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).


  1. I grew up in an environment with few rules but it worked really well. My family situation was very stable and my parents' philosophy was to teach me right from wrong and to understand the importance of being a good person. It clearly wasn't "Do what I say because I have power over you" but instead it was teaching me how to think. It worked as I am a very thinking adult.

    I don't think that my desire for D/D has anything to do with my upbringing. My guess is that it is a genetic thing. As well I don't analyze the why of it anyway. It's more a case of discovering what I want and need and discovering this part of myself.

    (my FetLife name)

    1. Hi IOH. That is a good point that a family environment can be stable with few rules, or chaotic even though there are rules in abundance.

  2. I have thought some about this.I grew up in an environment where there were quite a few rules but they were not enforced consistently.So lots of guilt about being "naughty" but not consistently enforced boundaries. When I was punished, corporal punishment was mostly used but again not consistently. One result I think was that I seek discipline and rules in an adult relationship, and punishment when I break them. But it is important that I know what will get me in trouble and that I am consistently punished for it if I go off the rails.I grew up with strict standards and when I transgress them only a dose of paddle or strap ( or the cane) will re-balance me. Otherwise I will " act out" and become moody as well as a general pain in the ass.This is more then a kinky preference for me. As my first girlfriend said to me, she could not imagine being in a relationship with me without the authority to spank me. My wife often reminds me how ashamed I should be , a grown man having to be put over his wife's lap reminded to behave.I feel that embarrassment acutely sometimes when I am being punished.But I would rather be embarrassed than behave the way I would without loving consistent discipline.Incidentally a few editions ago it was discussed why blog participants skew older than the general population.I think it takes a while for many of us to to square the contradiction of being alpha males during the day and submitting to our wives authority at home.When I can acknowledge it ( it is safe) I am proud to admit my wife spanks me when it's needed. But it took a while to get to that point.

    1. Hi Alan. All this really resonates me. In your case, it sounds like there was guilt over unenforced rules, while I think I felt guilty about rules that didn't even really exist and were really just my own expectations. I also wonder whether a religious upbringing could have anything to do with it, because while my parents may not have set a lot of rules, I certainly heard no end of them in "fire and brimstone" sermons growing up. I honestly just don't remember whether I was spanked very much as a young kid, but I would be surprised if I didn't get more than a few, because it was just so prevalent where I was grew up. Every kid got spanked constantly -- parents, extended family, teachers -- they all had the authority and felt the right to spank for pretty much anything and everything. Yet, I really don't think I got many, and only remember two or three.

      I agree that the embarrassment tapers off as we grow older, and maybe it finally gets to be low enough as we get to middle age that we feel comfortable asking for discipline? Face it, for me in their 20s and probably early 30s, it's all about ego and saving face. But, I also wonder if it's also that it's only in our 40s that life generally settles down enough to start focusing more on our own needs? Through our 20s and 30s it's all about getting careers and family started, and there isn't time for much of anything else.

  3. My mindset and upbringing are very similar to the way you describe your own. Bill

    1. That doesn't surprise me, particularly given your comment on last week's topic about needing a "redemptive" spanking. I haven't described it that way to myself, but it fits well.

  4. I grew up in chaos. My parents were so busy bickering they often forgot my brother and
    me. I was determined when I had children I would do my best to have a home that was not a zoo. Peter and i were fine until the boys were born. It was life happening. Peter got
    a promotion that meant longer hours while I having left the work force was home with the boys. Without going into our whole history, when the boys turned 5 & 6 years my
    biggest concern was the example Peter was setting for the boys. It became a problem
    and it was then we sat down and agreed that there were 5 areas he would focus on. We
    set up rules for the five. If broken we would experiment with domestic punishment for him. ( He was familiar with this from a previous relationship but was more sexual than discipline) Quickly these as I recall were the first five rules.

    1 - Stop smoking in car or around the house.
    2 - Never drive the boys when you have been drinking
    3 - Dont promise boys things you wont or cant keep.
    This had to do with saying he was going to a game
    and not showing up.
    4 - check in every day at four to give me an idea of when
    you are coming home. If after we speak you are going to
    be delayed call and say so.
    5 - Stop not answering your cell after 5 on friday.
    Those were the first rules i had long list of others but settled on these five. If he failed
    then discipline would occur on friday evening after the boys were off to my in-laws.
    We began there and since a few have been improved on and we have mutually agreed
    on the replacement.

    1. Thank you, Anna. When I conceived of the two polls and this topic, I was thinking of whether the level of chaos and rules growing up might have an impact on a man's desire for domestic discipline and corporal punishment. Your comment shows that I should have been more inclusive, as it is equally interesting to consider whether the level of chaos growing up might influence a woman's desire to impose discipline on her husband or at least her openness to it. It's an intriguing proposition for me personally, because my wife took to DD surprisingly easily and was also surprisingly open to it from the day I brought it to her attention, and like you she came from a very chaotic home environment.

  5. I wish I had something constructive to add but I come from an abusive environment. It was hell growing up there in the 60s.

  6. One way is not more "real" than the other, and merely expecting a woman to lead might be the wrong way to go about things. If it's a FLR, then ideally the woman should lead, but it needs to be on her terms, and not how the male (or anyone else) expects it. My personal opinion is that there should be open and honest communication about both his and her expectations, and if the male has a need (not a desire) that isn't being met, he should talk to the woman about it, otherwise, the relationship is doomed to fail.

    Some women are leaders, others are followers, so patience is important. Even a follower can learn to be a reluctant leader, and then a leader, it just takes time.

    As for my home,there were rules, and I followed them because I saw what happened to my (often bratty, spoiled) friends. My parents became more lax as I got older, but I just preferred to either stay out of trouble or just be sneaky about it.

  7. I at the age of ten or so was brought up by my step-mom, my real mom passed away when I was very young and my dad did not remarry for many years. She had rules, respect, do as told, no foul language, nothing unusual. My dad job meant traveling and so it was mostly just the two of us. When I did break the rules it was addressed with a scolding, then a spanking, always. I can remember I was sixteen or so, got drunk with my friends, came home late. The look I got and told straight to bed. I awoke late, hung over, and just wanted coffee. She had other plans, no sooner I had walked into the kitchen, she had me across her lap, my pajamas pulled down and that spanking was the worse, I kicked off the pajama bottoms from kicking and squirming. She was so mad that I faced the wall along time and then felt the sting of the hairbrush. I accepted her rules and punishment, I learned, but at that age over her lap, my bare bottom getting her full attention, I felt really little. Married, my wife was informed by my step mom that I was spanked growing up, my wife has since found it necessary at times.

  8. I was raised fairly strictly but there were far more expectations than formal rules. I don't know if the strictness led to my later desires or not. Most likely it only was part of a more complex puzzle.

    A lot of my desire for consequences stems from guilt over my own shortcomings though.

    1. Your last sentence definitely fits my own situation. Isn't it interesting how some of us do feel a lot of guilt over those perceived shortcomings to such an extent that we want to be held accountable for them, while others are either less self-aware or more self-forgiving?

    2. Yes, it is interesting how diverse these reactions can be. Take even our own spouses. They are not 'perfect' and probably feel the need to apologize for certain things now and then...........but you don't see them looking to trade places in a disciplinary setting. And even in that setting, they don't use their own reluctance to be punished for their shortcomings as absolution for our transgressions. ("Neither of us are perfect, but only one of us is going to end up spanked around here.") It really is so much more about each party being true to their perceived role.

  9. I was brought up in a strict environment, surrounded by women at home but sent to a strict Catholic school where the strap was used daily. I had and still have an authority problem, I am always 'right' and tell me to do one thing and I will try if possible to do the opposite.

    Our developing DD relationship has enabled me to grow and learn in ways I never contemplated before. I have learned patience, that being wrong sometimes is OK, to be respectful and enjoy it and most importantly to submit when I need to learn some humility.

    It's not perfect but having found a side to my very long term partner that is accepting of my spanking interest and is prepared, even keen to use that to create those boundaries that I spent most of my life trying to breach. I am learning the value of rules and boundaries, of respect and consideration, and mostly of the release in submitting to a long, painful, loving correction!

  10. Long ago I gave up trying to understand the why. I can and have at various points in my life blamed either an over indulgent mother and/or a stern and demanding dad who never thought I worked hard enough. Is that what made me find DD a refuge and way of life that demands I pay attention to my wife and boys.
    Is it erotic? sometimes. Often it is not. What it is has turned out to be for me is a way to communicate with my wife and family. What I have discovered is the discipline she enforces on me has made me a better and loving husband and father. I am not perfect and to be honest there are times I think she is being a true bitch. But there is no feeling better than after a punishment session to curl up next to her and feel loved.

    1. Hi Peter. There are so many nuances to this stuff. When I think through it, my own dad never set rules and was anti-authoritarian, but in his own way was also very demanding, and his own work ethic was off the charts.

      Not going near the "true bitch" comment with a ten-foot pole. Hope that one doesn't get you spanked!

    2. Peter
      I believe it was Talleyrand who said ( I'm paraphrasing ) Don t ever bother to try to get even. Just put their name on a slip of paper and time and fate will do more in the way of revenge than you could ever dream. We shall see. Ask Peter next saturday morning.

      great topic

    3. I had never heard that one. Great quote!

  11. Dan-

    Based on your opening comments this week, I don't want to be one of us that then diverts from the actual topic buttttttt. Your opening thought were GREAT!!!!! I even shared excerpts with my wife in the context of a "thank you" note to her for her awesome efforts of late adopting DD into our relationship. Your comment recognizing the wives in terms of it being so hard for an innately vanilla wife adopting this later in life and in a long-term marriage to an alpha husband who has been in charge and largely beyond rebuke for all these years (25 yr marriage and 53 am I already "later in life"?). I'm not sure what switch has flipped with my wife but things have changed dynamically of late. For the first time since trying to start this 2 years ago she is making comments like "you deserve to be paddled" or even "you're getting paddled for that". So back to your point of this being a forum for those of us trying to learn and desperate for advice and anecdotal experiences from those that have gotten over the hump and accomplished a DD relationship. You've referenced several times all the people who are looking at your blog but don't comment. I think the majority are in fact looking for some form of guidance. In that vein....i just commented my wife has gotten over a HUGE hurdle of thinking in a DD mindset recognizing things I need to be accountable for and now even commenting as much. HOWEVER, she hasn't been great at getting the paddle and actually SPANKING. The last 2 times she commented i went to my den and was waiting for her to come in w the paddle or call for me. Both times after neither happened she later said she got caught up with something around the house.....but when she said what that was both times it was something she easily could have put off. So...would be interested in 2 different comments if anyone is open. First is there a way to get her more comfortable to "jump in to action". And secondly.....i'm new to this too! Is there something I should be saying or doing to advance things or make it easier for her? I'm not inclined to say "OK...then go get the paddle for her" I don't want to pressure her like that and admittedly I do want her to be the one to initiate it. Thoughts, comments, POINTERS would all be WELCOMED!

    1. Yes. I know exactly how you feel. Dev will say " you're going to get spanked for that ". The seed is planted and I wait
      for her to come in a follow through as you do. When it doesn't happen I feel anger and frustration that leads to depression. We had a long talk two months ago. I said I was just going to come up to her and ask to be paddled. She said she was fine with that. I haven't done it yet but will try today.

  12. It's great she is making so much progress. I can't say that mine is great about dealing with offenses as soon as they occur, so I may not be the best person to give advice. Though, many of our impediments are kid related. But, a few thoughts:

    (1) I can't think of anything particular to say or do, but I give mine a journal on a regular basis, and I try to use it to give her lots of positive reinforcement when she takes things to a new level or seems to make some notable progress.
    (2) Maybe keep paddles or straps in strategic locations around the house, such as in the kitchen or family/living room, so an implement is at the ready whenever she might have cause to use it.

    1. Dan & Darren

      May I make a suggestion. Perhaps Replying to her in a way that wont intimidate you might say something like : " If you think it I deserve punishment shall I get the paddle and bring it to you ?"
      " If you feel that way shall I remove my belt."

      If she dismisses you at that moment, when you are having an intimate chat with her tell her how you
      felt at that moment. Why you feel after a spanking will make it better. I also think keeping a journal and making sure you are honest about how you dont want to push on her for discipline but how you sense its a way you can get control or whatever your issues are.
      Just a thought...


    2. Anna- Thank you! Great way to put it, asking if I should get the paddle. I was trying to figure out a way to support her inclination to spank and affirm I'm open to it but at the same time not take over or commandeer the spanking by as soon as she says anything i'm then demanding she "perform". As Dan knows this has been quite a work in process w wife and I. At this critical stage for us in the process I wouldn't in any way want her to start thinking she has to watch what she says otherwise she'll get pushed into action by me. I don't know if you can recall the beginning of your DD experience but I'm now excited just hearing her think in those terms.

    3. 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.

  13. We took a unique path to get started. Everyone is different, I asked my wife if I could schedule a time for a 'therapy session'. I would write-up a description the bad behaviors that characterized our relationship over the past 3 years. My indifference to her for example. My laziness in some areas. I would write a paragraph describing how awful it was and how much that I wanted to be better. Then, I asked her to please spank me so I would be a better man for her and us. I did this for 5 sessions. She so enjoyed the change in my behavior that we are totally on the same page at this point. Good luck.

    1. Great example of concrete steps. Thanks, Anonymous.

    2. When Aunt Kay held her occasional Couples Gathering, the high point was the Confessional sessions. The men would bring a written description of something they craved punishment for and release from. They were completely confidential.

      She studied them and then assigned each man to a different wife who would discuss the confession and administer the spanking. Believe me. The women took their responsibilities seriously.

      The theraputic result for the men who took the whole exercise to heart was beyond belief. A couple of guys reported getting rid of guilt from decades past.

  14. From Joe2,

    I grew up with few rules, but all were strictly enforced. The focus was on being a good person (do not lie, cheat or steal, etc...). But my parents and siblings were/are very smart, naturally focused, and high achievers. I wasn't. My parents did love me and did not belittle me, but it was apparent that I was ignored when compared to my siblings. So I decided to have fun. While I always tried to be a good person, focusing on tomorrow was not high on my priorities. I found out years later that my parents voted me to be the child most likely to die before the age of 25. Pretty funny now, but I am glad that I did not know about it then.

    Only after I married the love of my life and had the responsibility of providing for my family did I start buckling down and figuring how to be successful both in my marriage and profession.

    How I linked spanking into this is a long story that I have mentioned in earlier posts, but here are the major points: 1) To be held accountable before I left the reservation; 2) The punishment needs to not affect "tomorrow" (A spanking may hurt tomorrow, but it will not cause performance or emotional after effects. For instance, I do not like humiliation and my natural impulse is to fight that which caused the humiliation.); 3) I used to lift weights a lot and mentally I have linked pain with good outcomes. For instances I used to do "squats" until my body was screaming in agony.

    I do not live in a FLR, nor do I get punished for bad acts, but when the stress is high, I feel like I am losing control of my performance, lose sleep, and start acting poorly around others. So a spanking brings me back into focus.

  15. Joe 2

    I totally understand what you have said. That was how i managed. When I met Anna she brought me back to focus. As time passed I found for me, I want to state this is my take on me only, that FLR has become the way I can stay in focus.


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