Over the past few years—the years in which Elle and I transitioned into a Taken in Hand relationship—we have changed sleeping positions. It didn't happen overnight (pun intended), rather it was an evolutionary process.
We used to sleep on our sides in the “spoon” position. Sometimes we faced one way, sometimes the other. Often, we would switch during the night.
As she became more and more submissive, more comfortable and assured of our new relationship, she began to sleep flat on her stomach. I began to sleep on my back. We would often start out in different positions but eventually end up in the new default position.
One night, after we had acclimated to our new sleeping positions, we were just about to drift off to sleep when Elle asked me, ”What's wrong?”
I was mildly annoyed about something—the nature of which escapes me at the moment—but it wasn't that big of a deal, and I hadn't wanted to make an issue of it. I asked her why she thought something was wrong.
She replied, “When you put your arm across my back, I know you aren't mad at me. You never put your arm across me when you're mad.”
I hadn't realized it. I'm not sure how it developed, but somehow I had gotten into the habit of putting my arm across her back in a particular way. Just before falling asleep, I would move my arm across her, just above the small of her back, holding her in place, holding her down for a moment and then resting my arm there.
It was probably just my way of giving her a little taste of dominance so she would know that I hadn't forgotten; a kind of reassurance that “I'm in charge here, you're safe.”
Regardless of why it started, she had gotten used to it. Somehow, holding her down for a moment—a gesture that a few years before would have been oppressive—had come to signify “whatever I may have said today, I'm not mad about anything.”
When she feels that, she can fall asleep knowing that all is well. When I didn't do it, she was restless and couldn't fall asleep.
Her need for me to give her a nightly reminder of dominance—and the fact that she noticed its absence—was one of those clues that she really did want it. She wasn't just doing it because she thought I wanted it or as a fun fantasy every once in a while. It was a deeper need, something that she craved every day.
Since then I have added something to our little ritual. Her wants/needs for my control were being satisfied so I decided take some pleasure for myself.
Now, every night before I put my arm across her back, I rest my hand on her bare bottom as a prelude and give it a few pats; nothing painful, just the kind of pat-on-the-bottom feeling that says, “I might just have to spank you,” and of course, “I like your bottom”.
It is pure pleasure-taking for me, but it is also fun for her. She usually wiggles a little, maybe purrs, maybe giggles, and then I move my arm up to her back as I described earlier.
The first part is for me; a taking of a husband's liberty for my own selfish pleasure. The second is for her, so she can rest assured. The fact that she enjoys both is an indicator of how much our pleasure is wrapped up in pleasing each other.
Of course, if we are in a particular mood, if she opens her legs and wiggles seductively, if she raises her hips inviting an actual swat—or if I'm just feeling randy—our ritual might be interrupted by several hours of passionate lovemaking.
Even the sleeping positions have made it more conducive to having sex. By laying face down, she is making herself available to me at my whim.
Reflecting on everything that has changed between us, I think our nightly ritual and our new sleeping positions are the most symbolic: together, they are a daily reminder of the way things are.