My dearest and I were lying in bed last night talking about our relationship and our dynamics. In the conversation, what we really were trying to solve, or at least work on, is my hunger and my need to feel more control from him and how we could go about that. He mentioned that he felt like he took much control sometimes (not that it bothers him, but he knows he can be overbearing sometimes if he doesn't curb his... um... leadership skills). I explained to him that I personally thought he took very little control.
This was a pretty significant difference of opinion and we were a bit baffled at first. After about three years of talking about control, we finally were able to simply put a finger on why we felt so differently about the exact same situation.
Our definition of control was completely different. He makes many/most major decisions, and has the final say. This generally doesn't present much of a problem, and mostly, is quite satisfying for us both.
He handles the money (thank goodness: I love love love this). He keeps us organized and on track, and is always managing the bigger plan, be it finances, scheduling, work (we work together), family events and commitments, etc. I float from crisis to crisis, chore to chore, and am pretty darn happy that he has the skill and the knack and is willing to do the big-picture thing, so I gladly and willingly go along. I like his “management”, if you will, of our family, and it works well for all of us.
What I was missing and what he did not understand, and what I could not put into words before last night, was that I hungered for more control, but control specifically of ME. I guess you could refer to it as a sexual or erotic kind of control though that's not exactly what I mean, and that does not either ring true or false. I don't mean him demanding things in bed, or being forceful in that way, though I enjoy that too. It is something much deeper. I still have not quite put my finger on it, but it certainly is more than him making sure we get gas on the days that the local gas stations have their sales, or making sure if I receive a bill, to get it to him so it can be taken care of. It certainly does have something to do with him physically taking control, but it's emotional too.
I like to feel like I have no choice but to do as he requests. I like to feel vulnerable and a little afraid (of consequences) if I don't do what he expects. I like the intensity and thrive on the “being fearful of the consequences” part of it—and in turn—this really fosters the submissive feelings in me. One might think that because of this, I feed off the conflict and might be inclined to push to feel him push back—but I think that's why I am desiring of more—simply because I do NOT push to get the response.
When I get to that “fearful” point, this is when I can just naturally respond to him—and those submissive feelings just flow—and he explained that in those situations his dominance does much the same. If that fear, trepidation, dread, nervousness—if those feelings were absent—I wouldn't be able to get to that open, loving, vulnerable place that I have waiting for him, and for us. If that fear wasn't there, that absolute knowledge that I must do what he asks—and that ultimately, there is no other option—it would lose much—if not most—of what it does for me, and he would not get the raw, naked, soul-bared, completely engaged and into him ME that I can be.
He, even as open as we are, had no idea that I was looking for or needed more control in that sense. I want to stress that it need not necessarily be a knock-down drag-out, but the underlying threat that it WILL be if I don't obey—THAT is what does it. It is not fear that I will be permanently hurt or maimed, and not fear in any way for my safety, but fear that I will be in a long and uncomfortable situation as long as I am not obeying him.
He is absolutely positively without a doubt consistent with his expectations of me, when he has them, but it has been fleeting instances thus far...so we will see how the next level goes. We're quite intrigued about what this will mean for us, and it is really comforting that he sees this as good for us, a positive thing, and having the possibility to bring us closer together than anything prior. The times he truly has been in control of me—and I don't just mean when I was over his knee—are the times that I feel the most passionate towards him and open and receptive to him, and he responds much the same.