It's been a draining few days. I'm very tired. I'm tired as I'm writing this. Tired bones and muscles, in that weepy sort of way you get when all your energy has been sapped. At the same time I have a heightened awareness of small things. Most of me feels fuzzy with lack of sleep and heavy bones, but I savour the cold, ripe cherries fresh from the fridge. Enjoy the beautiful, gleaming morning sunlight as it pushes through the apple trees in the garden. It is going to be a glorious day.
It's 8am in the morning, a Saturday. I've been up for an hour or so. I feel wistful, sad and a little bit sorry for myself. For some reason my brain decided that a handful of hours of sleep was enough. It feels as if my thoughts and feelings are too big for the space in my head, they needed the cool no-one else awake time to fully form. So I take myself out of bed, which is too hot with Mr Smith's sleeping body. I don't want to disturb him so I head downstairs. Two voices float around my still-not-quite conscious brain.
"How do you stay so strong all the time?" Hedwig, at dinner a few days ago.
"You need someone who prioritises you, and who you prioritise." Rossetti hits a salient point over coffee.
Mr Smith and I had a serious, productive but quite involved series of conversations around "where we go from here" on the back of a couple of arguments he has had with his wife. It transpires that she is not particularly happy or keen for him to continue to see me, which led to me creating a plan and structure for how we check-in on this relationship to make sure all involved are comfortable and enjoying it.
Mannequin has been spending a lot of time with Fenrir. She is more taken with men than with women, as am I, so I understand. It's vital that she has a good male partner in her life - which he is - and they are having a lot of fun, intense and wonderful play. This is exactly the sort of thing she deserves and needs: I'm genuinely happy (and proud). I love her very much and want her to have everything she wants and will fight hard to make sure she gets it. The same goes for Mr Smith.
The fact remains that I have two wonderful submissive partners who have other important people in their lives. To maintain these relationships takes work, and the grace to back off from them and be rational with what can be achieved with their time. Add to this the fact that my dominant desires and feelings for them means our interactions are structured around what I can give to make their lives better. It's not their fault (it's not my fault either) that currently they both need support from me alongside the "usual" dominance, and I want to provide that support. To be a good partner for them. I don't want to let them down or to fail to give them the happiness I want them to have.
I've been doing a lot of giving elsewhere. I've finished my beloved, but stressful job after three weeks of intensive, long hours at work. I'm trying to prepare for a serious step-change in my career. Spirit and her girl were taken to hospital last night after a bad case of recreational drugs (if someone offers you NRG-3 my advice would be to step back slowly, and perhaps have a nice cup of tea instead). There are a few things happening in my home and family life that don't need to be mentioned here but are "background concerns".
I ended Friday feeling drained but happy. I had worked hard and done a lot of good, so I felt, and was now ready to reap my reward. A night out at Pedestal with both of my pets. I'd been really looking forward to it. The Tribe was in full swing, and it was wonderful to see everyone, especially so many attractive and attentive boys. But things were not quite working out.
Mannequin and I had spent the morning in hospital doing some much appreciated visiting, and she was in need of some play and affection, though probably not in the club. Mr Smith was struggling, finding the entire experience both overwhelming and underwhelming at the same time. It was his first proper outing to a fetish night and I had promised to look after him. He had started off very nervous, and was now feeling awkward. He was not enjoying himself or feeling very submissive. Instead he was just feeling out of place. Alongside that he had the ongoing unhappiness that he was "letting me down" and as such he radiated discomfort and not-wanting-to-be-there. So needed play and affection, though probably not in the club.
I was out of my depth. I had been looking forward to a night of pampering from half naked, soft-skinned and doe eyed submissives, which we had in droves and I felt extremely lucky and smug. I have a lot of beautiful wonderful people all around me. But I couldn't neglect my two in order to please myself. Much as I wanted to spend the night being seduced and fawned upon (Pedestal is good for the soul in that respect) I had responsibilities. These aren't woe-is-me things, these are important promises that cut to the heart of my sense of self and self-worth. Going off and "having fun" wouldn't have felt right as a dominant, as a partner, a lover or friend. It would not have been fun.
Worse, I couldn't look after both of them at the same time. Giving my full attention to one meant neglecting the other. I felt torn. I felt at a low ebb and unable to deliver. I felt weak, and worse, I felt unable to show these vulnerabilities to the people I care about in case that lessened me in their eyes and hence my ability to look after them, or my attractiveness and importance to them.
I made what felt like an ugly choice (between one partner and another) and took Mr Smith home given that was the diarised sleeping arrangements. I left Dandy with instructions to look after Mannequin. I held Mr Smith's hand in the cab whilst he cried and was very upset. I reassured him and explained why it wasn't his fault that he didn't enjoy public submission, or playing in a club - both of which are true. When we got back I stripped him, tied him to the bed and fucked him till he came before putting him to sleep, wrapping soothing words of "private fucktoy" around him. He slept.
Then, feeling utterly drained and a bit sorry for myself, in a moment of stereotypical girlie shame I locked myself in the bathroom for a few moments to have a little cry before going to sleep. I still feel much that way this morning, a few hours later. Feeling older, wiser and having had another of life's rich experiences. I know that I need to get some time and space for myself, to recover my energy. I now know a few prudent lessons about having both partners out at the same event when they both need personal time. And I know what I have always known - that I need someone for myself.
I also need a nap.