Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Club -- Meeting 298 -- Empty Nesting

Hello all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, Domestic Discipline relationships. I hope you had a good week.

Mine was tough.  We had something happen in the family last week that I won’t go into, but it left us all stressed, depressed and unsettled. 

And, then there was that Game of Thrones finale. What a letdown.  As if I wasn’t depressed enough, I can now think about what I could have done with the 80-plus hours that I devoted to watching and re-watching episodes of that series.  What am I going to do now to mindlessly waste my time?  And, while I appreciated the generous serving of gratuitous T&A, I did find myself identifying a bit too much with one of the characters.

During last week’s discussion, Darren brought up the topic of how life changes after we become empty nesters.  I realize this topic won’t resonate with every reader, as some won’t be at that stage of life.  But, based on past polling, many of us are.  It’s a topic we have touched on before, a little less than a year ago, but we do have some new participants, so why not do it again?  Moreover, going back and reading my last empty nesting post (post 255) forced me to confront a somewhat painful reality – sometimes things just don’t change very much even when you think they will and even when you say you want them to. 

It seems perfectly logical that having kids in the house would put some hard limits on fully exploring DD and FLR lifestyles.  And, for us, they did.  Like almost all couples who get into this lifestyle with kids in the house, we had to work around their little ears and eyes, which made things like instantaneous discipline difficult to pull off.  Lots of bad behavior went unpunished entirely.  When issues were addressed, sometimes it was so many days after the bad act that much of the emotional connection between the crime and the punishment was lost.  Logistically, the two things that changed the most over time were location and timing.  When we first began the kids were pretty young, and we could often get away with spanking sessions in the basement after they had gone to bed.  Though, who knows whether one or more of them overheard something despite our best efforts?

As they became teenagers, late evening spankings were less of an option, because the kids started staying up later than we do!  So, spanking tended to happen on weekends when they were out of the house, which alleviated some of the constraints on where spankings happened.  Now, they almost always happen in our bedroom.  But, our kids kind of liked hanging out with us and visited regularly.  So, there were many times that even Saturdays and Sundays proved difficult to find “alone time” for Anne to take care of business. And, we have never even thought about simply being totally open about the power exchange in the house, let alone the spanking piece.  Though, as we talked about last week, I do find the prospect of more open shows of authority morbidly attractive in the same way DD itself is morbidly attractive.  And, if Alan is right about there being a DD gene (I still have my doubts), for all I know one or more of the kids have discovered this thing we do and may not be repulsed by it at all.

But, we have always operated from the premise that this is something we keep to ourselves and have mostly acted accordingly.  So, having more time alone would theoretically lead to more freedom to explore this side of our relationship. Everything changes.  Kids graduate from high school, go on to have their own lives, and mom and dad are then left to move on and take their own lives in different directions, right?  Well, sort of.  I first took on this empty nesting topic back in 2016 when we seemed to be on the verge going into that new stage when we would have much more freedom.  I assumed that would mean big changes in the DD and FLR aspects of our relationship.  What I didn’t quite get at that time is that for this generation of kids, leaving the nest is a “process” not an “event.”  They move out the door and into the real world slowly and in spurts.  I didn’t really anticipate just how much they would still be around, visiting on weekends, holidays, summer vacations, etc.  And, when ours “left” for college they initially were within easy driving distance, so it turned out there were lots of nights when a hot meal at home seemed more attractive than ramen in a college apartment.

Last year, we thought that things finally were moving in a direction in which there really would be big blocks of time when we truly were empty nesting.  We talked expressly about what that meant for the Domestic Discipline and FLR aspects of our relationship.  As I said in Post 255:

She wants to take over, I want her to do that, and now there is just the little matter of execution.  Of making a hard left turn into a very different style of dealing with each other and trying to make much more real something that has been more of a goal than a reality.  Not that the DD aspects of our relationship have not been real, but they have been confined and departmentalized, bounded on all sides by a life that revolved around kids and, frankly, keeping kids from discovering much about this aspect of how their parents relate to each other.

That is what is really changing -- her ability or at least willingness to really step into a 24/7 role as Head of Household has always been met with the roadblock of observant little eyes and ears.  Which wouldn't be a problem if, like a small number of people who visit here, we were "out" about this aspect of our relationship, or at least not actively hiding it even in the privacy of our own home. But, we always have been.  So, with no one but us and the pets around, it really is a brave new world.

(I also included in that post some honest reflection about just how prepared I really was to move into a relationship that was more FLR-oriented and the extent to which that might entail getting much more than I asked for.  More on that in a later post.)

So, here we are, a year later.  The house is more empty than it has ever been.  We have the place to ourselves most nights and most weekends.  And, we’ve spent a couple of years talking about how much we want to put her more firmly in charge.  So, how much has changed?  Honestly, not that much.  In terms of frequency of spankings, it’s about the same.  In terms of more open expressions of her authority, also about the same.  My submission to her authority?  Very spotty and, if anything, the past month has showed some disturbing moves in the wrong direction.  What accounts for this lack of progress despite our new empty nest status?  I don’t really know, but here are some thoughts:

·        Circumstances change quickly but personalities and habits do so only slowly and with effort.  She wants to be more assertive but struggles to really internalize any sense of her own power.  I want to behave better, but I also have a fierce anti-authoritarian streak and some bad habits that have been such a part of me for 40 years that they have become a part of how I see myself.  Those things are hard to unwire.  You don’t just become a new person, whether more authoritarian or more compliant, based on good intentions.  And, frankly, neither one of us has really committed fully and completely to going down this path and doing what it takes.
·        Despite being together for a quarter of a century, I think we both are still kind of embarrassed about moving into new roles with each other.  In fact, it may be that we’ve been together so long that moving in a different direction feels less like a real change in the relationship and more like fantasy role playing.
·        Life is busy.  While the house may be more empty, we too are out of it a lot, especially me.  Business travel now generally takes me away from home several days a week.

One other angle on empty nesting that I am starting to suspect may be in play is that while it may present more opportunities for discipline it also may lead to more reasons for it.  I’m really starting to wonder whether my behavior is slipping because I don’t have to worry as much about being a poor role model.  While it is subtle, I do feel like in the last year I’ve lost some hard-won maturity and drifted back toward more of the guy I was right out of college and graduate school.  Now that I am no longer running my life around other people’s school, sports and social activities, life is more free, and I’m kind of acting out in response to the drop in family-related responsibilities.  Or, is this all just another spin on the classic mid-life crisis?  One is almost perfectly timed.

So, for those of you who have faced the empty nest in the context of a Domestic Discipline relationship, what changed?  And, what did not?  Did it, in fact, lead to her stepping more firmly and confidently into the role?  If so, did that happen gradually, or was there a moment when it seemed to all come together?  Or, is change harder and less dependent on the presence of others than we like to think?

Saturday, May 18, 2019

No Post This Week

Sorry for the late notice, but we are tied up with some things this weekend that will not allow time for blogging.  Have a good week.


Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Club - Meeting 297 - Public Displays of Authority

“Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.”
― Margaret Thatcher

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.  Ours was rough.  Not on the personal behavior front.  While hardly a perfect week, I did do better than in recent weeks, and I obeyed a direct command even on something I could have done that might have gone undetected.  So, again, while not perfect, I did make some progress in getting my act together. But, a rough week nonetheless.  We’ve had some losses among our extended “family,” and had another this week.  I know that is cryptic, but I’m not quite ready to reveal personal details that could allow someone to figure out who I am.  Now, that sort of assumes that someone who knows me in “real life” reads this blog, but you never know. . . .

That note about anonymity and secrecy leads us to this week’s topic. Last week, Danielle observed, "I’ve been inching closer and closer to some such public display of my authority over my husband. But that would probably be too embarrassing for him in real life. Also, there would be an ethical problem of involving other people in your kink, right?" We also had a couple of side discussions about openly displaying utensils and beauty items in ways that might suggest their dual purpose as disciplinary devices.

What level of display of authority are you comfortable with?  Some take great pains to make sure no one knows about their DD or FLR activities.  Others are open.  Some don’t openly reveal the nature of their relationship but take risks that someone could figure it out.  Where do you fall on that spectrum, and what form do your displays of authority take?  

We are one of those “in the middle” couples.  Her public displays of authority are fairly understated, most of the time.  She almost always pays the bill when we go to restaurants.  I clear her plate after dinner at home, which does not go unnoticed by our now older kids.  In public, she has occasionally given me something that sounds like an order, such as telling me to go to the bar and have her drink refilled.  At an office Christmas party a few years ago, I came to suspect one of my younger female colleagues and her husband might be in an FLR, as I observed her repeatedly direct him, politely but authoritatively, to go to the bar and get her another drink.  Finally, as I’ve noted before, I also wear a pendent that those in BDSM relationships might identify as the sign of a submissive male.  It doesn’t quite fit our situation, but it is the closest established symbol to our dynamic.  

Within the family, on occasion she has inched forward to more prominent displays of authority.  As I said, we have established a ritual in which I take her plate away after dinner, or she leaves the table and leaves it there for me to clean up.  And, the kids have definitely noticed it and commented about it to her.  They also definitely get something has changed in the last few years and that she makes more decisions. As far as I know, they don't know about the corporal punishment aspect of the relationship, though there is no way to know for sure.  Kids are more observant than we sometimes like to believe.  Moreover, I will not be surprised if, at some point, my wife tells one or more of the kids. And, on a couple of occasions she has made a cryptic or flippant reference to spanking me, in front of our extended family. One Christmas morning, we had extended family over and I made some semi-snotty comment in response to something she asked me to do. She replied, "Well, you can do it or I can just spank you." Some family members were definitely within earshot. If they overheard, I *think* they would have thought she was joking, but you never know. . . . On the other hand, as far as I know she has never openly revealed our FLR or DD relationship to anyone, and she's never done anything beyond dropping hints in public.

How about you?  For the wives, how comfortable are you in displaying your authority over him or hinting at your DD activities? Give us some examples of times you’ve done so.  If you are not open about it now, do you have any desire to be more so in the future?  For the men, has your wife let others know about her authority?  Does she do things in public that make her authority known or might let others figure it out?  Do you wish your wife was more, or less, open about whatever level of authority she has over you?

Have a great week.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

The Club - Meeting 296 - Dreams

The dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

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.  In what is becoming a broken record, mine started strong on the behavior front, then ended in a big fail coupled with disobedience.

Well, last week’s topic sure . . . drifted.  We began with how sex has changed since DD and ended with whether religion frowns on dildo collections.  Seems like we all had a lot of time on our hands last week.

This week’s topic is only slightly less ethereal than our religious speculations.  I predict it won’t be nearly as lively a discussion, but it was the best I could come up with.  The topic is dreams related to spanking and domestic discipline.  For someone who spends as much time as I do thinking about domestic discipline and corporal punishment, I don’t tend to dream about such things very often.  Perhaps it’s because I am actually in a DD relationship, so I don’t need to dream about being in one?  Though, while I don’t have DD dreams very often, I do have them from time to time, and perhaps they reveal a bit about what drives me to do this thing we do.

I had an interesting one a couple of weeks ago. I had gotten into trouble for something; I’m not sure what but I think  it was some kind of low-level mischief.  In my dream, I was riding in a car with my mother.  In the dream, she was younger than she is today; probably mid- to late 40s.  She had picked me up from whatever trouble I had gotten into and was driving me home.  There was deep snow along the road.  She kept trying to pull off the road, but the car couldn’t make it far in the snow, so she would pull back onto the road, drive a little further, then try to pull over again. 

I asked her what she was doing, and she said something like, “I don’t think you understand the kind of trouble you could have gotten into back there, or how much you are in now.  So, I am going to take care of that.” It became very clear that she had been trying to pull off the road so she could spank me spank me in the car.  Fortunately or unfortunately depending on your perspective, I woke up before she could carry out that sentence.

A couple of months ago, I had a dream that probably speaks volumes about what I find really threatening.  I dreamed I was at a large gathering of business colleagues.  It may have been a holiday party or something like that.  But, unlike a normal work party, I also had family members in attendance, including both my wife and my father.  While the details are sketchy, someone had ordered me to be spanked for some office misbehavior.  It was to be done by our office manager, who is a man.  As he was attempting to take me to an adjacent room to spank me, I turned to my wife, who was sitting at a table with some other people from work.  I asked her to intercede.  I seemed to think there was something very unfair about the spanking, and I was very agitated and intent on pleading my case.  

Instead, she looked up from her conversation, and directed me very dismissively to run along and get it over with.  My father was sitting at a nearby table, and he too seemed fully on board with my forthcoming punishment.  He told me this one would be of a “totally different order” than anything I had experienced before. I was sullen and angry, though my concern seemed to be not so much the spanking itself but, rather, that everyone would know it was happening and might be able to overhear it.  Our manager took me out of the room, and in the odd manner of dreams I didn’t really experience the spanking from a first-person perspective, but I could hear myself getting spanked hard and crying.

Lots of interesting things going on there, and they all seem to speak to what I find very intimidating.  The office environment, where I definitely have been known to cause problems, and everyone there knowing what was about to happen to me.  My wife's casual and dismissive attitude, bordering on contemptuous.  The embarrassment of knowing others would hear me getting spanked.  And, being spanked by a man.   

So, how about you? Do you dream about spanking or discipline, whether giving or receiving?  If so, care to share a few dreams you have had, particularly anything that might be revealing about what drives you to be in this lifestyle?

Have a great week.