Checking In

Beth and I were in the car today, and for us that’s as good a time as any for checking in and seeing how our dynamic is working. Our dynamic continues to defy description, but I feel like I’m getting close with the phrase “very low protocol, but the D/s runs clear down to our bones.” (That definitely sounds better than “24/7 TPE, but not so’s you’d notice.”)

So we checked in. I’m kind of glad I wrote about bringing things up yesterday because for once, I was the one with the concern I wanted to bring up. Beth accepts my Dominance and embraces her submission eagerly, but of late she hasn’t been getting much done. I mentioned this in passing about a week ago and suggested that I might step up our protocol a bit and her response was one of open eagerness to be pushed to do more.

The tricky balance here for me is that I want to be dominant and assert myself and that means I need to not stop and ask for her permission. On the other hand, much of her lack of activity stems from medical problems and it doesn’t help either of us for me to try to push her when her fatigue is pinning her to the ground. It also did not help that I mentioned stepping things up a week ago, and then proceeded to do nothing except lie in bed sick all week. Oh, and did I mention that Beth is now coming down with my cold? I’m starting to feel better and getting ready to push, and she’s getting ready for an extra-long lie-down.

Here’s how I tried to balance through this. It seems mostly to have gone okay, though some most of that is likely due to Beth being so understanding. I told her I had decided it was time for her to step things up, but that I needed to know where her limits were so that I was helping her grow and not burning her out.

Beth reiterated her earlier eager response, though this time she did acknowledge that she might not be as enthusiastic about actually having to do more chores. Like me, she wanted to “have gotten things done”, but was less excited about “having to get things done”. We talked about her illness as a special case for moving things forward slowly rather than trying to jump in with both feet. Back in the old days we called that “rebooting our DD”, and it’s been a good tactic when we needed to make a fresh start, but this time around we’re going to try the “add just one thing” approach.

I think the checkin went particularly well because Beth felt comfortable bringing up something that I “might not want to hear”. This is exactly the point of the checkin protocol! I might not like what I’m about to hear, but this is exactly when I want to hear it.

She had a complaint and a request, and they were fair and adorable, respectively. The complaint was fair: I’ve gotten more in the habit lately of just setting things down when I’m done with them instead of cleaning up or throwing trash away. The request was that I help her clean a few minutes each day. This would help with her morale, and also make me available to help identify where some of the weirder stuff in some of my more specialized messes go.

Having this checkin space to bring these things up makes them easier to hear because you’re already mentally prepared to talk about tricky issues. Even better, it frees up our non-checkin time to be casual about our protocol while still letting it run as deep as we like. Either way it makes me feel lucky to have such a wonderful submissive wife working with me towards our success.

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