, I expect it to hurt — that’s kind of the idea. I’d like to experience what it’s like to be punished, or more correctly, to have some control removed. Like an indentured servant or something. I’d have no say in when you would do it, or any say in how many strokes.”
And I could see the wheels turning; it was no longer my idea, she would have plenty of say in how things went together.
“Are you sure you’d want a dozen whacks? You’re going to be begging me to stop.”
“Well, I know that I could take six or eight. Once we get past ten, I’d probably be out of my comfort zone. Since the idea is for me to be pushed past that zone, to do something I really don’t want to be doing, a dozen or more seemed like a good number. I gave you a top end in case you started feeling uncomfortable about it.”
“And is that why you said ‘two months’?”
She was giving this some actual thought now, which is good.
“That’s right. I figured I could handle a few times, but eight or nine weeks in a row is, again, pushing beyond my comfort zone. Plus, if you’re really not enjoying it, there’s an end in sight.”
“And this doesn’t have to be a date night thing? You won’t care if I give you a few whacks in the morning before work?”
I mentally winced at the idea of sitting on my office chair with a welted ass. “Yes, I might care, but that’s not the point. What I’m asking you for is for you to do this whether I want it or not.”
Mrs. Edge thought about this for a few minutes, and decided that it was something that she could live with. We had taken any odd or constricting factors out, and left the important sections up to her.
“What if you get mad at me for spanking you?”
“Oh, I’ll probably be upset in the moment, but what I’m expecting is that when I think about it later, It will make me all aroused and hot for you.”
She laughed at that. “It doesn’t take much to get you all aroused, but I do like it when you’re aroused for me.”
Suddenly she smiled at some inner thought.
“What’s that about?” I asked.
“Well, what if we get to eight weeks, and I decide that I want to continue?” she asked, slyly.
For those of you who don’t recognize what’s going on, this is what negotiation looks like in a relationship. It doesn’t necessarily mean compromise, but it does mean that everyone gets a say in how it’s going to work. It doesn’t mean that you will get everything that you want, but it certainly improves your chances for getting something that you want — which you weren’t getting without negotiation, anyway.
Although sometimes we have different ideas of what “negotiating” means…