Dating Kinky
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So, I’ve been working in my spare time on the outline for a new book about training your lover, or simple behavior modification to create the relationship of your dreams, or something like that.

Anyway, one of the things that I think is incredibly important is the idea of baseline and regression, or two steps forward, one step back.

Pet and I discussed it one night (the baseline), and experienced it the next morning (the regression).

Note: I have NO IDEA what it was at this point. I made these notes so long ago. However, suffice to say this happens to us regularly, so what we consider “normal” is far and above anything we ever dreamed of when we began.

The baseline is something I learned in dog training.

It’s the average, or baseline level of expected performance. If you are training correctly, this will gradually get better over time, BUT will not always be getting better in individual instances.

Let me say that again, for emphasis:

If you’re training correctly, your baseline will get better and better over time, but will not always get better EVERY time.

Like one evening versus the next morning.

That evening blew our baseline out of the water.

The next day was a regression, back to several months before. Still good for both of us, but not anywhere near recent expectations or yesterday’s blowout.

This is natural.

It happens in dog training all the time.

(This happens with horses, too; it’s called “bouncing.” Even Secretariat bounced after the Belmont Stakes.)

The dog will have an amazing practice trial, doing better than ever, and the next day will come in dead last in his competitions.

It’s nature. And nothing to be worried about.

I’ve seen this happen in self-help as well. You’ll find that you really hit a breakthrough, and you feel on top of the world. Then there will be a set-back, which can really bruise your spirit.

It’s normal.

Your baseline will grow over time with your working on it, and there will be hiccups and exceptions.

PLAN for them.

In yourself and others.

Just keep moving forward.

Once you know what is possible, you can then make it probable.

Once it is probable, you can work on making it natural.

Once it’s natural, you are working on improvements to something that seemed impossible a few months or years before.

My ex-husband and I made a lot of mistakes. His BPD and alcoholism in the last 7 years created even more mistakes in an already young and dumb “starter” marriage.

However, in the beginning, we did something brilliantly.

When one person lost their shit, the other immediately set aside their own issues and focused in.

Because when someone goes into crisis mode, they need to be heard and seen. They need to feel like their partner is there for them, NOT simply waiting to retort with their own frustrations and anger.

“Oh yeah? Well, what about that time you ______? Huh?”

If you weren’t pissed enough about ‘that time they ______,’ to lose your shit before now, the moment after they lose theirs is NOT THE TIME.

Your time may come in the future.

It’s NOT NOW.

When your partner loses their shit, give them your attention and care.

It’s the best and easiest thing to do.

Deal with it.

Now.

Calmly.

With love.

Feeling pissy? Shut it.

Feeling hurt? Shut it.

Feeling spiteful? Fucking shut it.

Let them have their moment. Let them get it all out. Let them drain the festering boil, and be a REAL partner there with them while they do it.

Help them:

Partner 1 (in crisis): LOSES THEIR SHIT.
Partner 2 (immediate full attention): “Tell me more. I want to know.”

P1: “Tells more.”
P2: “This is what I’m hearing, [repeats it in their own words], is that right?”

P1: “Yes,” or “No.”
(make sure you’re getting it right)
P2: “Ok. Thank you. Is there more?”

P1: “Offers more.”
P2: “This is what I’m hearing, [repeats in their own words], is that right?”

P1: “Yes,” or “No.”
(make sure you’re getting it right)
P2: “Ok. Thank you. Is there more?”

(repeat as necessary)

P1: “No, that’s it.”
P2: “What can I do to help?”

Listen and do it. Or negotiate doing it. Or find others to help you do it. Or cuddle them, because some things can’t be fixed. Or accept that they KNOW it can’t be fixed, and they just needed to lose their shit and have you listen and be pissy for a while.

Or whatever.

If you’re upset or hurt (and let’s face it, if they are REALLY losing their shit and doing it at you, you probably will be, at least a little), it’s ok.

Still, shut it.

YOUR time comes later. I like to keep at least 24-48 hours between, if it’s urgent. A week or more if it’s not.

This still works for me. With or without others’ buy-in.

Generally, if someone in my life is upset, I give them this attention, utterly and totally. I set my hurts aside.

I want them to have their time and feel heard and seen and validated. I want to help if I can, and listen if that’s all I can offer.

This, to me, is being a dominant (whether I am THEIR dominant or not), is providing the safe space they need, and is honoring their place in my life.

It’s also being a friend, a lover, and a considerate and caring human.

AND… I’ve found that most people, when offered this kind of care, lose their shit far less frequently and far less spectacularly.

After all, it can be hard to really get a good scream going for terribly long at someone who is genuinely there for you, ready to listen, to see, and to help in any way they can.

Even when you’re spoiling for a fight.

It just is.

(Well, for most folks.)

And they often find it in themselves to begin offering this to others. Often without even realizing what they are doing. It just feels right to do so.

Because modeling loving behavior works in more ways than one.

Even when they lose their shit.

Image by SAFA TUNCEL from Pixabay

This writing is now available as a podcast episode!


Behavior modification, that is.

It’s not like handcuffs or chains, where you do something once, and they are bound by your directive, until you free them.

It’s far more subtle.

Gossamer.

Like restraining someone with toilet paper.

One layer of toilet paper wrapped around their body is real enough to feel, to KNOW, but not enough to hold them.

However, once you’ve put in enough layers (reinforcement) in enough ways (places), their reality is constrained to what you desire.

Behavior modification is like that. It’s not one and done.

It’s not something that is set into place, then sticks forever.

It takes tending. Cultivating. Encouraging. More and more layers.

It’s like toilet paper bondage.