This is really meant to be a post about Being Lectured, and how it has led to another bend in this road of ours. But I warn you, once I start to think about things, they have a tendency to get complicated.
Like many others around here, I started my New Year with a well-earned spanking.
I thought I had done really well up until Christmas.
Dan pulled me over his lap Christmas Eve for a top-up spanking, which seems to work well for us, and reminded me of what he expected, mostly in terms of behaviour, but with one or two points regarding my safety and well-being thrown in - which is quite a new thing, and mostly involves going up high step-ladders, lifting heavy weights, and getting enough sleep.
We had had a large entertaining event the Sunday before Christmas, and I had worked extremely hard to ensure that there was a good selection of festive food, and that everyone's glasses were kept filled with either Mulled Cider or Mulled Apple Juice (I challenge anyone to tell the difference!) and that they had a good time. By Christmas Eve that top-up spanking was like manna from heaven! I floated around all day with a smug smile on my face and a wonderfully glowing bottom.
Christmas Day itself was quiet with just the four of us - Dan and I, and our son and his girl friend. We all ate far too much! We went for a long blustery walk around the water-logged meadows, arm in arm, and watched some silly, romantic movie in the evening, curled up on the sofa in front of a blazing log fire.
Boxing Day there were ten of us around the dining table. It was a delight to play with my nearly-six year old grandson, and listen to my grandbaby babble away as he tried to watch us. The wind was howling outside, and the rain pouring down, but we had a lovely family day.
In between then, and New Year, we were busy. There were people coming and going all the time. I was rushing around with three friends getting organised for our annual, joint New Year's Eve dinner celebration, and we fell straight asleep the minute we got to bed and rose early to yet another day galloping around.
I think that's where the rot set in.
Dan said that had the opportunity presented itself, he would have taken me to one side and sorted me out there and then. But there just wasn't an appropriate opportunity.
He said he could see his happy compliant wife disappear in front of his eyes, and witness bitch/troll claw her way out of the pit and go on the rampage, but felt powerless to do anything about it, except issue warnings, which I blatantly ignored.
During the day of New Year's Eve I knew I was behaving like the thing from the depths. I'd had a very bad night due to the whole barn rocking in the gales and driving rain, and I was feeling exhausted before I even began the day. I had a long list of things I needed to accomplish before the evening's festivities, and had only ticked off a couple when the phone rang and it was our daughter, who'd had a terrible argument with her ex, and who is still trying to control her seven years later, despite having his own family, and she wanted us to call round and maybe go out for a walk around the little town where she lives.
Of course, we immediately set off, and I decided to take my list with me and try to get my bits of shopping done whilst we were out.
Sadly, bitch/troll ensured that I remained a horrible person the whole time. I was my usual grandmotherly self with my adorable grandbaby, (my older one was with his father), and helpful, supportive and fiercely loving, (like a mother bear) towards my daughter. But poor Dan took a lot of flack, of the nagging wife variety. I just couldn't seem to ease out of it. I think I disagreed with just about everything he did or said that day - and for no real reason that I can think of. My feathers weren't just ruffled, they were completely bent back the wrong way.
By evening he was issuing me with muttered sotto voce warnings and assurances of how he would love to warm my tail. Ha! I just snarled at him and changed my outfit three times!
Yet despite all this we had a lovely evening. We provided the cheese board, and took celery and grapes, and a wonderful Sauternes. Believe me, if you've never tried "Stinking Bishop", you don't know what you are missing!
I sat at the opposite end of the table to Dan. (We were all positioned away from our spouses, and there were two male friends present, one of whom had lost his wife just three weeks previously, and one who, having lost his wife four years ago, had just lost his eldest son at the age of 33 - and all to cancer!)
Each time I refilled my glass Dan frowned, which made me nervous, so I did it rather more regularly than I knew I should. In the end I tried to avoid looking him in the eye. I don't think his eyebrow could go any higher than it did!
We all sat chatting after dinner in my friend's living room waiting for midnight to strike. We had the TV on and were watching the crowds along the Thames with the London Eye in the background. We were all on to liqueurs by that time, and conversation was animated.
At last Big Ben appeared on the screen and we hurriedly poured the champagne and got our party poppers ready to pull. New Year arrived with a welter of fireworks along the Thames and everyone sought out their partners to kiss and wish Happy New Year to, before kissing and hugging each other.
I stood and waited expectantly for Dan to make his way across the room towards me. But he didn't. He stopped off and kissed first one friend, and then another, and left me till last. I felt awful. I knew exactly why he was doing it.
At last he took me in his arms and wished me a Happy New Year, and then with his right hand he gave me an enormous, and loud, swat across my behind. Then he kissed me to muffle my exclamation, which would've been something unprintable and probably louder than the swat!
Our friends have known us for donkey's years and just assumed he was being amusing and possessive. Ha! They didn't hear what he whispered in my ear!
New Year's Day we ended up rushing in order to go to my SIL's for an early lunch. I had a headache from hell, and we were both very tired, and then I had to get Dan to the station to meet up with his soccer buddies to watch our local team.
It was late when he got home, and we were both zonked, plus we both felt bloated from all the eating, and frankly, we just wanted to get to bed and sleep.
But I woke up quite early. I just lay there and thought about things. I think I actually squirmed a couple of times. It's not pleasant waiting for an event. Especially when you know you've earned your come-uppance. You go over and over things in your head a hundred times. My main question to myself was why had I acted the way I had? This didn't feel like groundhog day, but something else. It was like having an itch that I couldn't scratch that just got worse and worse. Like being in such need that I was almost shaking from withdrawal symptoms. Like being addicted and not able to feed the addiction.
I can tell you that Dan didn't beat about the bush. He sent me downstairs to get our morning drinks. Sent not asked. As soon as I had finished my coffee he requested the leather paddle and the wooden salad server. I should have been glad the bathbrush had slipped his mind, I suppose.
He started out with his hand, which surprised me, as I honestly thought he would start right in zinging away with the paddle the way he usually does when I am being a pig and extra irritating. But he didn't. Instead he chose to "talk" to me.
I am always interested when people blog about being "lectured". It's not a word I am fond of, but I do understand. Dan doesn't lecture - he converses. He points out every little detail of my behaviour and expresses his disappointment and how it has hurt his feelings, and he does like me to answer him, which can, of course, become a bit difficult when you are chewing the duvet. This time he spanked and conversed until I was gritting my teeth, and he suddenly shook his hand and said it hurt too much to continue.
Now, normally one would assume that would be the end of the performance. Wrong. The salad server made its appearance. Bugger that thing! It really hurts! Especially when Dan does his skin stretching thing, and hammers away on the same spot for six or seven spanks.
I was getting watery-eyed and just beginning to cry and let go - and then I was suddenly paying attention to what he was talking about. (Sorry Dan. Everyone else: This is one of my main faults - I just drift off into my own headspace and don't listen.)
The words taking, you aren't, seriously and me suddenly rearranged themselves in my head, followed by You're awfully red, I think you've had enough, haven't you? Shall I stop?
Dan stopped spanking and I held my breath for a moment, and then launched myself up off his lap.
"What do you mean I'm not taking this seriously?!!! All you do, half the time, is mess around and be funny!"
The air was electric and now I had Dan's complete attention.
"Mess around?! No, I don't. How?"
"Yes you do. You play the tom-toms. Then you play Guess the nursery rhyme. Then you brush me with the bathbrush." I stood by the foot of the bed, glaring at him, tears streaming down my cheeks.
"And to accuse me of not taking it seriously!" I drew myself up to my full and naked height. "We've been doing this for over a year now. I thought you understood it. I thought you agreed with me that we have come a long way and that we are closer than we have ever been. I thought you had gotten used to spanking me and it no longer bothered you. Yet apart from three or four times, you have never just spanked me until you have decided to stop! You always ask me! Or you stop before I've had a chance to off-load all this stress! Surely you know by now that I trust you to give me what you think is enough, both in terms of length and severity, but you always stop!"
Maybe this sounds a bit controlling but I was shaking with anger. My heart was hurting more than my bottom.
I won't go into it all, because it would take hours, and I can't remember everything. Dan said I had totally misheard what he had said, and that he didn't know where I had got the words from - I must've been dreaming them.
But I held my ground and continued to stand at the bottom of the bed, and we had a very long discussion. It wasn't heated (I was very chilly by the time we'd finished it) and I was able to discuss my feelings without turning into a rabid dog, and he was able to discuss how he felt without being controlling or condescending.
A bit reluctantly I have to admit that Dan was 99% right in everything he said. It seems to be the way of the man.
- Somehow I had misheard the taking it seriously words and twisted them then accused him.
- He had felt very angry with my behaviour, but felt unable, due to lack of privacy and feeling very tired himself, to act spontaneously.
- He can now see a pattern in my moods when I need a spanking, and acknowledges the change in me a spanking brings about.
- He is in full agreement about how very much closer we have become over the past year.
- He feels very protective towards me, much more so than he has ever told me.
- He enjoys spanking me for fun.
- He is still getting his head around this dynamic - even after a year - and still admits to it initially being a hell of a shock to him.
- He positively and completely hates it when I cry.
It's the last one that we discussed the most. It's the stumbling block.
We talked for ages. He told me that when I went over his lap I had seemed fine - he talked and I not only listened but despite the occasional "Ow!" and "Ouch!", I had talked with him. We had even joked a bit, and he thought everything was okay. But he said that when he stopped and asked me if I had had enough, my demeanour seemed to change. Then the misunderstanding about not acting seriously, and then suddenly I had shot up and stood at the end of the bed.
So I did my best to explain that he often stopped too soon, and that I felt because he nearly always asked me if I was okay, and if I had had enough, it felt like I was the one in control, and that if it was a serious spanking, and not a fun spanking, it left me unsatisfied and grumpy. All I did then was to stuff my feelings back down, hope for the best, and carry on until the next session. Why, I wondered, didn't he just carry on, let me scream and wail, if necessary, and get it all out of my system!!!
My poor, dear, gentle and loving husband looked at me and said "I'd defend you against all odds if I had to. I can cope with your stress-induced tantrums and haul you back, forcibly, into line and I can cope with you having a bit of a cry. But when you start to sob as if you heart is breaking, I feel as if someone is reaching inside me and twisting my gut. I just can't hurt you like that, Ami, it's just something I am not able to do."
By this time I was sobbing quietly, and his eyes were full of tears.
"But you see, I trust you. I trust you to take care of me and to spank me as you see fit. You don't need to ask. You can just make the decision."
"I know all that. But you seem to be needing it more and more. And harder and harder. Do you realise I spanked you over a hundred times just with my hand? It's hurting me, so your bottom must be hurting you!"
I had never realised he ever counted.
"That's the main reason why I ask you if you've had enough. I can feel the heat coming off your bottom enough to fry eggs. I just can't do this every day, or every other day. It's just too much. Please don't ask that of me."
"I wouldn't. But sometimes I need it more than others. We were doing so well before Christmas. The stress of everything, including you not yet having your biopsy results, just got to me and made me spiral."
"Then you should've explained. You accuse me of not talking to you, but half the time you don't explain things to me."
"You don't have to give me long sessions you know. Five minutes would be fine."
"Ami, five minutes, at a spank a second would be 300 spanks. That's just crazy."
"Well, a minute and a half then. Or even just 20 or 30 good ones."
I broke into a grin. I began to see the funny side and Dan chuckled. "Your bottom feels so much softer and smoother than it used to, but I think it is turning into rhino hide! I don't think you feel it half of the time. Not any more."
"I do feel it!" How to explain? "But mostly I seem to enjoy it. And even if I don't enjoy it at the time, like the pain when you really lay them on, I enjoy it afterwards."
I frowned. "I think I must be getting addicted. I just can't go back. I feel such a closeness. Just look at us. At how we have changed, especially towards each other. I don't even bruise any more," I added shyly.
"So what do we do?" I asked him. "If I tell you to stop, it doesn't necessarily mean I want you to stop. Even if I was shrieking stop, I might only be thinking it and not really wanting it."
"But I can't always work out when you've had enough. I can't always read the signs. You say that you relax and let go, but how can I be sure of knowing that? I need you to tell me things. I need you to tell me if I am stopping too soon. I need you to tell me if I have gone on too long."
"Now,"he pointed to his lap, "Come back here."
So I went and crawled back over his lap. He rubbed my bottom, and then he started over, this time with the leather paddle.
I relaxed into it straight away, and as he spanked the tears came. I told him how sorry I was for everything, and dissolved into sobs. I felt him slow, and the spanks grew lighter, but this time he didn't stop. He was waiting for me. I didn't have the heart to let him keep going. "Stop" I told him. And he did at once.
I crawled up and buried my head under his chin and let myself cry for a bit.
"You know. We could have had this discussion a bit earlier and avoided all the dramatics," he told me.
"I thought we had had this discussion lots of times. I always ask you to talk to me when you are spanking."
"I know. But I find it very difficult, especially to concentrate." He was thinking, then he said "You asked me to do this, you know. It wasn't as if I was looking for faults in my wife."
There was lots more discussion. We didn't make love. It was so late we had to get up. But I was back in my happy place once more.
We had a wonderful day, and even snuggled up together on the sofa yet again, much to our son's apparent embarrassment. As Dan says, whilst our daughter is modern-minded, our son still believes in immaculate conception.
Myself? I am glad this happened. Perhaps it's not quite like I would've wished it to be, but maybe we can work on it. After all, it has to be for him, not just for me. I need to concentrate more on we instead of I.
I know it all sounds convoluted and mixed up. But it's sometimes very hard to open yourself up to your real feelings. And still harder to share.
I hope that when the next spanking comes along we will be able to continue with our conversation. This is not some elaborate game, we are not playing at scenes, this is our real life, and another bend has been negotiated and another layer of the onion peeled way.
Sometimes when you open up to each other, you discover that you both need to make adjustments, that you can't just expect complete compliance. You need to be flexible, to be prepared to make small changes to the prototype.
Yet then you discover you are more malleable than you had realised, and you become like the pieces of a jigsaw, fitting together where you had not at first thought possible.
All this does not, of course, mean that all the lumps and bumps are ironed out and the road is straight, smooth and uninterrupted right to the horizon. I dare say I shall continue have lesser moments and Dan will continue to address them.
So, tell me, what types of conversations do you have whilst negotiating a spanking? Are they useful? Do you profit by them? Are they of the one-sided, "I expect you to do this and if you don't I shall paddle your ass even harder next time." variety? Or are they "This is how I see the situation, so what can we do to avoid its recurrence?" type of conversation? Or do you feel your husband, having the upper hand at the time, just drones on and on and you eventually lose all feeling not just in your butt but in your brain as well? Be honest. It's a difficult thing to admit to if him talking isn't doing anything for you. I just hope our conversations are going to be rather different in the future.