They say in life and relationships you’re either a passenger, a co-pilot or a driver. In most cases we will naturally move between all three positions, depending on who we are relating to, how we feel or the situation we are in.
Healthy relationships will tend to have agreed mutual agendas and will openly and honestly meet the needs and honour the values of all involved. As individuals I also think we all overtly or covertly carry our own agendas, that serve to look after our confidence, self esteem, attachments, boundaries and values and we will place ourselves in the role of passenger, co-pilot or driver in order to observe these as much as possible.
I can recognise in my life where I sit regarding all of these roles. I am secure in the places where I am undoubtedly the driver, primarily within my professional career. I take responsibility, ownership and control of the wheel, leading and directing those in my charge and my peers who trust my experience and vision. I have come to realise how much this feeds my sense of self worth and it can compensate for other areas where I lack this. Being a driver, however, comes with its own price regarding the stress of accountability and the pressure to maintain performance amongst striving for the elusive work/life balance.
I can also reflect upon times when I fought to be the driver for many years in almost all things in my relationship with Cuiplash, in an exhausting attempt to hold onto control. I had my own protective agenda that I gripped tightly but wasn’t always mutual, or beneficial to us both. Having experienced lack of safety in many out of control situations when I was young galvanised the belief in me that in control lay safety, and in safety lay peace. Cuiplash recognised this need in me and would step back, and place himself as the passenger, to help me feel secure. Of course, it was futile really, and not what I actually needed, but I am grateful we learned new ways.
When I eventually handed over the metaphorical keys to him I found relief in listening to my actual needs. In trusting myself, and him, to lead us in a healthy shared agenda that did meet our needs individually, and as a couple, we grew in intimacy, vulnerability and strength. Our communication improved, and our physical, mental and emotional needs were recognised fully and held in high regard.
I would say that we still move between this and being co-pilots jointly steering our path, making the best use of our strengths and shared agenda for us and our family as that is what works best for us. I would not wish to be the passenger in my relationship with him at all times, nor he wish to be the driver at all times. We move to fill in and support the other in times where that is needed, and will co-pilot through parenthood, health and family life.
During sex and play, however, I am always the passenger and he the driver, as that is how we work. I do not wish to know where he leads me, how he will drive our physicality or the nature of that journey. I am his to take where and how he pleases, for as often and as long as he wishes. The route is his and I follow him gladly.
We have managed to work out a natural way to travel, for us, that honours our D/s, our agreed agenda and values, and the ups and downs of our day to day lives. I know that I eventually felt secure enough to hand over the keys to him, instead of grasping onto them tightly myself, because I listened to myself and thus learned about myself. I stopped pushing down my needs through misplaced fear or old destructive habits. I was able to express those needs to him and trust him to handle those needs with care. In turn, he accepted those precious keys from me and trusted me to trust him to drive us forward on our agreed path. In truth, I was only really keeping his seat warm for him. And so far, we are enjoying our journey together even more.
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