Sunday, December 8, 2019

The Club - Meeting 322 - Naturals


It is much safer to obey than to rule. -- Thomas Kempis

Hello all. Welcome back to The Disciplinary Couple’s Club.  Our weekly on-line gathering of men and women who are in, or would like to be in, a Domestic Discipline relationship.  I hope you all had a great week. 

Mine was horrendously busy.  I keep thinking I see light at the end of the tunnel, but it now seems to be an oncoming train.  I really do need to sit down over the Christmas break and think about how to put the brakes on in 2019.  The pattern of dysfunctional behavior being tied inextricably to work is just crystal clear.  When I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago, my binge drinking stopped completely, nagging physical health problems cleared up, and my energy levels rebounded.  One full week back at work, and I reverted right back to form.  I sense a continuation of my annual “resolutions” topic coming!

Alan suggested a topic for us.  It’s one we’ve covered in some respect before, but it’s been a couple of years.  He also put a bit of a new spin on it.  His suggestion was as follows:

“Over the past year I have noted a real split between men who identify as Alphas and incorporate DD within that framework -and men who identify as submissive and approach DD and FLR's more or less as a "Beta" males.These very different dynamics ( alpha vs beta male) seem to lead to different female led relationships with the latter using less corporal punishment. It might be interesting to get into this because it seems a basic dichotomy in our community.”

It's rare that I completely copy the content of a previous topic, but I am blatantly plagiarizing my own former work this week, because I’m traveling today but wanted to get a topic posted.  So, some of our long-term readers will probably recognize much of the below.

Blogger used to have great polling feature, which they unfortunately killed a couple of years ago.  Before they did, I ran a poll that asked whether our male readers identified as “naturally submissive.  The results at that time were:


Naturally submissive:                      63 (68%)
Not naturally submissive:                29 (31%)

A year before I had done a rather poorly constructed poll that tried to test both the gender of our participants and their inclinations toward “leader” behavior or status in and outside the home.  The question and the results were:

I am [Male or Female] and Outside the Home I prefer to:

Female - Prefer to Follow                 2 (2%)
Female - Prefer to Lead                    5 (5%)
Male - Prefer to Follow                   48 (55%)
Male - Prefer to Lead                      36 (41%)
           
These polls kind of surprised me at the time, largely because I was projecting my own inclination and history onto our other participants.  While many of the poll respondents seem to have been inclined to follow their “natural” inclinations around dominance and submission both in and outside the DD context, I had come into this from the exact opposite angle.  My entire motivation for being in a Domestic Discipline relationship and wanting to explore a Female Led one is that I am not at all submissive in real life and strongly prefer to lead and really hate being led.  It leaves me very unbalanced a lot of the time, so my inclination has been try to balance things out by subjecting myself to being made to submit to another person’s will.  
           
Intellectually at least, my attraction to DD lies in the fact that it requires me, a fairly unyielding and dominant person, to yield and submit.  I am attracted to it because it requires me to grow in a direction that is not natural to me and that makes me very uncomfortable.  For me, DD is about bringing some order to a disordered state that; bringing balance to a personality that is inherently unbalanced, with way too much yang and too little yin for its own good.

Yet, the polling seemed to indicate that most of this blog's readers are coming at things from the opposite perspective, attracted to something that fits where they naturally want to go anyway.  It also shows why I sometimes get into discussions where we are just talking past each other about the nature of submission and why husbands who don't always toe the line should be cut some slack.  Not in terms of not getting the punishment they have coming, but in terms of understanding why they may not instantly and consistently obey every rule.  Every few weeks I will get a comment from someone to the effect of, "you just need to submit."  And, without exception those comments always irritate the hell out of me, because it's clear that the person just doesn't get that for a non-submissive person, submitting to someone else is a very hard thing to do.  It is not natural to them, and they must fight their natural tendency to fight and resist.  Conversely, if your natural temperament is geared toward submission, then isn't it awfully easy to advise "just submit"?  It's what you want to do anyway!

The same is true from the opposite side of the paddle.  Leading is hard, and particularly so for those whose “natural” tendencies are more passive or prone to followership.  Even for people who have strong leadership attributes, it takes thought and commitment and learning to be comfortable not just with a degree of confrontation but with actually initiating the confrontation.  And all that may cut against who that person has always been.  But, even if following is more natural to such a person, is it healthy? What do you miss out on by not leading, even if leading is hard?  Leading did not come easily to my wife.  Both by temperament and socialization, when confronted with an obstinate, unyielding husband, her first reaction was to flounce and pout.  But, she is figuring out over time that she actually does like leading, does like being in charge and, yes, does like spanking and punishing. 

How about you?  Are your natural inclinations with respect to being dominant or exercising leadership, or preferring follow or be submissive, reflected in your place in the DD or FLR hierarchy?  Do you consider yourself a “naturally” dominant person or, conversely, are your more inclined toward being the leader in your work and other non-DD and non-FLR relationships?  Do you do what comes naturally, or do you act contrary to form?  And, regarding Alan’s specific question, does the recipient’s bent toward dominance or submission have any effect on corporal punishment?  If the recipient is more submissive to begin with, is corporal punishment employed less often, or perhaps spankings are less severe? 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

No Post

Happy weekend to all of you.   As predicted last week, I'm tied up with a family obligation.  So, no post today.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The Club - Meeting 321 - Holidays

"Come, woo me, woo me, for now I am in a holiday humor, and like enough to consent."  - William Shakespeare

Hello all. Welcome back to The Disciplinary Couple’s Club.  Our weekly on-line gathering of men and women who are in, or would like to be in, a Domestic Discipline relationship.  I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday, for those in the U.S. 

I realize I am getting this post out later in the week, but it also may stay up as the current post for a while, as we some family events this upcoming weekend that may make posting a challenge.

My holiday was good.  Relaxing, with lots of time with family and also quite a bit of solitary time, which for me as a pretty strong introvert is a necessity for any genuine recharging.  From a behavior perspective, it was a mixed bag with real progress in some areas but some real problems in others.  The positive surprise was on over-indulging.  Despite being off for a week and in an environment where drinks were flowing very freely, I tapered my own consumption down to almost zero.  Some of that was conscious, as I’m seeing a pretty direct correlation between alcohol consumption and some of the nagging physical problems I’ve been attributing to aging.  But, I’ve also found that when I take real time off from work, my binge behavior drops precipitously.  So, a lot of the bad behavior during the usual press of job and career looks a hell of a lot like self-medicating.

On the not so great front, I was having some real problems with temper both before and during the vacation.  I had a major, long-term, fairly contentious work project come to a close right around the time we left for vacation. Bringing it to a close involved a lot of travel, many very long days, and some pretty tense conversations.  It left me pretty frazzled and without a lot of patience for some of the everyday frustrations I encounter in an organization of our size.  I found myself getting far more snippy with people than I normally do and crossed some lines I generally set for myself about trying not to “punch down.” 

Worse yet, I got frustrated with Anne a couple of times over things where she was just trying to check on some planning I was doing and arrangements I was making to make sure I got them right.  Which I hadn’t. She definitely owes me a very substantial spanking for these “temper” issues, particularly the attitude directed her way.  Unfortunately, it probably has to wait a full week, as I had to go back on the work road the day after we returned from vacation.  Although I absolutely agree I have a hard spanking coming, I think when it comes to temper spankings are more about penance and accountability than about behavioral change.  

At least for me, when frustration boils over it happens so quickly that the damage is done before I can do much to check myself.  Though, is that maybe a rationalization or excuse?  Quite possibly, and the only way to really test that is for her to crank up the punishment and consistency on temper and attitude issues and see what happens.

  
So, as we enter this holiday season I’ve made some progress in some areas, but it’s a mixed bag.  Though, a “mixed bag” is better than an abject failure.  The holidays are just a hard time to really keep behavior in check.  So many temptations.   


Office parties.  Family gatherings.  Many, many opportunities for bad behavior, whether over-indulging on booze, diets and health falling by the wayside, or getting into political arguments with relatives over Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners.  

 
My behavior almost always deteriorates this time of year. How about you?  Does your behavior get worse this time of year?  In what ways?  Have you and your wife found any creative ways to deal with that?  We’ve talked before about “preventative” spankings, i.e. spankings that take place before an event as a reminder to behave.  Have you tried them before things like an office holiday party?  Have they been effective? 


Do you have another special measures you’ve implemented to keep behavior in check during the holidays, or are there any special rules that apply this time of year?

Have a great week, and behave yourself!

Saturday, November 30, 2019

No Post

Hi all.  We're still out adventuring.  So, no post this morning.  There is some limited chance I'll do one later today or later in the week, but no promises,  Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving weekend!

Friday, November 22, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving - No Post This week


Anne and I will taking some time off beginning tomorrow, so I will not be posting this week.  I hope all of you in the U.S. have a great Thanksgiving!


Dan

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Club Meeting 320 - Switching


I can no longer obey.  I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up.  - Napoleon Bonaparte

Hello all. Welcome back to The Disciplinary Couple’s Club.  Our weekly on-line gathering of men and women who are in, or would like to be in, a Domestic Discipline relationship.  I hope you all had a great week.

Mine was, and is, frustrating.  As reported recently, I’ve been in this very sexualized mood lately.  The problem is, between my travel, my wife’s travel, and some social obligations, we’ve barely even seen each other, let alone had time to put any of the nasty thoughts running through my head into practice.  Unfortunately, there’s no end in sight for at least another week.  I guess I will treat it as an extended experiment in maintaining a high level of erotic energy through some involuntary chastity.

I can always tell when a topic doesn’t do much for me personally, even if it may appeal to others in our little community.  The sure sign is how often I’ve made it a weekly topic over this blog's roughly six year history.  When a topic really intrigues me, I tend not to just do it, but overdo it.  Hence, lots of topics on tears (ZM, friendly reminder, you still owe us the in-depth tale of your first disciplinary crying experience!), how people got started in Domestic Discipline, boundaries, reporting, and strictness.  Then there are topics like corner time, which don’t do much for me and that I’ve devoted full topics to only a couple of times. 

This week’s topic is one I have really given short shrift to over the years.  In fact, I’ve made it a full topic only once, over four years ago, and the entire post was only about two paragraphs long.  That topic is “switching,” i.e. the spanker and spankee exchanging those roles.  Presumably, it also could apply to a broader power exchange as well, with a couple swapping dominant roles from time to time.

This has come up in a couple of contexts recently. First, my wife and I are not big porn watchers, but a few weeks ago I did some searching for movies that included F/m domestic discipline or FLR themes.  There was basically nothing.  Even M/f domestic discipline themes were more or less non-existent.  I did finally find a fairly well-reviewed series that billed itself as Fifty Shades but with better sex and real BDSM. I bought the series, thinking that even if the theme is M/f spanking and BDSM, maybe it would still give my wife some ideas on how to extend or deepen her dominance. 

So, while the movies were not about switching, they kind of related to switching issues in my relationship with Anne and our dominance explorations. (Unfortunately, much like the real Fifty Shades, there was very little real spanking or discipline/punishment and a lot of bondage and more or less vanilla sex, though the production quality was good by porn standards.)

Then, it came up more directly last week in an exchange between Julie and me, in which I noted that I have an aversion to exercising power over other people (even though I am in that role a lot at work), so I have no desire at all to be the “dominant” party in any relationship.  In fact, taking on any kind of dominant role kind of flies in the face of the entire reason I got into DD in the first place.  I recognized several years ago that I have a very unbalanced personality, in that I am very Type-A and have big issues with giving up control.  For me, domestic discipline and, increasingly over the last couple of years, FLR are means for balancing out a very unbalanced orientation.  Adding some yin to way too much yang.  Doing the opposite by taking on a dominant role, even sporadically, might screw up my efforts to balance things out.


My aversion to exercising power over other people includes my orientation toward spanking.  I am a receiver, not a giver. 

The initial exchange with Julie led to this reply from Alan:

“I hear what you are saying and that's pretty much how I feel NOW. But back in the bad old days (before I received my first real disciplinary spanking), being with a woman you care for who passionately wants a spanking (and who is also very desirable) makes it all seem different. I don't think I could ever return to that mind-set. But, in the day, it seemed very much the thing to do. I might add I believe quite a few people (both males and females) have gone through these transformations --as the wonderful Julie demonstrates on her equally wonderful blog.”

I hear Alan's point, but I’m really not sure I could ever get there.  Even if my wife really wanted it, which as far as I know she still doesn’t.  If the spanking were purely erotic and not very hard – maybe.  But, I’m pretty confident I could never give her a real disciplinary spanking. 


Also, I would be leery about exploring switching when it comes to our ongoing experiments with real power exchange.  I want my wife to explore her dominance and to get more and more comfortable in that role. When I think about switching things up and dominating her even in a purely erotic scenario, I get concerned about the possibility that she might like it and might want more of it, when my goal is for her to be increasingly in that Top role and me on the bottom.  It is that dynamic I want to explore, and I want to deepen it, not dilute it by switching back and forth between dominant and bottom roles.

As I discussed last time I had a topic on this, the one attraction I have to female spanking scenarios is the artwork.  So much better and more nuanced than most of the F/m stuff, and the female form is just so nice to look at!

 

 How about you?  If you are now the discipline recipient in a DD marriage, or the “bottom” in a Dominance/submission relationship, was there was a time when you were the paddle swinger or in the Dominant role?  Do you switch between the two, or is the more submissive or “bottom” role now more or less permanent?  Was there any particular event that helped you realize which role was right for you?

For the ladies, have you ever been the spanked party or a “bottom” or “submissive”?  (For whatever reason, I gravitate toward the term “bottom” more than “submissive,” though the converse is not true – I don’t like the term “Top,” though I don’t know why.  Probably too many on-line encounters with too many dick-ish self-identified Tops.)  If not, is it something you want to experience?  Why or why not?  If you have been the spankee, were the spankings for real discipline, or more purely erotic or sexual?  Were you spanked growing up? 


For those of you have switched, was it just the spanking role that you switched up, or did the switching extend to more fundamental power exchange elements, like decision making power and authority, making rules for the other party, etc.?

Have a great week.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Club Meeting 319 - Spillovers

“Above all, whatever you do, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.  Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady.” – Nora Ephron graduation speech at Wellesley College

Hello all. Welcome back to The Disciplinary Couple’s Club.  Our weekly on-line gathering of men and women who are in, or would like to be in, a Domestic Discipline relationship.  I hope you all had a great week.

The blog got a little tense there at the end this week, and I’ve had some off-line exchanges with a few commenters.  I think I should just take this head-on, though I’m 90% sure it will fall on deaf ears.  There has been a proliferation over the last year of sketchy contributors, i.e. “sketchy” in terms of whether they are even vaguely what they try to seem to be.  There is always Sean/Jack and his "stories" that are really just the same fantasy told over and over and over again.  There are also at least a few instances of what I am pretty sure are men masquerading as women and one poster claiming to be two (likely a man posting as both husband and wife). Then, there are the more problematic personalities who want to have the fun of running a blog but without any of the work. They come on the blog,  contribute meaningfully for a week or two, then start trying to take over.  They finally cross a line and someone (me most often, though not always) smacks them down. They then flounce away, only to reincarnate with another name a few weeks later.   

So, if you are a man pretending to be a woman, or one person pretending to be a couple, or someone who really isn't into DD and just wants to spew out spanking fantasies, please go away.  You are making it so much harder for those folks who come here in the hopes of having honest conversations about this real DD to actually do so. Though, I have no illusion that this plea to consider the interests of others is likely to be honored by individuals whose defining quality is narcissistic self-interest.  

As for those who are genuinely into DD or just genuinely interested in it and looking for help and guidance, you really are welcome.  If you don't always get a hearty welcome, I apologize.  It may be that the other commenters have gotten wary thanks to some of the dick-ish behavior of others as described above.  For myself, I am going to assume that people are what they say they are, until I start seeing strong indications that you're not, but I don't have ESP and may not always get it right. 

Now, on to better things.  I think I’m going to have to walk my way obliquely into a topic for this week, as I’m not feeling a lot of inspiration.  Yet, I  do have a lot of thoughts running through my brain about things that have some connection to DD, whether direct or tangential.  There hasn’t been a a lot of actual action for us on the DD front, and for once it isn’t just the distractions of travel or competing family and social commitments.  In fact, by my (low) standards, I’ve been pretty well-behaved.  I'm feeling relatively settled, with one significant exception.  I’m super busy with business travel, but my core work function is really dead right now. That combination of high activity and low productivity usually sends me off the deep end.  But, for some reason, I’ve been handling it better than usual.  I also haven’t had as many issues with binge behavior.  My diet has been good, though not perfect.  I have a nagging physical problem that may be a blessing in disguise, since it is kind of forcing me to get my shit together on lifestyle issues. Funny thing is, I haven’t done much consciously to bring these positive changes about, though I’ll take it.

The exception I referred to above also relates to accepting changes that aren't within my control.  Without going into a lot of detail, the slowdown on my core job function at work is happening in parallel with other personal and professional developments that lead me to wonder whether it is time for a change.  In fact, I've been playing with the idea of semi-retirement or a big change of career for a long time, and I see many positives in doing something very different with my life.  Yet, I’m really not wild about leaving right now while things are slow.  It makes me feel like I'd be leaving as a failure, and I've always envisioned myself going out as a "winner."  In other words, I don’t want to make a change even thought it might be positive, because my ego doesn’t like the prospect of leaving with what feels like my tail between my legs.

So, how does any of that relate to Domestic Discipline?  Well, for me there has always been a component to DD that is all about accepting things that are outside my control.  It has, in fact,  been about creating circumstances (imposed rules coupled with disciplinary spankings) that are both challenging to accept and, to the extent practically possible, outside my control.  The idea of “surrender” to the reality you find yourself in—whether to a wife's judgment that you might not always agree with, or to the reality of an untimely career transition, or to a body breaking down with little you can do about it—has always been attractive to me philosophically but incredibly difficult in practice.   

But, something does seem to be changing.  Like I said, I’ve usually wigged out any time my work slowed down for a substantial period, yet this time I seem to be handling it OK even as I wrestle with what the slowdown might portend.  Do I credit Domestic Discipline for FLR or the spillover effect of helping me accept forces that are beyond my control.  Yes, in part.  Being subject to someone else’s control isn’t easy, and part of me rebels every time it happens. Yet, it does seem to be getting easier, the more comfortable she becomes with telling me what to do and bossing me around.  I don’t claim it is some kind of miracle process for getting right with reality, but I think it helps somewhat over time.  Which is good, because giving up my "control" issues has been a very explicit goal for me in all this.  DD plays a role in it.  FLR takes it further.  And, they work in tandem with  things like my mindfulness and meditation practice, both of which are all about getting rid of mental attachments, including attachments to particular outcomes.  Even this aging process works to help me surrender to what is, because I am trying to "fix" things but I recognize that I just may have to live with the fact that the fifty year-old version of me is not as resilient as the twenty year-old one was.


So, while dealing with career and health transitions was not any part of what attracted me to DD and later to FLR, they seem to have had “spillover” effects in those areas.  Many of us go into DD with some specific behaviors we want to fix.  Or, we go into an FLR because some part of us gets off on losing control or watching our wives taking it and making us surrender to her will. It’s not all that surprising, is it, that experimenting with changing our power dynamics—whether by becoming more accepting of authority or more comfortable exercising it—would spill over into other areas of our life?

So, that is this week’s topic.  How has DD or FLR (whether giving or taking) changed other aspects of your life, separate and apart from trying to fix or mitigate particular behaviors?  Has it made you more accepting of things outside your control? Or, maybe it has made you more controlling and demanding? Has it caused you to be more, or less, assertive at work or in other relationships?  Made you more disciplined in areas of personal behavior that have never really been an express part of the DD regimen?  Made you a better leader or follower in some aspect of your life?  Or, maybe it wasn't pursued expressly for sexual gratification but it has made your life more erotically charged across the board?

I’m leaving this pretty open-ended, as spillover effects could occur in a lot of contexts.  Maybe even contradictory contexts.  For example, I think experimenting with an FLR may have made me a better leader but a worse follower at work. It’s made me a better leader by helping me understand that simple, clear, concise orders are often easier to take and to execute than a bunch of passive-aggressive mumbling or dancing around things.   


The book The Hesitant Mistress has several chapters that touch on communication, most of them coming down to advice to state what you want, say what you mean, stop dancing around it, and stop seeking validation for it.  One line from the book kind of summarizes it: 

Just give your man one sentence, the meat of the matter. Get to the point. Tell your partner what you want boldly and unapologetically, and let him decide what he thinks about it. He will appreciate it.

Now, I do want my wife’s tone to be more commanding, more pointed, and more overtly authoritative than I would use in giving an assignment to a subordinate at work. But, you get the idea, and I have seen it in action.  When I give clearer and more direct orders, they are better received than some of the muddled “requests” I used to be guilty of. Of course, I also strongly suspect that one or two of the recipients are closet submissives!

On the other hand, I’m not sure that DD or FLR has made me any better as a subordinate and may have made me worse.  I still don’t have much respect for authority, and I’m still pretty intolerant of what I see as bad behavior or poor leadership. In fact, earlier this week I just couldn’t take it anymore and blasted out a communication that wasn’t exactly politic.  But, I’d just had it with what I saw as some hypocritical and pedantic lecturing from on high.  So, if anything, thinking and writing about how I want strong leadership in my marriage has made me less tolerant of bad leadership at work.  It also makes me less sympathetic to poorly delivered commands.   If someone gives weak orders, then they should expect weak obedience.

I do think the spillover effects of FLR are making me more accepting of bigger things in my life that are outside my control, though it’s hard to separate the effects of years of DD, years of meditation, and a couple of years of on-again-off-again FLR.   But, the timing is interesting, as I’m finding it easier to accept things like aging-related physical changes and the possibility of a career ending or changing just as we get more deeply into FLR.  I also feel less stressed as I get deeper into playing with changes in power dynamics.  

I suspect my wife feels the same.  She took control on something this week that I admit totally pissed me off, but I'm sure she felt better about it than she would have a few years back, because this time she just didn't give a shit whether I liked it or not.  As she grows more empowered, and feels more comfortable exercising that power, she's probably not as stressed about making decisions because she doesn't care as much about defending them or about how I will judge them.

Finally, I do think that both DD and FLR are elevating the overall level of erotic energy I perceive both in and around me.  I think about sex more.  I think about sex with my wife more.  I think about my wife having sex, with or without me.  I’m reading more erotically-themed books and stories.  I find myself critically aware of the physical attributes of people in the gym with me each morning – male and female; it doesn't matter because there is erotic power in both male and female forms.  I find myself really, really turned on by certain "flashing" pictures, such as those on Red and KD's respective blogs: blog https://consensualspanking.blogspot.com/ and https://collectedsubs.blogspot.com/2019/10/its-tomorrow.html.  

Coincidentally, I came across this flashing picture recently and thought it was hilarious.



So, I do think that DD and FLR have elevated my erotic energy in a positive and appealing way. Though, this is another area in which an FLR may be working in parallel with other forces, including some of my spiritual practices and mindful discipline. At about the same  time we started exploring FLR more rigorously, I started reading some books on Tantric philosophy and teachings (the real religious/philosophical stuff, not Tantra as sex manual) some of which emphasize energy manipulation. One book in particular got me really focused on acknowledging the positive power of desire, both as subject and object and posited that the energy some of us feel around us in our meditation sitting practice is itself erotic and based in desire. 

So, to put it more crudely, my general level of horniness seems to be going up as I age, and I'm just way more erotically wired lately than in years past.  And, I’m good with that even if I’m not sure how much is attributable to DD and FLR.

 

Have a great week.