Hello all. Welcome back to the Forum -- Disciplined Husbands and Disciplinary Wives. Our weekly gathering of men, women and couples who are in, or interested in being in, Domestic Discipline or Female Led Relationships. I hope you all had a great week.
Last week's topic didn't blow up in the way I was concerned it might, but it also didn't quite get off the ground, did it? That itself probably indicates the extent to which it made some people squeamish. I thought it was tailor made to get some thoughtful comments from some of our regulars, especially the women, but few of them commented at all. And, some who did avoided the actual topic entirely, instead talking about things that seemed aimed more at the topic from two weeks ago. (BTW, as referenced in one of my comments, KD Pierre has been having his own issues with non-responsive responses over on his blog, and dealing with it ways that are far more amusing than what I usually go with. https://collectedsubs.blogspot.com/2017/02/non-sexquitur.html.) However, we did get some very thoughtful responses from a few people, so it was something worth exploring.
I'm not really sure what I want to do this week. Honestly, it's just one of those lazy weekends, and I'm feeling more than a little bored and uninspired. So, it may be up to all of you to carry the conversation along this week. We do have a poll we can talk about a little. It dovetails a little with a couple of the comments we did get last week, but it's also a little disconcerting as it seems to point to a pretty large gap between this blogger and most of his audience.
Our poll was as follows:
I am a disciplined husband or interested in being one, and I am:
Not naturally submissive
Now, it is not often that these polls result in such a clear-cut split between one option and another (though possibly because I rarely offer such a binary choice). Usually the results are a lot more muddled. Here, a very clear majority sees themselves as naturally submissive. Making it even more definitive is the phrasing of the two options. I tried to stay away from describing the "not naturally submissive" option with any term that might have a more loaded or divisive connotation, like "Alpha" or "dominant."
This confirms a rather poorly constructed poll we did over a year ago, in which the options were:
|A majority of those who are responding to these polls are clearly interested in doing what comes naturally to them. They identify as naturally submissive or having a preference to follow rather than lead, and I assume they are attracted to DD and FLR because those fit their natural preference. What intrigues me so much about this is that I come at this from the exact opposite angle, and my entire motivation for being in a Domestic Discipline relationship and wanting to explore a Female Led one is that I am not at all submissive in real life and strongly prefer to lead and really hate being led. For me, this is like yin and yang:|
My handy Wikipedia defines it as "The combination or fusion of the two cosmic forces. A circle divided by an S-shaped line into a dark and a light segment, representing respectively yin and yang, each containing a 'seed' of the other. Yin is characterized as slow, soft, yielding, diffuse, cold, wet, and passive; and is associated with water, earth, the moon, femininity, and nighttime. Yang, by contrast, is fast, hard, solid, focused, hot, dry, and active; and is associated with fire, sky, the sun, masculinity and daytime."
In my "real" life, I am all yang, all the time. But, that is not a very healthy way to live. J Girl touched on something like this in one of the more on-point comments last week: "It only makes sense that since most of us experience discipline -- or, in many cases, craved discipline -- from a loving parental or authority figure, that when we desire discipline from our significant other, there are somewhat parental overtones. Many in the DD community deny this vehemently, and I suspect the reasoning is because we are so adamantly opposed to disordered relationships, and so insistent that consensual discipline within a DD dynamic is healthy. However, the relationships by their very nature are different." My response was, "DD fills some need that doesn't seem to be present in "normal" or "healthy" people. I tend to think of it more in terms of "unbalanced" than "disordered," but that may be a distinction without a difference."
Intellectually at least, my attraction to DD lies in the fact that it requires me, a fairly unyielding and dominant person, to yield and submit. I am attracted to it because it requires me to grow in a direction that is not natural to me and that makes me very uncomfortable. For me, DD is about bringing some order to that disordered state that J. Girl references; bringing balance to a personality that is inherently unbalanced and way too much yang for its own good.
Yet, this poll seems to indicate that most of this blog's readers are coming at things from the opposite perspective, attracted to something that fits where they naturally want to go anyway. It also shows why I sometimes get into discussions where we are just talking past each other about the nature of submission and why husbands who don't always tow the line should be cut some slack. Not in terms of not getting the punishment they have coming, but in terms of understanding why they may not instantly and consistently obey every rule. Every few weeks I will get a comment from someone to the effect of, "You just need to submit." And without exception those comments always irritate the hell out of me, because it's clear that the person just doesn't get that for a non-submissive person, submitting to someone else is a very hard thing to do. It is not natural to them, and they must fight their natural tendency to fight and resist. Conversely, if your natural temperament is geared toward submission, then isn't it awfully easy to advise "just submit"? It's what you want to do anyway!
This also ties into a misunderstanding I had with one of our regular commenters, who I think may have misread or misunderstood where I was going with some comments about female leadership. It was an example of comments I get every once in awhile that suggest I don't appreciate how hard it is is for wives to step into the leadership role. To the contrary, I have no doubt at all about how hard it is to be a real leader, particularly for those who are stuck in yin to the same extent I am burdened by excessive yang. Leading is hard! Even for people who have strong leadership attributes, it takes thought and commitment and learning to be comfortable not just with a degree of confrontation but with actually initiating the confrontation. And all that may cut against who that person has always been. But, even if following is more natural to such a person, is it healthy? What do you miss out on by not leading, even if leading is hard? Leading does not come easily to my wife. Both by temperament and socialization, when confronted with an obstinate, unyielding husband, her first reaction is to retreat. But, she is figuring out over time that she actually does like leading, likes being in charge and, yes, likes disciplining. There are always just stray doubts in her mind about what reaction she will get when she does step up. It's that ongoing conversation that Alan brought up a few weeks ago, in which she takes a step forward but is waiting for something from me showing that I am going to really accept that leadership. Conversely, because following is so hard for me, my fantasy is that she will just take over and force me into submission, overcoming my will when I don't find it easy to do myself.
My aversion to the concept of "topping from the bottom" also comes, to some extent, from the perspective that leadership is hard and must be developed, and the same with submission. I do believe that there may be instances where a woman who has taken on the title of Head of Household may decide not to discipline or punish and actually has a good, well-considered reason for doing so. In those instances, it may very well be that he needs to accept that and, in doing so, he is learning to be a better follower. HOWEVER, I also think that not punishing or disciplining consistently when you have agreed to do that can just be poor leadership, reflecting that person retreating to their more "natural" or preferred state of passivity or submission. Again, I have nothing but admiration for every Disciplinary Wife who struggles against socialization and temperament in order to become a better leader. It is very, very hard work. And because it is such hard work, I don't have a lot of sympathy for the position that the passivity of someone who has taken on the title but is NOT doing the work must be respected just because she has taken on the HoH title. In the end, these are consensual agreements in which the parties have agreed to take on certain roles. Saying, "I choose to lead by not leading" seems like sophistry, and "topping from the bottom" can be a convenient concept to fall back on when the designated "leader" isn't stepping up but doesn't want to be called on it.
Well, now that I have proven beyond all doubt that I was being honest in saying I had no idea where this topic was going, do with it what you will. I think it would be interesting to hear from those who are playing against their natural inclinations -- dominant personalities who are learning to submit or folks who aren't comfortable in the leadership role but are working hard to develop those skills. For those who are playing to their natural state, I am interested in hearing how that works for you, whether it feels right to be more of what you are, or do you ever feel like it retards your ability to grow and develop in other directions?
Have a great week.