Charlotte and I agreed – at her request, not mine – that during this current period of time – a somewhat surreal, not-normal period of time in a variety of ways – I would enjoy (and Charlotte would enjoy granting me) 24/7 control over her.
In retrospect, although we were pretty clear about what this meant, we were a bit less clear about why each of us liked this idea, about what each of us imagined we might get out of it. And this was particularly true as it related to Charlotte’s interactions with other men.
Charlotte, I think, delights in being given tasks. In having her orgasms controlled. In producing them on demand; in having them withheld by me. She likes being a “good girl,” being given the opportunity to be a good girl, and being rewarded for being a good girl. And sure, just a little, being punished if she fails, or comes up short. For Charlotte, this was what “24/7” represented: an opportunity to be a good girl, with the question of when and how she comes removed from her mind and taken care of by me.
That’s a hot vision.
For me, “24/7” represented something else. For me, it meant establishing me at the center of Charlotte’s mind, and her cunt, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It meant granting me a certain primacy in her sexuality that, in my mind, removed all of that which threatens me, and replaced it with a soothing warm bath of attention and priority.
For Charlotte, the point was to remove from her mind the question of when, how, to be sexual, even as she was confident that I would use her, if not constantly, at least a lot, and that she therefore would have lots of pleasure, without ever having to decide to do so. Maybe there’s a danger for Charlotte in being responsible for her own pleasure; maybe this wasn’t about safety and danger for her, but just about fun.
For me, though, what 24/7 offered me (or what I hoped it offered me) was relief from danger, delivery to safety. To me, the point was to remove from my mind the danger that Charlotte might, for even a sexual moment, be thinking of anyone other than me. My way of accomplishing that? By situating even the slightest sexual interaction – or interaction with a potential sexual partner – within the context of our relationship. In my mind, this was a fun way to reverse the usual discomfort and anxiety I feel in the face of jealousy, of threat: I hate that Charlotte actively seeks partners other than me. I understand. I don’t seek to control it. I don’t judge it. But. I hate it.
So. During this period of 24/7, I sought to situate that search within the context of her and my relationship, to allow her her search, but to make it function as part of a game within our relationship. “You want to text Al? Fine. But. 1) I have to see the whole exchange, and 2) You have to come for me before every text you send him.” Well. That didn’t work. To my mind, it was clever: it let her have her search, but it made clear that – in this period – we configured that search so that, explicitly, it gave both of us pleasure. At each step along the way.
Very quickly, though, it all started going sideways. Where Charlotte thought “control” meant that I got to ask her to do things, I thought control meant that I got to ask her not to do things. And to do things. And, where Charlotte imagined a form of 24/7 control that was neither 24, 7, nor control, I actually imagined something aptly named.
Add to that, Charlotte had shit going on in her life that had nothing to do with me that was making her feel bad. And when Charlotte feels bad, her go to strategy to not feel bad is to interact with men. Not just me. But men.
So all this came together painfully with Charlotte wanting to pursue men, and me wanting her to subordinate her quest, her interactions, to me. Which transformed this all from something fun for her to something depriving and bad-feeling. And from something safe and fun for me into something threatening and upsetting.
Worst of all, I was committed to my vision, unable to adjust my expectations to her needs in a difficult situation. So as she was ratcheting up her hunger to play with others, I was ratcheting up my demands that she do so in ways I circumscribed, I controlled.
And this left Charlotte both feeling bad about disappointing me and deprived of a key coping strategy at a painful moment.
It’s on me, all this. If I’m in control, I need to exert that control responsibly, in a way informed continually by her situation, by her needs. And here, I failed. I remained focused, single-mindedly, on my needs, on my safety, while losing sight of hers.
I’ll try to fix all this. I hope I can.