Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Halloween!

Hopefully not at the risk of cutting off discussion on the current topic early, but it just wouldn't be Halloween without some naughty pictures and artwork.  For whatever reason, I'm in an overtly sexual groove right now, so here are a few of the more pornographic and fun Halloween-themed bits from my growing collection.  Be safe! And . . .

Have fun.  Maybe with a bit of this . . .

But, not too much fun!

But, drinking can be very fun, in moderation.

I wonder what he did to get in trouble?  Looks like his Halloween isn't turning out fun at all.

Do you think Linus' Great Pumpkin looked anything like this?  Nah, probably not.

What would a Halloween post be without a sexy witch?

And a naughty female devil.

 Not sure what she's supposed to be, but who cares!

Have a super sexy Halloween!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Club Meeting 317 - Why Does He Want This?

I hid all the things I was feeling-- and indeed I did not know what they were, except that all the peace of that autumnal journey was gone.” ― C.S. Lewis

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 all had a great week.

Before we begin, can I say how much I love Halloween season? How do you not like a holiday that's all about naughtiness and misbehavior?  No other holiday seems to lend itself so easily to adult themes.

The discussion last week really didn’t seem to take off, did it?  Some topics are like that, and I admit “determination” might have been a little nebulous.  To the point that I jumped on one comment as “not on topic,” when in retrospect it basically was.  I should have read it more closely, so bad on me.  We did get into some interesting discussions about workplace etiquette, putting up with workplace douchebags, and whether our wives should spank us for showing too little patience for said douchebags or too much.  While I didn’t think about the latter much at the time, it is kind of an interesting question, isn’t it?  I’ve always thought about punishment for workplace attitude issues from the perspective of someone who displays too much attitude. But, what if the husband lets himself get walked over and stepped on at work? Could a Disciplinary Wife spank some backbone into him?  Perhaps a topic for another time.

But, while it didn’t seem to spark a lot of interest, it did generate this question from “Belle”?

Why would a successful, confident man want that kind of treatment? Please make that a topic! I am the estranged wife of an alpha male and we are considering reuniting. He has asked me for domestic discipline as you describe if we do get back together. He says he needs it but can't explain why. I am baffled and looking for answers, particularly from strong males like Dan and some others on this blog. I understand that dominatrixes say much of their clientele is powerful men looking for relief from always being "on." But this is far different, an alpha male who wants his wife to treat him like a naughty child. Please, someone, help me understand the psychology of this and what I would be getting myself into. I have been searching the internet and most males craving punishment are submissives. Here there are some who are not, and I hope to hear from them. A topic for next week?

A confused wife, "Belle"

I’m sure many—maybe most—Disciplinary Wives shared Belle’s confusion at one time.  Hell, they're probably still confused and curious after years of giving him what he says he wants but never quite understanding why he wants it.  As I’ve reported a couple of times before, my wife seems to have had a mini-epiphany a year or so ago, after way more than a decade in this lifestyle.  She read a book called The Hesitant Mistress—for the second time—and this time something clicked.  She doesn’t really know why.  She told me that even though I told her for years that I really wanted this, part of her had a hard time believing it, because why would anyone want something like that?? Somehow, the book helped her believe that, for whatever reason, I really do want it.  I don’t know if there was a particular line or paragraph that led to her epiphany, but here is one that seems “true” to me in its description of why some men who don’t see themselves as “submissives” still crave discipline (though, ironically it appears in a section characterizing the “submissive” male):

“He wants to be the best man he can be, and that means overcoming his faults. He hates that he cuts corners and procrastinates. He craves correction, even as he hates needing it. He doesn’t want to slack off when no one’s looking. He wants your high standards, your tough love. He wants you to accept nothing less than his best effort. The submissive man will accept guidance only if he knows it’s good for him. He is not a doormat, someone too helpless to protest as others walk all over him. He has the right to complain, to question, to call a halt to any situation he disagrees with. Submission is an escape from the ordinary, not a personality trait.”

So, why did this otherwise “Alpha” male come to be attracted to Domestic Discipline and, increasingly, Female Led Relationships?  Honestly, anything I say about it is, at best, a guess.  And, I also seem to be atypical.  So, Belle, you should take everything I say with a big grain of salt.   

When I say I am atypical, what I mean is I seem to be an outlier in that I didn’t have an early fascination with spanking, while the vast majority of men interested in Domestic Discipline seem to have come to it through an earlier interest in spanking.  Nope, no strict aunt or hot step-mom fantasies that I recall. 

I don’t know, but suspect, that for those men who did have an early interest in spanking that now expresses itself mainly in the Domestic Discipline context, there are two intertwined but distinct personality traits going on: (1) an early and fetish-like interest in spanking; and (2) a “Type-A” personality with somewhat abnormally high proclivities for taking responsibility, being driven to perform, etc.  Either of those tendencies can exist independently but, when you combine the two you get a man who starts off interested in spanking in general, then at some point it narrows to an interest in being spanked as part of being held accountable or driving higher performance.  
In the end, it's not either-or.  For me, and I suspect for some men for whom the need expresses itself as a need for discipline with spanking as the preferred tool but not an end in itself, the need for discipline and accountability is stronger than the sexual component that underlies much of the spanking interest. 

If you adjust that mix a bit, maybe you get someone whose interest expresses itself as a desire to experience more intense, and more sexualized Dominance/submission. Perhaps a Female Led Relationship represents something in between. We are complicated creatures with complex inputs and outputs. 

That’s the best I can really do, while acknowledging that I somehow leapfrogged over the pre-existing spanking interest and went right to an overwhelming desire to be held accountable after discovering the Disciplinary Wives Club website.  Now, I obviously had enough pre-existing interest in spanking to be searching for spanking-themed material on-line, but it really was just kind of a diversion.  After I discovered DD, however. it became an obsession.  So, while spanking and discipline/accountability are intertwined for me, it seems to be the latter that really drives my overall need.

So, why do I have this need for discipline even though I don’t consider myself to be submissive and, in fact, am off the scale anti-authoritarian?  I think it is about both background and balance.  When I put myself on my own psychiatrist couch, I suspect (but don’t really know), that it has something to do with being wired very Type-A with all the need for achievement and performance that comes along with that, while growing up in an environment with no rules or boundaries. So, I had high energy and high achievement needs, but it had no direction and was just kind of energy popping all over the place. 

Also, since I had no rules to keep me in line, doing so was all on me.  Not that I did impose boundaries on myself. I tended to do a lot to get in trouble, but always managed to get myself out of it, often by the skin of my teeth. That is a lot of responsibility to have at a young age, and I think now part of me craves having someone with the authority to lay down boundaries because I never had them growing up.  So, why do I want those boundaries from my wife, yet I actively resist authority at work? Well, I grew up with a very, very Alpha dad who was even more anti-authoritarian than I am today and absorbed big parts of that personality.  Carrying that over to work, it's not that I don't want to give into authority.  In fact, part of me does have a twisted desire to have someone at work who is strong enough and powerful enough to put me in my place and keep me in line. It just isn't something I really can pull off, perhaps because I haven't really worked under someone strong enough to do it..

Also, I just think that extending discipline to other areas of my life--work, fitness, meditation and Zen-like spiritual discipline, etc.--will make me stronger and help me reach higher levels of performance, productivity and mental discipline. And, finally, letting go of control is a big thing for me, with both visceral and conceptual components.

That’s the best I can do, and it’s probably not all that enlightening.  Fortunately, we addressed a topic along these lines back in 2016, and ZM provided some more structured speculation around why he wants this.  His thinking may be more typical, since he did begin with an early interest in spanking:

"Why do I need or want this?  I'm really not sure... 
  • Maybe I need more clear boundaries, so life feels orderly and not out of control?  
    • I didn't have any boundaries while growing up. Could it be that? 
    • Maybe I just need the reassurance and orderliness of actions having consequences for the world to make sense? Of course they do, but it is not always as clear as "if this, then that...? 
  • Maybe I want or need to change faster to become who I want to be and do what I want to do? 
    • I am good, but I have huge dreams so I need to become ever better to achieve my goals. 
    • Sometimes consequences are too long-term to change behavior effectively. For example, I know that if I eat less, I will lose weight, look better, be healthier, and live longer. But because these are all long term effects, it can be very hard to stay on a diet since I don't see immediate results. 
  • Maybe I lack sufficient self-control, or I live too much in the moment? But for me to achieve my long term goals, I need short-term consequences to effect long-term change. 
  • Maybe I sometimes need the closure of having paid for my transgressions? 
    • Even if others forgive me, sometimes it is hard to forgive myself, and guilt accumulate 
    • There are few situations in life where wrongs are truly paid for (like speeding tickets) 
    • Sometimes I just need to have a clean slate. 
  • Maybe I get tired of being in charge, and need to be under someone else's control for a while
    • It is lonely at the top, with everyone looking to me for answers all the time. 
    • Maybe even though others look up to me, I know I am not quite as great as they think? 
    • Or maybe I bully others sometimes, and need to feel what it is like to be bossed around? 
    • Either way, making difficult decisions is tiring. It can be a relief to have all decisions out of my hands, even if only for a time.
It could be any, all, or none of these reasons.  I'm not sure, but it doesn't really matter, because I do know that I crave "real" discipline, punishment, and control, that which most people would rather avoid. This need for control and discipline is a perpetual enigma which forever lives in the never-never land between fantasy and reality. 

So, sorry Belle, that is about the best I can do.  How about the rest of you? For the men who do see themselves as Alphas, Type-As . . . whatever label seems to fit . . .why do you want to dominate in some contexts but not in others?  Why do you resist authority in some contexts but crave it in others? For the wives, have you been confused by your husband’s DD and FLR desires?  Do you have some insight on what makes him tick on that front? How have you accommodated your doubts and his desires?

Have a great week.

P.S.: Some spanking drawings for Belle to illustrate positions that might work with belt and bath brush.  

Sunday, October 20, 2019

The Club meeting 316 - Determination & Tone

“People do not lack strength, they lack will.” – Victor Hugo

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 all had a great week.

Mine was about what I expected.  A solid week spent in a conference room with a set of work colleagues, book-ended with lots of travel.  In some ways, it was a good exercise in a team of people working toward a common goal.  Yet, it also illustrated perfectly some of the themes we talk about on this blog regarding communications.  Lots of dancing around the elephants in the room.  Lots of hard issues addressed with long, ambling, indirect, veiled communications in which the desire to avoid giving offense got in the way of saying what we really thought. As I mulled through where these indirect and polite-to-a-fault communications left us after a week, coincidentally there were comments taking place on the blog that also focused on how communication style impacts the effectiveness of the message. First, there was this from Arthur:

"I must say that my confidence in my opinion and judgment has gotten me a long way in the business world, and I will never give that up. Sometimes that comes off as arrogance when it really is not. What my wife and I consider to be arrogant is when I get sarcastic and condescending about the opinions of others. This tends to happen at work in long meetings that ramble on even though what we need to do is painfully clear. I really dislike these unnecessary discussions and will eventually cut them off with a stinging comment or two.”

My, oh my how Arthur’s description of “rambling on” in situations where what needs to be done is painfully clear resonated with me last week.  And, he ended with another point that sets up an interesting contrast. “That lack of patience results in a stinging butt for me!”  In contrast to the inefficient and ineffective exchanges that characterize so many of our discussions at work and with others, in Domestic Discipline relationships the wives have been empowered to communicate in a way that cuts right to the chase and leaves no doubt about their views, leaving nothing open to interpretation!  And, isn’t that communication style so much more effective?

It wasn’t only Arthur’s comments that linked (expressly or implicitly) a given communication style and the likelihood the recipient will really get the message. Alan observed:

“One other thing about consistency that goes beyond the obvious: her consistency on a given behavior or any behavior for that matter underscores how important it is to her that a behavior (or attitude) be changed/modified. I find that makes a big difference to me if she is adamant about it and seems very committed to changing that behavior. Her emotional investment in discipline has a huge impact on me and how I behave.”

TB closed out the week’s discussions with this:

“The few times that I have been punished whilst she has still been angry have been the most memorable and most effective. That is not to say that the (many) other times have not hurt or been severe but there is something about the naked emotion applied via the strap whilst the offense is still (virtually) ringing in ours ears that make those times so very real.”

Whether the topic was correcting bad behavior at work, immediate versus delayed punishment, or the importance of consistency, the common thread among these comments was how timing, tone and displays of determination affect the quality of communication and the effectiveness of getting the point across. 

It was clear that some of us, sometimes, are on the receiving end of a verbal or non-verbal message that makes it clear that future bad behavior better not happen or that the consequences for such repeat behavior will be something we really, really want to avoid.

I would like to use this part of Alan’s comment as the launching point for this week’s discussion: “I find that makes a big difference to me if she is adamant about it and seems very committed to changing that behavior.” 

The topic reduces to the role that determination, tone and displays of will have in really modifying behavior.   

Are there some behaviors the wives are really committed to changing?  How is that commitment and determination conveyed?  

Wives, do you openly tell him about your level of determination and commitment to change a particular behavior?  Tell us about those conversations.

Do tone of voice and the way you project your authority also play a role in conveying your determination?  How does your tone of voice, your demeanor, your body language and all those “non-verbal” aspects of communication or, to be more precise, those elements beyond the words themselves, display your determination to really change a particular behavior?

What about your demeanor after a spanking?  Can that convey a message about your level of determination to bring about real change?

Are there other things that distinguish those times when you really want to root out a behavior?  Does the consistency or timing of discipline change?  Do you multiply the number of spankings or impose other, non-spanking punishments?

And, what about times when discipline fails to bring about real change?  Do you think it is perhaps because there is a lack of real will or determination to make him change?  What could be done to turn that around and make him feel like he really must change this behavior, or else? 

Tell us all about how determination and will express themselves in your disciplinary marriage.  And, have a great week, filled with lots of direct and candid communications!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Short Break

Hi all.  I have a project that is going to get in the way of posting this week.  It might possibly spill into the following week, but I'll let you know.  In the meantime, ZM and Arthur posted some thoughts about meetings and the difference between confidence and arrogance.  Given that I'm going to have a week where both could be on display, together with a fair amount of dramatic rejection of competing positions, I leave you with this thought for the week:

Have a great week.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Club Meeting 315 - Justice Delayed as Justice Denied

The greatest remedy for anger is delay. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca

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 all had a great week.

Mine was interesting in terms of personal behavior, with maybe some small progress on that front, though it didn’t start out that way.  I had a work-related social event on Monday that went later than anticipated and left me pretty worn out.  But, for the rest of the week I kind of got my shit together, successfully resisting temptation several times.  I can’t say that I suddenly feel rested and ready for whatever the weekend brings, but I do feel like instead of beating myself up about starting the week badly, I need to give myself some credit for showing some actual self-discipline the rest of the week. Though, it wasn’t like I woke up and independently decided to start acting better.  Instead, my body has started sending me some clear signals that I’m not a kid anymore.  As Waylon sang, “Ain’t living long like this; can’t live at all like this, can I baby?” So, where Anne hasn’t been able to fully rein me in via pain imposed on my ass, my body seems to be succeeding via chronic aches and pains in lots of other areas.  Well, I guess whatever works.

We had a good discussion last week regarding talking one’s way out of trouble.  On the surface, the responses seemingly covered the spectrum, from KD’s position that the justice of a spanking should always be subject to agreement in advance on one end to Alan’s “anytime, anywhere for any reason” rule on the other.  But, when you parse through all the positions, I’m not sure whether there is a stark disagreement when it comes to how things actually play out.  It seems like everyone loosely agrees that in “real” Domestic Discipline relationships—as opposed to something more akin to Femdom—there often is some discussion at some point about what is “punishable” or “spankable,” but the timing varies (in advance, or after a spanking), as does the Wives’ relative likelihood of being dissuaded.  Some excerpts:

KD: She confronted me on my behavior and her issue with it ( at one brief point with tears in her eyes) and I very politely....but with very convincing exasperation .....countered with what SHE had done to cause it. And? She said that I was right least partially, and that perhaps we should just forget the punishment, but added that it seemed like it violated her purported authority to do so. I half agreed and we talked some more and I showed a willingness to admit to partial blame and accept punishment for THAT part.

Alan: Our anytime, anywhere for any reason rule is a practical solution to the fact that many men ( me) too often talk or try to talk their way out of a deserved spanking and at least some women are susceptible to this tactic because of an ingrained concern about "fairness." In practice, she has rarely spanked me without plenty of warnings that a behavior is "spankable," so the rule sounds much more draconian than it is -and it eliminates destructive arguments. It also builds trust and reinforces obedience. 

Al:  Of course, we can and probably should talk about the reason for my spanking, but the spanking is almost always going to happen regardless of that conversation. There are of course occasional exceptions due to genuine misunderstandings or exceptional circumstances where an appropriate explanation might negate the need for a spanking (just as Mom might let you off when she found out that you were late because you had a flat tire). That is not to say there is any sort of Oedipus complex present - or that we see our wives as "motherly" , but I think the concept of "maternal discipline orientation" - in contrast to "Mistress/slave relationship" - works for me in terms of understanding the blanket consent that I have granted to my wife in the matter of corporal discipline.

Then, perhaps the most profound comment of all, from ZM: In the end, it really depends on the situation. It would help if my wife were a mind reader!

Regardless of whether talking one’s way out works in getting out of a spanking, it appears that even for those who are closer to Alan’s “any reason” rule, it sometimes does work with respect to timing, i.e. while it may not prevent a spanking, it may delay one.  Let’s talk about that one a little more.

In noodling over the years about why some disciplinary relationships work in terms of actually deterring bad behaviors while other Wives (mine included) seem condemned to addressing the same behavior over and over again, it seems to me that four principles of effective deterrence emerge:

First, there must be certainty of detection.
Second, there must be certainty of punishment.
Third, punishment must be severe in proportion to the offense, i.e. the negative consequences of the behavior must substantially outweigh the benefits of the behavior.
Fourth, punishment should be immediate.

The first factor is often about self-reporting, and I’d give myself about a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10 on that one.  The second has been an ongoing problem but, as reported over the last few weeks, she has been making big strides in imposing discipline regularly despite my excuses.  In our household, the third requirement has never been a problem – she always spanks hard. 

The fourth is the requirement on which we have probably been the most lax.  My travel schedule often guarantees that punishments happen several days after the offense if that offense occurred while I was on the road.  But, even when she detects the offense, orders that it will be dealt with and reminds me it will be severe, the spanking often isn’t delivered for several days.  This has the impact of really breaking the chain between cause (bad behavior) and effect (punishment), because in the meantime my internal remorse has diminished and I’m just not thinking about the offense as much even if I am anxious about the upcoming punishment.  Also, as discussed last week, my track record of a delayed punishment becoming a undelivered punishment is pretty good, so the weak “immediacy” performance also diminishes the strength of the “certainty” factor in my mind.

I was thinking of this a lot earlier this week while reading a book on habit formation.  The author observed: 

Every habit produces multiple outcomes across time. Unfortunately, these outcomes are often misaligned. With our bad habits, the immediate outcome usually feels good, but the ultimate outcome feels bad. With good habits, it is the reverse: the immediate outcome is unenjoyable, but the ultimate outcome feels good. [T]he costs of your good habits are in the present. The costs of your bad habits are in the future. The brain’s tendency to prioritize the present moment means you can’t rely on good intentions.” (Clear, James. Atomic Habits (p. 189). Penguin Publishing Group.)

The author didn’t cite any research backing up the hypothesis that immediate gratification trumps future consequences, but it seems pretty commonsensical.  And, it certainly seems to work that way for me. I do think that if I knew that spankings that occurred in her presence (like lack of respect, disobedience, or undone chores) would earn a spanking right then, I’m betting those offenses would stop happening as often.  Even for offenses that happen when I’m on the road, I bet I would give it a little more thought I knew I was going to be spanked the minute I walked in the door after the trip (assuming self-reporting was happening reliably). 

After all, that's the way it happened in most households in the part of the country I grew up in.  Get a spanking at school - get a second at home that night.  Act up at church - get taken outside or to another room for a few quick swats.  Act up at a family picnic, get taken to the car for a spanking then taken back to the gathering with everyone knowing what just happened to you.

How about you? Do your punishments come soon after the crime?  Or, is there often a delay?  If so, how much time usually elapses between the offense and its consequences?  If there is a substantial delay, does that diminish the deterrent effect? Or, does the anticipation of a hard spanking actually increase its effectiveness?   

For the Wives in particular, does a substantial delay in the time it takes him to “pay the piper” have any impact on the severity of the punishment you ultimately dole out?

Does it lessen whatever satisfaction you might otherwise get from making him “pay up” after he has done something to make you angry?

I hope you all have a great weekend.