Monday, December 31, 2012

More On Chastity Devices

I am considering buying my Knight a chastity device. A year ago, I was completely against the idea because I expect him to follow my rules about masturbation simply because they are my rules. To the best of my knowledge, he has never broken those rules. Or at least not in the last 5 years or so. I suspected he had taken matters into his own hands once, several years ago. I made it very clear how I felt about it, and he hasn't done it since. The only unauthorized orgasms I'm concerned about are those "oops" that happen when I'm teasing him, and of course, a device won't change those.

So.. why am I considering a device? My devious little mind has decided it might be fun to keep him locked when he's at work, or otherwise away from me. It could be fun to send him emails at work about how I'm going to unlock him him when he gets home to play for a bit, and then lock him back up  without release. I send him teasing emails pretty regularly, and if he were locked it would give me one more way to tease and play. I like the idea him having a constant reminder of my control over him. Yes, he wears a ring, but it's not the same.

My only hesitation is that we've not talked about it much, and I'm not sure how to bring the topic up. My Knight is still a bit uncomfortable talking about his being submissive to me, and even though he likes orgasm denial, he's not up to discussing that, either. I'm probably going to buy him one and surprise him with it. I'll present it as a game I want to try, just like I did orgasm denial. We'll experiment with it and see what he thinks about being locked.

So... that leads me to my next question... what would you recommend as a first device? I know a lot of people like the CB6000, but I'm not looking to spend a whole lot of money on an experiment. Any suggestions?   Any suggestions on how to size it? My Knight's cock is a bit bigger than average, is there a certain device that's better for larger sizes?


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Like Mother.. Like Daughter.

So.. my 17 yr old daughter brought home her first boyfriend right before Thanksgiving.  He's a sweet kid, 16 yrs old, fawning all over himself trying to impress me. Did I mention this kid is my daughter's first boyfriend? In fact, he is the first guy she's ever shown any interest in at all. He is spending a lot of time at our house, and so I've gotten a first hand look at how he treats her...or rather.. how he treats her when I'm around. He opens doors, carries things, moves to complete tasks that I ask her to do, looks to her before getting involved with video or card games with my sons. When they go out, he asks her to choose where they go, and she drives. My daughter tells me that he actually tones down the amount of hovering, and direction seeking he does when I'm around. She says it's "worse when it's just the two" of them.

My oldest daughter is away at college and met the boyfriend a few days ago. One of the first thing my eldest noticed is that the boyfriend treats my daughter much the same way Knight treats me.  "Wow. He is a lot like 'Knight'."

Yep. he is.

My Knight sees it, too. He asked me one evening if I am comfortable with daughter's relationship. When I asked him what cause I would have not to be comfortable with it his answer was, "because.. he's a lot like me. As she learns to handle him, she's going to gain insight into me. Into our arrangement."

Yep. she is.  And that's okay. Really, it's no secret that I'm in charge around here. The kids know Mom's in charge. Granted, we've never talked about it to them, but we don't hide it, either. They know we make a lot of decisions together, but I have final say on everything.

I'm surprised that Daughter is dating a guy so much like her step-dad. They are not particularly close. They get along well, and Daughter loves and respects him, but she also does not always approve of me leading my Knight and letting him do things for me that I am perfectly capable of doing myself. She has even said, she'd never date a guy who hovers and fawns over her like her step-dad does me. "It's annoying, " she said. "It makes me uncomfortable," she's told me.

And yet... here she is dating this guy.. coming to me for suggestions on how to guide him just a bit. She is loving the attention he showers on her, even if it really does still make her a little uncomfortable.
She says she's getting used to it.

As for me... I'm glad she's made this guy her first boyfriend. He's going to spoil her for other guys and she will become accustomed to being treated like the rare treasure she is.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas

Yep.. I'm a day late on the Christmas wishes. Things around here are ridiculously busy between Thanksgiving and New Year. We've wrapped up things for 2012, and I'm preparing for the beginning of 2013. In the last two weeks, I've mapped out my goals for both my work, and my Knight's writing. I've decided he needs to take his writing more seriously in 2013 and double his number of published stories from last year. As for me, I have a book due to be finished by March, so the first part of 2013 will be filled with research and writing.

As for our flr, we're still struggling with the same crap, just to a lesser degree. It's annoying and frustrating and if my Knight isn't careful he's going to see a whole different side of me. Or rather.. he'll see a side he's seen before, but in a totally new way.

What's the issue? More of the same..my Knight not following instructions in small, annoying, ways, and then saying I wasn't clear.

Examples?  Sometime late last week a light bulb in the kitchen blew.  I told my Knight, "I need you to change this bulb sometime before we  go to bed. Don't do it right now, because I'm cooking dinner and we'll be in each others way." The light is high up on the ceiling requiring the step ladder be placed smack in the middle of our small kitchen. Not something he can do when I'm making dinner. Simple right? Yeah. Not so much. As of yesterday it was still undone. I needed that light yesterday to see to carve the turkey. So, I grabbed the step ladder and started doing it myself. He picked me up off the step ladder. "What are you doing?" I told him.... what's it look like I'm doing? I'm changing the bulb because you didn't bother.... he said something about me not telling him when to do it, and then changed the bulb himself.  It shouldn't have even been an issue... the bulb should have been changed the day I asked. Or the next day at the absolute latest

Another example.. we were discussing two particular Christmas presents for our boys. We looked at one on-line together I noticed it took AAA batteries and reminded my Knight to pick some up while he was out shopping for the gifts. He had a list of gifts and the words, "whatever batteries are needed for X and Y" Well.. he got the AAA batteries for gift X, but he didn't bother to read the package of gift Y to see what kind of batteries that one needed. On Christmas Eve.. while wrapping gift Y I discovered we needed two 9volt batteries for gift Y. I asked my Knight where they were. His answer?  "you never told me to get 9volts, only AAA."  Um.. NO. I said get batteries for the gifts.

There are several examples over the last week or three of similar instances of him doing what I ask, but not doing it completely, or being careless about when and/or how it gets done. If he's going to act this way, I might as well do everything myself.

And then there are the two "oops it snuck up on me" moments. Yeah. right. I don't buy it for a moment. It is his responsibility to warn me when he gets to close to orgasm. Our standing rule requires that he not orgasm without my permission. Just period. It's his responsibility to follow that rule and to warn me when necessary. That's twice now that he hasn't given warning and.. "oops." The first time was 2 weeks ago.. penalty? no cock play for 2 weeks. That 2 week was up yesterday... another "oops"
Too bad for him, too. Because today is his birthday and I  had several tease sessions planned for today. He misses out on those.

Just lots of little stuff......... and my typical methods of disciplining him are just not making a difference.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Goal Planning for Two

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas each year I spend several weeks evaluating the past year and planning for the next year. It's part of my year end reflection process. I also take stock of the habits, attitudes and life circumstances. I make a promise to myself to make a conscience effort to increase that which served me and my family well, and eliminate that which did not. Then, on New Year's Eve I write down those habits, attitudes, fears and people which either did not serve to further our happiness, or served to make any of us unhappy. I light a fire, burn some incense, say some words that are dear to my heart, and burn those papers. This short ceremony helps me eliminate negativity, habits, ideas and attitudes which don't directly contribute to the health, success, and happiness of my family.

Some years I also write down those things which served us well and use the paper to fertilize my plants. By contributing to growth of a plant, those ideas also contribute to the growth of my family.

But, before the Burning Bowl Ceremony, I must do some goal evaluation and planning. That's where I am now.

Last year I made a lame attempt at goal planning for my Knight. We talked about his writing and where he wanted to be by December 2012.  I comprised a list of writing projects based on his suggestions and I added some of my own. Then, I went through the calendar and assigned due dates to each goal. On my Knight's daily task lists I would say something like , "Begin writing short stories for Name of Ebook. All 12 stories are due to be for editing on May 15."

I used the same process for my own goals, but I am easily able to break large tasks - like writing a 700+ page technical book - into easy to manage tasks. That's not so easy for my Knight. He can break down computer programs and databases like nobody I've ever met. But.. applying that same skill to a personal  task can be a challenge. Honestly, it depends on the task, and how much experience he has with similar projects.

So.. this year I am taking the advice of a very prolific writer friend. She plans out exactly when each small task will be completed. So, for example she knows that on October 15 of next year she will be working on X part of Project 4. She does this for all her writing projects, and all of her husband's projects, as well.  It is a long and drawn out process. It's difficult and time consuming to complete all this planning for one person. I've combined our work and personal goals into one place so I can plan writing time for each of us accordingly. It's a lot of work, but I think it will pay off for both of us in the end.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Results Of Our Game

So.. our game went well the other night. Or, as well as it could have gone considering the rule that came up in the roll.

My Knight rolled a 2. Rule 2 states:
We are partners in everything, but I  am in charge of, and hold final decision making and authority on all things. I will always listen to, and value your opinion, but the final decision is mine. 

Of course, that is the basis of any Dominant/submissive relationship. So it didn't leave much room for discussion. I asked my Knight how he felt about Rule 2. He looked at me and shrugged, "Isn't that the whole point?"

LOL, well.. yeah. We talked about how he thought it was going since we reinstated the flr, and how he felt handing all control over to me. There wasn't much new to say - we've talked this one to death, but he did try.  So, my Knight earned his reward. We're going to repeat this game once or twice each month as a way to review the rules and help keep either of us from falling into autopilot.

And.. for this evening I offered up a new challenge: Write 1000 words this evening on his current WIP, and earn an hour or longer tease session tonight. No chance of release.... just teasing and playing.

Personally, I enjoy subjecting my Knight to long tease sessions. I love watching him squirm and struggle not to release without permission. A few months ago, he asked me to stop the extended, intense teasing because it irritated and frustrated in a not so great way. But... recently he's realized that he misses the attention, the increased sensitivity, and the tease time itself. So, I think we're both looking forward to him making his word count tonight.


Friday, December 7, 2012

A Little Game

I just emailed my Knight his daily task list for today. While I was typing his list, I decided to play with him a little. Task item number 10 for the day tells my Knight to find time to review our written rules because we will be playing a game this evening.

When we get home tonight I'm going to roll a pair of dice. The roll will randomly choose which of our rules is up for in-depth discussion. It's part of my attempt to help my Knight become aware and comfortable with his submission. We will explore how he feels about the rule, how following or acting on the rule makes him feel, and how or if that rule helps him to feel submissive to me. Then I'm going to ask him to tell me one thing I do, or he'd like me to do that increases his feelings of submission to me.

If he does a good job expressing his feelings, and he actually talks to me on the level I want, then I will allow him to come sometime in the next 24 hours.

If I am not happy with the level of communication I get from my Knight tonight, then there is absolutely no chance of an orgasm for him in the next 24 hours.

I'm really hoping the anticipation is fun for him. Early on I stopped telling him when he'd be allowed to orgasm, because it causes anxiety and stress for him. He was better off not knowing. But in my mind, this is different because I'm using his potential orgasm to encourage him to dig deep and tell me how he feels.   We'll see. The next item on his list is to tell me if the game is causing him anxiety.

Part of our challenges with FLM is lack of open communication. My Knight has been pretty uncomfortable with this part of himself. He wants to be submissive to me, but doesn't want to talk about it, and doesn't want to understand exactly what he wants or why. I want that communication. I want my Knight to talk to me about what he wants from this, and what pushes those buttons for him. Tonight's game is a first step in that process.  Plus, it's fun.



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Putting It On "Autopilot"

SH suggested I buy and read Around Her Finger By Ken Addison.  That book has been on my "To Read" list for about a year. Yesterday I downloaded the book. It's only 157 pages, and I was able to read through it over the course of the afternoon in between other tasks.

It's well written and explains the basics of FLM fairly well. I don't know that I learned anything new, but I've been reading and researching FLR for two years now.

That said, reading the book did point out to me why we keep coming back to the same issues. Like I said the other day, things fall apart when we get super busy, or when we fall into a routine. Both are times when I tend to run on autopilot. I think my Knight feels ignored during those time, too.

In the future I need to watch myself so that I don't fall into autopilot. I think I also need to build several small, sexually charged elements into our day so that if(when) I do go into autopilot, those elements are built into our routine to remind me not to allow autopilot to happen.

Thanks SH.  It's going to take some time, care and attention on my part, but I know it's worth it. We sustained a pretty good FLR for about a year before I let self-doubt convince me my Knight hated the arrangement. I know now that I was wrong.. I thought he was unhappy with FLR, but really he was having a hard time coming to terms with the idea that he liked the dynamic.




Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Yesterday Was A Good Day

Yesterday I was careful to give my Knight a list of the things I wanted done while my teen-aged daughter and I were out at orchestra rehearsal. The list was pretty long, and included a few detailed tasks. To my pleasant surprise, my Knight completed everything on the list except one thing. When everything else was complete, his instructions were to sit down and spend the rest of the time until I got back writing. He was just sitting down at the computer to write when my daughter and I came home.
Of course, we also got out of rehearsal about 45 minutes earlier than usual because it was the last rehearsal before our Christmas concert. So, my Knight did well.



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's Starting to Make Sense

Over the last year or so, I have been at a loss to explain why our flr will skate along smoothly for weeks, even months at a time and then, all of a sudden my Knight will start acting like a rebellious teenager. He'll start "forgetting" things, do things half-way, become mildly disrespectful, stop listening and then tell me "well.. I though you wanted..... "  and stop talking to me about anything of any importance. What usually happens is that I talk to him about what's going on, he makes excuses about being busy at work or something equally lame.  I'll start handing down penalties for not complying with my wishes. He ignores or otherwise blows off the penalties. And we're caught in a circle. At some point (and that point comes sooner and sooner as I become more comfortable with flr) I get super-firm and tell him I have had enough of his b.s.. I not so nicely remind him that he has absolutely no choice in the matter. He is to do exactly as I tell him.  By this point, I'm frustrated with him, and more than a little angry with him for putting me in the position of having to hand down real discipline.  When my Knight realizes that I really am angry with him, the whole issue dissolves away. He becomes my sweet Knight again and starts doing as I ask, thinking ahead to evaluate what I or the kids might need at any given time. He starts completing his daily chores without reminders again, and just generally doing what is expected of him.  But it takes me blowing up and getting truly angry with him to get back on track.

That same scenario replayed itself over the course of our recent move. By the time we were actually moved I was so angry with my Knight that I could barley speak to him without yelling at him. Everything I asked of my Knight while we were moving things was done half-assed. Including loading the darn truck. I was having a mild MS flare and did not have the balance to walk on the truck ramp, so I carried things as I could to the porch for my Knight and daughters to load. My Knight just kind of tossed things on the truck without much organization. That single action caused us to have to make several extra trips with our van, and cost us a good amount of money in extra gas costs.  There was one day where he actually yelled at me for pointing out that I had asked him to do X and he had done Z instead. That, btw, is so completely out of character for my Knight that I stood there for several minutes, simply stunned.  I think that was the first time in 7 years he has ever raised his voice to me. And yet.. my Knight kept insisting everything was fine. Yeah. right.

I tried talking to him. My Knight kept insisting that everything was fine, and that he was doing his best. I know my Knight. I know what "his best" looks like, and what I was seeing was not even close. I ended up doing most of the packing and moving myself because my Knight was messing up so much.
Yes, moving is stressful.... but ...come on.

After we got everything moved over to the new house I gave him a couple days to adjust, and tried to talk to him again. All I got was that he didn't want to argue and that he hates it when I'm upset with him. But, no real explanation for his behavior. I told him that I was beyond fed up and that if he did not start following directions and giving accurate information, he would find himself sleeping on the couch for a month.

And then, last night it hit me. I was lying in bed, looking for patterns in these lapses he had and it hit me. Every single time he has started being passive aggressive one of two things have been going on. Either 1. we have been super-busy and had minimal time together, or 2. things had become routine.  So..  what do those two things have in common?

My time and attention.

If we are super busy then I don't have a lot of time to dedicate to "leading". It's at those times when my Knight is expected to do what I ask of him with minimal discussion, and minimal direction. When we fall into a solid routine, my Knight does not need constant direction.

Reading through that, it kind of makes my Knight sound super-needy. He is not. But, he is really bad about recognizing and expressing his needs. He learned from his  ex that even having needs was cause for all hell breaking loose. Over 15 years of marriage to that woman taught him never to express his own needs, and not to even acknowledge that he had needs at all. Bad things happened when he mentioned his needs. Sure, she's long gone. He and I have been together for 8 years. But conditioning is hard to break, especially when a person doesn't want to see they have been conditions. My Knight used to insist that his ex's behavior had little long term effect on him. But, I can see otherwise.

When I realized the commonality between all these events, I woke up my Knight. We talked about how he reacts when he feels he's not getting enough of my attention. While he didn't acknowledge that he's been feeling ignored, he didn't tell me I was wrong, either. I reminded him that total and complete honesty is the number one rule between us, and that I want to know how he feels and what he needs. Then I pointed out that under our flr  it's my responsibility to decide what he gets, when, and how his needs get met.. but that it's HIS responsibility to be honest with me about what those needs are.  I can't give him what he needs  if he won't communicate with me. Hiding his needs from me is counter productive to our flr, our marriage, and life in general. I went as far as pointing out that it was a survival technique he picked up when he was with his ex and it was not working for him anymore. And.. he has not needed it since we got together. It was a good discussion.. one that I've tried to have with my Knight many times. But, for some reason... THIS time he seemed to hear me. It seemed to sink in.








Sunday, December 2, 2012

"I Like It Too Much"

I've been wanting to write this post for a few weeks now, but just have not had the time to sit down and  do it.

Six weeks or so ago, I was talking to my Knight about restarting the orgasm control. When we took our flr break tease and denial stopped. After his comment about his ex, I wanted to make sure my Knight understood the reasons why I am insisting on total control over his orgasms.  Toward the end of the conversation, I make the off-hand comment, "oh, come on.. you don't really hate it that much, do you?"

My Knight answered with, "No, that's the problem.. I like it too much." and he slipped out the door real quick before I could comment.

I let him get away with slipping out like that because it was the first time he's really admitted that he enjoys orgasm control.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Moving Sucks

Moving is a major time suck. Yeah.. that's where I've been for the past many weeks. Packing a household of 8 people is a major undertaking, did  you know that?

Several months ago, my Knight and I decided to from the state we live in to another state for the benefit of his 10 yr old mentally ill daughter. The company my Knight works for just happens to have an office in our chosen state, so he put in for a transfer. The original transfer was denied, but the supervisors suggested he apply for another position at the out-of-state office. So we did that. The first interview went well... the second interview went fantastic. My Knight's local managers said we should start house hunting in the new state. So that's what we did. We started packing, too. Then.. the manager of that office told everyone to hold on a minute..... that office was in the midst of a budget revamp and they were not sure when the hire date would be. We waited... and waited...... and waited. Two months went by, and the out-of-state office was still "looking at the budget." My Knight's immediate supervisor was well aware of the reasons behind our transfer request, and he suggested my Knight put his resume out and see what happened. He even supplied a recruiter contact in the new state. So.. resumes were floated.

Several phone interviews later, my Knight had more than one really good possibility. The position with his current company told him he is at the top of the shortlist of 3 people. But that they will not be filling the position until after the 1st of the year.

Okay.. we thought.. we'll just stay put until after the First. No big deal... Enter our landlord... We lived in a very small town. Somehow our landlord got wind that we were talking about moving. The landlord's 75 yr old sister-in-law is the actual owner of the house we were renting.. and she decided that she wanted to sell the house. Landlord was sorry, but he needed us out in 30 days because his SIL was pretty insistent that she wanted the house on the market before Christmas.... and since we were talking about moving anyway, it wasn't that big of a deal, right?

We explained what was going on and that we wanted to wait until after Knight's company made a decision about the job out of state, which would be a promotion for my Knight. We reminded him about our mentally ill kid, and pointed out all the reasons we wanted to move her from our current state to the state we were considering. He totally understood, and said he would talk to his SIL and see what he could do.

She agreed to wait until March or April if we increased our rent payment by $300 a month. Um.. No. Can't do that... won't do that. So.. our move out date was set for the weekend of Thanksgiving.

The out of state interviews my Knight had up to that point went well. Three different companies wanted to fly him to the other state for in-person interviews. Great. Accept none of them wanted to interview until the week after Thanksgiving, with a decision date after Christmas.

Yeah. That did not work. So..... I found a house we love about 35 minutes from where we used to live and bought it. . We spent Thanksgiving weekend moving. We are now about 10 minutes (with traffic)  from my Knight's office. It used take him about 40 min to get to work each morning.

We are in our new house, surrounded by boxes, but slowly getting things unpacked and put away. There were a few minor glitches, but overall the move went smoothly.

Hopefully I will have more time to pay attention to this blog now.




Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Punishment Without Guilt

Interesting.. I've been writing about guilt, and thinking about what causes guilty feelings. I've pretty much come to the conclusion that I feel that way simply because of ingrained habits and ways of being that I've been taught over the years. That leading my Knight and allowing him to do things for me simply goes against deeply learned habits.

Not such a great reason to feel guilty.

As I was processing all this we had a day where my Knight forgot to do something important, and then tried to keep his mistake from me. He didn't lie outright, but he didn't tell me of his error when he realized. Nor did he try to fix it at the time. I found out a day or two later.. the task still undone, him knowing he had left it undone.  This was a pretty big deal because the task was important. We are getting ready to move, and the forgotten item was something I needed done in preparation for the move.

I was angry with my Knight. I wasn't so angry that he had forgotten the task, it could be made up. I was angry that  he knew he had forgotten it, didn't tell me and didn't make an effort to complete the job.. just let me think it had been done. Our number one rule is complete and absolute honesty at all times.. about every thing. When my Knight is unable to do something, or he forgets, he's supposed to let me know as soon as he realizes there's an issue. I wasn't home when my Knight realized he'd forgotten the task, so he should have sent me a text.

He didn't. And that's why I was angry with him. I was disappointed and hurt that he wasn't honest with me.

For the first time since we started flr, I punished my Knight with something that mattered to him. I told him he was not work on his current fiction writing project for two full days. Now.. this is November.. and November means NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Contest. The goal is to create a work of fiction that is 50,000 words or longer during the month of November. That's 1666 words a day.. and if you miss a day it's really ... really hard to catch up. My Knight and I have each done NaNo every single year for the last seven years. Except this year, my Knight lost two writing days because I told him he was not allowed to touch it.

Know what? He listened. He didn't argue, didn't pout about it, he just stayed away from the computer for those two days.

And.. I don't feel in the least bit guilty.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Post in Progress - Guilt

I realized about a week ago that I feel guilty when my Knight is busy at some mundane household task while I relax or do something for me. This came about when I sent my Knight off to the kitchen to wash dishes and clean up after dinner while I sat and listened to my on-line class lecture. It was about 11pm, and we were both tired. I felt guilty for curling up on the couch with my class while my Knight stood at the sink doing dishes.

I've been thinking about it a lot and I realized it happens a lot. There have been more than several times that I've told my Knight not to worry about some task on his list simply because I felt guilty. Many times my Knight's daily task list is not complete by the time I'm ready to head to bed. My Knight has enough time after work to complete his lists, if he manages his time well - a lot of the time he does not. So, by 11pm or so, when I'm ready for bed, my Knight's list isn't done. He's openly acknowledged that sometimes he just needs to stay up and finish his list, but most of the time I tell him to just forget it and come to bed.

Why? Guilt. I feel bad going to bed while my Knight is still up finishing a task I gave him. Ideally, he is supposed to get everything done by 1030pm so that we have some time to talk before bed.

I'm still trying to figure out why I feel like this, and how to avoid it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Interesting Observation

Tommio wrote about how he seems to have an easier time managing his clinical depression when his with his dominant partner. http://masculinesubmission.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/even-that-part/#comment-217

I found his observations interesting because my Knight also deals with depression. My Knight is not on standard medication for his depression. He prefers to use natural medicine, including diet changes, supplements and herbs to manage his depression symptoms. (for those who don't know - my degree is in Natural Healing, and I am a Master Herbalist, Natural Health Consultant, and Reiki Master as well as a technical writer.)   My Knight doesn't take herbs for the depression regularly. He hates taking medication of any kind, including herbs he sees as "medicine" so, if I sense my Knight has fallen to far in to "his pit of hell" I tell him to start taking the herbs we use, and to make sure he continues to take it  past the first time, I tell him exactly when and for how long to take it. Or.. I might tell him to take it until I say he can stop.

My Knight is a submissive guy... even if he does hate that word..... so he does what he's told.

But.. I have noticed how and IF I lead has an affect on my Knight's depression. When I solidly lead, I see less depression symptoms. I can help stop the anxiety and the dark thought spirals with a few well chosen, and firmly spoken words.  On more than one occasion, I have intentionally pushed his submissive buttons (again, I use that word my Knight dislikes so much...) to help him pullout of a round of anxiety or keep him from spiraling into the pit of hell.  Sometimes all it takes is a firm reminder that whatever it is that has him anxious is  not his job. I remind him that his job is to do what I ask of him without fail, and without question. That usually works against the anxiety and some of the moodiness.  For the full on depression it takes a little more structure.. a little more firmness, on my part. But being subjected to my dominant nature goes a long way to help him pull out of a full depression.

Before we started the FLR  my Knight's depressions lasted for months sometimes. Before FLR I would suggest he take a helpful herb, or I suggested he go to his doctor etc. I tried every "mainstream" way of helping him deal with these depressions. They just got worse. What would usually happen that I would hit the end of my patience and we would have a huge heated argument over the way he'd been acting. Those arguments would, more often than not, end with me telling him "either fix it or get the hell out."
He would come to me within hours to apologize and ask for my suggestions as to how to deal with the feeling of never ending doom hanging over him.

At those times I told him (my Knight uses the term "ordered") what herbs to take, when to see his doctor, what to every day and when to do it.  In other words, I was dominant.

Now.... we skip the asking, suggesting part.  He manages the depression MUCH better. We don't argue anymore and we have a MUCH better relationship.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What I Enjoy About Our FLR

I started writing this in response to a comment someone left on the blog, but then I realized it should be a post of its own.

When I started our flr  12...maybe 15 months ago.. I did it out of desperation to save our marriage. I looked through an on-line journal my Knight and I used to discuss sensitive emotional topics and I found that one thing remained constant over the previous 5 years or so: He was always asking me to tell him what I wanted from him. He wanted me to write lists, to define his role in my life.  A few times the topic of D/s came up, and he completely denied that was what he wanted. At the same time, he would repeat the request that I manage his time, tasks and activities.  I went looking for a way to bring up the D/s dynamic with him one last time...I spent several hours researching, reading, learning about FLR, personality types and many other things in one last ditch effort to end the constant bickering, resentment and anger without filing for divorce.

I did it out of necessity - I never expected to enjoy it.

But.. I do enjoy it.

It's not the submission that I enjoy.. not exactly. What I love is the person he becomes when I actively lead.

When I don't actively lead him, my Knight is unsure of himself, easily rattled and moody.  He never seems to know what to do at any given moment. He has 10 projects going around the house, and none of them EVER get done. (no. I am not exaggerating here.)   He's scatterbrained, anxious and underfoot. LOL.. Underfoot because he is trying so hard to "please me" every single moment that he gets in the way... like a puppy following my every move, I end up tripping over him.  Don't get me wrong.. I appreciate that he is simply trying to do what he thinks I want done, but... most of the time he has no real  clue. When I don't lead sex is .... Okay..... but not great. I always feel like there's something missing... like he's only half there.


When I actively lead my Knight his whole outlook seems to change - he becomes more confident in everything he does. That confidence even carries over to his work and his writing.  He stresses and worries less, he is less moody, and almost nothing rattles him. When I lead him, my Knight is much less forgetful. His projects get finished.  When I lead, my Knight knows exactly what he can do to "please me" and so he doesn't follow me around like a lost pup.  My Knight is always attentive to me, whether I'm leading or not. But, when I lead those attentions are more focused.. more.. purposeful. He doesn't sit in front of me waiting for me to reach for a cup, start a chore, or move something.  When I actively lead, my Knight knows I will ask him to do that chore, make that tea or ..whatever. He doesn't have to wait for the chance to jump in and do it for me. I will find tasks for him to do for me. When I lead,, sex with my Knight changes. He is totally and completely focused on whatever we are doing. He cuddles more, he seems less hesitant to make his wants known. We are closer.

Doing things for me makes my Knight happy. Somehow.. doing things for me gives him focus and purpose. I don't understand it.. but that seems to be the way he works. When I don't actively lead him, my Knight becomes preoccupied with figuring out what he can do for me next.. so preoccupied, in fact that he can barely concentrate on anything else.  The lack of directions seems to send him into a depression.

When I give all that energy some direction my Knight is a totally different guy.  I love how confident he becomes when I lead him.  I love that all it takes is a couple words from me for him to stop stressing let go of the worry. It doesn't matter what he's worried about... just a simple reminder that I have it.. and that I want him to do X, Y or Z is enough for him to let go and relax. When I lead my Knight, he becomes my rock when things around us are hectic. His calm confidence is a source of strength for me. When I lead him, my Knight seems confident and secure in my love, and in his place in my life.

When I lead him, I love the intimacy of knowing I have caused these changes in my Knight.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Talking, talking and MORE Talking

My Knight and I use a written set of rules to remind us each what is expected in terms of our flr. When I suspended the agreement back it....July - was it?..... I deleted our only copy of our old rules. Think of it as the equivalent of tearing up a contract.  So.. now I'm rewriting our rules.

As part of the at process I am asking my Knight (again) about motivations, reasons, wants, needs, ect.  I  remember why I was so frustrated with him, and questioning all this before.  

My Knight is using phrases like "it's better than the alternative", "I don't know that I do enjoy being controlled", "no, I don't have an underlying need or desire to be controlled. What I have is an underlying need to see you happy" , "sometimes it's okay, and sometimes it reminds me of my ex" ,   "I am happy and content with the flr",  "It works for us",   "How can I not enjoy it, we're not fighting all the time",  "I don't feel controlled, babe". 

Not a very convincing argument in favor of flr. Of course, his behavior is, as it's always been, very positive toward flr. 

During the conversation my Knight said to me something along the lines of,  "of course I enjoy it, it's better than the alternative, isn't it? You'd do the same thing" .....

And there's the issue... I would NOT do the same. If I were in his shoes and my choices were:
     1. Hand over almost total control to my partner           or
     
     2. Go back to the way things were  between us 18 months ago

I would choose neither. I would end the relationship. Divorce would be better than door number one, and door number two was miserable and unhappy. 

So.. when my Knight says to me "it's better than the alternative" what I'm hearing is .. "eh.. it's better/easier than a divorce."

Which is seriously NOT the same as liking the arrangement, or enjoying the flr dynamic. 

And that's my hang up. I'm not sure how to get around it, either.  I care very deeply about my Knight's happiness.  If he's not getting anything from flr except a lack of fighting and less stress... then I don't understand why he wanted to reinstate it.  I'm not going to suspend the flr again... I promised him I would leave it intact unless he said the states "I don't want the flr anymore." But, at the same time I need to understand his motivations here.. for my own peace of mind. I have no problem being the dominant partner and managing/controlling things. Over the last 18 months, I have found that I enjoy it most of the time. .... BUT ... I don't want it at the expense of his happiness or contentedness. 

At the same time... my Knight SEEMS happier, more secure, more confident, less stressed, more content, more open emotionally, when I am the dominant partner. There is a clear difference in him between when we do active flr, and when we don't. Even before I suspended the agreement.. when I occasionally and accidentally dropped it by no exerting my control, my Knight started slipping back to old ways. He  became lost. When I made the effort to regain that control, he was happier and more himself again. 

When I point that out to him, my Knight always says he doesn't see it.  But.. I see it.. heck the KIDS see the difference in him 

There is a part of me that wants... no..needs to know that my Knight wants the flr.. that he enjoys the arrangement and that it makes him happy and content. Yes, I have behavioral evidence. I'm not denying that. But...... if flr is only "better than the alternative"  then.. who is to say the positive changes I see in my Knight are not simply from lack of conflict and not directly flr related?  

Many readers will probably think I'm over-analyzing this... and maybe I am. But that's how my mind works. There is a reason for everything... every action.. every behavior. And in writing our new rules knowing the reasons why he wants this... knowing that he does want this... leads to different rules than simply agreeing to keep the peace. 


Monday, October 15, 2012

I Had Forgotten....

..... How wonderful daily lists are.  This morning I sent my Knight an email at work entitled, "Your list for Monday."  On that list were 10 or 12 things that I wanted him to accomplish before 1030 tonight. It's only 720pm, and everything on that list is done except four things... and three of those things are bedtime routine stuff for the kids.  It's not time for them yet. Number 4 is dinner dishes, but no everyone is done eating yet, so he has some time there, too.

No arguing, no excuses.. just "Here's your list. Get it done before 1030pm" And it's getting done... simply beautiful.

We had something come up earlier today that, while not any sort of emergency, is something that needs dealt with. No big deal. I have it under control.. but my Knight stresses. He often decides that the weight of the entire universe- my universe-  is resting on his shoulders.  I reminded him that this new thing was not his problem.. nor was it his concern.  His *only* concern for the day was to finish the items on his list on-time. Everything else was my job.

It seemed to have helped.  My Knight settled back down to his work project and followed up on something I had asked him to do.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

Since we've reinstated our FLR, I've been trying to be very attentive to the whole "taking control thing." I think I've mentioned before that while I am a naturally dominant woman, it's difficult for me to allow that dominance to come through. Like a lot of woman I grew up hearing, "nice girls don't do that", and "oh.. honey, you can't tell a man what to do, he'll resent it." And of course there is an overwhelming amount of tv, literature and what-have-you that shows women to be either submissive to their man, or manipulating him to get what she wants. Rarely do you see a dominant woman who is straightforward and open about what she wants or expecting her man to submit to her,

Even at urm.. um..... 40something.... I still struggle with this early "programming."  But... I Like being in control. I always have. It's sexy to see a guy submit to his lady for no other reason than he is her man.

During our FLR break we were both miserable. My Knight was depressed. He felt like I no longer wanted him around at all. I was grumpy and unhappy because I felt like I was stuck doing everything for everybody again, with no help. We have a big family. There is a LOT of work to be done around here, and without guidance and instruction my Knight has a difficult time figuring out what needs his attention first. Now that we're back to FLR, I think we're both finding our equilibrium again.

Early last week I told my Knight that he was doing a good job getting back into the swing of FLR, and that I was happy with his efforts. I told him he'd earned some time with the mint massage oil. I make my own massage oils in various scents depending on purpose. My Knight enjoys being on the giving and receiving end of all of them, but he particularly likes the mint.  I don't use it often, but when I do he knows he's being rewarded for something.  I planned the mint massage for Thursday evening..... the same night we took our dog to the animal emergency room. So, obviously our time had to be postponed.  Things finally calmed down enough last night that I felt up to giving my Knight a bit of focused minty attention. It was awkward, and my Knight seemed a little withdrawn and hesitant- not at all as focused and responsive as he usually is during such massage times. Probably because it's been a couple months since we've had anything but simple vanilla sex. But, even so I enjoyed teasing and playing, both of us knowing full well that I was not going to let him release. As I was getting ready to end the massage and tell him it was time to sleep, my Knight hesitantly turned the tables, bringing me to  several strong  orgasms. We fell asleep feeling closer than we have since I suspended the FLR a few months ago. Today, he's done everything I expected of him, even completing the list I texted to him before I went on-stage for my orchestra concert.  I've missed this... and I hope it doesn't take us long to get fully back into the swing of things.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Things We Do for Our Pets



On Sunday, my Knight and I were out visiting his mentally ill daughter. Long story short- she has several serious mental illnesses and experiences total breaks with reality several times a year. She became consistently violent and we finally had to have her placed in therapeutic care for the safety of everyone involved. Kiddo is 10 and I love her to pieces. We visit her once a week, and do family therapy with her once a week. So... on Sunday we off visiting my Knight's daughter. I got a text message from my 17 yr old, "The dog just threw up a huge amount of black-purple stringy stuff. It smells horrible."

This dog is known for eating socks. We all have to be extra careful not to leave socks on the floor. My daughter and I talked about what the dog had eaten, and I decided it was probably yarn. So.. I went looking though my yarn stash to see what might be missing. Sure enough I found I was missing a skein of flat, brown yarn. The last time I saw that skein it was on a night table in our room, and now it was gone. My daughter said the dog vomited up a LOT of yarn, and it was a small skein, so we assumed it all came up and I kept a close eye on her. The dog was fine all night Sunday, and Monday, I made a new batch of dog food (yes.. I make all our dogs' food). The dog loved it.. no problems there. Then, on Tuesday she vomited once, then she was fine. Tuesday night she vomited every 20 -45 min all night long. I went into basic doggie first aid for vomiting. By sun up,(Weds morning, now) our dog had stopped vomiting, but was not eating or drinking much, but she was acting like her typical self. I called our regular vet and he took a "wait and see" attitude.  But, around 8pm it became very obvious that something was seriously wrong with my dog. She was still not drinking or eating. She was shaking and just not acting like herself. Our regular vet was closed, so we took her to the emergency vet clinic in a neighboring town.  X-rays revealed several pockets of air in the dog's intestines. The vet said that meant the yarn was bunched up inside her intestines, and that they would need to operate to remove the yarn. They quoted $2200 plus medications to do the surgery. The vet said we had about 12 hours to get the yarn out before it started cutting though dog's intestines.  $2200 is way more than we could afford... especially when you consider they wanted 75% to start the surgery, and the balance when she was discharged. We weren't ready to consider the alternative, so we took her home and called around. Of course, it was 2am, so most places were closed. At 730 am we called a handful more vets and got about the same price quote. Finally, we thought to call the little, one-vet, office one mile from our house.  Price quote - $500 plus meds and hospital time. We asked about breaking it up into payments and the vet assistant's answer was, "we're wasting time - get her in here and we'll work it out." So... off we went. They saw us right away. The vet looked at the x-rays from the night before, and told us the risks involved in the surgery, and what he thought was going on inside my dog. The vet was great. He was upfront and honest about what he could and could NOT do to save my dog. After all that he said.. "now.. this is the part I hate talking about. I only take payments if you've been here 3 times."  I thought for a minute.. "wait..we've had three different cats spayed here. Does that count?"   Doc didn't miss a beat, "Yep. that will work then. Let's get her in surgery." He didn't even have his staff check to see if we really had three cats spayed there.   That was Thursday morning.

Dog went into surgery at 10 Thursday morning. The dr found the yarn had been wrapped around my dog's tongue. It went from her tongue down her esophagus, into her stomach in down into her intestines. Since the yarn was wrapped around her tongue, it could not go through her, and since it was already in the intestines, it could not come back up, either. It was a pretty serious surgery, and she's lucky to be alive. But.. she is!

After surgery the vet said my dog would be awake about 230pm and we could some visit her for a few minutes anytime after that. So, around 4 my Knight and I went over to the vet's office. My dog was still groggy from the anesthesia, but otherwise she seemed as okay as she could be. She was happy to see us, and didn't want to leave my side. The vet suggested we take her for a short walk around the yard, and so we did.  He told us she could probably come home on Saturday.

This morning I called to check on her, and the the vet assistant said she was doing okay. She was on a special diet, and they had to give her small amounts of water every hour or two, but she as okay. I told the vet assistant that my Knight and I would be over to see her when he got home from work.. around 430 or so.

When my Knight got home I asked him to call the vet to see if the dog was well enough, and if wouldn't be too big a disruption to the office to bring our kids over to see her for a few minutes. The vet assistant told him that we could... but that our dog was ready to come home!!

So.. my girlie is home where she belongs. She's on a special gel food diet that I have to feed her from a syringe every hour, and she can have no more than 2 oz of water at a time. That's for the first 24 hrs after she comes home. Then she graduates to 3 oz of water at a time, the gel food, every hour, and 2 oz of special bland diet dog food thinned to a milkshake consistency twice a day. We keep this up for the  next 5 days or so..then increase her food intake a little at time. This is all to give the esophagus, stomach and intestines time to heal from the yarn damage and the surgery.  The dog is still not in the clear. We're not sure how much internal damage was done, and we have to feed her in tiny amounts to keep the stomach from expanding because of the stitches (he had to cut her stomach open to get the yarn out). There is still a chance she won't survive this.... but she has a MUCH better chance now than she did on Thursday night.

Yes, it was expensive, and yes the next couple weeks will be tough. But I love the little,dumb furball, and she's worth it.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

We Are Back.

I screwed up. Majorly.  I'm  not talking about your run of the mill "oops I forgot to pick up the kids" I'm talking about a huge, complete and absolute .... almost destroyed my marriage" kind of screw up.

What did I do? I "suspended" our flr arrangement and tried to go back to "typical."  After several talks with my Knight I started to believe that he was really just going along with flr to keep the peace. I believed that flr wasn't something the he really *wanted* .... that he was just going along so we wouldn't fight.  The clincher for me was when he said said orgasm control was "just like being with my ex."  I know how miserable he was with his ex, I know how badly her hang ups about sex screwed up my Knight's perceptions and ideas.  If  *anything* I do or say brings back those painful memories or feels like anything she did to him, I am TOTALLY on the wrong track.  After we had that conversation, there was little he could say to convince me that he was okay with the changes we'd made to our marriage. That one comparison was enough to completely convince me that I was being bossy, and manipulative... and not in a good way.

So.. I sat him down and told him I thought we should suspend the flr arrangement and go back to him being responsible for himself. I told him there would be on more lists.. no more expectations....no more demands. That he was still expected to do his part..... but that I would no longer define "his part" for him. Toward the end of that conversation I told him that if I was wrong.. if he really didn't want to dissolve the flr he could prove that to me by sticking to the flr, and keeping the current daily requirements. That if he did that, I would reconsider.

But.. he didn't.  Almost immediately he started dropping the ball on things I asked of him.

I thought I was doing him a favor. I thought I was giving my Knight what he wanted.

I was WRONG. Very... VERY.. Wrong.

My Knight felt like he was being punished for something. He got angry, passive aggressive,  depressed, and distant. He says he felt like I "pulled the rug out from under him" and that he felt "like you didn't want me around anymore."

Never again.

A few weeks ago, I asked him why he had been so damned distant with me and the kids.. What the heck was going on with him. I'm not sure why he finally told me.... because it was not the first time I'd asked what was wrong.. but THIS time he told me exactly how unhappy and depressed he has been since I suspended our flr agreement. I learned exactly how he felt about it.

And I'm glad he finally talked to me.

We have reinstated our flr. And.. I have promised him that I will never.... NEVER suspend it for any reason whatsoever.. unless he actually says the words  "I don't want the flr anymore"




Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Stuck in a Circle

You would think that with the teenager gone my Knight and I would be using our temporary free evenings to play and experiment with the more D/s aspects of this FLR we started.

You'd be wrong. The teenager has been gone for nearly a week and we've not done anything different than we usually do. I've spent a good portion of the day today mulling over the reasons for this. It's not my Knight's doing - he's pretty consistent in his daily routine, and in the evenings that routine involves checking in with me for further instructions after just about every activity. My Knight doesn't always do the right thing, but I believe he tries.

So....if the reasons for our lack of experimentation don't involve my Knight, then there is only one other place to look. That would be me.

I am still hesitant to experiment and push things to see how far my Knight wants to take this.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm still not convinced this is what my Knight wants. I still question whether he agreed to this because he wanted it, or to keep the peace and avoid divorce that was looming over our heads a year ago. I'm questioning whether or not this was the right path for us..... I'm questioning whether or not I"m "doing it right" (which boils down to whether or not I'm giving my Knight the guidance and direction he wants from me). I'm wondering how I can be a better leader for my Knight.. And wondering what he wants from this arrangement.

Which brings us right back to the lack of communication issue.

Each time I talk to my Knight about what he wants from our FLR arrangement he says almost the same thing. "I want you to be happy."

Now, I get that wanting to see me happy is a big motivator for him. BUT I still believe there is a personal motivation behind him wanting this, and THAT is what I want to know. Nobody is an empty slate.. we all have needs, and desires that we hope our partner will fulfill. Why won't my Knight share his with me? The fact that he continues to avoid sharing with me causes me to question if this is really what he wants. It's a never-ending circle. One that I really must find a way out of.

I suppose I could make assumptions and educated guesses about my Knight's motivations and act accordingly. I know him pretty well,and usually my guesses are right, or very close. But if I guess wrong I could end up hurting his feelings and damaging the trust between us. I don't want to do that. I've come to a place where I actually want him around again. I look forward to spending time with him. I'm starting to depend on my Knight again, and I don't want to do anything that might inadvertently put us back where we were a year ago. So, getting him to share his personal reasons for wanting this, and finding out where he wants it to go is kind of important.

Which puts me back on the hamster wheel because he won't tell me.

And yet.. I get the feeling that my Knight is waiting for me to bump the intensity up a bit with my teenager gone. Okay, I'm not unwilling, but it's a bit tough to know which way to increase the intensity if he won't tell me. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I never expected this to be simple, but I did expect some input from my Knight.








Friday, July 6, 2012

Time to Ourselves -- Almost

I am hoping my Knight and I can find some time to talk, play and explore the FLR aspect of things a bit more over the next couple weeks. My 16 yr old daughter is visiting my oldest daughter for the next week or so (my oldest is attending graduate school in another state). Then, both girls will go to yet another state to visit their bio-father. So, my 16 yr old will be gone for several weeks. That gives my Knight and I some much needed privacy.

Don't get me wrong. I adore my 16 yr old. She's a kid a mom can be proud of, and I am. But, my daughter is an idealistic teenager. She believes every relationship should be equal between the partners. So, she sees the dynamic between my Knight and I, and she does *not* approve. My daughter thinks I'm being unfair.

She sees my Knight come to me and ask "what's next" or "what's on my agenda for tonight, babe?", or she overhears me telling him which writing project to work on, and what the deadline is, or.. really any situation in which he defers to me, and my daughter rolls her eyes and gets irritated. When I ask my Knight to do something that I can obviously do myself my daughter calls me on it. I've explained to her that when I do everything myself her step-dad doesn't feel needed, and so I ask him to do things because it makes him happy. My Knight has explained it the same way.

But, I raised my daughter to be independent and strong. I raised her to do for herself and not take advantage of people. And sometimes she sees my Knight do something, like stop what he's doing to carry my sax to and from the car for me, and she think's I'm being unfair.

. My daughter's bio-dad is an alpha-type guy, and he is in complete control of his wife's actions and spending. I was a single mom from the time my 16 yr old was 10 months old until she was 9, and for the last 6 of our 7 years together, my Knight and I tried to do things 50/50. But, of course that didn't work and we argued a lot because of my Knight's submissive qualities. It's only been a year since I started embracing those traits and using them to my advantage. Of course my daughter sees the difference. My Knight and I don't argue anymore (much), but my daughter believes that my Knight is simply caving to me to keep the peace. (he's not... we have discussed this particular topic to death - he had to work hard to convince me that  he wasn't doing just that. )

Because of my daughter's reactions, my Knight and I try really hard not to discuss anything that could sound like a request or a direction when she's around.  And of course, she's 16.. it's not like we can just wait until she goes to bed.. she's often up later than we are.

So... we have the next 3 weeks or so to have talk openly, and do whatever we want after the younger kids to go to bed at 9pm. I'm hoping the extra time alone will help us both have more open conversations and give us more time to explore the FLR aspect of things.

Friday, June 29, 2012

More of the Same

Lately..the last couple weeks, I suppose, I seem to be getting a little bit of resistance from my Knight when it comes to following my instructions. Nothing major.. no outright refusals or anything.  But, a lot of "oops, I forgot" and "oh.. I thought that changed when X happened - I didn't know you still wanted me to do it"  kind of moments. It's annoying, frustrating and just a bit discouraging.

There was an incident yesterday where my I asked my Knight to drop off a huge bag of books to one of the charity based 2nd hand stores... again. These books have been in the back of our van for 3 weeks, waiting to be donated. Yesterday I reminded him for the -who knows how many-th time to drop them off on his way home from work. The donation site is less than one mile from his office so, really.. this is NOT a huge deal.. just get it done. Well.. once again it didn't get done. My Knight's "explanation"?

"I wasn't sure you still wanted me to make the stop since we're taking the kids to the lake."

Um. Yeah. Whatever. That makes no sense.. since I never said:

  •  don't don't take the books for donation
  •  I never said "come straight home" 
  • we are in email contact all day long. There is NEVER a time during his day at work where he is unable to send me an email. He could have easily emailed and asked.
  • Ditto for text.
  • I sent him an email about mid-way through the day to remind him to drop off the books. 

And then.. last Sunday there was the breakfast bickering. My Knight got up late, and then spent 35 minutes following me around the house asking what I wanted for breakfast. Quite frankly, I wanted to go get my shower so I could get ready for church. But instead ended up standing in our kitchen discussing breakfast choice that could not have cared less about.. and Yes, I told him "I don't care.. just make something, I'm going up to take my shower."   My Knight started talking about running out to the store for something or other and it stopped me in my tracks. We were getting ready for church. The 6 of us had to be out the door and in the van in 20 minutes, if we were to make it on-time. We did not have the time for him to run to the store. After wasting another 5 minutes going in circles I finally told him never mind. I'll make my own breakfast that day.... and every day from here on out - not to bother. And then I went upstairs for a quick shower.

Interestingly enough.. when I came back down, my Knight had made breakfast, AND the tea he had totally forgotten about. And he has made breakfast for me everyday this week. 

It's these little things that make me go back to wondering if my Knight really wants FLR, or if he's just agreed to go along with this to save our marriage a year ago. I find myself wondering if he's doing some sort of passive-aggressive protest bs over specific requests of mine..

I realize that's a question none of you can answer... that I need to ask HIM. And I have.. many, many times. Each time he tells me the same.. "Yes, I want this." My Knight was excited and thrilled to receive his ring. That ring has not come off his finger once since I presented him with it. If I even suggest we take a break from FLR for a while my Knight tells me that's not what he wants.. that he's happy with and likes the way things are.  Heck.. every time I remind him that finances, or our social obligations, or planning things, or even scheduling when he will finish writing projects,  are no longer his concern - that is job now is just to do 
as I ask him,  he answers with "do you have any idea how much I love you" or something similar.  

Granted...... I have not asked him if he still wants FLR since I give him the ring, but as you can see from the breakfast episode, the mere mention of   "I'll do it myself" caused him to get over whatever his issue was and get the job done. And.. after he didn't drop off those books yesterday I sent him an email this morning asking if it would be better if I just went back to doing everything myself.  He dropped those books off on his way home tonight.

But... at the same time, my Knight has pulled the passive aggressive crap on me before. Saying he'll do something and then not following through because he really doesn't want to.. he just agreed to avoid an argument. Granted.. that was before the FLR agreement when we were both still pretty angry with each other, but .... it makes me wonder. 

I've asked my Knight to keep a journal of his feelings and thoughts regarding FLR, us, and life in general. But, he doesn't write init very often. Actually, he was really good about it for the first week or so, and then just stopped... when I asked him about it, he claimed lack of time. So, I carved out 45 minutes each evening for journal writing. But, he always seems to find a way to fill that time with something he "forgot" or "didn't have time" to do earlier in the day. 

I am looking at my Knight's actions and I see one of two possibilities here.. 1. He really is not into this whole FLR thing and is just trying to keep the peace  or 2. He's trying to get me to be more strict with him.

A third possibility would be that he really IS that forgetful.... but I don't think so. 

Could it be that my Knight is still so caught up in not wanting to displease me that it is still causing him to go in circles? That my insistence that I didn't care what we ate for breakfast on Sunday sent him into a tailspin of wondering what I *really* wanted?  And that finding out we were going to the lake when he got home made him wonder if I really wanted him to delay getting home by dropping off those books...and since he couldn't decide he did nothing?

But in the case of the books, why not just email me and be done with it?  A quick email asking is a heck of a lot more efficient than stressing and wondering. 

When I ask him these questions, he tells me likes the FLR arrangement --that he feels calmer and less stressed knowing I have everything under control. And I believe him. About the other possibilities, he tells me he doesn't know... or he's not sure.. or..... tries to change the subject.  Leaving me wondering what do do next. 

I never expected this transition to be an easy one. But I did expect to get some input from my Knight about what works best for him, and most importantly WHY. I have *got* to get him comfortable with talking about FLR and his own submissive tendencies.  I keep saying I'm going to try "conversation by cock tease" but, when it comes down to it I always feel so .... manipulative doing that. I've done it twice with mixed results. The first time my Knight answered everything I asked him. The second time he wasn't very forthcoming with answers. And both times, I felt like I unfairly manipulated  and took advantage of him. Even though we talked about the 'conversation by cock tease" approach, and he knew what I was doing, and he's told me more than once  "do whatever you feel you need to keep me on track"  I still felt like crap for manipulating him like that, and I haven't done it since. 

Maybe the whole manipulation issue is a whole different blog post.







Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Finding His Motivation

Things around our house have been fairly uneventful. For the most part my Knight and I have fallen into a comfortable D/s routine, I think. Most of the time my Knight finishes his daily assigned tasks. I was actually impressed the other night when I announced it was bedtime. My Knight asked my permission to stay up a few extra minutes because he had not finished washing pots and pans. I wasn't thrilled about going to bed alone, because I had plans to tease him a bit before we went to sleep. But I was happy to know he was taking that chore seriously enough to stay up and finish. I was sound asleep by the time my Knight came to bed, so he missed out on the playtime, but maybe next time he'll manage his time a bit better.

There have been a few little things that make me think I should get serious about adding some sort of daily action to remind my Knight of his submissive role. It seems that every couple days my Knight gets sloppy about one or another (or several) of his daily responsibilities. I can remind him, but it does not good. It's not until I chew him out that he starts paying proper attention to things again. This has been an on-going issue for years. Before FLR I would let it go for months before I finally got pissed and it turned into a yelling match.  Not meeting his household responsibilities was a *huge* issue for us. I couldn't depend on him for anything at all. Since FLR I remind him as soon as things go undone, and it really does happen less often. Sometimes it's putting gas in the van for me, other times it's making breakfast on-time, or cleaning up after himself in the kitchen or yard, forgetting to do something extra I asked of him -- little things. But what I find interesting now is that when I call him on these things, his attitude changes. He doesn't look me in the eye, he doesn't make excuses (not often, anyway), and his typical answer is, "You're right. I should have done it. I'll go take care of that right now." Before FLR he argued and made excuses as to why it didn't get done. I've also noticed that after he hears from me about something left undone he is more attentive to his responsibilities, and to me, for a while. Until the next time he starts slipping.

His pattern really makes me think he needs a daily reminder of who is in charge around here, and why.  I *thought* the tease and denial would provide that for him, but I guess not. I have him making my breakfast for me every morning for the same reason. I thought that maybe if the very first thing my Knight does every morning is something that serves me, it would give a reminder. It seems we need to have another discussion about why we're doing a FLR, and what he gets out of it so that I can better understand what motivates him.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Moving Things Forward?.....Maybe

I'm thinking about adding a little fantasy play to our life. My Knight and I have always talked about our fantasies, sometimes I write out fantasy scenes for him, other times I've started writing a scene and handed it off to him to add to. We'll pass a story back and forth like that for a couple weeks, each adding bits and pieces that interest us. I've found it a great way to share fantasies and learn about each other.

I've always known that my Knight would like to include the occasional playmate in our bedroom gymnastics. He was open about this desire even while we were dating, and promised me that he would never touch another woman without my permission. He's been true to his word. I enjoy using this particular fantasy to play and tease him. We have an ongoing story about some cute blonde that I made up years ago. It's not about him getting to screw another woman, it's about seeing me pleasured in many different ways with different people, it's about watching and being watched and making several women very content. I've always been open to the idea, but not until I felt we were solid enough to handle it.. and not until I was certain that my Knight would follow the rules I set out for him. The most important of which is "no communication with any other woman I bring into our bedroom without me being there."

See, my first husband cheated on me with an old high school friend after telling me they were "just friends", then he cheated on me with a couple of strangers,too. The first time I forgave him for the simple reason that I was his first. The day I found out about  the 2nd and 3rd times I kicked him out of the house and filed for divorce. I've also seen many seemingly solid, and close relationships fall apart when a playmate was introduced. That's not a chance I want to take with my Knight.  So, even though the idea of supervised playing wasn't off the table completely I have been cautious.

A good bit over a year ago, an old boyfriend dropped into my life out of nowhere. He ended up living in the studio apartment that is part of our house. And he ended up in our bed. It was my Knight's idea. He asked if I wanted to sleep with my friend and told me it was okay if I did. At first, I was against the idea.I didn't want to start something that could end badly. But my Knight encouraged me and eventually I warmed up to the idea. The old boyfriend certainly didn't object, and in fact, was very much open to the idea and it wasn't long before he was joining us in bed regularly. My Knight mentioned that it would be okay with him if the old boyfriend and I took off by ourselves occasionally to play, but somehow that just did not feel right to me,and so we never did. After a few months the old boyfriend no longer wanted to be included in our games, and we moved to a "just friends" relationship. My Knight and I discussed the possibility of me finding another guy to bring to our bed. I never ruled the idea out, but I haven't seriously acted on it, either.

We've been doing FLR for just under a year now and my Knight is trying very hard to meet my expectations. Most of the struggles we've had starting this journey have been my issues, not his. I struggle with my own perceptions of "fairness" and with trying to understand the "submissive mindset" I enjoy our FLR lifestyle, but still question how and why and even IF my Knight is truly happy in our arrangement. But again.. those are my hang ups, not his. And I think that maybe...just maybe  it's time for me to set up a short but fun scene for him. I'm still concerned about the after affects of such an action, but I'm pretty sure my Knight will follow the rules and I believe putting him in a surprise situation (one that we've talked about before) will help reinforce the trust between us, and his place in my life.

Now.. to put the details together.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Getting More Comfortable

I tried to give my Knight a break from chores and household duties yesterday. Family tradition dictates that on holidays that center on a specific person (ie Mother's Day, Father's Day, birthdays) the person being honored is excused from typical daily chores.

We had a nice day. The kids made breakfast for both of us and served us in bed. My 16 yr old came to me the night before and asked me to "sleep in a little" because "if you get up, he'll get up. But if you get up late, he'll get up late and the kids are making breakfast." So my Knight didn't have to make breakfast yesterday.

After the kids brought breakfast and coffee into us I decided I didn't want us eating on the bed, so I moved us all out to the kitchen table. After breakfast we all took off to get ready for church. We usually skip church on holidays but my 16 yr old was interviewing for a position as a daycare provider with the church nursery.

After church I put dinner in the oven to cook early so that my Knight and kids could eat dinner while they watched the concert my teen and I were playing in at a park that evening. Then, I went to lie down before the concert.  When I told my Knight I was lying down he automatically asked " Do you want me to come with you?"  I told him to work it out with the kids.   A few minutes after I went in, my Knight joined me. While we were lying down my teen kept an eye on dinner and the younger kids did their chores. Shortly, it was time to get up and get ready for our concert.

It all sounds pretty unremarkable, and it was, except in hindsight. During everything, my Knight's attention was focused on me. Even as the kids and I took over my Knight's household chores, his attention stayed focused on me.  At one point during the day, I found myself looking for things I could ask him to do for me because he seemed unsure what to do with himself.  So, I gave him some extra computer time. I hoped he'd take it upon himself to get caught up on some writing, but I didn't specify and he blew 45 min on Facebook---Lesson learned. Next time I will tell him to go write for 45 min. Then I had him pull something from my sax case, fix an earring for me, check the fluids in the car.  I asked him to help haul equipment from the band room to the concert site so that I didn't have to. And, of course he carried my sax and music for me and hauled coolers and food to and from the car.

I had him do these things not because I was trying to make him work, but because I know my Knight enjoys doing things for me. It makes him happy, gives him a purpose, and ... I think....... gives him a sense of contentment.

My point here is that a year ago, I would have insisted on doing most, if not all those things myself because it was Father's Day and he should "take the day off" but, this year, instead of putting my Knight through a "forced vacation" I found things he could do just for me. In the past, as we lie in bed at night my Knight has always apologized to me saying that I should not have gotten stuck with dishes.. cooking.. whatever. Last night, however, he seemed content to curl up with me on our bed and watch a movie that I let him choose. He didn't try to make it up to me, or apologize for what he didn't do that day. For the first time in all the years we've been together he didn't seem to be mad at himself at the end of a holiday.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Things Can Be So Clear Sometimes

So.. tonight my Knight and I went out to dinner and then grabbed ice cream to eat beside the lake of our favorite park.  It was obvious that something was bothering my Knight. He was quiet and withdrawn,  irritable with traffic and just not himself. Finally after a bit of prodding he admitted to being more worried about a situation at work than he had been letting on. After I gave him a chance to talk it out I pointed out that when you get right down to things, the only opinion that matters is mine. He started to point out that if these execs didn't like how he had handled things they could fire him. My answer to that was, "yeah.. and if they do.. who do you have face at home? Are they going to be part of your life 10 years from now? When you get right down to it...... the only people you are responsible to  are me and the kids, and the only one you have to answer to is ME. I expect you to do your best in everything you do, all the time. As long as you're doing *that* I'm happy, and when I don't think you are doing your best, I let you know."

This conversation turned into a long discussion about my expectations. I spelled it out for him.. the only opinion that should matter to him is mine. My opinion of his actions should even be more important than his own. There is a  solid reason for this -- my Knight is a perfectionist, that in itself is not a bad thing, but he tends to be way .. WAY harder on himself than a called for by any given situation, and his criteria for judging success is sometimes unreasonable. So, as a balance, he's supposed to check in with me before judging success or failure on things.. especially things that bother him.

"You keep telling me that everything you do is for me, right?" I asked him.

"Of course."

"If that's true, then my opinion is the only one that matters. I tell you when I think you've done a good job, and I tell you when I think you screwed up, right?"

"Yeah."

"Then....don't worry about what other people think. You answer to me, and me alone."

I reached over and rested my hand in his lap.  He was hard as a rock.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Interesting....

Recently my Knight just completed 30 full days of intentional orgasm denial. This morning I sent him an email asking.."so.. 30 days.. too long, not long enough, or you really don't have an opinion?"

His answer?  "...not seriously keeping count, babe...especially when you get upset with me.  I lose track of anything left of the decimal point, I think...*wink*"


This was the first time I intentionally denied my Knight for a set period of time. There was 2 weeks where I purposely withheld any touching because he screwed up big time. But, the original plan.. before the screw up.. was 30 days of denial. My Knight had not idea when I'd let him orgasm. In fact, we didn't even talk about it once during that time. He didn't ask, and I didn't volunteer the information-- he just knew he was not allowed to come until I told him he could.


I find it interesting that he wasn't counting. Or if he was, he's not willing to admit it to me. I find myself wondering why he didn't keep track, and if that indicates a lack of interest in the T&D game, or a total willingness to leave things in my hands.  And yes, I sent him a follow up email asking that and a few other things. Out of everything we do as part of our FLR, I enjoy T&D the most.  Although, I will admit, I wish my Knight would talk to me about how it affects him. But.. that will come. I know why getting him to talk about sex is so difficult, and that, I suppose is half the battle. 





Clarification On My Last Post

After reading over my last post I think I was a little unclear. I believe our current issues with my Knight's non-compliance are more related to my lack of consistency and clarity than any real shortcoming or lack of interest on his part. This is all very new to me and sometimes I am very much less than perfect when expressing my desires to my Knight.  I try, but I'm fighting years upon years of "societal programming' telling me that I "should not" dominate my partner. Except I am starting to see that is exactly what he wants. He wants me to be clear on what I expect from him, because really.. how else can he fulfill those expectations. Part of my problem is that when he comes to me at the end of the day and asks, "Babe, do you want me to finish up the dishes before I come to bed?"  I almost always so no because it feels so unfair to me to "make" him stay up an extra half hour to finish dishes that I can just as easily do in the morning. Or when he says "Why don't I finish X for you while you watch a movie." .. Same thing. It feels unfair to me to send him off to complete some random task while I kick back and do nothing. I'm not built that way. I have always done my share of the work, usually I take on more than my share of the work.

I can see where it could get confusing and unclear for my Knight. On one hand, I've told him that I expect him to wash used pots and pans every single night. And then I tell him, "no, baby. I'm going to bed."

My Knight needs a clear understanding of what my expectations are for him, and I need to learn to stick to those expectations, regardless of what my "bossy sensors" are telling me. Because my husband needs clear and consistent guidelines from me.

I am going too write out a list of guidelines and expectations for both myself and my Knight to refer to. That way, when he is tempted to ask me, "Should I do X or Y?"  , we can both look at the predetermined list and see where his question fits into my established expectations.






Monday, June 11, 2012

Expectations Are EVERYTHING!

I am realizing that I only get from my Knight what I expect and demand from him, and not a hair more. Over the weekend we had a disagreement over some items on my Knight's daily To do List that consistently remain undone. I told my Knight very bluntly that I expected him to complete every single item on his list *every single day* unless I specifically say otherwise. There are a few weekly exceptions to that rule, such as Friday evening dishes because we are not home, but other than that I expect his list to be completed each evening before bed. AND I expect him to go to bed at the same time I do each night.

When confronted with his incomplete list-- some items went back over 4 weeks-- his excuse was that either there were other things going on and he was unclear what his priority should have been, or that he just did not have the time.

I looked at that list and told him that it was obvious to me that he no longer wished to continue our FLR arrangement. I told him that I have neither the time, energy, nor patience to play the "double check his work and hand out consequences for things undone" game. That by accepting the FLR arrangement he agreed to complete all assigned tasks and duties without fail, without whining, and without complaint. And he was not living up to that promise. I'm not into handing out punishments and if he is going to be my sub, then he simply needs to do what I ask. Period. Then I walked away.

The next morning my Knight was up early to start breakfast -- one of the chores he's been neglecting lately. He apologized, said I was right - I shouldn't have to double check his work,  and asked if we could continue our FLR arrangement if he was more diligent about getting his daily tasks completed. I agreed to give him another chance, provided that he understands how I feel about he punishment thing. If I have to hand out a punishment then he has *really* ticked me off. I tend to let minor irritations slide because it's not worth it.

Looking back, I realize that part of the problem may be simple uncertainty about priorities, but that a big part is expectations. My Knight would much rather spend his evenings curled up with me on the couch while I read, crochet, work, or watch a movie with my teenage daughter. Many times I allow him to do just that, instead of reminding him of the tasks he needs to complete before bed. He's come to believe that I don't really expect him to get those pots and pans washed. I'm just as content to have him sit with me. Which is sometimes true... until I realize that my hands are hurting because I've been slinging cast iron skillets four of the past five days.

I really don't require much of him in the evening. After dinner my Knight is supposed to wash any pots or pans used during the day. He also is expected to wash his dinner plate and my dinner plate, if I don't get to it while the kids are taking baths. (Each of the kids wash their own dishes,and  I wash most dishes used in dinner prep while I'm cooking ) After that, he is free to work on writing projects or whatever, if there is time before bed.

So.. I need to work on making my expectations clear along with the task list. My Knight needs to understand that if x, y or z happens, then THIS is the priority..but if l,m or q happen then THIS is the priority.

There are a lot of little details that I take for granted that my Knight either does not see, or doesn't know how to handle.

Didn't we deal with this issue a few months ago.. I guess I did some backsliding of my own... I need to watch that.




Thursday, June 7, 2012

Interesting....

After two weeks of having all sex play removed from our relationship, my Knight is a totally different guy. It was 2 weeks yesterday since my Knight's indiscretion. I decided that whatever other punishments I might dole out the biggie was going to be planned, and intentional withdraw of my touch. I told him that was how it was going to be and reminded him that under no circumstances was he to masturbate at all. If I had any reason at all to question if he'd been playing alone it could become semi-permanent. My Knight knows from our pre-FLR fights that I can just "turn it off" especially if I feel he broke my trust. Sexual attraction is all in my head, and I can control it as easily as I can flip a light switch.

So, he's been on his best behavior these last two weeks. Attentive, sweet, helpful, *talkative*. That's the important part right there. Talkative. My Knight does not talk about his feelings unless I push and pry. It drives me nuts. When I ask what's wrong and he tells me "Nothing" when it's obvious something is bothering him.... it just pisses me off. But, this last week he's made an obvious effort to share his feelings with me. Not just about his recent screw up, but about everything. When I ask him what he's thinking he actually tells me, instead of giving me some general means nothing answer. See.. I demand total and complete honesty and openness from my Knight. About everything, including his thoughts. I want to know everything.. including no.. especially .. the stuff he'd rather not share with me. Why? Because a guy who allows himself to be that unguarded and vulnerable with his lady is just about the sexiest thing around.

It's not that my Knight won't share that with me, it's that most of the time he doesn't know how and I've been horrible about finding a way to teach him to let those walls down for me. He wants to.. but he's a guy.. and let's face it.. being vulnerable isn't something most guy are good at.. nor do most of them want to be.  Maybe I'm odd, but the guy who is willing and able to totally open up seems stronger than the guy who guards his feelings. My Knight is a very emotional being.. sometimes more emotional than I am. But, he doesn't often show it, not even to me. The past week has been different, though. He's been more willing to talk, more willing to open up to me. It's been wonderful.

I'm hoping his new found openness is because he's being denied, and not because he knew I was hurt and angry.

Time will tell. Here's hoping that he continues to be so open.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Twenty Six Days and Counting

My Knight is at day 26 since his last orgasm. That's not the longest he's gone, but I don't count the others because that was before we started FLR, and was the result of our previous marriage problems. He *could* have done things himself, but usually didn't.

This is the first time I've intentionally had him wait this long. Granted, I declared 10 days of no sex play at all as part of his punishment for his dishonesty 2 weeks ago. But, that was up last night, so he got a short, but intense tease session this morning. To my Knight's credit he didn't even let himself come close to going over the edge.  He didn't complain or show any disappointment when I declared it time to stop. He followed the rules perfectly and enjoyed what he was given.

We are going out this evening to look at some land and a house. I think I might stop at our favorite private spot for some under the stars cock teasing. I have to say, he is so sexy when he's been denied for any length of time. I love that he starts to get hard just getting undressed for me. I love watching him squirm when I play with his cock, when he's been denied any length of time it's so easy for him to pay total attention to the sensations running through him. When he's not being denied his short attention span gets the better of him and he can be thinking about 20 different things while we're having sex.  But when he's denied for long periods, I have his total and complete attention anytime my hand is on his cock. He becomes so absorbed in what I'm doing to him that nothing else exists for him. Which is exactly why I deny him. Because I love seeing him so immersed in sensation and pleasure that the whole world slips away.   The flip of that is that he also becomes totally absorbed in whatever he's doing to me.  Which  works well for me, too.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Punishment Postponed.

I had planned to post my update on my Knight's consequences this weekend. The plan was to give my Knight his list of things to accomplish on Friday night after we got home from our Friday night family activity. But, that didn't happen. On the way home I started having an odd pain in my chest that wasn't asthma, and I was pretty certain was not ms symptoms. I didn't really think it was a heart attack, but I wasn't sure what was going on The pain and pressure continued through the night and got worse with any kind of activity. Nothing I did made it any better. Lying down made it worse and so I propped myself up in bed. My blood pressure and pulse were normal and so, while I was concerned I didn't think it was anything serious. Around midnight I told my Knight to take a nap and I'd wake him if it got any worse. We both managed to get a little sleep.

The next morning the pain and pressure were still there. I got up and tried to go on about my typical Saturday morning activities, but movement made the pain worse and I started getting short of breath. I tried using my asthma meds, but  they only made the pain worse. That's the point that we decided I needed to go to the emergency room. My Knight drove me to a hospital about 35 min away in the next town. Our little town has a medical center, but the one time I used them for a severe asthma attack I was unimpressed with the staff and the care. We got to the ER and there was a string of police cars in the patient drop off area, so my Knight had to park in the lot and I had to walk to the door. By the time we got across the parking lot he was practically carrying me because I was out of breath and in a lot of pain. The nursing staff grabbed me and took me right back. They started an EKG almost immediately. The EKG was "questionable" and the dr. ordered baby aspirin  and nitroglycerin. Within minutes after taking the nitroglycerin the pain and pressure dissolved.

The doctor ordered blood tests, and a chest x-ray to check my heart, and called the on-call cardiologist. After talking to me, looking at my tests, and hearing about my family history the cardiologist still wasn't sure what was going on. He decided to admit to the hospital for a stress test, more intensive EKG and an echo cardiogram.

My Knight stayed with me until I finally told him to go home and get some sleep. He went home, but he didn't sleep very well. He had turned the younger kids over to my almost 17 yr old daughter and was back at my side by 7 am. The doctor came into see me around 8. We learned that my heart enzymes were fine, and it was unlikely I had a heart attack, but that my EKGs were abnormal. He explained exactly where and how my EKG was abnormal and then said, "but that's not what caused your pain. This is an electrical issue. Maybe in 20 or 30 years you might need a pacemaker, but right now it's not an issue."

"Okay. So what caused the chest pain?" I asked him.

Bottom line was that he didn't know yet. But hoped the tests he had scheduled would tell him what was going on.

The tests started around 9 am and were finished by 11. After waiting several hours for the cardiologist to look at my test results the nurse came in. My test results were all normal. I could go home.

I spent the rest of Sunday doing a whole lot of nothing. My daughter made dinner and we had a family movie marathon. Monday we went to to the lake for the day and I watched the kids and the dogs play in the water. Last night I told my Knight that I had not forgotten about his transgression and the impending consequences, but that given the circumstances of the weekend I thought it best to put our discussion on hold. I'm planning on having that discussion tonight.