Thanks much for all the suggestions.
Just a follow-up from the past weekend (since I started this story, might as well provide the play-by-play follow-up)
With some of your thoughts in mind, I teed up a detailed, deep, and probably a bit painful discussion the other night after my inquiry to this group. That night, we hadn't been talking, going through motions with kids, food, chores...the usual. After settling down, I asked if she wanted to talk "about last night" - when performance and as you all pointed out, my conflict over "to come or not to come" created a bit of a no launch situation. As it turns out, we both needed this. The conversation volleyed here and there, but in the middle a few things came out.
We talked of how our journey has changed over the past few months. We've been at this since July, with a mix of device, and honor system - mixing the two to see what worked/didn't work. While she recognized and appreciated the change over the past few months, she struggled a bit with the causal 'benefits' of the device ('why can't we always be more affectionate? - why do we need MC and/or a device to do that?'). While not in competition here, I did score some points bringing up the parallels around her cycles, and how, biologically, there are forces at work here that cause us to not be 'at our best'. For her, it's a monthly thing. For me, it's a refractory thing. She processed this, and it was a bit of an "a-ha" for her. She also clearly has noticed that device play "ramps me up" over honor system play. "What to do" with all that energy is a challenge for her.
Of bigger note (to me) is her comfort factor in taking and receiving attention and pleasure. She's not comfortable at the center of attention, orgasmically, or otherwise. Often, her orgasm, or even desire depends on a mutual pursuit. With the exception of twice/month (once right before her cycle, and then about 2-3 days after she's past it), I sense she views sex as a means to a male orgasm's end. On those bi-monthly events, she's very horny, and will initiate, or willingly receive pleasure, attention, and can orgasm orally, manually, or with just about any toy. The rest of the time, it's something where her interest wanes if it's 'just her'. She'll gladly receive backrubs, footrubs, and other forms of attention, and will tease in kind, but I think she views the device as a crutch, albeit a nice crutch with benefits. In fairness, she sees overall MC reducing the pressure of her to have sex. But she also feels a bit guilty, as I'm clearly "ramped up" when locked up, and she doesn't feel comfortable transferring all that "energy" back to her. She doesn't need or want to come as often as I would like her to when I'm horny and locked up. Clearly, I was "topping from the bottom" trying to get off on making her get off. And that began to create a whole new level of pressure for her. In summary, she likes the honor system, where I have to remain "in control" a bit more. She views the device as something "for my benefit" rather than a mutual thing - which is probably a valid point. In a device, I feel more comfortable twitching and moaning/groaning at the slightest touch - because it can't really lead anywhere. Without a device, there's always a cock standing at attention, and I have to be careful not to go "too far" or get too wound up.
Then, my pushback on "unlocking" was interfering with her cycle of things, and me not being 'ready to perform' after a month of build-up really ticked her off. She didn't exactly say this, but I connected a few dots and got to this. I had kind of missed this - too much focused on my own chaste-induced buzz. Not very GGG on my behalf, as has been noted.
I found it odd that she viewed me/my cock as something SHE was waiting for, as "waiting" is my job here. But I think she is also starting to engage in control and how to apply it. I shared some of the ideas on the forum, introducing a bit more spontaneity, as well as suggesting that I need to be more GGG around her needs, with a few nudges to her "taking control." (Delicate topic, as she has read some of the FLR stuff, and does not line up with most of it). However, after some thought, she suggested we "go forward", without sex (we were both a bit exhausted that night after this discussion) and without relief for me with the boundaries a bit undefined - but she did let me know that it will be "at least a week" for her to sort this out without any specific release date in mind. Confused by all this, but I clearly felt my cage become very cramped on this note.
So, back in the cage, settled down a bit and dealing with all of this. But she's been extra attentive in teasing over the past couple of days, and I've been mindful to keep attention/affection distant to any sort of "topping from the bottom" in return. Not sure if we turned a page here, but the journey continues...
thanks for all the comments!