Saturday, May 18, 2024

The Club - Meeting 477 - Domestic Discipline and BDSM

“Men always remember a woman who caused them concern and uneasiness.” —  Coco Chanel

 

Hello all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly meeting of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, Domestic Discipline and/or Female Led (FLR) relationships.

 

Once again, before we get started, I would like to extend a specific invitation to our female readers to move from “lurker” to “commenter” status. We miss having you around.

 

I hope you all had a great week.  Mine again felt important with respect to Anne slowly getting more and more comfortable with exercising a new level of strictness. 

 

As is far too often the case, I went out with a friend and had too many beers. As is even more often the case, after I got home I decided it was a fine night to watch movies until late enough that it virtually guaranteed a bad morning.  But, this time, instead of letting that happen, Anne walked into my home office less than an hour after our normal bedtime and told me it was time to get wrap it up and get ready for bed.

 

Now, in the past, that kind of order often led to some resentment and outward shows of resistance.  This time, however, I complied without arguing, which is notable in and of itself.  The next morning, I was actually feeling a little proud of myself for this somewhat atypical instance of obedience in that particular context, but Anne greeted me in the kitchen with, “I guess you know what will be happening to you this afternoon?" 

 

I objected, “But, I obeyed when you told me to come to bed last night.”  Her response? “That's why you are getting one spanking instead of two.”

 


 

This all follows on a recent conversation we had; one that began while I was over her knee.  She was lecturing me during short breaks between volleys of swats and asked—somewhat rhetorically—“You’ve been spanked for this before. Do I just need to spank you more often to get through to you?”  Given that she was at that very moment wearing out my bottom with her bath brush, I found it difficult to agree, so I blurted out something very equivocal, like “Maybe, Ma’am.” 

 

Later, in bed, I was more honest, admitting candidly that there are things that DD hasn’t been that effective at eradicating and, yes, I think frequency and consistency, or lack thereof, are part of the problem.  It wasn’t an easy thing to admit, knowing that it was the equivalent of affirmatively asking for her to spank me more often. But, I also felt like her rhetorical question was right on the money regarding aspects of our dynamic that aren’t where they should be if actual, longer-term behavior change is the goal.

 

 

But, more on that in a later post.

 

Things were a little slow here on the blog last week, but we did get a few interesting responses to Alan’s topic about intimacy from DD.  I especially liked this from TB:

 

There is no question for me that spanking creates increased intimacy but it is in many ways an unbalanced intimacy in that I am fully exposed physically & emotionally. My journals, mostly daily, are very open. I am obviously very exposed during spanking and I almost always feel ‘reset’ after. It is very much ‘me focussed time’ and my wife is very happy & supportive of this element of our relationship. She has her, completely different needs which often create a similar intimacy.

 

Something about his “unbalanced intimacy” characterization seems spot on.

 

Alan summarized the responses to the topic as a whole this way:

 

“The comments above are especially rich in their resonance to my spanking-related sense of intimacy. Searching for a phrase or two that sums it up, I think vulnerability and openness come close: Spanking reduces or removes my ego and defensiveness, which otherwise gets in the way of connecting on a deep level with her.

 

As someone pointed out, there is an imbalance in this in the sense that I am the one who gets taken down (literally, in the case of my pants), and she is in control. But I think my openness brought about by being spanked acts to allow her to also open up, and intimacy between us can be the result.”

 

Although I don’t feel a sense of intimacy immediately before or during a spanking, I get what he means about how a spanking reduces or removes ego and defensiveness, which in turn leads to more open and fully honest conversations about needs and desires.

 

Also, in the spirit of welcoming more women to the discussion, I want to think Norton’s partner, A.J., for participating.  She provided a nice summary of benefits she and Norton get from DD respectively, many of which would be generally applicable to couples in these relationships:

 

My experience is that DD enhances intimacy in a variety of ways. For Norton, it grounds him, provides a form of reparenting or balances and compensates for his experiences during childhood. The focused loving attention, clear direct communication, clear consequences, and strong physical sensation of spanking, sometimes being held and reassured afterward, are in direct contrast to his childhood. It helps with his PTSD. This is a way to re-set his nervous system, and it works to ground him. For me, it challenges and compels me to consciously resist my familial and cultural conditioning by taking risks, asserting myself clearly, directly, and physically, and centering my experience and needs. I also really need to attend to whether or not I'm in the state of mind and at an energy level that allows me to be fully present for the encounter. We spend time talking about our feelings and observations as part of our DD in preparation for Discipline or maintenance spanking. The focused time we set aside for our regular sessions creates consistency, builds trust, and so fosters intimacy, sometimes without spanking, usually with.

 

With that recap, let’s move on to one of the other topics you all suggested a couple of weeks ago.  Antonio had this suggestion:

 

“I would be interested to know for how many couples DD goes beyond spanking and uses other avenues. I know our DD grew out of a BDSM situation so there are other things used as discipline in our relationship that others may not use. I would be curious to know about the different flavors of DD others have.”

 

Al followed up with:

 

“The discussion of DD as related to BDSM is certainly an idea. Did any of us come to DD from BDSM? Or did instituting DD lead to an exploration of other areas of BDSM, Femdom in particular (pegging, butt plugs, enemas, chastity devices, feminization, cuckolding)? However - Dan may not want to go there - it does venture outside the focus of his blog and perhaps risks casting DD unfavorably. Back in the day, when the DWC was a real club with a private Yahoo group, Aunt Kay absolutely did not allow any discussion of sex or BDSM in the group - and if we had all been local instead of virtual, she probably would have spanked anyone who brought it up."

 

Although I have said that this blog isn’t about Femdom or BDSM, I am not quite as rigid about the separation as it sounds like Aunt Kay was.  (As an aside, Al’s reference to Aunt Kay spanking the other men is something I have to admit I can’t help but feeling some regret at never experiencing.  Not because I think it would be fundamentally different from what Anne delivered but because I know it did happen, and her husband Jerry has even told me that if we had ever met in person, it almost certainly would have happened.  She had such a profound impact (no pun intended) on my life, I can’t help but think I missed something by not making that in-person connection, even if it would have ended quite painfully.)

 

I should say in advance, although I believe that DD and BDSM are very different things, I do think they have overlapping practices that make it hard sometimes to distinguish between the two.  Al’s comment indicates Aunt Kay lumped sex and BDSM together, and I do think the sexual context is different in DD and BDSM, respectively.  It’s not that I don’t think DD has strong erotic undertones, but I think they are undertones, while with BDSM they are almost the whole ballgame.  I see sexual energy and eroticism as a byproduct of DD, or sometimes a means that leads to other goals.  On the other hand, in a sense BDSM is sex, regardless of whether it culminates in intercourse.

 

I also believe the underlying motivations are very different.  I’ve always believed that if there is little or no emphasis on accountability, penance, and behavior modification, then whatever the couple is doing isn’t really DD. The word discipline in DD inherently defines and sets boundaries on the lifestyle is about. BDSM, on other hand, may have no behavioral modification or real punishment element.  That’s not to say that some BDSM practices might not be linked to things like accountability and penance, but those are not inherent in and necessary to BDSM in the way they are part and parcel of DD.

 

I also think there is an element of fantasy and intentional exploration of something “unreal” in BDSM that is almost the opposite of DD.  In fact, I once saw a comment from someone who was into comparing the two: “They do scenes.  We do life.”

 

 

With that long introduction, let’s talk about the topic of BDSM as suggested by Antonio and expanded upon by Al. 

 

Did you come to DD from BDSM?  Or, perhaps it was the other way around and you started with DD but later added BDSM elements?

 

Or, maybe you don’t think there are any overlaps between DD as you practice it and BDSM as you conceive of it?

 

For us, I guess you could say that we very briefly experimented with BDSM, though I didn’t label it that way at the time.  As I have said many times before, I discovered adult spanking via a segment on the old HBO series Real Sex. I don’t recall much about how I introduced it to Anne, but shortly after seeing it I bought a flimsy leather paddle at an adult “novelty” store. Our experiments didn’t last long, but it all reduced to a kind of foreplay, with scenes in which she pretended to be punishing me, but there was nothing “real” about it.  That phase was so short and so surface-level that I don’t really think about it as the beginning point for our DD, except in the limited sense that I’m sure that Real Sex segment was what stimulated enough interest on my part that I explored the subject of F/m spanking on the internet and stumbled on the DWC.

 

How about some of the specific practices Al associates with BDSM?  I’ll go through each of them and comment on whether it’s ever been a “thing” for us.

 


Pegging and butt plugs?  Am I wrong in believing that those are right up there with spanking in the extent to which they are pretty commonly experimented with among even fairly vanilla couples?  It’s something we tried a few times, several years ago.  The fact that we don’t today isn’t, I think, because either of us had an aversion to it.  It was just one of those kinky experiments that may not have generated enough interest to keep it up. That said, Anne has gained a huge amount of confidence in the intervening years, and I wonder whether she would be more dominant and aggressive with a strap-on today, such that it might feel like real punishment and/or a conscious means of establishing the hierarchy with her on top.

 


Enemas?  Not something we’ve ever done for sexual or disciplinary purposes.

 

Chastity devices?  This has never been my thing, though I do get the impression that they have some appeal for many wives who start exploring the FLR side of a disciplinary relationship. But, I don’t have many examples to point to in support of that proposition.

 


Feminization? This isn’t something Anne has shown any interest in, and my own interest is pretty limited.  At one point, I bought some male “panties,” which I wore not so much for sexual stimulation as because they kept my mind very focused on my ass, either before a spanking or after.  To me, it was almost like another kind of penance or accountability, which kept my mind on the prospect of a spanking or the after-effects of one.  Wearing them also was embarrassing enough--even though I was the only one who saw me in them--that it added some additional humbling to the experience.

 


Cuckolding and hot-wifing?  Anne has always had a problem with bringing third-parties into the relationship in any sexual way.  She admits to being very jealous by nature.  There are times that I find the concept of a “hot wife” or cuckolding relationship attractive, but mostly only as a fantasy.  I don’t think I’m as jealous as Anne, but I have a feeling that if anything like that ever became a reality, I would have a very hard time handling her having a relationship with another man. Though, perhaps interestingly, I don't find the prospect of her spanking another man disturbing at all.


As I said, while I don't think it would ever happen, I do sometimes fantasize about it or about scenarios that combine cuckolding and DD.  I also have some ongoing fantasies about Anne forcing a cuckolding relationship on me or ordering me to take a spanking from another man. I’m very confident it’s nothing we will ever explore in reality, but given how deeply rooted the idea of imposed discipline is in my DD motivations, I don’t think it’s surprising that having a M/m dynamic imposed on me has some theoretical appeal.

 

I know this subject is probably embarrassing for many of us, but since none of us are using our real identities, I hope you will feel free to open up a bit.  And, please, no judgey comments.

I’ll close with this somewhat funny coincidence, in light of this week’s topic.  As many of you know, I’m big into motorcycles.  A while back, I bought a collection of old editions of a magazine that was once popular in the biker community. Kind of a biker Penthouse, with pictorials of customized bikes adorned with semi-naked women.  Given the “macho” biker ethos, it was about the last place I expected to find a very Femdom-ish reference, yet here was this motorcycle advertisement on the back cover:

 

 

Have a great week.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

The Club - Meeting 476 - Intimacy From Disciplinary Spankings

“I met an old lady once, almost a hundred years old, and she told me, 'There are only two questions that human beings have ever fought over, all through history. How much do you love me? And who's in charge?” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

 

Hello all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly meeting of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, Domestic Discipline and/or Female Led (FLR) relationships.

 

Once again, before we get started, I would like to extend a specific invitation to our female readers to move from “lurker” to “commenter” status. We miss having you around.

 

I hope you all had a good week.  Ours was pretty uneventful.  I’ve been chomping at the bit for some adventurous motorcycle day trips, but it’s a weird time of year weather-wise. I mowed my grass a week ago for the first time this season, then a few days later I was I stuck in my car thanks to a road closure due to snow.  But, all part of the joys of spring in the mountains.

 


 

Thanks to all of you who contributed to the discussion about future topics.  Keep the ideas coming.  This thing we do is a narrow enough topic in an of itself that I’m sometimes amazed that we’ve kept the conversation going for a decade. But it does sometimes get difficult to find even a new angle on the topics we’ve done before let alone to come up with anything truly novel. So, keep the ideas coming.

 


 

I don’t have a plan for doing the suggested topics in any particular order, so let’s kick things off with Alan’s suggestion:

 

Possible new topic -The sources and experience of intimacy in DD

 

Increased intimacy as a result of female-led DD has been touched on several times by comments. But I don’t believe we have ever tried to define or identify its source(s).

 

My former GF told me many years ago (after a spanking, I think) that “spanking is more intimate than sex.” Of note, this came from a woman who was not a spanko, although a strong believer in disciplinary spanking. My wife has similar thoughts but not so far as favorably comparing spanking to sex.

 

As a topic I envision, we might ask how many do experience intimacy from spanking, whether it is something both men and women experience, and where it comes from. What about disciplinary spanking produces feelings of intimacy ( if it does)?

 

There are many other directions a discussion could go. This blog and others have talked about the advantages of introducing spanking into a relationship. And there are many advantages, including facilitating a healthy power shift, powerful erotic expressions, behavior modification for naughty males, and more. However, intimacy is one of them for at least some couples. It might be interesting to try to answer how and why that is so."

 

I’m probably going to need to let the rest of you drive most of the conversation on this topic. To answer Alan’s initial question as phrased, I don’t experience intimacy from spanking.  At least not directly.  

 

After a spanking has been ordered but before it happens, my prevailing emotion is probably anxiety.  

 


Over the last year or two, we’ve used the OTK position almost exclusively.  While it is certainly a more intimate position than, say, bending over a chair, I still don’t really feel “intimacy” when going over her knee. 

 

During the spanking itself, I’m really just hating what is happening and trying to get through it.

 

Indirectly, however, after a spanking is over, it is very common for us to talk about it and about the DD and FLR aspects of our relationship.  A hard spanking leaves me in a much more open headspace.  

 

While getting through it is always an ordeal, when it’s over I do feel like the slate is clean, and I feel a strong sense of her strength in exercising her authority and control.

 

 

It’s probably in those moments immediately after getting spanked that I’m the most open about my feelings, specifically how I feel about being spanked by her, being in a DD relationship with her, and how I feel about being subject to her increasing authority.

 

I also open up a lot about what I feel I need, including the prospect of her taking on even more authority.  I’ve also gotten increasingly open about the desire for her to explore more of her “maternal” role, to the extent she’s comfortable with that. The openness and, indeed, desire to talk about what I'm feeling isn't part of my typical day-to-day makeup.  It's a direct result of feeling totally wrung out after a hard session over her lap, as I think this drawing by KD Pierre depicts so well.

 

 So, while I don’t experience intimacy directly from a spanking, some of our most intimate conversations have occurred as an after-effect of spanking sessions.

 

Journaling probably counts as another indirect form of intimacy that doesn’t come directly from a spanking but results from our spanking relationship.  Over the course of the years, I’ve disclosed a lot of intimate needs and desires, and given her some pretty candid information about how I’m feeling, in journal entries. While I have kept personal journals in various formats for many years, the journaling I’ve shared with Anne arose directly from our DD relationship.  So, again, while I don’t exactly experience intimacy from a spanking, it leads to much deeper and more open communication, which is either a form of intimacy or opens the door to it.

 

Does Anne feel intimacy from spanking?  I’m not really sure, but I think the answer is no except around communication, as I just described.

 

For a long time, she claimed that she didn’t enjoy or get aroused by the spanking itself.  Rather, she enjoys watching me get prepared for a spanking and gets turned on my watching me comply with her directions and orders, especially when she knows I’m struggling with it.

 


 

Recently, however, she did admit that she now likes having me over her knee. She didn’t use the word “intimacy” or suggest that’s what she feels.  I think what she likes is seeing me make myself vulnerable to her, which I guess is a form of intimacy.

 

How about you? Whether you are the giver or receiver, do you feel intimacy from a spanking, whether before, during, or after?  How about from the spanking relationship as a whole?  If you do feel intimacy related to spanking, do you have any insights on why?

 

I hope you all have a great week.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

No Post This Week - Suggestions for Future Topics

Hello all.  I hope you're having a great weekend.  I was planning to post this week but, when I sat down to try to write something yesterday, I couldn't think of a single topic I was both interested in and that we hadn't done to death recently.  

Anne and I did have some interesting discussions this week about where we want to take the DD and FLR aspects of our relationship, but the discussions were mainly about things like severity, certainty and consensual non-consent, all of which have been major topics pretty recently.

If any of you have topic ideas, let me know.  I won't promise to use all of them (sometimes a topic just doesn't appeal to me enough to write about), but I clearly could use some brainstorming help.

Have a great week.

By the way, I saw this meme recently.  It has absolutely nothing to do with DD or FLR, but it made me laugh my ass off.



Saturday, April 27, 2024

The Club - Meeting 475 - Maternal Vibes and Bringing Out the Boy

Strong women intimidate boys and excite men. – unknown

Hello all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly meeting of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, Domestic Discipline and/or Female Led (FLR) relationships.

 

Once again, before we get started, I would like to extend a specific invitation to our female readers to move from “lurker” to “commenter” status. We miss having you around.

 

Ours was pretty uneventful, which was nice after a busy few weeks.

 

We had a good discussion last week.  Something interesting about DD and consistency is it seems to be almost universal that those who don’t have consistency want it and those who have it seem to like it that way. Many of us are subjected to very painful spankings that we genuinely do not want at the time they are happening.  Yet, we all seem to aspire to a level of consistency that ensures we seldom get away with anything.  Further, in ten years of blogging on this stuff, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a husband express any angst about having a wife who was too consistent or strict.

 

 

Consistent strictness is something I associate with maternal discipline, which is interesting because consistency is the antithesis of my real-life experience with maternal discipline.  In fact, I strongly suspect that the erratic approach to rules and discipline that I experienced is one reason I crave a much firmer hand today and it probably was at the root of my incredibly strong attraction to the Disciplinary Wives Club when I first discovered it.

 

Although I didn’t recognize it for a long time, there definitely is some kind of psychological entanglement between my current DD needs and my teenage years when there was an unmet need for discipline and structure. 

 

Oddly, for a long time I didn’t focus on the extent to which the DWC website and Aunt Kay’s pamphlets were replete with references to both the maternal nature of the discipline the group advocated and the ability of a hard spanking to reduce a husband to the mindset of a boy.  Here are just a few examples:

 

“Just as a mother corrects her young child, the DWC woman guides and mentors her man in loving strictness. Firm, fair, unrelenting and demanding should be words that describe the DWC woman. Repentant, tearful, humbled and calm should describe the man.”

 

“Always remember that when you are in your disciplinary mode, he is in his spoiled brat mode. Remember when you were a child, was discipline or punishment fun? No. So you must think of punishment as something which will have the effect of making him think quite a while before challenging you again.  And keep in mind that he is not, in fact, a small child. He is a grown man and needs an extensive spanking.”

 

You will have to learn to obey her and to do so cheerfully. I recommend to the wives that they avoid “play sessions” at first, until you have come to realize what her punishment sessions really mean.  First, you have to learn that she can spank you until you are a “sorry little boy,” who wishes those spankings would be over a whole lot sooner.  



You asked your wife to please take over your discipline.  You have empowered her to assume the maternal role and have agreed to take the child role with respect to discipline.  You want, more than anything else, for her to be powerful, assertive and in control. 

 

You will have to put up with closer supervision than you are used to, and she will demand answers and evidence of your performance.  This is perfectly normal and how it is supposed to be.  If you feel resentful about this or don’t want that kind of accountability, remember how maternal discipline occurs in a “child -parent” situation. The child cannot simply wiggle out of his Mother’s watchful eye. If you are honest with yourself, you will admit that when you get your spankings, it is that bratty little boy part of you who is getting it. 

 

For whatever reason, these maternal references went right over my head until someone pointed them out to me a couple of years ago.

 

I also shied away from talking openly about this issue, even though it is plainly a part of some couples’ DD dynamics and even though I came to recognize it as a key part of my own DD motivation. 

 

And, not just with respect to discussing it on the blog.  I also avoided talking about it with Anne.  At least not directly and forthrightly. It wasn’t so much that I was embarrassed about it, but I wasn’t sure how she would react.  It raises all sorts of controversial psychological and social issues.  Oedipal theories.  Manliness and sexuality. 

 

That started to change a few years ago. We had talked from time to time about particular disciplinary archetypes.  Things like strict teachers and principals.  But, we never really talked about the obvious one – strict mothers. 

 

Then, one night she said something about liking how her giving me orders reduces me to a little boy who has to do what he is told.  I think she was tip-toeing around the issue in the same way I was.  The nurturing but strict mother archetype resonates with her in ways that other DD images do not.  

 


As I started to be a bit more open about it, she started doing things like talking in positive terms about using DD to reduce me to a "teen-age boy who needs a spanking from his mom."  She also has compared me to a teenager who mischievously pushes buttons just to do it, then is surprised when she actually does something about it. 

 

The emphasis in our new reporting system on her assigning tasks and being more assertive about addressing things like “pet peeves” also has a decisively maternal quality.

 

 

The maternal element that I gravitate to isn’t all about spanking and discipline either.  It’s about having someone else’s will imposed on me, preferably with an authoritative tone. Several years ago, a commenter described how his wife took control of him at parties:

 

“When she comes up to me at a party and takes a drink out of my hand and says "You are done, dear," with a smile and tone that will not be bucked, it touches something deep inside me. She calls it the ‘eternal mother’. I don't know exactly what that means, but I know that it feels like her authority is from something more than ourselves.  I even think that those around me feel it. None of my friends has called her a B or teased me about it. They respect her for having the knowledge and the guts to cut me off. One friend said to me, ‘Wow, your wife knows how to use tough love.’ And I agree: It's the same authority she uses to swing the paddle, just exhibited verbally and publicly. In those moments, I would do anything she told me to do. I feel her mother power.”

 

Part of me craves Anne taking me in hand with that kind of confidence and strictness, no matter how much I know I will hate it as it is happening. I also have a powerful attraction to being lectured/scolded in a way that has a strong maternal vibe, especially when it comes to ordering or threatening a spanking. 

 

 

And, while it hasn’t happened so far, I wonder sometimes whether thinking of Anne in an openly maternal role during a spanking might move the perceived power dynamic in a way that might make me more open to crying.  Crying in front of non-maternal figure is embarrassing, but doing so while over the knee of a mother--or someone who has expressly adopted a maternal role--is almost expected, right?

 


Yet, while I am increasingly open about being attracted to Anne assuming a much more openly maternal role, I don’t really experience spankings as “bringing out the boy” or reducing me to feeling like a boy. It’s more like the maternal authority is being extended into a very adult context.  I'm not looking to regress to boyhood; it's more like being subject to the same kind of discipline a misbehaving teenager would but as a grown man.


J. said something along those lines in a comment a couple of weeks ago:

 

“To my mind, the best thing is for DD to "refine masculinity", rather than taking it away, a bit like the boys' boarding schools of yesteryear. There were heavy punishments for infractions, but they encouraged masculinity, not always in a good way (e.g. hazing), but they did. Even the now-King Charles III was reported to be afraid of his governesses. To my mind, DD done best is DD that also enhances masculinity, but maintains the accountability into adulthood. A grown man should be able to take even more pain than a schoolboy and I think the best DD is focused on pain (which builds men up), rather than humiliation (which knocks them down).

 

I don’t have a well-defined topic related to this, but I welcome comments about anything in the post that catches your interest.

 

Have a great week.

Monday, April 22, 2024

The Club - Meeting 474 - An Update on Performance Improvement Check-ins, and Certainty vs. Immediacy

“It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It's what we do consistently.” – Tony Robbins

 

Hello all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly meeting of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, Domestic Discipline and/or Female Led (FLR) relationships.

 

Once again, before we get started, I would like to extend a specific invitation to our female readers to move from “lurker” to “commenter” status. We miss having you around.

 

I hope you all had a great week. Ours was pretty sedate.  Though, things do continue to develop on the disciplinary front.  So, I’ll kick things off with some updates before moving on to this week’s topic.

 

First, our discussion here about tears—particularly the comments by Alan and others regarding how essential the wife wanting or expecting tears is to achieving them—led me to feel Anne out about it again.  While talking in bed about some DD-related issues, I told her that I still hoped crying would happen at some point.  In the past, when I brought it up I always felt her response was equivocal or non-committal, in a way that indicated she had concerns about how she might react.

 

This time was different. When I told her it was something I still found compelling and hoped would happen, she said simply, “Good. I’m glad. I want you to.  You can’t read a lot into seven words, but the tone was very different this time. There wasn’t any equivocation. It was simple and direct.

 

 

I asked her how she thought she might react.  She said something to the effect of, “I think I’ll see it as gratifying that you finally got over that threshold and gave in. I would probably acknowledge it and tell you I was glad you were crying. But, I don’t think it would make me stop.” 

 

I don’t think she’s determined to make it happen in the way, say, ZM’s wife was when she made it clear that a spanking wasn’t going to stop until he cried for the first time.  But, I think she does want it to happen and, at the very least, won’t have any adverse emotional reaction if and when it does.

 

Second, with our family commitments finally out of the way, we resumed our “check-ins” around performance goals.  I knew she had been mulling some tweaks to what I had proposed, but I wasn’t at all sure how weighty the changes might be.  As it turned out, it was nothing earth-shattering, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t meaningful in terms of her increasing comfort with being in control, as well as for what they forebode for the state of my butt going forward.   

 

Her changes included:

 

·      adding an agenda item to deal with day-to-day household planning on things like places we want to travel, home improvements, family finances, etc.  It has nothing to do with DD expressly but does recognize that sometimes my procrastination and lack of direction result, in part, from us not taking the time to coordinate plans as a couple;

·      using the meetings not only to address the performance improvement/goal-setting items I had identified but also as a more general “check-in” on my behavior over the preceding week;

·      adding a discussion of things she characterized as “pet peeves,” i.e. things that apparently have been grating on her nerves but haven’t been identified as “spankable” before now.

 

As I reported before, she also changed the frequency of our meetings.  I had suggested that we do these check-ins monthly, because I thought weekly might be more of a burden than she might want to sign up for.  But, she has not only scheduled the meetings weekly but tightened up on the deadlines I had proposed for hitting some of the action items on my “life goals” list. That’s consistent with Alan’s recent advice about deadlines:

 

I want to make a general suggestion about deadlines.

 

What we have found to be highly effective is setting the deadline as close as possible to the present. This not only keeps the task at the forefront of the assignee's mind but also ensures timely completion.

 

For instance, instead of giving him a week, consider setting a deadline within a day or two, and specify the time as 'by Tuesday noon'. Threatened punishment is an abstraction if it's too far in the future or going to happen “some time,” But “ I am going to warm your ass if that is not finished by dinner tomorrow” focuses the mind.

 

As I said, none of her tweaks to my original suggestions are earth-shattering, yet cumulatively they add up to something different not just in degree but in kind from what I proposed.   

 

 

Moreover, although we had agreed that it would be good for both of us if she stepped up her strictness and control, when it came to the specific items to be covered at these check-ins and their timing, she didn’t ask my opinion. She simply told me how it will work going forward. 

 

And, it’s not just a change in process.  At our most recent meeting, she identified behavioral issues that she determined added up to two spankings.  She also informed me of one “pet peeve” that would earn a spanking going forward. This is something that annoys her but that I don't see as a real issue. But, it's clear that she's decided that what matters is her annoyance, not whether I think that annoyance is reasonable.



She delivered one of the spankings that evening and said the second would come later in the week.

 

The, the next day, I got a text with a picture that showed I had violated the “pet peeve.".  It didn’t explicitly order a spanking, but a couple of days later I said something that she took as snarky, and she said, “You’re talking big for someone who already has two spankings coming.” 

 


Honestly, given that it was a “first offense,” I thought forgetting about the pet peeve would result in a warning not a spanking.  Instead, it was like Al’s Even More story, in which the husband immediately forgets the rule they had just implemented regarding toilet seats.  He argues a warning would be “more fair,” but she sticks to her guns and spanks him anyway.

 

All of which is a segue of sorts into this week’s topic.

 

 

The combination of these weekly check-ins and her increasing strictness seems to be creating a situation in which spankings are no more immediate but are substantially more certain.  In fact, while it’s a little too early to tell, the weekly check-ins might lead to her putting off some spankings for a few days, since there will be a meeting at which they are discussed and later dealt with.

 

Yet, regardless of what happens with immediacy, I find the likelihood of increased certainty to be pretty intimidating, particularly given that increased certainty will inevitably result in increased frequency. It's been on my mind a lot since that last check-in meeting.  In fact, I feel like, for maybe the first time in 20 years, we've hit on the combination that really gets my attention and makes me think twice before acting up.



We’ve talked about “consistency” a lot here over the years, though we’ve seldom defined it.  

 

“Certainty” seems to be inherent in the whole concept of consistency.  If bad behavior doesn’t get consistently punished, then there is no consistency.

 

Immediacy is, in my view, perhaps important to the effectiveness of DD as a deterrent but it’s not intrinsic to the concept a consistency.  And, I use the word “perhaps” because I’m not really sure how necessary immediacy really is.

 

Last week someone equated DD to training a dog.  I admit I’ve used the analogy myself, though it is an imperfect one at best.  A dog is incapable of mentally linking a punishment with a behavior unless the former happens close in time to the latter.  So, with dogs, immediacy is critical to behavior modification.

 

Humans, on the other hand, by virtue of both memory and imagination, can project thoughts about behavior and consequences forward and backward in time.  We also are capable of thinking about behavior and consequences abstractly.

 

I don’t know whether more immediate punishments would result in more behavioral change.  What I do know is that the prospect of more certainty—both in detection and punishment—by virtue of our new check-in system feels more intimidating than thoughts about how increased immediacy might feel.  And, there also is the almost guaranteed linkage between the formality and regularity of the check-in system, the resulting increase in the certainty of punishment, and the further almost inevitable increase in the frequency of punishment.

 

In fact, there is something very humbling and intimidating about the fact that she is keeping closer track and that, even if a week or two had passed, there is a very good chance the spanking will happen.  In some ways, the fact that I might feel less of a connection between the particular spanking and the particular offense feels like it is one more step in removing my judgments and preferences from the process and substituting her as the sole judge of timing and frequency, which in turn feels more like how I’ve always envisioned the DWC wife’s authority should work.

 

 

Of course, it’s not an either-or. In the past, immediacy felt like a loose prerequisite for certainty.  If a spanking didn’t happen relatively close in time to the offense, it was likely to be forgotten or “real life” would intervene.  But now, it feels like our formal check-ins will end up playing a bigger role in bringing about certainty and making “immediacy” less of a necessary component.

 

I also get the sense that our formal check-ins lessen any lingering concerns my wife may have about “fairness.”  She is running the agenda, but it’s still a two-way street in terms of communications.  If I don’t agree with her factual premises, I have the ability to raise those kinds of issues, but I get the sense so far that as long as the facts are as she perceived them to be, she isn’t going to be asking for much input from me on whether a spanking has been earned.

 

 

It also seems like she is coming down on the side of certainty and not worrying as much about immediacy.  Including the “pet peeve” offense, she ordered three spankings in a single week but didn’t schedule them all for the same day.  Between the offense, the check-in, and the execution of the sentence, almost two weeks could conceivably pass between the first offense and the last spanking.   

 

 

Yet, it seems to be more important that each spanking actually happen than that they happen on a particular timetable.

 

I’m reminded of something a friend of mine, Rhiannon, who is the “top” in an FLR marriage said about consistency on her blog:

 

“I often struggle with balance or worrying about my husband feeling something is unfair or that it could be "too much."  The vast majority of contributors all suggest just taking control, owning it and acknowledging that while resistance or "unfairness" may happen, it is kind of what we each signed up for in deciding to walk this path.  In fact, my husband does not want an equal relationship. He wants me to lead. So in spending countless time and energy trying to make it seem or feel equal or worrying too much about the impact something will have, I am really just spinning my wheels and depriving us both of what we actually need/want. It was this realization that got me back on the path of leading.

 

While I feared increased control or strictness could breed resentment, it has the opposite effect.  He needs the structure and the clarity. He needs the consistency and knowing what is expected. I also think, although probably less so in the moment, that he craves the accountability as well.  Being in this type of relationship really requires some shifts in conventional thinking and finding ways to make sense of concepts that perhaps seem counter intuitive.  It is the difference between viewing follow up as being a nag or as holding him accountable.

 

It also is not just better for him. It is better for me.  It is easier for me to know that when I make a decision, it will be followed because I am not leaving room for resistance. It is also easier because I have control over my own life and can be responsible for the choices I make, which also means I have no one to blame but myself if it turns out not to be the best choice.  It is just simpler and easier.”

 

I think the formality of the new check-in system removes some of the second-guessing my wife previously subjected herself to.  Like my friend, she recognizes that I need both strictness and consistency, and she seems to have arrived at the conclusion that, for us, the best recipe for consistency is:

 

·      certainty of having a direct conversation each week about my behavior, met and unmet goals, procrastination, and any annoyance or hanger she’s experienced as a result

·      certainty of punishment

·      separate punishments for each significant offense, even at the expense of immediacy

 


 

Let’s explore this topic of consistency in all its angles.  What level of consistency have you achieved in your DD relationship? Is consistency even a goal, or are you content with an on-again-off-again approach? For those for whom consistency is a desired state but remains challenging, what are the big impediments to getting there? What are you and your spouse willing to do, if anything, to overcome those impediments?

 

Do you see any tension between certainty and immediacy?  Is one more important than the other?

 

For the wives, what are the challenges in achieving more certainty and consistency? Is it practical things like lack of available time, or is it more an attitude issue? Do concerns about “fairness” cause you to second-guess yourself? Or, is being consistent and strict freeing, as my friend Rhiannon describes?

 

I hope you have a great week.