It seems like it should be so simple. I was recently talking to my wife, and said I wished there were some behavior we could agree on that didn’t annoy her, but which I could use to let her know I needed a spanking. “What about asking nicely for a spanking?” she asked, quite reasonably.
But it’s not that simple. How can I ask for something that I know pushes her comfort zones? Because the times I want to ask nonverbally for a spanking, it’s because I need to submit, I need someone else to take charge of my life, to tell me what to do, to order me to bend over, and then to spank me hard, to make me feel those mixed feelings of regret and relief.
Sometimes I miss those courageous days of our early relationship, when I had less to lose, so I was more willing to take risks. I told her about my interest in spanking very early on. It seemed worth it—if she wasn’t interested, if she found it too disturbing, or too kinky, well, we hadn’t known each other for long. Our lives weren’t twined together, and I hadn’t seen how very well we fit.
The longer we are together, the harder it is to change the terms of the relationship. While I may have assured her, early on, that I just liked spanking as play, or as foreplay, I have found something very different in my actual desires. But I know her now; I love her with all of my heart. I’m almost willing to live without the spankings I need, because I cannot bear the thought of losing her.
My subconscious doesn’t completely agree with me, though. I find myself getting resentful at how I expect her to respond, or at how she does respond to my testing of the waters. It’s like she has something I need, she isn’t using it, and she refuses to share. My intellect is bewildered—I know perfectly well that she isn’t psychic. She cannot read my mind, she cannot know the things I don’t say to her.
And I can understand her discomfort. It is one thing to do something she knows brings me pleasure. And she has moved far beyond those early, tentative spankings. She takes pleasure in my response, and she has even made some moves at pushing me, at making me almost wish the spanking were over. She tries, but something is missing.
And what is it that I want? It’s not that I don’t ever want our playful, sexy spankings. Spanking is very much a turn-on for me. It gets me wet, it makes me happy, it’s fun. But, oh, how I need to be made to submit.
In most of my life, I am the one in control. It’s a side effect of being the type-A, future-focused, intellect-driven side of this partnership. My wife is excellent at living in the present, at dealing with those pesky emotions, at knowing how to take time to nurture herself—and me. Most of the time, I have to struggle not to take charge so much that she doesn’t get her own needs met. There are times when I know I push to get my own way, solely because I don’t recognize that there are other ways to do things.
The problem is, it isn’t good for me to always be in charge. It makes me feel stressed out, overwhelmed, angry, resentful. And while I have learned how to compromise, how to be just a smidgen less tied to always being the one in charge, it’s hard work for me. And I still feel overwhelmed, angry, and resentful, because there isn’t a point in my life where I don’t have to be in control of myself, where I don’t have to gauge each of my behaviors and the reactions they will provoke. There isn’t a point in my life where I am absolutely forced to focus on the present, and stop thinking about all of the other things I worry about.
But it’s not just about not being in control. I have spent my life expecting perfection from myself. I try to never, ever make even the slightest slip or mistake. I find it hard to even watch a movie or read a book where a fictional person is making mistakes. That’s how much of a perfectionist I am. After I have made a mistake, or, heaven forbid, actually intentionally done something wrong, my brain automatically kicks in with some serious self-punishment. Depending on how serious the mistake is, I can beat myself up about it for years.
Part of what I want is someone else to take over that punishment. In my fantasy world, at least, I might be able to let go of some of the needless guilt for things like forgetting to pay the phone bill or not keeping the house clean. In my fantasy world, perhaps there could be a point when there are not constant voices in the back of my head berating me for my mistakes and reminding me to be on guard to never, ever make another mistake.
I also crave external structure. I have wanted someone else to keep me from procrastinating since I was an adolescent. I long for that structure, but have never been able to create it for myself, at least not believably. And the older I get, and the more I live with fibromyalgia, the less able I am to make up for it as I have made up for it all my life—pushing myself, not just to try to work before a deadline, but to meet the deadline when it is staring me in the face.
Back to that fantasy world: I want someone to give me a schedule. More than that, I want someone to force me to keep to that schedule. Not in an unreasonable way, but in a way that will hold me accountable without the consequences being dire. In the real world, if I don’t get my work done, I will lose the chance to finish my Ph.D. I can’t cope with those consequences, so at some levels, I pretend they aren’t there. I mean, I can beat myself up about the failure for the rest of my life, once I’ve failed. Heck, I’ve already started beating myself up about the procrastination, and the loss of goodwill I’m sure it’s already generated from my advisors. Why not add complete failure to the mix?
But then I pause and think about my wife as an actual person, and not as a character in a story I’m writing about my life. One of the things I love best about her is that she is so supportive and loving. And here I am asking her to do something that looks suspiciously like abuse, longing for her to give me no choice, wishing that she would spank me hard enough that I can’t sit comfortably for days.
This is a woman who loves me, who hates to see me in pain. For days and months at a time, she has to watch my face strained with the aches and pains of fibromyalgia. Pretty much my whole body hurts, sometimes so much that I can barely think. She would do almost anything if it could mean that I wasn’t hurting so much.
And what do I want? I want her to make me hurt even more, in one of the few parts of my body that isn’t in constant pain. From her side, I guess it doesn’t make a lot of sense. To her, pain is pain, and she doesn’t really feel the difference between “good pain” and “bad pain.” But even if it felt exactly the same (which it doesn’t) the pain of a spanking has a concrete beginning, middle, and end. It goes away.
I get angry with myself for wanting her to do this. Why can’t her amazing love and support be enough? And then I ask myself whether I am doing enough for her—am I stretching my own boundaries and comfort zones, and giving to her as much as she gives to me? Have I done enough for her to deserve to ask her to do this for me?
Maybe I’m selling her short. Perhaps if I took the chance, and explained what I need, and why, she would be willing. Part of me is scared that this is true: much as I long for someone else to take charge, it also scares the shit out of me. If she were taking charge, it would mean I wasn’t in total control, and it’s really hard to imagine what that would be like. I’m afraid I would resent it, struggle against it, resist it. And that would hardly be fair to her, would it?