Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Forum - Question of the Week #34

Welcome back all.  My last couple of posts generated some interesting discussion.  Some of it was even on topic.  ;-)

I am struggling a bit to characterize the topic I would like to raise this week.  In essence, it is: "What is the goal of Domestic Discipline, and how is it distinct from Femdom?"  But, it's a little deeper than that.  I want to get at, what purpose does DD serve in terms of our development as human beings?

It was, in fact, some of the recent comments that got me thinking about this.  Several have, to my way of thinking, really been focused on very traditional Femdom themes.   Forced chastity.  Humiliation scenes.  None of those necessarily have anything to do with domestic discipline, though some of them can if they are designed to meet some DD-oriented goal.   If it's just part of a desire on your part to humiliate your partner, then whatever it is, it's really not what I think of as DD. 

Now, one can ask, why does it matter?  I am pretty insistent that there not one "right" way to approach DD relationships and I also try very hard to respect other people's kinks, even if they do not necessarily appeal to me.  But with DD, here is why I think motivations and goals matter:  Because, to me the overarching goal in any intimate relationship is to leave the partners mentally and spiritually happier and stronger than where they started.  Dan Savage, in his wonderful Savage Love columns has made that point several times:  The one real "responsibility" we have when dealing with our partners, particularly ones that are vulnerable due to age, experience, emotional issues, etc., is to try to leave them healthier than we found them.

The danger I see with DD, and with anything involving dominance, is it can be used for good or ill.  And, I do believe there can be a very dark side to dominance-based relationships.  Ideally, a healthy relationship should be about empowering both parties to grow as people and to help them expand their capacities and personal power.  For my wife and I, that was our explicit goal for the very start.  She was not especially good at asserting herself and tended to let people walk on her, while I often got myself into trouble by being too aggressive, too assertive, and generally too Type A.  Our goal was, and is, to use DD to bring things into a better state of balance, with her becoming increasingly comfortable with wielding power and authority and me increasingly willing and able to submit to power and authority because I really do need some boundaries to feel secure, yet I generally suck at imposing them on myself.

Where I get concerned about the possible dangers of DD and other dominance-based relationships is when they seem to be taking unhealthy personal dynamics or attributes and emphasizing that already dysfunctional dynamic or trait.  If someone already lets the world treat them as a doormat, in my opinion we do them no favors by encouraging a relationship in which they are the submissive.   How does bossing around, disciplining, and possibly humiliating someone who already lets people walk all over them make them healthier?  And, if you already create problems in your life by being too pushy and antagonistic, is it really good for you to enter into a relationship in which your role is to be the dominant and bossy party? 

Our culture tends to emphasize "doing what comes natural," but I am just not convinced that such a philosophy makes any sense at all if our overall goal in life is to grow as human beings, overcoming our weaknesses and gaining new strengths.

Sorry if this sounds preachy, but the tone of a few of the recent comments made me feel it was important to clarify that what TTWD is, for me,  is about encouraging healthy relationships and personal growth.  If it is something else for you, that's perfectly fine, but it's not what I do, not my goal for myself or my relationship, and not the focus of this blog.

Thoughts?

11 comments:

  1. I'll be interested to see how many comments you get on THIS one.
    By that, I mean.... the subject is very 'deep' and thought-provoking.

    I am...always have been....easy-going, even submissive, which is to say, I prefer choices being made FOR me, rather than making them, myself, whether it relates to what to wear, what to eat, what movie to see.
    I'm not saying that Merry now makes ALL those choices for me, but she is willing to, if I seem to be stumped for a decision, myself.
    She has always tended towards being Dominant; making decisions, making choices.
    Since we've been together, she is willing to listen to my opinion regarding any given topic or decision, but does make the final decision herself, which works well for us.
    We are both healthy and happy.
    As for DD, yes, we practice it (Her, on me) but not for punishment, exactly, but for Funishment.

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    1. Yes, I probably should know better than to ask the "deep" questions. They seldom get much response. But, you have to try to shake it up sometimes, right?

      I think your answer is really the bottom line: There is no "right" motivation or dynamic, as long as the end result is healthy for both parties.

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  2. I agree with Merryslave, this subject is deep and thought provoking.

    My wife and I are both in our fifties and started our FLR one year ago. I am a rather dominant person in life, that is to say in my work, but also in the life I had with my wife up to one year ago.
    Unfortunately she got ill and now has less energy than you might expect. She is a wonderfull woman, who, in her work (she manages over 30 employees), takes initiative and is dominant in a very gentle (but clear) way. In our personal relation we had our nags and long discussions and I noticed that she wasn't happy. We discussed this and I realised that many of our disagreements were futile. It seemed like we argued for argument sake.

    Thinking about it all, I concluded that she basically is a very strong woman and right most of the time. But she is also very service oriented in our household, and wants to make everyone feel important and good. This combined with her decreased energy level, exhausted her.

    I offered to take on more household chores, and I also asked her if she wanted to be the Head of our Household. I asked her if she would like to take the lead in our choices what to do in our spare time. I started pampering her, make her breakfast, make her coffee or tea, make diner, do the shopping. At first this went automatically and we both enjoyed it. But of course I slacked off. We had a number of discussions and decided to introduce DD to our relationship.

    At first she felt strange about this, but I convinced her that for some strange reason, it does have its influence on me. She started spanking me over the knee, when I did not do what she wanted me to do or slacked off. At first very gentle, I hardly felt anything. As of lately, it does hurt. But it does work !!

    We still talk about our evolving relation. It is difficult to change an attitude, built up in more than 50 years. But we are working on it and DD plays a part in that. Discipline when I do things wrong, mostly spanking, sometimes pinching (on my inner thigh, ouch!!)), earpulling of nipple pinching. Sometimes also maintenance spanking to get clear again who is the head of the household.

    Our goals for our DD relation is to make her happy, feel special and loved (and this makes me happy), to make life easier for her, to keep me in line and make my life more productive.
    In our situation I feel that she is more sensitive for the social relations, being the HoH she guides me and helps me. And if I am stubborn or do not listen to her, she has the right to discipline me and make me understand that it is better to stop behaving like that.

    This works for us and it makes her (and me) feel good about ourselves and our relation.

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    1. Our relationship has taken much the same path, though we are a bit younger and have been at DD quite a bit longer. Your comment seems to indicate that to a large extent, the primary goal of your particular DD relationship is making her happy and helping her. This is possibly a topic for another day, but my own relationship started as being primarily about my behavior -- making me pay a price for my behavior problems, reforming those behaviors, etc. But, as time has gone by, it has become increasingly about her. Spanking me is a form of retribution. I make her angry or hurt, and she gets her revenge. It makes her feel better regardless of whether it has any long term impact on my behavior.

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  3. I have waited a few days before answering this issue. In our case our marriage was close to ending, mostly because of my frat boy attitude towards life. My work demands so much focus and discipline I would once out of
    the office, play and always in a selfish way.
    I didnt want to lose her and I agreed that we would establish a set of rules that we both would live by. Should I
    break the agreed upon rules, there would be discipline and punishment, always determined by her. I strive to be
    a good mate, a considerate husband and a loving and caring husbands.
    These sessions of what i call my readjustment dates work. I refocus and it has nearly eliminated arguing. I dont
    really care what others think of it. It works for us.
    peter b.

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  4. I understand, and I can and do relate to both the frat boy attitude and the work demands, and how both lead to the the kind of behavior that our wives need to address through DD.

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  5. Dan
    The one thing I didnt address was how when I backslide and I take my punishment, I have come to realize that
    the harsher each stroke my love delivers, tells me just how deeply my thoughtless behavior has hurt her. It is then
    that I can accept the punishment and find both the heat and the joy in my submission.
    peter b.

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  6. Have you been caned again? Was it effective?

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    1. No, we haven't had the opportunity to try any of the tips. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on your perspective

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  7. Hi Dan,

    Very interesting topic. For us, the way we use, and got into DD was a way to improve behaviors that my wife was tired of. It was causing friction in our relationship, which made life unpleasant for both of us. And I think therein lies the difference. I think that D/s or femdom tends to have a more sexual connotation to it, or a sadist or masochistic thrill for the people involved. That's not to say they're all like that, but that's what I see as the difference between that world and what we do. There's no endgame really in femdom, but with DD, there is obviously a femdom or D/s angle to it, but the goal tends to be personal improvement. And like I said there's obviously a slight bleeding over from one to the other where those sorts of things are incorporated into DD, but the overall goals remain different.

    My wife was fed up with my attitude, my procrastinating on projects both at work and at home that cut into personal time, and just some immature behaviors. Nothing seemed to be working, and I felt horrible that I was making her mad and disappointed. Just talking about things wasn't having any effect and before we knew it I was slipping again. Things took a turn when I stumbled on and suggested starting a DD regimen, which she liked and embraced. We've incorporated different kinds of punishments now as many seem to do in addition to spanking. There's a level of humiliation to it of course (I would argue there always is if you're going across your wife's lap, which I'm sure you'd agree with), but the femdom elements there aren't because I get off on it. Her overall goal is improvement of things that I do. I'm not begging for a spanking every night. When I started slipping on a few things we added a denial of pleasure for me, which I hate, but if you've ever been teased for an hour only to not be allowed to climax, you adjust your behavior pretty quickly, lol. And its worked for us. There's less fighting, she's happier with my behavior, and I'm happier that things that I do don't annoy the hell out of her anymore. This obviously cannot work for everyone, but it's been effective for us and has been mutually beneficial, as I hope it has been for your relationship and others.

    I hope this was on topic and sort of answered what you were asking.

    Dave

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    Replies
    1. Great comment, Dave. I agree with you that the real distinction between DD and Femdom lies in the end (so so speak), not the means.

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