I was talking with my girl, the other day, about parameters – or rather they were talking to me: Talking about the need that a submissive needs to be contained and held, not necessarily physically, although that’s often part of it, by her dominant/owner.

She says that without me in her life to guide her, she feels lost. (Early on in our relationship, I wrote her a poem and carved it into her chest. It included the question of what would I be without my horse – it’s a metaphor we’ve been using since the beginning – and she recently turned it around on me. She said that, without her rider, she’d be wandering on the highway).

So I wanted to take a little bit of time to ramble and brainstorm some ways in-which I, as someone’s 24/7 owner, can create limits around my submissive that will focus and channel her appropriately. If anyone reading this wants to add to the list via the comments, please do so.

 

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Posture: Posture – as far as I understand it – has to do with how you stand, move, wait, etc., rather than how you dress or speak. Having my Person kneel at my feet is a big one, but this could also include “stand At Ease in my presence if I haven’t got you working on a specific task” or “rise when I enter a room you’re already in” would also fall into this category (I think). It’s also, however, includes things like where I put my hands on her body: Resting my hand on the back of her neck (as opposed to her shoulder), using her thighs or her chest as a place to settle my feet. That kind of thing.
Posture Training (or Posture Control, or whatever you want to call it) is something that I’ve only started significantly incorporating into my dynamic very recently. My Ghost is in a situation right now where, as far as I can tell, she needs to have her place with (and in relation to) me confirmed a little more heavily, and I think that postures are a way to confirm for her (and me, I might add) that she’s mine, that she’s needed and wanted and has a Place with me, without having to go the route of working her harder or heaping more tasks on her.

 

Another way I can do this is through Rules: “Rules” can mean a lot of things and, I suspect, would be better-written as “protocol(s)”. In our case, it includes things like the requirement that she obtain permission to use the furniture (except a couple of specific pieces), and her addressing me – if we’re being formal about things – as her Lady. It might include things like the submissive speaking about herself in the third person, or sleeping in a large dog basket instead of a human-style bed; rituals around the putting on and taking off of a symbol (like wrist cuffs, say), that don’t get worn to the day-job; or having the dominant approve the sub’s clothing selection for the day. It could also include things (and here it overlaps a bit with Scheduling, which I’ll get to in a minute) like “You are limited to 30 minutes of internet per day” or even “Baby Girl can watch one episode of Crash Pad, but only if she’s been very good and has finished her chores for the evening” or what-have-you.

 

Routine: Also known as Structure. (You can find more about this (and protocol and projects, which I’ll talk about shortly as well) over at Sex Geek – Why, yes, I *did* link to that recently, and yes, I do learn a lot from Andrea. Why do you ask?) Routine is built from the collection of Baseline Required Activities that happen come hell or high water. This would, I think, include your personal protocols and postures, but also it includes things like “we go for walkies every day,” or “dishes get done after dinner every day,” or “bring me hazelnut cappuccino with my breakfast in bed every day,” or “write in your journal for 20 minutes every day so that I can get a reading on where you’re at,”… Are you noticing a pattern here? Routine gives a shape to every given day and – I gather – helps in terms of reinforcing your Person’s a sense of security and place.

 

Scheduling: This is one that I’m trying to be a lot more pro-active about. It’s what you get when you add the rest of Life to your baseline Routine. When we first started out, “scheduling” was really just a task list for a given evening, because our relationship began as a dish-centric, twice-a-week, kitchen (and eventually general-house-hold) tidying service. Now that we’re living in cohabitative domestic bliss, however, “scheduling” needs to take a lot more things into account. I talked about this a little bit yesterday when I talked about needing to Think Like a Manager. These days – and it helps that I’m working from home and, therefore, can actually take stock of what needs to be done on any given day – I write out a list for her every day that, yes, includes basic household maintenance, but that also includes the tasks I know she needs (and wants) to get done and projects that she’s undertaking for me.

I have to confess: I’m still not great at this. I need to be better at sorting out how long a given task will probably take so that I can use her three hours of available evening-time wisely.  And by “wisely”, I actually mean “wisely”, not just “efficiently” or “to my own benefit” or something.  I need to remember to include time in there for eating dinner, transitioning form work-space to home-space (my Ghost does a job that’s pretty demanding on her body, and she typically needs about 20 minutes of rest-and-reconnect time when she gets home), and dealing with her own email in-box. If she’s having a hard week (physically, emotionally, whatever), I need to be aware of that and make sure that she has (and uses) some time for self-care, whether that’s an hour of physiotherapy or the chance to repaint her toenails.

I know scheduling can sound/feel a bit (or a lot) like micromanaging – although I should point out that there’s a big difference between “Make salmon-spinach quiche for Ms Syren” and “Make salmon-spinach quiche for Ms Syren using the salmon fillet at the left-hand end of the package plus the six eggs that have been marked with an X in the bottom carton, and the spinach from the blue bag, not the green one” – but I find it’s a handy way to direct my Person on a daily basis while also being able to change things up as needed.
Beyond that, I find it’s also a good way to keep myself “on task”. If I’m making her evening’s schedule every day, it means that I’m making a point of focusing on what I need from her and on what she needs from me. It’s a way of making sure that I do my job and don’t end up slacking off.

 

Moving right along…

 

Projects: Projects give your Persona defined and achievable, if potentially challenging, goal. “ Polish my horse’s saddle. I want to see my face shining in it by morning,” is a project.  So is “Take the next two hours to sort this stack of documents into X, Y, and Z categories”; “Learn to cook Chicken Cordon Bleu in time to make it for my birthday”; and “I’ve enrolled you in an eight-week super-beginners’ French class”.
If structures and schedules (and everything that goes into them) are ways of containing one’s Person in time and space, then projects are a way of channeling or directing them energetically.

 

I think, however, that projects can also be Ongoing: As in a project doesn’t necessarily have to have a defined time limit. Recently, I asked my Person to start writing on the theme of, as she puts it, “Driving to Halifax”. The eventual outcome of this, I hope, is going to be the bones of a book manuscript. Right now it’s, effectively, themed journaling that happens a few times a week. And she could be writing on this subject for years before it starts gelling into something more cohesive with themes she can pick out and so-on. It’s “Routine” because I expect her to do this writing on a frequent and regular basis. It’s a “Project” because there’s a goal at the end of it. It’s just that “the end of it” isn’t predefined. I’m not actually sure what to call Stuff Like That (which could also include taking up yoga/swimming/some-other-fitness-regimen in an on-going way, for example) though. If anyone has any ideas, I’m open to suggestions.

 

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Anyway. That’s where I’m at right now. If anyone has anything to add – what you need from, or do as, a dom(me), in this regard – do feel free to chime in with a comment. 🙂

 

A potter's hands shape the clay on her wheel into a sturdy, elegant vessel.

 

– TTFN,
– Ms Syren.