“Before I learned the art, a punch was just a punch, and a kick, just a kick.
After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick, no longer a kick.
Now that I understand the art, a punch is just a punch and a kick is just a kick.”
— Bruce Lee
I was reminded of this quote today while talking with Beth. We’re thinking about trying some new things, switching up our protocols and the like, and part of it will require me stepping up a bit more as the Dom. In the past this has led to stress and frustration so Beth was hesitant at first.
The quote refers to how, before you learn about a thing, you take it for granted because it holds no value. Then you begin to learn about it, it suddenly becomes this wondrous thing with hidden mysteries and exciting rewards. (Starting to sound relevant yet? I see some of you nodding…) And then, when you reach a sufficient level of competency and mastery, it returns to being a thing you take for granted—but this time because you understand its worth.
The reason this quote resonates with me is that it makes a very apt metaphor for my relationship with dominance and frustration. Before I learned about D/s, dominance was just dominance. I could not be dominant because we were vanilla, and a result, I was often frustrated and my temper would flare up. I didn’t take it out on Beth but it would derail us from dealing with some issues in our relationship. Then we learned about D/s, and dominance became so much more than dominance. It became an outlet, a resource, a touchstone. It became an excuse for us to start a conversation on any topic, no matter how difficult.
And so it was that Beth and I were discussing some tweaks to our D/s that would require more maintenance and effort on my part. We’ve had several times when things have been difficult and Dominance wasn’t comfortable in my tool belt and I had to set it down in order to deal with the situation without losing my cool. Now, as we look at the things ahead, I find myself proposing some higher protocol changes with the realization that we understand the effort, but Dominance has become a well-worn and trusted tool that fits effortlessly in my hand, to be relied upon and employed in difficult times rather than set aside.
Dominance was just dominance. Then it became more than dominance. Now, it’s becoming just dominance once again.
P.S. Yes I’ll write about what those changes to our relationship are, but not yet. We haven’t decided to start, let alone have any experiences with the changes accumulated.