Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Forum - Vol. 167 - Freedom in Submission

"A submissive gives up control for freedom.  A Dominant gives up freedom for control. - Unknown

Hi all. Welcome back to the Forum - Disciplined Husbands & Disciplinary Wives.  I hope you had a great week. 

It was a good discussion last week, though I seem to be in a distinct minority in questioning whether wider acceptance of TTWD might have some downsides.  But, that's OK.  As shown again below, there are some things involved in this lifestyle where I am in the minority, but it's a wide world.

A few weeks ago, I saw the quote above on another blog.  The author of that blog, Domina Jen, said it is a well-known teaching in the BDSM or D/s community.  I'll take her word on that, as it's a community I haven't personally frequented except to the extent it includes our interactions on this blog.  In two short sentences, it seemed to sum up for me what I get out of Domestic Discipline, or at least what I am looking for out of it.  We have had a lot of discussions on this blog about the extent to which people who participate here are spanking fetishists for whom DD is an extra element added on top of the spanking, or whether the underlying driver is the need to give up control while spanking is more of a tool to get there or part of the process for giving in.  For me personally, it is pretty clearly the latter.  We don't do erotic spankings, and spanking was never "a thing" for me until I stumbled on the concept of domestic disciple.

Since then, I have not been able to do a particularly good job in articulating how it is that there is a sense of freedom in handing over control to someone else.  At surface level, it should be just the opposite and, yet, it's not.  At least for me.  While part of me does fight having boundaries imposed on me, there also is a palpable sense or relief and something like a sense of increased freedom when she really takes over.

Conversely, for the wives who assume control, does that give you a sense of freedom, or is that something you give up?  Is it freeing to make the decisions without need to check with someone else?  It seems like it should, though I recognize that I just got through saying it works the opposite for me.  Assuming that, as the quote indicates it comes along with a certain exchange between freedom and control--because you are now taking on additional responsibility and leadership--is that trade-off something you feel comfortable with?

I hope you all have a great week.  As always, if you are new to this Forum, please stop by the Guestbook (see tab above) and tell us a little about yourself (anonymously is fine if that's your preference).


  1. Hi Dan, getting into the weeds deeper her than you realize.I do understand what Domina Jen said. My first disciplinarian girlfriend said to me long ago that " the paddle will make you free" which I thought was a little amusing because she hardly ever punished with a paddle. But what she also meant and I think I understand is that accepting or asking for discipline and submitting to it requires you ( or at least offers the chance) to stop struggling and accept your fate.( which is the need to be punished) That was the reason she liked me to arch my bum upward for the brush or paddle because that was stopping struggling and accepting the spanking.I think you probably have to experience this to fully understand it. But accepting punishment and cooperating with her does make you free of the struggle we all to some degree experience.

    1. Agreed. I think there also are two aspects of "freedom" -- "freedom to" and "freedom from." By giving into DD and submitting to an FLR, I am giving up some "freedom to" things, all coming back to the freedom to do whatever the hell I want. But, I gain some "freedom from" things. Primarily the freedom not be responsible for everything all the time.

    2. Dan
      I am finding more and more of the "freedom to " things i give up, the more "freedom from" those same things makes me a better man. As my son said to me last week, " you know Dad I like you more since you let Mom run the show. " That was worth it all.

    3. Hi Peter. Wow -- that is quite the endorsement!

    4. Your blog is MIND blowing ! So many hot and informative shares. THANK YOU.. Very curious in BOston.

  2. For us the need to check as you put it is still there perhaps with a different connotation. My opinion is sought in our FLR. It has influenced on the final decision taken but ultimately the decision is hers. In some cases my opinion has little to no influence but I have been heard out.

  3. Hi all, new to posting here and hope I/we can provide some unique, along with humorous, insights and perspectives from the many years that the wife and I have been involved FLR DD.

    Dan, good topic for one of my first posts. As you point out, and it’s obvious from our exchanges in the Guestbook, it’s easier for a shoemaker to teach someone how to pull to teeth than it is to get a man to clearly express and come to grips with where he’s at emotionally in a relationship.

    Wife and I have always openly discussed our feelings from our early indifferent (vanilla) through the bad and then good again days of our FLR. I’ll offer my side of the relationship then and hers.

    For me, I’ve been an unabashed feminist my entire adult life. Thus I’ve never had a problem with a woman being my equal or superior, so no problem with taking orders or my medicine when I’ve done something she disapproves of. Now, freedom from an ass whuppin’? Not me. I’ve never asked her (I’ll walk that back in a sec.) for a beating, nor do I enjoy them. What do I get out of it then? It’s a catharsis, a cleansing of the slate, instead of endless days of bickering and fuming at each other its price paid, end of subject. Except for the lingering bruises to both my ass and arrogant ego that got me beat in the first place.

    As for asking for it, I believe it was the greatest FM blogger to date (hope you do as good or better a job) DWC Mike who coined the phrase “topping from the bottom” – taking charge. Yeah even me with my disdain for getting my hide leathered will occasionally, if I know I’m just one step out of line away from a beating anyway, wil go bring her the belt and try to get it over with. Before I leave this topic a big shout out to Aunt Kay, DWC is the legacy FM site on the web. If it hasn’t turned 20 it’s damned close to it; I first stumbled on it in 99 or 00 and it was well established then.

    As for wife: She likes the freedom that comes with authority. She’s firm that if she hadn’t started beating my ass when she did we would have gone our separate ways within a few months. Now years later when she was forced to take complete of our relationship is a mixed bag, according to her. She was going to have make decisions with or without any input from me whether we stayed together or not, nothing freeing about that. And while salvaging the marriage and righting our financial ship was an immense burden, she admits to having gotten, and still gets, a perverse, surreal, liberating pleasure out of knowing she had/has Carte Blanche in how she achieved/s those goals.

    So that’s our take on handing over/seizing control. Hope you and others find something to take away from it. But as always, everyone in DD is different, and should be, in what they want and expect from their relationships. Will be posting more about us in the Guestbook hope others do as well.
    M in the desert

  4. There is a huge difference between feeling happy, or relaxed, or contented, or indulged, and feeling free. It seems to me that "freedom" is being used 'poetically' in the above quotes. What those quotes REALLY mean in the context of a BDSM scene or session is:

    "A submissive sets parameters with a Top they trust to do painful things to them in a way they essentially want and in doing so, feel able to relax in the experience."

    "A responsible Dominant agrees to those parameters in order to enjoy doing painful things to someone in a way that doesn't get them arrested."

    It is my observation that the only thing that sets anyone truly free is the ability to abandon any regard for what others think or what any law says. Anything else seems like a platitude.

    When I give up control of something to Rosa, I may be indulging a desire, trying to correct a flaw, or a combination of both...........but it does not make me freer. I don't think I ever feel "free from" anything, ever.......because I can't seem to shake my weakness for what others think even as I may do what I know will meet with disapproval. While my desire to do what I think is right or necessary may override my concerns over what others may think, but it doesn't negate them. So my decision in following what I think is right often contradicts what I think people expect. The more you care about others' opinions, the less free you FEEL even as you continue to choose your own path. The same is true....and possibly truer.....for those we care about. So in caring what our Dominant wives/girlfriends think, we become less free regardless of what we do or don't do.

    Only 'not giving a shit' about anyone else's opinions (good or bad) will allow you to feel guiltlessly free to do what you want. It is the only thing that gives you total autonomy. Giving up freedom is not a path to freedom. Contentment perhaps, but not freedom.

    1. I'm not sure why freedom would require "abandoning all regard for what others think." I can respect others opinions and input, using them to inform my choices, but ultimately do what I choose to do. You seem to be saying that "freedom" can only be real if it is entirely guilt free and unencumbered by any sense of responsibility? I agree that "not giving a shit" would probably make one *feel* more free to act, but without necessarily having any impact at all on your actual ability to do so. In fact, under that theory, wouldn't the maximum freedom come from not caring about anything at all in making your decisions -- opinions of others, laws not just of man but of nature, cause and effect, etc.? I am free to drive the wrong way down a busy highway, or walk naked through a blizzard, or jump off a cliff because I don't give a shit about the laws of gravity. I guess that all makes me theoretically more free, but it's also taking the concept of "freedom" to an extreme, and pretty much every concept breaks down when pushed to the extremes.

      I also don't draw as stark a line between freedom and contentment. My lack of contentment often comes from wanting this or that, in which case it is my wanting something to be different than it is that is keeping me locked into an anxious state of being. Yes, I am being locked into that state by the "freedom" to want something else, though I'm locked into it nonetheless. My Buddhist friends would say that the "freedom" of constantly wanting and deciding and striving is itself an illusion and that most of us are imprisoned, i.e. not free, by that illusion such that paradoxically our freedom to not surrender to reality is exactly what keeps us imprisoned in a state of delusion.

      Well, that was certainly a nice philosophical way to start the morning. Way more fun than looking at stock quotes and highlights of the Democratic National Convention. It also just occurred to me that this debate was highlighted in one of my favorite movies, a Fish Called Wanda. There is a great scene in which Wanda is telling Otto all the things on which she thinks he is mistaken, one of which is, "The central message of Buddhism is not every man for himself."

    2. Actually the whole concept of 'freedom' especially as it applies to "free will" is difficult for me because in weighing "dualism" against "determinism", I always side with determinism. However, I am a "practical determinist" (which drives my psychologist/philosopher son-in-law crazy) because while I believe all of our choices are determined by factors that only give the illusion of freedom, we must legislate and treat willful acts as if they were freely made.

      A couple of years ago a psychologist (Paul Bloom?) outlined a neuro-pathway that shows how the brain is wired to 'think' it is making a decision freely whereas all decisions are deterministic in origin. Essentially we feel like we are free to make our own decisions when in fact we cannot help but make the decision we do, and if it was possible to chart and measure all the influences that go into our decision making, our choices could be predicted each time. So if you really want to have a philosophical start to your've got that tidbit to mull over. ;-)

    3. The big problem I have with determinism is its strongest advocates seem a lot like my stock broker and the weather man on TV . . . always confident of their ability to accurately predict the future if given enough data, yet their results are at most slightly better than flipping a coin or throwing a dart at a board. And when they fail, it is always for lack of enough data or a powerful enough computer.

    4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    5. KD, sorry, I accidentally deleted your reply. Big fingers, small iPad, Sorry for the hassle, but if you resubmit it I will post later.

    6. No problem. It was just a quip, not a long essay. I think I just said that if you have issue with determinism, you are left with dualism.......and try proving that one! ;-)

    7. Even with a degree in philosophy you are making my brain hurt. More than my butt does sometimes

    8. Definitely true on the difficult of proving one or the other. It's what I find kind of ironic about the hard core Determinists. They reject the will as unprovable or contrary to experience, but then replace it with Causality as the ultimate truth, despite it also being not only unproven but also contrary to a lot of modern quantum physics with its "spooky action at a distance." They basically reject one leap of faith in favor of . . . another complete leap of faith.

    9. Yes, on the surface your criticism equates the two camps but there is a definite difference: the determinist presumes cause in a myriad of tangibles but the dualist presumes cause in an intangible. While it does beg the question of 'proof', the determinist's proof is "possible" since the sources are not supernatural. It may just be a matter of time before those factors can be measured............but they do have the potential for measurement. The dualist holds to an unprovable intangible which can never be tested for.

      I don't know who stole the cookie. I might assume it was someone in the house but I might not be able to prove it. However if someone asserts that no one in the house did it, but rather it was the work of a magical, cookie-eating unicorn....'technically' I can't prove them wrong......but "Occam's Razor" ......their burden of proof does seem a bit greater.

    10. Well, don't even get me started on Occam's Razor. I am not sure there is any postulate more subject to glaring counter-examples than one that says that a simple answer is usually best. Talk about a theory that flies in the face of pretty much our entire experience with real life!

      I also think the intangible vs. tangible distinction is way too facile and lets the determinists off way too easy. Example: We know that had the conditions surrounding the Big Bang varied even in the slightest, the universe would not exist and/or there is no way life could be supported, because the physics just wouldn't work. That is something modern physics accepts -- the conditions for life had to be just right, and somehow that just right state actually happened. So, some with a bent toward what you call the "supernatural" look at that situation and see it as some evidence of intelligent design. Being very uncomfortable with that but having a big problem in explaining how all these perfect conditions happened, those who don't like "supernatural" explanations--by which they seem to mean anything they can't touch or see or "verify"--are now postulating this "multi-verse" where every action every one of us takes -- and do not take -- creates an entirely new and separate parallel universe. They feel the need to do so, because it is the only way they can come up with to account for how a random Big Bang even produced the perfect conditions needed for the universe as we know it to arrive. They basically create a theoretical construct in which an infinite number of new universes will statistically produce that one that one perfect set of conditions that lead to our actual universe. Kind of like the theoretical physics equivalent of the belief that an infinite number of monkeys banging away on typewriters for infinity will eventually reproduce one of Shakespeare's sonnets. Now, there is of course not the slightest evidence that such a "tangible" infinite number of universes actually exists, but it is trotted out as an explanation because, well, any port in storm when one's intellectual prejudices collide with the evidence and real physics. I'm not even really sure what "magical" means in a post-quantum world filled with things like paired particles that "magically" interact simultaneously and without movement in time -- something that Einstein rejected precisely because it seemed "spooky" and "magical," but something that pretty much every physicist now accepts as truth.

      Wow, did this topic ever get off on a tangent.

    11. Yeah, maybe I can do a piece on this at my blog so we can knock this around over there without muddying up the disciplinary waters here. I really could go on with this for a long time. ;-)

  5. Hello Dan,
    I like the quote you opened the forum with ( A submissive gives up control for freedom. A Dominant gives up freedom for control. - Unknown)It perfectly captures the yin and yang that resonates within any adult F/M, or M/F disciplinarian relationship ( sorry just don't have same insights into same sex couples, so won't speculate)Jay did gain freedom from submitting to me even though the submission is for discipline only and doesn't necessarily extend to other areas of our life). I in turn gained control in exchange for accepting the responsibility of a disciplinarian. ( doing it right is work and that is something you guys out there should never forget). But it has been win win for both of us and that is really what makes it work.I think Jay always needed discipline although he fought it and I always needed to be in charge. It just took us a while to figure that out.

    1. Hi Marisa. That is kind of how it worked for us, or at least it took me awhile to figure I out I needed discipline, and it took my wife a while to figure out that she likes being in charge. I'm not sure with her whether it is a need, but it is something she increasingly realizes fits for her.

    2. Dan
      Let us all thank Marisa for her very unique way of seeing things so clearly and then being able to set them down here. Once again she is saying it better than I ever could.

    3. Dan
      Sorry forgot to sign that last statement about Marisa

      anna the forgetful

    4. So, are we saying that responsible authority = loss of freedom (even if the authoritarian is free to make rules and enforce them) but obedience = freedom (even if the sub is obliged to obey rules they would never have imposed on themselves)? I could be wrong, but this is how this sounds. Am I missing something?

    5. Dan;
      The last couple of topics have been very good, I believe they are thoughtful and interesting.

      I agree with Anna that Marissa explained the situation very well.

      To KD: I do not know if you are missing something (that sounds right but contradictory at the same time - was that sarcasm?). If not, can you provide an example for your statement: “even if the sub is obliged to obey rules they would never have imposed on themselves”. Further, would you explain what the effects are of “NOT” imposing such a rule (things that are bad for you, and bad for the relationship, and things that are good for you and things that are good for the relationship).

      For me, I do not have a lot of experience in DD or FLR. I have a lot experience in leading (leadership) and in following others. Therefore, I will try to answer the question from the outside, not from the inside of such a relationship. To ensure that I am responding (as best I can) to the question, I researched the definition of Freedom and Control:

      According to Merriam-Webster On-line Dictionary (
      1. Definition of freedom
      (T)he quality or state of being free: as
      a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action
      b :liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another :independence
      c : the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous
      d :ease, facility
      e : the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken
      f : improper familiarity
      g : boldness of conception or execution
      h : unrestricted use
      2. Definition of control
      A : to direct the behavior of (a person or animal)
      b : to cause (a person or animal) to do what you want
      c : to have power over (something)
      d : to direct the actions or function of (something)
      e: to cause (something) to act or function in a certain way

      I find there are different challenges (for me) in leading and in following.

      In leading, there is a responsibility that must be carried by the leader including the responsibility for and authority over team members, requiring the provision of safety, fairness, opportunity for success and equality for each. If I, as a leader, do not provide safety, fairness, and equality and the same opportunities for each – I believe that I have not done the best job that I could have, and most likely, I will have not maximized my teams success – to the detriment of us all. I understand that different people have different abilities, different values and will make different choices in their lives and careers – the very definition of freedom to me – but providing an equal opportunity for each when they are at the same crossroads is my burden – not a guaranteed equal outcome.

      As a follower, I must do as I am told, even if (OK, usually, when) I think it might not be the best way to achieve the desired (or stated) goal. I understand I am controlled. For me, that can be (but does not have to be) challenging.

      A really bad example to use is a sled dog team (but it works). The human leader must ensure that all of the dogs are treated equally and well, and must ensure that the dogs are safe, healthy and well fed. If the leader does not treat all of the dogs well, the dogs will not perform well and they may eventually get sick and die. If the leader doe not treat all of the dogs equally, dogs treated less well will not be able to pull the sled with a power equal to the others, and the team will not move as fast. The leader has control over, but also responsibility for the team. The dogs must perform according to the orders of the leader, who clearly, has control over the dogs (b: to cause (a person or animal) to do what you want). But the dogs do not have the burden of responsibility.



    6. Dan;

      (continued...)The leader (in the example above, and also the dominant in a DD and FLR) has control based on the definitions of control in 2a and 2b, above, (a : to direct the behavior of (a person or animal); b : to cause (a person or animal) to do what you want), but also has freedom based on definition of freedom above ( liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another) but not if freedom is defined using the definition in 1C (the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous), because they carry the burden of responsibility.

      For the dogs, their freedom is from responsibility, but is clearly not the definition described above in 1B (b :liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another :independence), but perhaps it is the freedom discussed in 1C (the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous ).

      If I use the definitions for control 2a and 2b, above, (a : to direct the behavior of (a person or animal); b : to cause (a person or animal) to do what you want), and the definition of freedom in 2C, (the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous <freedom from care) the statement works for me. This is the freedom I feel when I am not burdened with the responsibility for for others.

      In my relationship, I lead when I can, and my wife tends to follow. However, in some things she is more knowledgeable and I follow her lead. When I lead, I carry the burden of responsibility with happiness and pride. When I follow, I feel safe and protected as I know she wants us to do what is best for each for us and for the relationship.

      Thanks again for the blog, Dan. I really enjoy it.


    7. Anna,
      Thank you for the kind words.

    8. Thanks, Jack. I appreciate the appreciation!

      To sum up, I do think you have hit on the particular use of "freedom" that many subs who have experienced it are referring to: a quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous. I also see this as a big picture versus little picture problem. Little picture -- KD is right -- if you have rule imposed on you, then you have lost some degree of freedom. But, we are all bound by our habits, self-destructive tendencies, poor choices, etc., and those can be every bit as limiting as any rule. So, by subjecting yourself to control in one area, there may very well be a net gain in total freedom. A few posts ago, Marisa characterized it as freeing us to be the men we really are -- or something like that.

  6. Dan
    I dont comment often but seeing the headline for this week's blog had to comment. Each month that passes and my wife takes charge, wife, three teens and myself feel that freedom. Even after the most
    severe spanking I feel nothing but her love and devotion to our family. That makes it easier to give in
    to rules that benefit us all..Many thanks from a weekly reader and now and then commenter.

    1. Hi Scott. Thanks for the kind words. Always much appreciated.

  7. Discipline only here and I’ve become quite the expert on sitting on pillows and ice over the years. Wife has a variation of corner time she employs that I’ll save for another post.

    Punishment is in the bedroom, but it can come out and thankfully only once did. Naked, on bed, two regular bed pillows under stomach -- get your butt up too high and even a belt will occasionally leave a welt.

    The one time out of the bedroom was long ago, shortly after I ceded control of the household to her. Seems I had quite a habit of randomly dropping F-bombs that no amount or type of soap could cure. The cure finally came one day when we were visiting my mother and granny was there when I let one fly. Sadly to say I wound up with a both an extremely irate (to put it nicely) wife and mother alternating between holding me down on the arm of the sofa and wearing their arms out razor strapping my bare behind from my waist down to my knees. Last F and last and only time out of bedroom.

    Backtracking a couple of weeks, was grocery shopping this morning and there was couple, nothing said, but definitely FLR. They just smiled when it was obvious that I could tell and went on with their shopping knowing it takes one to know one. I’m a lefty too, and we of that hand persuasion seem to be able spot each without knowing for certain, as well.

    M in the desert

    1. Thanks, M. I honestly have not met anyone in my social set (or colleagues or strangers for that matter) who I suspect are in an FLR, but my eye for such things may just not be as good

  8. I enjoy spankingbmy husband. The vulnerability when he's across a table or couch is exciting. I don't bruise him, but my paddlecturnschim Crimson.
    I have a spread sheet on the fridge with columns # of spanks; witnessed spanking; insertion.
    For two weeks I fill in the sheet as necessary. This way he's worried and embarrassed ahead of time as anybody who comes in can see it.
    When the time comes, whether or not some friend of mine will be present, he lowers his panties and goes across my knees. Before I've done anything, his vulnerability is a turn on. Then I used the paddle. If insertion was checked I'll insert two fingers every so often. He squirms like crazy. If it's witnessed a girlfriend will also insert fingers in him. He hates that. Some times we use a small dildo. It's finishes with corner time nude from the waist down.


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