Saturday, August 18, 2018

Late Posting

Hi all.  I'm tied up on some things this morning and will be post either late in the day or on Sunday.  Have a great Saturday

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Club - Meeting 262 - Undeserved Punishment

We need to understand the difference between discipline and punishment. Punishment is what you do to someone; discipline is what you do for someone. - Zig Ziglar

Hello all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couple's Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women in, or who would like to be in, Domestic Discipline or Female Led relationships.  I hope you all had a good week.  Mine was another in which my bad behavior left me in a tired and cranky state.  My wife had set a punishment for Thursday, and I knew I deserved one.

Fortunately for my ass but unfortunately for my long-term emotional health and balance, one of our kids stayed home unexpectedly.


As I've said, I am learning that "empty-nesting" is more a process than an event. Perhaps at some point in the future, the presence of others will not result in a well-deserved spanking being deferred, let alone forgone, but that's not where we are right now with respect to being "out."
So, I may have once again gotten out of a well-deserved punishment.  But, let's take this week's topic in the opposite direction.  We've talked about "undeserved" punishment before, but it's been a couple of years, and it came up in a comment from KD yesterday.  (I'm feeling lazy and have some other things going on today, so the content below is pretty close to a verbatim ripoff of our last discussion of this topic.  It's not plagiarism if I'm copying myself, right?) 

Have you ever been given a disciplinary spanking for something you felt you didn't deserve?  Perhaps "caught" doing something you really didn't do? Or someone else was the real offender? Or, maybe you did something that wasn't contrary to any clearly set rule, but it was something that annoyed or aggravated your HoH, so they disciplined you for it unexpectedly?  In those circumstances, how did you react?  How did it make you feel?  Humbled?  Resentful?  Respectful?

I can't think of a circumstance where I have been punished for something I really didn't do or something that I didn't know was a problem for her.  The closest I can think of is a situation where I repeatedly left a chore undone, or done half-assed, and she finally had enough, ordered a spanking, and delivered a very, very hard one that evening.  It was not that it was "undeserved" per se, but this chore was not so much something assigned to me under some express rule, but something I have just always done.  Moreover, giving  a very hard spanking for not doing a chore was not a direction either of us had taken things in up until that point.  So, perhaps the right word is "unexpected" as opposed to "undeserved."  There was also one time when I expected a fairly light "maintenance" session, but what I got was a full-blown punishment spanking.  In both cases, there was perhaps some resentment as I pulled by pants up over my very sore bottom that night, but there was also an offsetting respect.  Admiration is another good word to describe it.  I felt proud of her for addressing a situation that was pissing her off, and doing it strongly and decisively.  That reaction was one indication I had that we might have approached a fork in the road, going from something purely DD to something more FLR-oriented, with her setting the tone and direction and taking action where she thought appropriate, not just to address a violation of some rule we had expressly agreed to.

It speaks very well of my wife that in well over a decade in this lifestyle, I really can't think of an instance in which she was really "wrong" to spank me.  If anything, perhaps it indicates she is letting me get away with too much too often! 

I don't disagree with anything KD observed about the potential for "tops" in a power exchange relationship to abuse their authority.  I definitely don't think these power sharing relationships are without risk, particularly if the "Top" isn't a well balanced and well meaning person. And, no one has an obligation to submit to such a person. Though, in that situation, you have to ask why you are in any relationship with such a person, let alone a DD relationship.  The bottomline for me is these relationships, like any other, require common sense, and the "right" approach is seldom binary. If a Top makes a mistake now and then or there is a disagreement about whether discipline was earned, that is probably to be expected every once in a while. Each "bottom" has to figure out whether to submit in those circumstances, recognizing that (a) the top may be wrong, but it's also possible the bottom is the party in the wrong and just doesn't have that perspective in the moment; and (b) refusing to submit may undermine her confidence and the relationship as a whole. So, while the top has a responsibility to think hard about when and when not to discipline, the same applies to the "bottom" regarding whether to refuse to comply.  KD's perspective follows from a very bad experience, and I totally understand why he is concerned about the possibility of a Top acting abusively.  I, on the other hand, can truthfully say that on the rare occasions that my wife and I have had a really serious fight, at the time I was 100% sure I was right, but often a few days later I would start to see things from her perspective and realize that I had been a dick.  In those cases, I could have done real damage to our overall DD relationship had I refused an "undeserved" spanking.
It also would be more than a little disingenuous for me to get too upset about being punished for something I didn't deserve given that, as this week illustrates, on balance I have engaged in way more bad behavior that has gone unpunished that I should not have gotten away with.  So, being punished where not strictly deserved could be looked at as just a balancing of the accounts.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Club Meeting #261 - You Have to Want It

“Commitment is a word invented in our abstract modernity to signify the absence of any real motives in the soul for moral dedication.” – Allan Bloom

Hi 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 or Wife Led relationships.
Sorry for the late posting.  I had a short Saturday diversion that turned into a very long one. Earlier this year, I had many months of working weekends.  It's nice, though a little disconcerting, to go into a Saturday without a bunch of work left over from the week.  The late posting may become the new norm, by the way.  Sometimes these posts take longer than you'd think, and I sometimes watch the better part of my morning slip away.  Yet, almost no one posts on Saturday anyway.  So, I may start pushing the posting into the afternoon or evening. We'll play it by ear.

Last week, we talked a little bit about how to judge effectiveness.  That led, perhaps inevitably, into a discussion about the extent to which changed behavior is only part of what we mean by "effective."  As I said in reply to ZM, when we first started DD and for several years thereafter, I didn't really appreciate the "communicative" aspect of DD. Oh, I got that it took great communication to make it work, but it took me a while to really get that the spanking itself is a form of both communicating about a problem and of addressing it. By that standard, it is WAY more effective than the communication we see in many vanilla marriages.  How many marriages fail because they simply drift into both silence and inaction?  One party, or both, may be very unhappy and regularly annoyed, but after a while it just becomes easier to stay silent. So, they do, and from there it's all downhill.  I recently read a book that described the results of such passivity: "Every single voluntarily unprocessed and uncomprehended and ignored reason for marital failure will compound and conspire. . . . All she—he—they—or we—must do to ensure such an outcome is nothing: don’t notice, don’t react, don’t attend, don’t discuss, don’t consider, don’t work for peace, don’t take responsibility. Don’t confront the chaos and turn it into order—just wait for the chaos to rise up and engulf you instead." Disciplinary Wives who are on their game do notice, do react, do attend, do discuss and, most importantly, they make HIM take responsibility.  Even if his behavior remains less than perfect, DD ensures the channels of communication remain open, at least from her to him. 

In discussing effectiveness, both ZM and Helen brought up the subject of motivation and commitment.  Not hers -- his.  As ZM put it: "Just looking at outcome isn't necessarily the answer. While ideally discipline would result in immediate and permanent change, some habits, attitudes, or behaviors are very entrenched and may take a significant amount of time to change, and that is of course assuming that the person even truly wants to change."  Similarly, Helen observed: "As others have mentioned, another crucial factor is that the husband has to want to change the behavior. He can want to because it is good for him (like losing weight), he can want to because it helps him achieve his values (such as stopping swearing), he can want to because it pleases his Disciplinary Wife (such as remembering to take out the garbage). But if he thinks there is nothing wrong with the behavior and he shouldn't be punished for it, then being consistently caught and severely punished is probably not going to be enough to be effective."

That all makes sense.  Regardless of severity or certainty of punishment, we're going to do a better of changing our own behavior if we too want it to change; the fantasy of a dominant wife imposing on us only those rules she personally wants notwithstanding.  In our reality, most of the rules my wife imposes were arrived at more or less jointly.  

But, there definitely are some that she cares about more than I do.  Or, at least, she doesn't balance pros and cons in the same way I do. The best example is probably drinking.  We both generally agree that over-consumption of alcohol has been an ongoing problem for me, and it does definitely cause some issues from time to time.  But, deep down inside, I'm not really ready to give up the benefits it provides with respect to career development and, frankly, I like socializing and talking and alcohol is my set's social lubricant of choice.  As de Sade put it: “Conversation, like certain portions of the anatomy, always runs more smoothly when lubricated.”  So, when push comes to shove, she may command no more than two drinks, but if the guy across the table wants a third, I'm probably going to have a third. 

 On the other hand, we do have success when she addresses things like respect or work habits.  Because, I do want her to feel respected, and her rising feeling of her own power and authority are attractive and motivating to me.  

And, I really do want and need to elevate my game at work giving some of the challenges that are coming up.

 Do these examples resonate with you?  Are there some areas where DD has proven particularly effective because her desire for change is in alignment with your own?  Are there others where DD has not been effective, in whole or in part because the change she is trying to bring about is something that you are, deep down inside, just not motivated to do or, worse yet, downright resistant to changing? In those circumstances, has she found ways to motivate you to change anyway?

Have a great week. 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Club -- Meeting #260 -- Am I Getting Through to You?

Discipline yourself and others won't need to. - John Wooden

Hello all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, Domestic Discipline or Female Led marriages.

First off, welcome to Sherri, Susan G. and Jeanne.  It's great to have more Disciplinary Wife participation.  I hope you will continue to chime and will also tell us all a little more about your DD or Wife Led relationships.

Well, last week's discussions were . . . what's the right word . . . wide-ranging.  There's nothing wrong with that and, in fact, many things are good about it.  As I've said before, the whole topical format can seem very constraining sometimes, so I usually not only don't have a problem with things deviating from the suggested topic but it actually can yield a more interesting conversation and takes some pressure off me as the blog owner.  The general line for me is, does this deviation from the topic have a damn thing to do with Domestic Discipline or FLR relationships, or is it one more instance of someone trying to hijack the blog for their own purposes?  And, I'll sometimes even ignore that line if the conversation is interesting enough.  Though, we all have different views on what is interesting, don't we?  The wonderful thing about Blogger and all the other blogging and web developer tools that are out there is anyone can talk about anything they want any time -- on their own blog.  All they have to do is put in some time and effort.

There have been a couple of threads over the last two or three weeks that I want to come up with some kind of topic around, though I need to think it through more.  We had a discussion back in January about the "maternal" aspects of Domestic Discipline and the extent to which it brings out the unruly boy in some of us.  I feel like the topic deserves a more thorough treatment than it got last time, and it does keep coming up.  So, if anyone can think of an interesting angle on it, let me know and I'll consider it.  I also liked the point ZM raised about  there not necessarily being a conflict between the erotic side and the disciplinary side of domestic discipline and that the former might actually fuel the latter but without detracting from the disciplinary aspect. I need to think about that more.

In the meantime, Helen raised the following topic suggestion:   "What strategies does the disciplinary couple employ to determine the effectiveness of punishments?  I think there may be many strategies we can share with each other. For instance, Andy and I have a rule that if the behavior is repeated, the punishment must be harsher because it obviously didn't "take" the first time. I also do a Q&A with him during the spanking that demonstrates his willingness to improve his behavior. And I also am very observant when I let Andy off my lap: If there is any resentful body language, or a grunt of disagreement,  or the hint of an erection, back over he goes! His contriteness must be complete."

Let's go with that as this week's topic.  I don't have anything all that interesting or novel to say about it myself.  In the early days, and to some extent through to today, our focus was on making punishments hard enough to match the crime, but not necessarily on assessing them after the fact. 

I've talked before about how in the early days we would assign a minimum number of swats for particular offenses, to guarantee I did not get off easy. I guess our most used post-spanking assessment tool is the journal I share with her, which often shares thoughts on previous sessions.

Other thoughts?  What do you to assess the effectiveness of your disciplinary procedures or what do you incorporate to make sure they are, in fact, effective at getting your message across?

Have a great week!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Club - Agenda for Meeting 259 - Anticipation and Reminders

"Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences." - Norman Cousins

Hello all.  I hope you had a great week.  Mine was busy, which you may have discerned from my lack of participation.  Unfortunately, I was distracted by other things, both domestic and foreign.  Who would have thought that foreign relations could provide lessons for misbehaving husbands.  If she gets perturbed after a bad self-report and orders an especially hard spanking to deal with it, just say, “Oh, I’m sorry Ma’am.  I misspoke.  I meant to say my behavior wasn’t bad. . . .” 

 We certainly had a lot of volume last week.  Counting my own handful, we ended up with 115 comments, which may be a record though I have not gone back through old posts to confirm that. Of course, the volume gets higher as things drift away from the topic or even the theme of the blog, which is disciplinary relationships, not erotic spankings.  Near the end, there even seemed to be a proposition on the table that a spanking is “effective” if it is erotically arousing.  Uh, no. Not if we are talking about disciplinary spankings.  Those may involve an erotic response but that certainly is not the goal let alone how one might assess their effectiveness.  In fact, as Helen and Alan both talked about in terms of severity, if he is still aroused after the spanking gets going, then what is happening probably either isn’t a disciplinary spanking or it’s a pretty ineffective one.  

So, all in all it was a great discussion, though I do want to emphasize that the blog’s theme is not going to drift into a general “spanko” venue.  There are plenty of those around, so the focus here is going to be remain on real couples in real disciplinary relationships.  So, if you find yourself constantly leading your comment with, “We aren’t in a DD relationship and our spankings are all erotic . . .” you may be in the wrong room.

I also do take issue with some of the comments on negative versus positive reinforcement.  There is no shortage of research showing that people will do more to avoid a negative outcome than to gain a positive outcome of equal "value."  One study after another backs that up, while as far as I know there is a real shortage of evidence backing up this position that having high self-esteem results in achievement, as opposed to high achievement being the basis for genuine self-esteem.  (Here is a nice summary of the history of the self-esteem fad in education and the lack of evidence supporting it:  In fact, we have an entire generation that seems to prove the contrary.  The Millennials have to be hands-down the least impressive generation in a hundred years, but they certainly aren't lacking in unearned self-esteem.  My favorite illustration of this phenomenon of runaway but unearned Millennial self-confidence can be found in this hilarious YouTube video entitled Job Interview With a Millennial: 

Our summer of more open dominance emphasizing her disciplinary role may be taking a little pause.  We had a few weeks with no kids around, but that won’t be true for the next few weeks.  We’re actively exploring how to keep things going, however, and I hope we don’t lose all momentum.  If anyone has tips on how we might go about doing that, I’d love to hear them.  But, the reality may be more time spent “anticipating” spankings than actually getting them.  And, that is this week’s topic.  Last week, ZM observed: 

One thing that my wife already does a little, but could do much more of is to use the time leading up to the punishment to build it up in my mind. At least for us, punishments seldom occur immediately after infractions because of logistics. Since so many of the feelings and emotions of punishments naturally occur during the time leading up to a punishment, she could really amplify those feelings by reminding me in different ways what is to come and to set the stage. I.e. "let's sit and have coffee, since you will not be wanting to sit for quite some time" or "I'm sure you feel sorry, but I need to see tears streaming down your cheeks and hear sobbing before I can move on."

I go back and forth about the ideal role of anticipation.  On one hand, I do believe that immediate consequences are best when it comes to modifying behavior.  Yet, I also do believe there is a value in giving him time to think about what he did and to really mull over the upcoming consequence.

 For me, the ideal would probably be same day, but with enough time between the spanking being ordered and it being carried out that I think hard about what is coming.  As ZM points out, she can help that anticipation build via dropping little “reminders.”  And, even an immediate spanking does not preclude doing things to ramp up the anticipation.

 Most, though not all, of my wife’s little reminders happen by text.  I may be sitting in my office, and I’ll receive a text saying, “Enjoy sitting today.  You won’t be enjoying it after you get home this evening.” How does your wife remind you that you have a session coming up?  How does she help ramp up the anxiety and anticipation surrounding it, if at all.  

I hope you all have a great week.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

No Post Today

Hi all.  Sorry, but I have some family commitments today that will keep me away from the computer. I will try to post tomorrow.  In the meantime, have a great weekend.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Club - Meeting Agenda 258 - Feelings From Power Exchange

 "Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings — always darker, emptier and simpler.” -- Friedrich Nietzsche

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 or Wife Led relationships.

We've had some really great discussions back-to-back over the last few weeks.  Thanks to Helen for sharing her story and her thoughts with all of us.

My week began pretty boring, but ended with a bang.  Two bangs in fact, one resulting from the fact that for one of the first times ever I verbally asked for a spanking.  I'll share here what I wrote in a DD journal yesterday, as I was in the moment.

I'm writing this at the kitchen table, a few minutes before I am going to walk upstairs and ask her to spank me.  This is something I almost never do.  How I came to it is a bit tortured, as my bottom soon will be.  I have really been struggling with self-control issues on things like diet.  I had pledged to do better this week, and I did until Wednesday.  Then we had a birthday event at the office, which included a large cake.  I have been trying to swear off of all sugar, and at first I successfully resisted.  But, the cake was out on a table for for several hours after the event, and I had to pass by it to get to the kitchen or restroom.  Finally, I decided to have one piece.  That somehow became -- four.   Yes, four.  I was really disappointed in myself and intended to include it in my weekly self-report.  But, the next day, I recalled one of Helen's recent comments about making sure that each offense was addressed separately.  So, I decided that when I got home that night, I would tell my wife about it and with paddle in hand, ask her to spank me right then. 

But, that's not really how it worked out.  Instead, as I was getting ready to go home, a colleague asked me to join her and some other colleagues for happy hour.  I hemmed and hawed, then eventually decided to go for "a drink."  I actually behaved myself pretty well, surprisingly. But, when I got home my determination to bring her the paddle and request a spanking had evaporated.  Then, I had a few more drinks at home, and in in so doing broke another rule.  When I got up this morning, she informed me that I would be getting a spanking for the drinking.  So, I have decided once again not to be easy on myself, and I once again commit to bringing her a paddle and asking her to use it on me, knowing that doing so will now almost certainly result in TWO spankings on the same day.  But, I deserve this for two failures of self-control. 

So, I am going to go ask her to spank me.  This is so fucking hard.  Somehow it seems much harder that when I'm waiting for her to order me to get ready for one.  I've been getting spanked for years, yet I'm feeling really, really nervous about asking for this one.  There is something different about being a real participant in the process, and not just being on the receiving end.  I have butterflies in my stomach, almost like the very first few times she spanked me. Shit.  OK.  I am going to walk up there now.

And, I did.  I explained to her that I had intended to ask her to spank me yesterday, and I had already pointed out to her Helen's advice about making sure each offense is addressed separately with a separate spanking.  So, she instantly agreed.  But, she was in the middle of something, so she made me sit and wait on the ottoman where I receive most of my spankings, instructing me to think about what was about to happen to me.  The spanking itself was not as hard as asking for it.  We had been talking about trying OTK again, and we did.  It did make me feel a little more exposed and vulnerable, and I was acutely aware of the feel of my cock against her thighs. She did say that the OTK position did make it hard for her to generate a swing as powerful as she usually wants.  But, it was not an ineffective spanking by any means.  I am writing this paragraph sitting on a moderately sore bottom, anticipating my second spanking of the day, which she confirmed I will be getting later tonight.

I'm writing the remainder of this after spanking #2.  It was much harder, and at one point I got pretty close to letting go into real tears, but still not quite there.  As ZM observed, I think the real missing piece is duration.  I think I could cross that threshold if it just went on and on, without long pauses to switch positions or implements.

The nerves I felt in screwing up the courage to ask her to spank me brings us to this week's topic, which was suggested to me by Helen.  She asked, "What, specifically, are the feelings that the male and female both get from the power exchange in Domestic Discipline? Not the tangible benefits such as improved behavior, chores completed without complaint, etc., etc. Focus on the feelings."

I will kick it off.  There is a significant difference between my feelings now versus when we first started.  We have been doing this so long, I usually don't get nearly as anxious as I did in the early days.  These days, what I feel as I am getting ready to be spanked is a mix of resignation and modest nervousness about what is to come.  The posture of the men in these drawings seems to capture a bit of that nervous anticipation, and the resignation that comes from knowing it really is going to happen. (The wives' "all business" demeanor is also pretty close to my own wife's approach during our sessions.)


That is very different from the early days. The men in these drawings seem a lot more subdued than I felt internally when we took our first steps into this kind of relationship. I still have very vivid memories of the time period (about a week) between discovering the Disciplinary Wives Club website and getting my first disciplinary spanking.  It really did hit me like a sledgehammer.  I had trouble sleeping, as it was all I could think about.  The butterflies in my stomach were so powerful, I felt nauseous.  Yet, I had an erection that seemed to last for days.  I distinctly remember how nervous I felt taking the concept to her, and I felt a little of that yesterday when I asked her to spank me. After she agreed to give DD a try, I recall walking around a mall trying to find a wooden hairbrush that was suitable for my first spanking, my stomach doing somersaults and my cock hard as steel.  It was the strangest mix of genuine terror and perverse excitement, and it lasted for days and days.  I really was terrified about bending over to take that first spanking. I don't think it was the fear of the pain in and of itself.  I actually have an abnormally high tolerance for pain.  No, it was the prospect of embarrassing myself by crying.  That didn't happen in reality, but it did in most of the stories I had been reading compulsively on the DWC website, so I thought it was pretty likely.  Now, close to 15 years later, I still haven't cried, and I think that is because I am still so petrified of letting go like that and I can't quite give up the control that a thorough power exchange would entail.

Regarding how I feel as a result of the power exchange our current experimentation with having a Wife Led marriage, it also has competing emotional elements.  I am turned on by the thought of her really taking over. And, just like I craved that first spanking but was terrified of it, I crave her becoming a really strict wife and exercising an almost maternal authority over me.  Yet, giving up control like that still unnerves me.  And, in the moment, when she is actually ordering me to to do menial tasks around the house, or from time to time grounding me, I do resent it in that moment even though I've specifically asked for it and know it ultimately is for my own good.  But, there wouldn't be any real value in obeying authority if it were easy, would there?  

Helen also wanted to address erotic feelings specifically, and I can say that there is little that turns me on more than thinking about my wife becoming stronger and more powerful.  While we haven't really taken things very far in a D/s direction in the bedroom, she is taking charge more and more in bed and is becoming more physically aggressive, which I absolutely love.  I continue to believe that I am not really a "spanko" at heart, in that it is not really the spanking per se that turns me on so much.  It is her exercising authority and getting more and more comfortable wielding power.

How about you?  What feelings do spankings and the power exchange aspects of your DD or Wife Led  marriage elicit in you?  And, please, as hard as it is for us guys to even identify our emotions sometimes let alone talk about them, let's try to take Helen's suggestion and talk about the actual feelings involved, not the goals or benefits.

Have a great week!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Disciplinary Wife Profile - Helen

“You have to be a man before you can be a gentleman.” –John Wayne (McLintock!)

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 or Wife Led marriages (aka Female Led Relationships). I hope you had a great week.

A new development in mine is my wife's new, and seemingly sustained, interest in reading and really thinking about Domestic Discipline.  She seems to be arriving at that point some of us talked about a few weeks ago in which she starts really internalizing  this process and doing it because she wants it.  In other words, owning it.  She has powered through a couple of books on the subject.  She's also shown a new interest in this blog, which I came to find out when she announced out of the blue that she objected to, and strongly disagreed with, a comment I made to the effect that I do more of the housework than she does. I may be paying for that one!

What a great discussion last week.  As I said, the last time I posted about that topic I got four comments.  This time we had over 75 (if you include my responses), including a great discussion about the nature of manliness and metaphors for this thing we do, such as the ever popular Queen and her knight.  In relation to the theme of positive views of the male role and the possibility--perhaps the necessity--of being "manly" even within the context of a DD marriage, I saw this article on the myth and reality of another great manliness archetype, the alpha wolf:  It's an interesting read. I kind of like this website, though a lot of it is aimed at a much younger male cohort, i.e. guys who need help on practical knowledge like learning how to tie a necktie or dress for a job interview, not for the old fart crowd that frequents this blog.

I would also like to welcome our newest Disciplinary Wife commenter, Helen.  She is going to give me a little respite this week from pontificating about a particular topic, by instead telling us about how she and her husband Andy came to be a DD couple.  If any other Disciplinary Wives would like me to post a similar story about how they got here or a profile of their DD or Female Led relationship, just let me know either with a comment here or by sending me an email.  I really would like to seriously ramp up the female participation here, so I hope others will take me up on this offer. For this week, I hereby introduce Helen:

The story of me beginning to spank Andy is a little different than the typical one of the husband finally getting the courage to ask his wife to spank him. We sort of came to it together, which is very appropriate for our marriage because it is not FLR—we make major decisions together. Because we are Catholic, there are some areas where he is rightly the leader: He is our protector, provider, and spiritual leader. But the Bible also says that the wife is the manager of the household, and we have taken that to mean that I am very much in charge of the day-to-day operations and in that realm he is a “servant-leader": Instead of washing feet (as Christ did), Andy washes toilets (LOL). OK, enough religion, but I thought that background was important.

 We had been married for several years when our disciplinary life began. I was a young stay-at-home wife and mother trying to care for a household and a baby with colic and feeling overwhelmed. He was a young professional trying to launch a career and feeling overwhelmed. We had a very traditional marriage: I did the cooking and cleaning and he brought home the bacon.

But I also am three years older than Andy and have always been in a mentor position with him: we met in high school when he was a freshman taking advanced chemistry (he is very smart and is now a chemical engineer) and I was a senior assigned by the teacher to be his lab partner and to “show him the ropes” (though we aren’t into bondage, LOL). I also am much more outgoing than Andy (some would say dominant), while he is more reserved (some would say submissive). So, here we were, a young married couple, both stressed out and bickering constantly about the so-called little things (him not helping around the house, coming home late without calling, leaving the toilet seat up, forgetting to take out the garbage, and on and on and on, driving me to distraction and to be a nag … if not a complete bitch).

I knew something had to change. He acted like such a naughty little boy that I wanted to treat him like one. And to me that meant spanking: I grew up with two younger brothers in a home where the mom was the disciplinarian, and they got the hairbrush over her knee fairly regularly. (I got it a couple times myself, but that is another story.)  Andy also grew up with a mom as the disciplinarian; his dad died when he was quite young. And coincidentally, he also got OTK spankings with a hairbrush (he called it a hairbrush but I later learned it was a clothes brush). We had shared this information about our childhoods with each other while having those exploratory conversations that people have while dating.

So the scene was somewhat set, as they say. One day, when Andy AGAIN forgot to take out the garbage as promised (and missed the garbage truck), and he was complaining about my scolding him for it, I said, “Well, what would your mother have said to you?”

“She wouldn’t have said anything,” he replied.

“She wouldn’t have said anything when you forgot to take out the garbage for the umpteenth time?”

And he blurted out, “It’s not what she would have said, it’s what she would have done.”

And then he blushed to the roots of his hair.

And I said, “What would she have done?”

He didn’t say anything, but I was sort of figuring it out.

“She would have let her hairbrush do the talking?” I asked.

“I’m not saying a word,” he said and quickly left the room.

So I had to read between the lines, which was the way our relationship was back then. When it came to sex or anything really private, we did not talk about it directly.

I figured it was pretty certain that he was saying that his mom would have spanked him for not taking out the garbage, which means she was spanking him maybe into his teen years (we had not ever discussed when the spankings stopped in our respective homes). It also was clear to me that his mom’s spankings worked with him. But what was not at all clear was whether he would accept spankings from his wife.

One part of me would have loved to talk to his mother about this, but I would have been so embarrassed to bring it up. But I started playing very close attention when we visited her, and I noticed more than I had before that there was a lot of “Yes, Ma’am” and “No, Ma’am” coming out of his mouth and that he treated her with a lot more respect than he treated me. I also noticed that very occasionally she would threaten him when he did something she didn’t like. She was very strict, and especially so about language. To her, “Oh my God” and such phrases were a form of swearing. One time we were at her house and he said “Oh my God” and she commented tartly, “You’re not getting too big for your britches, are you, young man?” And he immediately said, “No, Ma’am” and was quiet and respectful the rest of the evening.

Well, I knew very well that the britches line is a euphemism for getting pants taken down for a spanking, and while a lot of moms might use that just as an expression, I knew otherwise with Andy’s mom. Not that she would actually spank him as a 20-something married adult, but that she meant he could use some discipline like she used to provide. And I actually started to wonder whether she made that comment for MY benefit as well as his!

Being a young wife without a great deal of confidence, I did nothing after that. But I did think about it. And eventually I cooked up a plan which may seem quaint to many of you, but this was many years ago and times were different and we just did not come straight out with things. And even today, how many wives would have the guts to say to their big strong husbands, “I think I should start spanking you”?

My plan was tied to my birthday that was coming up. We were in the habit of getting lists from each other and then buying off those lists—not everything on the list, so that it was still a surprise, but maybe half the things. So I put on my list “a hairbrush.” And a couple of weeks before my birthday he came to me and said, “I have a question about your birthday list.”

“Oh?” I said.

“You listed a hairbrush. What sort of hairbrush?”

“Why don’t you surprise me?” I said.

“You don’t like the hairbrush you have?” he asked.

“No,” I said. “It’s cheap plastic. I would like a wooden one.”

“OK,” he said, “what else?”

“As I said,” I replied. “Surprise me.”

“But I don’t know anything about hairbrushes!” he exclaimed.

“I don’t know what to tell you,” I replied coyly. “Why don’t you ask your mom?”

And I left it at that. I didn’t know if he was reading between the lines—men typically aren’t very good at picking up signals—but I had decided that this would be my test: If he gave me a brush that was obviously good for spanking, I would try to take the next step. If he gave me a brush that was no good for spanking, I would let it go and try to deal with his recalcitrance some other way.

I was nervous and excited birthday morning. He had bought me several presents—I knew none of them was very expensive because we didn’t have a lot of discretionary income—but there was really only one that I cared greatly about. And when I opened the present, it was perfect: a large flat-backed wooden oval with a shaped handle.

“Do you like it?” he asked.

“I love it!” I said. (I wanted to add, “But I don’t think you will,” but I was chicken.)

Then Andy brought up spanking! (And I realized that he must have been thinking about it too as he bought the brush, which he later confirmed).

“Would you like me to give you your birthday spanking with it?” he asked (even though we had no such tradition in our young marriage).

I saw an opportunity and I jumped on it. “I think YOU should take my birthday spanking for me!” I said with a slight grin. He just laughed. “No, I’m serious,” I said a bit sternly—and I pointed the hairbrush directly at him. “Come over here.”

And in that moment Andy morphed right before my eyes into a naughty little boy who had been caught misbehaving. He stood up and came to me, with his face burning and his eyes cast down. He stood still by my right side, hands at his sides. I had expected him to bend over, but he didn’t. He just stood there. And then I realized what he was waiting for—for me to take his pants down! Which I promptly did … to find him in a manly way, as they say.

I put him over my knee and started to give him a light-hearted play spanking with my new hairbrush—29 spanks and one to grown on. But as I whacked his bare bottom I started to feel drunk (and turned on) from the power he was relinquishing to me. The spanks got harder and harder until he was grunting. And then my exasperation came to the fore.

“Are … you … going … to ever … forget … the garbage … again?” I scolded, punctuating each word with a hard spank.

“No, Ma’am!” he exclaimed.

“And … are … you … going.. to … call … whenever … you … are … late?” I yelled, continuing to spank hard.

“Yes, Ma’am!” he hollered back, and I could hear the pain in his voice.

“Good!” I said, and paused. “And do you agree that this is what should happen whenever you misbehave in the future?”

He hesitated. I whacked him a few more times. “Yes, Ma’am!” he exclaimed.

I pushed him off my knees and he buried his face in my lap. He was sobbing softly. I stroked his hair. After I few moments I reached down and kissed the top of his head. He turned toward me and we kissed on the lips. It turned into a passionate embrace, and we proceed to have explosive sex right there in the living room. He was all man again, believe me. And that is how it has been ever since!"  

Thank you, Helen!  I hope all the rest of you have a great week. 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Club - Meeting 257 - Panties, Aprons, Etc.

There are moments when one has to choose between living one's own life, fully, entirely, completely-or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands. - Oscar Wilde

Hello all.  Welcome back to the Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, Domestic Discipline or Wife Led relationships.  I hope you all had a great week.  Mine was probably best described as an . . . epic fail.  At least where personal behavior and resulting discipline were concerned.  And, the fault kind of lay with both of us.  I really should have gotten spanked last weekend for bad behavior the preceding week.  Didn't happen, for various reasons.  Then, we had a session scheduled for Tuesday night, but the clock kind of ran down and then she decided to let me off the hook because I had a crazily early morning appointment the next day followed by a business trip, so going to bed early was preferable, so she "tabled" our session.  To be clear, I did not ask her to do that, but I didn't try to talk her out of it either.  Then, the business trip turned into two nights of carousing.  Because of the combination of early meetings, travel and last nights, I worked out only one day, and my dietary choices were appalling.  My inclination toward rabble-rousing at work also was on display, though in a context in which I can defend the decision to do it.  And, to top it all off, my wife is now gone on a trip of her how, so none of this will be corrected until next week at the earliest, and given our pattern of "punishment delayed is punishment denied," there are good odds it won't happen at all. So, once again, the very best intentions have been thwarted by distractions and, frankly, not following up on our commitments and making this the priority that we keep saying it is. 

It sounds like I'm not the only one.  ZM noted:  "We have fallen down in a big way on weekly check-ups because of a full house during summer and I can clearly see the impact on my productivity. I think self reporting is very difficult and for me it really isn't that effective."  Amen, brother. 

I do think our weekly report card idea is worth continuing, but I think for some period of time, we really need a daily regimen.  A few weeks ago, I posted a "report card" we were contemplating using for daily reporting, and we do need to explore it, then use the Saturday reports as more of a summary or weekly review to check in with each other address anything that wasn't taken care of during the week.  While weekly check-ins serve a role, it may be more about role enforcement than making sure bad behavior is addressed.  As new commenter Helen points out in a comment to last week's post, the ideal really should be addressing bad behavior when it happens.  Now, to a big extent that was not an option for us this week, thanks to the independent and overlapping travel schedules.  But, as a general matter it should be the goal.

There were a lot of interesting comments going on last week. In relation to the discussion about weekly sessions and their potential downsides, Helen observed:

"If it was part of a weekly grade, no way. For the same reason, we don't do maintenance spankings. We both believe that punishment works best when it is visceral: Misbehavior, correction, lesson learned. When we have to delay it because of the circumstances, we deal with it as soon as possible. And we do not combine behaviors; when I have to address more than one misbehavior with Andy, I spank for the first thing, send him to the corner to contemplate, and then put him back over my knee to spank for the next thing. I know it may work differently for other couples but that is how DD works for us."

That part about not combining behaviors has been on my mind for a while.  When I have weeks like this one, where one bad behavior follows another follows another, there does come a point where, when faced by the next temptation, I just think, "Well, what the fuck, I'm going get spanked already anyway . . ."  Making sure that separate offenses are addressed with separate spankings would fix that, though the challenge becomes the commitment on her part to take the amount of time required to do that.

DJ, Alan and I had a series of exchanges regarding the prevalence of DD and the extent to which the culture may be more judgmental of F/m discipline than when it is a male spanking a female.  As we discussed, I don't think that is entirely true.  I think the vanilla culture may be more tolerant of F/m spanking but not F/m disciplinary spanking. In the disciplinary context, all sorts of concerns arise about domestic abuse and "politically correct" concerns about male dominance.  In the F/m context, the condemnation is more about whether men in DD relationships are "manly."  More on this below, but I do think Alan raises this interesting prospect: 

"I can envision a moment when F/M discipline becomes very PC as female power and authority increase in society as a whole while awareness of domestic violence mostly against women increasingly shocks and disgusts. Outside of cult films I don't believe there has been any film project depicting an F/M relationship that is comparable to 50 shades or Secretary, 9 and a half, etc. (I am excluding the dominatrix films ) When that does happen we are entering a new era." 

There also were a series of exchanges regarding "manliness" and "humbling."  ZM observed:
"There is no doubt that the actual punishment sessions aren't very manly, and in fact I think the effectiveness of the punishment is directly related to how much I feel like a little boy (or girl) during the process. If humiliation is included, then it even more humbling and less “manly.” This humbling can be hard to accept and is probably hard to watch, but I do think it is important and even though it may not look or feel very manly at the time, it is playing a key role in making me a better man. There is good precedent for this methodology as it is similar to the philosophy of military boot camp... Break a person down and rebuild them from the bottom up... I guess my wife and I are just focusing a lot on the “bottom” part. ;-)"

Another commenter accused me, wrongly, of having a problem with men who are part of a dynamic involving "unmanly" dress, stating: "Sometimes manly men get spanked. Sometimes they wear aprons too. And I don't think the ones who get spanked should cast stones at the ones who wear aprons." 

As I pointed out, I had not said any such thing and had, instead, made a more general point about Domestic Discipline being focused on improving male behavior and performance, while some forms of Femdom may actually reinforce the idea that men are weak and, instead of seeking to make them perform better, seek to reinforce his weakness and her supremacy.  
But, the comment on "aprons" actually got me thinking about a topic for this week, particularly in combination with ZM's comment that for him "the effectiveness of the punishment is directly related to how much I feel like a little boy (or girl) during the process.

A few years back, I posted a topic about gender roles and balancing male and female energy.  I had been reading a book on Tantric philosophy(not the Americanized sexual stuff, rather the real philosophy that has a lot of similarities with some forms of Buddhism). This particular book posited that posited that within each of us there are elements of the opposite gender, and that one goal of Tantric practice is to bring out and develop the inner woman within each man and the inner man within each woman.  My question for the group was, to what extent is that part of what is happening with F/m domestic discipline and Female Led Relationships?  In your own relationship, does submitting to a spanking involve some reshaping of your male gender role and allowing some more feminine element come to the fore?  Conversely, if you are a female disciplinarian, does giving a spanking or taking control of the relationship involve some channeling of your inner man?  To what extent is switching up the gender roles an explicit goal in your DD relationship?  

And, I got a whopping four comments.  It was one of the biggest flops I've had with a topic.  But, that may speak to the strength of the taboo itself, and today we seem to have a group of commenters who are a little braver, a little more "out," and a little more self-aware and open to exploring what lies within that was the case back in 2013.  So, let's try answering those questions again.  But, let's also add a more specific one:  Does your Domestic Discipline or Wife Led Marriage include some element of "feminizing" or humbling by wearing female clothes or clothes more generally associated with females, such as aprons, panties, etc.?  If so, was that at her instigation or yours, and is being put in such gender-bending clothing or accessories considered part of punishing you, or is it something you are into and want to do in order to express your female energy?  Or, is it just about being naughty and kinky?
Have a great week.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Club - Meeting 256 - Update on Report Cards, Zero Tolerance, Manliness, etc.

"At the heart of every frustration lies a basic structure: the collision of a wish with an unyielding reality." - Alain de Botton

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 or Wife Led relationships.  I hope you all had a great week.

Mine was a little schizophrenic, and I'll warn everyone in advance that this will be another week in which I'll probably ramble a bit and a topic may or may not emerge.  We began on a very strong note for the week in terms of moving forward with more "Wife Led" principles in our marriage.  I want to give my wife full credit for  stepping it up in terms of exercising control.  In fact, in addition to just acting more like a Dominant Wife in many ways, she really wore my ass out last week.  As you will recall, last week we discussed our new empty-nest status, her new resolve, our efforts to really take the plunge, etc.  In the end, I kind of made the first move.  I had come up with a weekly report card, summarizing each day's compliance with some core rules, some of which focus on my relationship with her (showing respect, obeying when she tells me to do something), etc. and some that focus on my own self-identified areas needing improvement, like being productive at work, keeping up with certain work tasks, exercise, diet, etc.  On Saturday morning, shortly after drafting my most recent post for this blog, I filled out the report card, and left it on the kitchen table for her to see before I left to run some errands.  When I got back, she brought me her comments on the report, moving pretty seamlessly into Dominant mode.  The form I came up with includes a place for me to state whether I think a spanking has been earned; another for her to state whether she is ordering one; and, a choice between levels of severity.  We both agreed one had been earned, and she chose "moderate," which probably was appropriate, given that my week included a few slip-ups, but nothing really bad.  

As it turned out, she wasn't able to carry out the sentence that same day, but did so on Sunday.  But, what she delivered really was not "moderate."  I don't know whether I would classify it as "severe," but it seemed a hell of a lot more than "moderate."  I was definitely still feeling it a couple of days later.  The fact that she had chosen the "moderate" box on our form had given me some hope; not just about avoiding a very sore bottom but because I do feel like there really should be some scale of punishments to fit varying scales of crime.  Yet, my wife has always, from almost the very beginning, been very binary where severity is concerned.  I'm either not spanked at all, or it is very hard.  Nothing in between.  We'll see if that changes over time as our new reporting system takes hold, but perhaps it won't.

"Zero tolerance" was in the news a lot this week, and it's also a concept we are working through in our new reporting system.  Originally, I envisioned an actual grading system similar to that used in thousands upon thousands of schools, with a graduated scale from A to F.  Since some of the criteria I was going to be graded on were personal goals around work and fitness, I was going to be self-grading involved.  And, that is where things always seemed to break down.  On few days (probably none) was I absolutely perfect, and on some but not many the only truthful grade was an F.  Averaging things out every day, except on those occasions when I clearly earned an F on a criteria, I usually found myself gravitating toward something in the C to B- range.  Which, if you think about it is probably about where most of usually live our lives.  In fact, before the educational establishment decreed that anything but an A for showing up would hurt a kid's self-esteem, a "C" grade was, by definition, average.  But, I'm not aiming for C-level performance at work or on things like fitness and health.  So, I decided that maybe the grade choice should be far more binary -- I either met the rule or I did not.  So, the filled out form I submitted to her ultimately had only pluses and minuses.  I think that is similar to the system ZM has been experimenting with.  I asked which she preferred, and she agreed that a straight up or down is better than a more nuanced A to F.

So, that's what we're doing.  And, I do think that over time, knowing that I have a binary choice to perform or not perform and that anything in the middle may get me spanked will lead to better outcomes. Yet, despite putting this great new system in place, this week I went on to have several instances of carousing too much, missing workouts, and blowing off my diet.  How do you reconcile those two?

Well, part of it is our system has been in place for only a week, and I was traveling much of the week so there were limited opportunities for her to keep me in line on a daily basis.  Conversely, there were lots of opportunities to misbehave.  This was a week that was just chock full of opportunities to misbehave.  I was traveling on business for multiple days.  I had multiple client dinners with clients who were just not teetotalers.  And, we are depressingly slow at work, so my lapses in "productivity" were basically inevitable because I just didn't have much work to do.  So, I am filling out my report card this morning, and it looks pretty damn bad, yet I think over time this will go in a better direction to the extent we get it firmly set.

I also had a couple of conversations this week that touched, in very different ways, on where things may go as I go further down this road of experimenting with a more truly Wife Led relationship.  I had another one of those work opportunities involving speaking truth to power and, once again, after feeling deep inside that gnawing resistance to giving offense or going against the crowd, I spoke my mind.  I wasn't mean or aggressive, but I made sure my view (which was contrary to the majority of the other execs I was engaging with -- that happens a lot) was fully heard even if it was ultimately rejected. I've been trying really hard to get more comfortable with uncomfortable encounters, which when you think about it is what most of us are hoping for from our wives.  It's the essence of the conversation we had a couple of weeks ago about being "not nice."  It's about setting aside your personal squeamishness and insecurities around doing things that may result in someone taking offense or feeling they are being treated unfairly, and instead simply doing what needs to be done.  We want our wives to step up to that kind of "taking care of business" approach, yet I know from personal experience that it is not always an easy thing to do.

As I've noted previously, I am fully "out" to only two other people (other than my wife); one a vanilla friend and another is someone in this lifestyle but on the other side of the paddle.  I talked about my current work situation with the latter of those two recently, telling her that there seemed to be some irony in the fact that at the exact some time I am consciously stepping down in the pecking order at home, I've been rising in the chain of command in my career.  She didn't see it as paradoxical at all, for a couple of reasons. First, she pointed out there is a natural human tendency toward compensation, and she found it not at all surprising that as I started taking on a more humble role at home it might manifest in becoming even more driven and assertive at work.  Second, if being held to standards and becoming more personally disciplined works as planned, then it really should result in elevated performance at work, which at certain levels does come to demand increased levels of "straight talk" and also more comfort with operating among people with very strong opinions.  Therefore, it should not be surprising that being subject to more discipline is yielding higher performance.  Duh, that has kind of been the idea all along.  But, it plays out in an interesting way at my level, because performing among my peers requires speaking up and advocating positions vigorously while respecting the contrary views of your peers.  

Having thought about it more, I would add a third factor to her observations, namely that being subject to strong leadership actually provides the follower with a strong, positive example that they inevitably take with them to those instances in which they themselves are leading.  She leads by example, and I end up emulating that behavior at work.

If done right, this could lead to a virtuous circle in which being subject to strong leadership at home actually helps me become a stronger leader at work and in which being disciplined by someone else helps me exercise more self-discipline over time.  

I was thinking about this more this morning, in relation to a somewhat nasty exchange I had a few weeks ago with a commenter who was coming from a much more Femdom orientation with its usual fixation with "topping from the bottom."  It occurred to me that one reason I am comfortable with Domestic Discipline but have a visceral, negative reaction to Femdom is that on some level the two really are mutually incompatible.  The goal of most DD wives is not to have more submissive, servile weakling in their house, but a more competent, more responsible, more highly performing partner. When done right, Domestic Discipline and being "led" by one's spouse but not dominated by them, actually reinforces and helps build real manliness--which is or should be all about being a strong individual who displays everyday heroism and hard work and performs as a strong role model for his sons and daughters at home and his peers and superiors at work.  Femdom, on the other hand, at least the strong versions of it (there are gradations in all these power sharing relationships) is or can be all about reinforcing weakness and servility and timidity, none of which are attractive to about 90% of the female population.  When done right, Domestic Discipline is about making stronger men, while Femdom accepts male weakness as a given and creates a power structure to reinforce it. 

Now, I recognize that what I just said may seem a bit incompatible with my current move toward a relationship that is more Wife Led, since it really does involve me stepping away from some of my "manly" tendencies to take a more secondary and, admittedly, more subservient role.  But, it goes back to some themes I discussed with the Dominant Wife friend referenced above.  Being in charge is such a hard-wired part of me, bringing some balance to my life requires a very conscious step in the opposite direction.  Second, if my wife is to help me become a more successful and more disciplined partner, she has to have sufficient authority to check me when either my Alpha nature or my lack of personal discipline wreak havoc or keep me from my goals. But, the overarching goals are (a) better behavior and stronger performance; and (b) personal growth on her part in that she gets to develop her leadership skills and experience the joy that comes with personal power.  But, at no point is it about making me less of a man.  It reminds me of something our one-time prolific commenter Marisa (who I really miss, by the way, along with Holly and some of our other female commenters who have gone missing) said many posts ago:

Yes. That "humbling function" allows you to let go of that ego, accept authority and become the ( mostly) wonderful, charming and loving men you really are. It frees you to be yourself and that is what we are after. That is also why spanking without the mental and emotional parts of it doesn't really work. The message never gets through because you are not prepared to hear it before you have been humbled.

Very well said, and it illustrates why I am interested in the "mental and emotional parts" that I think being subject to my wife's direction and authority bring to the table but that spanking by itself does not seem to fulfill even when severe.

So, there may or may not be a topic in there, but I welcome others to respond.  Particularly all of our Disciplinary Wives.  I am curious whether you agree with me that what you are really looking for is a husband who is more, not less, manly but with the attributes that used to entail, i.e. taking responsibility, working hard to set a good example, etc.

Finally, one quick note on comment moderation.  For current posts, I have left comment moderation off except for brief periods in which trolls seemed to be taking a particular interest in this blog.  But, I have always left it on for comments left on posts that are more than 14 days old, mainly because commercial parties love inserting links to their websites in comments on older posts knowing those posts may not be monitored.  I mention this only because I don't always check the "awaiting moderation" queue daily, so if you comment on an older post, it may be a few days before I see your comment and approve it for posting.

Have a great week.