Thursday, April 29, 2010


“What type of husband-ban-baan-baaand… does your wife’s-ife’s-iife’s-iiife’s…actions tell-ell-ell-ell you-oo-ooo-oooo that she need-eed-eeed-eeeeds?” 

She’ll say, “What do you wanna do today?!” bubbling like cola just poured.
And I’ll say, staler than last night’s beer stuffed with cigarette butts, “I don’t know. What do you wanna do?”

It doesn’t matter what the question is. It could be:
“What movie do you want to see?”
“I don’t know. It’s up to you. You pick.” Or,
“Where should we go to eat tonight?”
“Well, what do you have a taste for?”

I don’t mean anything by it. It just doesn’t matter to me. What I’m basically saying is, “Whatever – we’ll do whatever YOU wanna do”.


“Whatever” whether in word or action or attitude; “Whatever” even when being thoughtful and considerate; “Whatever”, even in its nicest form (devoid of any thread of it's comtemporary valley girl snottiness) is neither an answer nor a decision.

Admittedly, the above situations are simple. But simplicity can be a bubbling brook of truth and wisdom. And truth and wisdom, gleaned from simple situations, and left unapplied in more complex situations – including “this thing we do” – can lead to dire consequences.

SugarAnne is quite capable of planning our day. She knows her taste in movies. She knows what she likes to eat. SugarAnne ain’t no dummy. Many of you have enjoyed the intelligence of her blog; some of  you have partaken of her wisdom through email; others have laughed at her humor. I’ll add that she is a self-sufficient, independent and naturally free-spirited woman. So why would this helluva woman ask me about these rather simple things? What the heck is she looking for?! Er, Ahem, “What type of husband do her actions tell me that she needs” in these moments?

Lord knows I’m no expert. But when I speculate through the lens of my own feelings, I am persuaded that on some level, getting an answer from me to these simple questions, in these simple situations actually feeds what is feminine in Sugaranne - her feminine essence. I only say this because when her ear is leaning into my answers, and her attention is focused on my words, and her darling gaze is directed up to my eyes, it actually feeds what is masculine in me - my masculine essence. If I'm "get'n my boy on" surely she must be “get'n her girl on”. It's not scientific but it's not rocket science either!

In our "B.S." (before spanking) days “Whatever” was a power vacuum that sucked all the nutrients out of the air leaving in it’s place another “it don’t matter to me” (Bread 3:16) argument. And even though that confusion made itself clear, that wouldn't stop me from re-frying that shit and serving it up again and again hoping something would change. But nothing changed. It would just leave her starving for the femininity that “Whatever” could never feed. And it left her nothing to feed on but the masculinity I unwittingly vacated. She actually could’ve gone into a cannibalistic feeding frenzy that would make a school of piranha envious. Some women would've. But she didn’t. She didn’t like the taste. I think now, “If only I had simply fed her starving femininity in those "B.S." moments…”

So when I hear, “Should I wear the mauve taupe or the tuscan red nail polish?” I might be caught of guard. I might rattle my smokestack like Scooby-doo and go, “Hu-uh!” And I might, I just might be thinking, “What the fuck?!” Because, frankly, I only have so many shades stored on my color spectrum. And I don’t remember mauve taupe or tuscan red in the 8 crayon box of Crayolas! But one thing is for sure. I will be watchful not to respond with -  “Whatever”.

Listen, I know Sugar’s capable of deciding which nail polish to wear. She’s not REALLY looking for an answer to that. She needs me to be feed her femininity. So I’ll simply ask her to hold them both up. And I’ll take a really good look. And I’ll think; and I'll scratch my chin; and I’ll say, “Hmm” (add smirk for effect). And then, then I’ll make a non-patronizing, sincere selection. After that I'll put it back into her hands – if it really makes no difference to me or – if the final decision is hers. That’s the type of husband her actions are looking for in moments like these. To do otherwise is to starve the feminine essence of the woman I love and – worse yet – to vacate the masculinity she desires and adores in me. And the consequences of that are dire for the complexities of “this thing we do”.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"Even 'Geniuses' Have to Study"

“Let me ask you a question”, I said, slipping into pseudo-Socratic mode like I sometimes do when I counsel. This is my patented “guide question”. I’m trying to guide the young man to an answer but not necessarily MY answer. He needs his answer; an answer from himself for himself; an answer that he can own so that he can operate more effectively within the situation. The young fella – just a hair beyond a month into the matrimonial crucible – looked at me. A hungry little finch – waiting. Waiting to devour a few crumbs of wisdom from the mouth of a mentor. We’d been eating and talking for a couple of hours at this point. Talking about ministry and leadership, about life and love. It was HIS love life that prompted the question:

“What type of husband does your wife’s actions tell you that she needs?” I asked him.

Inside my head I’m thinking: “Genius!” Cuz that’s what I call myself when I surprise myself like that and, uncharacteristically, say stuff that is moderately insightful. The full phraseology stolen from a Richard Pryor routine of years gone by: “The boy is a genius…need not pencil nor paper!”

This question was gonna help the kid. I mean, I had to admit the question WAS insightful. It didn’t linger in the air for that long. As a matter of fact, it didn’t linger at all. Everything BUT the question seemed to slow down – at least for me everything seemed to slow down. A surreal-like texture, as thick as maple syrup, settled around our breakfast table as I became “glazed over” in thought. The question however, picked up speed. First, it hit the young man's forehead right at his thinning hairline and, it seemed, bounced back toward ME! I bobbed with the skillful agility of Muhammad Ali (in counsel I’m used to dodging my own questions. After all, this ain’t about me – it’s about him). Missing me, the question whistled past my left ear. (that’s my good ear y’know).

The question must’ve ricocheted rather sharply off the small rim that protruded from the wood panel that separated our booth from the booth behind me, because it launched upward abruptly. It dinged a faux stucco ceiling tile out of its position, then bounced off of the waitress pick up counter causing jelly to roll. From there it pinged off of the large industrial coffeemaker where, in its wake, cups rattled in their saucers. Next it reverberated off of the wall with speed sufficient enough to bore through the wax in my aforementioned good ear. And there it settled comfortably like an earwig in a blanket - echoing:

“What type of husband-ban-baan-baaand…”, oh shit! (I jiggled my forefinger frantically in my ear);

“…does your wife’s-ife’s-iife’s-iiife’s…“ (Whoa, hold-, whoa Lord! That question wasn’t meant for ME!

“…actions tell-ell-ell-ell you-oo-ooo-oooo that she need-eed-eeed-eeeeds?” Fuck! I wanted to jab a toothpick in there and stab it dead.

It assaulted my consciousness like that damn “five dollar foot long” song. It seems that the question that my so-called “genius” had intended for HIM, was having a deafening – and definite – effect on ME!

When the clouds cleared from my field of vision I was glancing his way. He was just sitting there. Not looking at me. Thinking – I suppose. Maybe the question did linger for him. We had sat in silence for a minute maybe. Perhaps more. Maybe he was just pretending he didn’t see any of this “really wild weird” shit that was happening all around him.

But that’s where our conversation ended. I knew that if there were any nibblets of nourishing wisdom to be reaped, he would have to mine them through watching, meditating, contemplating and praying. I simply said, “It’s a rhetorical question” and we left it at that.

Since then, this superball of a question has been ringing in my ear. It has lost neither clarity nor poignancy. It's echo growing stronger and increasing in importance. It IS an important question, especially with "this thing we do". And sometimes the answer is as easy as single digit arithmetic – but most times not. Yep, I may be a “Genius!” And I may “need not pencil nor paper”. But if I’m going to reap any nibblets of nourishing wisdom from this, they will have to be mined through watching SugarAnne, meditating on meanings, contemplating action and praying for wisdom.

After all, even “geniuses” have to study.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

"Sugar In My Coffee"

I never had the opportunity(?) to ask SugarAnne the questions that a husband would normally ask his wife when she suggests that he spanks her for discipline. Namely: 1) “Why don’t you have the self discipline to stop yourself from doing the things that you are asking me to correct in you?” And, 2) Why can’t you change yourself without me implementing punishment for you?” (see Elysia’s insightful post here). But I’ve been was thinking: What if, instead of me asking her, if SugarAnne HAD asked me to spank her? I don’t think those would’ve been the first questions that came to my mind – or out of my mouth for that matter!

What comes to mind is a question more like: “ARE YOU FRICKIN’ NUTS?!!”
Or after the shock wore off a gentler, ”Are you serious?”
Somewhere in the midst of the confusion that would surely set in, I would’ve have put her in a dark room, under a hot lamp and interrogated her like she was Lee Harvey Oswald's accomplice:
“Where is this coming from?”
“Who have you been talking with?”
“What have you been reading?”
"When did this come up?"
"Where were you on the afternoon of November 22, 1963?" 

If that isn’t insensitive enough, eventually I suspect, it would all lead to the ultimate self-exalting accusation: “I KNEW you had ‘boots’ baby, I just didn’t know how big they were! That’s really fucked up”, I’d say and then add, “That’s really way the fuck fucked up!” For those of you who don’t know, “boots” are serious “issues”; i.e. “sues” (pronounced shoes); i.e. big “sues”, thus, “boots”: as in “You’ve got ‘boots’ girl!”). There would’ve been so many other questions in regard to such an outrageous request that questions 1 and 2 above would probably have fallen waydown, I mean waaaaaaay down to somewhere around “Questions 67 and 68”.

I’m glad I never had the opportunity(?) to ask these questions as we stood at the threshold of our domestic discipline life. And, if you can't tell,  I don’t consider it a missed opportunity either.

Here’s why:
Our B.S. (before spanking) days were filled with questions – verbal and nonverbal alike – that suggested, “Sugar, think about what you’re doing sweetie?” and, “Sugar, why are you like that honey?” and, “SugarAnne! What were you thinking girl?!” and every now and then a scrunchy faced, “What’s wrong witcha girl?” Each question hung in the air like a dark cloud ready to burst.

Maybe she did “look in” and got answers, I don’t know. But her “looking in” never brought solutions that led to joy and happiness in her life – and in our life. As a matter of fact, as I look back, I see that suggesting that she “look in” to find answers brought quite the opposite effect. First, she would become absorbed in the process. Then she would begin to sink emotionally – the threat of “rain” looming like lurkers in spanking blogs. (Note to lurkers: it's okay to rain comments upon us). This was followed by the “clam up” where all conversation came to a halt. I would then respond with the “overreach” trying to pull conversation (and answers) out of her. Then finally, and predictably, the retreat. She would disappear into another room – and I’d let her – that in itself my own type of retreat. The result? Ahem, “No Sugar tonight in my coffee...” – if you get what I mean.
I’m not suggesting that Sugar doesn’t “look in” for answers. She does. I’m just not the one who sends her there with those types of questions anymore. I’ve learned that it has to be in her timing not mine. (Is that a woman thing?). Otherwise, the natural flow of love and affection between us gets all jammed up while she’s all clammed up.

With TTWD I don’t ask her to “look in” in the way I did in our B.S. days. That just shuts everything down. With TTWD, when I see a problem or need, I have a tool. I go get my tool (even better when I send her for it); and I go to work: I peel the panties back off of that tangerine and, to mix metaphors, I wax that apple so shiny I can shave my face in the reflection. Understand this, I don’t do it to fix her. Uh-uh. I figured out she don’t need no fixing. She ain't broke. I do it to fix the SITUATION. I do it to break open the dam and encourage between us the all-important natural flow of love and affection. With TTWD the floodgate opens up with “Breck mitosis”-like effect; i.e. love tells two friends (communication and respect), and they tell two friends (trust and passion), and they tell two friends (intimacy and sex, and sex...and sex...and more sex),  and so on….and so on…and so on. We’re really weirded out by the fact that it works. We're about as weirded out as I would’ve been had I gotten the “opportunity” to ask “Questions 67 and 68”.

“I'd like to know
Can you tell me; please don't tell me
It really doesn't matter anyhow
It's just that the thought of us so happy
Appears in my mind, as a beautifully mysterious thing”

I didn’t get a chance to ask "Questions 67 and 68". And I'm glad, cuz unlike B.S., there always seems to be Sugar in my coffee these days.

I submit, if YOU get the chance to ask, don't. Just don't. Just go on and do....

...“this thing WE do”. And watch the floodgates open.

Friday, April 9, 2010

"Filling the Gap Between Real and Ideal"

I think SugarAnne is too good to have to settle for less in anything. I really do. I’m not just blowing smoke when I say she’s too good. The woman is financially frugal and materially content. She just doesn’t have a desire for having the most and best of everything. It’s just part of her character. Of course, being the idealist that I am, my desire is to provide her with everything she needs – and well beyond – if it’s within my power. But she is quite the realist. And that is to my fortune. Even if I were able to, she wouldn’t be particularly joyful to actually have all that I desire for her. Like I said, she's a realist. This saves the idealist in me a whole bunch of frustration, failure and sorrow (not to mention money).

I tell our friends (in the words of The Four Tops):

“Ain’t no woman like the woman I got;
She don’t ask for things, no diamond rings”.

It does not escape me that I hit the mother lode. She’s too good. Her realism keeps our stress to a minimum and helps me to relax.

But there’s one area where I refuse to relax. I REFUSE to allow SugarAnne settle for less in a man. As such, I REFUSE to relax in striving to be the man that she needs. The ideal man, no matter how nebulous or elevated the ever-evolving standard may be.

I proposed domestic discipline to SugarAnne but it has had an uncanny capacity for slicing both ways. It has not only helped me see my real self, but has also helped me face myself for real – whether I want to or not. There’s something about "this thing thing we do" – this spanking my wife for unbecoming behavior – that compels me to take careful note of my own behavior. So now, when I look at SugarAnne for the purpose of helping her to bring out the best in her, I am in turn forced to look at myself to make sure I am striving to put into the relationship the best of me. It’s seems that’s the only way, with good conscience, that I could justify this privilege.

We communicate more about stuff now: talking. We talk much more than when we began this new relationship a few months back. Through our little talks we’re getting some idea of who we are in this thing. But her ever-unfolding ideal of what is HoH is also communicated without words. I’m still trying to pick up the different signals of what kind of man she really needs. What is her ideal HoH? She shouldn’t have to settle for anything less.

Of course, she’s not gonna ASK for me to “warm her bread”.  Not with words anyway. She’s learned that lesson already. Heck, spankings hurt. A lot of times I don’t think she even knows herself when she needs a "toasting". But when she does, she tells me in the very same way that she tells me that she doesn’t need the best of the material things. She tells me by being real – by doing what comes naturally to her.

Sometimes the signal is sweet to the soul: she oos and coos and gets “up under me”. Other times the signal is bitter: she’ll have a general edgy-ness or a prolonged snippy-ness. And sometimes it’s absolutely nauseating: complaining and storming out of the house. All these are signs - signals that scream, “Here’s your opportunity to become the man I need you to be!” It may mean that I need to hold her - or scold her. It may mean I need to make love to her. It just might mean I need to “light her moon”.

BUT – the last thing she needs for me to do is fold on her. These are NOT times for me to run away screaming – even if appears that I may have reason to. These are not the times for me to be a hurt little puppy – even though she loves puppies. These are not times for me to her give tit for tat and escalate relational tensions. These are times when she needs to know that I am there, unflustered and purposefully loving her with whatever “application” is necessary (i.e.: if she needs her tushy tanned, I need to tan her tushy – and I need to tan her tushy well!)

Every challenge is her signal and my opportunity to become her ideal HoH: the HoH that she desires; the HoH that she deserves.

My job is to step into the situation that is presented by the signals that are delivered, and strive to fill the need AND fill the gap between the real and the ideal. I’m not there yet but I’m working on it. She deserves nothing less in her man.