Leading, Following, and Coming of Age

OK, time to get serious for a moment…

Looking around at blogs by a few other submissive guys, I can see a common theme – how to work through the paradox of a man leading a woman into a female led-relationship. Good to know we’re not the only ones who have struggled with that! (I’m talking in particular about some posts on All for Her, but I see this kind of thing around in other places too.)

It seems there’s nothing really wrong with it, to begin with. The man, who has had submissive urges for a while, plucks up the courage and lays it out for his partner to see – “this is who I really am, this is what I want for us”.

If he’s lucky, she begins to experiment with the power she’s been given, decides she likes the control and the domestic peace it affords, and the whole thing takes off from there.

The problem for me is that over the last few years I have put so much energy into creating the right environment for this kind of D/s relationship that I almost don’t know how to stop. I have had a lot of practice in leading, and not so much at the following.

Partly, I’ve been scared that without constant input from me the whole thing will fall by the wayside. (We’ve had false starts before.) I used to feel like when she did something bossy and wonderful, I needed to say, “yeah, be like that more,” which was patronizing and annoying because she knows perfectly well how to be. I haven’t done this for a while, I’m pleased to say. Instead I just say “I love it when you talk to me that way.”

But more importantly, it’s that I still have difficulty in accepting that Michelle isn’t just doing it to humor me because she loves me and wants our marriage to work. Even when she blows my mind into tiny fragments, there’s still sometimes a nagging doubt that she’s being led, willingly, into pleasing me by dominating me, and that eventually she’ll grow tired of the game because it isn’t really her.

The doubt is the thing that prevents my total immersion in submission. Still a part of me remains, a part that wants to question, and to control.

Over the last few months there’s been a shift – she’s undertaken so many acts of dominance, many of which were not actually to my liking, that I am starting to relax into my role and forget about whether it’s me or her. I’ve been more chilled, she’s noticed, and been more dominant with me in an off-hand way, which I love. She asks, and I say yes. If I ask, she says yes or no, without a trace of guilt or reluctance. I’m happy about that.

Then again, there are still moments of doubt, of indecision, moments when I wish she’d be more dominant with me, and she senses that, feels pressured, and backs away to the safety of the old way.

So I guess in one sense this is a ‘coming of age post‘ for our relationship. I think we can see the wood and the trees now. We’ve made it out of the first stage of the paradox. She is often very comfortable in using her power to get what she wants and I am mostly comfortable that she is doing this willingly, and forcefully.

But I’d be lying if I said I was totally comfortable with it. And I’d be lying if I said I wish she wasn’t more dominant sometimes.

I think the doubt and the frustration will probably remain for quite a while, and slowly diminish with time and practice. I suspect that D/s relationships probably go through a whole series of arrivals, points at which both partners feel relaxed enough to stop worrying about whether something ‘means’ something, and just go with it. Hopefully this can keep happening throughout the relationship.

That’s probably why I see coming of age posts on other blogs, by guys who have been doing this for much longer than me. Even after years of deep submission, there’s still a sense of wonderment and relief at the increasing dominance of their partners. “Hey, she’s been even more dominant lately. Awesome! We’ve really made it!”

I guess this makes sense. You wouldn’t expect there to be a definitive ‘arrival’ in a vanilla relationship, reaching a place where all roles were fixed and all issues were resolved. So why expect it of a D/s relationship? If you think about it, it would be kind of inflexible and get pretty boring.

So anyway, if Michelle wants to be more dominant, bring it on. I think I’m ready. But if it doesn’t come, or takes a long time, well then, I’m ready for that too. I’m going to try not to lead any more.

And in terms of this blog: I’m going to try and avoid having too many posts that say things like: “We’ve made it! She made me bark like a dog at a dinner party! We’re officially D/s now!”

Because I can see that the old anxieties will still be there, and that a month later, we’ll have some argument or lapse, and that will make me want to eat my words and make me realise we still have a way to travel.

Then again, if Michelle does something spectacularly dominant, or ups the tempo in some way, I probably will let y’all know…

SM.