Sunday, January 12, 2020

The Club - Meeting 326 - Chores

An exhaustive study of police records shows that no woman has ever shot her husband while he was doing the dishes. - Earl Wilson (1907-1987) US newspaper columnist

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 first full week of 2020 got off to a slow start for me in some ways, though it already yielded some big changes in other areas.  I may be proven dead wrong, but it just feels like 2020 is going to be a big deal kind of year, hopefully in a good way.  One good sign is that twelve days into the new year, I haven’t had any significant failure on the exercise, diet or personal behavior fronts.  My weight is inching down slowly but steadily, and my biggest challenge around exercise is I’ve had a couple of days where I was very tired, achy and my strength was down, indicating the real possibility there was some overtraining at work.  But, if twelve days into the new year my biggest problem is overtraining, I’ll take it.

Of course, the more things change the more they stay the same.  Last week ended with another little exchange with “Jack,” my most reliable yet least welcome regular commenter.  As I was preparing for this week’s post, I looked for past blog posts on the same topic.  The last one was back in 2017, and as I was re-reading it I found this that I had written about feeling qualms about introducing a topic the week before about fantasies:
“I had a lot of second thoughts about going down the ‘tell me your fantasies’ road, particularly at a time in which one of my biggest blogging frustrations is the little pest who keeps farting at my blog with his repetitive "She spanked my bottom, and then she said something pithy about a wife spanking her husband, and then she made me face the wall, and then some of her friends dropped by and I was embarrassed and my bottom hurt." Over and over and over.  And, he's now leaving the same inane drivel on Kathy's Femdom 101 blog and KD's blog and Hermione's, using two or three different names, both male and female.  It's enough to make me want to remove all the links to other blogs, since the trolls seem to start here, then when I take down their content they follow the trail of links to pollute all the other blogs I like and respect.”

Big sigh.  It would be nice to have a troll-free 2020, but no way that is ever going to happen, especially if the posting is tolerated or encouraged elsewhere.  To me, that’s kind of like feeding seagulls at the beach – fine as long as you’re OK being mobbed by more squawking seagulls. But, it's ultimately each blogger's choice as to how much distraction and aesthetic distraction to allow on their blog. Jack was irked at me because I made a comment about one of his silly repetitive comments on Red's Consensual Spanking blog, but it was because I know Red has tried, repeatedly, to get Jack to stop posting there too. 

So, what is the topic I was looking for when I stumbled on the exchange about Jack from three years ago? I decided to go with “chores.”  I’m not sure why that topic was on my mind this week, but I suspect it is because I’ve been pretty well-behaved in my bigger ticket areas like drinking too much, temper, etc. When those issues aren’t drowning out everything else, my mind turns to more everyday, pedestrian areas for improvement.

I also think it has something to do with my renewed interest in exploring the FLR and dominance aspects of our relationship. While our approach to Domestic Discipline has focused from the beginning on punishing for significant behavioral lapses that we both agree are substantial problems, that approach is almost entirely reactive.  It’s all about punishing something after it has happened.  The same is somewhat true for chores, but I feel like punishing for those gives her more opportunities to flex her “Head of Household” muscles by setting expectations, monitoring and evaluating performance, and setting appropriate levels of punishment or consequences.

 There also an undeniably “parental” or “maternal” aspect to her having the authority to assign chores and enforce compliance.

I also do believe that encouraging a level of submission to authority and holding me accountable for small things has ripple effects, at least if done consistently.  When it comes to developing good habits, what you do every day is more impactful than what you do every once in a while even if the latter is bigger, weightier or harder.  When I'm undisciplined and sloppy in small, everyday areas, that can't help but spill over into bigger things. It's kind of like the "broken windows" approach to policing, in which crime prevention focuses on things like petty vandalism and graffiti, because those petty crimes degrade the neighborhood and give people less of a sense that the rules matter.

We have talked about incorporating a more rigorous approach to chores and punishment for not doing them, though we never seem to get into much of a groove.  That’s unfortunate, because I think it could be a game changer.  I've talked about this before, but one incident that has stuck in my mind for a very long time involved one of the occasions when I was punished, somewhat unexpectedly, for not doing chores.  Most of the time, we split household tasks pretty evenly, though we cover different things based largely on respective competence and interest.  For example, she manages the bank accounts and pays the bills. I handle investments and retirement accounts.  Where meals are concerned, she shops and cooks, while I clean up and do the dishes.  Most of the time. But, I also have a tendency to get distracted and to leave aspects of the job uncompleted.  I’ll load the dishwasher but leave a few items in the sink.  Or, I’ll do all the dishes but fail to wipe down the counters and clean the stove.

An ongoing problem was a string of incidents in which I forgot to clean a rice cooker. I just totally spaced it, and a few times she would find leftover rice in the cooker several days later.  The third time it happened, she texted a picture of the uncleaned cooker with rice still in it, expressing her dissatisfaction in no uncertain terms.  That night, I was sitting at the kitchen table doing some work, and she walked in from her office and started pointing out other chores that had been done in a half-assed ways or lapses in attention that created problems.  Sweeping the floors but leaving tufts of dog hair in several places. Leaving the door to our bedroom closet open, which allowed a misbehaving pet to go in and pee on things. And then there was the chronic failure to really clean the kitchen after dinner without leaving things, like the rice cooker, undone or at best half-done.  She was having none of it.  "You did a half-ass job on the floors, you left the closet door open repeatedly after I told you not to, and then there is the damn rice cooker.  Shut down your computer and go to the basement.  You are going to get spanked."

And, that’s what happened.  I thought since these were fairly small matters, it might be a light spanking.  Nope.  She thoroughly blistered my ass with a combination of the strap, the paddle and the bath brush.  It was kind of like the story on the Disciplinary Wives Club website written by our Al, in which a husband asks to try a “real” disciplinary spanking, he and his wife agree that leaving the toilet seat up will be something that earns a spanking, he immediately leaves it up then tries to talk his way out of getting his first spanking. His wife carries through with a very harsh spanking, which on the surface might have seemed like more than such a small offense merited, but it got the message across and helped him understand what it was he was asking for.

In my case, as I collected myself after it was over, there was a small part that resented getting such a hard spanking for such "small" things, which really boiled down to simple forgetfulness and not paying attention, but I also felt a new respect for her and the first glimmerings of that "healthy fear" I had told her I wanted.   

The resentment and the respect were intertwined, because it was the fact that she had spanked for things that were important to her but not necessarily to me that led to the twinge of resentment, but it also was what made the exercise of authority real. More than just about any spanking she had given me for "bigger" issues, where we both agreed they merited not only spankings but very hard ones, getting spanked so hard for a poorly done chore was a powerful experience that showed her really stepping into her role.

Do chores play a role in your Domestic Discipline relationship?  Who assigns them?  What chores is the disciplined husband required to perform?  What are the consequences for not doing them or doing them poorly?

Ladies, do you assign chores to your husband?  If not, would you like to?  If you do, is there any protocol or standard you apply to inspecting his work and deciding whether it is sufficient?  If he doesn’t do a chore or does it poorly, how consistent are you in dealing with that?  What are the consequences?  A lecture?  A spanking?  Some other form of punishment?

I hope you have a great week.  Get those chores done! 

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Delayed Post

Happy Saturday to everyone. I have some things going on today that may, and likely will, keep me from posting.  If not late this evening, I will post tomorrow.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

The Club - Meeting 325 - I Have, I would, I Might . . .

Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip. - Will Rogers

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.

Sorry for posting so late in the day, but I think this may become my new normal. As much as I do enjoy this blog and our interactions, I feel like there are other things I need to prioritize, including Saturday errands and fun stuff like hiking or doing something athletic and healthy first thing in the morning instead of just whenever I get to it.  Trying to turn over that new leaf for 2020.  Hope springs eternal.

Well, we made it past another holiday season.  Ours was pretty good.  As I said last week, the whole Christmas season was quieter than usual for us, and that seemed like a good thing.  That quiet extended past Christmas, through New Years, and into this last part of the New Years week.  It also became an interesting exercise in perspective as I wrote about the year that passed both here and in a couple of journals I keep.  As I discussed last week, I’m kind of an obsessive keeper of lists, and at the end of each year I tend to do quite a bit of thinking about the year that is passing and planning for the one coming up.  The planning almost never works out, but I do think there is a certain value in the process nonetheless.  In looking back over 2019, something that surprised me was that, as much as I hated the year while I was in it (and I did absolutely hate it), it was at worst a mixed bag. It was a bad year for me in many ways, a bad year for my family in one way because of some mutual losses we suffered, but a pretty good year for my family and many of my friends in other ways.  Many of them actually made a lot of life progress over the course of 2019. While it may not have been a very good year for me, when I look back at it with from a slightly less biased and self-interested perspective, it actually wasn’t as bad as it looked to me in the moment.  I also stumbled across this illustrated article that puts a few things in perspective on a broader scale.  It’s worth a read:

Last week’s “topic” was interesting, if for no other reason than a topic kind of spontaneously emerged out of nothingness.  I didn’t get as many questions as I expected in response to the "Ask Me Anything" segment, but I’m not sure why I’m surprised since it’s never worked as envisioned any of the four or five times that I have, usually in a fit of laziness, trotted it out in order to avoid coming up with a real topic. But, this time out of the chaos of my non-topic topic emerged several comments related to openness, sharing with others this thing we do, being more “out” about who we are and what we do, etc.  It’s plainly something that is on the minds of several of our commenters.  So, given that I don’t have much inspiration for anything truly novel this week, let’s explore it a little more.

I explored this on a personal level early last year. At that time, I reported that I was going through a phase in which I wanted to have deeper, more meaningful communications and relationships with people who are into this lifestyle, including some of the regular commenters on this blog. I also found myself increasingly wanting people, or at least certain people, to know about this aspect of my life or to know more about it. Moreover, as I observed at that time, I am constantly reminded of how hard it is for my wife to punish bad behavior consistently and with some degree of immediacy when we are so paranoid about anyone else catching on to our relationship dynamic. It’s an irritant, because the part of me that was fascinated by DD from the moment I first encountered it also seems to gravitate toward the “humbling” impact of her exercising her authority more openly and about others knowing that she’s the boss. None of that has really changed over the last year. If anything, it's grown as I reach a point in my life where the possible risks of being exposed seem less and less weighty.

Yet, my adventures in openness have been pretty tame so far.  I wear a pendant that a few people who are in the BDSM community and very into its culture might recognize as the symbol for a submissive male. That’s not quite what I consider myself to be, but it’s about as close as I can find for ready-made paraphernalia that puts my status "out there" a bit as a disciplined husband who has been “taken in hand,” by his wife in some form of FLR relationship. Further, as I’ve discussed, to my knowledge, there are two (and sort of three) people who know who I am and that my wife gives me real disciplinary spankings.  The first person I “came out” to is a mutual friend my wife and I have known for many years. The second is a fellow blogger who reached out to me directly after I commented on her blog.  Over time, we became more and more open about our life circumstances and share interests until finally we shared our identities and eventually met in person when our travel paths happened to cross.  We still talk from time to time, but it's become more of a traditional friendship; one in which DD and FLR is seldom even discussed. A third is someone I’ve met through the blog; we know each other’s names and some contact details but have not talked live or met in person.

Compare that to the description of Disciplinary Wives Club gatherings that Tomy’s wife, Aunt Kay, sent me a few years back and that I posted again last week, including her description of sending him off for a session with another wife:

"We made friends with other couples and that was a whole other unexpected outcome. I never imagined disciplining anyone but my own husband. But it became easy for me after a while. I learned that some men need a lot more intensity than my Hubby and I had some really fun times delivering longer and harder sessions than he could ever endure. I still recall smiling to myself as I watched him head off with another DWC wife to get a spanking. When we did things together with other DWC couples; like going to dinners, events, visiting for weekends, there was such a sense of liberation. Just hanging out, being able to talk about lifestyle stuff was amazing. It was like we knew we were special, we shared a kinky little secret when we were out among the rest of the world."

We’ve done nothing close to any of that.  Part of me really wants to explore it, though that part is at war with the part that obsesses about confidentiality and not creating any kind of electronic rabbit trail that would allow anyone interested and snoopy to link my on-line and “real life” identities.  I assume my wife feels the same way and may even be more concerned about it. Though, honestly, that is an assumption on my part. I’ve never really asked her. The fact that I haven’t is pretty inexcusable for someone who writes a weekly blog about this stuff and advises others to have open conversations about their needs and interests.   

All of this also relates back to three comments/questions that emerged last week.  The first was a comment by Liz, who observed:

We might meet other DD couples as well at some point. I don't believe in the stigma of it so the idea doesn't frighten me so. I do think Art would be quite embarrassed, so he would have to agree.  However, I would not meet with erotic spankers. The sex part seems more private to me. Was it you, Dan, who published a DD picture with a woman saying something like, "Why would I be embarrassed? I'm not the one being spanked."

It occurs to me that I always assume my wife is reluctant to meet others, communicate with others or display her authority more openly, simply because she hasn’t initiated any of that, other than a handful of cryptic references to spanking made with family around.  But, maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to make assumptions about her willingness or openness to new things just because she has not initiated them, particularly since to paraphrase Liz, why should she be embarrassed? She’s not the one getting spanked.

The second comment was a question about my unmet resolution to do a domestic discipline “bootcamp.” As discussed, I was never able to find much out there on-line about what such a bootcamp might look like, and what little I did find was very M/f oriented and also aimed at couples who are very new to this stuff. But, I did find an on-line manual that suggested a  series of written information exchanges about past experiences with discipline, needs, desires, hard limits, etc. 

Finally, MW talked about his on-again-off-again communications with his wife about this stuff and how she had made a reference to a now defunct website called Taken In Hand that explored domestic discipline themes, largely from a M/f perspective.  As he noted, after 31 years of marriage he and his wife are still kind of tip-toeing around what they both want or are interested in exploring.  Again, as with my totally uninformed assumption bout my wife’s openness to openness or lack thereof, sometimes even couples who have known each other a very long time don’t really have a very firm idea what the person they share a bed and a life with has tried, wants to try, or would be willing to try, and in the absence of such knowledge we make a whole bunch of assumptions.

So, this week, let’s play a little game of “I have/I would/I would never” centered around openness and desire to interact with others.  I’m going to give you a list of statements, and you can tell me and the rest of us which ones you’ve done, which ones you might be willing to do, and which you are pretty sure are just plainly over the line.  If possible, discuss it with your significant other and get their view as well.  So, here we go.  Have you ever?

·      Worn something symbolizing your DD or FLR status?
·      Left a spanking tool, including innocuous but iconic tools like a hairbrush or bathbrush, on prominent display in a context that might hint at its naughtier use?
·      Displayed a tool that is most definitely associated with spanking, such as a paddle with a clever quip making clear it’s intended use. I doubt many of these are on open display now, but I’m not sure that was the case back when we were kids?
·      Made an open if cryptic reference to delivering or getting a spanking within earshot of friends or relatives, such as the time my wife made a “quip” at a Christmas brunch telling me to do something or she might have to spank me?
·      Engaged in or been subjected to some very overt display of authority in front of others? 
·      Openly told a friend or family member that you get spanked by your wife or that you spank your husband?
·      Exchanged emails or talked by telephone with someone about your DD or FLR relationship?
·      Talked face-to-face with another person who you know is into DD or FLR?
·      Gotten together socially with one or more couples who are into DD?
·      Been spanked by your wife/spanked your husband at such a gathering or with another couple present?
·      Been spanked by someone other than your wife/spanked someone other than your husband during your current relationship and with your partner’s consent?
·      Been spanked by someone other than your wife/spanked someone other than your husband during your current relationship, with your partner’s consent, at a gathering with someone else present?

And, to the extent you haven't done one or more of the above, is it something you want to try? Or, if it's not something you yourself actively want to try, would you be willing to if your spouse wanted to try it? I’m sure I did a piss-poor job of structuring those questions, just like I used to when constructing polls on this kind of stuff when Blogger had a polling widget. But, you get the drift. How open have you been so far about your DD relationship? How open would you like to be, or at least how open could you see yourself being under the right circumstances?

What if we go beyond mere openness?  For the men, have you ever been spanked by someone other than your wife but with her permission?  Have you ever been spanked by her in front of someone else? Someone other than a family member?   

Opening it up a bit more, have you ever been spanked along with someone else? While I doubt it happens much nowadays, when I was a kid it really was not all that uncommon to get spanked with a friend, relative, etc. if you were both caught acting up in some way.  I can recall at least one time that a cousin and I both got spanked by his dad, my uncle, for some bit of mischief.  

Interestingly, while I do think getting spanked together with other youthful offenders was not all that uncommon growing up, I really struggled to find art depicting two men (or boys) getting spanked at the same time. In fact, out of my 2000+ collection of spanking drawings and captioned photos, I could find only a few depicting multiple spankees, though drawings of multiple spankers or spankings with witnesses in attendance abounded, and the few that I could find with multiple spankees tended to involve exclusively female spankees or one of both genders. 



Ladies, what about your level of openness? Have you corresponded by email or talked over the telephone, or had a live conversation, with another disciplinary wife?  Would you like to?  Would you ever attend a get-together with other DD couples?  Have you or would you ever give a disciplinary spanking to someone other than your husband, with or without your husband’s consent? 

I'll kick it off on a few of these, though as I said, our adventures in openness have been pretty limited. 

Have we ever worn something that symbolizes our respective status?  As discussed, I wear a pendant that symbolizes a "submissive male" in the BDSM community.  I've also given her a pair of earrings that have a "triskele" pattern, which is a symbol (among a bunch of other historical things) identifying someone into BDSM.  We are not into enforced chastity, but this is about the best I can do for drawings/captioned photos dealing with this particular form of "openness":

Displayed spanking tools? Only in very innocuous ways.  We have left a bath brush on open display in one of our bathrooms.  We've never really gone beyond that, and we haven't displayed anything that would openly suggest a common item is actually used for spanking.  Of course, back in the old, less politically correct days, it may have been much more common for displinary items to be on more or less open display in many households.

Made an open if cryptic reference to delivering or getting a spanking within earshot of friends or relatives?  As discussed, my wife has, on maybe three occasions, openly alluded to spanking me, always in front of relatives and in a way that would likely be taken as joking.

Engaged in or been subjected to some very overt display of authority in front of others? Sort of.  There are times she gets more open about her authority, such as "asking" me to do something in a tone of voice that kind of makes it clear she is not really asking.  She also always takes the check when we go to restaurants. There also was an office holiday party in which we were talking to a young woman I used to work with and her husband.  My young colleague was pretty direct in telling her husband to go get her another drink at the bar, and my wife started doing the same. I've always wondered whether I was a witness to a FLR dynamic in play that night, but I don't really know.

Openly told a friend or family member that I get spanked? As discussed above, I have.  As far as I know, my wife has not, though she has started opening up more to our adult kids about the fact that she makes the final decisions in the family. I'm not sure they fully believe her, and I'm pretty sure they have no idea about the DD aspects of the relationships, but who really knows? As discussed in an earlier post, after I told our mutual friend about our DD relationship, she and my wife talked about it while at a game, and on the way home and after a few drinks my wife called me with the friend in the car and told me I was going to get spanked that night.  I've also told the fellow blogger about times when I have been spanked or am going to be spanked, though that happened more when we first started corresponding.  And, I have corresponded with a few commenters here about specific spankings. Somehow, it is humbling knowing that others know you are going to be spanked or have been very recently, even when the communication is remote or electronic. (By the way, I'm not a huge Endart fan, but something about this one really gets to me.

Gotten together socially with one or more couples who are into DD?  No.  I would be open to it. I don't know whether my wife would.

Been spanked by your wife/spanked your husband at such a gathering or with another couple present for it or aware you are getting spanked? No, but if we ever had such a gathering, I would do it if she wanted to take things in that direction. 

Been spanked by someone other than your wife/spanked someone other than your husband during your current relationship and with your partner’s consent?  I've recounted here a dream I had a few months ago about being taken out of a gathering and spanked by someone at work, with my wife's knowledge and consent.  I really doubt she would ever order such a thing, but if she did, I am pretty sure I would cooperate.  Also, as long as it was the kind of non-sexual encounter Aunt Kay described above, I would be OK with her spanking another man.

Been spanked by someone other than your wife/spanked someone other than your husband during your current relationship, with your partner’s consent, at a gathering with someone else present?  We haven't done anything like this but, again, as long as it really was a disciplinary spanking, I would probably consent to it.  As I've discussed, erotic spankings don't really do much for me, so the thought of being spanked or her spanking someone at a spanking party doesn't appeal. But, if it was something like Tomy and Kay have described, with another wife being allowed to give a disciplinary spanking with my wife's consent, yes, I would do it if my wife told me to.
Let’s have some fun with this one, sharing experiences and also talking openly about what we might be willing to explore even if we haven’t done so . . . yet.

Have a great week, and best wishes for a healthy and happy 2020.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

The Club - Meeting 324 - Happy New Years, Resolutions & Ask Me Anything

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. - Oprah Winfrey

Hello all.  Welcome back to the last meeting of the Disciplinary Couples Club for 2018. 

As all of you long-term readers know, I am a chronic maker of lists, and that includes lengthy, detailed lists of goals, expectations, hopes and resolutions.  I am not a person who is afraid of change in general and nowhere near arrogant enough to think I couldn't use some, including in my personal habits and performance.

Consistent with my recent bout of laziness, which has led me to recycle some older posts recently (though, to be fair, I did update them at least little), I decided to start this early New Years post by first looking back at the posts from 2018 and 2017.  It was an odd mix of forward progress, modest change, and some plain old intertia.  Surprisingly and a little depressingly, here is a verbatim quote from 2017, summarizing my approach to setting goals for 2018:

“I kind of feel like leaving things a little open to whatever happens.  As it inevitably will and instead of resisting it, I hope to allow for the possibility of being pleasantly surprised. In fact, one reason I'm not spending a lot of time coming up with specific career and work goals for 2018 is I wouldn't mind being in something very different by year-end and so, while I want to continue to out-perform in my current role as long as it lasts, I don't want to be so focused on goals related to that role that I don't stay mentally and emotionally open to letting something entirely new take me in an entirely different direction.  I do hope 2018 brings a deepening of the Domestic Discipline aspects of my relationship with my wife and a stepping up in her confidence level and willingness to take control.  Being the goal-setter and list-maker I am at heart, I probably will spend some time in the next few days coming up with specific things I would like to see us do to help bring those goals about, but right now, I just don't feel like it.  So . . .  Goodbye 2017.”

Now, the reason that entry seems depressing is that I intended to open this week's post by noting that my resolutions frequently focus a lot on career and financial goals, but that it is hard to do that this year because I am giving serious consideration to trying to be in a very different and likely much less lucrative career by the end of 2020.  But, when I looked at the 2017 post I found this was exactly where I was at this same point that year! So, on the surface, not much has changed in two freaking years.

Though,in some ways, things did not stay the same and, in fact, 2019 was a mirror image of 2018.  Here are some excerpts from 2018:  

“I hope you all had a great Christmas.  Ours was good.  In some ways, it seemed like a 'smaller' holiday.  Less busyness.  Slightly less running around from party to party.  And, smaller but more personal gifts.  And, I like that. Looking back on 2018, it was a pretty good year, if I ignore the career front.  That aspect of 2018 was mediocre at best, with much more involuntary downtime than I’m usually comfortable with. While our progress stalled mid-year, on the DD and FLR front my wife really did step it up significantly in the first half of the year, and hopefully she will get back on track once kids clear out after the holidays. Our kids are all healthy and doing well on their chosen school/career paths.  From a health perspective, this time last year I was convalescing from an injury and in a chronic bad mood due to lack of sleep caused by ongoing pain from said injury.  Full recovery took way longer than I expected, but I’m finishing out 2018 stronger and healthier than I was in 2017, and slightly ahead of where I was in 2016. At my age, doing better than holding steady is itself a surprising accomplishment.  While it was not a smooth ride for everyone in our extended family, all of them are still with us as we head into 2019 and their momentary setbacks now look like blessings in disguise. We also have some aging furry friends that are more like family than pets. I was pretty sure more than one of them would not see the end of 2018, yet while things are getting harder for them, all are still with us.”

This year ended a lot like 2018 -- scaled down busyness and running around and a focus on family.  In fact, one reason I feel better than usual this year is, while I put away my share of Christmas cookies and other bad food, we bailed on pretty much ever holiday party that would normally be on our agenda. And, that felt good. But, the similarities break down as I look backward over the course of 2019 and compare it to what I said above about 2018.  In 2018, things stayed pretty stable on the work front, and any lack of activity was involuntary.  In contrast, in 2019 I made a fairly disastrous career decision early in the year that kept me insanely busy for the entire year, at least on the management side. For our kids, it was kind of a mixed bag, with some resounding successes but also some big disappointments and frustrated expectations. From a health perspective, 2018 ended in better shape than it began, while this year I’ve been dealing with a chronic and frustrating problem that may be a result of the frenzied job pace, and it’s made it even more challenging than usual to keep to any sort of workout routine, leaving me slightly heavier than I was last year.  Though, when I look at just how bad the year was in terms of diet and exercise, it could be a lot worse, and on a few metrics I actually am in slightly better shape than this time last year.  But, for much of the year the trend was not good at all, and that is something that absolutely must get fixed in 2020.  As for our extended family, 2018 was rough for some of them but most of them seem healthier this year than last, with one significant exception.  And, finally, our elderly furry friends held in there through 2018, but the same was not true of 2019.

Now, as for specific resolutions I made in 2016 and 2017, the picture is pretty damn depressing.  Here is how I did:

General Resolutions

Fewer Saturdays spent regretting my Friday work-related socializing: This got a little better as we approached year-end, but it mostly was a bad year on this front.  Almost all of the bad behavior related to work responsibilities or, at least, work-related activities and temptations.  One more reason to rethink what a successful career looks like for 2020.

Temper at work: This was OK through much of the year, and I actually made a good amount of progress. I even formed some genuinely good relationships with a couple of people at work who used to consistently set me off. I really tried to start living by the mantra "assume good intentions."   Then, in the last month or two of the year it got a lot worse.  Honestly, the accumulated impact of a year of too much travel and too little sleep finally just got the better of me.

Nurturing important relationships: This was a very mixed bag. Thanks to travel, I saw less of my wife. Though, perhaps in a twisted form of "absence makes the heart grow fonder,"  in some ways our relationship improved, including on the DD and FLR front.  Though, honestly, I think that had more to do with more personal growth on her side than on absence per se, though one could argue that the absence gave her both room and necessity to stretch and grow. I did end up with some new relationships at work, but those were offset by not doing a great job of maintaining some meaningful existing relationships. If anything, that problem was exacerbated over the last month of 2019, as we skipped out on holiday parties with existing friends and work connections, as we were just too exhausted.

Exiting 2019 in better shape than I entered it, as measured by pant-size, blood pressure, strength and endurance: This was, at best, very mixed.  On most of the important metrics, such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels, I lost ground.  On the other hand, my strength is about the same and maybe slightly up, while pant-size is about the same and actually slightly down.  But, on the whole, it was a year in which I lost some ground, because I'm not living with a chronic problem that is making working out more challenging and painful.  I'm going to have to explore this in a more systematic and dedicated way in 2020, and it may be that I have to accept that aging inevitably applies to me and not not just the rest of the human race.  Nah, let's not go there quite yet.  

Domestic Discipline Resolutions:

Self-report any infractions at least weekly: Big fail. If anything, all my work related overnight travel made it even easier to get away with bad behavior.

Empower my wife to grow in her disciplinary authority: I think I did OK on this, though her actual success at “taking the bull by the horns,” ebbed and flowed. But, in 2018 the flow was in the wrong direction – she started strong but then lost ground.  In 2019, it got off to a slow start, but in the last few months she started getting a lot more consistent with using spankings to address issues that make her mad and in punishing bad behavior.

During spankings, instead of "taking it like a man," try hard to let go all ego and control, surrendering totally to her authority:  Let loose and really cry during a spanking: Like every other year, this was a total fail. 

Do a two-day boot camp to focus on our DD and FLR relationship: Fail.

So, where to go in 2020?  I’m still in this post-Christmas zen place in which I don’t feel very ambitious.  On the non-DD front, I really, really need to work on getting into better physical shape and getting the daily stress under control.  I’m pretty hesitant to make any career goals for 2020, given that I did have a plan in place at the end of 2018 and then everything went totally sideways and pretty much off the rails for the entirety of 2019.  In fact, in the past I had this almost faith-like belief that there actually was a connection between my plan and list-making and the goals I hit each year.  It wasn't always linear, but there did seem to be a connection.  But, wow, did 2019 ever lead me to question that assumption. The year as it happened looked nothing like the year I planned as I wrapped up 2018.  Though, I don't think passivity and inertia is the right course either.  I do think that I need to face up to the fact that if I keep doing what I’m doing in terms of care, even if that turns out to be very lucrative financially and a least “not bad” with respect to fulfillment, just staying in that rut may keep me from doing something that actually would be better.  You can do that only so many years in a row before time runs out. 

On the DD/FLR/kink front, I guess my real wish is to take the progress of 2018 and 2019 and make it more consistent, pervasive and systematic. An area I think we did make progress in, both in 2018 and 2019, was increasing the overall sexual vibe in the relationship.  That was really positive, and I hope we can take that in new and exciting directions. 
She has definitely gotten more comfortable being bossy and exercising authority.  It now just needs to become more automatic.  I have to do my part in that, primarily through finally getting on the self-reporting thing once and for all.  I’d also like to stop being so paranoid about confidentiality and, instead, open myself to more real relationships within this little community we’ve built, if others are willing.

How about you? If you’re on the receiving end of the paddle, do you have any specific resolutions for 2020?  Any specific bad behaviors you’d like conquer?  Any specific ways in which you’d like to see your wife take more control or crack the whip harder, literally or figuratively?

Ladies, what about you?  Do you have any resolutions for what you’d like to accomplish in 2020?  Any areas in which you’d like to improve as a disciplinarian or leader? What about goals for him?  Are there any behaviors you are committed to stamping out once and for all? Have you made any concrete plans for how to accomplish that?

For both sexes, feel free to share any resolutions that are not related to DD or FLR.  It’s great to hear what others think is important and what they intend to do about it.

Finally, I am well aware that this “resolutions” post has flopped pretty much every time I have done it.  So, I’ll combine it with another post that I did a few times but also didn’t do so well.  Maybe in combination we’ll get a conversation going. I call this post, “Ask Me Anything,” and it’s pretty self-explanatory. 

If there’s anything your curious about regarding my DD and FLR lifestyle, here is your chance to ask.  I’ll also try to answer questions outside the DD and FLR context, as long as they aren’t too revealing in terms of my real identity, profession, etc.  (Well, so much for that resolution regarding being more open and less concerned about being outed.  It’s not even 2020 and I’ve already blown one resolution!)
I hope you had a great 2019 and that 2020 is even better.  Rest up.  Be safe.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

The Club - Christmas 2019

Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection. - Winston Churchill

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. 

Thanks for joining me for this, the final post of 2019. For both good and ill, I feel like I could just do a mish-mash of 2017 and 2018 Christmas posts and it would accurately represent my 2019.  It’s been a chaotic two- or three-year run, and for the most part I can’t say I’m going to be sorry to see 2019 in the rearview mirror.  It was a year that could perhaps be summed up with that phrase about “the best laid plans of mice and men.”  I ended 2018 with a fairly detailed vision of what I wanted from 2019 from a career perspective, and by mid-January virtually the whole of that plan had fallen apart and things actually went in the opposite direction.  

It was a year that proved to me that while many hard things are growth experiences precisely because they were so hard, some are just mistakes. There were some career decisions I made very early in 2019 that made my whole year a roller-coaster with too much travel, too little sleep, and too much bad hotel and airport food and drink.  I have to call out my wife for not only putting up with it but supporting it by, if nothing else, just going along and keeping everything semi-normal.  Though, it has become a running joke with us that perhaps I should be concerned that she has taken it so well, maybe I need to come home early from a business trip to make sure there isn’t a new boyfriend I need to kick out of my bed.  But, in all seriousness, she has put up with a lot this year.

Still, as I said at the end of last year, I can give thanks for a few simple things.  All my immediate family made it through the year in one piece, as did most of our extended family.  Most of our family and the important people in our lives made it through the year in relatively good health.  None of our close friends or family suffered health or financial calamities, and one of my family members who was having a rough time on the financial and career front seemed to stabilize and improve her situation by the end of the year. And, while all the business travel truly sucked, it did lead to making some new friendships and deepening others. 

Deepening relationships also applied to my anonymous blogging life.  I’ve had more regular, though mostly still anonymous, contacts with people I’ve met through blogging world.  I’ve exchanged thoughts with Tomy about how amazing it must have been that during the days when he and his wife were actively running the Disciplinary Wives Club website it seemed to almost operate as a real club in which people actually got together and got to know each other on a personal level.  I really have only one relationship from the blog that is kind of like that, but that’s a start.

It also was a good year for increasing the female participation on the blog a little.  Danielle, Cecilia, Belle, Liz and others.  I hope we can ramp that up a little in 2020.

So, as I said last year, as we all run around buying those last-minute gifts, let's think a little about what a blessing it is to have people in our lives to buy those gifts for.  And, maybe do something nice for a stranger who may not be as lucky. I remember last year around this time I pulled up to the drive-through window at Starbucks and started to pay for my coffee, only to be told that the woman in the car ahead of me had already paid for it. I'm going to spend the next few days looking for opportunities to do little things like that.
I tend to try to keep these Christmas messages at an elevated level. But, I feel like I want to end 2019 with something more attuned to the spirit of this blog, which I like to think of as elevated but naughty. Plus, there is so much great Christmas-themed adult art out there, I just can’t resist.  So, let’s end with some visual inspiration. 

From the sublime . . .

To the explicit.

We haven't finished trimming our tree yet, though with kids around I doubt the event will be anything like this.

For whatever reason, I seem to be having a lot of conversations, with both blogging and "real life" friends about "hot wife," cuckolding and multiple partner scenarios.  It's not something we've done, but maybe if there were a case of mistaken identity . . .  I also really like the swinging pearls.  Nice touch.

We were so exhausted this year, we ended up skipping most office and neighborhood holiday parties.  Maybe if more of them were like this . . .

I do need to get some last-minute gifts, but if I can't find anything that seems appropriate . . .

Or, maybe a cute Santa's helper could make a delivery for me . . .

While our dynamic is exclusively F/m, here is a little something for those with other inclinations . . .

Similarly, while not exactly Christmas themed, I just love this cartoon and can never resist an excuse to post it.

Finally, this one, just because I'm in that kind of mood.

I hope you all have a great Christmas, happy holidays and a very happy and prosperous 2020!