I realized after I blogged a few days ago about trying to reduce my need for predictability that I hadn’t addressed why that’s a goal or important to me.
There are easy answers: “Because Jalan wants me to;” “To be more (or a better) submissive.” But those aren’t the heart. Submissive is what I am to Jalan, not who I am as a person. When discussing issues as fundamental as this, my submission to her may be part of the mechanism, but it is not the reason, nor is that kind of inner need really in her purview. She can direct me to not ask, but she can’t (usefully) direct me to not want to know.
About six weeks ago, Jalan had me write up what I value in being submissive to her and being her pet. I may or may not ever share the whole thing publicly, but part of it is relevant here:
How I benefit from structure
Being the dragon is tiring and sometimes exhausting. I have a hyper-developed sense of responsibility for myself and for others. Being on top (so to speak) of these responsibilities is important to me. One of my methods of doing so is to keep the information relevant to my perceived responsibilities at my fingertips: to know at any given time what my deadlines and timelines are, what I have promised to or for different people, what resources (cash and otherwise) are available, and what the next thing (or twelve things) on the queue for my attention need to be, and in what order, lest any resource be misdirected or even squandered.
This, in combination with my mental patterns and my awareness of my own difficulties with memory, results in the lists. Without structure for my day, week, and year, the entire list of lists and their components are in competition for my attention. Even what I want to do for recreation competes. I squander those precious resources just on the organizing, especially when I am unusually fatigued or stressed.
A structure helps me by narrowing the field for my attention. If I know what I am “supposed to be” attending to at a given time – and, even more, what I am not supposed to be attending to – then I can focus and be less scattered, overwhelmed, and stressed. Again, leisure and personal activities or quiet times are “components” of this kind of stress, just as much as are work deadlines. This kind of structure is beneficial whether it dictates a specific item to focus on at the moment or a set of options – as long as it keeps the full-on needs of the world at bay.
This, I think, is the core of the predictability issue. One of the first things about which I talk to a potential top when negotiating is that I like surprises. Within the realm of what’s negotiated for a play scene, I don’t want to know what’s coming next. As part of that, sensory deprivation is important to me in most play.
That desire is completely at odds with my need for predictability outside of play. There is the stereotype of the busy-executive-in-charge who goes to the pro to yield for awhile. It’s something like that for me. I know I benefit from yielding in play. I think, though this is still subject to revision in my own mind, the desire to not need to know what’s coming next, as long as I can trust that all will be well, is the next extension of this in a full-time owner/pet relationship.
I am making progress toward this goal, at least in the context of things we are doing together at a given time. There’s not really a definite end state to the process, but we both want for me to be more comfortable at least a but further in this direction.