Finding Your Someone

Over on her lovely blog, Ruby Red posted the other day about the problem of finding the right person.  You know, not just a playmate and / or spanking friend (though we love those too), but a life partner. 

She writes:

I’m so damned picky. Even then, I’ll meet someone in a moment of weakness and continue to meet with them until that moment of clarity that says, "He’s totally wrong for you, dummy!"

Whether it’s differences in politics, religion, familial ties… or if it’s completely spanko-centric, there are a lot of reasons why people might be incompatible. It’s not enough to share an interest in spanking. We all know how faceted the world o’ spanking is… There’s domestic discipline, roleplaying, erotic, bondage, BDSM, hardcore spanking, light spanking, good girl, daddy/daughter, M/F, F/F, F/M, M/M… there’s spanking for fun, spanking for punishment, spanking for the hell of it. There’s costume choices, implement purchases…decisions, decisions, decisions! It’s all about finding the partner that comes closest to what you’re actually interested in.

Ruby isn’t the only one to bring this up — we get email from a lot of women (and men!) looking for partners.  I know some of us have mentioned stuff in passing, but the question of how one gets into a relationship with discipline / punishment is maybe worth addressing in an entry of its own.

(Besides, I’m having trouble getting my comments to stick on blogger today.)

For me, if I imagine I was currently looking for a partner, values matter.  Ethics matter. Kink matters.   And politics matter.  (For me, politics matter a lot.)  And of course, (dare I say it?) love.

And the greatest of these is love.  For me, love is what makes us willing and able to see the beauty in another’s desires and needs.   Ones which might not start out as our own, but ones that become ours too. 

See, that’s what makes this issue of finding a partner so hard, especially when it comes to relationships with real life discipline.  Because I think that for a lot of spankers in the scene, if they were asked in the abstract "would you want to be in a relationship where you disciplined / punished a partner?" they’d say "no — that’s not me."  I know that would have been Pablo’s reply.  In fact, it was his reply when we talked about it as we got to know each other.  But when the question became one of "will you discipline / punish me because I want and need it?"  his answer / desire changed.  Or maybe he realized that doing this for me wasn’t about him being "head of household" or "dominant male" but taking care of someone he loves.

When I look over my friends in these relationships, that’s what I see.  By in large, the topping partner took on that role at the request or in response to the desires of the bottom.  Not necessarily because it was what they always wanted (though maybe they found that that was the case when they really looked deep enough) but because they loved them and discovered what an amazing connection this sort of relationship can create and reinforce.

I guess my point isn’t to tell Red and others that finding the right person is easy, or even that love can conquer all.  But that it can move an awful lot and make things more possible than they might seem, at least at first. 

14 thoughts on “Finding Your Someone

  1. Rob

    Mija, I really believe this. If you start with very strong feelings for someone, and an understanding that there will need to be flexibility on both sides, then the spanking needs should, generally speaking, be something that will find accommodation. In my case, the request was made by me after many years of marriage, and he didn’t hesitate to aim to fulfil my needs, and has a pretty good time with it all himself. Marrriage is a tango for life with lots of compromises. Four children later, he can refer to me at times as a vampire, “sucking his life blood” as the bills keep on a’coming, but I know he’s joking, that he dearly loves us all and wouldn’t change a thing, even if he could. When I’m challenging, he blithers on about sending me over to Abel for some “real conditioning” that he can’t do, because the love and the life we’ve shared over all these years just won’t allow that in our case, but nonetheless we have a lovely time taking it all as far as we can go without changing the substance of the ‘us’ that we have come to know. Our relationship is still evolving and we have still to reach a point where we know everything about each other. The newish spanking component has brought heaps of joy and an added dimension, but without a sense of enduring, forgiving and complete love, it wouldn’t have meant much to me at all.

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  2. Dyke Grrl

    I agree that love is the most important aspect in all of this. I am becoming better able to accept that W. really does offer discipline to me whole-heartedly, not because she is into discipline as a kink (for the most part, she’s not), but because it is something she can do to help me be a more whole and balanced person. There’s a great leap of faith involved in truly loving someone else, and discipline can certainly be a part of that. I’d hesitate to say “If it’s true love, your partner will do whatever you ask,” but I *will* say that a good partner is willing to listen and at least attempt to communicate. That goes both ways: not only must I be willing to let W. know what I need, but I need to be able to hear the things she needs, and to respect the boundaries she sets.
    As for finding the true perfect spanko partner? Start with someone you’d love regardless of kink. Then, before you’re too deep into the relationship, make sure they know that piece of you. I don’t think I could have told W. about discipline 3 years into our relationship if I hadn’t brought up spankings in general 3 *weeks* into our relationship.
    It’s always a negotiation, and I don’t know whether it’s different with us because W. wasn’t a spanko to start with (she wasn’t) or because we’re both women and have different role expectations in our relationship, or if we’re really pretty much the same as any other couple, muddling through to the best of our abilities.

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  3. Janet

    I’ve been reading the Treehouse (and similar websites) since its inception (I think I cried when I saw the “Just Married” sign on the treehouse), and it’s only recently with blogs such as this that I’m beginning to understand more of the reality of these kinds of relationships. I always thought that the Mija/Pablo was perfect, star-crossed, and had a wonderful synchronicity.
    Now I’m learning alot more that theres much to these relationships, and they far more complicated than I ever thought. I had simplified all the problems in a relationship (fighting, sex, etc) to that which could be solved by spanking and d/d. But of course that’s bullshit, and sometimes those problems are amplified by our preferences. After my first long term d/d relationship I know that for sure, but when our relationship fell apart, I couldn’t understand why. Why when everyone else seems to do it so well can’t I make it work? Why doesn’t he always want to discipline me, when it’s never a problem for any other tops I’ve read of?
    I remember once Mija you said you didn’t wnat to write about the difficulties of your relationship because it’s not interesting. I think it’s entirely interesting, useful, and reassuring to find out that it wasn’t/isn’t always fairytale.
    I’m not bitter…though I might sound it!

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  4. Pablo

    Janet,
    > I remember once Mija you said you didn’t wnat to write about
    > the difficulties of your relationship because it’s not interesting.
    > I think it’s entirely interesting, useful, and reassuring to find
    > out that it wasn’t/isn’t always fairytale.
    Me too. The more I’m around the kink, the more I think it’s the difficult stuff that’s the *most* interesting. In fiction, too. The most interesting stories to me now, both as a reader and a writer, are the ones that reflect on relationships in all their various shades of light and dark. And I don’t think it’s just more interesting to deal with darker stuff; I think as people who try to live the kink in one way or another, we have something of an *obligation* to be open and honest about what’s hard, for exactly the reasons you describe. Modesty tends to dissuade us from thinking that what we write has much bearing on a readership, but in many cases it really does.

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  5. nelle

    I was really interested in the original post, and I like where the comments have gone even more. Thanks again PBook for writing about such interesting topics!
    I also started out with a love relationship with a regular vanilla guy but I was clear from the very start that I needed a DS relationship. I was lucky to have found such a generous, flexible man. I was not very specific about what I wanted for the nature of our relationship and remain so to this day, what is most wonderful and surprising about my marraige ten years later is that it is dynamic and changing, he feels it is driven by my interest and intensity, I can’t imagine how that is possible as he is in complete control of my sexual and painful experiences. For us I think flexibility and openness are the keys.
    I would second (third?) the need and desire for more discussion about the rough patches of kinky relatinoships. That is so sorely missing from my life right now. I think the problem is with a group such as this (BDSMDDetc)that feels socially marginalized already is we worry that complaining at all will result further censure, in people saying, “If it upsets you then just stop doing it!”
    If we all agree not to do this to each other, and not to react too defensively when honest questions are raised, coule we start a discussion about what living a kinky lifestyle is really like, with all the bumps in the road included? If this is going on somewhere already and I have missed it, could you point the way?
    Thanks,
    Nelle

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  6. Rob

    Pablo: I think you’re right. If I am at all typical of a reader entering into the lifestyle, then writings such as those here are read carefully, looking for clues to aid the process. There isn’t exactly a manual on all this. So thank you for being aware of the needs of your readership. All ideas are carefully considered.
    Nelle: Such a good idea. One can feel such a klutz for quite some time trying to get it right. It’s interesting to me that benefits and problems can in fact be the same thing. Learning to follow instructions and do as I was told was a huge problem (still can be), but when I do, or when I’m being ‘encouraged’ to do so, I feel so darn good about it all in the end, that the pain was worth the pleasure, so to speak.
    Probably the biggest problem I have experienced is that I have become a bit of a junkie re all the lovely attention this lifestyle provides. So, when he is just too busy to play, I experience a ‘withdrawal’ that can really only be cured when he can spend time with me. Again, it is a problem, but as far as problems go, not too big a problem in the scheme of things.
    Let’s hope your suggestion prompts more discussion of the realities of a kinky lifestyle.

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  7. ToddnSuzy

    Finding the right partner certainly has been made easier by the internet. We know several couples… including ourselves… that met in spanking related forums. There are still a zillion hurdles to overcome… and the internet presents new challenges. So, it’s not easy by any stretch. But, having the ability to meet so many like minded people does make it a little easier to find love (with the right spanko partner).
    🙂
    T & S

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  8. Janet

    I’m so pleased that others have agreed with me on the wanting to hear more of the reality of BDSM/DD relationships.
    Re: “attention withdrawl”. Yes I completely agree! I have the same issue, and it was a big part of my main relationship falling apart.
    Something I’d really love to get into a discussion about is the reality of testing a top, which has been lightly touched on here. I once thought that the right top could handle any and all testing and I would not need to do it anymore. However that was a really selfish and stupid view, and I neglected to acknowledge the idea that even tops are human, and just as sometimes I’m not in the mood to be subordinent, they’re likely going to not always want to dominate. And being pushed to your limits all the time can tire a person out (especially when they have jobs or school, and life that doesn’t revolve around the bottom.)
    Pablo, yourself and Mija have definately given much of yourselves to the community and have really given me alot of hope and pleasure reading about your lives and, of course, your fiction. It seems “obligation” is a strong word, but I see what you mean by it and I, and I’m sure others in my position, truly appreciate your wonderful attitude about sharing.
    -Janet

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  9. Mija

    This is a cool thread to read.
    Talking about the bumps is a great idea — can’t speak for the other PB authors, but I’d like to try and do it.
    Part of the reason I’d like to try now is that things are in a good place with me and P. I don’t think it’s possible to write about the rough times in a relationship during the rough times. At least it isn’t for me. When things aren’t going well between P and me, I don’t even understand what’s going on and I don’t trust myself to be fair. At the same time, no matter how painful it is when things aren’t going well between us, it’s even more painful to think of someone being critical of P because of something I’ve written.
    (That’s me btw. He’s actually not all that fragile and can take it.)
    I’ll try and write something about this in the coming week. But if one of the other authors wants to start out with their version, I won’t feel slighted.

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  10. sparkle

    Some of you may or do know that Chris and I are experiencing a small hill in our relationship these days, caused by circumstances beyond our control. Like it or not, because of one very-needed job change, a house that is on the market, a little girl in pre-school and a different job that culminates to an annual peak a month from now, Chris and I are once again living a long-distance relationship… errr… long-distance marriage. We’re both spoiled – we hate being apart – and are really fighting to find time together and as a family on the weekends.
    This is the second go-round in long-distance for us, with no known end in sight, except that in July we’re going to try and figure out how to make it end.
    I’m not bringing this up to complain or anything, but like everyone else, we’re reinventing the wheel on how our relationship works. What worked for us back before we were married doesn’t work so well with my current job, my daughter demanding a good deal of attention in the evenings, and everything else.
    There are lots of things I think I could write about – how discipline has changed (for awhile), how our sex lives have changed (for awhile), how my emotional state has changed, how separation has forced me to be self-sufficient when I don’t really want to be and independent in ways that have been both empowering and exhausting. But, as Mija said, I can’t do it right now. It’s not that we’re troubled – honestly I think we’re really doing well given the stress & pressure. But being apart is like a bump for me… the more I think about it, the more difficult I’m going to make the experience and I don’t need to make it harder than it is. I think, as Mija said, that it’s easier to objectively analyze what’s happened and happening when we’re not halfway up the hill, so to speak.
    And, here’s something that hasn’t been mentioned… although I do think that it’s really important to convince people that spanking isn’t the magic solution to marital/relationship problems, it’s also not easy to talk about the things that have gone wrong, even in retrospect. Rehashing something that I’ve decided to put behind me – and in writing – is painful and brings it up again for my partner, too. I’ve struggled with writing about some things (even discipline) because I didn’t and don’t want to seem critical and sometimes in my writing I sound like I’m complaining when I’m not intending it to be a complaint, as I was the one who messed up. Even comments made on my posts here at PB have pointed this out to me (not to mention Chris). In other words, I think there are lots of reasons that we don’t write about things that have gone wrong, or about soured relationships we’ve been in before our current ones.
    *waves to everyone – disappears for another month*
    sparkle

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  11. Dyke Grrl

    Perhaps I should also write some about the particular bumps in my relationship; I worry that the things I write about won’t be interesting to other people, so I tend to hold back. And, as Sparkle said, there’s also a concern that what I write will upset W.
    A lot of why I haven’t been posting here about discipline and how it is and isn’t working in our relationship is that things have gotten really complicated since I was diagnosed with DID. In some ways, my adult selves writing here would be like a parent writing about children, except, of course, it’s also not like that. Sometimes, I figure that even though my experience isn’t exactly the same, it’s actually more similar than I think. So maybe I’ll post something in the next while, too.

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  12. Rob

    Janet: I’m certainly not someone with years of experience of a spanking r/ship but I am prepared to discuss the difficulties. The more experience I have, the more it seems to me that if there is a communication problem then it doesn’t really matter whether it is a vanilla or a spanking relationship, that communication issue needs to be resolved. Unable to reach a consensus with my husband as to a willingness to discuss and resolve some behaviour that impacted life on a daily basis, I researched and then proposed a spanking r/ship. Don’t get me wrong – I have wanted to be spanked since forever and a day, but I also thought it might be the way through our conflict. On the whole it works. Occasionally, like now, I am at sea – because what we haven’t managed to do is work out what to do when he does something unacceptable and can’t apologize. On the whole I lay low for a day or two and then get over it, but right now, I find myself wanting more. If he has really offended me, then no matter how tired he was, or overworked, how hard is it to say, “look I shouldn’t have blown up like up. I’m sorry it happened. Maybe next time you could show a little tact, because I really am under the gun and I didn’t need that comment from you. But nonetheless, I am sorry.”?? The thing about spanking relationships is that the attention is put on the woman’s behaviour, but in actual fact, the relationship also requires that the top be on his best behaviour too. That was part of the attraction for me. HE had to behave himself too!!! This is just a blip for us but it draws attention to the fact, I think, that at the end of the day, spanking relationships are about creating ‘good communication’ relationships, with lots of whooppee being the icing on the cake! Any thoughts??

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  13. Greenwoman

    There’s allot of wisdom in these comments so far. I don’t know that I can really add much to it, but I think that it is important to see BDSM/Spanking…as a fraction of what the relationship is. Find a relationship…a relationship with all the right stuff…passion, grace, love, kindness, mutual respect and interests, a good friendship, with similar values and life goals…find those things and the spanking can always be negotiated and explored.
    There will always be times that you can’t play in the lifestyle…when those times happen if you’ve picked a partner that’s mostly an ideal lifestyle partner…and not an ideal life partner, you’ll have very little to get you through…

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  14. Jack Donovan

    go for someone that will be compatible,whatever that may be. if the difference interfere w/ u being compatible in conversations,then they arent right for u. people who wait for that feeling that tells them “theyre the one” are not in for good news.

    Reply

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