Saturday, June 9, 2018

Mini-Post - Public Displays


"It's hard to believe that the fear of offending can be stronger than the fear of pain. But you know what? It is." – from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Hi all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly meeting of men and women in, or interested in being in, a Domestic Discipline or Wife Led Marriage. I hope you all had a great week.

As I said at the end of last week's post, I'm traveling on business and don't intend to do a new topic.  But, I had a few minutes, and a few interesting (to me anyway) things had happened over the week, so I thought I'd update a couple of things.

It was a relatively quiet week on the blog, with only a few comments on our twin topics of "not nice" and "leverage."  Apparently, no one thought the "empowerment" preaching sex cult was as interesting as I did.  Which is kind of interesting in and of itself, since all of us who are active on this blog kind of spend a significant amount of time discussing issues of empowerment building and exchange with pretty heavy sexual overtones.  As for leverage, I thought ZM hit the nail on the head when he observed, "True leverage in a DD relationship is being able to effect change. For DD to work, two conditions must be met. First, consequences need to be significant enough to be truly unpleasant and unwanted, and second, the disciplinary partner needs to be firm enough to ensure that consequences naturally follow actions. No matter how severe the consequences are, if I deem her unlikely to follow through, they probably are not much of a deterrent."  As I noted in response, my wife has never had a problem with bringing on on the severity.  She has given very, very hard spankings from the beginning.  It's really been the certainty of consequences, not their severity, that has gotten in the way of real behavioral change.  But, she is getting mentally and emotionally stronger and more powerful all the time.

One aspect of being "not nice" that wasn't really explored is whether becoming less "nice" would be burden, i.e. something that cuts against the wife's natural human tendency to be kind and not to give offense, or would it be freeing.  I have suspected for a long time that when wives struggle with being consistent, it is a result of this whipsaw of wanting to be a more authoritative personality that gets cut off when concerns about being seen as bitchy or that her exercise of power might not be taken well by him (even if asked for it in the first place), and that most of the wives would actually find it freeing to just jump in with both feet, stop worry so much about his reaction, and start leading.  I had an opportunity to test that a bit this week in a business setting.  I recently took on a new role at work that was a bit unexpected, and a bit divisive.  I don't want to give a lot of details as it might be too revealing, but in essence I was put in a position to speak some uncomfortable truths to power.  And, that's hard to do when those in "power" are your peers.  It's really not about being afraid; it's about this deep-seated human desire not to give offense.  And, even after being put in a position to do something about some company cultural issues that have been a real problem, I found myself pulled in the direction of dumbing down and sanitizing some of the messages out of concern that I not offend or hurt some of the people concerned.  But, speaking these truths as I saw them was part of this role.  So, at a big meeting on these issues, as I found myself tempted to be "nice," I actively pushed back on that temptation and committed that I was (a) going to speak my mind; and (b) consciously resist taking responsibility for other's feelings about that speech.  I was not going to try to offend anyone, but I also was not going to let my aversion to their negative reaction become my responsibility.  I was going to own my own feelings, but not theirs.  After a couple of minutes of discomfort it proved to be, as I suspected, pretty damn liberating.  There was just such clarity of purpose and absence of inner tension as a result of telling myself, "I have a job to do.  I'm going to do it.  And, I'm not going to feel bad about it."

On a more lighthearted and possibly more entertaining note, while I found some emotional equanimity as a result of consciously being less "nice," I lost that equanimity twice in a week, in the course of potentially being "outed" in a small way.  A few months ago, we talked about symbolic displays of our power sharing arrangements through jewelry or clothing.  As I said at that time, a couple of years ago I acquired a necklace with a pendent that, in the BDSM community, is a symbol for a male submissive.  Now, I don't really see myself as male submissive, but it was the closest thing I could find to a symbol for being the partner lower in the chain of command in this Wife Led Marriage.  I wear this necklace most days, but given my business attire while the necklace itself may sometimes peek out from under my button-down business shirts, the pendent hangs low enough it usually doesn't show.  So, while I wear it all the time, few people have actually seen it.  But, I've wondered it anyone who caught a peek at the necklace might be curious about it, since necklaces and chokers really aren't that common among men of my age it my profession.  Well, sure enough, my team had a happy hour session a few days ago, and while talking to one of the men who report to me, he noticed my necklace and just asked innocently what it was.  I froze and probably stuttered as I reluctantly pulled it out to show him.  He asked me what it was, and I stumbled some inanity about it just being some pendent my wife liked an bought for me while we were on vacation.  Probably some native fertility symbol of something.  In other words, I lied through my teeth.  Now, I'm 99% sure he had no familiarity with this symbol, nor did the two or three others who were sitting right by us as I put my little submissive amulet on display for our entire team!  But, one never knows . . .

Then, it happened a second time in the same damn week!  I had to see a doctor unexpectedly, and it was not my usual one.  She was doing all the normal work up--taking my blood pressure, temperature, etc.--then without warning she started unbuttoning my shirt and reaching inside it so she could listen to my heart beat.  It took me by surprise, because usually doctors instruct me to unbutton my shirt, which would usually remind me of my necklace, and I would be able to just push the pendent to the side where they wouldn't see it.  But, she just took over and started unbuttoning my shirt herself, opening it up and leaving the pendent in plain, open view.  "Oh shit!" ran through my head as I cogitated quickly on the odds that this female doctor with a pretty aggressive matter could possibly a kinky Domme who knew damn well what that symbol means for BDSM-ers.  Thankfully, if she did, I didn't detect it.  Of course, if she did, why would I be embarrassed given that by definition she would know about it only if she also were a participant in that lifestyle? But, that's not the process my mind went through as I was in the process of possibly being unexpectedly outed.

That's all I have for this week.  I hope you all have a great weekend. 

30 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. I definitely agree that the prospect of being outed is both terrifying and exciting. Kind of like DD itself.

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  2. One of my earliest memories along this line came from a very attractive single mom neighbor growing up who often would tell me to "remember you are not too big to spank". This women knew my mothers practices but may not have known spankings continued for me into the teens. But the real kicker was years later visiting the neighborhood when she told me she "saw" I was still not to old to need a spanking. I know I blushed furiously and that was several years before I was actually spanked as an adult. This women had a very dominant personalty and take charge attitude and could have been a disciplinarian ( she had several boyfriends and as I remember they all were polite and well mannered) Years later I still sometimes think of that and wonder what would have happened if I had challenged her. I have since learned with a previous girlfriend and my wife that challenging someone who does spank is always a bad idea - a very bad idea. But its also a pretty good way to discover if a women is teasing or not. Over the years I have decided she was probably not teasing and I would have found myself in an embarrassing situation
    Alan

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  3. I agree with what The Glenmore said: "Strange how the prospect of being 'outed'can be both horrifying and exciting?" One time my girlfriend and I were returning home from an event by train. We had been talking about spanking while waiting for the train to arrive and it had put her in the mood to do it. She swatted my bottom while we walking along the aisle took for empty seats and after we sat down she remarked that she would like to put me across her knee and give me a good hard spanking. There were other passengers nearby who might have heard her and I found it embarrassing. Looking back on it though, I find it exciting.
    I find the idea of a pendant with a hairbrush symbol very good. Where can you buy them?
    richard

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  4. Dan
    Want to begin by saying had not our marriage been in jeopardy, which in turn took us to a marriage
    couselor, I would never had discovered that Peter had for many years gone to a professional Domme
    who spanked him only. I was desperate enough to try this as a way to curb some of Peter's excesses,
    and try to bring some sense of sanity to our lives.
    We became better at communicating and I began to have a better sense of my power. For so many wives
    who dont work, their sense of confidence seems to get whittled away. Using the belt i quickly felt a new
    sense of power. I knew it was working when my boys said to me one day "How come you dont yell at us
    so much anymore"
    Must run out now and find a paddle charm to give to Peter his birthday is a few weeks away.
    Be well ...
    anna

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    1. Hi Anna. I'm not surprised that swinging a belt could be a real confidence builder!

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  5. Like everyone here we're very private and secretive. Dev has a Pandora braclet with multiple charms on it for a variety of memories. I found a hairbrush charm that she attached. Nobody has commented yet but is our little secret.

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  6. First off, hope all is well on the health front, Dan!

    Second, congrats! Wearing a DD symbol to a female doctor is certainly asking for some kind of trouble!
    "Nurse, bring my special implements. This patient will require a thorough treatment."

    CrimsonKing

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    1. Thanks, CK. Yeah, no major problems on the health front. Just a bug that hit me unexpectedly while traveling. Yes, and she was a very attractive doctor as well. So, embarrassment at the hands of an authoritative, professional woman -- pretty much every disciplined male's wet dream. :-)

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  7. My husband is very excited to be "outed" in front of strange women (it is a bit of a fascination with him). I have indulged him in lingerie shops, in houseware shops, in clothing shops in front of the salesgirls, in restaurants in front of pretty young waitresses (one who even came home with us!), with his legit massage therapist (marks on bum, which she finds amusing - we are friends with her), and in front of sexy massage girls. Always a very heart-pounding experience! Nine times out of 10 the women are very welcoming and find it amusing. One in ten we pick up a very bad vibe early on and abort!

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    1. That's great! And heartening that 9 out of 10 women seem, at worst, amused by it. By the way, congrats to you Canadians for having a leader who stands up to that jackass we in the US elected.

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  8. Hi Dan,
    I thought the “empowerment” preaching sex cult was very interesting. In particular I found the idea of “collateral” fascinating, particularly in how they were using it. I guess it is not that much different than how other groups exert power, but in this case it is more blackmailing you to achieve your own goals.

    Like you, I expect that most disciplinary wives probably struggle with consistency, and that it is in many cases rooted in that tension between wanting to be more authoritative, but at the same time having doubt and questions about how well it will be received and if he really wants this (even though he says he does) in addition to the societal pressure to not be seen as too bitchy. Of course I don't know about anybody other than my wife in this context. I guess it is possible that other wives are perfect at it, but that seems pretty unlikely since my wife is truly a natural at facing every situation in life head on and being very firm and assertive, all the while showing an amazingly kind attitude. Even though she is a veritable lion, this is still a big challenge for her, so I can only imagine how much harder if she were more of a mouse. Learning to be assertive is difficult enough, and how much more so when you are needing to be strict, firm, and at times even a little harsh or even unfair to the one you love. BTW, “The Hesitant Mistress” that we were talking about a few weeks ago has some just great material about being more assertive. I would recommend reading those section for any other guys like me who tend to be a bit too soft in business situations, etc.

    Now to your question about whether it would be more of a burden or more freeing for our wives to become less nice, I can only speculate. My guess is that it would be a lot like what you experienced in your presentation; at first it would probably be a little painful and awkward for everyone, but then probably it would be a very liberating and refreshing change. I guess the only way she could find out is by jumping in with both feet and firmly taking the reins.

    On a tangent, I wonder if another impediment to assuming control is feelings of guilt if she finds herself “enjoying” the power too much? I has asked my wife before what she likes about DD, and she typically mentions the improved communication, lack of ongoing hard feelings, and changed behaviors and attitudes, but she occasionally also says that she enjoys the power and I get the sense that it is somewhat of a forbidden pleasure and she feels a little bad for liking it so much.

    Regarding being “outed,” as I have mentioned before several times, our situation is not conducive to being open, since we live in a VERY conservative country (where everyone also seems to know everyone and loves to talk about each other). At the same time, it is still an exciting thought, at least in a different setting. Recently, my wife and I have been talking a lot about humiliation and the role it can play in discipline. I think that in the right setting, the whole DD relationship could be perfect “collateral” for a wife to use (like when traveling to a place nobody knows either of you). It could be like “if you do (or don't do) everything we agree to, then our secret will remain safe with us, otherwise, I just may have you wearing a pink bikini bottom to the beach tomorrow.” Okay, I admit that was a pretty lame example, but you get the idea...!

    Even if we can never do anything like this and everything always remains totally private, there is something extremely powerful about visual reminders of this aspect of our lives. I found some interesting things on ETSY that could work well. The only visual cues we currently use are some tiny handcuff earrings or her camoflage army-like tank top. If I see the tank-top, I know what is coming as soon as we are alone, and if she wore the earrings out somewhere (she has before), they would keep me very excited the whole time.

    -ZM

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    1. Hi ZM,

      Yes, that was exactly what intrigued about the sex cult. Removing the sex piece, were they really doing anything more than many success coaches advise--finding ways to get leverage over yourself in order to overcome bad habits? The collateral idea was fascinating, and it has a dark angle only if you assume (a) the leaders misused their access to the collateral for their own purposes; or (b) that there is something wrong about "foreclosing" on that collateral in circumstances in which its provider wanted it foreclosed, i.e. if they failed to do what they committed to do for themselves. There isn't anything in the article that suggests the collateral ever was sacrificed, let alone misused for the guru or cult's benefit. So, if you remove that, what you seem to have is a group of highly motivated and driven people who voluntarily entered into an arrangement in which they accepted and, indeed, sought a very rigorous external means of enforcing behavior to meet their own goals. Seems not that different from guys like you and me seeking out DD as a means of performance improvement.

      Good suggestion to re-read the Hesitant Mistress and apply it to make behavior as well. Honestly, it's not very different from the advice in the "Not Nice" book; just less narcissistic and given in about 1/10 the pages.

      I honestly don't know whether my wife feels any guilt at enjoying power. Whenever I've asked her about whether she gets off on the power she now has, she doesn't seem very hesitant about saying yes. What I think she struggles with far more is openly displaying the power and her enjoyment of it. She will use it on me and admit she enjoys doing so, but that is different from doing it publicly and allowing others to see she is a powerful person and one who enjoys being so.

      I too have thought about the power of humiliation in real DD. While many will object to it as too extreme or think there is something wrong in her exercising her disciplinary discretion in that way it depends, again, on what you are trying to accomplish. If the goal of the DD really is to improve performance in some area or to use it as punishment for some rule you both have agreed to, then in principle it should not be objectionable. Just like the sex cult's collateral, it focuses on making what you really fear a tool for getting sufficient leverage over yourself to really change. A relatively mild version is the incident I reported a while back in which my wife commanded me to apologize to someone I had berated in a work incident. That apology was far harder for me to do than any spanking would have been, and the fact that the guy was a jerk who I didn't like well before my incident with him made it even more humiliating to give that apology. But, that punishment really has made me think twice before repeating that kind of behavior, and did so in a way that was admittedly more effective than spanking, grounding, etc.

      Your previous reference to your wife's tank-top really stuck in my head for some reason. I'm thinking about suggesting something similar to my wife.

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    2. What tank top comment? Now I'm curious.

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    3. Hi Tomy,
      I have referred several times to this in the past month or so. In short, my wife and I are doing an extended "boot camp" time, where she is working to bring to light and hopefully change my procrastination, my lack of attention to detail, and my tendency to leave things partly undone. I have developed some sloppy habits in life, and I believe it is holding me back from achieving my very ambitious personal goals, so I have asked her to help.

      She has basically assumed the role of part-time drill sergeant. If she sees a pattern that she believes needs to change, she calls it to my attention and, especially if I have been previously warned about it, disciplines me. To support that role, she designated a camouflage tank-top of hers as her "drill sergeant" shirt. If she walks into the room wearing that shirt, I know that I have some punishment coming my way, and soon. Since we live with our children, she often cannot address an issue immediately, but by putting on the shirt, she sets the tone for later, because I can start to sweat. Also, it kind of "commits" her to following through; once I have seen her wearing the shirt, I am now expecting something, and she is much less likely to change her mind or just let it slip.

      -ZM

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    4. Just saw this response about the tank top. It's wonderful to hear about DWC wive's creative innovations.

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  9. Hi Dan, I am very curious about your pendant and I wear one myself. When I bought mine the shape and other tell tale attributes were explained to me. Wondering if your findings are the same. Mine is round, Dominants are shaped like a shield. Mine has an arrow head pointing punched out designating male, female would be a cross punched out. I assume this comes from the male and female symbols we are all accustomed to. Third, myne has a etched circle around the arrow symbolizing a collar. All together it tells knowledgeable people I am a collared, submissive, male. Is this what you are wearing. I wear mine all the time and is seen by many different folks.

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    1. The design of the symbol itself sounds basically the same, though I'm not sure what you mean by "punched out."

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    2. I meant instead of being etched, the arrow head is actually a hole through the pendant. If held up to the light, one could see through it.

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    3. Ah, got it. No, that’s not what I have. Same symbol, but different rendering.

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  10. On some of the spanking sites years ago there was an idea to use the symbol of a red hand to indicate that you were a spanko.
    Don't think it really took off but it would be nice to have a symbol to recognize others who are into spanking.
    I'm sure I have met a few fellow spankos over the years and missed that opportunity.

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  11. I don't think a red hand would be a good symbol for spankos, it might be confused with the Red Hand of Ulster. According to legend, in ancient times a dispute arose as to who should rule the Kingdom of Ulster in Ireland. To avoid a war, the contenders agree to raise across the sea in boats; whoever first set his hand on the shore would become king. One man was about to beach his boat, so the other contender cut his own hand off and threw it onto the shore. The bloodsoaked hand touched the shore first, so he became king.

    Maybe someone could design another symbol, or two even, one for spankers and one for spankees.

    richard

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  12. Yes I an from Ulster actually Richard so know the legend well.I agree it's not the best symbol for spankos. Would be great if we could come up with one and send it viral.

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    1. Interesting, The Glenmore! I grew up in County Antrim myself, but moved away many years ago and have not been back apart from brief visits now and again.
      richard

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  13. I have no interest in sharing openly this part of our relationship ( and other non DD aspects) but I am pretty relaxed if people guess or suspect. It is personal between us, I doubt many would understand the intensity and intimacy of this loving dynamic unless they were in a similar relationship. I do get a bit of extra ‘kick’ if I am disciplined away from home (in a hotel for instance) knowing that some strangers may have ears pricked trying to work out what is going on next door). There is also a bit of smugness as we both feel that we have such an additional & special aspect to an already great partnership. TB

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  14. The rule in our home is that we don't overtly display our Disciplinary Wife status, but we can do it subtly ... and that we never lie when asked a question. So, for instance, when Andy has to cancel out an outing with the boys and they ask why, he responds, "Because I didn't get my chores done." And if there is a follow-up question, "Oh, so you wife has you whipped," he grins and says, "Why, sure. And I love every minute of it."
    He has occasionally had to try to hide marks at the gym, wrapping a towel around himself immediately after the shower and trying to slip his panties on under the towel. One friend of his once said, "I guess you pissed your wife off last night, huh?" And Andy replied, "Yes, and that's always a mistake." That made me laugh when he told me.
    There have been many other such incidents. Some are due to Andy's exhibitionist streak. For instance, I said yes to his request that there be an implement that could be used for spanking subtly displayed in every room of the house. Most of them are fairly innocuous: An umbrella stand of canes in the foyer, a bath brush in the bathroom, a rack of wooden spoons in the kitchen, a hairbrush in the bedroom, a music baton in our music room. In the study/library, my sorority paddle is on the wall. There may be some friends who have figured it out.
    It gets more serious when the question is from a family member. That's for another post, I think ...

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    1. Hmm, not sure I would classify an "umbrella stand of canes in the foyer" as "innocuous." :-)

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  15. Decorative bamboo, Dan ... and useful too!
    The other way we are subtly out with our DD is that if he is misbehaving in public I will give him progressive signals that are pretty obvious to a close observer. A raised eyebrow ... a shake of my head ...a forefinger pointed at him ... a whisper in his ear ... a pat on his bum ... and if none of that works, I take him by the arm and lead him to the car. Anybody who knows the least bit about DD knows what is going to transpire ...

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