Hello all. Welcome back to The Forum: Disciplined Husbands and Disciplinary Wives. Our weekly gathering of men and women practicing or positively interested in Domestic Discipline and Female Led Relationships.
You know, sometimes a topic that I see as pretty simple and straightforward just doesn't work. Take last week as an example. I really thought that it would be a fairly concrete topic yielding some actual guidance for what a Disciplinary Wife might consider doing if her spanking efforts didn't seem to be preventing repeat offenses. I like those "concrete" kinds of topics, because I get a surprising number of side-conversations going with either budding Disciplinary Wives and HoH's who want practical, concrete advice on how to handle certain situations or from men who are looking for similar ideas to help give their wives confidence as leaders and some real tools to use. I don't believe that any of this stuff comes naturally, and it's not like there is some instruction manual they hand you when you decide to give a Domestic Discipline relationship a try, so I always have this hope that men, and particularly women, who are interested in these lifestyles can come here and get practical, concrete advice. And, sometimes that works. Other times, it seems to go off the rails. Last week, it seemed to go way off the rails--my own comments included--covering pretty much everything under the sun other than my question about how to handle repeat offenses.
I have started to see a distinct pattern of conversations going off the rails precisely at the intersection of Domestic Discipline versus Dominance & submission or Femdom. I will ask a question that focuses on what women can or should do to increase their leadership skills or confidence, or to take a stronger hand in enforcing the rules, and it tends to quickly take a hard right turn into a vary binary "She just needs to lead" or "He just needs to submit." Or both. And, both sexes can get pretty judgmental on this issue. One of my favorite female bloggers has told me that she has experienced the same thing, where she asks for concrete tips on being a better or more consistent HoH and Leader, and she tends to get back very preachy and condescending responses from other female HoH's to the effect of: "You just need to lead." I don't know why there is this tendency to think that being a "Leader" or "HoH" or "Dominant" just magically happens in practice and becomes "real" immediately by virtue of two people deciding to confer those titles. It's a skill like anything else, and skills generally aren't innate. They come with practice and diligence and lots of trial and error. That is the real world, and one reason I am pretty resistant to letting this blog drift over into the harder Femdom and Master/slave stuff is that so much of that is either not real or not something that many "real world" wives seem very interested in. I want the blog to be about real relationships, and those are complex. They involve real people with real feelings and real temperaments and real habits. One reason I have so much admiration for real women who decide to take on the HoH and Disciplinary Wives role is that I am sure it is really, really hard. You are constantly having to make judgments about what rules to make and, even harder, how rigorously to enforce them, when the rules keep colliding with the real world situation around you both. It's why, as much as I have a hard time following, I admire the hell out of my wife for agreeing to lead, because of the two roles I have no doubt that it is the more difficult.
I also recognize that I have caused some of the messiness around this by moving this blog a bit more down the FLR path instead of keeping a tight focus on Domestic Discipline, and FLR concepts do have a way of bleeding together with Femdom and D/s. All these acronyms and non-self defining terms!
Anyway, enough of that. For now. I do fully intend to keep asking these questions involving concrete tips for working on developing leadership (and submission) skills and enforcing (and following) rules, and if the discussions continue to go off the rails, so be it. In fact, since I feel the actual topic got so little consideration last week, I was sorely tempted this morning to just continue it to this week, but I reluctantly decided to move on. For now.
Anna asked in one of the comments last week why I continue to go down this FLR road when I really hate the "service" aspects of it. I won't repeat my answer, as it is in the comments with more verbosity than it probably required. But, my answer relates a little to this week's quote, above, and also has some connection to this week's topic. I stumbled across the quote just this morning as I was looking for quotes on "rules." I love the part about needing to discover "the sensuality of fear" that comes with rule breaking. But, I think that same sensuality and fearfulness are involved when people who are not wired to follow rules are made to do so. In fact, I think that phrase encapsulates elegantly many discussions we have had about how a Disciplined Husband can both crave and dread a real disciplinary spanking. We want it precisely because it is hard and legitimately fear-inducing, but we dread it because there is a very good reason that it induces fear.
I feel similarly conflicted about rules. I am one of the most anti-authoritarian guys you will ever meet. If someone says, "go left" I just feel this natural compulsion to go right. But, it gets me in trouble. So, for practical reasons, I know I need to work on following rules. I also want it precisely because it is hard for me to obey someone else. But, I firmly believe that we only grow by getting outside our comfort zones, and even if doing so is scary and hard, there is something sensual and fulfilling about doing hard and scary things.
This week's topic is related to the above, but maybe a little narrower, and it focuses on two recent polls. I asked everyone about their relationship to rules when they were growing up. Here are the results:
In my home growing up there were:
Many rules 33 (42%)
Few rules 45 (57%)
In my home growing up, rules were:
Strictly enforced 26 (32%)
Moderately enforced 30 (37%)
Seldom enforced 23 (29%)
Sometimes I have some firm ideas about what a poll is likely to show, though I'm often proven wrong. This time, I really didn't have any firm pre-conceived notion, though I had a mild suspicion that DD might appeal more to men who grew up with few rules or where enforcement was lacking. My basis for that was two-fold. First, I had heard something by a "spanking therapist" who was of the opinion that spanking fetishists who want disciplinary-style spankings often grew up in chaotic or unstable environments, and as adults they crave rules and accountability precisely because they lacked them growing up. She even described the adult spanking process and the accountability that comes along with it as a form of "re-parenting."
Second, that therapeutic explanation resonated with me personally. I did grow up in a pretty chaotic environment, and my parents set very few rules and enforced even fewer. In fact, as I hit my teen-age years my father actually told me something to the effect of he wasn't going to set any rules unless I really screwed something up thereby proving that I needed them. Now, that may sound like a teenage boy's wet dream, but it actually can lead to a lot of insecurity and sense of overwhelming personal responsibility, because when you are responsible for setting 100% of your own rules you also are responsible for 100% of the consequences. I was never a "bad" kid in terms of things like bullying or engaging in wanton destruction, but it is fair to say that I engaged in a lot of pretty risky behavior. I managed to get myself out of most scrapes, but I think I always felt more than a little out of control, because in fact no one really was controlling me. That is hard enough as an adult, but as a kid it is a lot of responsibility to carry around. So, I think that one reason I had such an incredibly strong reaction to Domestic Discipline the first time I read about it was because the idea of having rules and painful consequences imposed on me was deeply attractive and also deeply disturbing, both at the same time.
Now, the polls don't really seem to support my working hypothesis. Yes, more respondents grew up with "few rules," but not by a big margin. There also is a fairly even distribution between mild, moderate and strict enforcement. So, I guess all the poll really does is reinforce my view that there is no "one size fits all" reason for our attraction to this stuff.
How about you? What was your environment like growing up when it comes to rules and their enforcement? Do you see any connection between how many rules you had to follow and how strictly you were required to observe them and your attitudes and desire for (or aversion to) rules and discipline today?
I hope you have a great week. As always, if you are new to this Forum please tell us a little about yourself or your DD lifestyle by visiting our Guestbook (tab above).