Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Forum - Vol. 191 - If You Want to Be Led . . .

Submission is not in the bowing of heads or knees but in the humbling of your whole being (spirit, soul and body)” - Ikechukwu Izuakor
Hello all. Welcome back to The Forum: Disciplined Husbands & Disciplinary Wives.  Our weekly gathering of men, women and couples who are in, or would like to be in, Domestic Discipline or Female Led Relationships.

I hope you had a great week.  Mine was busy and filled with distractions, yet I also felt very unproductive.  I just can't seem to get motivated to take on 2017 and feel like I've kind of already frittered away one-twelfth of the year.  But, like I said, if you are going to stumble, do it early.  Just hope stumbling doesn't become lurching from one stumble to the next throughout the year.

For reasons I may go into in a future post, what I really want to talk about this week is undeserved punishment.  It is a subject that resonates strongly with me as I go into this weekend.  But, we have adone that one within the last year, and I also just need some objectivity before getting into it.  So, instead, this week's topic is an offshoot of some of last week's comments.  Darren brought up that his wife is starting to talk like a budding Disciplinarian, saying things like "You deserve to be paddled for that."  But, the follow-up isn't always there.  Anna suggested that at those times, he might respectfully ask whether he should get the paddle or remove his belt, or words to that effect.  That discussion led Alan to observe:

"I strongly agree with Anna's advice. At the beginning of my relationship with the woman who introduced DD, she would often make remarks like your wife does such as " you should be spanked for that" or " someone needs a spanking." Ultimately I realized it was sort of a negotiation conversation going on in which she was testing the waters to see if I would submit. Remember this was early and she was still uncertain (later that uncertainty goes away pretty fast). But think of it as a conversation asking a question and you supply the answer that encourages and reassures her. It might not guarantee a spanking this time but will greatly increase the chances one will be in the offing.Women who are not experienced disciplinarians want to know you will submit to their authority. Incidentally offering to bring her brush or simply answering " yes ma'am" to her was very effective in those situations"

As Disciplined Husbands or those who want to be in such a relationship, many of us crave accountability and strong female leadership. We want consequences for our actions, and it is important that they be imposed on us.  The more we have to ask, or suggest, or manipulate the situation to lead her to deliver some real punishment, the less it meets our need for real accountability and yielding to another person's will, because it is still really us controlling the situation. But, the reality is, while lots of stories in DD books and websites involve a strong woman getting fed up with her weak or ill-behaved husband to such an extent that she just suddenly takes over and blisters his bottom, in real life it doesn't seem to happen that way very often. Instead, far more often the dynamic involves the husband asking his wife to consider disciplining him, and she accommodates it but with some degree of trepidation, uncertainty and doubt.

So, while I always hope that budding Disciplinary Wives will be inspired by quotes like this,

the reality may be much closer to what Alan is describing -- a series of "testing the waters" exchanges, with her testing to see how serious he is about all this and trying to "level set" on how far he really wants her to take it.  In those cases, it may very well be that while we husbands really want the command to precede the obedience, the commands may start coming only after we demonstrate our willingness to obey.  While the fantasy is that dominance precedes submission, maybe in reality we have to do the opposite?

Is that the way it really does work?  If so, are there things you have done to demonstrate your real willingness to submit or to convince her that your desire is real and that the authority you are asking her to assume won't be taken back the first time she really steps up and tells you to do something you don't like or gives you that real disciplinary spanking that you say you want?  As I hope people saw from the last couple of postings, I am very into concrete steps, i.e. specific things we can say and do to move the ball forward in these nascent DD and FLR relationships.  So, let's get into the details on things you have done to demonstrate real commitment putting her in charge and accepting your role.  Ladies, how do you feel when your husband displays that submission or makes subtle, or not so subtle, suggestions that you carry through and spank him for something that he's done to deserve one?  Does it encourage you, or does it feel like he's trying to take over?  In an ideal world, how would you like him to demonstrate his willingness to submit to your commands or take a real disciplinary spanking from you? What would give you additional confidence in taking over or delivering the discipline he wants and deserves?

I hope you all have a great week.  If you are new to this Forum, please take a moment to visit our Guestbook (see tab above) and tell everyone a little about yourself and your Domestic Discipline lifestyle or aspirations.  Also, please note the poll posted in the upper-right corner of the blog and take a minute to vote.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Forum - Vol. 190 - Growing Up With Rules

"Sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zones.  We have to break the rules.  And we have to discover the sensuality of fear.  We need to face it, challenge it, dance with it." -- Kyra Davis

Hello all.  Welcome back to The Forum: Disciplined Husbands and Disciplinary Wives.  Our weekly gathering of men and women practicing or positively interested in Domestic Discipline and Female Led Relationships.

You know, sometimes a topic that I see as pretty simple and straightforward just doesn't work.  Take last week as an example.  I really thought that it would be a fairly concrete topic yielding some actual guidance for what a Disciplinary Wife might consider doing if her spanking efforts didn't seem to be preventing repeat offenses. I like those "concrete" kinds of topics, because I get a surprising number of side-conversations going with either budding Disciplinary Wives and HoH's who want practical, concrete advice on how to handle certain situations or from men who are looking for similar ideas to help give their wives confidence as leaders and some real tools to use.  I don't believe that any of this stuff comes naturally, and it's not like there is some instruction manual they hand you when you decide to give a Domestic Discipline relationship a try, so I always have this hope that men, and particularly women, who are interested in these lifestyles can come here and get practical, concrete advice.  And, sometimes that works.  Other times, it seems to go off the rails.  Last week, it seemed to go way off the rails--my own comments included--covering pretty much everything under the sun other than my question about how to handle repeat offenses.

I have started to see a distinct pattern of conversations going off the rails precisely at the intersection of Domestic Discipline versus Dominance & submission or Femdom.  I will ask a question that focuses on what women can or should do to increase their leadership skills or confidence, or to take a stronger hand in enforcing the rules, and it tends to quickly take a hard right turn into a vary binary "She just needs to lead" or "He just needs to submit." Or both. And, both sexes can get pretty judgmental on this issue.  One of my favorite female bloggers has told me that she has experienced the same thing, where she asks for concrete tips on being a better or more consistent HoH and Leader, and she tends to get back very preachy and condescending responses from other female HoH's to the effect of: "You just need to lead."  I don't know why there is this tendency to think that being a "Leader" or "HoH"  or "Dominant" just magically happens in practice and becomes "real" immediately by virtue of two people deciding to confer those titles.  It's a skill like anything else, and skills generally aren't innate.  They come with practice and diligence and lots of trial and error.  That is the real world, and one reason I am pretty resistant to letting this blog drift over into the harder Femdom and Master/slave stuff is that so much of that is either not real or not something that many "real world" wives seem very interested in.  I want the blog to be about real relationships, and those are complex.  They involve real people with real feelings and real temperaments and real habits.  One reason I have so much admiration for real women who decide to take on the HoH and Disciplinary Wives role is that I am sure it is really, really hard.  You are constantly having to make judgments about what rules to make and, even harder, how rigorously to enforce them, when the rules keep colliding with the real world situation around you both.  It's why, as much as I have a hard time following, I admire the hell out of my wife for agreeing to lead, because of the two roles I have no doubt that it is the more difficult.

I also recognize that I have caused some of the messiness around this by moving this blog a bit more down the FLR path instead of keeping a tight focus on Domestic Discipline, and FLR concepts do have a way of bleeding together with Femdom and D/s.  All these acronyms and non-self defining terms! 

Anyway, enough of that.  For now.  I do fully intend to keep asking these questions involving concrete tips for working on developing leadership (and submission) skills and enforcing (and following) rules, and if the discussions continue to go off the rails, so be it.  In fact, since I feel the actual topic got so little consideration last week, I was sorely tempted this morning to just continue it to this week, but I reluctantly decided to move on.  For now.

Anna asked in one of the comments last week why I continue to go down this FLR road when I really hate the "service" aspects of it. I won't repeat my answer, as it is in the comments with more verbosity than it probably required.  But, my answer relates a little to this week's quote, above, and also has some connection to this week's topic.  I stumbled across the quote just this morning as I was looking for quotes on "rules."  I love the part about needing to discover "the sensuality of fear" that comes with rule breaking.  But, I think that same sensuality and fearfulness are involved when people who are not wired to follow rules are made to do so. In fact,  I think that phrase encapsulates elegantly many discussions we have had about how a Disciplined Husband can both crave and dread a real disciplinary spanking.  We want it precisely because it is hard and legitimately fear-inducing, but we dread it because there is a very good reason that it induces fear.

I feel similarly conflicted about rules.  I am one of the most anti-authoritarian guys you will ever meet.  If someone says, "go left" I just feel this natural compulsion to go right.   But, it gets me in trouble.  So, for practical reasons, I know I need to work on following rules.  I also want it precisely because it is hard for me to obey someone else.  But, I firmly believe that we only grow by getting outside our comfort zones, and even if doing so is scary and hard, there is something sensual and fulfilling about doing hard and scary things.

This week's topic is related to the above, but maybe a little narrower, and it focuses on two recent polls.  I asked everyone about their relationship to rules when they were growing up.  Here are the results:

In my home growing up there were:

Many rules                                   33 (42%)
Few rules                                     45 (57%)

In my home growing up, rules were:

Strictly enforced                          26 (32%)
Moderately enforced                   30 (37%)
Seldom enforced                         23 (29%)

Sometimes I have some firm ideas about what a poll is likely to show, though I'm often proven wrong.  This time, I really didn't have any firm pre-conceived notion, though I had a mild suspicion that DD might appeal more to men who grew up with few rules or where enforcement was lacking.  My basis for that was two-fold.  First, I had heard something by a "spanking therapist" who was of the opinion that spanking fetishists who want disciplinary-style spankings often grew up in chaotic or unstable environments, and as adults they crave rules and accountability precisely because they lacked them growing up. She even described the adult spanking process and the accountability that comes along with it as a form of "re-parenting."

Second, that therapeutic explanation resonated with me personally.  I did grow up in a pretty chaotic environment, and my parents set very few rules and enforced even fewer.  In fact, as I hit my teen-age years my father actually told me something to the effect of he wasn't going to set any rules unless I really screwed something up thereby proving that I needed them.  Now, that may sound like a teenage boy's wet dream, but it actually can lead to a lot of insecurity and sense of overwhelming personal responsibility, because when you are responsible for setting 100% of your own rules you also are responsible for 100% of the consequences.  I was never a "bad" kid in terms of things like bullying or engaging in wanton destruction, but it is fair to say that I engaged in a lot of pretty risky behavior.  I managed to get myself out of most scrapes, but I think I always felt more than a little out of control, because in fact no one really was controlling me.  That is hard enough as an adult, but as a kid it is a lot of responsibility to carry around.  So, I think that one reason I had such an incredibly strong reaction to Domestic Discipline the first time I read about it was because the idea of having rules and painful consequences imposed on me was deeply attractive and also deeply disturbing, both at the same time.

Now, the polls don't really seem to support my working hypothesis.  Yes, more respondents grew up with "few rules," but not by a big margin.  There also is a fairly even distribution between mild, moderate and strict enforcement.  So, I guess all the poll really does is reinforce my view that there is no "one size fits all" reason for our attraction to this stuff.

How about you?  What was your environment like growing up when it comes to rules and their enforcement?  Do you see any connection between how many rules you had to follow and how strictly you were required to observe them and your attitudes and desire for (or aversion to) rules and discipline today?

I hope you have a great week.  As always, if you are new to this Forum please tell us a little about yourself or your DD lifestyle by visiting our Guestbook (tab above).

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Forum - Vol. 189 - Am I Getting Through to You? Repeat Offenses

The events we bring upon ourselves, not matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they're necessary to reach the places we've chosen to go. -- Richard Bach

Hello everyone.  Welcome back to The Forum - Disciplined Husbands & Disciplinary Wives.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, a Domestic Discipline or Female Led Relationship.  I hope you all had a good week.

Although we didn't set a record for the number of comments by any means, I thought last week's discussion on embarrassment and humiliation as potential DD tools was a good one to explore.  It's clear that the potential for being embarrassed by having our wives' authority demonstrated in public is disconcerting and threatening to many of us, particularly if it were to include a revelation that we get spanked for bad behavior.  And, it's not just in "public."  We are just as mortified about our kids or close relatives or friends finding out.  Maybe more so.  As I said in responding to a comment from Marisa, however, it's interesting that the likelihood of someone finding out about our spankings is kind of within our own control, since for those couples using spankings as real punishment for real offenses getting punished is, to a large extent, within his own control, because we could avoid it by behaving better.  It's also kind of interesting that one reason couples try so hard to avoid having their kids overhear a spanking is because of the embarrassment it would cause Dad, but in doing that they are really choosing to place an upper limit of sorts on the punishment he is subject to, by taking inter-family embarrassment off the table.

I was mulling this all a bit this morning while thinking about possible topics and looking for appropriate quotes.  During the course of that, I found this one from a book by Stephen King that would have been perfect as the headline quote for last week:

      "A man who can't bear to share his habits is a man who needs to quit them."
 Then there was this quote from Marisa:

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

So, how do wives deal with repetitive bad behavior?  One possible solution that may, or may not, work is consistency, i.e. making sure that discipline actually is meted out consistently every time the problem behavior occurs.  I do think the lack of consistency has been a big problem for us over the years, because in the back of my mind I know that when it comes to certain bad habits and behaviors, the odds of escaping punishment are really kind of in my favor.

If consistency doesn't seem to work,  is it a matter of cranking up the severity?

Or, maybe one spanking for one offense just isn't enough for really deeply rooted behaviors?

Or, more to Marisa's point, if spankings are not working, does a true Disciplinary Wife need to take things to not just a new level, but in an entirely different direction?  In other words, does she in fact need to find something that he hates or fears even more than being spanked?  Like, taking him downstairs or upstairs for a hard paddling or strapping even if kids are in the house and might overhear? Or letting him know that if he does it again, she will tell a friend or relative that he gets spanked or, worse yet, do it in front of someone else?  Or, perhaps she starts grounding him or taking away privileges?

So, what happens, or should happen, if "normal" spankings don't seem to be getting the point across?  Any suggestions from experienced wives or from men whose wives finally cranked it up enough to really make him avoid the bad behavior?

I hope you all have a great week. And, if you are new to this Forum, please take a minute to go to the Guestbook (tab above) and tell us a little about yourself and your DD or FLR lifestyle or aspirations.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Forum - Vol. 188 - Humiliation & Humbling

"Flaws would not only bring death but, far worse, humiliation." - William Goldman, The Princess Bride

Hi all.  Welcome back to The Forum - Disciplined Hubbies & Disciplinary Wives.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or would like to be in, Domestic Discipline or Female Led relationships.

I hope you all had a great week.  Mine was a stumble right out of the gate.  I was pretty proud of myself on New Years Eve, having one drink at dinner then going to bed.  Of course, I have always been prone to see that particular evening as Amateur Night, and this isn't the first time I've decided to let the world get bombed while I get a good night's sleep.  But, still, I was reveling in my accomplishment and patting myself on the back right through most of New Years Day.  Then, I met a business contact for "a drink" and to watch a game.  As usual one led to another, and one day into the New Year I had violated my pledge to moderate.  But, if you are going to stumble, do it early, right?  Well, that was the theory.  I was good the rest of the week.  Then, as I was leaving work yesterday, there was a mixer of sorts going on at the office, and I had a beer, which became three, then a couple at dinner with the family, then a nightcap at home while watching a movie.  And, this came on top of a pretty serious self-created problem at work -- sort of an insubordination issue, but more complex than that.  By the end of the week it had sorted itself out for the most part, but only after hours and hours of time spent trying to fix a situation that my poor judgment had no small part in creating.  I think part of the underlying problem is work got off to a bit of a slow start this week, which is always when I am most prone to "acting out."  Idle hands are the devil's workshop . . .

Now, why go into all this detail?  Because I have decided to add a bit of leverage to my efforts at behavior modification in the form of public humiliation by being a lot more honest and open about my problem behaviors and also about the impact they have or the consequences that result.  To some extent, my wife put me on this track a few weeks ago.  I had lost my temper about something and gone off on something at work, including excoriating someone in a voicemail for some behavior that I probably misinterpreted.  Now, I'm not sure I would have done it were it not for the fact that this person is, in fact, kind of a prick and has a well-earned reputation for being one.   But, that led to a chain of somewhat opposing though complementary consequences.  First, the history and context probably did make me more inclined to interpret something he said in the worst possible light, thereby leading to me responding with a very nasty tirade that may not actually have been warranted.  Second, when I informed my wife about it, she blew her top because she is tired of these work-related temper incidents.  Since spankings have not been doing the job on this issue, she decided to crank things up a bit, forcing me to . . . apologize!  Worse, she told me that it had to be face-to-face or over the phone.  No email or other more distancing and insulating form of communication.  So, I spent the better part of the next day hemming and hawing and finding every excuse in the world to do something other than deliver that apology.  I finally called him near the end of the day and apologized, explaining that I probably misinterpreted what he said.  Thankfully, he didn't make me squirm too much, though it was still humiliating, particularly because in the context of the overall relationship he really is a jerk and I'm not the only one who feels that way.  Apologizing is hard enough, but having to do it to someone you genuinely dislike . . . very humbling.

Which brings us to this week's topic.  Does public humiliation or shaming play any role in your DD or FLR relationship?  Does your HoH or Disciplinarian use non-spanking methods to force you to take responsibility for your actions, particularly in some way that involves airing that bad behavior in public or acknowledging responsibility in some especially humbling way? This could conceivably involve letting others know that you have been or will be spanked or punished for something you did, but I want to broaden it to other forms of humbling and humiliation that serve as a punishment or a means of forcing those of us who misbehave to take real responsibility or ownership for our bad acts.

I hope you have a great week.  If you are new to this forum, please take a moment to stop by the Guestbook (tab above) and tell us a little about yourself and your DD or FLR lifestyle or aspirations.  Also, we have a couple of pending polls.  Please take a couple of seconds to vote.