Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Club - Meeting 280 - Reporting & Monitoring


“I don’t need any new resolutions, since last year’s are all still good to go.” - ZM

Hello all. Welcome back to The Disciplinary Couple’s Club.  Our weekly on-line gathering of men and women who are in, or would like to be in, a Domestic Discipline relationship.

I know this post comes a little late in the day. That may be the new norm.  I keep finding that I have other responsibilities much of the day on Saturday, so my new plan for 2019 is to be a little less rigorous in getting the blog done, as other things in my life sometimes do need to take priority. 

I hope you had a good week.  I finally got some serious time off.  While work was slow the last quarter of the year, that’s not quite the same thing as actually taking time off.  I probably should have put that on my list of resolutions for 2019: Relaxing more and just enjoying the scenery.  Though, I’ve read that on average of the de-stressed feeling following a vacation wears off after ten days or less.  I’ll do my best to stretch that out a bit.  In the meantime, I come back tanned, rested and ready for 2019. Without revealing too much about our holiday, it involved a little of this reaction on my part:


Speaking of resolutions, this week’s quote (above) comes from ZM’s comment to last week’s post.  Just about fell out of my chair laughing.  And it hit way too close to home for comfort.

To kick off 2019, let’s talk about reporting.  It is a subject that came up several times over the last couple of posts, in connection with both consistency and resolutions.  Therefore, it seems particularly appropriate for kicking off a new year, one in which we try to improve our behavior and performance consistently.  


On the issue of the extent to which self-reporting should be a part of a Domestic Discipline relationship, there was a wide range of views expressed.  Alan kicked off last week’s discussion by observing:

“I offer a resolution I won’t make but should make: I resolve to self-report more often and more promptly behavioral issues that might result in discipline. I am not going to make that resolution because it would utterly fail and I know it.”

Perhaps at the other end of the spectrum was a comment from Elizabeth from a couple of weeks ago:

“He has to confess, and he does that by keeping an honest and complete journal. Those of you who are unwilling to come clean and instead are expecting your wife to find out about all your misbehavior are living in a dream world. It's dishonest and disrespectful.”

Unlike Alan, I did make a resolution to report more consistently, though my view of reporting is somewhere between his and Elizabeth’s.  I said in a reply to her:

“I get what you are saying and agree in general with the distinction. But, I do get what Alan is saying, too. For whatever reason, some of us who are wired like this just do better when control is taken out of our hands as much as possible, and self-reporting does—for whatever reason—feel like keeping some degree of control. Now, as a practical matter, I think that’s just the way it has to work in adult relationships. But, what we crave is the note from the teacher or principal telling mom or dad we had gotten spanked and school, knowing it will mean a second one at home. And, knowing that if the note didn’t make it home, we’d get it even worse when the truth inevitably came out. I’m not arguing with your point, as I think it really does reflect the inevitable reality that getting ratted out by others is unlikely as adult, and expecting a wife to detect and deal with every offense on her own also is not realistic or helpful. But, the psychology for some of us really does seem to involve wanting to be taken as far out of the control loop as possible, while also wanting the discipline to be consistent and rigorous. I suspect you can have or the other, but not both.”


My view really is somewhere in the middle between Alan and Elizabeth.  In addition to being concerned about his chance of living up to a self-reporting resolution, Alan sees self-reporting as a form of “topping from the bottom.” Also, his wife is not really interested in it and may want to maintain control over dialing things up and down, and he likes her having that control and feeling like she is the one imposing things. As I said above, I totally get that and feel it myself.  For me, the very perverse attraction of DD has always been heavily wrapped up in both hating and needing boundaries.  Because I do hate them so much, I need them to be imposed from outside, and part of me craves being taken well outside my own comfort zone and being really subject to someone's hard, rigorous authority.  The more I am responsible for keeping things moving, including by reporting my own bad acts, the less the whole thing meets my need to have control affirmatively taken away from me. It's why I still get butterflies thinking about how schools used to send notes home after a spanking there, knowing it would result in a second, harder spanking at home that night; it's the way the whole thing is taken out of the recipient's control. 


But, on the other hand, I think Elizabeth is right that few wives are going to sign up to rigorous behavior monitoring and, thus, if the husband is not going to report regularly, any chance of discipline becoming a regular and sustained part of the relationship is diminished. Few of us have third-parties to rat us out and our wives don't have crystal balls that allow them monitor our daily misdeeds at work and outside the home.

[As an aside, where I don’t quite agree with Elizabeth is that if a man does not always report his bad behavior, it means he is playing games or not serious about the relationship.  As I said in a post about this a couple of years ago, 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.  In fact, in several years now of running this blog, I think the only folks I’ve heard say something along the lines of “if you aren’t reporting fully and completely you are playing games,” are (a) husbands who admit that they are in FLR or Femdom relationships in which whatever spankings they receive are not really full-blown punishment spankings; or (b) the Disciplinary Wives who, most often, have never been on the receiving end of the kind of punishment spankings they dish out. On the other hand, the men who tell stories that have the ring of truth about receiving real, true punishment spankings ALL seem to appreciate the challenges of being forthcoming when you know what that may bring.]

Now, that said, I do recognize that as much as my fantasies may involve Anne taking the reins fully and not needing any kind of reporting from me, as I said to Elizabeth, that probably isn’t realistic if I want to see real improvement in behavior and performance, and while I may want boundaries to be imposed by someone else almost against my will, I also need them to be consistent. As ZM said last week:

“It seems that most everything that I feel needs to change stems directly from my undisciplined life. If I had to make a single resolution for 2019, it would be that I want to learn how to live a more disciplined life. It would greatly reduce the stress and anxiety that I experience, and would also lower the stress of those around me as well and make our family more financially stable.”

Amen, brother.  So, as much as I know it will result in a bottom that is more sore, more often, I know I need to report more regularly.  And, I think it would be good if Anne gets into keeping better track of those things that annoy her and piss her off, both to increase her own sense of authority and to address the concerns Alan and I both have that self-reporting subtly reinforces a level of control on our part that negates some of what we need/want from this relationship.   

The imperfect but practical solution may be something Elizabeth brought up a couple of weeks ago that had already been on my mind. She observed: 

“We developed consistency over a number of years. It was based on taking advice from Aunt Kay's site about having a weekly Reckoning. And keeping a journal in between the weekly sessions. I think that any submissive husband who keeps a journal of misbehavior is more likely to get regular discipline from his disciplinary wife. At 1st my husband kept a journal. After a few years I began keeping one as well because I wanted to keep track of the issues that he was less aware of.

As I've discussed, at the very beginning of our DD experimentation, I kept a notebook in which I tracked each agreed-upon offense and tallied up the minimum number of swats we agreed to.  I still have the one we initially used, and I took a look at it a few weeks ago. What I didn’t remember was the extent to which she would comment on particular offenses, hand down her sentence, and document when the punishment had been carried out.  We didn't keep that system in place very long, because she quickly got over the need for establishing some minimum number of swats.  But, I think we both knew that reporting had its benefits. Over the years, we have tried other systems, like sending her emails with a daily/weekly journal, kept in a password-protected file.  But, the journal is not a great vehicle for simply reporting offenses, as it is more of a “stream of consciousness,” contemporaneous check-in on what was going on, driving me, stressing me, etc.  The entries can be long and detailed.  

I've also tried more succinct reports. Over the last few months, I worked on a couple of reporting formats (including one modified from a form Glen sent me), including weekly summaries . . .
 

and daily reports for particular offenses.

 

But, we have never implemented these in any regular way, probably because I am not diligent in using them.  And, while reporting electronically or in forms that are reviewed and then disposed of is undoubtedly more secure than a paper journal that might be found by prying little eyes, that is less an issue for us these days.  So, our old “offense-only” journal and the failure of my other efforts got me to thinking that maybe a simple, paper journal that she and I both use to keep track of things might be the way to go.  Therefore, for Christmas I gave her a small, leather-bound journal as a stocking stuffer.  My current thought is it will reside somewhere in her office, where both of us can access it and enter offenses as they occur. We do, however, still need to talk and agree to the logistics around how it will be maintained consistently, when we will go over it, etc.  Again, it needs to be something simple.  Elizabeth explained her system as follows:   

“Frank has a small spiral notebook that fits in a pocket. He carries it everywhere, and he is required to enter every date, even if there are no misbehaviors. Next to the date he writes the specific behavior that we will address, such as "2 extra drinks at lunch business meeting," or "forgot to do dishes last night" or "left socks on the floor" or "did not put car in garage last night." There is nothing else in the journal. Our week starts Saturday morning because Friday evening is our reckoning. He strips naked and sits at my feet while I review his list and mine. I assign implements and strokes for each transgression.  Establishing a regular system like this makes it very easy for me to be his disciplinarian.”

So, aside from what we've already discussed, any ideas on what an effective reporting routine should entail?  For those of you have implemented a reporting or review system, how does it work? What do you keep track of?  Does it cover only agreed-upon offenses, or is it more flexible?  Do both parties have a role in documenting and formally tracking the misbehavior?  Does it cover work-related issues or only relationship/household stuff?  And, most importantly, have you been able to do it consistently and, if so, how?

I hope you have a great week.

28 comments:

  1. This is one of those topics that takes me in many directions, and for us it's not a yes or no question, but rather another one of those fluid/plastic things that we just use common sense for. We have several rules and fairly simple expectations of behavior. Most are obvious, others are not. Naturally if I have a rule not to touch myself without permission, and I do, how would Rosa know unless I tell her? But, we are also a busy and stressed couple and if one day I somehow absentmindedly dallied a little longer than I should down there and then caught myself and stopped, Rosa is NOT going to want to come home from a hard day at work and hear me confess something like that. She knows the 'no touch' rule is very difficult and she has told me that she realizes it's a kind of gray area that is only of concern if the touching is flagrant, willful, and significant. She'd be more upset if I bombarded her with every little perceived fault than if I just let the little shit go.

    Now if I had an unauthorized orgasm? Well, that's a pretty deliberate act of disobedience and IF I did such a thing, she would probably want to know since she is not going to be there to see it herself. But really, the majority of stuff for DD comes from her and her perception of where I am at fault. Or from slips from others who have been hurt by some action of mine.

    We also have an understanding with each other about upset and guilt. We both know that sometimes big things are only big to one person and little to the other. So we discuss these as the come up. Sometimes she's unusually upset over something even she admits is minor......but she still wants to address. Other times something that doesn't really bother her is wracking me with guilt and even if she is not upset, she will probably address it just so I can feel cleared to move on.

    We also do not do scheduled ANYTHING, so scheduled DD reporting and evaluating would quickly become an unpleasant chore. Instead Rosa just does what a lot of wives do......she mentally 'files things away'. She has an uncanny ability to resurrect the things I've done to upset her when the time to address it comes around.

    Elaborate lists and scorecards appealed to me more when I was in my thirties. And maybe even more so in my imagination. In fact, everything seemed so much more prone to formalization back then. Now? Now I think we just want to focus on who's in charge, and then just deal with what seems important as shit happens. Even if you look at the slips I've occasionally posted on my blog, you can see how nearly no one who uses them sticks to the laid-out format. Besides, if I kept a journal like the example shown, I'd have no time to get anything done and Rosa would be more upset with that. LOL She'd probably say that if I have enough time to list all those dates and offenses she's probably not giving me enough to do LOL. Besides, how many times can you forget to do the dishes before you fall into a very different category than just misbehaving spouse? ;-)

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    1. I've experienced the same thing re: partners sometimes see the scale of certain behavior very differently, and it works both ways. She may be upset about something that I don't see as a big deal, and sometimes I beat myself up emotionally over things that don't have a lot of personal impact on her.

      I see lists and scorecards as means, not as ends in themselves. When we first started DD, I think some formality was critical to getting it off the ground. Now, more than a decade later, if I felt like we were maintaining this lifestyle more consistently--and if I was better at reporting reliably--I probably wouldn't be focused on them now.

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  2. Ry and I are fortunate in that we get to be pretty open about the odd shit we get up to; in fact, our friends and family kind of expect it from us at this point. They know that we are kinky, they know that we are poly, and they know that I sometimes go to extreme lengths to modify my self image and behaviors. So it came as no surprise to anyone when we added a little space to the top of our chalkboard calendar that hangs in our kitchen. On this designated space we have an E and an R, separated by a line, and a spot to put tally marks underneath.

    Our simple system is that when we walk by the chalkboard we mark a tally to our own name when we are fessing up to something and a tally to the other's name when we catch them at something. We color code them so we know who is adding what to whom, and it is up to both of us to remember what they are for. She gets 10 seconds of tickles per tally, I get an unspecified number of swats. We're thinking about adding corner time, but we aren't sure either of us can do it without laughing. If tickles sound quaint, I can assure you that it's torture if you're ticklish. Ry swats very long and hard. These are real punishments.

    We have other types of spankings. Like Dan, I'm not a spanko, but I do crave how it centers me afterwards. Ry is solely in charge of disciplinary spankings and how they are administered. We also spank for maintenance, where questions are asked, goals are set, and promises are made; Ry calls the shots there too. When we do spanking for release, I give her a bit of guidance on what to use, which order, and for how long. This isn't a control thing, it's just an efficient way to get me to the point of tears.

    Our friends and family are very amused by all of this DD stuff, they are also very impressed with its efficacy. Don't know if it'll work for anyone else on this board, but that's how we do it.

    Best,
    Ez and Ry

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    1. HI Ez and Ry. Great system. Have you always been that open about your DD lifestyle?

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    2. We've been open about being poly since our relationship started 18 years ago in high school, and at that time and at that age that type of relationship was just not normal. It's only somewhat more mainstream these days. So we're used to just being comfortable in our own skins and being a sounding board to our friends and family about alternative lifestyles. Ry insists that there is not much about our relationship that is vanilla, whereas I insist that we're vanilla-swirl. In fact, if we ever wrote a book about how we found ourselves with marital and financial success, I think we'd actually call it Vanilla-Swirl.

      As to your question about always being open about DD, I guess that's a yes but we've only been at it for a little while. We started late last September and telling our friends about it by early October. Also, Ry's father and Aunt live with us part time, so there's that. We didn't tell them at first, mostly just because we didn't think about it and also because we figured they'd hear it and figure it out.

      Here's a fun story that made it more explicit:

      One night recently after I had misplaced my wedding ring (again), Ry notified me that if be punished for it. After putting the kids to sleep, I came into the kitchen, where Ry's aunt, her dad, and his girlfriend were talking about what they used to be spanked with while growing up. I thought it was a weird coincidence until I got into our bedroom. Ry had a hairbrush and our dressage whip on the bed. I asked if we should wait until they went to sleep, at which point she said, "oh, I already told them what I'm about to do to you, so that won't be necessary." She then gave me a choice between a short and loud spanking they were sure to hear or a quiet but long one. Discretion or pain. I chose discretion because I'm stupid and prideful, lol.

      She made the unilateral choice to tell them and then to be a brat about it, and that's one of the many reasons I'm in love with this woman. I share all this because 1) it's fun and funny and 2) because it is a pretty good example of our personalities, our openness, our relationship, and our style of DD.

      Best ,
      Ez and Ry

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    3. I admire your openness and her comfort with making unilateral choices. It sounds like a great relationship. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. This is Elizabeth. I find it interesting that so many couples here feel that weekly is a lot and would be too often for the disciplinary wife. I actually imposed the weekly session in order to reduce the number of sessions we were having. At first Frank would report to me verbally each night, and he had some expectation that I was going to address the behavior that very evening. That didn't work for me, as it wouldn't for most disciplinary wives. So at first I told him you can go ahead and report but I'm only going to deal with you on a weekly basis. But I got tired of that as well and told him that he needed to report to me weekly. That resulted in a change from verbal reporting to a written list, because he couldn't remember a week's worth of misbehaviors. So to me weekly is a limiting factor that is within my comfort zone, whereas more would not be.

    I wish we could hear from other disciplinary wives here, or at least have the husbands ask them directly and see what they have to say about reporting and consistency.

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    1. It's not a matter of frequency per se.... but rather fluidity. There have been times Rosa found a reason to punish me for several days straight and other times we went without anything for months. That's what I meant about the scheduled behavior report. It's too rigid for us. Rosa hates stuff like that. ( It's Friday so we HAVE to do this. ) And it wouldn't work here.

      As for your situation, I don't know what to say. Maybe when the novelty of something like this is fresh the husband gets all eager to report every little thing and get punished for it (which sounds like he's enjoying getting punished way too much LOL), but in my experience the women I've known (Rosa included) find that tedious after a while. And I kind of wonder what's going on with a guy who can't go a week without doing what he's supposed to.

      I suppose if DD is seen as a kind of 'gotcha game,' having a slew of rules guarantees some misstep on a frequent basis. So there maybe a journal works......but like I said, we just do our thing with each of us knowing who is in charge and what the consequences for misbehavior might be and after that it's all a matter of what happens as life goes on.

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  4. Maybe our circumstances are a bit different than KD or some others. Ours is not a female-led relationship or dominance-submission or any of that, though I might be considered one of the bossier wives in our town. It is strictly domestic discipline for very specific issues. Frank is a very good man who tends to be forgetful about the things he might rather not do, like the dishes six nights a week. So yes, he has been spanked many times for that. Could it be intentional subconsciously? Maybe. He is a lifelong spanko. But both of us appreciate the intense bonding and intimacy that DD seems to trigger. So we are happy with our process.

    An update: He had some difficulty sitting on the hard wooden pews at church Sunday after we addressed his work swearing Friday night with 38 with the school paddle.

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  5. At the risk of coming across as simplistic it seems to me that self-reporting is just maintenance with more talking. As such I would personally only be interested in self-reporting if that lead to a more maternal tone in Mrs GL during our sessions. I am of the (possibly singular) view that if you are on scheduled spankings (as I am) listing the smaller things is superflious. I would save the confessions for the big stuff that deserves the spontaneous and issue settling chastisements and let the fortnightly settled the little stuff. Cheers Good Life Mickey.

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    1. I guess the issue is, if it is scheduled and always happens, is it actually connected to correcting/punishing/deterring bad behavior? If not, then I agree it would seem to make reporting superfluous.

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    2. Our reporting session is scheduled, but the punishment is tied to what is reported. If both of our lists are blank (and that does happen on occasion, though rarely), then there is no punishment. In fact, there is "reward." With him already naked, I will let you boys imagine what that is!
      Elizabeth

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    3. Leaving things to my imagination is . . . well . . . actually pretty damn fun. :-)

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  6. This is Elizabeth. If you were a fly on the wall in my home on a Friday night, you might certainly think that our relationship is flr. He is naked and being spanked, I am fully clothed and doing the spanking. But the rest of the week, our relationship is quite different. I do not tell him what to do. I do not make decisions for both of us. We function as equals, and in some areas he makes the decisions, especially when it comes to major finances. And if he wanted to stop the Friday night sessions, they would stop. So to us that means our relationship is not flr or dominance-submission. We use domestic discipline in a relationship that is otherwise equals. And even in the DD there is a sense of equality because this is what he has asked for and continues to want and need.

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    1. Dan I applaud your effort in producing such thorough and professional-looking reporting tools. And I encourage you to proceed along the path that calls you; learning, modifying, and fine-tuning what you do as you go.

      Elizabeth - Very wise and very loving description. So nice to see.

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    2. This is pretty close to where our relationship was for over a decade.

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    3. Also, most of the "rules" that I enforce were suggested by him or were from our extended family. For instance, that the person who cooks can relax after dinner and does not clean up. My parents had that rule since I was a kid. When the kids are old enough, they do the dishes. Otherwise it's the spouse who did not cook.

      Yes, I sometimes remind him of a rule we agreed upon, like drinking at a party. And I guess I can be pretty bossy about it. But he agreed to this process and has never complained.

      And I have rules I follow, too, like having dinner on the table by 7 pm. No, I don't get spanked if dinner is late, but I do apologize!

      I hope this helps clarify our DD.
      Elizabeth

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    4. Hmmm, mine too. Funny how that description fits so many of us. I too can end it. I too make decisions. I too agree to the rules, but because Rosa spanks me when I misbehave and I don't spank her, I DO define our relationship as D/s, DD, & FLR.....because she is the one with the power to discipline....and I submit to it.

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  7. I can relate to what Elizabeth is saying. We don't have an flr. In fact, outside of the agreed rules we either cooperate or I take the lead. In fact, most friends and family probably assume I am the leader. However, when it comes to the rules I do self report. With my travel she would have no ability to monitor. There are a couple rules she has made as part of our arrangement and those i don't self report but are obvious. We don't do weekly however, we do as needed and as we can. If a spanking is due it happens same night...except when the kids take too long going to bed...then we just collapse in bed and spank the next night. I prefer ASAP but it just does not always work.
    I don't see self reporting as topping from the bottom since I dont choose when to report. We have a standing rule that not self reporting makes it worse. So I always self report immediately...well not always but she broke me of the habit of delayed reporting fast....

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    1. Long-term readers know my views on "topping from the bottom." I think it's something that gets imported from BDSM world far too often and that serves mainly to inhibit real communication in real relationships. While it has some application in certain contexts, it seems to me to do way more harm than good in real relationships that are built on more than BDSM fantasies.

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  8. In the beginning, my husband & I tried a rigid report and review system. But once we had children and started to raise a family, life just got in the way. So instead of documenting every in fraction by Dave, I would just make a mental note of things he did and then held him accountable as soon as my schedule allowed.
    Although our kids are now grown, since we got out of the habit we've never went back to it. I still paddle my husband's bare-bottom when it is convenient for me and as soon as reasonably possible. But to be honest, paddlings are rare now because he generally behaves. But when he doesn't, I do not document his infractions or risk leaving a paper trail that could be discovered by others.
    We started out that way, documenting every violations and such but it just became too cumbersome. Good to hear from other dwc wives like yourself Elizabeth.-Jeanne W. (Houston,TX)

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    1. Hi, Jeanne! Great to hear from other disciplinary wives. I certainly understand scheduling around children. We did that for years. Interesting that both you and I stuck to the habits that were established. We only do Friday nights now even though we are alone in the house!

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    2. Welcome, Jeanne. Kids certainly do tend to get in the way of establishing a DD routine. Bless their little hearts.

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  9. Dan
    To simplify things here Peter and I came up with this solution. Here are the facts we worked from. Peter is the one who felt he needed discipline. We agreed with the following procedure. EVERY evening before turning off the lightsI would ask Peter if he had anything to report. Meaning has he broken any rules we both agreed upon were punishable. I would assign a number i felt were the correct amount for the offense. If I didn't ask if had anything to report and he didnt volunteer on his own he got a free pass that day.
    At the end of 7 days he got one free pass one day where he had nothing to report. The other five days he earned 115 swats. Last nite he ghinot all of them with a belt.There were tears. After I did allow him to service me
    orally but he wasnt allowed release. After i applied salve to his sore bottom we went to sleep.
    This isn't perfect but we got through the week with discipline on the agenda.
    I wanted to cut through the problems and simplify the whole thing.
    Anna

    ps should he go a week without reporting anything i am done with it all.

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    1. Great plan, Anna!
      Elizabeth

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    2. Thank you Elizabeth! It works by the way. I am pleased I am not sure about Peter but we shall see.
      Best to you
      anna

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  10. I do "report" whatever misdeed may earn me a whipping I know I deserve, but L. also decides (whether or not I agree) that I need to be spanked whenever she feels I "have earned it"
    L.

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