Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the US of A, and it’s a bit of a tradition here to take a moment and give thanks for what we have. Relevant to this blog’s content, I am quite grateful that I have a comfortable D/s dynamic with Beth.
In the early days it was a struggle and it was not a sure thing that we would continue D/s indefinitely. I could see Beth reaping the benefits of being submissive to me, but being dominant was often lots of work with little reward. I had to sit down and really ask “what’s in it for me” more than once to get through that period.
Now, of course, I wouldn’t go back for the world. Beth and I have settled into a comfortable rhythm in our dynamic. Sometimes something will come along to knock us off the path, but that’s no longer the life-shaking crisis that it once was. In fact, I’d almost say we’ve incorporated getting knocked out of our dynamic from time to time as an actual part of our dynamic.
Reflecting on this, I realize something. Please indulge me a moment as this thought will sound pretty far out in left field at first, but it is very related–it will just take a minute to tie it together.
See, Beth is a map person and I am a compass person. Beth can figure out how to get from anywhere to anywhere else by consulting a map and figuring out the route between them. This is great when the terrain is complicated or unforgiving, with obstacles and pitfalls along the way, but it can also be a liability if you get halfway along the route and discover that a road is closed for construction. She has to pull over and stop, and consult the map, and start all over figuring out a route to her destination.
I, on the other hand, am a compass person. I can get from anywhere to anywhere else by knowing what direction to head. This works great when the terrain is well understood and it really shines when there are changeable conditions along the route–something that would force a map person to stop and recalculate their route. This method suffers when the terrain is unforgiving or new, however. If I don’t know a city and its landmarks, I easily lose sight of them and now I’ve lost my bearings and have to drive around a while reorienting myself. Also, while I am always generally moving in the right direction, at any given moment I am probably going in a slightly wrong direction. If I take the underpass when I should have gotten on the freeway, I might spend five or ten minutes noodling around on surface streets needlessly, and eventually may find myself having to backtrack to that freeway entrance.
This is what I mean by “unforgiving terrain”: sometimes when you’re navigating you have to get it right the first time, you can’t generally just take a whack at it and hope for the best.
Normally our navigation styles complement each other nicely: Beth usually knows which turn we need to take at a specific intersection, and I usually know where we’re at and what direction we’re already heading. Together we know where we need to go and how we’re going to get there.
So… I said I’d tie this back in. When we started D/s. It’s better to use the map technique when you’re starting out. So we read up on D/s and especially Domestic Discipline. We read forums and studied bootcamp materials. We tried to learn the terrain as much as possible in advance.
This is why I had trouble early on in our D/s, now that I think about it. We were navigating by Beth’s preferred style, not mine. Fast forward a few years, and now when we get “knocked off the path”, we haven’t been jolted off of our mapped course and have to stop and take stock. I’m doing the navigating and having to detour around a health problem or a stressful situation means we deal with the problem but I keep an eye on my compass. I’ve stopped worrying about whether or not we’re doing our kink right or not; this frees me up to ask what it is we really want and how do we get it. We might get shifted off our planned route, but we’re never actually off course. We keep our bearings and make adjustments to our heading and we carry on.
The point of all this is that we’re a lot more comfortable in our dynamic because we sort of know where we fit in it now. And probably vice versa, come to think about it. And that’s what I’m thankful for, specifically, in the D/s arena of my life.