This is my first experience on the bottom side of a long-term power exchange. It’s also Mrs. Lion’s first experience as the top. Now that we are almost through our third year, you’d think we would be fully settled in to our roles. I don’t think we are.
It’s true that time has a way of cementing habits and making things once temporary, permanent parts of our lives. There’s no question that we have experienced that in both enforced chastity and FLR. But as familiarity can build contempt, time can also subtly sabotage the best laid plans. If all this seems a bit mysterious, I will try to explain.
I spent many years helping businesses update their financial processes. Often, doing this required them to adopt new software to handle day-to-day transactions. Before making these changes, we carefully studied how all of the affected jobs are done and made sure that the new processes included the activities each employee performed. Invariably, once the new systems were up and running, odd bugs cropped up. Business didn’t flow as smoothly as we expected.
The cause was almost always that people in the organization worked around the problems in the old systems by doing things that were never intended. They might need to know, for example, when a customer’s receiving dock was open. There was no way to enter this information in the old (and the new) system. So, the employees put that information in a field meant for an extra delivery address. All the people knew it was there, but they never told us. We discovered there was no need for the extra address and didn’t include it in the new process. When the new system came in, valuable information was lost.
The point is that people find ways to work around what they consider barriers to doing what they want. The same is true of a couple, like us, trying to adapt a power exchange. We start out with a good set of rules and practices. They work for us. We decide to continue. Over time, our personalities creep in and we unconsciously “work around” some of the practices we agreed to follow.
For example, until this summer I wore the chastity device full time with a small set of exceptions to support travel and medical appointments. The cage came off for trips this past summer. Only it stayed off. I liked the freedom and Mrs. Lion didn’t see a need to put it back. The other night I asked her when it would go back on. She answered that she didn’t know. I asked if she thought it could just stay off. She said it could; I am in no danger of masturbating.
I pressed a bit. I was getting uncomfortable being wild all the time. She asked if I wanted to wear it. I said that I did, so she locked me up. OK, you may think, now everyone’s happy. No, I’m not. We had both forgotten that the cage wasn’t just a physical barrier to masturbation and sexual touching. It had become a symbol of our power exchange. To me, at least, every time I was aware of it, I was reminded that I no longer had control of my sexual satisfaction. The cage, like my wedding ring, had become a tangible symbol of my surrender. I also realized that I wear it because I want to, it becomes just a piece of jewelry with a lock on it. If I know that Mrs. Lion is just as happy if I don’t wear it, then it is nothing more than a genital fashion accessory. It doesn’t feel the same to me.
On the other hand, time has helped us learn some things we didn’t understand before. Well, maybe it was only me who didn’t understand. I always liked play spankings; you know, the kind where there is a slow buildup. Punishment spankings, I quickly learned, are no fun.
Neither of us had any idea what made a spanking effective as a teaching tool. Punishment spankings, for me at least, fill two important needs: They help me pay closer attention to things I need to do and they give me a feeling of being loved. It took a long time for me to admit the second.
Since neither of us were spanked as children, we had no idea about the right way to do a punishment spanking. We both thought that if it hurt, it was effective. It turns out that is only the first step. For it to send me the two messages I need, it has to hurt so much I will do anything I can to avoid the next swat. Only then do I begin to get what I need.
This was really a surprise to us. Mrs. Lion has a very hard time going that far and I truly try to escape. In a very real sense, before reaching that point, the spanking is something I want (or need). Only when she goes past that point am I learning to avoid repeating the cause of this discomfort.
Time is our teacher. In some ways it helps us forget what we need to do. In others, we get to perfect the processes we decided to follow.