As part of a new year stock-taking exercise, my mentor has encouraged (rather strongly) me to reflect on our arrangement. The results of this exercise are provided below for those of you who have been following this adventure.
I confess that my expectations for online discipline were extremely low. The whole concept of confessing and receiving a prescribed punishment from an essentially virtual entity, while somewhat titillating, struck me as artificial. The writing and reading of it may have all the excitement of a good spanking story, but the self-imposed execution of the punishments seemed to leave much to be desired. I am therefore shocked to find myself in such an arrangement that not only seems to be working, but has provided valuable insight into my own submission and an opportunity to bond with a new friend.
Some benefits have been predictable. We set goals concerning diet and exercise. I feel healthier when I meet those goals and have a deep sense of satisfaction that I have declared a personal priority in these areas. If this were the limit of of mentoring, I doubt I would have maintained my enthusiasm for long. These are worthy goals, but simple ones with all the predictability of a poorly-plotted spanking story, requiring almost no personal touch to enforce. Even now, any discipline I receive for these goals has the automated feeling that I had previously associated with online discipline.
It is the personal side of the mentoring arrangement that has made this worthwhile. I feel a strong affiliation with my mentor. I could tell early on that he, like myself, has a very analytical mind which made it easy to relate to him. I grew to respect him for both his openness with anecdotes offering glimpses his daily life and his sage advice. I gradually began to feel comfortable enough to share my own stories in return, often of incidents in which I felt I had not acted as a mature person should. His responses encouraged me with his kindness, understanding, and high expectations of respect for all persons, and eventually these types of exchanges became a part of my regular reporting requirements.
Mentoring may have helped me to focus on my physical health, but it is in the area of interpersonal interaction and self-awareness that I feel I have gained the most. Although we may make refinements to the physical goals, and additional areas of focus may come up, my emotional and interpersonal goals are where I would like to focus as our mentoring relationship progresses.
I have also seen some benefits from the long-distance nature of our relationship. I feel my urge for submission very strongly, which has in the past led me to move too quickly into relationships with potential dominants. In a long-distance mentoring relationship, this desire is somewhat curbed. In forcing myself to take things slowly, to read messages carefully, and to express myself openly and honestly through writing, I have gained a greater understanding of myself as a submissive. While there is a strong desire to peek behind the curtain and meet the man I have come to trust, in the meantime I am appreciative of the ability to build that trust slowly, if remotely.