Sir Raven has a very black and white management style. She is either micromanaging the shit out of things, or having a ton of expectations that must be met cheerfully and obediently. If she feels in control, she sits back and relaxes and receives.
If she feels out of control, she micromanages the shit out of everything, doesn’t relax, and seems to feel put upon.
This doesn’t square up so well when i have tried to do exactly what she said to do. Over the years, i have learned to go with her behaviors over her words. She measures words carefully but often doesn’t manage to convey what it is that she really means. i know, i know-this never happens in BDSM novels.
A few months back, i pointed out to her that my solicitations are my way of trying to have a conversation with her. Can i get you more wine? Remove your boots? Give you a pedicure?
These things are an effort to tell her directly that i am here to serve her, and that i am wanting to provide intimate service. Cleaning her boots is intimate. Pedicures are intimate. Putting lotion on her back is intimate.
She told me that she wanted to ask more for what she wants, and i pointed out right then and there that if i don’t start the conversation, she will tune me out all together and often just go get her own wine or snack. She said she wanted to try it. Okay, so i tried-for months-even reminding her when i mutely stood still, waiting for her to ask. Finally directly reminding her by saying that i was waiting for her to ask for wine. About every fourth time she gets her own, or says its now too late for her to have what she never asked for, i pointed it out.
So, i’ve gone back to asking. Because when i do, she gets what she wants, she sits back and relaxes. When i wait, she seems annoyed that she is without what she is used to having already.
When she berated me a few weeks back for being in pain and still getting her water and wine before i took my jacket and bag off, i told her that sometimes i have to do things in a way that actually works for me. And at that place of pain, i just want to have everything done, so i can sit and drink my own water and take meds. She says that she would get the water and wine, get me a drink as well, and i refrain from pointing out that although she has said that before her energy was really angry and pissy when she did it. i don’t need that around me when i’m suffering. i don’t need to feel like that, and its easier for me to provide than to hear, “Well, i guess i’m getting my own wine.”
i’ll try things that she says she wants over and over again. But when the feedback i get is consistently negative-and it is-i go back to doing things in a way that works for her. i get that in her head she wants to ask more and have me passively sit here and wait. Her behaviors, tone, and energy suggests otherwise.
Sir Raven doesn’t have to control her face-i can’t see it. She doesn’t have to control her tone-she doesn’t have to. But i will always maintain that she is responsible for the energy she brings. Especially because what i get is often her exhaustion after making it through the day, and i lovingly accept that. i spend my whole day telling her i love her through actions, which she acknowledges is love for her.
i ask about her day and do my best to listen and not interject too much. Last night, i ask her what else i can do to support her, and she said i’m already doing it, but me listening helps. i ask if she feels listened to and she says, “sometimes.” So, i have to be even more passive.
In a workshop on communication, the teacher makes the remark that some people communicate by taking the conversation into places they didn’t intend, by introducing statistics. Immediately incensed, i felt frustrated because i think in statistics, in theories, in word pictures, and facts. i’m always getting the message that the way i think is wrong, and i’m always trying to communicate in ways that don’t reflect how i think. i wanted to say to the teacher that when you want to dictate how the other person responds to what you are saying, that is a monologue-not a conversation.
i think, to be quite frank, that this is exactly what Masters want. To speak, and have me nod and agree, and just be there passively. And that is fine. But it isn’t a conversation. It isn’t communication, either.
i know exactly where i was the first time Sir Raven had chuckled at me and said, with affection, “I love your brilliant mind.” i immediately thought oh fuck, we have a problem. i pointed out to her then that when someone says that to me, it inevitably becomes something that they resent. She says she doesn’t understand that. i calmly proposed that she would, in due time.
That is what i was thinking of last night, when i asked to sit next to her. She was on the playpen for the a/c and she patted the seat next to her. No, thank you, i say. i know that you would not really want me curled up on you. Can i sit on the floor by you like always? She agrees, and i drag my floor pillow between her feet, and put my hand on her foot. She won’t let me remove her shoes, give her a pedicure, put lotion on her body, do anything intimate. i used to pull out the basin and supplies, in offering. She told me six or seven months ago to not do that again, that it felt too pushy to her, like it was a demand to serve her. So, i wait for her to ask-show any interest in connecting together in any way other than thought or humor or her relaxation. i want to know how to help her get out of her head and into her body, but she always says she is already in her body. i think she is so used to living in her head that she doesn’t know the difference anymore. But i hush and only ask questions that relate to how to do better for her. The answer is always about being even more passive than i already am, even though her words suggest that she hates parts of my passive personality.
Communication, conversation-these things seem like they are pretty black and white concepts, that everyone would have a similar notion of what it means to communicate or have a conversation.
i try and have the kind of conversation she wants to have, where i passively listen, hold space, touch her in ways she likes, sit at her feet, and agree with her verbally-even if i privately disagree with some things she does at work. i try and convey support. i keep my energy small and still. i wait on her hand and foot. At least some of this must be working, because she says she always feels better when she comes home to me. That is all that really matters.