Saturday, March 31, 2018

Vol. 245 - HoH Status and Female Leadership

One is not born a woman, one becomes one. ~Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex

Hello all.  Welcome back to The Forum, our weekly gathering of men and women in, or who would like to be in, Domestic Discipline or Female Led Relationships.

It was an odd week for me where all these themes we talk about--Domestic Discipline, Female Led Relationships, and submission in general--are concerned.  I found myself, or at least my conduct, vacillating back and forth all week, and it's kind of been like that all year.  As I noted at the beginning of the year, both my inner mischievous boy and my inner Alpha male seemed to be wanting to push to the forefront.  That led me to think pretty seriously about whether I really, in my heart of hearts, wanted to keep exploring the FLR side of things, or whether a relationship confined to Domestic Discipline, i.e. getting spanked when I deserve one, was really all I need and want.   

But, recently, things seem to be tilting in the other direction.  After finding myself going all out Alpha, I started seeing the same old problems arising.  Like getting into battles at work, much of it male "dick waving."  Many of the men will know what I mean -- colleagues and competitors acting like dogs at the park, snarling and nipping until they work out the hierarchy.  Unfortunately, right now I'm in one of those contests where the irresistible force is meeting the immovable object, and all hell is breaking loose.  When I'm honest, I have to admit I kind of like those situations, but they also end up wasting so much time and energy and brain cells.  I also found myself slipping into the old dysfunctional habits -- the whole work hard, play hard thing that sounds great at the time but eventually wears you out.  I've also been contemplating a pretty significant career change, one that would involve "stepping down" into a less prestigious, but in some ways more meaningful, role.  But, the people in charge of it are struggling with whether I really could step into something that would in many ways be less Alpha and that would be in a pretty hierarchical environment that would require subordinating myself in ways that have, admittedly, challenged me in the past.  

At this same time, my wife has been stepping things up lately, and I think her interest in the FLR side of things is truly growing. 

She isn't cutting loose fully yet, though we've also had a lot of family distractions getting in the way.  What is changing again is I find myself really, really wanting her to cut loose.  It doesn't necessarily mean big changes in what she does but, rather, in the way she engages with me.  I want her to become the Alpha.

I watched my rollercoaster ride of liking being the Alpha, on the one hand, and wanting to be dominated by one, on theot her, play out on a compressed schedule this week.  On Monday, I did something to earn myself a good, hard spanking.  On Tuesday, she delivered it, using in part a strap that I bought a few months ago and have decided falls into the "too much" category.  Now, I've told her that some of these tools are just counterproductive, as from the first swat forward all my "take it like a man" defense mechanisms kick in, and there is just no way that I am really going to give in and submit.  Yet, she keeps using them.  I don't think it is so much that she doesn't listen to me when I tell her they are counterproductive.  She just forgets or gets confused about which tool I am talking about.  So, this time I decided, enough is enough.  I just took those tools that fall into the "too much" category and stored them somewhere else.  At first, I was going to just throw them away.  An act of rebelling to be sure but, hell, I bought them in the first place, right?  But, I decided that maybe I would keep them around for possible use on those occasions when I've done something especially bad.  Then, after this act of rebellion I found myself writing her a journal entry the next day stressing that I really want to take this to the next level, with her stepping more deeply into the Head of Household role and extending her dominance in new directions.  This was, to some extent, taking up Anna's challenge to "give in to what I want and need."  Then, on Friday I found myself embroiled again with the dickhead I've been engaging with at work, and I was totally getting off on trying to beat and outmaneuver this guy.

So, do I really want this?  Taking our relationship in a direction in which she is even more explicitly in charge, and in charge of more things?  Where I may be required to take more orders, subordinate myself more frequently and more openly?  Truly, I don't know.  Though, the fact that I have this trepidation is, in some ways, I sign that it's real.  We're not talking about temporary role-play, but rather a real power exchange.  

As for why I want it, I'm not really sure.  Anna is right that part of it is probably that DD does seem to sort of naturally lead into something more sexualized, something more overtly kinky.  Part of it is, I'm bored and need to try something new and different. And, part of it is conceding that while DD helps keep me in-line to some extent, it is a fairly limited extent as demonstrated by the ongoing nature of the some of the behavior problems.  I feel like to get on top of them, I need to be subject to a level of control that is more pervasive, broader, deeper . . . more 24/7.  I really want to at least try her stepping into a true Head of Household role, whatever that means in practice.

And, I don't think either of us really knows what it does mean.  I do think it means being held more accountable more often.  But, it's also about her displaying the authority more regularly and more pervasively. 

For those of you whose lifestyles are more than just DD and where the FLR aspect is more significant, what does that look like in terms of her authority?  What is the communication like from her to you?  What kind of decisions does she make?  What control mechanisms does she use other than spanking? 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Forum - Vol. 244 - Roles and Needs

"A woman should soften but not weaken a man."  - Sigmund Freud

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

This week, the "gathering of men and women" takes on a special meaning.  I've always been a big fan of JGirl's The Taming of the Shrew blog.  She has dropped by here and commented from time to time, and I've done the same on her blog.  We've been chatting for a while about our common interest in Domestic Discipline and how it plays out similarly, or differently, in F/m and M/f dynamics.  As one might expect, my readership is mainly male and hers is mainly female, and we got to thinking it might be fun to pose some joint topics to both sets of readers and see where they come out.  We decided to begin with this one, which was a suggestion from one her commenters:

There is a lot of conversation around subs expressing higher "need"( which may or may not show up as neediness) for this does this play out in both M/f and F/m relationships?  

We've alluded to this a few times, but phrased slightly differently.  I might characterize the question as, in your Domestic Discipline relationship, does the disciplined partner have a greater need for the DD dynamic or show greater interest in it, than the disciplinarian?  To put it in more Dominance/submission terms for those who are so inclined, does the more submissive partner have more need for this lifestyle than does the Dom/Domme or want it more? And, who gets more out of it?  Another way to put it might be, does your Disciplinarian value the dynamic independently, or do they engage in the lifestyle mainly as an accommodation to you?   

This does seem to be an area where there is a big, big gap between DD fantasy and DD reality.  When you read Domestic Discipline spanking fiction, at least of the F/m variety, the spanking relationship is almost always initiated by the Disciplinarian and it is usually about serving her needs, specifically her need to tan his hide for acting like a jerk or being irresponsible.  But, that's not really how it works in real life, right?  Generally, in real life it's the husband who introduces his wife to this relationship and just hopes she doesn't laugh at him or think him a pervert.   

The fantasy is like this:

But, the reality is more like this, at best:

And, it also does seem to be the case that after DD is introduced into the relationship, it is the disciplined partner who tries to keep it moving forward.  He pushes her to be more consistent and more strict. To make it a more solid and stable and pervasive part of the relationship.

Now, I used to think this might be because women just have too much to do in their lives, so while the men are surfing DD blogs and fantasizing about being Disciplined Husbands, the Wives are taking care of little things like working, shuttling kids to school and soccer games, grocery shopping, cooking, etc. But, engaging with JGirl's commenters has caused me to rethink that, because it seems to be the case that in the M/f dynamic as well it is usually the disciplined spouse who has the higher emotional need for the dynamic and a deeper commitment to growing that part of the relationship.

For me, it definitely has been the case over time that I have been the partner who focuses more on that aspect of our marriage.  I introduced the concept of Domestic Discipline.  I am the one who presents journals to her telling her how I feel about it.  I am the one who has bought most of the instruments she uses. I am also often the one confessing to her my need for the accountability to be more strict and consistent. I do think, in all honesty, that this part of our relationship is more important to me than it is to her.  Though, that doesn't mean it's all about her selflessly accommodating my need.   She is very clear that she does like having the authority to make me submit to a bare-assed paddling when I'm bad.  She increasingly likes being in control.  And, she is becoming more openly dominant all the time and clearly enjoys that.  But, it's also true that she doesn't put the level of mental energy into all this that I do. So, we are somewhere in between the fantasy and reality versions depicted above.  Something more like:
Is that true in your case?  If so, what do you think explains why you need or want this kind of relationship more deeply than your spouse does?

Have a great week.

P.S. I learned a little lesson last week about broadening a topic beyond what I was originally interested in.  I genuinely did want to know whether being strapped or spanked on the thighs was common, and precisely one person answered that question.  Thanks, Merry!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Forum - Vol. 243 - Variations on Physical Punishment

We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment. - Jim Rohn

Hi all.  Welcome back to the Forum.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or want to be in, Domestic Discipline or Female Led Relationships. I hope you had a great week.

As a preliminary matter, Happy St. Patrick's Day!  

Last week's topic was fun.  As I said, I got the idea from Ronnie over at the Heart and Soul blog:  Though I noticed something interesting when I saw the questions she was asked by her readers, versus the ones you all hit me with.  She got questions like, "Where do you most want to travel" and "What is your favorite childhood memory?"  I, on the other hand, got questions about how I get naked before a spanking, do I get hard during a spanking, what is sex like after a spanking . . . Obviously you all are much, much more perverted than Ronnie's readers.  Let's keep it that way!

The idea for this week's topic started narrow, but I decided to expand it a bit.  I was reading spanking stories a few weeks ago, some DD-oriented along with parental spankings, school spankings, woodshed spankings, etc.  In several of them, in addition to spanking or strapping on the butt, the spanking extended to the thighs as well. 

Sometimes spanking the thighs was just part of the session, and in others it was doled out as extra punishment for not cooperating with the spanking.

Spanking art also often shows marking extending well below the buttocks and well down the thighs.

For some reason, a lot of the relevant art I found involved female spankees, though you see it with males as well.

 In planning for the topic, it also occurred to me that while we have talked about alternative non-physical punishments, such as corner time, we haven't talked about punishments that involve some physical pain or discomfort other than spanking, for example, figging:

There are probably lots of other examples.  Others I've read about include using a tawse or ruler on outstretched hands or kneeling on the floor for long periods of time or on uncooked rice.  

Do you have experience with any of the above, for disciplinary purposes?  Any others come to mind?  And, no, for my BDSM-oriented troll, I have absolutely no interest in providing a platform for you to discuss your little leg-lock obsession, so don't even try to post.

Have a great week.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Forum - Vol. 242 - March Q&A

"Judge a man by his questions, rather than by his answers." - Voltaire

Hello all.  I hope you had a great week.  Mine was OK. Nothing particularly fun or interesting, but also no major stressors or dramas whether self-created or otherwise .  I am finally feeling a little more productive at work.  It only took two freaking months, which may say a lot about my level of burnout at the end of 2017.

The week ended on an interesting note.  There hasn't been a lot of disciplinary spanking going on lately, for various reasons mostly related to temporary illnesses and injury.  It sure has not been because I have been on my best behavior.  Yesterday, things slowed down around 4:30 and some of us decided to do an impromptu happy hour.  Around the time I was getting ready to leave, my wife called and said she wanted to go out for dinner, and asked whether I'd been carousing with the work people, as is often the case on a Friday afternoon.  I admitted that I had, and I was treated to a mini-lecture about it.  Nothing serious, though it probably was pretty clear to the people at the table that I was being told that happy hour was over.  So, I did call it a night, though in fairness I had been getting ready to leave anyway.  On the way home, I got a text from my wife directing me that when I arrived at the restaurant I was to order water and nothing else to drink and that I was cut off from alcohol for the rest of the night.

Now, this follows on discussions we have been having about her stepping up her strictness and the amount that she verbalizes what she wants and expects.  We've talked about it for a while, but recently it has been actually happening, in noticeable ways.  She's getting on me more if I leave dishes in the sink or don't put something away.  She's increasingly comfortable just telling me what I can and cannot do.  And, while perhaps it feels sexy in retrospect, it isn't at the time.  In the moment, it embarrasses me to take orders like, "Why did you leave you dinner plate in the sink? Go put it in the dishwasher.  Now."  It does make me feel almost exactly like a sullen teenager being told to clean his room.  When the order is a prohibition on conduct like happened last night, I feel flashes of both anger and resentment.  The resentment takes the form of, "I'm part of a work culture where having drinks with the team is part of being a team and part of leading it.  It's just part of the gig, yet I'm constantly getting berated for it.  This isn't fair."  The anger is just plain old obstinance and resistance to authority.  Again, a lot like a teenager being told to put away the videogame and muttering, "Don't tell me what to do" under his breath.  As he complies.  And, from her perspective she is doing exactly what I have asked her to do, and I think she genuinely does increasingly get that she is imposing boundaries for my own good.

Last week ZM made the comment,  “BTW, with regard to the “strong man” issue, I asked my wife if she feels maternal during punishments, and she said she definitely does. In everyday life, she very much wants and expects a strong husband, but when she decides it is time for punishment, she becomes the authority figure and I become very much the naughty boy. After punishment, we revert to normal.”  As the above shows, my own wife's approach is getting more and more maternal.  She increasingly is the strict mom setting boundaries and enforcing them. But, it's kind of moving in the opposite direction from ZM's description, in that her being in control is become more the new normal and when we revert to something else, it's because of ingrained habits and socialization. When I'm in the middle of being told I have to order water in a restaurant when I really wanted a nice lager, I do mutter to myself, "I think I've created a monster."  More accurately, I think I've created a Mother!  We'll see where this goes . . .

We're also going through a big performance review push at work, changing up the way we supervise people and trying new ways of letting them know how they're doing and, conversely, giving them more opportunities to tell us how we are doing as managers and as a team.  As part of that, I've been conducting a series of meetings with my people about what is working well, what's not, etc.  I have to say, it's just fascinating what happens when you give people real room to talk about why they do the things they do. 

This is all happening as I read on Ronnie's Heart and Soul blog,, that March is traditionally a month for Q&A in blog world. I was not aware of that.   But, from time to time I have devoted a week to opening the floor for questions.

Now, "ask me anything" is a little bit misleading.  Because, while you can ask me anything, it doesn't mean I'm going to answer.  Particularly things like my secret identity or questions that might make that identity not so secret.  But, with that caveat aside, I'll do my best to answer any questions people may have. And feel free to direct questions to each other, too.

And, yes, this is kind of a blatant ploy on my part to avoid putting a real topic out there, as I just wasn't that inspired by any of them today. Though, feel free to address any of the above, including my musings about what it is like as the FLR aspect of this relationship becomes more prominent and I increasingly am treated like that teenage boy, subject to rules he doesn't like but that are imposed "for his own good  

Have a great week.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Forum - Vol. 241 - Others - Part 2

"Be yourself.  Everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde

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'm sorry about the delayed posting.  I was doing some business travel that was extended a day longer than expected.  As I was sitting on a plane yesterday, I thought about how a travel-inspired delay in blogging itself spoke to last week's topic about others knowing.  After the work part of my day was wrapped up, I did have time to put together a post but it would have involved posting from the airport or while sitting a plane.  Where one stray look at my laptop could reveal my domestic discipline, to a complete stranger.  Now, shouldn't I care little or nothing about the opinion of a complete stranger who I will never see again?  Theoretically yes, but somehow it doesn't seem to work that way in real life.

While I really hate business travel and really don't enjoy airplanes much, sometimes the downtime with a glass of (bad) wine creates some space for self-reflection.  It also sometimes helps me to see how seemingly separate things going on in my life may really involve some converging themes.  Recently, I've had some frustrations dealing with under-performing people at work.  But, some recent events and meetings have made me more open to considering whether I am causing, or at least failing to cure, some of the ongoing issues because instead of taking the problem head on and focusing on the problem, not the person, I often just get mad and seethe about it.  On what seemed like a separate thread, I've been seriously contemplating a career change, to some extent because I'm just tired of the stress in my current role and, frankly, I'm tired of the separation that I feel leading a team puts between me and the team members.  Then, I was reading a Zen-oriented book that talked about the false lives we end up leading when we create false identities that we come to believe are who we really are.  Usually, we build layers of false personality because inside we are vulnerable and afraid of getting hurt if we show who we really are.  Then, a week ago, I read a story by our own KD Pierre entitled Pride,, that involves a disciplinary wife taking fairly dramatic action to get her husband's self-destructive pride under control by spanking him in front of, and letting him be spanked by, a person with whom he was having pride-based pissing contests.  While it hurt his pride at the time, her whole purpose was helping him get his pride under control because it was dysfunctional and self-destructive.

Now, while I didn't see the pattern at the time, this all seems to coalesce to some extent around last week's topic about being more open about these lifestyles. Or, perhaps the topic of being more open is part of a larger pull I am feeling to be more authentic in several aspects of my life, with fewer ego or pride-based walls between me and others  That includes being less in control at work so that I can be a more genuine and open person with the people around me, some of whom clearly feel intimated by me now.  It also is reflected in wanting to have more open and less topical conversations with some of the commenters on this blog. And, yes, it is reflected in wanting my wife to take more control so I can take less and in doing so, hopefully, experience more of that paradoxical sense of freedom that comes from reduced choices.

Well, that was certainly a long and philosophical amble down a meandering road on this Sunday, but that too is part of being more open and less structured and controlled, right?  And, if some of the philosophizing turns off the people who stop by only because they just want to see something, anything, that serves their spanking fetish -- good.

Now, I really do have a topic for this week, though it is an extension of last week's. It also dovetails with some of the above musings.  Based on last weeks comments, with a very few exceptions it does seem that most of us are very, very reluctant to have others know that we are in these relationships in which our wives spank us and do so for disciplinary purposes.  My follow-up question for this week is, which of those aspects of our relationships--spanking itself or spanking as punishment--is the source of our consternation about people knowing?  Do we find spanking itself embarrassing, or is it that our spouses are in control of it and spank us not for erotic purposes but to punish bad behavior?

As we discussed last week, we are talking about this after the phenomenon that was 50 Shades.  There is at least some argument that the success of those books and the movies is an indication that many people out there are pro-kink and, specifically, pro-spanking.  Yet, most of us still are very resistant to talk about our own spanking relationship and very concerned about people knowing about them.  So, what is that about if 50 Shades shows people wouldn't care or would be supportive? Or, is the acceptability of 50 Shades confined to that one scenario -- M/f and in a very sexualized context?   Is M/f spanking socially acceptable but not F/m?  Even if it is erotic and not punishment?  Or, is it the disciplinary aspect that we don't want to be generally known?

I honestly don't have an answer on this one, but when I play out the scenarios in my head and try to sense nuances in my emotional response, the answer seems to be that it is the combination of spanking and punishment that I'm reluctant to reveal, while neither separately evokes quite the same emotional response.  I don't really have any relationships in which people openly discuss their sex lives, but if the topic of 50 Shades and erotic spanking came up over drinks at a party, I'm not sure I would feel overwhelmingly embarrassed about revealing that we have done erotic spanking (though in truth we did only for a very short period of time many years ago).  Perhaps more surprisingly, I don't feel that psychologically threatened by my wife behaving in a way that is more openly "large and in charge," even if it lets people know that she is the dominant party in our relationship.  And, if our recent poll on this is any indication, a lot of the men who come here feel similarly and want their wives to be more openly dominant.

Yet, I do find the thought of people knowing that my wife spanks me for real punishment stressful, and in a way that neither spanking itself nor having a dominant wife are separately.  I'm not sure what that is about.  I do think that a huge amount of my stress around people knowing is work-related.  I work in a very conservative, traditional, and competitive profession.  I do think that in my particular field, there would be blowback if my status as a disciplined husband were widely known.  The thought of extended family knowing also causes me some angst. But, I'm still not sure why it is the combination of spanking plus the FLR aspect of our relationship that adds a special level of such angst.  Thoughts?

Have a great week.