Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Forum - Vol. 219 - Poll & the Need for Female Disciplinarians


It is wrong and immoral to seek to escape the consequences of one's acts. - Mahatma Ghandi

Hi all.  Welcome back to The Forum.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, Domestic Discipline or Female Led Relationships.

What a week.   Work was busy, though I didn't a whole lot accomplished.  Largely because I kept popping over to Politico and NPR and the Economist to see the latest D.C. drama.  It's sort of like the people who go to NASCAR not for the race but to see a crash.  It's sort of like DD -- it is painful and humiliating yet I can't stop myself from coming back for more.

A few weeks ago, I posted a poll related to our topic of why people choose Domestic Discipline.  Looking at the trends yesterday, I was sure we would hit 100 responses, but it failed by four votes.  Close enough, I guess.  I'm not sure what to read into the fact that this blog averages over a thousand pageviews a day, yet less than 10% take the time to hit a button.  Apathy?  The poll topic wasn't interesting?  Less than one in ten who visit here are actually in a DD relationship? One hand on the remote control and one wanking, leaving no hand available to push the little button?  Who knows. Anyway, here are the results:



Accountability or penance
  46 (47%)
Boundaries and rules make me feel better or safer
  37 (38%)
Handing control over to someone for awhile
  53 (55%)
Stress relief
  34 (35%)
I like my wife strong and powerful
  49 (51%)
It's primarily about a spanking interest or fetish
  35 (36%)
I like pain
  9 (9%)
Other
  4 (4%)

I need to say at the outset, this may be one of the worst constructed polls I've ever done, because it's missing at least one big option, namely performance improvement.  I guess that is kind of wrapped up in "accountability," but only obliquely.  I also wonder what would have happened had I forced people to choose their primary motivation.

It is at least somewhat comforting to me that at least some fairly significant portion of respondents seem to be in this for the same reasons I am -- some mixture of accountability, the desire to hand over control to someone else for awhile, and being attracted to a strong and powerful woman. There is some good stuff to unpack in here.

Strong women are wanted.  So many women in these relationships hold themselves back over concerns that "strong" equates to "bitchy."  Clearly not so for most of the people who took the time to take this poll.  Wanting a strong and powerful wife was the second most common motivation for wanting a DD relationship, right behind wanting to surrender control to someone else sometimes.
And, it's not like accomplished women are in short supply these days.  While discrimination still obviously exists, I don't think it is a stretch to say that it is increasingly becoming a female dominated world.  In 2009, the number of women in the workforce exceeded men for the first time.  In 2014, women accounted for 55% of undergraduates in four-year colleges. Once there, they tend to earn higher grades and drop out less. Women get more Masters and Doctorate degrees than their male counterparts.  In 2016, for the first time women outnumbered men in law school.  

Accountability is wanted -- and needed.  Every time we've had a poll or topic on what men want out of DD, accountability or needing to face the consequences of bad behavior are at or near the top of the charts.  There is certainly an argument to be made that men need that accountability more than ever and that women should rule because they just aren't as susceptible to "Darwin Award" kinds of dumb-ass behavior.  I read a telling statistic recently.  Between the ages of 15 and 24, men are three times more likely to die than women, because they are far more likely to engage in reckless behavior or violence. Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of death for males in this age group, followed by homicide, suicide, cancer and drowning.

Men want to hand over control.  In this poll, wanting to hand over control to someone else was the high scoring motivator for getting into a DD relationship.  It is definitely part of the attraction for me.  I describe my own need to hand over control in terms of needing more boundaries and rules.  So, again, I may have constructed the poll very poorly in that it separated need to hand over control and need for boundaries into two different categories, when maybe they are two facets of the same general drive.

The open question for me in all this is whether women want the authority and control that many men obviously are more than willing to give them.  A few years ago, I was talking to a close female friend about the whole Fifty Shades phenomenon. I told her that I had a hard time reconciling that women are, on the hand, striving hard to get at least equal treatment in the workplace, and they've had thousands of years of being seen as the weaker sex and relegated to second-class roles.  So, why were so many of them attracted to a book about female submission and giving up control to a man.  She gave me a kind of world-weary sigh and said, "Look.  Most women already are in control at home.  The reality is, we basically run the house, raise the kids and make most of the day-to-day decisions.  So, on the home front, if there is a power gap, the women are already in charge."

Wise words.  In your own household, when you started Domestic Discipline, was it really just an extension of a dynamic that was already there?  In other words, was your wife already mostly in charge, and DD was just an incremental extension?  Or, was it a reversal of your normal dynamic or an exception to it.  I also wonder whether women who are already in control of the household would be happier if they did see disciplining their husbands as just part of that role.  Heaven knows we seem to need it.  This aspect of DD at home is one reason I love hearing from Holly, as it sounds like her mother saw disciplining her father as no different from disciplining and raising the kids.

Also, note the new poll, which asks those who are in DD relationships to identify which spouse initiated the DD aspects of the relationship, the spanker or the spankee.  I decided to make this one a binary choice, so please pick the one answer that most closely fits your situation.

One last thing:  I am thinking pretty seriously about restricting comments to registered users, i.e. to people who have a Google account.  It's very easy to set up an account that doesn't use your real name. I'm just honestly really sick and tired of the number of comments that don't even try to advance the ball on having an actual DD-oriented conversation, and about 90% of the problematic comments are coming from "Anonymous."  I've also considered setting up a private section of the blog, or even perhaps another blog or Facebook group for those very few people who reliably contribute and are clearly into Domestic Discipline and not just a spanking fetish.  The problem is, several of our most regular and valued commenters (Anna, Peter, Alan, Holly, Fred to name a few) post without an account, and all the options I just mentioned require some kind of registration using an email address.  So, my question for the regulars is, would requiring a Google account end your participation?  Also, would you have any interest in some separate form of communication, whether another blog or a Facebook group, if it too required some kind of registration? 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Forum - Vol. 218 - The Conversation


Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it. -- Maya Angelou
 
Hello all.  Welcome back to The Forum.  Our weekly gathering of people who are in our would like to be in Domestic Discipline or Female Led Relationships.  I hope you had a good week. 

Mine was busy and a little stressful, though it was also one in which I found some preconceptions challenged, and in a good way.  Several weeks ago, I alluded to a problem I had created for myself at work.  It involved misinterpreting (maybe) something that someone had said to me, resulting in me going off on them in a way that wasn't appropriate regardless of whether I did, in fact, misinterpret their intentions.  I got a hard and well-deserved spanking as a result of itWell, this week I found myself spending a large chunk of time with the person in question.  Turns out we have a hell of a lot in common, and not just in terms of volatile and aggressive personalities.  We not only grew up in very similar environments.  Eerily similar.  Interacting with him was also interesting, because it gave me an opportunity to watch someone whose behavior is so similar to my own, and what I observed was that his aggressiveness and controlling approach to things was effective.  I've spent a lot of energy at work the last year or so trying to tone down my own level of aggressiveness, because it has capped my upward movement to some extent. But, the bottom line is, for my profession it kind of works.  I was thinking about all this in relation to comments Fred has made here from time to time about not wanting to use DD to become more submissive in any other aspect of his life. Weirdly, I was thinking about those comments right before he suddenly popped up again with a comment after several weeks off.  I also had been thinking some things along these lines due to the  death of Sam Shepard, one of my favorite actors and playwrights, whose characters and writing often explore themes of what it means to be a man.  So, the week had that sense of the Universe sending me some signals that in experimenting with FLR and trying to be more submissive at home, I really don't want to be any less aggressive, controlling or, for lack of a better word, manly in the rest of my life.  The challenge, of course, is not to over-rotate on this and fall into a pattern of truly unhealthy and unhelpful behavior.

Anyway, we didn't get much of a conversation going last week.  I suspect people are distracted with summer quickly coming to an end.  Re-plowing old ground may also bore some of the regulars, but I still want to go in the direction I set out last week, focusing more on content that helps people who think they want one of these relationships explore how to do it. 

"I want you to spank me.  For real. If I do something bad or something you don't like, I want you to take down my pants and give me a real spanking.  I want you to use spankings to make me truly want to do better and to make me really regret it when I don't."

That's what this week's topic is about.  How do you have that conversation?  Last week we talked a little about why some of us were driven to Domestic Discipline and what we hoped to get out of it.  I assume that for most of us, the desire preceded the reality. In other words, we realized we wanted to try this kind of relationship, and then took some action to get there.  For my wife and me, that took the form of a conversation I initiated.  As I explained last week, I had found the Disciplinary Wives Club website, became more than little obsessed with it, and ended up telling my wife about it.  While I may have started the conversation with a lighthearted, cavalier tone ("Hey honey, I found this interesting website today . . ."), I did in that same conversation fess up that this was something I wanted to try, though I was also honest that it kind of scared the hell out of me.  She was intrigued enough to take a look at the website the next day.  Had I not been honest about my desire to try this, and had I not put myself out there and shown some real vulnerability during that first conversation, I'm not sure she would have gone any further.  It was me admitting that I wanted to at least try this and being very open about why that gave her the emotional incentive to follow up and to take it seriously.

For us, the biggest hurdle was probably her concern that if I "wanted" to be spanked for doing something bad, wouldn't the spanking just reinforce the bad behavior?  To get over that, I was clear from the begging that I wasn't suggesting erotic spankings or spanking as foreplay. Not in any way, shape or form.  I was suggesting real spankings, like some of us got as kids from parents or at school.  These would be spankings that would leave me chastened, reddened, very sore and possibly in tears.  The goal was to make the paddling bad enough that I would really, really want to avoid another at all costs.  I also told her that I recognized that my behavior was often hurtful or inconsiderate but, because of the way we were both raised, she did not feel she could do very much about it other than pout and engage in other passive-aggressive behaviors.  The conversation was very much about us consciously deciding to empower her and dis-empower me, in order to bring a sense of balance to the relationship.  I emphasized that she would be able to set the rules and enforce them at will and that, while it would be a struggle for me, I was agreeing as a condition of the new relationship that I had to give in to her discipline, whenever and wherever she chose.

It was also important that she see that this wasn't about dungeons and leather and all those S&M or BDSM trappings that may turn on some women but likely scare off many more from.  So, that too was part of the conversation. I wasn't asking her to change who she was or adopt some new persona.  She got to stay exactly who she was but with new authority and power.
That initial conversation was critical to getting us started down this path.  Without it, my recently discovered obsession with this thing called Domestic Discipline would have remained just an unfulfilled fantasy. 

Did your Domestic Discipline relationship start with a similar conversation?  Did you have to convince a reluctant spouse?  How did you get them to be comfortable with the idea at least enough to try it?  And, while we don't get a lot of postings from dominant spouses who initiated the disciplinary relationship, it does occur.  Holly being one example, but there are others.  I would love to hear from more women who decided they wanted this kind of relationship and acted on it.  What was that conversation like? 

I hope you all have a good week.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Taking Down Guestbook (temporarily?)

Not that it really matters to our regulars who introduced themselves long ago, but I am taking down the Guestbook.  The level of troll activity has gotten out of control.  There are commercial entities that keep trying to post to it, plus OCD boy "Sean" constantly trying to post about his mother-in-law, or getting spanked getting out of the shower or getting "leg locked."  Four tries on the last two days.  (It's just gotten very old, so Sean's stuff is just going to get deleted every single time he tries to post, whether on-topic or not.)  The reality is, virtually no one seems to be using it right now for the purpose for which it was intended, i.e. as a way for people to introduce themselves and/or leave short statements about their DD relationships.  So, since I am tired of having to police it all the time and delete spam, I am just going to take it down.

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Forum - Vol. 217 - Why DD?

"Be careful what you wish for.  There's always a catch." -- Laure Hale Anderson

Hello all. Welcome back to The Forum.  Our weekly gathering of men and women in, or wanting to be in, Domestic Discipline or Female Led Relationships.  I hope you had a good week.  Mine was not very eventful.  Other than a behavioral issue on Monday that she would have given me a very hard spanking for, were it not for some distractions that got in the way.  But, it still may be coming.

To those who joined in the discussion last week, thanks for contributing.  As I said, some repetition is inevitable, but I myself can never really get enough of "origin" stories when it comes to Domestic Discipline.  There are just so many variations on how people get into these relationship, it is endlessly fascinating to me.  But, then, I am kind of voyeuristic by nature.  One reason I like the participatory nature of doing this blog is I get to hear so many interesting stories.  It also tests my assumptions.  When I first started the blog, I definitely had some pre-conceived notions about how and why people get into those relationships.  I think in general some of those notions were grounded in reality, but only with respect to some segment of the DD community.  It's been an awakening experience to hear from so many people about what led them into this fairly unique lifestyle.  And, contrary to the views of some of our regular commenters, I do still believe these relationships are fairly uncommon.  Oh, I know, lots of couples are into spanking, but that is not the same thing as being into Domestic Discipline.  I have no way of knowing for sure, but I really don't think there are all that many people who are really into spanking as a true disciplinary tool.  Hell, even in the community of people who visit and comment on this blog, only some portion (and there are weeks it seems to be a small portion) are focused primarily on the disciplinary aspects of a spanking relationship as opposed to the "funishment" or erotic interest. 

Anyway, last week's topic was about how people first got into Domestic Discipline.  This week, let's talk about the "why."  What was it that made you ask for this?  And, most of you did ask for it.  While in fictional DD stories it is usually the wife who initiates it, in the "real world," the opposite seems to be true.  Far more often, it is the man who asks to be spanked for his transgressions that the wife who decides to impose that on him.

When you think about it, that really does seem pretty odd, right?  Most of us don't like pain.  Most of us also usually like getting our own way.  So, why is it that at some point in our lives, many of us end up asking our wives to spank us, and to do so very long and hard such that it is a real punishment?  And, why do some of us want those spanking to be part of turning over control of parts of our life to someone else?  Even those whose relationships are focused on Domestic Discipline without many of the "Female Led" elements are still handing over some fairly significant amount of power and giving up some degree of autonomy, since you are empowering her to punish you in an attempt to change your behavior.  At least where those behaviors are concerned, you have ceded control and done so knowing the consequences may be really, truly painful.

So, why do we want this and what motivations or desires does it meet?  What itch does it scratch?  Take a look at the poll near the top of the blog.  It is a variation on others I have posted.   It tries to get at this issue of what motivates us to not only take, but often initiate, a lifestyle in which we often have to submit ourselves to painful and humbling punishments?

For myself, despite being in one of these relationships for several years, and being a fairly self-aware person (at least I like to think so), I don't have a solid answer.  As I recounted last week, I was not a "spanko" in my younger years.  I had never once thought about adult spankings until well into my '30s.  Even when we started playing with erotic spanking, it wasn't wasn't all that interesting to me, let alone the kind of compelling fetish it clearly is to some.  Yet, when I stumbled on a website devoted to Domestic Discipline, it just hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. I literally couldn't sleep the night after I found it, and not much for a few days after that.  Something about it just grabbed me.  Looking back and trying to recall what the primary driver was, I know part of it was related to accountability and boundaries.  The stories of wives meting out punishment for real offenses were compelling, and it had something to do with being held truly accountable.  Which as I've said before is really an odd thing for me to be attracted to, because I am generally so anti-authoritarian.  But, part of me clearly wants it, even if I rebel against it.  But, I'm not sure that really gets at the heart of it either.  The stories that really got to me at my core all involved being brought to tears by a spanking.  But, when I say "got to me," I don't mean erotically.  At least not in any simplistic way. Frankly, those stories scared the shit out of me, but I also found them morbidly fascinating.  To say the prospect of being brought to tears by a spanking from my wife gave me "butterflies" is such an understatement.  It almost made me want to throw up -- the feeling was that powerful.  Yet, I undeniably wanted it. 

So, for me, there seem to be a lot of motivations at play.  I want to be held accountable. I crave imposed boundaries, even if in every aspect of my life I push against them.  I want the catharsis, and maybe even the embarrassment, of being brought to tears by my wife.  Part of me craves being lectured and treated with a very maternal strictness.  All of that is in there somewhere, and I have no idea why none of it came out until pretty late in life.  And, my decade-long interest in this lifestyles is not all emotionally motivated.  Part of it is just recognizing that I don't always have the willpower to behave in ways that help me be successful or that help me avoid the natural consequences of bad behavior.  So, the prospect of getting spanked can help with that. 

So, what motivated you to seek this out?  Or, if you are one of the few disciplined husbands on whom the lifestyle was imposed, or if you are a disciplinary wife who imposed it, what was the primary driver for that happening?  For you personally, what needs did you think the DD or FLR lifestyle would serve?

I hope you all have a great week.