Saturday, July 20, 2019

DCC Meeting 305 - Repeat Offenses

“Most people don't have that willingness to break bad habits. They have a lot of excuses and they talk like victims.” - Carlos Santana

Hello all.  Welcome back to The Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, Domestic Discipline relationships, mainly of the Female/male variety.  I hope you had a good week.

Last week’s conversation was interesting and may or may not have been revealing as to what really drives our group.   I had thought that a wide-open topic like what you are or might be willing to be subjected to, or what she might be willing to impose, in order to get enough behavioral leverage to overcome a repeated problem might elicit a wide diversity of responses.  Didn’t really turn out that way. This time, multiple spankings seems to have the most support, and coincidentally my wife sent me a text instructing me that I am in for spankings spanning several days.  Of course, it likely isn’t really coincidental, because she has been reading this blog and is probably absorbing all sorts of potentially painful ideas from you folks.
Almost all the responses reduce in some way to making spankings more fearful, and not with non-spanking methods of bringing about behavioral change. When we talked about repeat offenses two years ago, one wife (Marisa) was getting frustrated enough to consider taking things in another direction:

"I am weary of punishing him repeatedly for the same behavior. I know especially if I spank him in front of another male or couple ( no couple now is available but a male is), Jay would do anything in his power to avoid a repeat. I am not suggesting anyone else try this and it is risky which is probably why I have not already used it. But sooner or later a wife gets tired of revisiting the same issues ( I hear some of this echoed in Anna's remarks above). I am not going to divorce him while spanking still works but I am going to find a way to beat his ass that lasts a long long time."

This week’s topic is a fairly logical extension of last week’s.  I had originally planned to post tomorrow, thinking I didn’t have enough time to come up with something while juggling everything else I had to get done today.  Then, in reviewing comments from yesterday, I noted that “a husband who knows” was kind enough to help me out with an idea that is pretty direct and doesn’t require a lot of work on my end.  He suggested: “What behavior have you been punished for most in the last year or so?  Why are you repeating the behavior? What has your wife done about it? What should she do about it to help you change?  Do you really want to change the behavior?  How upsetting is it to your wife?”

I’m happy to go first, though my answers won’t surprise many long-term readers.

What have I been punished for most in the last year.  I have been punished the most for over-consumption of alcohol, i.e., binge drinking.  Hands down, it is definitely my most challenging behavioral fault. 

Why am I repeating the behavior?  Probably a combination of long-established habit, social acceptance (indeed, encouragement) among our social and work friends, job responsibilities that include lots of socializing over drinks and dinner, and probably some genetic component that involves lacking the kind of “off switch” that more moderate drinkers have that leaves them fully satisfied after a drink or two.

What has my wife done about it? Lots and lots of spankings over the years, though with only a few exceptions single spankings for each offense.  So, not a lot of being put through a second or third spanking on an already sore bottom.

What should she do about it to help you change. This is a challenging one.  As I related a few weeks ago, she did start cracking down a few weeks ago, not in terms of increasing spankings or punishment but in setting more rules and trying to stop the over-consumption before it happened.  It caused a lot of resentment on my end, and when I expressed that, she felt (justifiably) undermined. Since then, I have thought about a comment Alan made to the effect that every time his wife or girlfriend has tightened the screws he has initially felt resentment, but then would adjust.  I think maybe I need to just accept the resentment as part of the process with any “real” discipline.  What kid spanked for bad behavior or told to go to be early doesn’t resent his parents for some period of time after the discipline is applied?  So, I think I probably need to talk to her about it again, and maybe this time we come up with some more concrete agreement on what she will and won’t do right away, and kind of crank thinks up a bit more gradually.  With respect to punishment, there was a lot of support last week for multiple days of spankings for a single offense, and I think we probably need to explore that on a more systematic basis.  And, for many couples consistency seems to be the key to real change.

 As for leverage beyond that, I'm one of last week's offenders who struggles to come up with something realistic beyond things we have already done like spanking and grounding.

Do you really want to change the behavior? Again, this question is not as simple as it appears.  When I have a bad night and do something stupid, I very much regret it and wish to be held accountable for it.  And, I do wish that I could moderate more easily on my own.  But, the plain fact is, I’ve been doing this for my entire adult life, and there are a ridiculous number of temptations in my current job.  So, I feel about this sort of the same way I feel about dieting and cardio exercising.  I hate dieting and I detest cardio workouts, yet when I get on the scale and feel disgusted at the ever-larger number I know that while I may not like displaying discipline in what I eat and in doing that run regardless of how boring, it is good for me.  So, I would say the rational part of me does want to change while the part of me that is all id kind of likes how things are.

How upsetting is it to her?  I’m not sure how to quantify it, and I think it depends on the specific context.  I think her attitude varies between disappointment and concern I will do something stupid sometime and hurt myself or someone else.  But, I’ve also been honest with her that I think her own attitude toward alcohol is not entirely consistent, because while she definitely has a problem with my bingeing, almost all her own close friends are also big drinkers.  In fact, her two closest friends and their spouses drink a lot more than I do!  So, she obviously finds something attractive about people who have this aspect to their personalities, even if it concerns her where my behavior is concerned.  Though, I guess you could say that her attitude isn’t all that different from how I feel about it myself – attracted on a visceral level but cognizant of the downsides of excess.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Club - Meeting 304 - Leverage

“Most modern freedom is at root fear. It is not so much that we are too bold to endure rules; it is rather that we are too timid to endure responsibilities.” ― G.K. Chesterton, What's Wrong with the World

Hello all.  Welcome back to The Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, Domestic Discipline relationships, mainly of the Female/male variety.  I hope you had a good week.

Sorry for the delayed posting.  I had one of those Saturdays in which you spend the whole day catching up on all those little “to do list” items that have stayed on your list for months and finally built to critical mass, including catching up on some family connections.  So, it was one of those days where I needed to put the blog in its place.  Between yesterday and a busy Friday, I also got a little behind responding to comments on last week’s topic.  Though, in all candor the comments were starting to drift anyway into some fairly BDSM-y and Femdom territory, which I don’t plan to reply to in any event. 

As for those comments last week that were on point, while it was subtle I thought that our discussions about others knowing and participating in our Domestic Discipline lifestyles may have evidenced a slight or not so slight evolution among the group over the last two or three years.  When I’ve raised these topics in the past, there tended to be a very small number of people who had brought others into their lifestyle and were “out” to one degree or another, and a whole bunch of others who categorically rejected the notion of bringing anyone else into this thing we do in any way, shape or form.   

That dynamic among our group seems to have changed a bit, with more people saying they have not done it in the past but might be open to it under the right circumstances.  There also seem to be a larger sub-set who are into extending anonymous discussions on blogs and websites like this into some more open and interactive form of communication, whether live meetings or something less than that but still less anonymous.  We’ll have to see how that develops over time.

Something that didn’t arise from last week’s comments was a clear idea for a new topic.  So, given my own lack of inspiration today, I’m stuck rehashing one from about a year ago.  About this time last year, I brought up an article I read in the New York Times about an “empowerment” coaching movement with a salacious angle.  It began with publicity that a Smallville actress who was arrested for allegedly acting as a recruiter for a sex cult.  I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the initial coverage, but then the New York Times posted a long investigative piece about it entitled The Sex Cult That Preached Empowerment:  I found it a fascinating read, even though, its title notwithstanding, there was very little discussion of sex.  Admittedly, a lot of it sounded like a pretty typical Amway business model and possibly a pyramid scheme, in which current members were incented to bring in members under them all for the benefit of those on top.  But, as a whole it sounded like more cultish Tony Robbins-like “personal power” guru founding a group comprised of a bunch of "life coaches" and their students, finding new and interesting ways to encourage self-improvement via  personalized consequences and—here is the key—those consequences were designed to be strict enough, hard enough, embarrassing enough to motivate an actual positive behavioral change.  These consequences were often described as pledging “collateral” or otherwise coming up with agreed-upon “leverage” to encourage the member to actually live up to their commitments or achieve their performance goals.

 The leverage they created included things like pledging "collateral" in one form or another, such as giving the leaders of the group a letter admitting to some embarrassing or illegal act (it isn’t clear whether these were acts they had actually committed).  If the performance goals were met or the commitment fulfilled, the “collateral” would not be sacrificed and the person would not suffer any detriment.  They also used group consequences for individual failures. For example, if John set a goal of running every day and he failed to do it on Monday, then on Tuesday all the men in John's assigned support group might have to give up their morning coffee.  Knowing that others might pay a price for his failure would presumably give John a greater incentive to do what he pledged to do.  Many of the "motivators" seem to be about raising the consequences of failing to such a high degree that the person was left highly, highly motivated not to fail.

Now, as the trial progressed, it became clear that at the top of the organization, there was a substantial sexual overlay and not a few Dominance/submission attributes, including "Master" and "slave" titles.  And, some of the “collateral” may have been used to enforce submission and service (sexual and otherwise) to the group’s leader, who was convicted after a half-day of jury deliberation.  So, to be clear, I am not condoning any non-consensual activity, let alone anything criminal.  While definitely more extreme that what most of us are doing, however, he parallels to wives using unconventional and sometimes "hard" means to coach and mentor us was intriguing.  Because for those of us who are using DD to try to improve ourselves and accomplish more or break bad habits, that is what DD is about, right  -- gaining sufficient leverage to get over those impediments that get in the way of meeting your goals?

This week’s topic is a little broad but, in a nutshell it is, for those who are using Domestic Discipline to improve their performance, meet goals, eliminate bad habits or foster good ones, what lengths have you gone to—or would you be prepared to go to—to bring about actual change?  Spanking is obviously the “go to” performance motivator for most of our participants, but what if a single or maybe even multiple spankings are not doing the trick?  

What is the solution for making the improvement happen, whether he likes it or not? Or, is his “liking” a condition on the entire arrangement that prevents her from taking it to a level that he might not like but actually would be effective?  What amount of authority do you wives have to crank things up to a level that actually results in real behavioral change?  This additional “leverage” or “collateral” could take a lot of forms.  We talked last week about bringing others into the relationship or telling others that he is a Disciplined Husband. Or, perhaps just a public consequence for a public offense. For those husbands who actually fear such embarrassment, is that an option she can or should explore?   

 Or, maybe there are additional “let the punishment fit the crime” kind of punishments she might impose above and beyond spanking?  Or, is really changing habits or meeting goals within a DD relationship merely a matter of consistency and severity?

As I said, this is a little nebulous and open-ended, but that’s what happens on a lazy Sunday when I’m lacking both motivation and inspiration!

Have a great week.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Delayed Posting

Just a quick note. I do intend to post, but I need to handle some family things and errands today.  So, the post will probably be delayed until later today or possibly tomorrow.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

The Club - Meeting 303 - Witnesses & Participants

We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin. – André Berthiaume

Hello all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or would like to be in, Domestic Discipline relationships. I hope you all had a good week.

For once, I really had a pretty decent week where behavior was concerned.  Of course, thanks to the July 4th holiday I was away from work more than usual. Could there be a pattern there?  Hmm.  I wonder.  But, I really do feel like maybe I turned a corner this week, or at least can see down the road where the corner turns.  I didn’t have any significant problems with over-consumption.  Kept my temper at work.  And, I am trying really, really hard to get my diet and exercise act together and this week at least I succeeded.  Now, the challenge is to build on those small successes and not retreat.

Last week saw a wee bit of drama on the blog, and I’m not going to comment on it further rather than to say I have gotten used to commenters drifting into and out of this little corner of the blogosphere.  Sometimes I care more than others.  We have lost some commenters I really enjoyed and who could be counted on to provide thoughtful responses to most topics, such as Marisa and Holly.  It’s also puzzling when the future absence is unexplained.  Sometimes people just stop commenting for no apparent reason. It always leaves me wondering whether they took offense, got bored, or maybe suffered some personal tragedy up to and including dying.  You just never know, and that is one aspect of these electronic relationships that definitely is deficient as compared to the “real” world where people who actually know each other engage in real human contact.

And, that is sort of this week’s topic.  It extends in part from a conversation Danielle and I got into that began with one of the pictures I posted, namely the one of the guy with a recently striped ass bending over a hay bale.  As I told Danielle, that photo originally accompanied a story I read on some now vanished DD or FLR website.  The story involved a man and woman who were in some kind of kinky relationship with a dominant male.  It has been several years since I read it, and I can’t really recall whether the third-party was dominating them both, or whether it was some kind of cuckolding relationship with him sleeping with the wife and dominating the husband.  I kind of recall that he was dominating them both to some respect, but it also involved helping the wife dominate the husband.  Long story short, the wife had asked the dominant male to help take care of some behavioral problems her husband had displayed, then failed to connect with the dominant male to set up a time to take care of it.  So, he showed up unannounced at a dinner party they were having with another couple and made an excuse to take the husband out of the party and down to a barn on the couple’s property, where he spanked him to tears with a belt before allowing him to return to the party.  In discussing the story, Danielle and I got into a wider-ranging discussion about third-parties participating or witnessing this thing we do.

A few months ago, we talked about others knowing about our DD lifestyles, but this week we take it one step further. How many of you have had others partake in some way in your DD activities, whether merely as witnesses or as active participants?  Have you ever been spanked while a witness was voluntarily present or knew that it was happening or about to happen to you?  (I don't want to get off on a tangent about someone in a hotel or store accidentally overhearing a spanking.) If so, who, and how did that come about? For the spankee, what effect did having the witness present have on you?  Was it what you anticipated? For the spanker, did having a witness there give rise to any particular feelings in you? Did you change your approach to the spanking in any way?  And, if you know, what was the effect on the witness? Were they an active participant in some way?

Or a passive but supportive observer?

 Taking things even further, have you ever had someone else participate in a disciplinary spanking?  Perhaps your wife ordered or allowed a spanking by another wife or by a professional?  Or, perhaps you wives have taken part in disciplining a man other than your husband?  If not, would you ever give it a try?

This is an area we don’t have any real personal experience with, though as I have posted my subconscious seems to have a thing for it, given that I have dreamed about scenarios in which I was taken from a party and spanked by a third-party, and I recall having a strong reaction to the story set out above. In the context of the dream I had, others did not participate in the spanking itself but were very aware that I was being led out to get one.

 And, when Tomy has recounted the days of the real DWC and being sent to another wife for punishment, those stories too get a reaction from me.  But, I don’t have a similar reaction if the context is more of a spanking party where the women get to spank for no particular reason.  To get any reaction from me, the context really has to be disciplinary in nature.  

Danielle and I also talked about whether I would have a reaction to Anne spanking another man (though I highly doubt she would ever go there).  Again, if it was really in the disciplinary context, like acting as a “surrogate” of sorts and punishing a deserving DD husband, I honestly don’t think I would have any problem with it, any more than I would have a problem with it if she was a teacher or principal a generation or two ago and was responsible for using a paddle or cane to correct deserving young men.

So, tell us about your experiences and attitudes about discipline that brings third-parties into the mix as witnesses or participants. And, this is one where I am going to ask people to confine this to disciplinary spankings and not just kink involving giving or receiving spankings in an erotic or BDSM context.

Have a great week.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

The Club - Meeting 302 - Tears

“People can cry much easier than they can change.”  ― James Baldwin

Hello all.  I hope you had a great week.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or would like to be in, Domestic Discipline relationships. I hope you all had a good week.

My week involved a very, very sore bottom.  As I related over the last two or three weeks, we hit a rough patch where FLR and obedience were concerned.  We had a talk about it on Saturday after I thought we had reached an understanding on things and, wow, was I ever wrong. When we went to bed that night, I was really in a funk, thinking that after more than a decade of DD, we really might have hit an impasse.  But, the next day I sent a long journal entry trying to work through where my feelings were, what I thought to be her thoughts and feelings, etc.  Without going into details, we seem to have gotten things back on track.  The clearest indication of that was that around 8:00 pm that night she sent me a text saying that I was going to get a spanking as soon as we had the house to ourselves, and she definitely delivered.  It was one of the hardest she has ever given me, and for the first time in a long time, I came very close to begging her to stop.  So, she definitely got her point across.

Thanks for all your participation last week.  We’ve had some really great conversations lately.  When I posted last week’s topic, I thought it was so narrow that it wouldn’t generate much discussion, yet we were once again well over 100 comments, and what a range they covered: marking, caning techniques, cuckolding, spanking in anger, communications between DWC couples, severity, surrender and tears.  Lots and lots to explore in future topics! On the idea of communicating more openly and directly with DWC couples, I do want to be part of a solution for that, though so far I haven’t been able to come up with a good alternative that fosters such exchanges yet preserves confidentiality.  But, maybe I need to stop worrying about the confidentiality issue as much, as there seems to be a broad spectrum of how much people care, and those who do care a lot don't need to participate on any alternative platform.  As for getting together in an actual meeting, I’m not sure my wife is there yet, and some days I'm not either.  But, I have dipped my toes into that pool with one or two people who know about our lifestyle and who I am. So, who knows what the future might hold.

But, for this week, let’s talk about two of those things that came up last week – surrender and tears. Now, K.D. will chastise me for taking on the subject of tears yet again, though looking at the topics over the life of the blog, I really have not had that many devoted to to the topic of crying.  Yet, he's right that it is a subject that is near and dear to my DD heart, and its a subject that has played a major role in my DD motivation and aspirations.  Yet, more than a decade into this, I’ve never once cried from a spanking.  I’ve gotten close a time or two, but it’s still never happened but is still often on my mind.  So, while we have talked about this topic before, it's been over a year and we have a bunch of new contributors.  So, let's talk about it again. As with last week, I’m feeling a little lazy and time pressured, so I will crib liberally from last year’s topic and a couple that we did in previous years.

Back in 2018, when Blogger still had a polling gadget, I ran a poll that encompassed both experience with, and interest in, crying real tears from a real adult spanking.  The results for the disciplined husbands regarding whether they had cried and, if not, whether they wanted to, were as follows:

I have not but want to:                                            46%
I have not and do not want to:                                12%
I have but only a few tears:                                    17%
I have, including crying hard or sobbing:               22%

So, about 40% of those who took the poll claimed to have cried at least a few tears.  Among those who had not done so, 46% wanted to.   So, this seems to be an experience that many men sort of want, maybe even enough to ask for it.

The prospect of crying was probably the most significant driver of the emotional reaction I had when I first discovered domestic discipline by stumbling across the DWC website.  Stories of men being brought to tears over their wives knees transfixed me.  It left me with butterflies in my stomach, though that really understates the reaction.  I couldn't sleep.  I couldn't think of much of anything else for the couple of days between when I first stumbled on the concept and when I brought it to my wife's attention. I found the whole prospect both utterly compelling and utterly repulsive.  It both fascinated and scared the living hell out of me.  The thought of letting go of control so thoroughly that I would sob in front of my wife as a result of a paddling or strapping really shook me to my core in a fundamental way.  It scared me like nothing else really every had or has since, yet I found myself compulsively drawn to it.  And, I truly do think that the prospect of being reduced to tears was probably the #1 thing that made DD such an obsession after I found the DWC site.  It didn't feel like a want, so much as a deep-seated need.

While the prospect of sobbing from a spanking now has haunted my DD fantasies for years, I still have not experienced it, even as a result of spankings that plainly fall into the "severe" range. While it's impossible for me to pinpoint exactly why, I've come to believe there are certain factors that play into why some men get there and some don't:

Severity:  This one is a little counter-intuitive.  A spanking must be severe enough to "get the job done."  But, at least in my case, if it starts out very severe from the start using a really painful instrument like a skinny wooden paddle or a rubber strap, I absolutely will not be brought to tears because, paradoxically, it is just too hard and I can't stop myself from resisting it.  I cannot stop myself from trying to "man up" and just get through each swat.  No matter how much I go into the spanking with the intent of "taking my medicine" and leaving myself open to it in a way that might let me release into tears, I just cannot do it if the pain level is too much at the beginning. When my wife was spanking me earlier this week, her first instrument was a leather paddle with holes that has a way of finding my most sensitive areas.  Had she continued with it for a long time, I think she really might have gotten me to the point of real tears.

Duration: My wife tends to spank very hard, but sometimes so much so that my bottom gets in bad shape quickly and then she decides to terminate the spanking.  I suspect that duration plays at least as big a role as severity in bringing about real tears and that sobbing is more likely to happen when it starts really occurring to him that this spanking is going to go on way past his ability to "take it like a man."
Immediacy and remorse:  Oftentimes, I'm being spanked for something that we both agree is something I should be spanked for but, (a) it's something that didn't have any real impact on her or anyone else and, hence, I don't really feel all that guilty about it; or (b) so much time has passed between the offense and the consequences that whatever guilt I once felt has dissipated.

Lecturing/Displayed Anger: Related to the presence or absence of remorse, I suspect that a very strong lecture before the spanking would help soften me up emotionally and leave me more vulnerable and, hence, more likely to cry.  Last week, we talked a little about spanking in anger, and I believe that if my wife would really cut loose with the verbal scolding when she is, in fact, very angry at me it would help break down the “take it like a man” resistance.

Embarrassment/"Toxic" Masculinity: Some men's identities are more bound up with the concept of being "manly" with all that it entails.  Unfortunately, one thing it may entail is a very deep-seated resistance to showing vulnerability and an inability to easily display that vulnerability or weakness.  Those identity traits are actually strengths that can help us get through a lot, accomplish a lot and succeed in out-sized ways. But, like all such traits, they can come at a price when they become excessive or one-dimensional. That price may be a very strong resistance to embarrassment and emotional vulnerability, both of which crying from a spanking would likely entail.

Pain tolerance:  The plain fact is, I have a lead bottom and a weirdly high pain threshold.  I've suffered some fairly significant injuries in the past, but they just didn't hurt me as much as they seem to hurt other people.  So, getting me to a point at which the pain becomes truly unbearable is a daunting prospect. 

Encouragement:  Those of us who have a strong emotional resistance to crying may also fear embarrassment more than others.  In those cases, I think the disciplinary wife probably has a role in facilitating tears not just by lecturing sternly then spanking severely, but also by letting her husband know before and during the spanking that not only is she comfortable with him crying, but she wants him to do so.

ZM weighed in on this several months ago, after he had his first crying experience.  His comments [slightly edited] touch on a lot of these points:

Yesterday, I got to experience a first, in that I was spanked to tears for the first time ever, at least as an adult. This has been a topic of endless (and perhaps morbid?) fascination for me, to say the least, and I really couldn't believe that it happened. The punishment was for several prolonged bouts of bad attitude. My wife has been under huge amounts of stress in recent months due to parental health issues, and as she was administering the punishment, I just felt so incredibly bad when I thought of how unhelpful my attitude has been, and how rather than supporting her I was making things more difficult. This guilt, combined with a delrin cane (which is basically just horrible), and in the diaper position (which makes everything so much worse), finally broke down that barrier that I have never really been able to cross before. [She] had pretty much decided beforehand that tears were going to happen, and she continued until they did. Afterwards she said she would have liked to go a bit longer, but it was hard to see me crying. She decided that next time, she will go until she decides it has been enough and then will add a certain number of additional strokes, probably by rolling two dice (resulting in 2-12 additional) just to make sure she didn't under-punish and to give fate a bit of say in the matter.  I agree that it was mostly driven by guilt, combined with a non-relenting spanking. I don't think she punished harder than usual, but certainly longer, and plus she had said before that the next punishment would certainly result in tears, so I think she set the stage for it and that helped me to get into the proper state of mind. Anyway, the tears took it to a whole new level of "real" feeling for us.”

So, tears are once again this week’s topic.  For the men, have you cried from an adult spanking? If so, was it only a few tears, or did you get to the real sobbing we’ve probably all read about in the spanking stories?  If you haven’t cried yet, do you want to? If so, what do you think holds you back?  For the Wives, have you brought your husband (or other significant other) to tears with a disciplinary spanking?  If so, tell us about it. How did you react it?  If you have not brought him to that point, do you want to? Or, does the idea of that leave you squeamish? 

I hope you all have a great week.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

The Club - Meeting 301 - Marking

The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ― Rumi

Hello all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or would like to be in, Domestic Discipline relationships.  I hope you had a good week.

It has been an interesting week for us in terms of couples communication.  They say actions speak louder than words, and sometimes you have to see something to believe it.  This week, my wife got a bit of a first-hand look at some of my business entertaining obligations. After a couple of nights of it, she awoke the next morning exhausted and said, "I don't know how you manage to do this all the time."  The plain fact is, I don't really "manage" this pace.  I just kind of hold on tight and try to get through it.  And, I am starting to think that is really the best that can be done at this particular phase of my career and it is, in a twisted and dysfunctional way, a form of balance.  Because the other options aren't really palatable.  First, I could just stop the business entertaining, but that really is not an option in this job at this phase of my career.  And, part of what my wife saw this week is that sometimes it really is not me instigating things or staying out late by choice.  Rather, I'm doing what has to be done to court certain business contacts and capitulating to their desire to keep going.  Second, I have thought from time to time that maybe I need to address this out-sized need I have for accountability not by changing the behavior but, rather, by just not feeling guilty or contrite about it.  In other words, accept who I am and revel in it the way some of my friends do.  I was once a big Mad Men fan, and the attitude of simply enjoying your excesses was epitomized by the Roger Sterling character.  I loved one of his speeches to Don Draper, who also epitomized excesses but for him along with the excesses came self-loathing and guilt.  With respect to alcohol, Sterling observed, "You don't know how to drink. Your whole generation, you drink for the wrong reasons. My generation, we drink because it's good, because it feels better than unbuttoning your collar, because we deserve it. We drink because it's what men do."  Now, the problem with that is, most people just can't do it over time without damaging their body, brains and spirits, though some hearty souls pull it off.

Believe it or not, that long lead in has something to do with this week's topic, which is an extension of one of the many strands of last week's discussion.  Near the end of the week, we got off on a tangent about marking and bruising.  I decided to make it this week's topic.  We've done it before, but not since 2017.  I went back and looked at the topic from that year, and it was a little depressing how little changes year-over-year, because coincidentally the trade-offs between accountability and guilt-free enjoyment of one's debauchery were something I was noodling about two years ago at the same time I was thinking about bruising and marking.  Here is what I wrote then, edited only slightly for content and for updated artwork. It is something I could have easily written from scratch to describe the last couple of weeks here two years later.  Conveniently, repeating it verbatim also relieves me of some of the time required to come up with something truly new:

"This was one of those weeks that makes me question sometimes the extent to which I really do want this kind of relationship, while at the same time affirming why I need it.  It has been a couple of really tough weeks at work.  I've been traveling constantly.  Lots of after work socializing. I also had one of the people on my team go into full-blown Drama Queen mode, requiring me to play career counselor over several beers.  My way through all this was to go way Alpha, powering through this pretty dysfunctional time by sheer force of will powered by adrenaline and caffeine, followed by a lot of bad airplane wine.  For a while, I actually started thinking, "This is who I am.  Part of me likes being this way, and it makes me good at what I do.  Maybe I just need to embrace it instead of trying to balance it or contain it."  Which is all well and good, until I hit a Saturday like this where I am so tired that it really feels almost like a form of psychosis, and I realize that living like that just isn't sustainable, and eventually something is going to break or I am going to break something or someone in a way that can't be fixed.  So, as much as I really don't want to be controlled or contained right now, I know that I need to be, and that I will be healthier for it.  

Now, on to other things.  DWC Fred posted a great comment last week, describing his DD dynamic and how he is spanked.  He noted that his spankings generally leave his bottom marked for several days.  That is this week's topic.  Do your disciplinary spankings generally leave marks, welts or bruises that last more than a few hours?

Is marking or "blistering" an explicit goal? 

When it is over, does your Disciplinarian inspect her handiwork? Does she take pride in the tangible evidence of a job well done?

(This one is one of our KD Pierre's pieces.  I have a link to his website over to the right.)  

This is an area that has changed for us over time, not as a result of any change in the intensity of her spankings, but apparently due to a change in my physiology.  When we first started Domestic Discipline, any significant spanking would leave me very badly bruised.  That doesn't happen nearly as much now.  Even a really, really hard spanking may leave me with only a few visible marks the next day.  Interestingly, my bottom does look in bad shape immediately after the spanking, but the marks just don't last very long.  It also seems like my bottom has developed this non-bruising tolerance specifically to spanking.  I took a nasty fall a few weeks ago, and it left me literally black and blue across one cheek.

My wife's reaction to this is also interesting.  It really didn't take her very long to get comfortable with giving a hard disciplinary spanking, and the bruising or marking has never seemed to make her squeamish.  She is very comfortable leaving visible evidence of her spanking prowess. In fact, she will sometimes make me drop my pants to show her the condition of my butt, and will express disappointment when the marking is gone a day or two later."

That was what I wrote  a couple of years ago, and it is the topic for this week.  Are marking and bruising part of your spanking experience?  Has the degree or duration of marking or bruising changed over time?  Ladies, does concern about marking or bruising may you squeamish about giving a really hard, disciplinary spanking, or is that just part of him getting what he has coming?  Is it even possibly part of the evidence you look for that you made your point?  And, lastly, has anyone ever gotten an unintended peek at the after effects of a good, hard disciplinary session?

Have a great week.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Delayed Post

All, sorry.  I'm tied up with some things this weekend.  I likely won't post tomorrow and possibly not until next week.  Have a great weekend.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

The Club - Meeting 300 - Rules

“I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.” ― Robert A. Heinlein

Hello all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or would like to be in, Domestic Discipline relationships.  I hope you had a good week. 

For us, this last week or so has involved some reflection on aspects of this thing we do, in light of the disobedience incident from a couple of weeks ago, and the dinner with boozy friends last week.  Though, unfortunately, all this reflection has been solo, since we haven’t had much alone time. I was traveling for a big part of the week, and there were other distractions and visitors.  But, I can tell that she is in the same reflective place I am, because some of the assertions of control or dominance have moderated.  More on this below.

As for last week, great conversation folks.  Especially at the first of the week, there was so much great interaction going on.  Though, interestingly, I’m not sure a single person actually answered the topic question about whether DD and FLR have ever become “so much” and lead to any serious questioning of the pros and cons.  But, it was a good conversation anyway.  There was one comment in particular that I found really profound in light of my current mindset.  Danielle observed: 

“You also seem to think that the following behaviors are not issues for couples who aren’t in FLR’s:

- coming home late for supper
- having a third drink at happy hour
- receiving texts from your wife asking you not to stay out late

If you think those aren’t bones of contention in non-FLR marriages, I think you are fooling yourself. Sure, lots of guys will ignore their wives’ nagging about such behavior, but many will likely have bitter arguments with their wives about it, and in the worst case such disputes can lead to marital breakdown. The only difference between a FLR and a regular marriage is that a wife in a FLR has more leverage to curb behaviors she doesn’t like.”

That observation struck me as profound, in part because it is so simple. I had spent a week or two asking myself, “If this is how it is going to be, do I really want to do this whole FLR thing?”  But, Danielle hit the nail on the head: Disagreements similar to those we had over the last few weeks that left me feeling nagged and frustrated also happened before we even knew about DD and FLR.  If anything, those arguments were more intense and lasted longer.  Danielle was right to point out that while DD or FLR may not have eliminated bad behavior and nagging about bad behavior, neither are DD and FLR really to blame for the speedbump we seem to be hitting.

 But, the second part of Danielle’s comment also is something we need to think about as a couple: “Now, if a husband doesn’t want to be ruled by his wife, if it makes him feel “resentful”, FLR probably isn’t a good fit for the couple. Resentment isn’t healthy, and the day Wayne tells me that he feels more resentment than gratitude for the way I exercise my authority, I will be the first to suggest putting FLR on hold.” 

Is that where we are? I don’t think so.  The plain fact is, I am not resenting DD at all, and there are only a couple of things in this emerging FLR that are causing the resentment.  Though, admittedly, they are things that have been a source of contention for a very long time.  But, I still do like her becoming more powerful and assertive, and conceptually I know that having tighter boundaries is, in general, something I need.  So, there are a couple of ways this could go, and Alan alluded to them both:

“I think the kind of resistance you are feeling may be a sign that your FLR is working and you are reacting to restrictions on your freedom. Assuming you really want an FLR that is not a bad thing and will pass as you submit more and more to her orders. In both my relationships every time the screws were tightened on me I went through a temporary rebellion and that is natural. But I also come back to a precept I first encountered from the DWC and that was that in a consensual relationship both parties should agree beforehand that a behavior is forbidden and will be punished. Only if both agree will there be real behavior modification.”

 First, it very well could be the case that this is a sign that the FLR is real, and that surrendering to it may become easier over time.  But, honestly, it doesn’t really feel like that.  It feels like there really is some of this that is just plain old nagging and there does need to be some room for me to do adult things without being treated like a kid.  Which brings us to the second option, namely revisiting the rules and talking through what they should be, what discretion she has to set them, and whether there are areas where the restrictions are causing such resentment that they aren’t counterproductive.  It’s not so much that she wouldn’t tackle those areas at all, just not as tightly right now and not as the first priority.  We all had a discussion a few months ago about how much couples focus on the “small things” (picking up socks, cleaning the kitchen and doing it well, etc.) and I am coming around to the view that at least for us, plunging headlong into a major power exchange encompassing areas where personal freedom is important to me just isn’t going to work.  But, the good news is, I think we probably will get past this temporary hurdle and move forward, even if the precise vector of “forward” is a little bit up in the air right now.

We also ended up talking a lot last week about what exactly distinguishes DD from an FLR.  While there wasn’t a consensus view on a workable definition that distinguishes one from the other, there did seem to be some general agreement that one thing that defines an FLR is decision-making authority and the extent to which she sets the rules instead of just enforcing rules that the couple agrees to together in advance.

Which brings us to this week’s topic, which is admittedly a repeat of one we did in 2017. It is not about what the rules are, but about how they are set.  How does that work for you?  Are all the rules agreed to in advance?  Or, is the agreement to the power hierarchy as a whole, with him consenting to her authority to both make the rules and enforce them?  Do you get spanked for anything that you think should not be spankable?  And, is there express agreement to what the consequences will be, e.g. is it all about spanking or does she have discretion to come up with any punishment that fits the crime? 

I hope you have a great week.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

The Club - Meeting 299 - Be Careful What You Wish For . . .

“This book will teach your partner how to be more dominant. Your partner will learn how to say no to you. She will learn how to train you. She will learn how to punish you and hold you accountable for your actions. She will learn that she can demand whatever she wants from you, despite whatever you might want from her. So beware, my unsuspecting male friend... if you bought this book for her, you might get more than you asked for. You have been warned.” – The Hesitant Mistress

Hello all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or would like to be in, Domestic Discipline relationships.  I hope you had a good week.  Ours seemed to be a little better than the week before, which may be the best we can hope for after a couple of months that were just exceptionally hard.

The original post from last week included a line about a recent incident in which I was very overtly resistant to something she told me to do, and I followed up with something that was flat-out disobedient.  I said I would deal with it in a separate post, but people started commenting on it so I took it out.  But, I’ll address it now, as it feeds into the subject of this week’s post.  In a nutshell, I had come home tired from a work event, and started watching a movie. It had been a really long, hard week and I was just desperate for some downtime to decompress.  My wife decided in the middle of the movie that I should go to bed.  I resisted, and while I don’t think I ever just said “no,” it is fair to say I did not comply.  She gave in, but instructed me that I was not to have even one drink before coming to bed.  Once she went to bed, I decided to ignore that instruction too and had a nightcap.  So, not a good night at all in terms of being a good little submissive. 

And, therein lies the start of this week’s topic.  It wasn’t just that I disobeyed an order from her.  Rather, the order itself led to so much resentment at that moment in time that I really did start questioning the pros and cons of the entire FLR part of our lifestyle. It kind of felt like the last straw during a week in which the resentment had been building.  It was not just telling me to go to bed early.  It was telling me when to come home from work, then chastising me about being late for dinner, then telling me to go to bed when I was in the middle of a movie and then trying to keep me from having a drink in my own house when it was not hurting anyone and had no impact on her.  I started thinking about the fact that none of my colleagues are subjected to that kind of control.  They don’t feel guilty about having that third drink at happy hour. They don’t have someone sending them texts that is time to come home.  They don’t have restrictions on things they can do once they get home, and they definitely do not have someone giving them a bed time.   

 So, for the first time in a long time, I asked myself the serious question of whether the whole FLR thing is really for me and, frankly, worth it.  I felt like I was being treated like a child, and I really, really resented it to the point that for that evening I started wondering whether I should just call an end to it.  But, then in the morning, as usual I once again appreciated that she treated me like a child because I was acting like one.  Yeah, I wanted to stay up late because I was wired after a hard week and needed to decompress. But, staying up later was just going to exacerbate the fatigue I was already fighting, especially if staying up involved a few nightcaps.  She was trying to look out for me, even if it did not feel that way at the time.  And, while it’s true that some of my colleagues do probably have the same excessive behaviors I do, who knows that will do to them over time.  Maybe deep down inside they wish they had someone reining them in the way I do.

But, I also think this reflects a basic distinction between DD and FLR for me.  My angst at where we seem to be right now is really all about the FLR and not DD, and it is the former that my resistance was aimed at.  I still have never refused a spanking and, in fact, she gave me a very hard one on Saturday to deal with the week’s bad behavior.  So, I am still very comfortable with the idea of consequences for bad behavior.   

What I am much less comfortable with is trying to stop or prevent behavior that not, in fact, inherently bad.  There are times I feel like it is getting way too close to trying to change an identity that I am, in fact, relatively comfortable with or that it is just removing too much that I find fun or relaxing.  And, that was what was on my mind last night when she tried to impose some controls during a social event even though I was doing nothing more than hanging out with friends of hers who were, if anything, drinking more than I was!  Once again, it all just started feeling like too much.

After the first incident, I wrote a long journal entry to my wife that tried to explore these conflict desires being wanting someone to impose boundaries but also feeling like sometimes those boundaries are just too tight.  As, I pointed out to her, part of my resistance to authority is a result of just never having been subject to any. In my entire life (or at least since my adolescent and teenage years, I have NEVER had anyone impose any controls on things like bed time, curfew, being home in time for dinner or drinking. Most kids are subject to those kinds of controls, and when they don’t comply there is a consequence.   

But, the reality is my parents never imposed those kinds of rules, and the few things they saw as rules were seldom actually enforced.  So, when five decades into this life my starts telling me to go to bed at a certain time, it is something that has never once been a part of my experience.

So, I think part of what is happening is resistance to a change that, yes, I asked for but that is proving more restrictive than I anticipated.  Classic “be careful what you ask for, because you might get it” stuff.  Hence, the quote at the top of this page.  Yet, another part of the dynamic is trying to find the right balance – the balance between moderating excessive behavior, on the one hand, and stifling who I am or making my life less enjoyable or a constant irritation on the other.

I recognize this puts her in a hard position, but I also do think it may be an inevitable part of real leadership, as opposed to Femdom fantasy leadership.  When I was less experienced as a manager, there were times I know I drove people too hard and expected too much.  It took me a while to learn that there really are limits on what you can impose on people or how much you can expect them to be something they are not.  Once I learned to lighten up a little, things worked better and the performance of the whole group improved. 

Last week, before I took down the two or three lines that alluded to my disobedience problem, Tomy and Alan posed the following:

Tomy:  “Resisting one's wife is perhaps the most self-defeating behavior I have seen (or done) in a DWC relationship. Everyone has their own reasons and excuses and rationalizations. We men who visit this blog are here becuase we want/need/desire a particular lifestyle experience. Those who actually have a spouse who is on board with it are among a very small percentage of men who long for it. Any act that undermines the woman's authority undermines her confidence and undermines the genuine fulfillment of the dream - OUR dream - that she has stepped into mainly FOR us. I hate to say this. But for any reader who indulges their own resistance at the expense of their wife's efforts to be in charge, to fulfill their dreams, needs to man up, shut up, and grow up. Again, sorry if I ruffle feathers. But I'm talking man to man here.”

Alan: “I agree with you completely that resisting your wife's authority is one of the most self-destructive things one can do. And that is probably particularly the case before she is completely empowered. In fact there is probably a point where you can no longer psychologically resist that authority. I know if I did it today my wife would soundly slap my face and have my pants down and nose in the corner before I could count to three. But for those just starting out maybe there has to be a grace period because for many the difference between a fantasy punishment spanking and a real one can be a staggering experience. With the girlfriend who introduced me to DD I never disobeyed her instructions to go over her lap but did (maybe three times) stop a spanking as it reached that point where I thought I couldn't take any more. This caused a lot of tension with us but she stayed with it and one particularly hard hair brushing I was just about to jump up again and then the thoughts started to form that this was what I wanted and needed and deserved and I was a wimp for not taking my punishment. I just relaxed and let it happen reaching that fulfilled numb zone for the first time. Afterwards my bum was a mess but she was very proud of me (and herself) and so was I. I never resisted her authority after that breakthrough and have never resisted my wife's authority either. But maybe young couples should expect some tension and resistance to authority in the beginning. If a women stays firm it will pass and for me at least once it has passed it doesn't come up again. Female authority once established is forever.”

But, while these two quotes emphasize the danger of undermining authority, Alan also had this to say, which I think reflects the real-life trade-offs I am thinking through in balancing FLR in a way that is actually workable in the context of our particular relationship.  He said, “I like Danielle’s Venn diagram /continuum metaphor for distinguishing FLR from DD. But to some extent we tend to complicate the distinction. I am in a DD and have been for many years. Our understanding is that she has unquestioned authority to discipline and punish me for violation of her rules particularly with respect to things that could harm or impinge our relationship. Her authority is unlimited in the sense she can punish anywhere for any reason she thinks necessary. However, in practice we have carved out behaviors that threaten to damage the relationship, display immaturity, arrogance or deliberate disobedience. She is not H.O.H, for that matter, either am I. We pursue an equal relationship in which she is in charge of many things (including my discipline) and I am in charge of many other things. We try to split that down the middle as much as practical leaning to our respective strengths as a couple. In an FLR by contrast there is a clear leader, much less consensus about roles and a clear hierarchy in the relationship in terms of who call the shots. I see the differences as primarily matters of style and personality, with both working with different couples. I also imagine that some DD's evolve into FLR's as partners get to know themselves and each other. The power to discipline is powerful and just practicing it may bring out submissiveness in some males and dominance in some females not earlier present. That is one of the enormous advantages of F/M relationships. They are dynamic and change as you live them.”

I do believe these relationships are dynamic, and while Alan brought up DD evolving into FLR, I wonder whether it also sometimes works in reverse.  For those men who are not natural submissives or for whom being bossed around is not necessarily erotic (at least not all the time), can experimenting with FLR prove to be too much? Should they have taken the warning at the top of the page to heart?  And, for the women, can the responsibility of exercising real leadership, of getting the balance between control and micro-management right prove to be harder than anticipated?  Has anyone had an experience in which it did just become too much, to the point that you reevaluated either whether you wanted to continue or at least whether the balance needed some adjustment?

I do realize, by  the way, that just raising this will almost certainly bring out the, “Just submit or you are being a bad husband and just playing a game,” comments.  All I can say is, too bad.  We are living this in real life and in the context of who we are as concrete individuals with needs and desires, strengths and weaknesses.  I’ll keep living that reality and not someone else’s fantasy.

Have a great week.