Saturday, October 27, 2018

DCC Club Meeting #271 - Preventing vs. Punishing

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." -- Benjamin Franklin

Hi all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couple's Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or want to be in Domestic Discipline and Female Led Relationships. I hope you had a great week.  Mine was slow.  Though, that's stressful in its own way.  I'm in one of those careers in which my earning is more or less directly related to my level of busyness, so being slow tends to be a momentary relief but a longer term problem. But, there's not much I can do about it, so I'll just try to enjoy the Fall weather and color, while hoping some big, hairy, audacious project walks in the door soon.

Speaking of enjoying the  Fall colors . . .

Have I said how much I like this most naughty of holidays?

Now that I've gotten that out of my system . . .

This weeks "topic," feels more like tying together some loose threads.  We didn't get a lot of response to Alan's topic re: using DD to bring about total abstinence from alcohol, or much on the broader topic of using it to break bad habits. The former is on my mind this morning, as I wallow in my all-too-typical Saturday morning fatigue, because I stayed up too late watching a movie and enjoying too many beers along the way.  The shame of it is, I had actually been very well behaved all week, surprisingly so given the slowness at work.  I worked out hard four days, kept to my diet, meditated every evening, and I even stayed totally dry right through Friday until we went out to dinner.  Then, a couple of beers there led to a "nightcap" at home, which led to watching a James Bond movie until midnight.  It reinforces the point I made to Alan, that some people just can't seem to do moderation in relation to certain habits.  

So, by over-indulging I earned myself a good hard spanking this weekend.  But, as I was kicking myself this morning, I got to thinking about how I could have felt a lot better this morning if, instead of letting me indulge myself, my wife had simply ordered me to come up to bed when she went.  Admittedly, I would have resented the hell out of it at the time, but it would have helped me have a much more pleasant, productive weekend.  And, I would have complied.  That's the thing I'm not sure my wife always appreciates -- I am not great at following rules when left to my own devices, even when I know it may earn me a hard spanking, but I am pretty good at following direct orders.  So, her getting in full-on "boss" or "maternal" mode  is actually much more effective at bringing about real behavior change than is spanking.

It's an interesting reversal on my normal life philosophy of, "It's better to say you're sorry than ask permission."  In most areas of my life, I really believe that to be true. But, when it comes to the behaviors that create problems for me at home and that are self-destructive, it actually is better for both of us if she takes the bull by the horns and acts to prevent the behavior from happening, instead of punishing it after-the-fact.  I see this "prophylactic" approach as being one of the distinguishing points between "mere" Domestic Discipline versus being in a real "Wife Led Marriage."  The former emphasizes punishment on the back end (pun intended), while the latter involves more pervasive control including taking action on the front end to prevent bad things from happening.  

Somewhere in between are "preventative" spankings, which were alluded to in some of last week's comments.  We've talked about this before, but it's been a couple of years.  When it came up last time, it was in response to another comment by Alan.  He summed up "preventative" spankings as follows:

"These are spankings administered before parties or events in which historically my behavior had earned me a spanking after the fact. Her reasoning was that if she was going to have to spank me eventually, she would prefer to avoid the behavior and get it done before rather than afterward. Most preventatives are done several hours before a party or we get into the car to travel and designed to give me a warm bottom that reminds me what could happen. With one unforgettable exception this does work to prevent really bad public behavior." 

When we talked about this last time, I had no real experience with this "before the fact" form of discipline, and I wasn't sure whether it was entirely "fair."  I still don't have a lot of experience with it.  But, she did do it once a few months ago, prior to a group dinner that was exactly the kind of event at which I normally might over-indulge.  But, not that time.  It worked like a charm.  Sitting there on my tender behind kept me continuously aware of the need to moderate my behavior and, for once, I did. 

How much does your spouse focus on preventing bad behavior instead of just punishing it?  Are preventative spankings part of that?  What other techniques does she use?  Has it worked to prevent problem behaviors from occurring?  What are the logistical challenges and how have you overcome them?   

I hope you have a great week!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Club -- Meeting #270 -- Bad Habits

"One regrets the loss even of one’s worst habits. Perhaps one regrets them the most. They are such an essential part of one’s personality." – Oscar Wilde

Hello all.  I hope you had a great week.  I really do love this season.  Though, ironically, work often goes crazy this time of year and, as a result, I've missed a lot of Halloweens.  It looked like that was going to happen this year, but things are looking better. 

 Although I love this time of year, neither it nor the break in the workload has fundamentaly changed some of my behavioral challenges.  I did make some progress getting back on course after a pretty rough time at work, then it kind of fell apart at the end of the week.  My efforts at self-control and progress on real self-improvement seem to come in bursts.  Unsustainable bursts.  So, as I sat there yesterday kicking myself for not sticking with the program, I was in the perfect frame of mind to reflect seriously on this comment/question from Alan:

"This is somewhat off topic but definitely related to the issue of a woman willing to be “bitchy” as well as experiences you have discussed. To the point: my wife wants to gradually reduce my drinking of alcohol ultimately to end it entirely and she is proposing using DD including lots of spanking and some embarrassment to achieve this. She did this years ago with smoking and it worked but I was motivated to stop myself then although the discipline was a crucial part of it happening. My question is can DD stop drinking entirely? She has some solid reasons for proposing this and I don’t disagree with her. I just don’t want to completely stop although I am willing to be spanked for exceeding my limits, I want to keep those limits. I sound like I am whining and maybe I am but looking for an honest answer from anyone who might want to comment whether DD can really achieve abstinence. Has anyone tried it and if so what happened? Thanks"

As I said in my reply to Alan's comment, I am hardly the guy to answer this one.  Like him, I don't want to completely stop, and I do think that in my case doing so would have some negative career ramifications.  It's just too big a part of my particular professional culture.  But, beyond that, I do like hanging out and having drinks with people at work and with friends of ours in the neighborhood. The plain fact is, many social bonds are formed or fostered over a mug of beer or glass ofwine.  As de Sade said, “Conversation, like certain portions of the anatomy, always runs more smoothly when lubricated.”  The plain fact is, I *like* drinking alcohol, and I really like the social aspect of doing it with friends and co-workers. I really don't want to give that up, though moderating it would be a great thing. 

 But, I do wish I could get better about limits while continuing to imbibe socially. But,  I do wonder sometimes whether it's really possible. I think some people are pretty binary when it comes to bad habits -- it has to be either on or off and nothing in between really works.

Alan also related his topic to our discussion of "bitchiness," I do think that something that would really help me in sticking to limits or not drinking at all in certain situations is if she would just tell me not to, and do it strongly, forcefully and consistently. While I don't always succeed, I do try to obey when she gives me a direct order. So, maybe to make it work it has to be some kind of stepped up bossiness, plus DD, plus the embarrassment Alan references, though I'd like to hear more about that latter one. Another thing she tried on one occasion and that actually did seem to help was a spanking before we went out to an event.  Sitting on a tender bottom kept me very aware of how much I was drinking and that too many would result in a another when we got home.

But, while I may not be the right person to answer Alan's question regarding this particular habit, hopefully some of the rest of you can provide some input? But, let's cast a little wider net with the topic:  Have you used Domestic Discipline successfully to break any deeply ingrained bad habit?  Let's also put a bit more of an FLR spin on it:  Have you done so in a situation like Alan's in which your disciplinarian spouse wanted to break you of a habit that you yourself were not so wild about eliminating?

I hope you have a great week.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Club - Meeting 269 - Limiting Beliefs

"One is not born a woman, one becomes one." - Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, 1949

Hi all.  I hope you had a great week.  Mine was both exhausting and relieving at the same time.  The exhaustion came from WAY too much business travel combined with WAY too many business meetings and WAY too much business socializing.  All while trying to get some real work crammed in here and there. The relief came from the fact that the overwhelming work project that was going to keep me under water for five or six weeks came to a screeching halt.  Knowing myself as well as I do, the temporary feeling of freedom will almost certainly be replaced soon by frustration and anxiety about not having enough to do.  That's just the way I'm wired.

But, it is good to have a weekend mostly off, especially at this time of year.  I really do love the Fall.  Walking the dogs this morning was wonderful.  The briskness of the air, the gorgeous colors . . . it really is my favorite time of year, though Christmas season is a close second and probably comes in behind only because I don't like the cold all that much. 

Also, this month brings Halloween, which is hands down the most interesting of our U.S. holidays.  No others combine mischievousness with a touch of kink. Imagination also plays a role, with certain costumes and displays appearing innocent if you're, well, innocent, but perhaps just a tad kinky if that's your thing.  For example, is this guy engaging in some innocent mooning, or perhaps bending over for his spanking:

Because of my travel, our DD and FLR activities got put on hold. But, my wife's interest seems to be stirring again.  We talked last week about why the "bottom" partner seems always to be more into than the Top. But, lately, if anything my wife brings it up more than I do.  Which is good.  Even though we have been doing this for a dozen or more years, it really is only in the last year or so that she seems to have gone mentally from just accommodating my need and seeing some collateral benefits to her from using DD to end arguments and express her dissatisfaction, to really starting to enjoy the power exchange and being more openly dominant.  In other words, the real change has been in her attitude.  I think deep down inside, the Domme was always in there, but it was so buried in layers of cultural and social and familial and personal inhibitors, it stayed dormant.

So, what are the things that hold your disciplinarian back from being all they can be?  I'll kick it off with a few of the things my wife probably had to overcome, some of which are still a work in progress:
  • Following is more acceptable than leading:  I think for both men and women, following is more socially acceptable than leading.  We dress the latter up with pleasant labels, like being a "team player" or a "good soldier."  And, while we respect people with strong leadership skills, those who exercise them can quickly come under criticism for being "uppity," presumptuous, or "too big for their britches."
  • Social pressure to be nice and to put others' needs ahead of our own:  There is a constant pressure in our society to be nice.  Polite.  Self-effacing. Those who put their own interests first are often seen as selfish or "not nice."  For the dominant party in a DD relationship, it can be hard to give yourself permission to express your own desires and preferences, let alone to express them as a command.
  • Fear of hurting the other party:  This has both physical and emotional dimensions.  Many new Disciplinary Wives fear literally hurting him via a "too hard" spanking.  They fear hurting him emotionally via a "too strict" demeanor.  Ironically, most of the husbands want the physical discipline to be harder or longer, the non-physical discipline to be more humbling and unyielding, and the dominant partner's exercise of authority to be far more strict, more authoritarian and to be that way more consistently.
  • Fear of being powerful:  I think some Dominant Wives worry deep down inside about what will happen if they really give in to what Nietzsche called the Will to Power.  We are all so conditioned to deplore dictators, authoritarians, sadists--basically anyone who shows too much comfort with exercising power over others--that budding Disciplinary Wives and Dommes fear the stigma of being seen to revel in exercising power over another human being and probably have some socialized aversion to being that kind of person.
My wife's newfound enthusiasm for being dominant seems to have two aspects.  First, she is finally really accepting that I want this.  That while it may be hard for me to accept in the moment, part of my wants and needs boundaries and rules.  And wants them to be imposed strictly and consistently.  Second, she is finally getting comfortable admitting that she enjoys bossing me around, setting the rules, and being served.  Another aspect that we are both getting more comfortable with--but which I will save for a future post once I can come up with a new angle to hit it from--is that there is a relatively strong "maternal" energy at play for both of us, which in the past there was a lot of reticence about acknowledging let alone exploring.

So, what attitudes are holding back your disciplinarian or have held them back in the past.  Are those attitudes something they have overcome?  If so, any thoughts on how that came about?

Have a great week.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

The Club - The Difference Between Bottoms and Tops

Hi all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couples Club.  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, as anticipated, unbelievably busy, and it's not remotely close to over yet.  But, whether this goes on for another six weeks or ends abruptly is suddenly a bit in doubt.  Unfortunately, in the meantime, I can't pull back at all.  So, my warning that posts may be short or non-existent over the next few weeks remains in force. But, since I have a tiny bit of time this morning . . .

I wanted to follow up on the issue raised by the KD Pierre cartoon I posted last week.  It seems to simply be a truism that in these relationships--whether DD, FLR or, in the case of KD's cartoon, BDSM or Femdom oriented--it is  the "bottom" who usually is more engaged in the dynamic.  Sometimes to the point of obsession.  While the Tops may accommodate or even be into it, often it just isn't as pervasive or all-consuming for them.  Any ideas why that might be?

For myself, as I have discussed many times, I didn't have any desire for DD at all--and had never even heard of adult disciplinary spanking--until I was well into my 30s.  Yet, despite having no pre-existing desire for it, once I did discover it, it hit me like a truck.  Looking back, I suspect that while I did not have any kind of dormant need for spanking, I always had a need for boundaries.  I grew up largely without them, and throughout my teens, twenties and even early thirties, I was prone to excessive and extreme behavior, and often felt totally out of control even if the people around me saw me as competent and successful.  I think that when I discovered DD, for the first time I recognized that there might actually be a cure for my internal angst and anxiety.  My wife, on the other hand, has always been a balanced person with a balanced temperament.  I think she doesn't get obsessed with DD in the way I do (or used to, at any rate), because she is already in a state of relevant balance, while I am not.  Now, she does like it, and it does help balance her sometimes more passive personality, because it helps her be more forceful and assertive.  But, her starting point is just different and less excessive, while my natural state is so unbalanced that I consciously or unconsciously feel a tug more often toward whatever moderates that tendency.

Anyway, that's my rambling thought on this Saturday morning, before I go off to engage with my excessive and unbalanced life some more.