Friday, February 3, 2017

The Forum - Vol. 192 - Nurturing

"That was what he wanted. For somebody to tell him 'No.' To have somebody lay down the law, set the limits, give him something solid to stand on. That's what we all want, really.” ― S.E. Hinton

Hello all.  Welcome back to The Forum - Disciplined Husbands & Disciplinary Wives.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in Female Led Relationships or into Domestic Discipline. Thanks for joining us.

I decided to get an early start on this week's topic, as I may be off-line much of tomorrow.  Also, it felt like this week's topic had run out of gas, though I do want to thank everyone who participated in it.  We didn't succeed in getting a whole lot out on the table regarding what men can do to show their submission in order to encourage their wives to take charge, but there were some nuggets in there.  I'm also not sure whether I did a good enough job of explaining what I was looking for, which seemed fairly simple to me at the time: namely, whether men have ways of showing their willingness to be led before expecting her to just take a strong lead.  It was really about, what can we as disciplined men do to help build up our wives' confidence even if, in an ideal world, we would prefer that they take command and impose their will without us having to prod things along with things like suggesting a spanking might be appropriate or acting submissive such that she takes it as a cue to lead.  Anyhow . . . best laid plans.  

I will say that sometime in the near future, you can expect me to do a topic going off again on the whole "topping from the bottom" thing, as it once again came up and seemed to generate more heat than light.  I am more and more convinced that it is like one of those non-indigenous weeds or snakes that gets let loose in a new environment and wreaks havoc on the eco-system.  I'm obviously analogizing to what happens when we import concepts from one kink--in this case BDSM or Femdom--into something different (DD) that may not have the same goal or purpose.  I don't think there could possibly be anything more destructive to a budding DD relationships than the suggestion that there is something wrong about communicating what it is you need and what it is you are hoping DD will do for you, whether as the spanker or spankee or letting your partner know what is and is not working.  I know that "topping from the bottom" is not necessarily incompatible with open communication between couples, but it is just so easy to apply it in a way that shuts down communication, in the DD context it just seems to be way more trouble than it is worth.  Anyway, enough of that.  Onward.

During the course of last week's conversation, Marisa made the following point in response to a very thoughtful comment about confessing one's transgressions and failings:

"I am not Catholic ( Jay is) but I LOVE confession. I am not talking about the contrived " mommy I was naughty" version designed to get a spanking, but the sincere heartfelt admission of guilt and acceptance of penance. This is very hot for a dominant woman (maybe even a vanilla woman).  I believe it taps deeply into our nurturing nature as well as the penance giving role so natural to us."

I want to follow up on her "nurturing nature" and "penance giving role" comment.  Another word for what I think she may have been getting at is "mothering."  Now, I am coming at this topic with a lot of trepidation, because I absolutely do not want to open the door to a bunch of "I love it when Mommy puts me in diapers . . ." stuff from "Anonymous" in all his permutations.   While whatever people want to do in the privacy of their own bedroom is up to them, some of it is beyond the scope of this blog. (Though, I will admit some it reflects your blogger's personal comfort zones.   I read recently that Mike Pence refers to his wife as "Mother." Totally creeped me out.)  So, like I said, I hope I am not opening up a big can of worms here.  But, I actually have been thinking for some time about doing something here about whether "nurturing" and "mothering" are an aspect of DD and FLR relationships for some couples or are part of the mindset that makes or keeps either party interested in DD.  It has been on my list for awhile, though I did keep shying away from it. But, Marisa's comment seemed like a good opening to do some tasteful exploring.

In addition to Marisa's insights, I can think of two separate incidents that got me thinking about this.  First, several months ago I mentioned that I had listened to some lectures I found on-line from a professional disciplinarian who also promotes herself as a "spanking therapist" specializing in adults with spanking fetishes.  She opined that many adult men and women who crave real disciplinary "to tears" kind of spankings who grew up in chaotic homes with few rules, or where the rules were inconsistently enforced, and it left them feeling insecure, guilt-ridden, etc.  As adults, they crave the structure and boundary-setting, and consequences for misbehavior, that they did not experience growing up.  She referred to adult spanking in that context as almost a form of "re-parenting."  

Second, in my own DD relationship we had never, until recently, even alluded to any "mothering" aspect. And, honestly, if I had ever thought about it I probably would not have brought it up, because I suspect there are many women who might be open to DD but definitely do not want it to be associated with mothering or treating him as a "little boy" and I assumed my wife might have the same adverse reaction.  A few months ago, however, I said something about how I felt like her bringing a very strong and stern demeanor when she was in the course of ordering or delivering a spanking was important, because of the vulnerability and greater sense of genuine regret and accountability it fosters. I told her that I wanted to experience that "healthy fear" more often.  I gave her the example of a stern teacher, and she responded with something like, "Or, like a boy who is about to get a very sound spanking from his mother."  Since then, she has made a few comments along those lines -- that part of me wants to be disciplined in the same way it used to happen to misbehaving boys from a strict mom.  Instead of reacting negatively to the mothering metaphor, she seemed to gravitate toward it in some way.



It isn't all that easy for me to admit, but some of that imagery does resonate for me as well, though I do think it has more to do with wanting to be subject to control by a strong authority figure than with "mothering" per se.  A mother could fill that role, but so could a teacher, or a strict aunt (or uncle, for that matter).  But, I do think it does have something to do with someone having that kind of actual authority and sufficient physical or positional power, to make a spanking happen when a rule is broken.  


 For me, I'm not sure it is linked so much to the disciplinarian's age and accompanying authority, as to my lack thereof.  It is about the feeling of lacking the ability to resist that we felt if subject to corporal punishment growing up.  As an adult, I always kind of know that even if I have committed to being spanked whenever she orders it, if I wanted to resist, I could. It's not like that when we are younger, right? If punishment was ordered from an adult, whether at home or school, it was going to happen. That sense of inevitability -- that it is going to happen period and without any chance of getting out of it -- definitely is part of the morbid attraction DD had for me from the first moment I read about it.  And, I feel it now more than a decade later as I write this post.  It gets my butterflies going in a way that most other topics just don't. "Tears" being probably the only other one that has the same level of fascination all these years later, and I think the two are inextricably linked for me on some level.

Anyway, let's explore this a little.  Does mothering or parenting or nurturing play any role in your DD or FLR lifestyle or in your motivations to give or receive discipline?  Or, perhaps some vulnerability we had growing up that we want to tap into again?  Or, her ability to make you feel weak in the knees, like a boy caught doing something especially bad, when she gives you an especially tough lecture?  For the wives, does the "mothering" or "nurturing" aspect of your personality play any role (positive or negative) in your desire or willingness to be a disciplinarian? Marisa also referred to "the penance giving role so natural to us."  Is that a natural and overlooked facet of many women and mothers?

I hope you all have a great week.  If you are new to this Forum, please take a moment to stop by the Guestbook (tab above) and tell us a little about yourself and your DD or FLR lifestyle or desires.

Dan

63 comments:

  1. I'm going to be spanked half an hour from now when my wife gets back from the store. First, I must strip and bend over the edge of the bed. Next, she will softly but firmly lecture me on how I've disappointed her. Then, one hundred hard strokes from her hairbrush. Between the voice, her brush, her long silk gown, and my complete vulnerability before her firm, confident, and intimately caring command. Yes, the whole session is VERY maternal in nature. I become defenseless under the power of this very strong woman, and I feel totally loved in how she cares enough to give me this type of attention. That's what good spanking wives and "moms" do.

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  2. I'm a long way from processing this essay, let alone having a worthy response-contribution. But I want to say I think it's a fantastic topic and provocative set of questions.

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  3. I would say that there can be a correlation between domestic discipline and nurturing. Being disciplined for breaking her rules could make a man feel safe and secure. Her spankings could be done out of love and him knowing that he will be punished for disobedience could enhance his feelings of love for her. The act of discipline could bring the couple closer together and thus be mutually nurturing.

    I_ObeyHer
    (my FetLife name)

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  4. Sort of off topic, but l wouldn't concern yourself about Vice Pres Pence calling his wife "mother."

    In the 70s we had a family move from Chicago down to North Carolina. I became good friends with their son. His parents used to call each other "mother" and "father"when addressing each other. For instance, "Father, did you get the mail?" I thought that was weird, but then again, they couldn't get used educated people using the word "y'all."

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    1. In the instance above I understand. My Wife and I often refer to each other as mom or dad when around our boys. Even now with them 24 and 21 we find ourselves calling each other mom or dad, it is a 20 some year habit.

      However, our WLM/DD relationship is not one of a maternal nature but I believe it is loving, nurturing (care for and encourage the growth or development of).

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  5. Mothering definitely not....Nurturing? No question!
    When she tells me I am going to be spanked there is an absolute feeling of queasiness in my stomach I love that she makes me ability feel weak in the knees as she prepares me for my punishment. There is no question that I truly feel like a boy who has been caught doing something especially bad, and I love having her giving an especially tough lecture as she punished me?

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  6. I think that DD is in its very essence a nurturing endeavor. As for a maternal correlation, it seems to me that the "mother connection" produces very different reactions in people. One group, male and female, find the idea disturbing. Just using the term proves to be a huge turn-off to them. Another camp seems to have no problem seeing the maternal aspect as merely descriptive of a nurturing disciplinary relationship. To them it just seems like an easy way to view it or describe it......without feeling like the disciplinary female is a surrogate mother in some neo-oedipal way. I myself have used the mother/son example as a way to explain the nature of spankings that are geared towards behavior rather than a kinky act of foreplay.

    "Mother" does seem to be a polarizing word for DD-ers. But if you toss it out in favor of just describing the exact same kind of situation....i.e. a genuine act of loving discipline for the actual benefit of the household, couple, or the punished individual himself, it seems most everyone is in agreement that DD is precisely that kind of thing.

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    1. Your first paragraph sums up perfectly the tension that kept me away from this topic for a long time. The conversation my wife and I had even illustrated the two camps a bit. Linking DD to mothering was something that she seems a lot more comfortable with than I am. You also see it playing out in the comments so far. Folks are comfortable talking about "nurturing," but it is the far more neutral and "safe" term, isn't it?

      Also note that a few minutes ago I added a sentence at the end of the topic description. Marisa's comment referred to women's natural "nurturing," but also their natural "penance giving role." I want to make sure that doesn't get lost, as I think it is also an interesting part of the maternal dichotomy -- mom as both nurturer and enforcer.

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    2. When you consider any form of benevolent management, even in the business world, you still find that dichotomy............because it is the essence of caring authority. A good leader wants to see their subordinates succeed, and in trying to get them to perform at their best, they mentor and encourage as friends while maintaining a distance of authority if performance is lacking.

      Women have always tended to be the "Home managers" even as they became managers in the professional world. They have a sense of what they want their homes to be like and if they have their shit together, have no problem trying to get those around them to be their best and contribute to the success of the household. To do this they nurture with love and enforce rules with discipline. It's a natural combination. DD is an amplification of this 'nature' in a consensual relationship of loving accountability. Men are capable of this as well, it just seems that women tend to represent the nurturing aspect more naturally.

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    3. This was a couple interesting entries for me. I asked my wife about her 'nurturing' in this dd aspect of life. Her comment was that she tailers her nurturing to the needs of the nurtured, No matter how strange my needs may seem from an outsiders perspective, she feels that the need for disipline is clearly in the nurturing category. BL

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    4. KD, fyi, I LOVE today's post on your blog: https://collectedsubs.blogspot.com/2017/02/non-sexquitur.html

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  7. The maternal aspect of it is a template for the adult consensual relationship. I was raised by a single mom who taught me strict standards and to obey and respect women. She frequently spanked and I grew up expecting this from her and sometimes other women in our family ( aunts). When I started dating I looked for this " tough love" and found it in my first wife who was thrilled that I had been trained well and although knowing nothing about spanking quickly saw its positive effects on me.I never thought of her as my mother but I obeyed her as I did my mother and took spankings from her as I had at home.The way I still think about it is that my mother owned my ass and so did my wife. But my wife also controlled my penis and that made our relationship sexual. Also my wife's spankings were consensual from the beginning.But the basic training and obedience to a woman's authority does come from the maternal spankings that preceded it all. That's why I think the maternal experiences were the template for adult consensual DD
    Bobb

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    1. Reading what I just wrote I wanted to add that I don't believe this is everyone's experience and I know men come to adult spanking from many different backgrounds. I don't claim this for anyone but me because I just don't know. I actually believe the need for spanking is built into some of us and I may have ended up in a spanking marriage even if I was never spanked at home
      Bobb

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    2. Hi Robb. Thanks for sharing that history and the way the maternal experience became a template for you, or maybe did so.

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  8. I can be very nurturing and "Mommy-like" with men, and for a brief amount of time, Shilo referred to me as "Mommy" but that was long ago.

    I enjoy being both the disciplinarian and comforter. We accept it as different aspects of my being a woman.

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    1. How is it that women seemingly have so many more outlets to enhance all their myriad aspects?

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    2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ivt_N2Zcts

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    3. Perfect! Some great stuff in there:

      So take me as I am
      This may mean
      You'll have to be a stronger man
      Rest assured that
      When I start to make you nervous
      And I'm going to extremes
      Tomorrow I will change

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    4. I think it perfectly describes a BDSM or Female Led Relationship.

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  9. I can offer my perspective, but from the point of view as a taken in hand who is a self-professed babygirl and who calls her husband "daddy."

    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 signficant 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. I am married to Jason as an adult; our relationship is erotic; I am not his daughter but his wife. So consenting to discipline is erotically-charged, thus radically different from parent-child disciplinary dynamic.

    When I call him "daddy," it makes me vulnerable, and shows him I trust him. Culturally, daddy has become a term of endearment similar to a latino man calling his wife or girlfriend "mama," which may be a bit different from a female-led relationship.

    When I crave his authority and discipline, it stems from the desire to be loved and cared for, not terribly different from the childlike need for loving discipline. It is freeing to submit to the authority of another, and healing if that submission is to someone who can be loved and trusted. In short, though my desire in all this isn't at all childlike, and his discipline isn't at all parental, I think both the needs and the fulfillment stem from very similar places.

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  10. Hi J Girl. Welcome as always! Like you, I am willing to admit, reluctantly or otherwise, that 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. This came up tangentially a couple of weeks ago when someone asked whether I envision myself being "post-spanking" at some time in the future. In terms of will my behavior change so radically that I never earn one again -- doubtful. But, will I reach a point where I am not attracted to it anymore? It's possible, and the reason I am open to that possibility is that I have observed that at times when I seem to be making the most progress in my meditation/mindfulness practice, my need for DD falls away to some extent. Conversely, it is when I am the most deeply into an unbalanced Alpha state that I need it the most. So, I am willing to admit that it is when I am in my most unbalanced, unhealthy, and disordered state that I want/need DD the most, which would seem to imply that if I were more healthy and balanced day-to-day, I wouldn't need it. So, while you could say DD itself is not unhealthy and is even therapeutic, it may be balancing or correcting an unhealthy state.

    BTW, loved your current post. I heard a quote yesterday on NPR that seemed to get at a bit of the same thing. It was from a Sufi mystic and went something like, "God breaks the heart again, and again and again, until it remains open." It seemed to get at a bit of what your post was alluding to in needing frequent discipline to keep those ego and drama walls from going up again and again.

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  11. Dan
    I grew up in a household that seemed to be in a constant state of chaos.
    My career sadly rewards minds that function well in chaos. Dating me was
    always fun, marriage Anna has said often not so much. When my boys
    began echoing my bad behavior, Anna drew the line in the sand. We tried
    marital therapy and finally settled on DD.
    To start we agreed that Anna would rule the home. I would abide by her
    rules for our life at home. Seemed simple it wasnt. Without going into details
    we agreed on five rules that if broken would earn corporal punishment on
    Friday evening. Friday evenings the boys spend an overnight with my inlaws.
    Each night before bed Anna would tell me what if any rules I had broken that
    day. We also agreed that after punishment there would be no sex but I wanted
    and she agreed to a comforting embrace before sleep.
    Did I feel at the start she was strict enough or that she used enough force. NO!
    But slowly I felt free to say that not in a critical way but with a sincere desire to
    make all of this work.
    As time passes we both have grown and gotten comfortable with our roles.

    Peter

    p.s. The original five rules for the most part stay in place.

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    1. Thanks, Peter. I sometimes wonder if you and I are in the same profession. I am definitely at my best when things are the most chaotic around me, which is a useful skill but comes with the built-in problem that I feel the most in control when things are the most chaotic, so I not only thrive in, but kind of enjoy, the chaos and drama. I've worked in a less chaos-prone environment, and the lack of ongoing distraction almost made me OCD.

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  12. I grew up ina family where the rules were very inconsistent. There was never any formal ritual for discipline. If my mother thought I had done something wrong the response would be to say something hurtful and engage in some exercise aimed at making me feel guilty.
    I married into a family with much more structure where my wife's mother led the family with very clear rules and consequences for breaking them.

    During a discussion with the whole family around the dinner table my wife's mother asked me about how my mother dealt with some problems that I had mentioned about my days in school. I said I had been grounded and had lost my allowance. To my considerable surprise and embarrassment she said that she would have taken my pants down and tanned my behind.

    After a brief awkward moment of silence all the kids shook their heads yes.

    A few weeks later when the opportunity to discuss some issues that she felt needed her attention, she approached me reminding me of our earlier conversation. She told me she was sorry no one had " cared enough" to give me a proper spankings. She listed a number of things that I had done and said that deserved a spanking .

    I guess I could have simply refused to comply but something in her tone of voice and seeming control made me freeze. When the scolding was over and she began to unfasten my belt and trousers I felt really helpless like a child.
    She spanked really hard and when she let me go I felt even more helpless.
    She told me I was forgiven but to be careful or I would get another spanking.

    It felt very maternal, nothing in anyway but erotic .



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    1. Hi Bart. It really is odd, isn't it, that there is so much psychological research that seems to show that spanking has band life-time results for kids -- lower self-esteem, lower earnings, etc. -- yet many of us raised without it, or without much of it, end up longing for it? I wonder whether some of that answer (life is way too complicated for there to be one answer, right?) is that some of us had parents like you describe, who were fairly good at saying or doing things that made us feel guilty, but there was no real resolution or penance at the end of it.

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    2. Bart, I somehow managed to accidentally delete your reply, and Blogger wouldn't let me undo it. Hate to put you to the trouble, but can you repost?

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  13. While I was a young adult when the above took place, it had a very significant impact. While I am pretty sure my mother in law never told anyone about spanking me, eventually I told my wife. My wife having been raised with her mom's strap always nearby knew full well that her mom had a way of getting one's full attention. Like others who posted here the experience of feeling helpless and very much like a child was startling. After composing myself I was very sure I wouldn't do anything to cause her to use that strap on me again. We are in our 70s now and while it doesn't happen often my wife still has washed my mouth and strapped me to tears. And I am still made to feel like a child in the control of a maternal like woman

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    1. Thanks, Bart. Sorry for making you post this twice.

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  14. Hi, y’all!
    My obsession with spanking, in general, developed over 40 years ago, and ruined two long-term BF/GF relationships and one marriage, because I would not talk about the obsession with my S.O.
    My obsession with, more specifically, BEING spanked … by a maternal figure … developed about 20 years ago.
    I kept the desires locked up within me, until late 2012, when my S.O. of the time moved out of the apartment and far away.
    Living alone, I decided to ‘come out’. I wanted to be spanked for real, not just practice the self-spanking in which I was frequently engaging.
    Perhaps someone has noticed how difficult it is to find a willing and ready female-spanker-of-males.
    I sure did.
    I easily found willing male spankers, and met with quite a few, up until June of 2013.
    And, importantly, I always had …a choice.
    I believe in two types of spanking (for the sake of this conversation).
    Either “I have A choice” (whether or not to take this) (which I will designate an A spanking) or “I have NO choice” (as to whether or not to take this)(which I will designate an N spanking).
    Starting at this point, June 2013, I had not received an N-spanking since I was in 2nd grade, in Texas, by the school principal in his office.
    All my spankings given to me by other men, I received happily and willingly.
    Merry and I met on a prearranged date at a BDSM party. She beat my naked bottom with various paddles, and I was delighted to have her do it.
    In a matter of weeks, our play-partner-only relationship morphed into one of Dominant/submissive, with a signed contract created by Merry, and shortly thereafter, into one of Mistress/slave, with a signed contract.
    Under those contracts, I was not supposed to have ‘choice’ for when she decided to punish or discipline or just play with me.
    But in my head, I knew I did have choice. I knew, I’m an adult, I CAN just say no.
    But, I did not (say no).
    After marriage, our relationship morphed again, into one of an FLR-DD, again with a contract, again with her in charge of all things like punishment/discipline/Funishment.
    I knew I had a choice, but I never said ‘no’.

    End part One

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    1. Within those RULES, Shilo had consequences, but overall, he was always obedient, although he would frequently become stubborn and self-willed, and he would outright lie to me about his one big issue(smoking)and I knew it.

      I never told him he had a choice, because in my eyes, he had totally surrendered to me. I take commitments very seriously, and he knew it (he still knows it) I knew in my heart that I HAD NO CHOICE. I was committed. Our marriage nearly 3 1/2 years ago was a symbol of my commitment to our relationship

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  15. Start part TWO

    Until … I can’t remember a date: she got furious about an incident at a supermarket, and when we got home, she told me to strip and stand in the corner, until she cooled down and called for me.
    I didn’t refuse, exactly, but rather, I walked out the back door, and around to the front yard to my car, and got in, and drove away.
    This was my self-will, my Ego taking over my thought processes.
    After some reflection, as I sat in my car a few blocks away, I thought it over, and realized, “Isn’t this nearly exactly what I want? My fantasy, what I think about, what I blog about, what I write fiction about, is having a female figure who has the authority over me such that I have NO choice. My fantasies involve a maternal figure, whether step-mom, grandmother, aunt … etc … but doesn’t a Strict Wife work just as well?”
    I returned home and … faced the music.
    And the wall, while naked.
    However, after that, my self-will took over more and more often, and I began saying “No” with alarming frequency.
    With such frequency, that finally, Merry said to me, “Look, if you WANT to be spanked, just tell me, and I’ll oblige you.”
    And, for quite a time there, we were filming our consensual sessions, creating clips to sell on our clips4sale site.
    Then, late last July, Merry tripped and fell and broke her dominant arm. It’s been a long recovery process because the broken humerus turned into a frozen shoulder, and she is still going to therapy for it. It brought a screeching halt to all activities spanking.
    We started again, five months later,at a NYE dungeon party, where she tried using her left arm to swing a paddle into my naked bottom.
    So, we’ve slowly been getting back into the spanko activities, always ‘fun’, always consensual. We’ve filmed one more clip since then, and we’ve been to another dungeon party.
    It has been fun. My bottom (and taint) has bruises from that party two nights ago.
    YET
    What I yearn for – what I long for – what arouses me to think about – is the N-spanking.
    To have the maternal figure who can say, “I’m going to spank you right now,” and I know, I know, I have no choice but to accept it – that is my deepest, strongest fantasy.

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    1. Totally get it. This is what I meant when I said in a comment last week that if I am asking for punishment or for boundaries, if they are not being *imposed* on me, then it really doesn't meet my need for accountability, because while she may be the one swinging the paddle I really am accountable more to myself than to her in that scenario. If I have to ask for it or suggest it, them I am the one who is in control. So, I totally get the attraction to what you call the "N Spanking." I think it's why so many DD stories involve a fed up wife suddenly taking control and imposing discipline whether he likes it or not, even though in reality it is usually the man who initially requests to give DD a try. There is a HUGE gap between the fantasy and the reality. For me personally, while I don't have maternal fantasies per se, I very much get an emotional jolt out of the thought of a spanking that I really can't say "no" to. You're right that for adults the element of choice is almost always in there, and I wonder if that is why lecturing and verbally dominating become another part of the desire -- we know we can physically resist, so it becomes about having someone verbally break down all the willfulness and ego and resistance.

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    2. I told Merry, by email, that I WANT her to 'take charge'. I want her to tell me when it's time (very much like used to happen, a year ago). I want to be put in a position that I learn to believe that I don't have a choice.
      Well
      After a strict session, Tuesday morning (home from) work and Tuesday evening (before going to work), I leave you with these well known words:
      Be careful what you wish (ask) for.

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  16. Again, Shilo is 6'4" and I'm 5'8" he outweighed me by over 50 pounds (Now it's about 90 pounds). I was at an extreme disadvantage. He was (and still is) bigger and stronger than me. I knew my limitations, so I quit arguing, choosing instead to heal our marriage the best way I knew how. I did find a way to punish him without him knowing, and I always made sure to give him as much sex as he wanted (and I frequently initiated things) in an attempt to fix things. Still, I was hurt, but I really feel that as a woman, it's my job to ensure the relationship works, and if it means I occasionally have to cry alone and struggle to fix things, I will. I did it, and I'm happy to share that our marriage and relationship healed.

    My accident has had a "ripple effect" that put me into a state of deep depression, and I felt both ineffective and undesirable. Both you (Dan) and a certain other blogger were instrumental on keeping me from giving up (thank you) Shilo and my long term Partner Stitch were too preoccupied in taking care of things like bathing me, dressing me, and providing full bathroom assistance which wasn't very helpful in boosting my ego. Being completely dependent on others was horrible, and I still have a long way to go, but at least I can take care of most of my needs.

    Regaining my independence as far as taking care of myself made me feel better, so I had high hopes in attending that NYE party, and it brought me back. Knowing I could spank Shilo (for whatever reason)has been encouraging, and he only refused me a few times due to health. Still, I am aware of our limitations, and his fantasy of an authority figure will remain a fantasy until he realizes that he is the one who has to surrender to me. Well that, and his behavior has been excellent, although there are a few things he's done in the past month that I could halfheartedly punish him for like not paying a bill from the Household account which caused me some grief a few days ago. (hint, hint)

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  17. This subject is of interest to me because I don't feel any maternalism in our DD arrangement. My wife and I married very young. We dated since high school. I was a hard charger, earning a football scholarship, married my wife in my third year of college, passed up a football career being a middle round draft pick, had a child along the way, got a good job and at the same time went to night law school, graduated and passed the Bar, and then embarked on starting my own company, working incredibly long hours requiring extensive travel. Had two more children along the way, but our marriage was to a large degree each of us doing our own thing. We didn't have a lot of together time. While I brought home the bacon, my wife ran the household, raised and disciplined when needed our children, played golf and tennis, and often was president of social clubs.
    I was financially able to retire in my late 50's. We were now living together 24-7. I behaved like I did at work, controlling, impatient, and critical, amongst other negatives. After about six months living together 24-7 like this my wife rebelled, and we were seriously discussing divorce, although neither of us wanted to. I suggested we sit down and discuss the things that were causing our troubles. We came up with a list of those things I did that irritated my wife. I was surprised at the total - 26 things and 75% of them I didn't even realize I was doing. That discussion led me to the internet and I discovered the Spencer Spanking Plan. As a lawyer the idea of a contract between my wife and I made sense, and solving problems quickly with a spanking rather than a long drawn out fight made sense too. I presented this to my wife and her reaction was I'm not the problem, you are the one in need of improvement and spankings if you don't improve, not me. otherwise she was receptive to the idea and we spent considerable time developing the details of an agreement between us where only I would be spanked for violations of the agreement. The agreement included rules, my willingness to submit to a spanking when rules were violated, the punishment instruments to be used, punishment would only consist of spankings on the bare butt, and my wife would have total power to determine how hard and long these spankings would be based on the violation or repeating of the same violation. We finally agreed that if our agreement were to work, spankings must be delivered for each rule violation (no exceptions) and must be painfully unpleasant to change behavior. I have always accepted my wife's spankings without resistance (although a few were delayed for health reasons).
    I still am the leader of the family, our agreement is and has remained extremely personal and confidential, but my wife has (and likes) the power to paddle or strap me when I violate the agreement. In her case I think it is payback as well as a message don't behave that way again. I do not consider her discipline maternal at all and from her perspective she is my wife and definitely not my mother. We simply have entered into an agreement for our mutual benefit and she enforces it. I know what the rules are that I agreed to, I know I'll have a blistered butt if I violate them, I can avoid that consequence by conforming to the rules, and most importantly I know I deserve to be punished if I violate them. Interestingly I have never violated the vast majority of these rules. However, try as I will, there are several rules I don't always control, and when that happens my wife enjoys her power to punish me. For reasons unknown to me, when I am punished my wife and I seem to have a much closer and loving relationship. I think there may be a sexual component to our agreement although that wasn't intended. Although I fear her spankings for good reason, and have really worked hard to improve my behavior, I get a jolt when a spanking is imminent, a relief when it's over with, and often we wind up in the sack afterwards.

    Fred

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    1. Hey Fred. Good to hear from you! I was afraid we'd lost you.

      I hate even to think about how long the list would be if I asked my wife to list everything I do that irritates her. Though 26 is a pretty hefty list! It's great that you have managed not to break most of them.

      I also really get your description of how you got where you did, being a hard-charger, and how it gets you to where you can retire in your '50s but can create big problems in other parts of your life. We came to DD earlier than you did, but it was kind of the same dynamic. I'm pretty intense at work, and it is something I take home with me on too many occasions. Giving hard paddlings and strappings gives her a way to voice her displeasure when it happens in a way that irritates or hurts her. And, like your wife, she enjoys the power that gives her. Like you, I fear it when it happens, am relieved when it's over, and it often ends up in the sack afterwards.

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  18. Dan

    I feel that the reason Peter and I have had some success at the discipline
    has to do with our joint choice to select a small number of grievances I had.
    We settled on 5. I will use the first 5 as I recall. If Peter had broken one of the
    rules on Friday we would go to dinner discuss any broken rules. After dinner
    we would go home where I would determine how severe a paddling, or strapping
    there would be. ( As Peter mentioned our boys spend friday nites at my folks home.
    After punishment no sex but we do curl up together. I list the five things
    we began with.

    1) No phone calls for 90 minutes during dinner. No tweets, calls, emails etc.

    2) No drinking and driving. EVER!

    3) Do not promise the boys anything you cant deliver. Worst offense was to
    say he would be at a ball game they were playing then not showing up
    with the lame excuse something came up.

    4) Total open book regarding Peter’s salary and spending.

    5) Language, attitude, towards me, the boys and family.

    There were many more, however this is how we began. Some we still work on
    but others, have been replaced with other problems. At the start I kept track of
    some of the things. Later I ordered him to tell me where he fell short. We stumble
    and for a long time i wasnt severe enough. I am now! It took time.

    I find the not having sex after punishment has led to more in the dark chats and
    confessions that have made daily life better.

    ann

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    1. p.s.

      I do love him !
      anna

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    2. Hi Anna. A theme seems to be developing around beginning a DD relationship with wife putting together a list of some things that are making her angry or having some negative impact on her. That seems like a wise starting point for men who want to motivate their wives to adopt this lifestyle, since it focuses on HER concerns.

      Any thoughts on the topic of whether DD has a maternal aspect in your relationship?

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    3. Dan
      I feel strongly that in our marriage there are times we have a maternal aspect to our marriage.
      I also feel strongly that there are paternal aspects to our marriage. When there is a balance
      we have what I consider a good solid marriage.
      anna

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  19. I'm thinking that perhaps for a lot of men, the nurturing/maternal aspects of domestic discipline may possibly be linked to how each man was or was not loved as a child by his own mother. As I mentioned earlier in this discussion, my wife and I have incorporated a considerable maternal dynamic into the routine of our sessions. When I am about to receive punishment, and then even during the punishment, it's strictly "wife and husband" talk from two mature adults who have a long-term understanding about how our various marital issues need to be addressed. It's interesting, however, that when I have endured all of her swats and/or strokes, my wife's language toward me immediately becomes maternal. I am no longer referred to as her husband, but as her "good little boy." Or, things take an equally sweet turn and she calls me her "good little hubby" (Years ago we flipped the old degrading-to-women "good little wifey" idea because she was feeling like one and it was inhibiting her confidence in the bedroom. But that's a whole other thing). I want to be clear: we both know that my wife is NOT my mother, but, nonetheless, she assumes the role of a mother for 15 or 20 minutes twice each week. Years ago, I shared with my wife several details from my childhood that are not happy memories. As a result, she fully understands where I'm coming from emotionally, and she likes how things become warm and loving after the painful ordeal to which she subjects me. Plus, together we have raised three children, and as empty nesters, this brief assumption of other roles allows her to exercise those maternal instincts that never go away for the vast majority of mothers. We think it's fantastic that severe corporal punishment and tender motherly care can both be experienced during a single afternoon or evening.

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    1. Hi GeorgiaFella. It certainly could be that how and to what extent love was shown play a big role in attraction to discipline as a an adult and/or feeling a need for "re-parenting" or nurturing. I don't have much of a personal opinion on it. My mother was a hot mess in a lot of ways, but I really don't know whether it had any impact on my desire for DD. It's certainly possible, but I don't know. I'm glad that your wife has been willing to give you what you need, and that it seems to meet some of her own needs too.

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  20. I think both men and women who seek discipline and corporal punishment in a partner are also seeking what Marissa calls a penance giver as well as a nurturer. I was not spanked growing up as far as I remember but I was fascinated with spanking and even made up stories about my second grade teacher spanking me ( she did have a reputation for spanking but I never saw one).Something in me just looked for and wanted to be made accountable for my behavior and spanked when I deserved it. Maybe it was a search for mothering or attention but why I looked for spanking when I had never experienced it I still don't understand. I am now in a spanking relationship and have had several earlier ones. Discipline, both the punishment part and the nurturing part just works for me on so many levels it amazes me sometimes. I will be standing in front of her, legs shaking so bad I can hardly stand up and as frightened as I have ever been looking at that huge brush she is holding and knowing what she is going to do to me. But 15 minutes later I am curled up in her arms, being told how well I behaved and how proud she is of me and supremely happy she has punished me. Not a lot of answers I guess but spanking is part nurture part punishment and if that is maternal ( I think it is) than that sure works fro me
    Carl ( first time poster and will do it again)

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    1. Hi Carl. And welcome! Thanks for your comment and your intention to comment more in the future. I love it when topics make me think, and this one does. I never really thought before about punishment and nurturing both being maternal, but I do think you and Marisa are right about it.

      I am definitely not the right person to help you understand why you were interested in spanking from so early on even though you had not experienced it. I didn't discover an interest in it until well into my 30s. But, I seem to be a minority among this blog's participants.

      Thanks again. Hope to hear from you soon!

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  21. Part I:

    Procrastination is one of those behaviors that’ve frequently gotten me in trouble in the past. I’d say it’s pretty obvious, by this past week, that it’s also a behavior I, unfortunately, haven’t grown past yet.

    I’ve been a long-time reader of this blog. But I’ve never joined in the discussion before. I’ve benefitted from the thoughts and insights of the others who’ve kept the conversations moving. But I, myself, never contributed. I started seeing this as selfish and one-sided.

    So, with the new year, I thought perhaps it was time to get off the sidelines and get in the game, so to speak. This week’s topic was the one that finally inspired me to do just that. It touched on a lot of foundational viewpoints I’ve developed over time on the way DD has relevance in my life.

    But then my tendency to procrastinate came into play and I found myself pushing the effort of sitting down and writing a response to the next day, and then the next.

    So here we are. It’s Sunday. The blog moved on to a new topic yesterday. And I’m just now finally sitting down to write my response to last week’s subject. But, better late than never, right? (I actually know that’s not true. That exact remark got me a sore bottom, on top of an early bedtime, at least once; the latter for being late and the former for talking back).

    I’m not sure how many people will go back and look up new posts on old topics. But at least this will be out there. I did it. I crossed the threshold. And, hopefully, it’ll be easier to do in the future for making this first step.

    I want to start by thanking Dan for creating this blog and introducing and moderating the weekly topics. We all know what little resources there are out there for honest, open, reality-based discussions on this type of relationship. I’m grateful this forum exists.

    A quick bit about me: I’m currently single; so not in any relationship, DD or otherwise. I’ve had one such relationship in my life; my most recent. We were together for several years before slowly winding down, and eventually calling it quits, throughout much of last year (for the record, DD was not a factor in why we eventually parted).

    All of my experience and understanding of how this type of dynamic works in practice comes from that one relationship. But my understanding and acceptance of it as something vital -something that was important to cultivate within a long-term relationship- began a bit further back.

    It started with a therapist I was seeing for a while a number of years ago. She was only the third person I’d ever told about my draw to this type of relationship. The first two had been the two serious, long-term girlfriends I’d had by that point in my life. They both rejected the concept out of hand.

    So, by the time, half a year into our weekly sessions, I finally broached the topic, I half expected my therapist to start probing my past, in search of how I could have developed this “problem”. Something, it seemed, had to be “wrong” with me.

    But it was actually the exact opposite. She was very understanding and encouraging. By our next session she’d even printed off some articles for me and had a list of resources for further reading.

    I moved to a new city not long after (maybe that’s why I felt comfortable telling her). But the seeds she planted turned into several years of research, inquiry, and, finally, understanding and acceptance.

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  22. Part II:

    By the time I met my ex girlfriend (hereafter referred to as “L”) five years ago, I’d let go of all the shame I’d carried about needing this type of relationship and, when we were first beginning our relationship, was actually able to articulate why it was important. I think those two things, in comparison to my past relationships, went a long way towards opening L up to the concept and allowing her to feel comfortable with embracing her role in it.

    So, with that out of the way, I’d like to begin by answering the question that was posed at the end of Dan’s post. I also want to issue a disclaimer of sorts: everything I’m about to write is simply how I see things in regards to how the common theme of this blog relates to me. I would never claim to speak for anyone else or even presume your experience to be the same as mine. DD, like most things, happens on a spectrum I think. There’s a common, observable behavior or action, but there’s great chasms of differences and distinctions behind the motivations and intentions for those actions. That said...

    “Does mothering nurturing or parenting play any role in your DD or FLR lifestyle or your motivations to give or receive discipline?”

    Yes. The need for parenting definitely does. And I see nurturing as just being part of parenting. It’s part of the framework behind the intent of parenting. Even punishment, when done for the right reasons, is a form of nurture. Mothering though? Absolutely not. It personally creeps me out to have the word associated with DD.

    (I’ll venture into a quick digression here. I agree, Dan. I think Pence calling his wife, mother, is creepy too. But I’ve run across that before -mainly in books and articles- and I don’t think it’s particularly oedipal. It seems more common with fundamentalists; for whom sex is merely about procreation and procreating is seen as their greatest purpose. In calling your partner mother or father in this context, you aren’t alluding to them as being your mother or father. It’s a recognition of them for the role they hold in your family unit. If your ultimate purpose is procreation and the raising of children, then becoming a mother or father eradicates any former concepts of self. It is simply the totality of who you are now. It’s a concept I’m wholly uneasy with. But that, I think, is what’s at the heart of it.)

    Now those two things -a positive response to “parenting” and a strong aversion to “mothering”- may, at first glance, seem diametrically in opposition with one another. But I’ll explain.

    Like a lot of people, my draw towards spankings and discipline began at an early age. I’m not sure when exactly. But pretty young. I was never spanked as a child. I can remember one incident, around age three or four, when I was pulled from our backyard into the kitchen, scolded, and told I was going to get a spanking. Advocates of the spanking of children argue it’s an appropriate remedy if the child’s behavior is putting themselves or someone else in danger. And this was certainly one of those occasions (the latter). The spanking never actually happened though. And I was back outside not long after being pulled into the kitchen. It was the only time growing up that I was ever reprimanded for something I did that soundly.

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  23. Part III:


    Adherents to psychoanalysis might argue that this is where it began -guilt from a deserved punishment not given. But even after examining and sitting with that possibility, it doesn’t seem to resonate as true. What I can say is that the only other time spanking was brought up in my childhood was a couple years after the first incident (so, about age six), when a bit of outright disobedience on my part led to the breakage of a few precious things; objects of sentimental value. This time the spanking was just a threat; an, “If you ever do anything like that again...”, type of of thing. But by that point, I had already learned not to take it seriously. By age six I’d already figured out that punishment just wasn’t something I had to fear or ever contend with. It just wasn’t something that happened in our house. There was no discipline. No chores. My siblings and I were mostly allowed to do as we pleased.

    A number of years ago I read an article in Psychology Today looking at why the U.S. has so many more cases of children with ADHD than France. The main focus of the article was that U.S. doctors were a bit over zealous in the prescribing of meds and tended to look only at the behavior, where French doctor’s looked at the child’s total environment. It was a part at the end of the article though that really resonated with me. This is an abridged version:

    French parents provide their children with a firm “cadre” -the word means “frame” or “structure”. French parents love their children just as much as American parents. But the French have a different philosophy of discipline. Consistently enforced limits, in the French view, make children feel safe and secure. Clear limits, they believe, actually make a child feel happier and safer. Finally, French parents believe that hearing the word “no” rescues children from the “tyranny of their own desires”. And spanking, when used judiciously, is not considered child abuse in France.

    Reading that -particularly with where I was at in my journey of understanding and acceptance at the time- was like a revelation. There it was, put into words; the experiences I’d always felt I’d lacked in my foundational years, without ever being able to put my finger on exactly what they were.

    Humans rely heavily on rituals. Language, at it’s core, is just a series of symbols. Words are a kind of shorthand for concepts and emotions, thoughts and ideas. And rituals serve as a heightened and more expansive form of language.

    And so I think it was the ritual of discipline, and what those rituals represented, that first drew me towards them. Discipline represented the things I was lacking and whose absence were arresting my development; the sense of safety and security the comes from structure, clearly defined rules, and consistently enforced boundaries.

    We tend to invest time and energy in the things we care about; the things we consider worthwhile. It may have felt good in the moment to be able to misbehave without consequence. But there was always the spectre looming of not being worth the effort; even if I didn’t consciously understand it at the time. And there ended up being consequences anyway. They were just of a different kind; subtler and further-reaching.

    Life’s not like Monopoly. In Monopoly you get to collect $200 every time you make it around the board and pass go. Life’s not like that. You aren’t automatically granted the next level of maturity every time you make another trip around the sun and pass another birthday. There are standards, of course; places in a person’s development from a child to adulthood that are generally achieved by certain ages. But they’re not guaranteed.

    The blog, disciplined feminist, has a post on this topic that’s at least worth a read:

    http://disciplinedfeminist.blogspot.com/2007/09/adult-vs-child.html

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  24. Part IV:

    I think a person really has two ages. There’s their literal, biological age. And then there’s the actual age of who they are and where they’re at, overall, on that road towards maturity.

    I say, overall, because I don’t think of maturity as an all-or-nothing kind of thing. You can be at full maturity in one area and a little stunted in another. And not all areas are created equal. Some areas are more crucial than others. Most people probably have at least a couple areas in the “stunted” category. I think very few people ever achieve total self actualization. But it’s all about where you are in the big picture.

    There are plenty of areas where I feel very much fully developed and rather “adult”. For example, I’ve developed along certain lines where I’m skilled at critical thinking. I’m driven to read and research topics. I grasp concepts easily and then am able to extrapolate them.

    I’m thoughtful and caring. I can usually connect with people on a more substantial level than general social conversation. As a fringe benefit, I’ve also become a skilled gift-giver as a result. And I take real joy in that.

    Within my circle of friends, I’m the person everyone comes to when they have a problem. I’m empathetic. I’m a good listener. I have solid intuition and insight. I’m often described by other people as patient. This always surprises me; because I feel I’m totally impatient most of the time. And, truthfully, I am. But that’s the difference of perspective. Others only rate my patience as it relates to them. I’m impatient in my desires. But I’m very patient when someone else is struggling and needs someone to listen. So I’m completely immature in the one form of patience and operating at a pretty advanced level of maturity with the other.

    But then there are a number of other areas L would point out where, in her words, I “have some growing up to do”. And she was right.

    As previously mentioned, I procrastinate. I dawdle (a word I would hear from her a lot). I’m constantly running late. I tend not to make long-term plans and opt for what’s immediate instead. I want what I want when I want it. I’m a bit impulsive. I like to get my way and have been known pout when I don’t. I’ve gone through a lot of life feeling that, in most situations, the rules didn’t apply to me. When rules were broken, I’ve generally been able to continue my streak of getting on without consequences. I don’t like to be told what to do. I’m stubborn. I’m not great at saving money. It’s not that I can’t figure out how to budget. I just don’t like to deny myself things (although, in my defense, I will say this also comes out in the form of generosity. During periods when business is on an upswing, I love to share my good fortune with the people around me). I could go on. But it all just gets back to one thing: not fully maturing in certain areas.

    So, on one hand, I’m intelligent, creative, caring, and compassionate. In my relationship with L, I was always there to listen. I was always there with arms to put around her or a shoulder to cry on. I was always there to give my support; and I know, even to this day, she’d vouch for that. But there are other crucial areas of me that just aren’t where they should be in maturity; areas where my developmental age just doesn’t match my biological age.

    Jung referred to this as the puer aeternus; or, eternal boy. In Jung’s words:

    The puer aeternus is simply the personification of the infantile side of our character. ...if his wife could accept him as such, everything would be all right. The little boy ought to be brought up, educated, perhaps spanked. ...things can develop, there can be progress.

    So the ritual of discipline was seen to not only represent the safety, structure, consistency, and boundaries I lacked and desperately needed, but also the path I needed to be led down in order to get to where I needed to be on my own developmental journey.

    Without understanding what it was all about, this is what was calling to me as I would look the word “spanking” up in the dictionary as a child.

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  25. Part V:

    Then I began to develop sexually. And this need bonded with my sexuality. Why? well there’re a lot of theories out there, including, but not limited to, the close proximity the buttocks share with the genitals and the idea that some people are just wired that way. And all those things may play their part in various percentages, depending on the person. But this is the explanation that resonates the most deeply with me:

    Jokes are sometimes made about the weird cravings pregnant women can have; combinations they would never eat any other time, like peanut butter and pickles or something weird like that. But there’s a biological explanation for it. The body knows what it needs -what nutrients and when- to both sustain the mother and develop the fetus growing inside her. And if the body is missing something it needs, the brain will create a craving that will deliver the needed nutrients. So, in order to get what she needs, the woman will experience a craving for something she would otherwise find distasteful.

    A similar process is happening psychologically. If the safety and security of boundaries and the certainty of rules and consistency are what you need, and those things are represented to you by the ritual (language) of discipline, your mind will find a way to try and get it. Our sexual drive has a high level of motivation behind it. So our limbic system will bond certain psychological needs with our sexuality in order to ensure those needs get met. In a way, it’s like congress attaching a provision to a bill that has nothing to do with the bill’s intent. This is why a lot of people can be aroused by the idea of living in a situation where someone has the authority to discipline them, but don’t get aroused (or lose the arousal) when they actually experience that discipline. It’s the difference between getting a developmental need meant vs masochistic enjoyment. Neither is a judgement. It’s just arriving at a similar end result for extremely different reasons.

    So, if you have a DD relationship, and your partner’s authority is taken on with the intent of helping you mature in certain areas of your life, their role, by it’s very nature, is one of parenting.

    The definition of parenting, from Wikipedia, is as follows:

    Parenting or child rearing is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, financial, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Parenting refers to the aspects of raising a child aside from the biological relationship.

    We refer to our mother and father as our parents because they are the ones, most of the time, who do the parenting. But that’s not always the situation. There are any number of situations where someone else -someone other than our mother and/or father, raise us and do the parenting.

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  26. Part VI:

    In our case, it was easy. L had been a nanny before we moved in together. She looked after two small children, spending ten to twelve hours a day with them, five days a week. she was there when they woke up and looked after them through the bulk of their day. She would play with them, look after them, teach them and, when needed, discipline them. By the time their mother and father got home, they had about an hour with them to talk about their day before bed time. L parented the children Monday through Friday and the children’s actual parents took over the duties on Saturdays and Sundays. For all intents and purposes, she was raising the children more than their actual parents were.

    L’s philosophy on parenting were far more in line with the French in the ADHD article. I learned a lot about all of this and came to a clearer and deeper understanding of why it was needed through the time we spent together.

    For us, it made perfect sense to have L be in charge without seeing it in any way as “mothering”. Yes. She was parenting within our relationship. But it wasn’t maternal. It was just her doing what she’d always done. She was being herself. And I was too. We were committed partners in a loving, thriving, sexual relationship. Neither of us wanted the concept of “mother” anywhere near what we were. Others may see it differently; have different relationships to those terms. Someone else may think of maternal as simply meaning a certain feminine energy that isn’t necessarily linked to being a mother. But that’s the way we saw it. Language is not only powerful, it’s also wholly personal.

    The big difference from her past job to her role in our relationship was the ebb and flow. If you’re a nanny to a three year old, you’re just always dealing with a three year old. If you’re dealing with a biological adult who just has some “growing up to do” in certain area, it comes and goes as needed. You need to treat the man like a man and the child like a child. Another way of saying that is, “Act like an adult, get treated like an adult. Act like a child, get treated like a child”. And that was basically the guiding principle she went by in how, and when, to use her authority within our relationship.

    I have great respect for the role L took on; just as I have respect for any woman who takes on the challenge at making an honest attempt at it. I think it must be a little like being a jazz musician. L never really went for that analogy. But then, she wasn’t much for jazz.

    As has often been pointed out, it’s usually the men who initiate this type of relationship. We come to our partners with the structure; the rituals, and the nuances to the rituals, that resonate deeply with us. It’s then up to them, as the ones in charge, to take this framework and improvise over it; make it their own.

    L and I would go about our days as any other couple; making plans, discussing ideas and events, experiencing things together, laughing, loving. But in the flow of all of this I’d encounter life situations that required maturity in one of those areas where I “had some growing up to do”. And, because of that, I wouldn’t respond to the situation as an adult. I’d act out, misbehaver, or disobey. The child would come out. And L would then respond accordingly and address the child as a child. This doesn’t mean “age play” or baby talk. We didn’t switch into being a nanny and a three year old. That was no part of us. We were always just who we were. And this dynamic was part of it. She was just L. She was my girlfriend and also the one in charge. And I was just her boyfriend and the one in need of some parenting at that moment. And that meant addressing the child in the language (rituals) he understood. And so she’d issue a spanking, put me in timeout in the corner, inform me of an early bedtime that night, or whatever else the behavior called for. She would discipline. I would be punished. And we’d continue on. We’d recalibrate and move forward. This wasn’t an interruption to our flow of life. It was simply part of the flow of life.

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  27. Part VII:

    Dan, you’ve mentioned mindfulness and meditation. It’s something I’ve begun to practice recently as well. I see DD within the flow of a relationship as being very much like mindful meditation. You sit, meditating; focused on your breath. A thought arises that pulls your attention from you breath. You notice it, examine it, and then guide yourself gently, but deliberately, back to your breath. The rising thought wasn’t a distraction from your meditation. It’s part of the meditation practice. Noticing the thought is as much mindfulness as an awareness of your breath. It’s all part of a seamless process. That’s the way I see DD functioning in a relationship.

    There are two examples from our relationship that stand out right now as illustrative of two of the main things I’ve been talking about; the role of parenting in a DD dynamic and addressing someone at the actual age of maturity they’re at in a certain area.

    One Saturday, L and I had errands to run and a number of stores we needed to go to in order to accomplish them.

    Now, I don’t mind shopping. I actually like it. If L needed a new dress and wanted me to come along and offer my opinion on which one liked her in the most, I was all about it. But this wasn’t that kind of shopping. Everything we needed were just boring, mundane household items. Even the grocery shopping we had to do was nothing but pantry staples.

    If it was just me picking things up, I would build little rewards in to make the whole experience a little more enjoyable. Do a little window shopping along the way. Stop for a coffee somewhere. That sort of thing. But L was all about staying focused and just getting it done in the least amount of time possible. That was her usual M.O. anyway. And we were meeting friends of mine for drinks later that night. She wanted to get back home in time to relax, eat, and get ready without having to rush at all (granted, not an unreasonable thing to want).

    I got a few pointed reminders not to dawdle at our first couple stops. But, by the time we got to Target, it all escalated. I got distracted by some bigger-ticket items I was interested in for our apartment and wandered off to compare brands for future reference. In between these distractions, when L would get me back on track with what we were actually there to buy, I was starting to get a bit of a bad attitude. There was nothing that put me in, “You’re getting a spanking when we get home.”, territory. But I was perhaps approaching, “You’re skating on thin ice.”

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  28. Part VIII:

    After Target we stopped in at a deli nearby for a quick lunch before continuing on with our errands. Standing in line, L looked at the menu, picked two sandwiches, and said, “You can have_______, or _______. Which one would you like?”

    Now, in all fairness, she knew me well. She knew what I liked. And so she picked the two sandwiches I likely would have debated over anyway. But I understood what she was doing. She didn’t like the direction my behavior was heading and so she tightened the reigns. She increased her authority and decreased my privileges. We ate our sandwiches quickly and headed off for our final destination; a big box grocery store.

    Entering our last stop, she grabbed a shopping basket, extended her free arm out to me, and said, “Take my hand.” And holding her hand is how we finished our shopping that day. She would drop my hand to get something off the shelf and then immediately take hold of it again as we moved on to the next aisle.To anyone else in the store, I’m sure we just looked like a couple in love doing their grocery shopping hand in hand. But between us, the communication was clear. She wasn’t going to allow the same behavior as at Target. The reigns were remaining tightened. Another freedom revoked.

    And that was basically it. We got home without any more incidents, watched tv together, took our time getting ready while enjoying some music, and had a great night out with friends. The point is that her awareness of when to switch into parenting mode saved her the aggravation of having to deal with things potentially escalating and likely saved me from an uncomfortable time sitting down that evening.

    The other example is about dealing with the age of maturity appropriately. Depending on the offense, L would sometimes double up punishments; something else to accompany a spanking -extra chores or a bedtime, etc. Early in our relationship, she had me write an essay on my behavior a couple times; what I did wrong, why it was wrong, and what I should do differently next time. The essay had to be done by the time she got home from work. She’d make me read her my essay while standing in front of her with my pants down. And then I’d get my spanking.

    But something wasn’t quite connecting. L told me she realized two things. The first is that I actually like writing. So the small amount of creativity I could find in writing the essay well slightly lessened the punishment it was meant to be and distracted me from its purpose; to think about the behavior that had gotten me in trouble. But the bigger realization was that writing an essay was way too nuanced for the level I was at. She needed to start with the fundamentals. So the next time I got in that degree of trouble, the essays were dropped in favor of line-writing. “I will do what I’m told when I’m told to do it”. Things like that. The basic concepts. I think once she figured that out -the importance of disciplining a behavior at its appropriately “age”- was when progress started to be made. She, in essence, had learned the language (ritual) and became a much more effector communicator in her parenting as a result.

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  29. Part VIIII:

    I think we all have a certain amount of duality within us. We all have a man or woman and a boy or girl inside us. It’s just a matter of what degree either holds sway. L had come from a situation where she had to grow up fast. She became an adult earlier than most. But there were still moments, in times of real adversity, when she needed to curl up on my lap and be told that things would work out. That’s what the girl inside her needed. I required something different. But that was our balance. It was the balance of a couple seeing each other as they really were and meeting the other’s needs. It was the balance of a dreamer and a pragmatist.

    So... this ended up being much longer than I intended. If anyone goes back and reads it all, I hope I’ve at least provided some food for thought, as so many of you have done for me.

    -H

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  30. Oops. I meant "IX", not "VIIII". Brain drain from writing...

    -H

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  31. There is One thing that I learned after dating for 10 years at the age of 40 that might add to this topic of what comes "natural". I discovered something that ran contrary to what I originally thought in this regard.

    I believed that people had certain kinks or sexual proclivities resulting from biology and experiences growing up, like the comment, "many adult men and women who crave real disciplinary "to tears" kind of spankings who grew up in chaotic homes".

    But, I found myself kinky in different ways with different people. Now, married for 7 years at 53, I have come to understand that my needs for discipline is very much a function of the dynamics with my wife. True, I think that I've always been a spanko of sorts, but the Domestic Discipline part is very much a function of the social environment of my marriage. The thing that strikes me the most about this is that I absolutely cannot tell the difference between the pull to kink that i developed as a growing person and the kink that I feel as a result of my relationship dynamics. -love. FCB

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