It’s funny how much things can change in a year. In the summer of 2018, my partner Katalyste and I had been developing a class: Nourishing Your Inner Submissive (With or Without a Partner). It focused mostly without, but it also applied to people with D-types who might be long distance, and therefore not physically around as much as you’d like them to be. She and I both had many years of experience dealing with this, as we both knew and had been people pining for that D/s connection. Also, Fet seemed to be rife with posts from submissives yearning for more contact from their LDR D-types or yearning for a D-type at all. I had been working with my therapist at the time, as well, to be my own Dominant for the times when my then D-type wasn’t available (LDRs massively suck) or, after we’d broken up, when I didn’t have one. Seemed like there was an audience for it and I was really excited to build this with her.
At the end of the summer, Katalyste was diagnosed with cancer and wasn’t able to attend the first event we were supposed to present this class at. She asked that I finish developing it and present it myself at that event and I did. I also kept teaching it after she passed at the beginning of the year, feeling her with me each time I presented it. It’s been an honor to teach and something that’s made me feel close to her.
A Year in Review
A lot has happened this year. And like I said in my revisit of my Domme post, this isn’t exactly what I thought this post would look like when I first decided to write it. Y’see, at the end of last year, in an attempt to figure some shit out about myself that I’d learned that year, I wrote a four part series called the Difficulty with D Words. In that series, I explored the trouble I was having with things like relationships, what love meant to me, and how that had all been changing over the years (Definitions), my ever-evolving feelings on the left side of the slash (Domme), my as of then really new feelings of being on the right side of the slash as a girl exploring D/g play for the first time (Daddy), and finally, my also feelings about sex and sexuality and sex drive and all that good stuff (Desire).
I’ve been thinking a lot about these things lately and what’s happened in this past year in regards to them. Since it’s been a looong year with a lotta growth and change and healing, I wanted to revisit each of those posts now as the year is drawing to a close. The Definitions and Desire revisit posts got combined into one that talks about how the less I look for forever, the happier I am now and the Domme post is linked above.
This Daddy post, though. Holy fuck, this one has been a struggle. I’ve been writing it for over two months. I sent one draft out to a close friend about a month or so ago. It was half the length of what it is now. And it all stemmed, in many ways, from a kink evolution that’s shocked the fuck out of me: that after nearly twenty years in the scene, I’m not feeling terribly aligned with submission much these days. I don’t feel pulled to give myself over in those same ways. I don’t want to surrender my energy to serving another person 24/7 or really even part time. It’s time to invest that energy in my own growth first. I still feel called to being OF service to people and places and events that I love, on a limited basis when I choose to, but I no longer feel the calling of being IN service. That may change. But for now, that’s where I am.
What I have connected strongly with, however, is D/g play. I’ve been exploring it slowly for a little over a year. Last year, when I first started exploring D/g space, I wrote about working on the very beginning of re-parenting myself and being my own Daddy, much the same way I had been working on being my own Dominant. However, I found I couldn’t just look to the class Katalyste and I put together for direct correlation and answers, because Daddy energy is very different from stereotypical Dom(me) energy. While I tended to gravitate towards D-types who were, at the very least on the surface, more nurturing than not, having experienced D/g space, there is a fundamental difference.
While driving home from an event earlier this month, a play partner friend and I were talking about what makes Daddy/girl dynamics different from Dom/sub and Master/slave ones. In this day and age, while there are plenty of people who think each of those things MUST be done a specific way, there are also plenty of people in the camp I find myself. I’m more of the “let’s build things together and see what works for us rather than rely on how things have ‘always’ been done. Or what someone else says should be done.”
With my most recent ex, at one point we had been discussing the possibility of a Master/slave dynamic. And to figure that out, they started a sandbox style doc where we could both add things and take things away and give feedback to come to a contract that suited us both. Like so much with that relationship, it never came to fruition. But I still believe in collaborating on building things, like what kind of container you’re building with someone else, what the expectations are, etc. My friend, who is also a scientist, raised the question that I’ve been thinking about for weeks…so if there’s so much overlap, what makes them each different? Because that’s when you get to the essence of each. When you identify the distinguishing differences. So my brain has been going, how is this different? Why does this feel so different?
Walking Marked a Huge Difference
One example that springs to mind is my submissive/slave training meant that I have a default of walking a step behind off the dominant hand of someone unless I’m feeling Dominant. Then I find myself walking ahead of the person or people I’m with. (#switchlife) If I don’t have that kind of connection to the person/people I’m with, (or I’m trying to force myself out of a certain feeling because acting on it is not appropriate at that time), I will walk next to them.
However, at an event earlier this year, I got to spend time with my sometimes Daddy. As we were walking through a hotel hallway, I noticed that he had his hand on my lower back, ever so gently pushing me forward when I was falling into my default as we were walking. My submissive training took over and I eventually starting walking ahead of him because that was clearly what he was communicating, but got confused when coming to a door.
Years of experience told me that I should hold the door open, but something in his demeanor told me that he was expecting to hold it open for me. This all felt very strange and I wasn’t sure of my observations and it happened so quickly that it didn’t feel like the right time to ask in the moment, so I asked him about it later that day.
He confirmed that he was bringing me forward, because with this dynamic, I should be walking in front of him. He continued by saying, “my job is to protect you, therefore I need to be able to see you at all times.” I’ve been slowly absorbing this over the past few months. This change in perspective. This…overt protection and nurturing. It’s very different. It’s not that I didn’t feel protected in previous relationships when I was submissive. I had a tendency to get into relationships with people who are literally ninjas, or military trained, or really good with knives…like I had no feeling that if something happened, I wouldn’t be bodily protected…but this…felt different. This was a whole other layer of protection.
This was a vigilant yet…observant protection and nurturing. There’s a certain distance, while also an intense connection. I’m not sure I’m explaining this right but I’m gonna keep working through it. It’s basically a feeling of being worthy, just as myself, to be cared for and helped to grow and be the best me I can be….for me. I’m not saying a Daddy doesn’t care about his girls and doesn’t take pride in them. In my comparatively limited experience, he definitely does. But the goal doesn’t seem to be…directly for him.
An End Point Can Be a Distinct Difference
At an event towards the end of 2018, I had what my therapist calls a “download”. I was meditating on D/g things at a camp event and had a moment of clarity/message from the Universe that little girls can and should grow up. It helped me feel calmer, that there was a likely trajectory, also a possible end. Not necessarily soon, but it wasn’t and isn’t something I’m looking for forever and for some reason I found that soothing.
I’m sure there are plenty of long term, full time D/g players out there and some of you might even be reading this going “NO! THAT’S NOT TRUE!” It might not be true for you. But for me…I don’t want this full-time. I don’t want it forever. But I do want it for a little bit more. When talking with a friend about this theory, they asked me how far I thought I’d come during this past year of exploring. I took a minute and 40% felt right. I’m not sure if 40% per year or so is an average…I really have no experience with this. I’d love to talk to more girls and Daddies about it to see what their feelings. I’m sure we’ve all got different answers about what feels right for us.
Growth for the Sake of Growth, Not For the Sake of Serving
But basically, I feel like this dynamic is giving me a chance to grow in ways were never allowed, encouraged, or were never even possible. It’s giving me a chance to heal some wounds both from my childhood and past relationships. Some of the most memorable times from this past year are when my sometimes Daddy found a moment to hammer something home in a stern yet gentle way.
When I was having trouble with the desires I had, he made me repeat after him a few times that my desires aren’t bad. And that even my filthiest desires aren’t bad. It’s okay to share them with people who want to hear them. It doesn’t guarantee that they will come to fruition, those desires, but having them, feeling aroused by them is not bad. I am not bad for having them. I am not going to break everything by having them.
When I’ve tried to shut my eyes to protect myself as Daddy is prying me open, peeling back layers of pain to uncover the core of desire, connection, pure energy, he makes me open them. Makes me look at him. Tells me that he sees me. It’s one of the most terrifying, exhilarating, arousing things ever. Because I can see that he sees me. I can see my desire reflected back in his eyes and it’s okay. It’s more than okay. It’s welcomed and met with his desire. It’s not just tolerated, it’s celebrated. It’s connected and teaching me how to reconnect to people sexually. And to myself. In making me face him, he makes me face myself.
And when I was afraid that I’d broken everything during the awesome birthday spanking scene, he deftly redirected my fear into a massive download that I should never, ever apologize to ANYONE for taking pleasure in my own body.
Re-learning My Body
That one is…really hard for me. I’m learning that the biggest thing I struggle with in this dynamic is worthiness. That my body, my desires, are all…okay. And not just okay, but valid, and other people can find them sexy and want to give me attention. Like…I’ve spent a long time giving others attention and care. I’m still part submissive cuckquean, even if the submissive side is hibernating currently. I enjoy and want to make people I care about feel good. A lot. At great length. But after my divorce, and also after two very difficult, painful relationships finally ended, I shut down pieces of myself. I began to believe the message from an ex that reduced me to what they saw as ugly body parts. This made me wind up internalizing a lot of personal body and desire shame.
Also, I didn’t learn certain things about my body growing up. I continue to be smacked with this lack of knowledge in the most awkward and difficult ways and I don’t know how to deal with it. I thought I was a gray ace and maybe at that time I was. But I sure as hell don’t feel ace right now.
I want to know how to squirt. I’ve done it once, but I have no idea how to do it again. Someone was doing things and all of a sudden…flood gates. Once in 42 years. I have an Njoy Pure wand and it feels like the way it’s designed, I should’ve figured it out by now, but no. Also, I want to know how to ask for that kind of attention. Like eventually, sometimes, it comes out. But many times, I’ll get stuck when someone asks what I want. My brain freezes as it gets bombarded with All The Things (Iwannabefisted,pleasefuckme, please touchmyclitnecktitsearshipstummynodon’ttouchmytummypleasetouchmytummyandmysides, brushmyhairnodon’tbrushmyhairpullmyhair, pissalloverme, pleasetellmestoriesaboutyourfriendstakingmeandyouwatching, pleasepunchmebeatmewiththebeltnonothebeltyespleasepleasepleasethebelt, and so much more all at once but then my brain shuts them all down but then tries to open them back up and I just….don’t know. I’ve got to learn to reliably pick one. And ask for it. I’m working on an erotica short story about it. Aaaand I’ve been working on it for about eight months…
Anyway, I didn’t learn about desire or dealing with difficult emotions growing up. My reality was fucked with on a regular basis. I was told I couldn’t feel how I was feeling. My life was put in danger on a regular basis. And sex was immensely shameful. And yet it was everywhere. And it all became this huge block where it’s been hard to process that someone wants to play with me in that way. That someone feels like protecting me is something that they want to do, voluntarily…even sometimes. To help me grow. To challenge me, directly, in positive ways. To be the best me I can be. It’s a lot to digest. I’m profoundly grateful in ways I can’t articulate much of the time.
I understand more now (though I did have trouble comprehending this, too, when it first happened) that there are people who wanted to be my D-type. I now understand what I have to offer in certain ways. I was trained in anticipatory service and have a service-oriented submissive streak a mile wide. I am caring, intelligent, witty, know my way around a spreadsheet, love to plan, drive, take care of people I care about. Making them happy, feel good. I bring a lot as a submissive. I finally believe that.
As a girl, though….as I begin to explore this side of me, bringing out the scattered, scared, scarred, lonely, traumatized, angry, yearning little girl…it’s terrifying. I don’t want to hurt her any more than she already has been. I don’t want her to be too much for people. I don’t want to be a burden and I don’t want to damage a really important friendship and play partnership. I might live in fear of breaking everything on a fairly regular basis.
Learning to Re-parent
One of the biggest challenges with all the things happening this year (grief, moving, financial things, aging/ill parent, plus a few other difficult things) has been to just… feel what I’m feeling and figure out how to act accordingly. I know not everyone who does D/g play had abusive childhoods, but this why I try so hard to write from my perspective. There are no claims that this is the “one twue way” or “how it is for everyone.” But for me…I had a very fucked up childhood that stunted and traumatized me in ways I’m still unraveling and healing.
I wrote a bit about learning how to feel my feelings in my recent Domme revisit post. My sometimes Daddy, as you might’ve guessed from the name, is not a 24/7 Daddy. Sometimes, he’s not available. He’s on his own journey, has a full life, and beyond asking if it was okay to refer to him as my sometimes Daddy, we haven’t formalized the dynamic in any way. Aside from asking for specific scenes, we have been exploring it when we both have the time and desire to. It seems to come up fairly naturally between us on a semi regular basis… at least when I’m not afraid to want it.
This can be challenging sometimes when I find myself yearning for that space with him in various ways. I didn’t expect that. He cautioned me that it was an intense place to play, even just as play partners, but I didn’t expect to develop feelings outside of playing. Not like stereotypical romantic feelings… but like feelings of wanting to spend time with Daddy outside of a bedroom or dungeon. Like wanting to turn to Daddy for help navigating some really difficult emotions I’ve always struggled with. Anger. Grief. Fear. Sadness. Like wondering if it were possible to formalize it as a part time dynamic and what that would look like.
But I also know that unlike the first time around, when I was actually a child, this is re-parenting and it isn’t his responsibility, ultimately. He’s been wonderfully helpful and helpfully wonderful. There have been some parts of our play that have made me think of creative, fun ways he could help me with certain things. And much of our play has been full of what my therapist calls “corrective experiences”. But ultimately, it’s my journey and I’m grateful to have assistance along the way whenever it’s offered. The goal is re-parenting myself. I’m doing the work with the experiences that we’re having. I don’t ever want to take him for granted or use him as a balm to avoid my own work.
As such, I’ve started having conversations with my inner Daddy in my head. It feels weird to say this, but sometimes during a terrible day at work when people have yelled at me, and/or incomprensible things happened, and/or yet another person has died, and/or terrible financial surprises have hit me, I find myself crying at work and unable to process anything. And then, as the cacophony in my body and mind builds, I find myself yearning for someone to just… to make it all stop. Make me feel better. Help me sort out these feelings I don’t know how to process and also just… make me feel good. Now I’m starting to hear a soft voice inside me, and I’ll feel a shift.
Daddy: What’s wrong, sweet girl?
Me: It hurts. It hurts so much. I’m so sad.
Daddy: I know, darlin’. I know. It’s okay to feel sad. It’s okay that it hurts. These are difficult, sad things that hurt.
Me: So this is normal?
Me: I don’t like it.
Daddy: I know. But it’s part of being human. Of feeling and caring. Loss and difficulty is part of that. It means you’re feeling.
Me: But I don’t want to feel if it hurts this much.
Daddy: You don’t want to all the good things that come with feeling? Well…then you shouldn’t play anymore.
Me: Wait! Why not?
Daddy: Because you could get hurt.
Me: But….then I’d miss all the other parts that are so much fun. Oh.
Daddy: I knew you’d get there. It takes time. And it’s not easy. It’s okay that you’re struggling with this.
Me: It is?
Daddy: Yes. It is. Do you feel otherwise?
Me: I feel like I should just get over it. It’s taking so long. I just want it to stop. Will it stop? I just want it to stop. Can you make it stop? Please, Daddy?
Daddy: Unfortunately, I can’t. It has to run its course. You have to feel it.
Me: But…that was never a thing. Why is it a thing now?
Daddy: Because it should’ve been a thing back then, but you didn’t have people in your life who knew how to take care of themselves, let alone you.
Me: I always thought it was my fault…they said I was too emotional, too needy, too dramatic, too immature, too much, too much, too much….
Daddy: It was never you, sweet girl. It was them. They didn’t know how to do better.
Me: But they were the adults! That’s not fair!
Daddy: You’re right. It’s not fair. They were the adults and they should’ve taken care of you, but they didn’t. But now you have other people to help. People who are doing their own work on themselves and care about you. And you’re learning how to take care of yourself. I’m so proud of you for doing all these hard things and feeling all these hard things.
It’s not easy, but I’m getting better at it. Just allowing myself the space to have these conversations has helped. Getting there, though, took some work. I felt silly at first. I also might’ve freaked out a little to a dear friend and my therapist about it. They both reassured me that it was okay.
Sometimes, it doesn’t go quite the way you expect…
Now, my inner Daddy is getting some sass. One night, when I was procrastinating vacuuming at work and was already fantasizing about going home and collapsing in front of the tv instead of continuing to unpack, purge, and organize my apartment and especially my room post-move, I was all up in my feels and couldn’t see straight. I felt that familiar pitch towards wanting a Daddy interaction. Wanting to be held, to be told it was a lot that I was dealing with, to be reassured, validated, comforted and then… maybe to be fucked a little. I mean, that’s the great part of being an adult and being kinky. Hard emotional work can sometimes be balanced with hard fucking, amirite?!
My inner Daddy, however, had other plans. Because this conversation was much shorter and really, not even a conversation.
Daddy: You want Daddy? Clean your room.
Man, sometimes Daddy seeing me can be rude…
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go clean my room for the new year.