Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Forum -- Vol. 223 -- Caring About What She Cares About (and other stuff)

“You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger.” - Gautama Buddha

Hi all. Welcome back to The Forum.  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 good week. Mine was wearing.  While my interest in DD seems to be making a bit of a comeback, my time for it or practical ability to engage in it hasn't.  It was truly just an exhausting week, culminating in me directing a mini-tirade at someone at work.  It is debatable whether the person did or did not have it coming, and I wasn't totally over the line vicious, but I definitely let my temper get the better of me.  I think everyone understood that I was just exhausted and frustrated, but still . . . .    I know Peter had a somewhat similar problem recently involving an enforced apology to someone he had been rude to, and I welcome him to share more about that if he desires.  In this case, my wife won't have to require the apology, let alone paddle or strap one out of me.  The person is a friend, I feel bad about it, and our relationship is larger than this one incident.  Hence, the above quote.  So, I will apologize and probably buy him a bottle of good booze.

I'm also sorry I didn't get to all the comments this week.  As discussed, the week got really crazy at the end, I just couldn't keep up with everything, and I have made a more or less conscious decision that when I have 20 things to get to on my to-do list but time for only 19, anything related to blogging is going to be a very strong candidate to fall off the list.  But, I did feel like there was some good commenting going on, some of it subtly intertwined.  There was some discussion both on the blog and in some side conversations about whether the whole topic from last week was an exercise in "topping from the bottom."  As I've said, it's a concept I just don't like, which I think has been artificially imported from BDSM world and that is dangerous and downright destructive in many DD relationships where the emphasis should be on frequent and open communication.  Now, I'm not saying it has no application to DD, and I can think of at least one example that has come up here with someone showing a repeated pattern of insisting on DD, telling his wife how it should be done, then undermining her repeatedly when she actually did it.  That IS a problem.  On balance, however, the concept just seems to have more potential for harm than good in most relationships.  But, as I said to a good friend on the blog who feels differently, we can sometimes agree to disagree.

One comment did bring up an interestingly related issue, however.  ZM observed: "I had to be especially careful at first because all this was very new to her, while I had been thinking about it and reading about it for much of my life. Consequently, it was a fine line between giving her pointers so she would learn how to safely and effectively discipline me, but at the same time not making her feel disempowered or micromanaged."  It does seem to be the case that men are just more mentally into DD than their partners, and I do think that once we decide we want this, it seems to become more pervasive for us than for them.  Though, based on some time I've spent hanging out on JGirl's A Shrew Tamed blog, I'm starting to wonder whether it is really a male/female thing, rather than a "bottom" and "top" kind of thing, where for whatever reason the person who wants discipline has a compelling need for it, while the "top" or disciplinarian may see a value in it but doesn't have a "need" for it, at least not in the same way or to the same degree.  If you don't believe that is the dynamic, take a look at these stark results from a recent poll, where I asked (in a follow-up to a poll from a couple of years ago), who initiated the DD relationship, the disciplinary giver or the receiver:

The disciplined spouse (the spankee) initiated the DD aspect of our relationship:        86%
The disciplinary spouse (the spanker) initiated the DD aspect of the relationship
:       13%

Pretty stark difference, right?  Although these polls always have a very limited set of respondents, those results are pretty hard to quibble with, and I think they reflect most of the experiences related here and in other DD-related discussion groups.  It is almost always--not 100% of the time but almost--the disciplined party who initiates, which is even more fascinating when you think about two other aspects of these relationships.  First, and somewhat obviously, getting spanked by someone who is motivated to do it, knows what she is doing, and is using the right tool -- HURTS!  Yet, it is the disciplined party who wants it.  Second, if you read DD-oriented spanking stories, the most common fantasy scenario seems to be the wife getting fed up with bad behavior and imposing the DD relationship on a reluctant husband.  I'm not sure whether I've come across another area in which the gap between the fantasy and the reality is quite so stark.  And, all this plays into the whole "topping from the bottom" thing, because it's clear the "bottoms" are mentally into the whole thing, want it to work well, and think about it so much that they probably do put way more time and energy than their "tops" in figuring out things that might make it work better.

As for this week's topic, it also comes from one of the commenters.  The Glenmore (not sure how he likes to be addressed) observed: "I find women like to be empowered, or empower themselves, in areas where they feel strongly about and wish to be in charge of."  Pretty commonsensical, right?  The Disciplinarian in these relationships is more likely to punish for things that she sees as a problem, whether he does or not.  Conversely, she is less likely to punish him for things she doesn't care about, even if he sees the behavior as a problem and wants help correcting it.

In your relationship, does it actually work that way?  I find all sorts of things in life would seem to work in one way but actually don't.  For us, it's kind of yes, kind of no.  For a long time, she tended to spank for, and only for, those things that we had mutually agreed would be spankable.  But, even then she definitely was more prone to spank for some of those things than for others.  More recently, I think she is starting to get more comfortable spanking for things that do really piss her off, like displays of disrespect or temper, but mainly to the extent they are directed at her.  While I see things like this week's temper tantrum at work as a problem, she agrees but is much less prone to do anything about it than had I directed a similar tantrum directly at her.

Conversely, the #1 thing I get spanked for is over-indulging on alcohol, usually in the work setting.  I do agree that it is a problem, and I'm probably the one who really initiated being spanked for it, but I also know that my heart often is not in it.  I "think" it is a punishable offense, but I don't "feel" it. Part of me just enjoys the social aspect too much to really ever give it up, and I also just see it as part of the culture I work in, and to some extent that should be OK.  But, she does see it as a problem, and she feels it does impact her, so as long as we are in a DD relationship, I have no doubt I will get spanked for it.  We also have set up rules for things like work-related behaviors and personal goals, but those seldom do get punished, again I think because they don't have a very immediate impact on her.

How does it work for you?  Are there areas that you think you should be punished for, or punished for more severely, and she just isn't into it?  Or, are there things she sees as big problems and deals with severely, but you really don't agree that they are problems or need fixing?

Have a great week.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Forum -- Vol. 222 -- Empowering Her

There's something so special about a woman who dominates in a man's world. It takes a certain grace, strength, intelligence, fearlessness, and the nerve to never take no for an answer."Rihanna

Hello all.  Welcome back to The Forum.  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.

I feel some slight stirrings of my DD interest, though it's not back even close to where it was.  But, that's OK for now. Honestly, it was starting to consume too much time anyway, during a period when I don't have a lot of time to spare.  Also, I haven't been in a very submissive headspace.  To the contrary, I have been in a very dominant headspace and, unfortunately, it's kind of a necessity for me right now given some happenings at work.  I'm sure it will all sort itself out over time.

A few weeks ago, we talked about humbling him.  This week, let's talk about the converse -- how to empower her.  Some women are born empowered.  Others have to learn it.  While people may be born with, or quickly socialized into, different levels of confidence and different senses of themselves and their inner strength, I do believe that leadership is a skill that can be learned and power can grow over time.  But, it takes work and practice.

As I've said before, my wife is not a naturally dominant person.  Between the two of us, my personality is by far the more brash and aggressive.  But, largely because of our domestic discipline relationship, her confidence in herself and comfort level with her own power have grown and developed over time.  But, it's also something we've worked on.  To some extent, submitting to her disciplinary spankings is a virtuous circle.  As she spanks more often and sees me always submit to them, even when I may not want one or may disagree regarding whether one has really been earned, her confidence in her own authority builds.  In exercising more power, she grows more powerful.

As I said, it has been a work in progress for several years.  Very early on, we implemented one process that helped her quickly get comfortable with giving real disciplinary spankings.  We had agreed that certain offenses would earn a spanking, and we agreed that each such offense would earn a certain number of swats with the paddle.  Regardless of how many it was, we both knew she was to give at least that many.  For the first several weeks, the number of swats was around 6 at the low-end to 20 at the high.  Then, I had one especially bad week.  I swallowed hard as I tallied up that week's offenses and realized it came to 60!  I told her that I wasn't sure I could take that many, and without missing a beat, she replied, "Then, I guess you shouldn't have acted that badly.  You will take every single swat you have coming."  And, she delivered.  By building some non-discretionary rules into the process, she was freed to grow into her own sense of power and authority such that the rules became superfluous to her.

On a less spanking-oriented front, I've tried to find ways of mitigating her tendency to seek affirmation instead of just saying and doing what she wants.  Sometimes, it's little things.  In restaurants, she always wants to know what I am going to order before she decides what she wants.  I often just won't tell her.  She shouldn't need to know what I am going to do before she decides on something consistent with her own preferences.  On a larger scale, a couple of years ago she needed a new car.  She knew what she wanted, but she expected me to go with her to bargain for and buy it.  She was not very happy when I refused, but I did.  I made her to to the dealer, choose the car she wanted, bargain for it, buy it and drive it home.  She ended up driving a much harder bargain than I ever would have done, and I think that incident really did help her learn that she didn't need a man for most things.

How about you? What ways have you found to empower your disciplinary partner and help them feel empowered and strong?

I hope you have a great week.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Forum - Vol. 221 - Waxing and Waning

Life changes in the instant.  The ordinary instant. - Joan Didion

Hello all.  Welcome back to The Forum.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, Domestic Discipline and/or Female Led Relationships.

Thanks for your patience during my two-week pause.  Two almost became three, as I really wasn't very interested in posting this week either, but I decided I didn't want to seem like a tease. It's been a weird couple of weeks where DD is concerned.  This will be hard to explain, as I don't want to give a lot of personal details.  It would be too easy for anyone who knows me and happens to read this blog to put two and two together . . .  But, in a nutshell, I've known for a while that there was going to be an event taking place that was going to be, at least on a temporary basis (temporary being several weeks or a few months), an interruption in my routine.  Kind of a forced slowing down in some areas, requiring at least some temporary life-style changes.  I knew in general when it was going to happen and was making some plans around that.  Then, a scheduling change occurred, and the the event happened a few weeks ahead of schedule.

As I said, I knew this was going to force some lifestyle changes, if only on a temporary basis, and I was actually kind of looking forward to aspects of it, thinking of some "before" and "after" effects I would like to bring about.  In truth, this year has seemed like a rut from the start, and in some ways it's a rut I've been in for more than a year.  Kind of like the movie Groundhog Day.  I want to change for the better.  I want the situation around me to change.  Yet, I wake up in the same place every morning, and I just don't seem to have the ability to change things much.  So, I was expecting at least some change and, while I knew the event itself wasn't going to be pleasant, I was actually kind of looking forward to some forced redirection in my life.  

What I didn't expect was to come out on the other side of it, and it wasn't like I needed to think about changing my attitude to support my new circumstances.  Instead, in a few areas, I just didn't care.  Weirdly, DD and FLR being at the top of the list.  For example, one of those ruts I've been in has been spending too much time on DD and FLR-related blogs and Tumblrs.  All of a sudden, I just didn't care.  It was like when I see golf on TV.  I never, ever watch it because I just have zero interest in it.  That's what it felt like looking at things like Tumblrs with FLR and spanking-related captions.  Just didn't do anything for me.  And, that is very much where I was last week when it came to writing this blog.  I had a sequence of posts planned in my head, so it wasn't writer's block or lacking for a topic.  I just wasn't interested enough in the topic to sit down and write about it for an hour.  It was like an alcoholic waking up and one day and having no interest in having a drink. 

This was not, by the way, like what our KD Pierre was going through last year, when he said he was going through a major life stressor that left him resistant to being punished.  If anything, this is kind of the opposite.  I have been feeling less stress for the last couple of weeks than is normally the case.  Which could be part of the explanation.  I've always known that part of the attraction to DD was giving up some control in the midst of an otherwise controlling existence.  But, the interest level dropped so suddenly, like someone flipping a light switch.  And, even as work stress has resumed, the interest in DD and FLR really hasn't.  Now, one area in which it was a little like what KD described is I suddenly was in no mood to be bossed around.  Part of the event in question involved being told a lot of things I had to do or couldn't do, and I was in no mood for more of that on the home front.  Which makes any kind of FLR dynamic difficult, to say the least.

It is a little disconcerting, going through something that shows how little control we sometimes have over our own interests and attitudes.  I don't know why I am really surprised though, since I am one of the few in this group who had no interest at all in spanking, and then suddenly did after encountering one specific stimulus.  That is how this feels, but in reverse.  I do suspect that it's temporary, as there were some other things I lost interest in, and I can feel the taste for them coming back a little.  And, in any event, DD has had a positive impact on my relationship with my wife and on her personal growth, and I wouldn't want to lose that.  On the FLR front, however, I wonder if this will prove to be more of a permanent change.  I was already getting some signals from the universe that this whole learning to be more submissive thing just is not who I am.  I could see going back to something a lot more like Fred describes as his relationship, where DD is something that is used to deal with specific offenses, then life goes on as normal.  We'll see.

Has DD or FLR been like that for any of you?  Have there been periods where you just lost interest? Was there anything specific that caused the lack of interest or that caused it to come back?


Saturday, September 9, 2017

No Post Again

Sorry all, but no post again this week.  I'm still out dealing with a personal matter and haven't had time to write up a topic. 

Have a good weekend.

Friday, September 1, 2017

No Post This Weekend

Hi all.  Happy Friday!  Unfortunately, I have a personal matter I need to attend to this weekend and won't be able to post.  I also likely won't be able to keep up with comments but feel free to leave them.  Peter, I very much want to hear about the humbling with the neighbor!

I hope all of you have a great weekend, including hopefully a nice three-day one for those of you in the U.S.