Hello 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 relationships. I hope you had a good week.
While tiring, this week was a little better than last. Not as much socializing. Things settling into a bit more of a routine, though I don't think there is any way to make business travel easy or healthy. It's just a grind. But, with the return of that grind and the temptations to unhealthy living that go along with it, the ebbing interest in Domestic Discipline that happened over the holidays is resurgent. While I can’t say I am quite “ready” for, or “wanting,” a spanking, I definitely am due for one and probably "need" it in that twisted way that those who are driven to this thing we do understand.
Anne and I have been talking about how to get back on track; a conversation we've had perhaps too many times over the years, to such an extent that it's hard to deny that what we are lacking is not thought and planning but, rather, commitment and diligent execution. Both my business life and my personal life impress that that truth upon me -- intention, planning, strategy -- all are absolutely worthless without committing to something in a real way and actually doing it even when inconvenient or hard. It happened to us again this week. For once, I carried through on my goal of self-reporting on Saturday morning, entering the week's bad behavior in the journal I bought her for Christmas. When Saturday night came around, she didn't order the spanking and I didn't bring it up. And, honestly, that seemed OK at the time because we had not seen each other for most of the week, and some non-spanking intimacy seemed more important. But, she did say she intended to do it the following day. Then Sunday came around, and I managed to avoid punishment again. So, despite a step forward on the reporting front, and despite us both agreeing it was earned, and both agreeing it would happen, and both making efforts to make it happen . . . it still was avoided. I’m not blaming at all. We both were responsible for this fail.
It got me to thinking that we often focus on things we need to add to our DD routine to encourage effective and immediate punishment, but what we really need to focus on are the the impediments to it, i.e. the things we need to subtract in order to make room for discipline and also to make sure our commitment to it overcomes all the distractions and temptations. One really obvious impediment is timing. For whatever reason, we have almost always carried out her Domestic Discipline sentences on the weekends. Part of the reason is, we both have busy jobs and our evenings are often filled with catching up on work related tasks or preparing for the next work day. But, Sunday nights often aren't much better, nor are nights when I will be traveling the next day. Those days are the WORST for making discipline actually happen, because we both are busy catching up on work stuff, preparing for the work week, and basically taking care of everything we need to get done in our "real" lives. Laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, left over tasks from the week before, packing for travel, etc. It just doesn’t leave enough time for much of anything else.
The challenge lies in the fact that my work life is getting busier and busier, and as a result I really need to be disciplined right now. Not in the sense of corporal punishment, but in the sense that if I don't act in a disciplined way, i.e. don't focus at work and execute on the most important tasks day in and day out, I am going to fail. And, if I can't manage to be self-disciplined, then that is where the corporal punishment does come in. In light of those things, I made a couple of proposals to her.
With this new job, I need her "firm hand" more than ever. Last year, there were times I was not performing all that well (largely because of boredom), but now the demands on my time are greater than ever. I absolutely must pare down on the distractions, get focused, and stay up with things that I've shirked on in the past.
Although in the past I have had lengthy lists of things on which I want to improve, when I look at the things that sap my time and energy or hold me back, there are really a handful that matter. To be successful in this role while maintaining balance, I really need to focus on three things:
(1) Administrative shirking: There is one work-related activity that I won't specify here, as it is too revealing of what I do for a living, but it is an administrative task that is core to what we do but also incredibly annoying and distracting. Ideally, I would keep up with it no less than daily, but because it is so annoying, I tend to put it off all week then spend way too much time every weekend trying to catch up. If I want to have time to unwind when I am home on the weekends, it is critical that I keep up during the week.
(2) Productivity: Despite having much I could be doing, I find myself distracted and unfocused, spending too much time surfing the ‘Net, chatting with colleagues, etc. I spend too much time in the office for so much of it to be pissed away.
(3) Workouts: I also need to stay healthy despite all the negative dietary and workout temptations that travel entails. I am pretty self-disciplined when it comes to working out during the normal work week when I am working out of my regular office. But, things really fall apart when I am on the road. I regularly wake up at 5:00 am to workout when I am not traveling, but for some reason I just can't bring that same self-discipline to things when I am traveling. Yet, it is those periods when I really need to workout more, because my diet also tends to get worse when living in airports and hotels. So, if I don't find a way to exercise regularly, my health will suffer.
So, while there are other "personal growth" goals that are important, the preceding three really are the ones that matter the most right now, and they are the ones on which I have asked her to show me the most “tough love,” taking on the role of "success coach," and holding me accountable. Much like getting spanked for a bad report card.
It is one of those things that fall comfortably into our discussion last week of maternal discipline. Bad grades may not affect a mom directly, but she can have an important role in helping the failing or floundering student take responsibility, maintain focus and achieve important goals.
In an entirely separate category is “payback," i.e. those things that have nothing to do with helping me perform for myself and everything to do with punishment for failings in my relationship with her. This category is all about her having the ability to express her displeasure or annoyance with me in the most concrete way. For those things that affect her personally (disrespect, eye-rolling, attitude, chores, etc.) she should always be empowered to spank or impose other punishment and to do so at her absolute discretion. And, since those happen in her presence and both of us are available then and there, ideally there should be immediate consequence for my behind.
Now, all of this got me thinking about some exchanges we had on this blog a few months ago with "Helen." She talked about how important it was that each offense got its own punishment. Spankings for each offense might be separated by only a few minutes, with him doing intervening corner time, but there was that separation. This made a lot of sense to me, because otherwise there is almost a perverse incentive to keep offending after one spanking has been earned, since I am going to get one anyway. Looking back, we did something a little like this at the very beginning of our DD relationship, when we would tally up offenses and the minimum number of swats associated with them.
So, I have suggested to my wife that we try to remove some of these impediments, get back to basics, and make sure there is always a disincentive to further offending after one spanking has been earned, My suggestion to her is as follows (I have yet to get her input on this plan):
Every Saturday morning, I will fill out our journal by 10:00 am and bring it to her. The key is that it will be filled out and discussed that morning before we run off to do errands, etc., and then an actual disciplinary "appointment" set. If there are issues that need “addressing,” she will tell me that and set a time when we both will make ourselves available that afternoon or early that evening. In the rare event that we just cannot make that day work, it has to happen on Sunday. But, the key is there has to be an actual time set, so we both commit to it and know it is going to happen. We can then plan our day around it, completing our errands and other commitments, or interrupting them as necessary so she can "take care of business."
She would give me four separate "sessions," of five minutes each, for a total of 20 minutes but also with 20 minutes of intervening corner time. So, she loses 20 minutes, but I lose 40. This could make for some very frustrating afternoons for me, and unlike our current “one size fits all” sessions, it would give me a real incentive to keep the number of offenses low. Given my issues with short attention span and the annoyance I feel when someone interrupts something I'm doing, imposing wait times that stretch what used to be a a 5 or 10 minute session into close to an hour could be more of a punishment than the spanking itself.
That was a very long introduction to this week's topic, which is whether you have implemented some similar program to ensure that separate offenses do not get lumped together into one session and to ensure that there is always an incentive to behave better, even after one spanking has been earned but has not yet been delivered?
For me, the prospect of separate spankings really does affect my mind-set and, I think, my behavior. While on the road this week, I had already done some things to earn a spanking. However, on Thursday when I was tempted to sleep an extra hour and skip a workout in the hotel gym, the thought came into my head that I was just earning myself another five minute strapping by doing that, and that the tally was already unpleasant to contemplate. So, I got up and did the workout. And, I am about to go do one now!
Have a great week!