Because of the nature of our relationship — the distance and the eventual expiration date — I never gave J any rules to follow when he’s here. Setting up routines and structure for something infrequent, unpredictable, and temporary felt unnecessarily formal and melodramatic.
But now that it looks like he might spend a bit more time here, I’m giving him more of a presence in my home and a new set of rules and routines to follow when he’s here.
House Rules and Routines
When you arrive at my place, immediately after greeting me, you will put all of your personal belongings away in the coat closet — your wallet and keys, your laptop and work materials, etc. — everything except your phone. If you’ve brought anything for us (wine, groceries, etc.), you may put them in the kitchen or wherever appropriate.
After you’ve put your things away, you will go upstairs and brush your teeth, wash your face, and shave (and/or shower, if needed).
You will then change out of your clothes and into the ones I’ve bought for you. I purchased several items of clothing for you to wear while you’re here — casual t-shirts and jeans, more formal attire, undershirts, underwear, and socks, pajamas, and a few pairs of shoes. These items belong to me and they will stay here — you may not take them when you go.
After you freshen up and change your clothes, you must bring me your collar and ask to wear it.
You are not permitted to take your collar off, and you aren’t allowed to put it on yourself. I will put it on you when you arrive, and I will take it off when appropriate (before we go out, when we go to sleep, before you leave, etc.).
If we go out, as soon as we return, you must bring me your collar and ask to wear it. If you wake up before me, you may shower and move about the house, as soon as you know I’m awake, you must bring it to me and ask to wear it.
When we’re together, you must keep your phone on silent or vibrate at all times. If it vibrates to indicate an incoming call, you must ask permission to answer. If it notifies you of a text message, you must ask permission to check it. You will also ask permission before making calls or sending messages.
Of course, there are exceptions, including situations where you expect an important call from work, or situations when you might be waiting to hear from friends or family. In the case of these exceptions (when you need to leave your ringer on or when you must take calls or messages immediately), you should notify me when you arrive or as soon as you know.
The spare room upstairs is now your room. Your clothes (my clothes) are already hung and folded in the closet. There is no bed (in general, you will sleep with me), but I expect the sofa and furniture there will be enough for your needs.
If I am busy or if I have to leave the house, you may go to your room to read, rest, or work. To be clear, you don’t have to stay in your room when I’m busy or out (you are free to move about the house) — I just thought you might like to have a space of your own and some privacy if you need it.
Computer Use for Work or Entertainment
In your room, you will find a small desk and office chair I had delivered last week, along with a computer and home-office supplies for your use.
Your computer is my older MacBook. I wiped it clean and installed a fresh copy of the operating system, browsers, an office suite, and a few additional applications. You’ve communicated your aversion to Macs on several occasions, but you’ve also admitted that you’ve never used one. This will force you to use one and see how they work. :)
Be advised there are application logs and browser trackers on the machine. They will keep a record of your application use, downloads, installations, and web browser activity, but they will not save any logins, passwords, or any other text typed into a browser. (In other words, it will not read or save login information, text from document files, or text in emails). I will show you how the trackers work so you know what information they record, but you will not be able to disable them.
Unless I’m busy or out of the house, you must ask permission to use the computer for any reason.
The bathroom across the hall from your room is now your bathroom. There you will find toiletries for showering, shaving, general hygiene, and grooming. You are not permitted to use any other bathroom in the house, with two exceptions: 1) when you are invited to shower or bathe with me, or 2) when we have guests. If we are downstairs and you need to use the bathroom, you will need to go upstairs to use yours. If you need to use the toilet in the middle of the night, you must go to yours — you may not use the master bath.
At least an hour before you need to leave (preferably sooner), you must tidy your room and bathroom. Empty the wastebaskets, bring any dirty laundry down to the laundry room, and shut down the computer. When we say goodbye, I will remove your collar (I will return it to your room after you leave). When you return home, you must text or email me to let me know that you’re safe.
Within 36 hours of arriving home, I expect you to send me an email (to curb my inevitable anxiousness and worry) that includes the following:
- your favorite sex/play moment of the weekend with a brief explanation
- your favorite non-sexual, vanilla moment of the weekend with a brief explanation
- a “damage report” that includes any marks you have or pain you feel
- an explicit indication that you aren’t upset or angry with me
- …unless you are upset or angry. In that case, I expect you to let me know by phone or in writing. This rule is still the most important to me: If something is wrong, if you have a question or a concern, if you need something I’m not giving you, or if you’re angry or upset with me for whatever reason, you need to let me know immediately, regardless of what you think my reaction will be. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating — you’re very important to me and I enjoy what we have. You need to help me to be sure we don’t break it.