So if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know I have two Doms, L&G and that we’re all three in different countries so the chances to be together in person, especially all three of us, are very rare. That means a good part of our relationship has to be conducted long distance.
This isn’t a new experience for me. I’ve had many Doms from a distance over the years. Some were close enough to visit frequently, while others had to happen only rarely. It can be hard at times but the Internet is a fantastic tool for allowing this to happen.
The things we can do now online aren’t as good as being together in person in a lot of ways, of course, but they still manage to fill most of the needs most of the time, and that helps a lot. People who aren’t used to long distance think I’m joking when I saw you can do almost everything from a distance that you can in person. There are always ways to work around it—yes, even spanking and sex.
I’ve discussed those things in other posts so if you’re interested you can check out the Long Distance D/s series I wrote and it will give you a lot of ideas about how this works.
Right now, a lot of people who have never had to deal with much apart time, are finding themselves in a long-distance relationship sort of unwillingly because of the pandemic. When you live close enough to meet up most weekends or even more often and suddenly you can’t …things get hard pretty fast.
I’ve been saying since the beginning that even though you might not normally consider yourself long distance, if you currently aren’t able to see your partner as much, for safety, then it might help to think of yourself that way now. Take advantage of LD relationship tips because those things may still be valid for you. Try to keep an open mind when you consider what might help your situation.
But what I want to talk about today can actually help any D/s relationship. I’m going to be focusing mainly on how it helps with long distance, but this isn’t only a tool for distance relationships. Even if you live in the same house it can make things run a little smoother.
For subs it serves as reminders and motivation. For the Dom/Top/Caregiver it gives them a way to keep up with what the bottom is doing.
I’m talking about lists of course.
I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone that a to-do list can make you more productive and can help you remember everything you need to get done. It’s a great organizational tool, but did you know it can also help with any daily rules you’re meant to follow and report on?
For the past couple of years G has had me doing daily lists. On it go any daily rules that I tend to be forgetful about. For instance, taking my pills and vitamins, drinking at least 60 ounces of water, etc.
I also put the daily things I do for work every day, including my words to be written, promos to post, etc. So, I have a basic bunch of things that never change and those are on every day’s list. And then I add things I have to do on that specific day to keep me organized. I have OCD and one facet of it, for me, is that I like to organize things.
As I complete each thing, I check it off. At the end of the day I take a picture and send it to L and G. If there are things not checked off, they ask about it. If there are things that should have been on there, but aren’t, they ask why. If there isn’t much on the list, they assume I’m having a day off, which is fine. Unless there are too many short lists in a row and then they start checking that I’m not blowing things off.
If there is too much on there… they start hinting that I need to slow down.
For the past six months working too much has been an issue. I tend to be type-A and when I get into the groove I stay there. Some of my daily to-do lists have been very long and filled with difficult tasks. Sometimes you can’t really help it. Release days tend to be non-stop hectic and that’s just how it is, but when I turn in too many lists that are loaded, we start talking about how I need to slow down. There are reminders to do more self-care.
The list helps me organize my day, so even just on my own it’s handy. But in terms of a D/s relationship it can be really helpful for many reasons. It gives L and G a window into my life that they might not have otherwise and keeps them up-to-date on things I might forget to mention or don’t find is worth bothering about.
It’s the small things that can get lost when you live apart from each other. The minutia that isn’t really worth bringing up, but yet can be really important in feeling close to someone. It’s easy to feel the pain of that distance, and even doubt the strength of your relationship when you feel like they are only seeing a fraction of your life.
Often times seeing things on the list they haven’t heard anything about, will prompt them to ask questions, so I’ve come to find that it helps with communication and that’s especially important right now with the way the world is. But it also takes some of the work off their shoulders. They don’t feel like they need to spend an hour a day quizzing me on what I’m doing when the list is there as a kind of crib sheet.
Obviously, you can’t put everything on a list, and the Dominant still needs to be aware of what is happening aside from the things written on it, but it’s a good jumping off place. It makes it a little easier for things not to slip away. Let’s be honest… if there is a rule you don’t want to follow, and no one checks up to see if you are following it… chances are good it will be forgotten.
It’s not even deliberate most of the time. Just your brain blocking out an unpleasant thing.
So, let’s add this up. Daily lists help you stay organized and get stuff done. They give your Doms a window into your life and improve communication. They make the Doms job easier by helping them keep track of things. What else do they help with?
Well, If there’s a daily task you’re having trouble with, keep forgetting, etc., then being required to add it to the list can help. Subs don’t like to fail. It breaks their self-esteem and makes them feel bad about themselves. With a list in place it makes it more likely that this won’t happen so it can actually improve your whole mood and self-esteem.
And of course, if we’re talking about a brat or a Little, someone who has to fight the rules they don’t like, then having it on the list makes it harder for them to sneakily shove it under the sofa. But this is just a tool that can help. It doesn’t take the place of anything and like any tool it can be mishandled or used ineffectively.
One note especially for managing this with a Little… stickers. Most Littles love stickers. If you allow them to use a sticker instead of a checkmark for each item they complete you’ll have a lot more cooperation, for a very small expense. You can even take them to the store and let them pick out the ones they want for extra motivation. (Or pick them out online)
You’ve seen all the upsides of daily lists, but are there downsides? Not really. Lists are a pretty common organizational tool that most of us learn to use in school. It’s almost second nature for people to write down lists of things they don’t want to forget. But there is a little work getting started until the habit forms.
Remembering to make one is usually the biggest hurdle so in the beginning there will need to be reminders for the sub/bottom to make their list daily. Probably also reminders for them to show it to you. I actually set up my basic lists a few days at a time, and then just add the extra stuff as it occurs to me, scheduling chores in advance across the week so I don’t get overloaded.
If I have time I get them done earlier and that leaves me with a lighter day later which is always nice. If I have something pop up that I need to do on Friday, and maybe need to do pre-work for the day before. I’ll go ahead and make the lists all the way up until Friday just to make sure I don’t forget.
But there is something I want to warn you about. Reading over a daily list doesn’t take the place of real communication. It can be easy to assume you know everything that’s going on from glancing down the lists and seeing the checks, but that’s not true. It’s easy to leave things off the list so use it as a step, but go further.
And one problem I have with lists that pops up sometimes is that if I turn it in every day for a while, but it all seems to be going fine sometimes no one will comment on it or address it. Like it’s the regular daily stuff, it’s all checked, the schedule seems reasonable, so there’s nothing really to say…
I start to feel like no one is paying attention and when I do that I shut down. The reverse is also true. When I start feeling like I’m not getting enough attention I stop sharing the lists and wait for someone to notice. If they don’t notice pretty fast it just crashes me further because it confirms my fear that they don’t really care.
None of that is true, of course. I know it’s in my head. I know it’s very easy, especially right now, for the days to run together and it can be hard to remember if they saw my list today, or yesterday. Maybe it was the day before? But that doesn’t matter because emotions don’t run on logic. I will stop sending the lists.
Because I do pretty well on auto-pilot I usually continue to do them, at first, even though I’m not sharing them. Then the harder things start to slip if it goes on too long. After a while I spiral and my mood is a mess. Eventually someone will notice that they haven’t seen one in a while and ask, and usually it’s not more than a day or two, but by then I may or may not be able to pull out of the spiral without having a meltdown.
Which isn’t entirely a bad thing. If those feelings are building, they are eventually going to come out whether the list is the reason or not. This does give it an obvious focus that will be triggered fairly quickly so it can be dealt with. But it’s important that the Bossy part of the partnership does stay on top of things as much as they can.
So… this may seem like a novel idea but… the list idea isn’t just for subs. Sure it’s great for following their rules and being productive but let’s be honest, it helps anyone be productive and that means Doms and Tops too. And along with your daily stuff (Are you Tops drinking enough water… hmm?) You can also add in your Dom duties. Things you might want to check on, or do.
- Trash night
- Pick up bread
- Finish proposal for work (due Friday)
- Zoom call
- Check to see if Brianna finished her essay on proper bedtimes
- Come up with some movie ideas for long distance date-night
- Check Brianna’s daily list
Just simple things like that because these things can go both ways. Not everyone needs lists to keep track, but I do think most people will find them handy even if it’s not essential. It is important to remember that D/s is a partnership and you can’t leave it for one side to do all the work of reaching out.
It can’t always be the sub reporting in and telling you what’s going on. And it can’t always be the Dom having to chase you down to ask either. On either side it’s going to make someone feel like they are the only one who cares enough, and you don’t want that.
People are going through a lot of extra stuff right now. The days blur together, no one is having much fun, and I think we’re all a little down. So, I know it seems really basic and maybe many of you already do this, but I do think sometimes the simplest ideas are the ones that get overlooked.
And maybe you’ve never needed a list before because you’ve always been on top of things but right now, you’re struggling to remember things because depression kills your short-term memory. Simple or not, any tool is worth considering if it helps make things a little easier.
On that note I’m going to wrap things up here. I hope you find this helpful.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay home if you can!