Thursday, December 12, 2002

When Jennifer came to me one day asking if it would be all right if she wore a “collar” with my initials on it in an IRC Dom/sub channel, I was taken aback. Blindsided by a question that I, frankly, never thought I’d hear from my wife of twelve years, I was speechless. I think my response was literally, “We need to talk”. And I was right—we did need to talk, but just not then. I needed time to scrape my jaw from the floor, and collect my thoughts.

I didn’t know what this meant, or even how I was supposed to feel about it. This is something we had experimented with in the past; ending with us both feeling awkward and deciding that it wasn’t for us. Not only that, but Jennifer made it perfectly clear the things that typically occurred in D/s channels she considered aberrant. Or abhorrent, take your pick. Bottom line: She was in no way going to grace them with her presence, and neither was I. Resignedly, I agreed to respect her wishes.

Jump ahead several years later, and suddenly she’s asking me how I’d feel about her going to one. Alone. With a collar around her neck attributed to me. Alone. So she could learn more about submissive habits. Alone. Casually serving other Doms whose persuasion leaned predominantly toward the masculine. Did I mention she’d be doing these things alone? Needless to say, not only was I in shock, but a little resentful and more than a little concerned.

So many questions needed answering. What brought this on all of a sudden? (She’d been thinking about it for months.) Is there a problem with our relationship that you’re reaching out like this? (Not at all.) What do you expect to get from going to a D/s channel? (Just curious.) To what ends? (She didn’t know.) These and several dozen more questions assaulted me as I did my best to work out exactly how I felt about this whole thing. Jennifer explained that she wanted to investigate becoming formally submissive in our relationship, and I struggled to find the real source of my trepidation.

I can hear it now, “Trepidation? Are you nuts? Your wife comes to you, saying she wants to unerringly serve your desires and needs, and your knee-jerk reaction is trepidation? You need your temperature taken, pal!”

But it was true.

When I envision my perfect wife, I don’t see someone who takes a backlight to me, always following my lead. I want someone who will stand beside me equally as we face the vagaries of this world together. I want someone who can stimulate my mind as an intellectual equal—even my superior in many regards. I need someone who can stand up to me and tell me when I’m wrong, even if it means entering an argument. I want a full partner in life. For twelve years, Jennifer had been all that and more.

That is the real source of my alarm. The implications of what Jennifer was asking flew in the face of all that, and that had me scared. I was afraid the woman I loved would be lost in the allure of becoming a D/s fanatic. (I saw it happen before with a friend of mine.)

Not one to deny anything that would make my wife happy, I consented. We talked frankly about my concerns, but most importantly what I expected of her and what she needed from me.

Since then, we haven’t exactly swallowed the D/s lifestyle whole. We’ve taken small steps at a pace we’re both comfortable with. Jennifer continues her exploration into her submissive nature, and I’ve done everything I can to accommodate it.

To those ends, I have taken to setting her daily agenda when it comes to housecleaning. The purpose is two-fold, and it all revolves around expectations. She knows my expectations for that day, and I know what to expect when I come home from work. It provides her an arena in which to work, and it lifts from my shoulders the dilemma that I should either clean it myself or shut up about it. (I’m not big on domestic chores, either.)

In order to make this work, there’s a tremendous need for trust on both sides. To be the submissive she aims to be, Jennifer must trust in my intentions as her dominant other—that I would never take advantage of my position for untoward ends. Similarly, I have learned to trust in her judgment as she goes about making her personal discoveries as a submissive. Most importantly, we must trust in each other to speak up and let it be known if we’re unhappy or have changed our minds about anything.

That’s a lot to ask, but we’ve both been rewarded for it. The house has never looked better, and Jennifer is noticeably less anxious about herself and her own expectations about who she is.

Unexpectedly, things have also been remarkably different in the bedroom as well, though whether this is a direct or indirect consequence of our efforts, I can’t say for sure. Jennifer’s libido has taken a strident turn toward the active, and she has become far more open sexually than I’ve ever seen her before. She has been keenly interested in discussing ways in which we can broaden our love life, taking it into more adventurous territory in ways I’d only dare dream of hearing come from my wife’s lips. The thought occurs that perhaps it’s a show for my sake. If so, she seems convincingly genuine.

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To get Jennifer's thoughts, go to her blog.