In the comments to my “Straight Flush” post, merlin17 asked: “I’m wondering whether, over time, you have become more comfortable navigating that ocean of Robbie’s lust.”

I think that overall this is the case. I’m posting something I wrote in my journal over a year ago, and then sent to Robbie at a time when he especially was having doubts about what I wanted sexually, whether I really wanted to submit. Submitting to him, when things are just between the two of us, felt a bit like learning to float, as I wrote:

I had the most striking image for submission the other day. At the beginning of things I was so worried that I was out of control. I was very worried that I’d get pushed into doing things I didn’t want to do–that this whole idea of consent was a slippery notion–that his desires were becoming mine and I couldn’t tell what I wanted anymore–that I was becoming “indoctrinated”; “brainwashed”–worst of all, that somehow all my female-positive beliefs were being subverted by misogynist fantasies.

I still worry sometimes about the last thing, and it will always, I think, be complicated for me. But when I look back at the route we’ve travelled, I see Robbie respecting my “no”, spoken or not, again and again. Sometimes he pushed a little bit to make sure I was clear on what I wanted. In a few areas, at the beginning, he pushed a lot. He also seems to think my submission–well–He also seems to think my submission is something he can engineer or elicit. It’s possible he can. I still prefer Midori’s description. His role is really to entice and seduce me into doing things he wants me to do–and I hope to do the same with him (that’s the truth.) Whether I top him or beg him to top me, it’s the same thing (not totally)–but I want to seduce and etice and lure and allure him. Tempt him. And I feel he wants to do the same thing.

I fear submission less and less. During each given occasion there are things that go wrong–but that’s just like when you accidentally kick the other person while having sex, or the timing of your simultaneous orgasm is slightly off, or something. Nothing is perfect–no work of art, date, sexual encounter. If perfect, it would be boring. Sometimes the pleasure comes from the unplanned, the imperfection. That’s why the postmortems about what went wrong and what went right seem off to me. We know if we had a great night, and on those nights we should celebrate. We know if we had a bummer of a night–and on those nights it’s best to be gentle, perhaps try to figure out what we need to, or not if it’s obvious. There might be more to communicate; we’ll see; we’ll learn more. I certainly hope so. Robbie is getting both gentler and bolder in his domination–maybe he’s always been that way. And I’m trusting it more.

I’ve thought about it lately as learning to swim. Remember how one of the very first things you learn is how to float? And at first, you float with someone’s hands supporting you, and that’s a challenge?

And then suddenly, they take their hands away–and if you’re scared you flail and gulp water and feel you’re going to drown and you start over. But when the moment finally comes when you are relaxed enough, they take away their hands, and you are . . . floating . . . free . . . weightless . . . gazing up at the sky. And it so profound, amazing, and wondrous. You feel in your element–that most ancient element, the water we came from. That is sub-space. It can only happen if you trust enough to let go. And you should only let go with someone you know will stay by you, watch you, catch you if or when your nerves and fears kick in again and you begin to flail in the water, having forgotten that free-floating feeling. But in those few moments together, submission IS a gift–a wonderful gift a Dom gives to a sub. And like teaching someone to swim, it feels in some ways like a lesson. (Perhaps that explains the praise that goes with it.) There are so many things going on in the interaction, but that letting go is essential and awesome.

When I sent Robbie the bit from my journal, I added:

I know it is hard and confusing for you and for me at times but that’s what we signed on for in order to be ourselves. I’m not saying what you’re feeling is no big deal. I believe you when you say it’s confusing. I just feel we don’t have to figure out the exact line in advance–we can guess about where it is and it emerges between us. It would be like trying to script a conversation in advance. There’s only so much you can do . . . ;o)

I’m steering as true to what I kno wit to be and I trust you enough to believe you’re doing the same.

With much love and verbiage,



More photos from Autumn Sonnichsen, this time from her “Swimming Lessons” gallery.