Saturday, July 27, 2019

Club Meeting 306 - Rituals

“Purification and redemption are such recurrent themes in ritual because there is a clear and ubiquitous need for them: we all do regrettable things as a result of our own circumstances, and new rituals are frequently invented in response to new circumstances.” ― Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

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, mainly of the Female/male variety.  I hope you had a good week.

Last week’s conversation went in some interesting directions.  I was particularly intrigued by “A husband who knows” description of the level of control his wife assumed in order to bring out the result she wanted, i.e. substantial weight loss.  That level of control and “laying down the law” seems so attractive on the surface, yet a few weeks ago I reacted badly to even less intrusive efforts by my wife.  She and I have talked about it since then, including a lot of talk about Alan’s observation that whenever his wife would start turning the screws, he would experience a period of rebellion before surrendering to her control.  We are kind of inching back into her turning the screws more, not focusing quite as much on a particular habit or offense, but just generally her taking on more of a clearly dominant, Head of Household, “strict mom” kind of role and me being more demonstratively under her.
Some of this coincidentally relates to the tangents we got off onto regarding Alcoholics Anonymous and the whole theme of surrender.  I’m still kind of working through all this and can’t articulate it very well yet (I often need to let ideas percolate for a while before something “clicks” and I get a flash of insight I didn’t have before), but I think that at bottom my (a) mini-“rebellion” a few weeks ago; (b) deeply entrenched anti-authoritarian tendencies; (c) paradoxical attraction and repulsion to the prospect of crying and being under truly imposed and involuntary boundaries; and (d) oddly, my interest in Eastern religious philosophy are all bound up in this overarching concept of “surrender.”  This by the artist Jack Vettriano kind of exemplifies the mood.  I love the way his closed eyes seem to indicate an inner struggle to accept the kneeling, subservient position.  Isn't any real surrender like that? Perhaps more on this later.

In the meantime, “A husband who knows” also once again provided this week’s topic.  He proposed, “Maybe you have done this topic, but one possibility is the rituals that happen before, during, and after punishment.”  I was pretty sure we have done this one a few times, but when I searched for it I found that we’ve only done it once, that was over five years ago, and the blog was so new it got a whopping 8 comments.  So, let’s do it again. Do your spankings entail a pattern or ritual?

I don’t know whether our practices are “rituals” or just “routines,” i.e. habits that have developed over time.  It feels more like the latter.  Ours really begin with her ordering the spanking, which sometimes but not always occurs in two parts.  Often, she lets me know (sometimes but not always by text) that I will be getting spanked for some offense.  That evening, she generally lets me know a few minutes beforehand that I need to get ready.  In general, that entails putting away whatever I am doing, going upstairs, getting out her “tools” and placing them on the bed, and pulling the ottoman she usually spanks me over away from the bed and placing some pillows on top of it.  I then get naked as she putters around in the bathroom.  When she is ready, she comes out, gives me a short lecgture about why I am getting spanked, then tells me to get into position.  I drape myself over the ottoman, and from that point forward she is all business.  We really don’t have a post-spanking routine.  She tells me when the spanking is over, I put her tools away, and probably 9 times out of 10 when the spanking happens at night, we have sex. 

What about you? Is there a ritual to how she kicks things off?  Do you get yourself ready and wait for her?

Or does she get ready and summon you when it is time?

Is there a pre-spanking lecture or scolding?

 Is there any ritual she follows during the spanking?  And, what about after?  Are you left to get yourself together?

Or perhaps there is some comforting or intimacy? 

Whatever your rituals are, tell us all about them.

I hope you all have a great week.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

DCC Meeting 305 - Repeat Offenses

“Most people don't have that willingness to break bad habits. They have a lot of excuses and they talk like victims.” - Carlos Santana

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, mainly of the Female/male variety.  I hope you had a good week.

Last week’s conversation was interesting and may or may not have been revealing as to what really drives our group.   I had thought that a wide-open topic like what you are or might be willing to be subjected to, or what she might be willing to impose, in order to get enough behavioral leverage to overcome a repeated problem might elicit a wide diversity of responses.  Didn’t really turn out that way. This time, multiple spankings seems to have the most support, and coincidentally my wife sent me a text instructing me that I am in for spankings spanning several days.  Of course, it likely isn’t really coincidental, because she has been reading this blog and is probably absorbing all sorts of potentially painful ideas from you folks.
Almost all the responses reduce in some way to making spankings more fearful, and not with non-spanking methods of bringing about behavioral change. When we talked about repeat offenses two years ago, one wife (Marisa) was getting frustrated enough to consider taking things in another direction:

"I am weary of punishing him repeatedly for the same behavior. I know especially if I spank him in front of another male or couple ( no couple now is available but a male is), Jay would do anything in his power to avoid a repeat. I am not suggesting anyone else try this and it is risky which is probably why I have not already used it. But sooner or later a wife gets tired of revisiting the same issues ( I hear some of this echoed in Anna's remarks above). I am not going to divorce him while spanking still works but I am going to find a way to beat his ass that lasts a long long time."

This week’s topic is a fairly logical extension of last week’s.  I had originally planned to post tomorrow, thinking I didn’t have enough time to come up with something while juggling everything else I had to get done today.  Then, in reviewing comments from yesterday, I noted that “a husband who knows” was kind enough to help me out with an idea that is pretty direct and doesn’t require a lot of work on my end.  He suggested: “What behavior have you been punished for most in the last year or so?  Why are you repeating the behavior? What has your wife done about it? What should she do about it to help you change?  Do you really want to change the behavior?  How upsetting is it to your wife?”

I’m happy to go first, though my answers won’t surprise many long-term readers.

What have I been punished for most in the last year.  I have been punished the most for over-consumption of alcohol, i.e., binge drinking.  Hands down, it is definitely my most challenging behavioral fault. 

Why am I repeating the behavior?  Probably a combination of long-established habit, social acceptance (indeed, encouragement) among our social and work friends, job responsibilities that include lots of socializing over drinks and dinner, and probably some genetic component that involves lacking the kind of “off switch” that more moderate drinkers have that leaves them fully satisfied after a drink or two.

What has my wife done about it? Lots and lots of spankings over the years, though with only a few exceptions single spankings for each offense.  So, not a lot of being put through a second or third spanking on an already sore bottom.

What should she do about it to help you change. This is a challenging one.  As I related a few weeks ago, she did start cracking down a few weeks ago, not in terms of increasing spankings or punishment but in setting more rules and trying to stop the over-consumption before it happened.  It caused a lot of resentment on my end, and when I expressed that, she felt (justifiably) undermined. Since then, I have thought about a comment Alan made to the effect that every time his wife or girlfriend has tightened the screws he has initially felt resentment, but then would adjust.  I think maybe I need to just accept the resentment as part of the process with any “real” discipline.  What kid spanked for bad behavior or told to go to be early doesn’t resent his parents for some period of time after the discipline is applied?  So, I think I probably need to talk to her about it again, and maybe this time we come up with some more concrete agreement on what she will and won’t do right away, and kind of crank thinks up a bit more gradually.  With respect to punishment, there was a lot of support last week for multiple days of spankings for a single offense, and I think we probably need to explore that on a more systematic basis.  And, for many couples consistency seems to be the key to real change.

 As for leverage beyond that, I'm one of last week's offenders who struggles to come up with something realistic beyond things we have already done like spanking and grounding.

Do you really want to change the behavior? Again, this question is not as simple as it appears.  When I have a bad night and do something stupid, I very much regret it and wish to be held accountable for it.  And, I do wish that I could moderate more easily on my own.  But, the plain fact is, I’ve been doing this for my entire adult life, and there are a ridiculous number of temptations in my current job.  So, I feel about this sort of the same way I feel about dieting and cardio exercising.  I hate dieting and I detest cardio workouts, yet when I get on the scale and feel disgusted at the ever-larger number I know that while I may not like displaying discipline in what I eat and in doing that run regardless of how boring, it is good for me.  So, I would say the rational part of me does want to change while the part of me that is all id kind of likes how things are.

How upsetting is it to her?  I’m not sure how to quantify it, and I think it depends on the specific context.  I think her attitude varies between disappointment and concern I will do something stupid sometime and hurt myself or someone else.  But, I’ve also been honest with her that I think her own attitude toward alcohol is not entirely consistent, because while she definitely has a problem with my bingeing, almost all her own close friends are also big drinkers.  In fact, her two closest friends and their spouses drink a lot more than I do!  So, she obviously finds something attractive about people who have this aspect to their personalities, even if it concerns her where my behavior is concerned.  Though, I guess you could say that her attitude isn’t all that different from how I feel about it myself – attracted on a visceral level but cognizant of the downsides of excess.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Club - Meeting 304 - Leverage

“Most modern freedom is at root fear. It is not so much that we are too bold to endure rules; it is rather that we are too timid to endure responsibilities.” ― G.K. Chesterton, What's Wrong with the World

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, mainly of the Female/male variety.  I hope you had a good week.

Sorry for the delayed posting.  I had one of those Saturdays in which you spend the whole day catching up on all those little “to do list” items that have stayed on your list for months and finally built to critical mass, including catching up on some family connections.  So, it was one of those days where I needed to put the blog in its place.  Between yesterday and a busy Friday, I also got a little behind responding to comments on last week’s topic.  Though, in all candor the comments were starting to drift anyway into some fairly BDSM-y and Femdom territory, which I don’t plan to reply to in any event. 

As for those comments last week that were on point, while it was subtle I thought that our discussions about others knowing and participating in our Domestic Discipline lifestyles may have evidenced a slight or not so slight evolution among the group over the last two or three years.  When I’ve raised these topics in the past, there tended to be a very small number of people who had brought others into their lifestyle and were “out” to one degree or another, and a whole bunch of others who categorically rejected the notion of bringing anyone else into this thing we do in any way, shape or form.   

That dynamic among our group seems to have changed a bit, with more people saying they have not done it in the past but might be open to it under the right circumstances.  There also seem to be a larger sub-set who are into extending anonymous discussions on blogs and websites like this into some more open and interactive form of communication, whether live meetings or something less than that but still less anonymous.  We’ll have to see how that develops over time.

Something that didn’t arise from last week’s comments was a clear idea for a new topic.  So, given my own lack of inspiration today, I’m stuck rehashing one from about a year ago.  About this time last year, I brought up an article I read in the New York Times about an “empowerment” coaching movement with a salacious angle.  It began with publicity that a Smallville actress who was arrested for allegedly acting as a recruiter for a sex cult.  I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the initial coverage, but then the New York Times posted a long investigative piece about it entitled The Sex Cult That Preached Empowerment:  I found it a fascinating read, even though, its title notwithstanding, there was very little discussion of sex.  Admittedly, a lot of it sounded like a pretty typical Amway business model and possibly a pyramid scheme, in which current members were incented to bring in members under them all for the benefit of those on top.  But, as a whole it sounded like more cultish Tony Robbins-like “personal power” guru founding a group comprised of a bunch of "life coaches" and their students, finding new and interesting ways to encourage self-improvement via  personalized consequences and—here is the key—those consequences were designed to be strict enough, hard enough, embarrassing enough to motivate an actual positive behavioral change.  These consequences were often described as pledging “collateral” or otherwise coming up with agreed-upon “leverage” to encourage the member to actually live up to their commitments or achieve their performance goals.

 The leverage they created included things like pledging "collateral" in one form or another, such as giving the leaders of the group a letter admitting to some embarrassing or illegal act (it isn’t clear whether these were acts they had actually committed).  If the performance goals were met or the commitment fulfilled, the “collateral” would not be sacrificed and the person would not suffer any detriment.  They also used group consequences for individual failures. For example, if John set a goal of running every day and he failed to do it on Monday, then on Tuesday all the men in John's assigned support group might have to give up their morning coffee.  Knowing that others might pay a price for his failure would presumably give John a greater incentive to do what he pledged to do.  Many of the "motivators" seem to be about raising the consequences of failing to such a high degree that the person was left highly, highly motivated not to fail.

Now, as the trial progressed, it became clear that at the top of the organization, there was a substantial sexual overlay and not a few Dominance/submission attributes, including "Master" and "slave" titles.  And, some of the “collateral” may have been used to enforce submission and service (sexual and otherwise) to the group’s leader, who was convicted after a half-day of jury deliberation.  So, to be clear, I am not condoning any non-consensual activity, let alone anything criminal.  While definitely more extreme that what most of us are doing, however, he parallels to wives using unconventional and sometimes "hard" means to coach and mentor us was intriguing.  Because for those of us who are using DD to try to improve ourselves and accomplish more or break bad habits, that is what DD is about, right  -- gaining sufficient leverage to get over those impediments that get in the way of meeting your goals?

This week’s topic is a little broad but, in a nutshell it is, for those who are using Domestic Discipline to improve their performance, meet goals, eliminate bad habits or foster good ones, what lengths have you gone to—or would you be prepared to go to—to bring about actual change?  Spanking is obviously the “go to” performance motivator for most of our participants, but what if a single or maybe even multiple spankings are not doing the trick?  

What is the solution for making the improvement happen, whether he likes it or not? Or, is his “liking” a condition on the entire arrangement that prevents her from taking it to a level that he might not like but actually would be effective?  What amount of authority do you wives have to crank things up to a level that actually results in real behavioral change?  This additional “leverage” or “collateral” could take a lot of forms.  We talked last week about bringing others into the relationship or telling others that he is a Disciplined Husband. Or, perhaps just a public consequence for a public offense. For those husbands who actually fear such embarrassment, is that an option she can or should explore?   

 Or, maybe there are additional “let the punishment fit the crime” kind of punishments she might impose above and beyond spanking?  Or, is really changing habits or meeting goals within a DD relationship merely a matter of consistency and severity?

As I said, this is a little nebulous and open-ended, but that’s what happens on a lazy Sunday when I’m lacking both motivation and inspiration!

Have a great week.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Delayed Posting

Just a quick note. I do intend to post, but I need to handle some family things and errands today.  So, the post will probably be delayed until later today or possibly tomorrow.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

The Club - Meeting 303 - Witnesses & Participants

We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin. – AndrĂ© Berthiaume

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 all had a good week.

For once, I really had a pretty decent week where behavior was concerned.  Of course, thanks to the July 4th holiday I was away from work more than usual. Could there be a pattern there?  Hmm.  I wonder.  But, I really do feel like maybe I turned a corner this week, or at least can see down the road where the corner turns.  I didn’t have any significant problems with over-consumption.  Kept my temper at work.  And, I am trying really, really hard to get my diet and exercise act together and this week at least I succeeded.  Now, the challenge is to build on those small successes and not retreat.

Last week saw a wee bit of drama on the blog, and I’m not going to comment on it further rather than to say I have gotten used to commenters drifting into and out of this little corner of the blogosphere.  Sometimes I care more than others.  We have lost some commenters I really enjoyed and who could be counted on to provide thoughtful responses to most topics, such as Marisa and Holly.  It’s also puzzling when the future absence is unexplained.  Sometimes people just stop commenting for no apparent reason. It always leaves me wondering whether they took offense, got bored, or maybe suffered some personal tragedy up to and including dying.  You just never know, and that is one aspect of these electronic relationships that definitely is deficient as compared to the “real” world where people who actually know each other engage in real human contact.

And, that is sort of this week’s topic.  It extends in part from a conversation Danielle and I got into that began with one of the pictures I posted, namely the one of the guy with a recently striped ass bending over a hay bale.  As I told Danielle, that photo originally accompanied a story I read on some now vanished DD or FLR website.  The story involved a man and woman who were in some kind of kinky relationship with a dominant male.  It has been several years since I read it, and I can’t really recall whether the third-party was dominating them both, or whether it was some kind of cuckolding relationship with him sleeping with the wife and dominating the husband.  I kind of recall that he was dominating them both to some respect, but it also involved helping the wife dominate the husband.  Long story short, the wife had asked the dominant male to help take care of some behavioral problems her husband had displayed, then failed to connect with the dominant male to set up a time to take care of it.  So, he showed up unannounced at a dinner party they were having with another couple and made an excuse to take the husband out of the party and down to a barn on the couple’s property, where he spanked him to tears with a belt before allowing him to return to the party.  In discussing the story, Danielle and I got into a wider-ranging discussion about third-parties participating or witnessing this thing we do.

A few months ago, we talked about others knowing about our DD lifestyles, but this week we take it one step further. How many of you have had others partake in some way in your DD activities, whether merely as witnesses or as active participants?  Have you ever been spanked while a witness was voluntarily present or knew that it was happening or about to happen to you?  (I don't want to get off on a tangent about someone in a hotel or store accidentally overhearing a spanking.) If so, who, and how did that come about? For the spankee, what effect did having the witness present have on you?  Was it what you anticipated? For the spanker, did having a witness there give rise to any particular feelings in you? Did you change your approach to the spanking in any way?  And, if you know, what was the effect on the witness? Were they an active participant in some way?

Or a passive but supportive observer?

 Taking things even further, have you ever had someone else participate in a disciplinary spanking?  Perhaps your wife ordered or allowed a spanking by another wife or by a professional?  Or, perhaps you wives have taken part in disciplining a man other than your husband?  If not, would you ever give it a try?

This is an area we don’t have any real personal experience with, though as I have posted my subconscious seems to have a thing for it, given that I have dreamed about scenarios in which I was taken from a party and spanked by a third-party, and I recall having a strong reaction to the story set out above. In the context of the dream I had, others did not participate in the spanking itself but were very aware that I was being led out to get one.

 And, when Tomy has recounted the days of the real DWC and being sent to another wife for punishment, those stories too get a reaction from me.  But, I don’t have a similar reaction if the context is more of a spanking party where the women get to spank for no particular reason.  To get any reaction from me, the context really has to be disciplinary in nature.  

Danielle and I also talked about whether I would have a reaction to Anne spanking another man (though I highly doubt she would ever go there).  Again, if it was really in the disciplinary context, like acting as a “surrogate” of sorts and punishing a deserving DD husband, I honestly don’t think I would have any problem with it, any more than I would have a problem with it if she was a teacher or principal a generation or two ago and was responsible for using a paddle or cane to correct deserving young men.

So, tell us about your experiences and attitudes about discipline that brings third-parties into the mix as witnesses or participants. And, this is one where I am going to ask people to confine this to disciplinary spankings and not just kink involving giving or receiving spankings in an erotic or BDSM context.

Have a great week.