Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Club #285 - First Conversations and Origins

“Though it seems curious, I do not remember ever asking for anything but what I got it.' - Sojourner Truth

Hello all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couple’s 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 great week.  Mine was, as is becoming a theme, exhausting.  Just bone-numbingly exhausting.  I can’t tell yet whether I am killing it in this new work role, or whether it is killing me. I think it will settle down as I put out some of the existing fires, but it’s depressing how many new ones ignite just when I think I have the old ones under control.  But, last year I was bored, and this year I’m massively over-stimulated. Between the two, I’ll take the latter.

But, this level of busyness does have some implications for Domestic Discipline.  Last week, I previewed the new reporting and accountability system we are trying, and for once we carried through with it.  I ended up with three consecutive sessions of five minutes each, with the leather strap, a mixed session with cane and paddle, and a short leather paddle/strap with holes.  The latter, which I received as a Christmas “present” under circumstances I will keep to myself other than to thank (sort of) the person responsible, is surprisingly painful.  Because it is short and pliable, it has this interesting way of curling up into the inside of the cheeks, which unlike the rest of my butt have not been spanked for 15 years and, hence, are a lot more sensitive.  Ouch.  The sequential spankings that added up to 15 minutes total, with intervening corner time, did seem to fit the purpose I hand mind, namely I remained very conscious that I could have avoided one or more of the independent rounds of punishment and corner time by behaving, so the power to control the extent of my punishment was in my own hands.   

One other lesson: I am finding that I just don’t really bruise from spankings anymore.  Even 15 minutes of very hard spanking left me bruise free, except for those parts of my inner cheeks that the leather paddle reached, and some marking on my thighs where the can wrapped around.  Yet, despite the lack of bruising, my butt remained very sore for several days.

The implications of this system for this week are interesting, and we will see how she chooses to handle it.  The plain fact is that under the system I myself created, last week was a total fail.  I didn’t work out. I didn’t keep up with the annoying administrative task.  Yet, I was productive.  Almost too much so.  It's not really an excuse, so much as an explanation.  I had work-related social engagements tied to the new role every single night, and these weren't things I initiated or could easily get out of.  The week began with an unexpected "crisis," and I was stressed to the gills and waking up repeatedly every night thinking about work stuff, plus I had early morning meetings every day.  The lack of sleep, early morning meetings and functions after work made it all but impossible to work out, as I just didn’t have any available block of time unless I wanted to get even less sleep.  And, each day was spent jumping from one fire to another, in a way that left me totally overwhelmed and whipsawed, to the point that I just didn’t have the time to keep up with all the administrative tasks.  So, my failure wasn't about not being productive or not trying hard; quite the opposite.  It was just an overwhelming week, struggling to keep my head above water. There is a story on the DWC website's "Real People" section called Bringing Out the Little Boy that touches a little bit on how things felt when I got home last night, beaten up by the week that was finally over:

Now, I am not letting myself entirely off the hook. The work-socializing exacerbated some of my own problem habits, and I could have exercised more self-discipline there.   But, I really do feel like it was an exceptional week, and I did about as well as I could under the circumstances.  So, my plan is to report honestly but to also give that context, and the rest is up to her.

Last week’s topic — well, as Alan pointed out – there was some “straying” at the end.  But, that’s okay.   I don’t mind straying if it is clever and engaging, and for those of us with a philosophical bent, it was good. If it also functioned as spanko-repellent for those who come here only to look at spanking porn and make inane comments about mothers-in-law and facing the wall, all the better.

As for this week, a couple of weeks ago Elizabeth suggested some “origins”-related topics.  While we do those fairly frequently, we also do seem to have picked up several new commenters in the last few months. So,  I’m fine opening that topic up again, particularly since Elizabeth's phrasing of the sub-topics focuses on the communication process around initiating the DD relationship and the parties' respective reactions to that communication.  Great angles that hopefully will attract some good observations from our more serious commenters.  And, as with our philosophical meanderings last week, if exploring feelings and real-world communications scares off a certain segment of our readership, all the better.  For myself,  I always enjoy hearing how others got into this thing we do, because I still maintain that it is not a very common lifestyle and getting into it displays the kind of openness, courage, and mutual support that couples should be proud to share, encouraging others to ask for what they want and to be open to giving it even if it seems a little weird at first.

With that lead in, Elizabeth’s suggested topic and sub-topics are:

For the husbands who initiated DD:

·      How exactly did you approach your wife/partner?
·      What did you say?
·      How did you work up the courage? How long did it take you?
·      And what was her initial reaction? Did it change?
·      How long until your first spanking? Was it all you expected it to be?

    For wives who were approached:

·      How did your husband approach you?
·      What was your initial reaction? Did it change?
·      How did you decide to spank him?
·      What was that first spanking like? How did you feel?

And for those where the husband did not initiate: Tell your story!  Because, "asking for it" can be through words or actions, right?

I am not going to go into my own origin story in detail, as I’ve told it here repeatedly. Though, Anne is always free to jump in and tell her side of it.  Hint, hint. 

But, I will respond to a couple of Elizabeth's specific questions.

How did I approach her?  I did it after I found the DWC website and spent a weekend devouring it.  We were in bed, with the lights off, and I told her in general terms what it was about.  I'm not sure I could have done it any other way, except maybe by email, because I was so embarrassed by the whole thing.

What exactly did I say?  A lot.  Much of it centered on how this was not kink, or not just kink but, rather, about giving her real power to dole out real punishment for real offenses.  I also told her that the spankings were so real that the expectation was the husband would end up crying. That one turned out to be more fantasy than reality, but I do remember making that point to her, because I was trying to show that I was not suggesting a continuation of the short stint of erotic play-acting that we had tried in the past and that she felt might encourage bad behavior.

How did I work up the courage?  Well, I really felt like I didn't have much choice.  After I read the stories and other content on the DWC website, I was so overwhelmed by the whole thing that I couldn't think of anything else.  It was front and center in my mind all day and all night.  I  really couldn't NOT tell her about it.  It was truly an obsessive kind of thing, and as far as I recall the first time I had experienced anything like that.  I was aroused and scared at the same time.  And, to be clear, not scared that she wouldn't do it.  Scared that she would.  Yet, here I was asking for it.  It was all very paradoxical and perplexing, but the whole idea of it resonated so strongly for me that I had no real choice but to at least tell her about it and let the chips fall where they might.

How long did it take? I don't recall exactly, but it was short.  Probably two or three days.

What was her initial reaction?  She didn't say very much on the night I told her about it.  She listened, she said she she would check out the DWC website, and that was about it.  I would characterize it as puzzled, open, but noncommittal.   I recall going to sleep even more wired and on edge, because I had no idea what to expect.  Honestly, I thought the most likely scenario was she wouldn't follow up at all, or would reject the idea as just more erotic spanking with the potential to encourage even more bad behavior, and that would be that.  But, she called me at work (I think it was the next afternoon, though I don't have a clear memory of that.)  She said she had looked at the website.  Her only initial comment was, "Very interesting."  She then said that if I was serious about it, sI better go buy a heavy hairbrush.

How long until the first spanking?   She gave me my first spanking that same night.  

Was it all that I expected?  In a word, no.  We had so little experience with this, and didn't appreciate how hard it is to give a really effective spanking OTK with a hairbrush.  I'm not saying it can't be done, but I think it is likely to be effective only with a very experienced and serious spanker.  It took more experimentation and more serious tools, including a wooden "fraternity"-style paddle, before it became very real.  I still recall the first time it really hit home that I might have asked for more than I had bargained for. We had instituted a system of assigning points to each type of offense, with each point representing one swat with the paddle.  While my spankings up to that point had averaged between 10 - 25 swats, I had an exceptionally bad week, and I gulped when I realized it added up to 60.  She had never given me anything close to that before. I said something about not being sure I could take that many, and without skipping a beat she told me that I was going to take that many and that if I hadn't wanted that many then I should have behaved better.  That's what I mean when I say that without much hesitation, she took to the spanking part of this thing we do like a duck to water.

I hope you all have a great week.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

The Club Meeting #284 - For Each Crime, A Punishment

"If the same punishment is prescribed for two crimes that injure society in different degrees, then men will face no stronger deterrent from committing the greater crime if they find it in their advantage to do so." - Cesare Beccaria

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.

While tiring, this week was a little better than last.  Not as much socializing.  Things settling into a bit more of a routine, though I don't think there is any way to make business travel easy or healthy.  It's just a grind.  But, with the return of that grind and the temptations to unhealthy living that go along with it, the ebbing interest in Domestic Discipline that happened over the holidays is resurgent.  While I can’t say I am quite “ready” for, or “wanting,” a spanking, I definitely am due for one and probably "need" it in that twisted way that those who are driven to this thing we do understand.

Anne and I have been talking about how to get back on track; a conversation we've had perhaps too many times over the years, to such an extent that it's hard to deny that what we are lacking is not thought and planning but, rather, commitment and diligent execution.  Both my business life and my personal life impress that that truth upon me -- intention, planning, strategy -- all are absolutely worthless without committing to something in a real way and actually doing it even when inconvenient or hard.  It happened to us again this week.  For once, I carried through on my goal of self-reporting on Saturday morning, entering the week's bad behavior in the journal I bought her for Christmas. When Saturday night came around, she didn't order the spanking and I didn't bring it up.  And, honestly, that seemed OK at the time because we had not seen each other for most of the week, and some non-spanking intimacy seemed more important.  But, she did say she intended to do it the following day.  Then Sunday came around, and I managed to avoid punishment again. So, despite a step forward on the reporting front, and despite us both agreeing it was earned, and both agreeing it would happen, and both making efforts to make it happen . . . it still was avoided.  I’m not blaming at all.   We both were responsible for this fail.

It got me to thinking that we often focus on things we need to add to our DD routine to encourage effective and immediate punishment, but what we really need to focus on are the the impediments to it, i.e. the things we need to subtract in order to make room for discipline and also to make sure our commitment to it overcomes all the distractions and temptations.  One really obvious impediment is timing.  For whatever reason, we have almost always carried out her Domestic Discipline sentences on the weekends.  Part of the reason is, we both have busy jobs and our evenings are often filled with catching up on work related tasks or preparing for the next work day.  But, Sunday nights often aren't much better, nor are nights when I will be traveling the next day.  Those days are the WORST for making discipline actually happen, because we both are busy catching up on work stuff, preparing for the work week, and basically taking care of everything we need to get done in our "real" lives.  Laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, left over tasks from the week before, packing for travel, etc.  It just doesn’t leave enough time for much of anything else.

The challenge lies in the fact that my work life is getting busier and busier, and as a result I really need to be disciplined right now.  Not in the sense of corporal punishment, but in the sense that if I don't act in a disciplined way, i.e. don't focus at work and execute on the most important tasks day in and day out, I am going to fail.  And, if I can't manage to be self-disciplined, then that is where the corporal punishment does come in.  In light of those things, I made a couple of proposals to her.

First, our "rules" have always included things that focus on "personal improvement" and goal setting. I think of these things falling into the  category of "coaching" or "tough love."

With this new job, I need her "firm hand" more than ever.  Last year, there were times I was not performing all that well (largely because of boredom), but now the demands on my time are greater than ever.  I absolutely must pare down on the distractions, get focused, and stay up with things that I've shirked on in the past.  

Although in the past I have had lengthy lists of things on which I want to improve, when I look at the things that sap my time and energy or hold me back, there are really a handful that matter.  To be successful in this role while maintaining balance, I really need to focus on three things:

(1) Administrative shirking: There is one work-related activity that I won't specify here, as it is too revealing of what I do for a living, but it is an administrative task that is core to what we do but also incredibly annoying and distracting.  Ideally, I would keep up with it no less than daily, but because it is so annoying, I tend to put it off all week then spend way too much time every weekend trying to catch up. If I want to have time to unwind when I am home on the weekends, it is critical that I keep up during the week.

(2) Productivity: Despite having much I could be doing, I find myself distracted and unfocused, spending too much time surfing the ‘Net, chatting with colleagues, etc.  I spend too much time in the office for so much of it to be pissed away.

(3) Workouts:  I also need to stay healthy despite all the negative dietary and workout temptations that travel entails.  I am pretty self-disciplined when it comes to working out during the normal work week when I am working out of my regular office.  But, things really fall apart when I am on the road.  I regularly wake up at 5:00 am to workout when I am not traveling, but for some reason I just can't bring that same self-discipline to things when I am traveling.  Yet, it is those periods when I really need to workout more, because my diet also tends to get worse when living in airports and hotels.  So, if I don't find a way to exercise regularly, my health will suffer.

So, while there are other "personal growth" goals that are important, the preceding three really are the ones that matter the most right now, and they are the ones on which I have asked her to show me the most “tough love,” taking on the role of "success coach," and holding me accountable.  Much like getting spanked for a bad report card.

It is one of those things that fall comfortably into our discussion last week of maternal discipline.  Bad grades may not affect a mom directly, but she can have an important role in helping the failing or floundering student take responsibility, maintain focus and achieve important goals. 

In an entirely separate category is “payback," i.e. those things that have nothing to do with helping me perform for myself and everything to do with punishment for failings in my relationship with her.  This category is all about her having the ability to express her displeasure or annoyance with me in the most concrete way.  For those things that affect her personally (disrespect, eye-rolling, attitude, chores, etc.) she should always be empowered to spank or impose other punishment and to do so at her absolute discretion.  And, since those happen in her presence and both of us are available then and there,  ideally there should be immediate consequence for my behind.
Now, all of this got me thinking about some exchanges we had on this blog a few months ago with "Helen."  She talked about how important it was that each offense got its own punishment.  Spankings for each offense might be separated by only a few minutes, with him doing intervening corner time, but there was that separation.  This made a lot of sense to me, because otherwise there is almost a perverse incentive to keep offending after one spanking has been earned, since I am going to get one anyway.  Looking back, we did something a little like this at the very beginning of our DD relationship, when we would tally up offenses and the minimum number of swats associated with them.

So, I have suggested to my wife that we try to remove some of these impediments, get back to basics, and make sure there is always a disincentive to further offending after one spanking has been earned,  My suggestion to her is as follows (I have yet to get her input on this plan):

Every Saturday morning, I will fill out our journal by 10:00 am and bring it to her.  The key is that it will be filled out and discussed that morning before we run off to do errands, etc., and then an actual disciplinary "appointment" set.  If there are issues that need “addressing,” she will tell me that and set a time when we both will make ourselves available that afternoon or early that evening.  In the rare event that we just cannot make that day work, it has to happen on Sunday.  But, the key is there has to be an actual time set, so we both commit to it and know it is going to happen.  We can then plan our day around it, completing our errands and other commitments, or interrupting them as necessary so she can "take care of business."

In order to ensure each offense gets the treatment it deserves, there should be a “separate” spanking for each offense, separated by corner time or other waiting on my part.  We have a small sand dial, and my suggestion is that she she use it to measure out strappings in five minute increments.  So, each significant offense (such as each day I don't complete the annoying administrative task by the time I head home from the office) gets a strapping for five minutes.  Or, perhaps instead of measuring the time spent spanking, there might be some set number of swats with the paddle or strokes with the cane.  After each set is delivered, there would be a significant break, such as 5 minutes of corner time or time spent sitting at the foot of the bed.  During that period, she can go back to working on whatever tasks she needs to accomplish, or just watch TV or read a book.  But, the idea is to limit the impact on her time but maximizing it for me.  The intervening breaks also would serve to limit any numbing from the immediately previous spanking set, thereby maximizing the deterrent effect on a per-offense basis, ensuring that there is always an incentive to limit bad behavior because each offense gets treated separately.  Let’s say I missed four days of my annoying administrative task:

She would give me four separate "sessions," of five minutes each, for a total of 20 minutes but also with 20 minutes of intervening corner time.  So, she loses 20 minutes, but I lose 40. This could make for some very frustrating afternoons for me, and unlike our current “one size fits all” sessions, it would give me a real incentive to keep the number of offenses low. Given my issues with short attention span and the annoyance I feel when someone interrupts something I'm doing, imposing wait times that stretch what used to be a a 5 or 10 minute session into close to an hour could be more of a punishment than the spanking itself.

That was a very long introduction to this week's topic, which is whether you have implemented some similar program to ensure that separate offenses do not get lumped together into one session and to ensure that there is always an incentive to behave better, even after one spanking has been earned but has not yet been delivered?

For me, the prospect of separate spankings really does affect my mind-set and, I think, my behavior. While on the road this week, I had already done some things to earn a spanking.  However, on Thursday when I was tempted to sleep an extra hour and skip a workout in the hotel gym, the thought came into my head that I was just earning myself another five minute strapping by doing that, and that the tally was already unpleasant to contemplate.  So, I got up and did the workout.  And, I am about to go do one now!

Have a great week!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

The Club -- Meeting No. 283 -- The Maternal Element

Strong women intimidate boys and excite men. – unknown

 Hello all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couple’s 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 great week.  Mine was, once again, exhausting.  I’ve taken on a new, longer-term project at work.   If I succeed, it could make a positive difference for many people in our company and would be a big personal accomplishment.  But (there’s always a “but,” isn’t there?), it is challenging not just objectively but in relation to my own personal historical roadblocks.  First, it involves trying to fix an aspect of our business that has been a chronic problem, and there is no easy fix.  It is going to take both time and consistent, diligent effort.  Unfortunately, I have a problem called “short attention span.”  I tend to be way better at short bursts of very concentrated effort.  So, maintaining focus over the course of a project that will probably take at least a year, and maybe longer, is going to be hard.  Second, this is going to involve even more travel and probably more work-related socializing and networking.  We all know those are my major tripwires where personal behavior is concerned, and because I will be on the road even more, my wife will have even fewer opportunities to keep me in line in a focused and consistent way.  So, I go into this weekend feeling exhilarated about the new challenge but leery of what my historical track record could bode for whether it is ultimately successful. 

I thought we had a great discussion last week.  Thanks to Elizabeth for suggesting it.  It seems pretty clear that the "recipe" for using DD successfully is:
  • agreement that a change is necessary or wife who is determined to bring the change about whether he likes it or not; and
  • reasonable expectations, including that DD may be successful in reducing unwanted behavior even if it does not eradicate it entirely
Near the end of last week's talk, Frank and Tomy brought up the issue of maternal authority and power.  In discussing one aspect of his wife’s authority, Frank observed:

“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.”

We’ve talked about this before, including a topic on it around this time last year but it didn’t get a ton of response.  Yet, it continues to pop up in comments on various topics.  I also feel like addressing it again, because my own openness to it has increased. 

In the past, I’ve shied away from talking openly about this issue that is plainly a part of some DD dynamics.  It raises all sorts of controversial psychological and social issues.  Oedipal theories.  Corporal punishment’s role in non-adult discipline.  Manliness and sexuality.  It really is a very loaded topic.  

And, not just with respect to discussing it on a blog.  I shied away from it here, and I also never really brought it up with my wife.  At least not directly and forthrightly. Until about a year 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 DD 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 have.  The nurturing but strict mother archetype clearly seems to resonate with her in ways that other DD images do not, yet we both find it hard to talk about.

I do think that while there are maternal aspects to my DD desires, it is kind of a secondary factor.  My DD leanings seem to have more to do with needing an authority figure than needing a maternal authority figure.  But, it's complicated.  I do think that my mother's approach to discipline probably was the impetus for some of my later needs in this area. My own mother was very strong-willed in some ways, but it was expressed very erratically.  She seldom made or enforced rules but, at the same time she could be very intimidating and demanding.  But, the expectations and demands never seemed to be tied to an actual consequence.  

I wasn’t really aware of how stressful that was at the time and, in fact, the absence of rules seemed like a great thing.  It was only when I stumbled on the Disciplinary Wives Club in my late 30s that something really clicked.  The descriptions of men having boundaries imposed upon them by strong-willed wives just really got to me deep down inside.  But, I don’t think I consciously associated it with anything maternal.  I really needed someone to set rules and enforce them consistently, but anyone would do if they had sufficient presence and authority to make me feel like I am not the one in command and that punishment is inevitable and resistance futile.  While the "strict mom" archetype serves that role, so could an aunt, teacher, school principal, or any other authoritarian whose power or position was sufficient to make me submit.

Nevertheless, there definitely is some kind of psychological entanglement with my teenage years and the unmet need for discipline at that particular time in life.  Something about that does connect to the maternal force.  As I said when discussing this last year, Anne has talked 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.  It's that  roller-coaster ride that is my DD obsession—wanting boundaries when I don’t perceive them and then getting resentful when she suddenly imposes one.  What I am starting to appreciate is it may very well have been my own mother's erratic approach to parenting that put me on that roller-coaster, wanting discipline when it is absent but resenting it once it is imposed. 

There also is not a clear link between my mother and my desires for corporal punishment. While I'm sure she did spank me when I was young (all mothers did at that place and time), I really don't remember any of them, which probably indicates they stopped when I was fairly young.  So, while I probably got a few from her at an early age, a mother taking down my pants for a well-deserved butt blistering following a long run of adolescent bad behavior was not part of my upbringing.  Because I didn't experience that as an older kid, I think part of me now is  perpetually surprised when confronted with a real obstacle, like Anne telling me to do or not do something.  It brings me up short and my first reaction is to resent it, even if it is exactly what I need.  

I've also noticed that part of the attraction I have to spanking drawings that include a maternal vibe is the "getting down to business" demeanor and the sense of inevitability it conveys.  As we have discussed, certainty of punishment and the futility of resistance are big elements of this for me.

So, while I do not think that "maternal" aspects of DD were part of the initial attraction, they are now and it is something I am willing and interested in exploring more openly both with Anne and in this forum. Instead of specifying a question related to all this, I am going to purposefully leave this one more open-ended.  I can’t quite nail down exactly what it is that I would like to explore here, and I’d also like to leave a lot of room for people to bring their own feelings and experiences into this discussion.

Have a great week.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Club - Meeting 282 - When DD Works and When it Does Not

“Any fool can learn from experience. It’s better to learn from the experience of others.” - Bismarck

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.

Mine was exhausting on all sorts of levels.  Travel, churn and change at work, and fighting off some nasty bug.  That relaxing vacation over the holidays already seems a distant memory.  It was also an exhausting week from the perspective of my seemingly unbreakable interest in politics.  First, there was all the shutdown drama.  I really thought that I might find a cartoon this morning of Nancy Pelosi spanking Donald Trump, but no luck.  And, regardless of the party at fault, the phenomenon of political amnesia in Washington is fascinating.  Shutdowns always blow up on the party that instigates them.  Every single one of them has failed.  And, they should.  Rewarding hostage takers just is not a wise strategy in the long run.  Yet, somehow those pulling the strings convince themselves that "this time" will be the exception.  

On the other side of the political spectrum (and to show I really am an equal opportunity hypocrisy hater) was the viral explosion around the Covington high school boys’ trip to Washington.  I began last weekend wanting to kill the kid in the video, then when I saw the much longer clip, it was crystal clear that the initial reporting was not just wrong; it was utterly and completely false and manipulated.  Worse, as the week went on and it became more and more clear that the initial clip was utterly misleading, the more leftist reporters and news organizations began to, in essence, insist that everyone should take the narrative of one of the participants as gospel just because he said it, even though it was utterly contradicted by what the video actually showed.  "Believe him, not your own eyes and ears."  It was truly something straight out of Orwell’s 1984.  I never thought I would find myself uttering the phrase “fake news,” but this week was a huge black eye for the media in this country.  But, before the right wingers get all fired up and self-righteous,  the “failing New York Times” was actually one of the first to start openly questioning the initial video and laying out a more balanced picture, and some of the network news organizations quickly started questioning the initial narrative.  It was eventually reported that the misleading initial clip came from a fake Twitter account that was fairly quickly suspended.  But, this all really does leave me thinking I need to install one of those apps that allows me only a few minutes of internet surfing a day then blocks my access to certain venues, like pretty much all US news outlets.

Well, now that I’ve gotten that little rant out of my system, let’s turn to this week’s topic.  Elizabeth suggested it, and it is the following:

What specific behaviors have you been spanked for where it worked and you changed the behavior?

What specific behaviors have you been spanked for where you have yet to change the behavior?

And what is your explanation for why spanking has worked for some and not others?

I’ll go first.  I would never claim that DD has been remotely close to a cure-all for my behavioral “issues.”  I think there also is a subtle distinction to be made in Elizabeth’s first question between when it has “worked” and when it has “changed” the behavior.  I think in many cases it may not have changed the behavior, but it still “worked” from my wife’s perspective because it gave her a very concrete way of expressing her dissatisfaction with the behavior.

Where I think it has been more effective is on things that are rooted in simply failing to pay attention and failing to follow through. I have related before that one turning point in our DD relationship was when she spanked me good and hard for failing to clean a rice cooker after dinner, after I had failed repeatedly to do that.  It was a turning point because it was one of the first times she addressed something that was just plain sloppiness on my part.  There have been a time or two since that I forgot to do it, but I always caught myself and corrected it before she saw it.  


I think it also has had some impact on my temper, or at least my expression of it.  There have been a few times that I got very irritated with one of the kids over something and said something that was overly curt.  She has, rightly so, taken me to task for that.  I think doing so has both cut down on the number of times it has happened and also made me more open to quickly seeing the error of my ways and apologizing without digging  stubbornly into my position.  And, while I think I am probably just as prone to be disrespectful at times, I do think that the threat of a session has give her an ability to cut it off much more quickly.

Where I don’t think it has worked as well is deeply ingrained habits, especially those that have some biological or chemical basis, and hard-wired personality traits. We can set rules on drinking limits over and over, but the plain fact is it has been part of my social life since high school, it is an overwhelmingly prevalent social tool in my profession, and my body and mind seem to be wired such that the second I have a single drink, I simply forget that we did, in fact, set a limit.  And, I truly mean “forget” in the literal sense.  After the first drink is the delivered and the conversation starts, the threat of a spanking or other punishment simply does not enter my mind.  But, there is a small caveat here: on the few times that she has tried giving a "prophylactic" or "reminder" spanking, i.e. a spanking that comes immediately before a party or event where I might be tempted to over-indulge, that did seem to stay with me and remind of what I could expect if I got out of line.

Somewhere in the middle are things like work-related behaviors and, to some extent, the respect thing.  I think on the latter in particular, Anne just needs to take a much stricter approach when I roll my eyes, don't pay attention when she is talking to me, or otherwise fail to give her the respect she deserves.  It's clearly an issue for her, but also one I think she could fix with a little more diligence and consistent severity. 

I think it is hard for most wives to be diligent about things that don’t have a direct, personal impact on them, like their husband’s self-improvement goals (weight, exercise, etc.) and things that happen at work.  And, there are things they may care about, but not enough to get and stay really diligent and unforgiving about applying DD to the situation. But there are wives who are exceptions in that regard.

 It is in that context that I found one of ZM’s comments from last week really interesting.  His wife has been imposing a “boot camp” of sorts, in which he is held to stricter standards where his performance in various areas is concerned.  He missed a couple of goals because the week turned out to be unusually busy, and had those goals not slipped, he might have missed others. But, she stayed resolute.  As he described it in his comment:

“However, she has said that even though it might seem a little unfair, and even though she recognizes that the week was busier than planned, it would have still been possible to complete the tasks. She said that she thinks it is better to aim for consistency and since she said that not completing the tasks will result in punishment, then she wants to ensure it happens that way. I really love her newfound resolve; this is exactly the firmness I have been wanting/needing all my life.”

Those kinds of experiences are why I insist a “real” DD relationship has to involve work by both parties and why I am so dismissive of the “if you don’t obey all the rules then it’s just a game” comments.  DD is not going to work in every situation.  It just won’t.  But, it is more likely to work when there is real surrender on the recipient’s part and real diligence and consistency on the part of the disciplinarian.

I hope you have a great week.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Club #282 - Masculinity -Toxic and Otherwise

“I do not believe in using women in combat, because females are too fierce.” - Margaret Mead

Hello all.  Welcome back to The Disciplinary Couple’s Club.  Our weekly meeting of men and women who are in, or would like to be in, Domestic Discipline relationships.

I hope you had a great week.  It sure didn’t take long for me to break all those resolutions around health and reducing my consumption of politics, social media, etc.  The changes I referenced at work continue to play out and have provided an unusually high number of temptations to over-indulge, though I have to own that the opportunities are just that – opportunities.  The result in sinking back into 2018 behavioral patterns only when I rise to the occasion and take the opportunities when given.  But, there still are several days in this opening month of 2019 for me to get my personal behavior under better control.

I had also hoped to de-emphasize my consumption of political content this year, if for no other reason that it just becomes too much.  And, kind of a pointless too much.  You look at the current government funding debate.  I spend hours reading about something that I don’t have the slightest ability to influence, let alone control.  Is that really a good use of time?  It did, however, at least yield one interesting spanking reference in the popular press, which I would encourage you to take a look at.  It isn’t often that you see an adult spanking reference in the headline of a piece in a major newspaper:

Another media-driven distraction this week from a very unexpected source – Gillette’s television ad targeting “toxic masculinity.”  From an advertising perspective, it seems like an incredibly dumb move.  Lecturing and scolding your customers doesn’t seem like a really wise move if your goal is to make new sales, particularly when the people who are mostly likely to give you kudos for your approach likely already buy your product (men who support the Me/Too movement) or don’t have any need for your product (women who support the Me/Too movement).  Alienating substantial portions of your entrenched customer base without doing much to appeal to a group you don’t already sell to just seems like a pretty stupid marketing move.  Interestingly, the commenters are all over the map.  One I found the most interesting was actually from the right, characterizing the ad as conveying an essentially conservative message. 

I don’t quite buy that, but I will say that what I do personally find more than a little annoying about the advertisement is it characterizes a lot of behavior that is just flat-out bad as inherently male.  I don’t buy that. Take the references to bullying.  Is bullying really an inherently male phenomenon?  Take a few minutes and google stories about teenage cyberbullying resulting in suicide.  In many, many of the cases both the victim and perpetrators were girls.  In fact, while girls are twice as likely to be the victim of cyberbullying, they also are twice as likely to be the perpetrator.  Think only men do bad or unethical things at work?  One of the biggest corporate scandals of recent memory was the fraud perpetrated by the female founder of Theranos.  Think only men are overly competitive in sports and other activities?  Anyone remember Tonya Harding arranging for the kneecapping of Nancy Kerrigan?   It’s true that men die earlier than women, often because of bad behavior, but the gap has closed as more and more women adopt those behaviors, including smoking and binge drinking.  Part of the gap also is accounted for by men working more dangerous jobs with far higher mortality rates.

What does all this have to do with Domestic Discipline?  A lot.  Men who have a yearning to be disciplined may gravitate to this lifestyle specifically because they want help reining in their own bad behavior.  Paradoxically, they may be afraid to ask their wives to help with that, specifically because they fear that admitting their desire will make them seem less masculine.  And, they may be right in some cases.  While I’m always surprised at how many otherwise vanilla women do seem open to DD when asked to do it and may quickly become downright enthusiastic about it, I also know women who stress that they “want a husband, not a little boy.”  Conversely, something that changed my views on gender issues in DD was getting to know some women who are on the other side of the paddle.  While some are natural submissives who are very into traditional gender roles, some are also more or less exactly like me: success oriented, driven people who stress themselves out precisely because they are so intense and driven and . . . well . . . Alpha or Type-A in their orientation. 

What role do views on masculinity play in your DD relationship?  Does being on the receiving end make you feel less masculine?  For the wives, does being the “Top” in a DD relationship make you see your husband as any less (or perhaps more) masculine?  Is polishing off some of his “toxic masculinity” a goal? 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

The Club - Meeting #281 - Ebbs and Flows

“A rule sometimes broken is better than no rule.” – Herman Wouk

Hello all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couple’s Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, Domestic Discipline relationships.

First off, welcome again to Elizabeth and Jeanne. Thank for you for participating, and this is an ongoing invitation for more Disciplinary Wives to participate.  Of course, the possibility that always worries me is that some of the “women” who drop by here are not, in fact, women and are, instead, spanko men pretending to be women.  Our little pest Sean/Jack often pretends to be a woman, somehow missing that inane posts are inane posts that reveal it is him whether he’s calling himself Sean, Jack or Susan.  And, I’ve had a few indications lately that even some of our longer term posters might not be what they seem.  It’s disappointing, and part of me wishes this blog was set up more like Aunt Kay’s DWC, where the website was public but real participating hinged on admission by Aunt Kay, which might include a short phone call to verify the bona fides of the participants. But, that would, of course, blow my own anonymity, which I’m not really ready to do at this stage.  So, I hope for 2019 we can foster some genuine conversations and that the people engaging in them are being more or less genuine about who they are in terms of gender and disciplinary role, what kind of relationship they are really in, etc. Hope triumphs over experience . . . 

In addition to the live trolls like Sean, I seem to have picked up some renewed interest from the annoying automated spam bots.  I've been getting inundated with the same stupid fake comments that became a problem last year, involving generic praise for the blog that then tries to lure you into some kind of response or link.  One I particularly loved over the holidays said something to the effect of, "Hi. Thank you for such an inspiring post.  Can I share this on my own blog, as my readers share some of the same interests and I would like to share with them your compelling piece." It was posted on my notice that the usual Saturday post would be delayed by a day.

I hope you all enjoyed the first full week of the new year.  Mine was an instant wake-up call and reminder about the general futility of planning anything.  Without going into details that might be too revealing, I came into the year with a game plan for delegating more and pulling back a little on my own hands-on work, both because I feel like I’m coming up on the stage of life where I want and need to do that, and because I need to make room for the people under me to develop and grow and move up.  So, I had this whole plan to get together with my lieutenants and lay out that goal, but one of them beat me to it with an announcement of a major move in his own life that threw all my plans for his role out the window.  A day later, there was an organizational announcement that may result in me taking on a different role that will require a major time commitment, more travel, and generally a faster pace in 2019 than I had in 2018, which is exactly the opposite of where I saw things going.

Worse, these developments both conspired to cause me to very quickly blow one of my New Years resolutions.  I had committed mentally to throwing myself into one of the latest fads – Dry January.  No alcohol for an entire month.  At first, my prospects for living up to it seemed surprisingly good.  Even though we were on vacation for the first several days of the new year, I stayed away from alcohol despite a confluence of opportunity and temptation. Then, when I got back to work along came these two developments from below and above, both of which were made known to me by someone walking into my office at 5:00 pm, announcing they needed to talk about something, and suggesting we grab a drink to do so.  Now, I could have explained that I was happy to join them but would be nursing a “near beer,” but particularly in one case it just didn’t seem appropriate, because the conversation was with someone who I’ve been close to for many years, and he clearly needed to talk genuinely and openly.  Having a beer together is how we have always done that.  So, although I’m not wild about breaking my resolution, sometimes abstract rules and plans have to yield to the needs of real people in real relationships.  Or, at least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 Paradoxically, despite tripping up on that resolution right at the outset of the new year, and despite 2019 seemingly heading off in a very different direction than I had planned, I’m feeling pretty good about things.  I’ve been exercising regularly. My diet has been pretty consistently healthy.  My strength and overall health are quite a bit better than this time last year.  I’ve always been a chronic insomniac and, yet, I’ve been sleeping surprisingly well lately.  Part of this seemingly well-balanced internal state is probably the after-glow of a vacation, but some is also attributable to conscious choices, like meditating more and trying to take every day slightly less seriously.  It seems to be working.

So, what does all this have to do with Domestic Discipline?  Perhaps not much.  Except that, my perceived need for discipline and boundaries and giving up control are inversely correlated with how calm and balanced I feel at that particular point in time.  There are kink aspects to this thing we do and for many of us there also are compulsions that go deeper, including the need to give up control, the need to have some external restraints imposed on your behavior.  Where your motivations fall on that spectrum, between the desire for kink and the desire to be taken under someone’s control and made to behave, probably determines whether you see yourself as a “spanko,” a “submissive,” or as a “disciplined husband.” 

I’ve never contended that this desire of mine that I recognized pretty late in life—well into my 30s—is “normal” or reflective of a well-balanced mental state.  Quite the opposite.  My personality has always been intense and lacking in balance.  While I discovered DD late in line, it was kind of like finding a new drug to treat a long-running illness.  I am pretty open and accepting of the fact that my driving need for accountability and boundaries is not “normal” or “healthy,” though in a weird way the discipline itself does promote better mental and emotional health, because Domestic Discipline  is for me a kind of psychological medication that balances out what are some fundamentally unbalanced personality traits.  My friend Jane over at has characterized those of us with this bent as having somewhat “disordered” personalities.  Her view is that being disciplined and subjected to someone’s authority provides some of us a means of ordering our emotions and mental processes that, for whatever reason, we can’t quite sustain on our own most of the time.

Which is kind of where I am going with this week’s post.  Ebbs and flows in our interest in all things both kink and disciplinary inevitably is going to ebb and flow depending on what else we have going on in our lives, the relative level of distractions and, frankly, our hormonal cycles and on a variety of other factors.  (Yes, we men do have hormonal cycles that affect our overall level of sexual desire, kinky thoughts, etc.)  For me, it also depends a lot on how balanced I feel at that point in time.  Last year was kind of a meat grinder, so my desire to be kept in check ran very high for much of the year.  Right now, I don’t feel like I need it as much.

But, and here is a serious kicker, now that I have consented to this kind of relationship, the level of intensity isn’t just up to me.  Anne has her own desires, needs and motivations.  She may very well be interested in ramping things up, and that’s fine, particularly with respect to the “kinky” aspects of DD and FLR, as opposed to “real” discipline.  Right now, when my mental state is in better balance, I don’t feel a compelling need for her to impose boundaries, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t still find it very sexy for her to do so.  And, while right now my behavior is pretty well in check because my mind and emotions are in good shape, that doesn’t mean I might not stray and break some rules or do something to piss her off.

I could ask whether you go through ebbs and flows in your interest in Domestic Discipline, but I would be shocked if any of you do not.  The question for this week is, do you see any patterns in the triggers for those ebbs and flows? For the recipients, are there times you need discipline more than others?  What role does being stressed out over work play?  I can see it going both ways.  When I am under the gun and trying to get a bit of work out the door, discipline is the last thing I need as stepping away from work at an intense point in time may just make things worse.  However, when work is just chronically stressful, discipline and boundaries are very welcome and necessary.  For the Disciplinary Wives, are there times you are particularly into your role, and others where you lose interest, and are there particular things that trigger those ebbs and flows in the interest level?

I hope you have a great week.