Saturday, August 31, 2019

Delayed Post

Hi all.  For those of you in the U.S., I hope your long Labor Day weekend is off to a good start. I do plan to post over the weekend, but I'm off taking care of some other things this morning.  I plan to post later today, or tomorrow morning.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Club Meeting 309 - Confessing & Snitching

Between lovers a little confession is a dangerous thing. - Helen Rowland

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 hope you had a great week.  Mine was up and down. We are slow at work again, but I also had a lot of work-related travel and socializing.  Bad combination.  I don’t do well when I’m not busy with concrete tasks and projects.  The week was also book-ended by work related socializing that left me depleted energetically.  But, at least there is the weekend . . .

We had a good discussion last week about our experiences with parental discipline.  Over the years of blogging and polling about “origins” and how we come to this lifestyle, the surprising pattern is the lack of any common pattern.  Some experienced lots of spankings as kids.  Some none at all.  Some of us grew up with consistent discipline and enforced boundaries. Some were left to basically raise ourselves.  After years of discussion this, I really don’t see any pattern at all, and I’m at a loss to explain what triggered my own attraction to being disciplined and to having power taken away from me.  I have this sneaky suspicion that if there is a common pattern, it has more to do with the parenting style of the fathers than mothers, though thanks to Freud we tend to see this stuff through an Oedipal lens.  

We also explored again the maternal aspects of discipline, with Danielle observing: “I guess my FLR is more maternal than many of the DD relationships people here have for a couple of reasons. First, my authority is not limited by some sort of agreement about “spanking infractions.” I decide when discipline is needed and what form it will take. Second, I don’t limit consequences to spanking, but add the kinds of consequences I used to discipline my sons when they were teens.”  I think that touches on some of my own needs for discipline with a maternal vibe.  ZM said he would like to explore the maternal issue in more depth, and I heartily agree but can’t quite figure out an appropriate topic formulation.  All thoughts and suggestions on that are welcome.

As for this week’s topic, I’m feeling kind of lazy, so I will once again take advantage of a topic suggestion from “A husband who knows.” He suggested:

“Possible topic: the Confession Challenge. Dan, above you reveal three work behaviors your disciplinarian does not know about. And you did so knowing that your wife reads your blog. Repeat that confession and challenge the rest of us to confess behaviors our disciplinarian does not know about for which we likely would be punished. Challenge Part 2: Challenge each of us to read our confession to our disciplinarian! Then report back here what happens!”

Tomy responded: “"Confessional Sessions" were the most popular of activities in Aunt Kay's Gathering events (group events). In those cases men submitted a written confession to Aunt Kay and she studied them and assigned them to one of the other wives who then took appropriate action. It was super-cool.”  Tomy, as an aside, I would love to hear more about this.  Your allusions to ways in which the DWC really was a live "club" always intrigue me.

The “confession” AHWK was referring to was this comment from me identifying behaviors at work that either hold me back or that I just feel like I should correct because it is the right thing to do:

(1) Temper and lack of patience with others, whether directed up or down. I try really, really hard not to "punch down," but it wasn't quite true when I said above that it "never" happens. It's rare, but it can happen, especially if I'm dealing with someone who is being kind of mindless rule follower and getting in the way of getting something done. But, if it someone a lot lower than me in the pecking order, losing my temper or being rude to someone in those circumstances is something I really wish someone would rat me out for.

(2) Failure to keep up on some required paperwork and reporting. There is one task that is fundamental to how we get paid, but that I just absolutely hate. I'm always behind and, while it doesn't impact the organization much, it means I spend a lot of evenings and weekends playing catch up. It would be great if someone told my wife, "BTW, he's a week behind again in turning in X report . . ."

(3) Getting snotty with bureaucracy from "on high." This is a variant of (1), but I really do have a problem dealing with entrenched foolishness and, while it's fine to bring it up, I tend to do it snarky, sarcastic ways.

As I told AHWK, my wife does know about these behaviors because I’ve talked to her about them before, but she doesn’t have any way to find out about specific instances of those behaviors unless I report it myself.  Which I often don’t.  Why not? Well, it’s not really about fear of punishment.  It’s more that I really am embarrassed that I engaged in the behavior, and I don’t want to tell her about it because I don’t want to look bad.  

It’s really that simple.  But, since the AHWK dropped the gauntlet, and since there is no mechanism in place for anyone at work to snitch on me, I will man up and confess to three specific examples of bad behavior, all of which are loosely work related:

(1) I did “punch down” a bit recently, expressing some dissatisfaction to someone in our IT department about a policy that has been driving me crazy.  I wasn’t mean exactly, but he doesn’t really have any power to change the thing that was making me mad, so it was more about me venting my spleen than about accomplishing anything. 

(2) Last week, I got frustrated for about the thousandth time with some communications coming from the “C-Suite” that I see as a distraction and an example of focusing on small things to the exclusion of more important issues.  I made that view very clear in an email that went to a dozen more people, some peers and some up the chain.  Again, it wasn’t that I was saying anything that was wrong, but saying it yet again in way that was a very direct challenge to the thinking and priorities of those at the top just didn’t really serve any purpose, so why do it.

(3) I had a fairly significant instance of losing my temper last week, when a fairly new colleague started criticizing some things the organization was doing, without having any real understanding of what he was talking about.  I took it for a while, then rebuked him pretty directly, in a large meeting, for mouthing off before he had sufficient background to really understand an issue.  I alluded to this incident in last week’s blog post.  There is not a question in my mind that he was out of line. But, the way I reacted is not how a leader should act.  And, ironically, I am sure that some of the leaders I directed the communication to in (2), above, feel like I was behaving exactly like the guy I went off on in my meeting.  

Also, since this topic originated with some comments relating to enlisting co-workers and others to “rat out” a DD husband for bad behavior at work, I would like to expand the topic a bit by asking have you ever gotten spanked for something because someone “told on you”?  Perhaps a work colleague let something slip at a party?  Maybe a friend referred to some shared adventure you hadn’t shared with your wife? For all the wives, do you have any kind of “intelligence network” in place that will tip you off to bad behavior?  Have you ever been shocked to find out through a third-party that your husband did something and failed to report it?  How did you deal with it? 

Content Note:  I'm adding this note, because several comments indicate an issue that is becoming a problem and that I want to nip in the bud.  I do not mind when regular commenters drift off into other territory sometimes after addressing a topic. But, the last couple of weeks have seen several people--mainly various iterations of "Anonymous" and a couple of new commenters--attempt to use this as a convenient place to strike up a discussion about their Femdom fantasies, BDSM scening, etc.  Enough.  The masthead at the top of the blog says what it is about -- and what it is not.  I'm going to just start deleting comments that don't have anything to do with the topic or that kind of pretend to for a sentence or two before launching off into whatever Femdom or BDSM fantasy the commenter feels like talking about at random.

Have a great week.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Club Meeting 308 - Parental Discipline

“If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you, they will not prove submissive; and, unless submissive, then will be practically useless. If, when the soldiers have become attached to you, punishments are not enforced, they will still be useless.” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

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.

Mine was one in which everything at work seemed to go from bad to work, and some of it because of very undisciplined behavior.  And, for once, not just mine.  I had a new colleague pushing buttons in some major ways, and he finally pushed the wrong one and I went off.  I reported last year about an incident in which I went off on someone and Anne made me apologize to them, and how humbling that was.  This time the situation is different, in that last time I really did feel like I jumped to a conclusion that was wrong even if it was perfectly consistent with the kind of dick-ish behavior this person displayed on a regular basis. Even if it was humbling to do, I felt like my behavior really called for it precisely because my reaction to him was factually wrong.  This time, there really isn’t any doubt this guy was crossing lines and pushing buttons.  The only real issue is whether my reaction was consistent with what I expect from myself and, hence, whether some humbling is called for even if I wasn’t actually in the wrong this time.  I guess another way of putting it is you can react in a way that is perfectly consistent with reality and that the recipient 100% deserves, yet it still may not be consistent with the kind of behavior you want to embody.  I need to think about this more, because right now I’m still pretty pissed off at this guy and enjoying wallowing in my righteous indignation and feeling kind of good about taking him down a peg.  But, for now, on to other things.

In one of the final comments on last week’s topic, “A husband who knows” suggested the following:  “Possible topic: Compare the discipline you got from your parents with the discipline you get from your wife (or give to your husband). How are they alike and different? Which has been more effective? Which do you prefer?” This touches a bit on a post I did back in February about the maternal element in discipline, and while I generally try to avoid doing the same topic twice in one year, this one is broader and gives people more room to roam.  Also, I’ve honestly been wanting to explore the issues around maternal and parental discipline more, because I’ve been getting more comfortable with admitting to myself that, while many here seem to have come to adult discipline via an early and probably innate fascination with spanking, my own needs in this area seem more closely tied to discipline or lack thereof as a teenager that now compels me to want discipline with a particularly “parental” element.

But, before we get to that, a hopefully interesting aside.  In looking for quotes to put at the top of this post, I thought that a good place to start for quotes related to parental discipline might be to run a Google search for quotes related to the biblical injunction of “spare the rod and spoil the child.”  What I found was kind of fascinating given the context of this blog and today's topic because, as it turns out that quote actually is not from the Bible at all and, in fact, is about adult spanking!  For the whole back story, check out this article:  Note: The quote I ended up using has nothing to do with parental discipline, but I found it while doing the search for quotes for today's topic and it seemed to me to be a very insightful statement on the interplay between love and authority.

Now, after that little diversion, I’ll throw out my own answer to “A husband who knows” topic, hopefully without retreading too much on February’s post. 

For someone who now spends hours a week writing or reading about adult discipline, being disciplined plays a very minor role in my memories of my childhood and teen-age years.  Paradoxically, I’ve come to believe that is why it became such an obsession for me after I discovered Domestic Discipline via The Disciplinary Wives Club website.  In terms of spankings, I honestly don’t have a clear memory of a single one I received from my mother, though I assume she must have given me a few because it was such a commonplace thing where I was growing up that it would have been astonishing for any kid to not get spanked by both parents fairly regularly. 

I think the reasons I don’t recall any by my mother is because they simply weren’t that eventful and probably happened when I was young enough that I just don’t remember them.   

Interestingly, I do remember at least one spanking she gave one of my sisters.  In fact, it had some corollaries to the drawing the left, except what I recall is my sister being draped over the end of the bed, not on all fours on top of it.  What I don't recall is exactly how I came to have this memory. The most likely explanation is that I opened the bedroom door a crack and looked in as it was happening.  Probably should have earned one myself for that behavior.

I'm also pretty certain that was not the only time my sister got spanked.  She was kind of a bully as a teen and got in lots of trouble at school and, like a lot of families at that time and in that place, the rule was "get spanked at school, get a second and harder one at home that night."

I do recall some threatened and at least one actual spanking from my father.  I recall the threatened spanking situation fairly vividly, and it involved one of those very direct instructions that if I kept doing something I was going to get spanked.  What I don’t recall is whether I actually did keep doing what I was doing and did actually get spanked.  I even more vividly recall one actual spanking, because it would have been pretty hard to forget as it was a very sound spanking with a belt.

But, I think it is not so much spanking in particular as discipline in general where my parent’s approach was both atypical for the time and place but also very distinct from what I need now and what my wife are increasingly experimenting with her trying to provide.  My mother was very strong-willed in some ways, but it was expressed very erratically.  She could go from June Cleaver to Mommy Dearest in a heartbeat.  She seldom made or enforced rules but, at the same time, could be very pushy and aggressive.  But, it was totally inconsistent and never really connected to setting a rule precluding any particular bad behavior and then imposing a consequence for that behavior. 

My father’s approach to bad behavior was even more forgiving.  He had been a wild man in his youth and, frankly, well past the age where most men start growing up.  If I had to compare him to a literary character, the closest I can come is probably Hud in the Larry McMurtry novel “Horseman Pass By,” which was made into a movie starring Paul Newman as the erratic western anti-hero Hud. He was sort of a force of nature, but it wasn’t just by temperament; it was his overarching philosophy and encompasses his philosophy on parenting.  He told me more than once in high school, “I’m not going to lay down a bunch of rules unless and until you screw up in some way that shows me you need them.”  Now, that may sound like a teenage boy’s wet dream, but the problem was I did, in fact, screw up a lot at least by normal standards.  I was just smart and lucky enough to get myself out of it most of the time.  So, there was almost nothing like accountability-based or rule-driven discipline for me growing up:

I wasn’t really aware of how stressful that was at the time, but I think by the time I got out of college I felt like I had the world on my shoulders, because when there are no boundaries being imposed on you, everything you do and all the associated consequences are fully on you, too.  By the time I got out of grad school, I felt an incredible amount of stress and anxiety, even if I didn’t really show it.  So, I think I was primed and ready when I stumbled on the Disciplinary Wives Club in my late 30s.  The descriptions of men having boundaries imposed upon them by strong-willed wives just really got to me deep down inside.  But, I don’t think I consciously associated it with anything maternal.  I really needed someone to set rules and enforce them consistently, but anyone would do if they had sufficient presence and authority to make me feel like I am not the one in command and that punishment is inevitable and resistance futile.  While the "strict mom" archetype serves that role, so could an aunt, teacher, school principal, or any other authoritarian whose power or position was sufficient to make me submit.

So, to answer “A husband who knows” first question, the differences between the discipline received from my parents and the discipline from my wife are like night and day.  My parents very seldom spanked and, at least once I got old enough to remember such things, arguably never really disciplined, at least if we associate discipline with, to use Anton’s word, “training.”  “Effectiveness” follows that same answer – my parents didn’t discipline at all, so anything my wife does is likely to be more effective.

I think the more interesting part of the topic for me is the interplay between what I didn’t get back then and what I think I need now. For a long time, I didn’t bring this up at all with Anne, or even really to myself, though I think I suspected on some level that my need for adult discipline is rooted in a need for what I will call, for lack of a better word, “re-parenting.” 

Anne has talked in positive terms about using DD to reduce me to a "teen-age boy who needs a spanking from his mom."  She also has compared me to a teenager who mischievously pushes buttons just to do it, then is surprised when she actually does something about it.  It's that roller-coaster ride that is my DD obsession—wanting boundaries when I don’t perceive them and then getting resentful when she suddenly imposes one.  What I am starting to appreciate is it may very well have been my own mother's erratic approach to parenting, and my father’s totally passive approach, that put me on that roller-coaster, wanting discipline when it is absent but resenting it once it is imposed. And, what I seem to both crave and resist the most is consistent, no nonsense rule setting and direction.  In fact, at the risk of saying anything negative, I think the one "deficiency" in our DD lifestyle has always been lack of consistency, and I think I crave it (and resist it) precisely because my mother was so inconsistent in her moods and parenting approach.

As discussed last year, I've also noticed that part of the attraction I have to spanking drawings that include a maternal vibe is the "getting down to business" demeanor and the sense of inevitability it conveys, and the domestic setting definitely adds to the ambiance.   

Yet, I have shied away from expressing a lot of this on the blog, because I do want it to be a positive resource that encourages newbies to try Domestic Discipline, but I also realize that the “I’m his wife, not his mother” attitude may be pretty prevalent with wives who are unexpectedly confronted with a husband’s need for discipline. 

So, thanks to a “Husband who knows” for this week’s topic.  I look forward to all your input on this.

By the way, I came across this demotivational poster a few weeks ago and about fell out of my chair laughing.  When it comes to my anti-authoritarian streak -- this is me.  Right here.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Club Meeting 307 - Scolding

“Power is not a means; it is an end.  - George Orwell

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 late posting.  I had a few other things going on today.  Typical summer Saturday. 

Thanks for carrying on without me.  I did check in to see what was going on from time to time, but I was consciously trying to check out a bit.  I succeeded to some extent, though I ended up getting sick a few days into it.  I guess the upside is, I’ve been hoping to lose 10 or 15 pounds – just didn’t anticipate it happening quite so abruptly and violently.  I know -- Too Much Information, right?

I can’t say I came back super inspired with new topics.  But, it was nice of some of you to help me out with some ideas based on comments from a week ago.  During our discussion of rituals, Danielle and Alan had an exchange about scolding and its place in an FLR and DD relationship.  Based on some past polls, despite—or perhaps because of—its humbling aspects, many men seem to crave a firm “talking to.”  Here are the results of one we ran a couple of years ago:

"I am in a DD relationship, and if I could change things, I wish . . ."  

Spankings were more severe                                   76
Spankings were less severe                                       5

Spankings were more frequent                               91
Spankings were less frequent                                   3

My partner would be more verbally strict       76
My partner would be less verbally strict            0

My partner would be more openly dominant        67
My partner would be less openly dominant            1

While “more openly dominant,” came close, “more verbally strict” was the only answer that was 100% unanimous.  So, apparently many of us fantasize about their wives “using their words” to put us in our place.  Danielle talked about it thusly:

“Spankings are always preceded by a scolding. I’ve become adept at scolding and I like doing it. In pre-FLR days, Wayne and I used to have some pretty intense arguments about things like the division of housework. Now that we have a FLR I find it wonderfully empowering to be able to tear a strip off my husband in a one-sided way because I remember how he used to argue with me. I think it is as humbling for him as it is empowering for me. Sometimes a chastisement will begin and end with a good scolding.”

Alan responded:

“In our house a serious scolding usually is a segue to spanking but sometimes I am smart enough to back down early enough I get warnings, her favorite being “you’re close”. Discipline is a delicate dance and I unconsciously gauge how far I can go. That leash has gotten shorter and shorter over the years. But at the same time I think her warnings have become more and more effective because I know the point of no return is close. It’s part of the paradox every spankee confronts -loving to fantasize a spanking will be administered but hating the actual spanking itself.”

As Danielle and Alan point out, scolding can be a prelude to discipline, an independent form of discipline, or something that helps reinforce her authority and control.  I suppose it also could be used after a spanking to reinforce the message.

So, scolding it this week’s topic.  What role, if any, does it play in your DD or FLR relationship?  Are you one of those men who crave it?  Are those needs satisfied?  And, importantly, what impact does her scolding have on you? 

Tell us all how that works, with as much detail as possible since I think we all—husbands and wives—benefit from concrete examples. For the wives, are you comfortable scolding, lecturing, and verbally chastising your man?  If so, was it always that way?  If not, how did you get comfortable with it?  How does he react to it?

To kick it off, I am one of those men who want—or think I want—verbal strictness and scolding.  This is one area in which my desire for authority with a “maternal” vibe really comes shining through.  I would like her to explore being much more verbally strict – telling me what to do, chastising me with some real force and fury when I screw up, etc.  Our reality is a little different.  Most of the scolding that happens is, in fact, a prelude to spankings, and she doesn’t tend to “rip me a new one” outside that context.

I’m sure some women worry about being seen as “bitchy” if they are verbally strong, but I think for men wired like many of us here, it works the opposite.  Weak verbalizing comes off as “nagging,” while a strong and confident woman saying what she expects and enforcing her rules with her voice as much as with her paddle is incredibly sexy and alluring.

So, tell us about your experiences and views on scolding and verbal strictness.

I hope you have a great week.

Friday, August 2, 2019

On Vacation

Happy Friday all.  We are winding down the summer with an impromptu vacation. I hope you all have a great weekend and upcoming week.