Today, there is a guest blogger. You know of him, but it has always been from Ella's point of view. Now you get to hear from him first hand. So I am introducing Sam and then bowing out for this post.
I was nine or ten at the time. It was a sunny summer day with the smell of new mown grass in the neighborhood. My father loomed
over me. We were having one of those father/son talks that happened on occasion. This was the result of having gone after my older sister (eleven years older) with a belt after my temper had gotten out of control.
My father looked at me with his disappointed look which was always the worst thing that could happen to you. I was expecting to get off with just the usual punishment. Instead he sat down next to me and tilted his straw hat back on his head. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “The worst thing you can do in this world is to hit a woman. I don’t care if it is your sister or your mother or your wife… that is absolutely the worst thing a man can do.”
That has always stuck with me. For one thing, it was the first time he had talked about “man” things with me, as a man. That was very significant and formed the basis of the man I would become. It always stuck with me. Secondly, it was the first time he had given me a glimmer of what being a man was all about - respect for others being a paramount quality of a “real man.”
Given that background, you can perhaps understand that when Ella first came to me with her secret there was quite a bit of internal resistance on my part, nurture overcoming nature. My initial problems were definitely not the result of how she felt about her situation, that it was somehow perverse or freaky, but rather that strong resistance to hitting a woman that had been embedded in me by my father and subsequent upbringing. I did not react to her desires as perverse – that really didn’t enter the equation. Anything that she felt she needed and that pleased her was reason enough. As her long term partner, I felt that I had to step up to the plate as part of my commitment to her.
Our first step was incorporating spanking into our sex play. This was somehow humorous for both of us and made it for me acceptable. I found that it certainly made sex more enjoyable, fulfilling and somehow deeper than it had ever been. This initial phase lasted a month or two I suppose.
In the process, Ella began to read to me about broadening our “application” to areas outside of merely sex play. She read blog articles about the experience of others with ttwd, book excerpts, and magazine articles. Getting into it, it seemed that it was a much more common experience than either of us had thought.
One or two of the articles I read mentioned the concept of “lizard brain” – that inexplicable, Jungian, and tribal remembrance/instinct we have deep down inside of our being that comes to us on occasion. This immediately struck a chord with me. I do read a lot
of military history and know quite a few veterans of the military. I had come across the concept in the context of that sense of danger that sometimes arises in combat. That feeling that you don’t want to go there or do that because of a sense of danger that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up in alarm. It always defied logical explanation, but proved to be a life-saver. Also buried in the old attic of the lizard brain was a lot of stuff about masculine instinct, feminine instinct and just how relationships between “tribe members” should be. This included, to my surprise, a lot of stuff about the interface between men and women – husbands and wives. I guess the best way I can explain it is to say it's the stuff you know, but don’t know why you know it; it's the stuff that just comes to you. TTWD was one of those things long buried in the lizard’s attic.
At that stage of things, the playful stage if you will, reaching deep inside during the process, I could feel that old lizard slowly wagging his tail.
I undertook the “playful stage” as an enhancement to sex – lighthearted and without a lot of second thoughts. Things got incredibly better and that was good enough.
The “playful stage” evolved into the discussion of changes Ella wanted to make in her behavior or habits. This led to the establishment of rules that she was to comply with. Lack of compliance resulted in enumerated consequences. This put the discipline aspect on a different level. It was a good second step for me as the rules and consequences were objective and delineated. It was justified in my head as a way of helping her make changes that she wanted to make in her life. I was helping her in a concrete way. Eventually, her behavior modified to the point where discipline was not as often as it once was.
It was at that point that we went to another level – just the need to be spanked for whatever reason. Let me clarify that a bit. I came to sense that she needed to be spanked for reasons that I did not and possibly never would understand. I wrestled with that a bit, but after a time just went with the flow. I have always tried to be logical and deliberate in my actions, but this was a whole different ball of wax. I guess for lack of a better word I would call it "therapy" for her. There are therapies out there that work for people with needs that have no reasonable explanation – they just work. I came to view this as one of those instances. It has never been easy for me, but over time it forged a much closer relationship with her, in her moods, feelings and needs. It forced me to be much more sensitive and “hearing” of her inner thoughts. It dramatically improved our relationship and her overall attitudes.
Gradually, the elements of HOH entered into the equation. She read more to me and we discussed her needs and my reluctance. We read more together and the concepts became clearer, at least on an intellectual level. The actual practice was more difficult. HOH demands a lot of attention, concentration, consistency and just plain time and effort. That was just on my side of things. It also involves considerable sensitivity to what her state of mind is at any given moment.
It was kind of an unwritten rule that asking to be spanked was not what we were looking for. For one thing, it didn’t do anything on my side for understanding where her heart and mind were and on her side defeated the whole underlying purposes of submission and HOH. It is a long process to become that tuned in to another person and I am still lacking on that front on occasions. As you go along, it becomes easier. The further you go, the more you begin to trust that old lizard brain that lies in wait for the right opportunities. Discovering this lurking presence was the most illuminating part of the process for me. The longer we went, the more right it felt for me and the better at it I became (I hope).