As I reflect on the last year, I can honestly say that as of late I have never put as much effort into anything as I have my D/s relationship. What I have learned is a good Dom can never rest upon his laurels, he has to be keen and observant at almost all times, paying attention to his sub's overall mindset and reactions.
I had some frustration with my sub late last week as she was making little mistakes here and there, forgetting things she normally wouldn't forget, acting a little sassier than usual. What frustrated me about it was that in my mind I have been more masterful than ever, mindful of her ever action and quick to admonish her when errors were made. And, in my mind, I was also quick to praise to her when she was a good pet.
One night last week...I believe it was Friday night...things in bed weren't going as I wanted them to, L was trying to back away from her responsibilities, so I snapped at her out of impatience. This resulted in her breaking down in tears and saying that she didn't feel like she could do anything right anymore. I held her through her tears..despite her resistance to be consoled...and told her that is not true, she does plenty of things right that I love and appreciate, but when she does things wrong, I cannot let them slide and need to deal with it accordingly.
She confessed to me yesterday that she sometimes loses her way as a submissive, encouraging me to read more blogs by subs because that is a common occurence. My reaction to that could have been, well, you damn well better find your way, but the truth is...that isn't her responsibility. It's MY responsibility as her Dom to help find her way, to guide her back into that submissive mindset.
I have a list of items L is expected to fulfill at the end of the night, and that was one of those areas she was faltering in. So I decided to simplify things a bit. Make it more systematic so there was no room for errors. I developed a checklist, clear and concise, of her responsibilities, and printed several copies and placed them in a Trapper Keeper on her side of the bed. All she had to do was follow the items on the list and check them off accordingly each night. The bottom of the list had space for both of us to sign, and once the list was completed, I would place a star on it. (Yes, my work as a college professor came into play here!)
Last night went quite well, and this morning after the list was checked off and I placed the star sticker on it, I could tell it meant a lot to her. A couple of hours ago I received the following email from her:
I am in a really good place right now. Not sure what you did, but it worked.
I was quite pleased to hear that. The ability of L to please me is directly correlated to her being in that good place---that place of submissiveness--where her main purpose is to please me. If she is outside of that good place, then we are going to have problems. And as I said before, I need to take it upon myself to solve that problem.
Perhaps it wasn't the checklist alone that did this, but rather, the fact that I did the checklist and took the time to peruse the aisles of the local store to find star stickers (not as easy as it sounds, believe it or not) and assembled it all on the bed for her. It demonstrated to her my commitment to our lifestyle, to our relationship, and to taking the time to think through problems when they occur, look at the big picture, and develop and implement strategies to correct those problems.
Is it a lot of work? Damn right it is. But when L kneels before me, collar attached, her submissiveness at the forefront of all that she is right then, that work is more than worth it.