Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Forum - Vol. 227 - Err on the Side of . . .

Everything is hard before it is easy. -- Goethe

Hello all. I hope you had a great week.  Mine was, once again, way too busy.  I come into this Saturday morning really wishing things were a little less hectic.  But, I know that as soon as things slow down, I will go into a panic about that, too.  Do you ever feel like you are on a hamster-wheel, but that it is almost entirely self-created? That's kind of where I am right now.  But, there is little sign that things will slow down until next year, so my self-created panic at the prospect of working only 50 hours a week can be pushed out for at least a couple of months.

Irritability from over work may have been showing in my exchange with my most persistent troll. I've taken down the comments (his and mine), but the exchange at least had the  side effect of committing me to an idea for this week's post.  It's been a couple of years since I devoted a topic to this, but let's talk about "severity" and "more."  Specifically, for the men (and the few female DD recipients who visit here), setting aside whatever your current baseline is, how severe or strict do you want your discipline and the control exercised over you to be?

Let's start with this premise -- if you are receiving a real disciplinary spanking, you do not enjoy it.   So, let's assume that if you are in a real DD relationship in which you get real spankings, they hurt.  They are supposed to.  But, if you had your choice, would you want her to ease up a little? Or, is the opposite true -- do you wish she would spank you harder?

What about frequency? Does she spank you as often as you deserve?  As often as needed to correct the behavior?  If you could change the frequency in any way, do you think you should be spanked more frequently or less frequently?

What about the non-spanking aspects of a DD relationship, particularly the overall strictness of her demeanor?  Would you like your disciplinarian to act more strict, or less?  When it comes to controlling your behavior and setting boundaries for you, do you want her to be more tough and consistent in her approach, or is it too much already? And, if you do want her to be more strict with you and more rigorous in laying down the law, how open do you want that to be?  I'm not talking about revealing the spanking side of the DD relationship but, rather, to what degree do you want her to display signs that she wears the pants?

If you do fall into the "more" camp and you are willing to share, do you have any perspective on why you want more? Why do you want the spankings to be harder?  Why do you want her to be more strict with you?  What need would that fulfill for you?

I've posted a poll about this, and I hope all the readers who drop by this week and are actually in a DD relationship will check one response to each ordered pair.  I ran a similar poll over two years ago, and it set the bar for lop-sided results.  The "more" answers just crushed the "less" answers.  It was not even close.  It seemed to refute any view that those on the receiving end of the paddle in these relationships would want anything else, except that a huge number of them would like their disciplinarian to step it up!  I thought at the time that it should comfort budding Disciplinary Wives who have a nagging doubt about whether, if she does take on the role of a strict disciplinarian, will it prove to be more than he wanted?  I think the answer in most cases is no, he really does want  everything you are giving him and more.  Resoundingly so.

But it does suggest a couple of follow-up questions:  Have you told your wife you want more and, if so, what was her reaction?  And, if she did step it up, how did you react? Did it come closer to meeting your needs, or was it a "beware of what you wish for . .  ." situation?

By the way, I know the poll does not have a "Goldilocks" everything is just right set of answers.  If everything is just right, then just don't answer the poll.  And congratulations!

Have a great week.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Forum - Vol. 226 - Contracts & Agreements

I am a pretty versatile fool when it comes to contracts. I have signed a lot of contracts in my time, and at sometime I probably knew what the contracts meant, but six months later everything had grown dim and I could be certain of only two things: One, I didn't sign any contract. Two, the contract means the opposite of what it says. - Mark Twain's Notebook

Hi all.  Sorry for the delayed post. Busy morning.  I hope you all had a good week.  Mine started off pretty well, but then degenerated a bit last night, following an all-too-familiar pattern of one drink after work becoming one too many.  My guess is my bottom will be paying a price for that later this weekend.

One of our polls closed last week, this one on contracts and written rules governing the Domestic Discipline aspects of the relationship.  The results were as follows:

We have a written contract:                                                                     22%
We do not have a written contract or rules:                                          62%
We do not have a written contract but do have written rules:          16%

Contracts clearly aren't very popular with this crowd.  But, that is understandable, right?  50 Shades of Grey depicts a formal negotiation process between the parties, and in the context of that relationship, it makes perfect sense.  Because there really was no relationship when they negotiated.  It was two people who barely knew each other laying out the ground rules governing their contemplated kinky sexcapades.  That's not the context that most real domestic discipline relationships evolve in.  Most of them seem to begin vanilla, then someone introduces the idea of corporal punishment after the relationship already is well-established.  That is how it worked for us.  We had been married for close to ten years when I brought the idea of using spanking to discipline me to her.  So, everything was pretty conventional for us in terms of how these relationships seem to go -- I initiated it, and we never felt the need for a written contract, though for a period of time we did have written rules.  But, after awhile we didn't need those either.

Now, the fantasy seems to go otherwise.  With Glenmore's permission, here is a little contract-related artwork that raises some interesting issues:

Although most of these relationships seem to be initiated by the disciplined party, the drawing flips that scenario.  Given that we men generally are the more poorly behaved party, you do have to wonder why the women do not initiate things more often.  God knows many of us more than richly deserved it long before we found ourselves formally asking for it.


In an ideal world, this probably would be the ideal sequence.  He is presented with the idea, then she demonstrates what it entails, then he signs the contract newly aware of exactly what he is signing up for.

Now, one obvious issue with the last panel is the legal concept of "duress." Because she is kind of forcing the whole thing on him, it's possible no valid contract was formed.  Though, of course, it's not like there is any enforcement mechanism for this kind of contract anyway.  It works only if the two parties consent and work to make it work.  And, where that concept of consent is concerned, I have a hard time accepting that in a F/m domestic discipline relationship there could be much danger of real non-consent.  It's not like she can physically overpower him in most cases. Even if she threatened to end the relationship if he didn't comply, that still is consent.  Reluctant and grudging consent, perhaps, though consent nonetheless.  And, it does seem like most men fantasize about the relationship having some non-consensual element.

Given that domestic discipline usually is initiated as part of an existing relationship, is there any real reason to have a contract, particularly since it really would not be enforceable anyway?  I can think of a few reasons.

First, it does seem to be a good way to do some of the expectation setting we talked about a couple of weeks ago.  Assuming both parties participate in crafting it, it may help both of them clarify what they want out of this part of the relationship, what they expect to achieve, etc.  They can define the tools used, the severity she intends to use, etc.  Documenting that in writing could bring home to both of them that they are contemplating real spankings that are hard enough to get the job done, with all that entails.  It also could be used to define non-spanking punishments that she can enforce, like grounding, corner time, etc.

Second, it serves the purpose of defining at least some rules and perhaps to set some minimum consequences for breaking them.  Again, this might help bring home to both of them that this is a pretty serious thing they are contemplating. And, if he sees the rules in writing, he can hardly claim later that he didn't have fair warning and could not have avoided the necessity of "taking his medicine" by playing by the rules.

Third, it gives the parties an opportunity to define both of their respective roles and responsibilities.  I think this one is important, and especially the idea of defining the responsibilities both of them are expected to meet.  It's probably pretty common for the parties to define what is expected of him, but I think it might help the wife understand that leadership also carries responsibilities.  A lot of them. Like enforcing the rules diligently and consistently.  Not letting things slide, etc.

Fourth, it documents that the arrangement truly is consensual.  As K.D. has pointed out, this one may be a little legally problematic, since in some states you cannot consent to something the law deems an "assualt." Though, I am not convinced that such laws mean a contract documenting the consensual nature of things would not serve some purpose. It might make it less likely that charges would get filed or a lawsuit get brought.  When you look at the real cases that have been brought in this area, it does look like there is often an underlying issue regarding whether it was, in fact, consensual or whether something happened that exceeded the scope of consent.  I can't see a real downside (other than perhaps the risk of being involuntarily "outed" if the contract got into the wrong hands) to having something both parties can point to that verifies that this is something they both wanted.

So, I do think there are good reasons to consider having a contract or agreement summarizing the DD aspects of the relationship.  And, on the personal front, I recently came up with another reason. When I first posted the poll, I was the first vote for the "no contract" option.  But, that changed last week.  We had come to the end of a pretty long, involuntary pause in the domestic discipline aspects of our relationship.  For a couple of months, there was none at all.  That has happened in the past due to distraction and inattention, but this time we just could not do it for over two months.  When we got to a point where we could start it up again, it was she who initiated it, informing me over dinner that it was time to get back on track.  It got me thinking that there might be an opportunity here to do a really fundamental "reset," one that could come close to resetting the clock, this time with her as the real "owner" of that aspect of the relationship. We obviously could not undo the fact that I was the one who first came up with the idea, but after the substantial break it did kind of feel like we were starting over.  It occurred to me that a written contract might allow her to define the scope of things to come, mentally and emotionally commit to it, then present it to me as if it were firmly her own plan.  So, I spent some time last Saturday surfing the 'Net for examples of DD contracts.  There was not a lot out there, and the ones I did find were pretty simplistic.  But, it gave me a starting point.  I spent a few hours tweaking the draft, then gave it to her with a request that she take it from there and make it her own.  The plan was, once she finished making her changes she was to bring it to me and simply announce it as what she had decided would be happening from that point forward.

That is basically what happened.  After sitting on it for a couple of days, Thursday night she told me to get up to our room and wait for her.  She came in holding the contract, and asked why I was clothed.  I told her I had not understood exactly how she wanted to present things.  She told me she intended to instruct me on the major points of the agreement, but I was going to be standing there naked and vulnerable as she did so.  I complied (of course) stripping off my clothes in front of her.  She then highlighted the major points of the contract, emphasizing that they were what she has decided is going to happen from now on.  When it was over, she told me to bring out her paddles and straps.  She bent me over the bed and delivered a short but hard strapping and paddling that was really pretty excruciating given it had been over two months since my last one.

So, that is where things stand. We will see if the contract makes any real difference, but it was worth a try.

How about you? Do you have any kind of contract or agreement? Do you think it would be helpful?

I hope you have a great week.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Forum - Vol. 225 - Reporting and Enforcement

It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one. -- George Washington

Hello all. Welcome back to The Forum, our weekly on-line gathering of men and women who are in, or would like to be in, a Domestic Discipline or Female Led Relationship. I hope you had a good week.

Mine felt slightly more manageable than last week, though the bar for that seems kind of crazy high these days.  I've always seen myself as pretty bulletproof where work is concerned, but I'm starting to question that as I move further into middle-age.  Admitting your limitations isn't easy.

Which is sort of the subject of this week's post.  Since we started Domestic Discipline, we have always formally had in place some kind of self-reporting scheme.  As I've discussed, at the very beginning, I kept a notebook in which I tracked each agreed-upon offense, and tallied up the minimum number of swats we agreed to.  Over the years, we have tried other systems, like sending her a weekly email or spreadsheet or something documenting behavioral issues.  We also have talked about setting aside time once a week to go over my behavior.  Honestly, it never seems to stick.  Partially, because this annoying thing called "real life" always seems to interfere.  For the last several weeks, one of those "real life" issues was a medical issue that was not conducive to spanking.  Now that we are starting to emerge from that--having been reminded once again in concrete terms that the only thing worse than getting older is its alternative--I am starting to think about how we reboot.  Including getting a real reporting and accountability check-in system going.

There is one obvious impediment to more rigorous self-reporting.  While confession may be good for the soul, it is not so good for the bottom of a truly disciplined husband.  So, what is the enforcement mechanism?  How should she address things when she finds out that he has been less than forthcoming about his bad acts?  What about Ronald Reagan's advice to "trust, but verify?" Does she have a way of independently verifying your behavior when it is something she was not there to see or hear?  Since at least some of my own behavior problems occur at work, in an ideal world, there would be someone there who would rat me out.

How does all this work for you?  Have you implemented a formal reporting mechanism?  What happens if you fail to report fully and honestly? Does she have any way of checking up on you?

Have a good week!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Forum - Vol. 224 - Expectation Setting

"When is the last time you did something for the first time?" - Unknown

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 had a good week.
Mine was, again, more than a little exhausting.  Work is just insanely busy, and I feel like between that and some personal issues I had been forced to deal with unexpectedly, it has been one of the more challenging periods I've had in a long time.  But, I'm finally seeing a little bit of light at the end of that tunnel.

I try to find quotes to post at the top of these entries that somehow tie into the weekly topic.  Sometimes I fail and just use something inspiring about female poewr, and sometimes I come across a quote that I like and decide to use it regardless of topic fit.  This week, it kind of accidentally fits the topic.  It is from a post to another group by a new electronic friend of mine.  Every once in awhile one of those memes get under my skin, and this one kind of did.  I travel a lot for work and have a job that isn't exactly like working on a factory floor making widgets all day, so if I set the bar low enough, it is true that I do lots of little things for the "first time."  But many of those experiences are work oriented or are small variations on things I've done before.  Her meme really did stump me when it came to identifying anything really significant or meaningful that I have done recently for the first time.  They say the only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth, and I need to make more of a conscious effort to have more "first time" experiences.

The quote did end up relating a little to this week's topic.  DD was something that I tried for the "first time" many years ago, and it became a major part of our relationship.  For all of us, there was "first time" for this thing all of us here do or are interested in.  This week's topic isn't about that "first time" itself, but more about how the expectations were set for what it would be like or what the couple wanted out of it. There is a poll posted on the right-hand side of the blog regarding contracts.  We have talked about them before and whether people have some kind of formalized DD agreement.  I'll probably do a specific topic on that in the coming weeks, but this week I'll cast a little broader net and characterize the issue as "expectation setting."   Domestic Discipline is, at least in my mind, really at its core about rules and consequences.  Or at least about consequences for bad behavior.  That is really what separates it from BDSM and Dominance/submission.  The focus is on correcting behavior and/or a price being paid for bad behaviors in order to deter them from happening again, make the offending party pay some actual penance, or give the other party a way to express their dissatisfaction in very concrete terms. 

I'm guessing that the content of the rules we end up subjected to, and that will get some of us spanked, have a high degree of similarity.  Disrespect.  Engaging in dangerous or self-destructive behavior.  Slacking on household chores, etc.  While the content of our rules probably overlap a lot, however, I suspect there is a fair amount of diversity in how they were arrived at.  How did it work for you?  Was there some kind of formal discussion between the two of you about what the rules would be?  About what the punishment(s) would be for violating each rule?  Was there a formal sit-down meeting to discuss and agree to those rules?  And, not just about the rules, but what the expectations would be going forward for the disciplined party and for the Disciplinarian? Or, were the expectations simply imposed, or perhaps worked out informally over time?  Did some kind of contract or formal agreement result?  Please tell us about how your particular expectation-setting process worked.

For fun, I also invite each of you to respond to the question posed at the top of this post.  

I hope you all have a great week.