Saturday, November 30, 2019

No Post

Hi all.  We're still out adventuring.  So, no post this morning.  There is some limited chance I'll do one later today or later in the week, but no promises,  Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving weekend!

Friday, November 22, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving - No Post This week


Anne and I will taking some time off beginning tomorrow, so I will not be posting this week.  I hope all of you in the U.S. have a great Thanksgiving!


Dan

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Club Meeting 320 - Switching


I can no longer obey.  I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up.  - Napoleon Bonaparte

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, and is, frustrating.  As reported recently, I’ve been in this very sexualized mood lately.  The problem is, between my travel, my wife’s travel, and some social obligations, we’ve barely even seen each other, let alone had time to put any of the nasty thoughts running through my head into practice.  Unfortunately, there’s no end in sight for at least another week.  I guess I will treat it as an extended experiment in maintaining a high level of erotic energy through some involuntary chastity.

I can always tell when a topic doesn’t do much for me personally, even if it may appeal to others in our little community.  The sure sign is how often I’ve made it a weekly topic over this blog's roughly six year history.  When a topic really intrigues me, I tend not to just do it, but overdo it.  Hence, lots of topics on tears (ZM, friendly reminder, you still owe us the in-depth tale of your first disciplinary crying experience!), how people got started in Domestic Discipline, boundaries, reporting, and strictness.  Then there are topics like corner time, which don’t do much for me and that I’ve devoted full topics to only a couple of times. 

This week’s topic is one I have really given short shrift to over the years.  In fact, I’ve made it a full topic only once, over four years ago, and the entire post was only about two paragraphs long.  That topic is “switching,” i.e. the spanker and spankee exchanging those roles.  Presumably, it also could apply to a broader power exchange as well, with a couple swapping dominant roles from time to time.

This has come up in a couple of contexts recently. First, my wife and I are not big porn watchers, but a few weeks ago I did some searching for movies that included F/m domestic discipline or FLR themes.  There was basically nothing.  Even M/f domestic discipline themes were more or less non-existent.  I did finally find a fairly well-reviewed series that billed itself as Fifty Shades but with better sex and real BDSM. I bought the series, thinking that even if the theme is M/f spanking and BDSM, maybe it would still give my wife some ideas on how to extend or deepen her dominance. 

So, while the movies were not about switching, they kind of related to switching issues in my relationship with Anne and our dominance explorations. (Unfortunately, much like the real Fifty Shades, there was very little real spanking or discipline/punishment and a lot of bondage and more or less vanilla sex, though the production quality was good by porn standards.)

Then, it came up more directly last week in an exchange between Julie and me, in which I noted that I have an aversion to exercising power over other people (even though I am in that role a lot at work), so I have no desire at all to be the “dominant” party in any relationship.  In fact, taking on any kind of dominant role kind of flies in the face of the entire reason I got into DD in the first place.  I recognized several years ago that I have a very unbalanced personality, in that I am very Type-A and have big issues with giving up control.  For me, domestic discipline and, increasingly over the last couple of years, FLR are means for balancing out a very unbalanced orientation.  Adding some yin to way too much yang.  Doing the opposite by taking on a dominant role, even sporadically, might screw up my efforts to balance things out.


My aversion to exercising power over other people includes my orientation toward spanking.  I am a receiver, not a giver. 

The initial exchange with Julie led to this reply from Alan:

“I hear what you are saying and that's pretty much how I feel NOW. But back in the bad old days (before I received my first real disciplinary spanking), being with a woman you care for who passionately wants a spanking (and who is also very desirable) makes it all seem different. I don't think I could ever return to that mind-set. But, in the day, it seemed very much the thing to do. I might add I believe quite a few people (both males and females) have gone through these transformations --as the wonderful Julie demonstrates on her equally wonderful blog.”

I hear Alan's point, but I’m really not sure I could ever get there.  Even if my wife really wanted it, which as far as I know she still doesn’t.  If the spanking were purely erotic and not very hard – maybe.  But, I’m pretty confident I could never give her a real disciplinary spanking. 


Also, I would be leery about exploring switching when it comes to our ongoing experiments with real power exchange.  I want my wife to explore her dominance and to get more and more comfortable in that role. When I think about switching things up and dominating her even in a purely erotic scenario, I get concerned about the possibility that she might like it and might want more of it, when my goal is for her to be increasingly in that Top role and me on the bottom.  It is that dynamic I want to explore, and I want to deepen it, not dilute it by switching back and forth between dominant and bottom roles.

As I discussed last time I had a topic on this, the one attraction I have to female spanking scenarios is the artwork.  So much better and more nuanced than most of the F/m stuff, and the female form is just so nice to look at!

 

 How about you?  If you are now the discipline recipient in a DD marriage, or the “bottom” in a Dominance/submission relationship, was there was a time when you were the paddle swinger or in the Dominant role?  Do you switch between the two, or is the more submissive or “bottom” role now more or less permanent?  Was there any particular event that helped you realize which role was right for you?

For the ladies, have you ever been the spanked party or a “bottom” or “submissive”?  (For whatever reason, I gravitate toward the term “bottom” more than “submissive,” though the converse is not true – I don’t like the term “Top,” though I don’t know why.  Probably too many on-line encounters with too many dick-ish self-identified Tops.)  If not, is it something you want to experience?  Why or why not?  If you have been the spankee, were the spankings for real discipline, or more purely erotic or sexual?  Were you spanked growing up? 


For those of you have switched, was it just the spanking role that you switched up, or did the switching extend to more fundamental power exchange elements, like decision making power and authority, making rules for the other party, etc.?

Have a great week.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Club Meeting 319 - Spillovers

“Above all, whatever you do, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.  Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady.” – Nora Ephron graduation speech at Wellesley College

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.

The blog got a little tense there at the end this week, and I’ve had some off-line exchanges with a few commenters.  I think I should just take this head-on, though I’m 90% sure it will fall on deaf ears.  There has been a proliferation over the last year of sketchy contributors, i.e. “sketchy” in terms of whether they are even vaguely what they try to seem to be.  There is always Sean/Jack and his "stories" that are really just the same fantasy told over and over and over again.  There are also at least a few instances of what I am pretty sure are men masquerading as women and one poster claiming to be two (likely a man posting as both husband and wife). Then, there are the more problematic personalities who want to have the fun of running a blog but without any of the work. They come on the blog,  contribute meaningfully for a week or two, then start trying to take over.  They finally cross a line and someone (me most often, though not always) smacks them down. They then flounce away, only to reincarnate with another name a few weeks later.   

So, if you are a man pretending to be a woman, or one person pretending to be a couple, or someone who really isn't into DD and just wants to spew out spanking fantasies, please go away.  You are making it so much harder for those folks who come here in the hopes of having honest conversations about this real DD to actually do so. Though, I have no illusion that this plea to consider the interests of others is likely to be honored by individuals whose defining quality is narcissistic self-interest.  

As for those who are genuinely into DD or just genuinely interested in it and looking for help and guidance, you really are welcome.  If you don't always get a hearty welcome, I apologize.  It may be that the other commenters have gotten wary thanks to some of the dick-ish behavior of others as described above.  For myself, I am going to assume that people are what they say they are, until I start seeing strong indications that you're not, but I don't have ESP and may not always get it right. 

Now, on to better things.  I think I’m going to have to walk my way obliquely into a topic for this week, as I’m not feeling a lot of inspiration.  Yet, I  do have a lot of thoughts running through my brain about things that have some connection to DD, whether direct or tangential.  There hasn’t been a a lot of actual action for us on the DD front, and for once it isn’t just the distractions of travel or competing family and social commitments.  In fact, by my (low) standards, I’ve been pretty well-behaved.  I'm feeling relatively settled, with one significant exception.  I’m super busy with business travel, but my core work function is really dead right now. That combination of high activity and low productivity usually sends me off the deep end.  But, for some reason, I’ve been handling it better than usual.  I also haven’t had as many issues with binge behavior.  My diet has been good, though not perfect.  I have a nagging physical problem that may be a blessing in disguise, since it is kind of forcing me to get my shit together on lifestyle issues. Funny thing is, I haven’t done much consciously to bring these positive changes about, though I’ll take it.

The exception I referred to above also relates to accepting changes that aren't within my control.  Without going into a lot of detail, the slowdown on my core job function at work is happening in parallel with other personal and professional developments that lead me to wonder whether it is time for a change.  In fact, I've been playing with the idea of semi-retirement or a big change of career for a long time, and I see many positives in doing something very different with my life.  Yet, I’m really not wild about leaving right now while things are slow.  It makes me feel like I'd be leaving as a failure, and I've always envisioned myself going out as a "winner."  In other words, I don’t want to make a change even thought it might be positive, because my ego doesn’t like the prospect of leaving with what feels like my tail between my legs.

So, how does any of that relate to Domestic Discipline?  Well, for me there has always been a component to DD that is all about accepting things that are outside my control.  It has, in fact,  been about creating circumstances (imposed rules coupled with disciplinary spankings) that are both challenging to accept and, to the extent practically possible, outside my control.  The idea of “surrender” to the reality you find yourself in—whether to a wife's judgment that you might not always agree with, or to the reality of an untimely career transition, or to a body breaking down with little you can do about it—has always been attractive to me philosophically but incredibly difficult in practice.   

But, something does seem to be changing.  Like I said, I’ve usually wigged out any time my work slowed down for a substantial period, yet this time I seem to be handling it OK even as I wrestle with what the slowdown might portend.  Do I credit Domestic Discipline for FLR or the spillover effect of helping me accept forces that are beyond my control.  Yes, in part.  Being subject to someone else’s control isn’t easy, and part of me rebels every time it happens. Yet, it does seem to be getting easier, the more comfortable she becomes with telling me what to do and bossing me around.  I don’t claim it is some kind of miracle process for getting right with reality, but I think it helps somewhat over time.  Which is good, because giving up my "control" issues has been a very explicit goal for me in all this.  DD plays a role in it.  FLR takes it further.  And, they work in tandem with  things like my mindfulness and meditation practice, both of which are all about getting rid of mental attachments, including attachments to particular outcomes.  Even this aging process works to help me surrender to what is, because I am trying to "fix" things but I recognize that I just may have to live with the fact that the fifty year-old version of me is not as resilient as the twenty year-old one was.


So, while dealing with career and health transitions was not any part of what attracted me to DD and later to FLR, they seem to have had “spillover” effects in those areas.  Many of us go into DD with some specific behaviors we want to fix.  Or, we go into an FLR because some part of us gets off on losing control or watching our wives taking it and making us surrender to her will. It’s not all that surprising, is it, that experimenting with changing our power dynamics—whether by becoming more accepting of authority or more comfortable exercising it—would spill over into other areas of our life?

So, that is this week’s topic.  How has DD or FLR (whether giving or taking) changed other aspects of your life, separate and apart from trying to fix or mitigate particular behaviors?  Has it made you more accepting of things outside your control? Or, maybe it has made you more controlling and demanding? Has it caused you to be more, or less, assertive at work or in other relationships?  Made you more disciplined in areas of personal behavior that have never really been an express part of the DD regimen?  Made you a better leader or follower in some aspect of your life?  Or, maybe it wasn't pursued expressly for sexual gratification but it has made your life more erotically charged across the board?

I’m leaving this pretty open-ended, as spillover effects could occur in a lot of contexts.  Maybe even contradictory contexts.  For example, I think experimenting with an FLR may have made me a better leader but a worse follower at work. It’s made me a better leader by helping me understand that simple, clear, concise orders are often easier to take and to execute than a bunch of passive-aggressive mumbling or dancing around things.   


The book The Hesitant Mistress has several chapters that touch on communication, most of them coming down to advice to state what you want, say what you mean, stop dancing around it, and stop seeking validation for it.  One line from the book kind of summarizes it: 

Just give your man one sentence, the meat of the matter. Get to the point. Tell your partner what you want boldly and unapologetically, and let him decide what he thinks about it. He will appreciate it.

Now, I do want my wife’s tone to be more commanding, more pointed, and more overtly authoritative than I would use in giving an assignment to a subordinate at work. But, you get the idea, and I have seen it in action.  When I give clearer and more direct orders, they are better received than some of the muddled “requests” I used to be guilty of. Of course, I also strongly suspect that one or two of the recipients are closet submissives!

On the other hand, I’m not sure that DD or FLR has made me any better as a subordinate and may have made me worse.  I still don’t have much respect for authority, and I’m still pretty intolerant of what I see as bad behavior or poor leadership. In fact, earlier this week I just couldn’t take it anymore and blasted out a communication that wasn’t exactly politic.  But, I’d just had it with what I saw as some hypocritical and pedantic lecturing from on high.  So, if anything, thinking and writing about how I want strong leadership in my marriage has made me less tolerant of bad leadership at work.  It also makes me less sympathetic to poorly delivered commands.   If someone gives weak orders, then they should expect weak obedience.

I do think the spillover effects of FLR are making me more accepting of bigger things in my life that are outside my control, though it’s hard to separate the effects of years of DD, years of meditation, and a couple of years of on-again-off-again FLR.   But, the timing is interesting, as I’m finding it easier to accept things like aging-related physical changes and the possibility of a career ending or changing just as we get more deeply into FLR.  I also feel less stressed as I get deeper into playing with changes in power dynamics.  

I suspect my wife feels the same.  She took control on something this week that I admit totally pissed me off, but I'm sure she felt better about it than she would have a few years back, because this time she just didn't give a shit whether I liked it or not.  As she grows more empowered, and feels more comfortable exercising that power, she's probably not as stressed about making decisions because she doesn't care as much about defending them or about how I will judge them.

Finally, I do think that both DD and FLR are elevating the overall level of erotic energy I perceive both in and around me.  I think about sex more.  I think about sex with my wife more.  I think about my wife having sex, with or without me.  I’m reading more erotically-themed books and stories.  I find myself critically aware of the physical attributes of people in the gym with me each morning – male and female; it doesn't matter because there is erotic power in both male and female forms.  I find myself really, really turned on by certain "flashing" pictures, such as those on Red and KD's respective blogs: blog https://consensualspanking.blogspot.com/ and https://collectedsubs.blogspot.com/2019/10/its-tomorrow.html.  

Coincidentally, I came across this flashing picture recently and thought it was hilarious.



So, I do think that DD and FLR have elevated my erotic energy in a positive and appealing way. Though, this is another area in which an FLR may be working in parallel with other forces, including some of my spiritual practices and mindful discipline. At about the same  time we started exploring FLR more rigorously, I started reading some books on Tantric philosophy and teachings (the real religious/philosophical stuff, not Tantra as sex manual) some of which emphasize energy manipulation. One book in particular got me really focused on acknowledging the positive power of desire, both as subject and object and posited that the energy some of us feel around us in our meditation sitting practice is itself erotic and based in desire. 

So, to put it more crudely, my general level of horniness seems to be going up as I age, and I'm just way more erotically wired lately than in years past.  And, I’m good with that even if I’m not sure how much is attributable to DD and FLR.

 

Have a great week.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Club Meeting 318 - How Long?

“I met an old lady once, almost a hundred years old, and she told me, 'There are only two questions that human beings have ever fought over, all through history. How much do you love me? And Who's in charge?” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

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.

It was an interesting one, on multiple levels.  Belle’s question about why an “alpha” male would want to be the recipient in a Domestic Relationship ended up covering a lot of ground: young men and their ability to grow up, or lack thereof; spanking fetishes versus balancing power and giving up control; female empowerment and its possible impact on that female’s desire; Domestic Discipline’s ability to “fix” problematic relationships or lack thereof; preserving  male “swagger” while punishing arrogance; parenting philosophies as applied to 30 year-old daughters; and, of course, the need for a better label than “Alpha” to identify men who with dominant or aggressive personality traits.

Lost in all that was an uptick in our number of female commenters, in addition to Belle. Liz, thanks for dropping by again. Lola and Drew, welcome.

Coincidentally, as our efforts to answer Belle’s questions about female empowerment in the context of bad experiences with an immature spouse were playing out here on the blog, a political situation with some parallels was playing out in the press.  Katie Hill, a Democratic congresswoman from California and the first openly bisexual member of Congress resigned after someone, probably her jealous ex-spouse, leaked naked pictures of Ms. Hill participating in a threesome.   


From the reports in the press, it sounds like Ms. Hill’s high school boyfriend/spouse was upset that she outgrew him, went on to bigger and better things, and became a very empowered young woman. While he was living with mom and griping that his estranged wife wouldn’t pay him spousal support, Ms. Hill was embracing her power, sleeping with staffers and casting votes to impeach the most powerful man in the world.  So, estranged husband apparently got some revenge. Some of the same right-wing press that forgave non-consensual grabbing of women by their pussies got very moralistic about consensual relationships between a congressional candidate and her same-sex staffer.  In the era of #MeToo, that was enough to sink her career.  In her parting speech, she bemoaned the “double standard” applied to women in power.  While I sympathize with her and really hope the person who leaked the photos is prosecuted for “revenge porn,” I don’t think the “double standard” label fits the facts.  Senator Al Franken was driven from office for conduct that was arguably way less problematic than sex with a subordinate, so the Democratic leadership actually couldn’t support Ms. Hill without engaging in the kind of double standard she is now condemning.  Their previous treatment of men in power kind of put them in a box.  So, to me the issue isn’t about “double standards.” Rather it’s about how far we take a movement that has done good things but when applied blindly risks denying the reality that human relationships always have, and probably always will, revolve around sex and power.

Fortunately, here at the Disciplinary Couples Club, we openly celebrate the complex blending of power relationships and sexual attraction!  If that puts me at odds with our current puritanical bent and faux egalitarianism in all aspects of our complicated lives, so be it.  Also, I'm struggling with one of the most obvious lessons of Ms. Hill’s plight, namely: “Don’t let anyone photograph you naked.” Yet, at around the same time Ms. Hill was resigning from Congress, I was posting on KD’s blog about how much I like pictures of women “flashing” in public and how I wish I could entice my wife to join in.

Now, on to this week’s topic, which I will try to keep a little tighter than last week’s meandering, as interesting as some of it was.  Near the end of last week’s discussion, Belle, Alan and I got into some exchanges about the mechanics of delivering a real disciplinary spanking, including the tools she should use, what a hard adult spanking entails, etc.  In the course of that conversation, Alan observed:

“I don't know of your guy has had a real spanking as an adult. If not, he is going to be shocked at how much it hurts and how bad he wants it to stop. Be prepared for that and making sure he has that experience and understand it is definitely part of DD. You will see a pretty radical transformation just from that –and if he doesn’t submit to it, you will know early that it’s not going to work. Tough love maybe but very important.”


At around that same time, I had an email exchange with Caged Lion, who suggested the following topic (here in abbreviated form):

“I have an idea you may want to use for a topic. It may not be quite whatyou like because it does tend to attract the BDSM crowd, but it's an issue that's been bothering both of us. My wife keeps expressing concern about how long and how hard a spanking should be. I don't have any suggestion for her because I have no idea how other people in disciplinary relationships manage this. Do spankings always produce bruises? How long do they typically last?  Like almost every other guy in a DD relationship, you and I asked our wives to punish us. On your site any mention of a spanking might include whether or not it ended in tears but doesn't talk about how it was administered and for how long. I know would be helpful to us if we could find out how other couples handle this.”


I actually disagree about whether we’ve addressed “how long and how hard” on this blog.  I’ve posted some variation on that question multiple times.  But, it never really seems to draw much in the way of helpful, concrete responses.  And, it often isn’t participation by the BDSM crew that cuts off the discussion but, rather, those who weigh in strongly against any kind of formula or slogan, including any along the lines of this one:

In order to avoid that sideshow this time, and recognizing that we do all have differing pain thresholds and different abilities for absorbing well-earned lessons, let’s focus on the more concrete question of how long your own spankings typically take, whether measured in time or number of swats or some other metric.

I don’t have a lot of guidance to give on this one, because when I am being spanked I typically am looking at the floor and not at a clock. And, time spent in that position is, well, a bit relative.  When I am bent over the chair or ottoman and taking a very hard paddling or strapping, it seems to take forever.  But, in reality I am sure the whole thing takes well under 10 minutes.  Probably more like six or seven minutes.  For the most part, I haven't timed them. We did inject a time element into a few spankings earlier this year, however.  Following up on a suggestion from Helen or Elizabeth (I forget which), I suggested that my wife ensure that each offense is dealt with separately.  My thinking was that by separating each spanking into a separate mini-session, I would always have an incentive to behave better even if I had already earned a spanking that week.  So, the plan we came up with is that each offense would get at least 5 minutes of actual spanking time, as measured with an hourglass, with intervening sessions of corner time to let my butt recover and to get rid of most of the numbness. We only used that approach two or three times, with the longest resulting in about 15 minutes of actual spanking time.

When we were first getting into Domestic Discipline, we implemented a system that focused more on the number of swats than the temporal duration of the spanking.  Under our system, each agreed-upon offense was assigned a certain minimum number of swats. I don’t recall the details at this point, but it went something like this:  We had agreed the binge drinking was a problem that needed to be addressed.  We set a limit on the total number of drinks I was allowed to have (two or three, as I recall).  Exceeding that limit resulted in a baseline of 10 swats with a heavy “school”-style paddle plus five swats for each drink over the agreed-upon limit.  So, even one drink over the limit resulted in 15 hard swats. There were other offenses too, most with presumptive swats in the range of 5 to 10.  I still  recall vividly a session during our first few months of DD in which I had been particularly bad. When I tallied up the number of swats, it came to 65. Now, today, that is a fairly small fraction of the number of swats she gives me during a robust session, but at the time it was far more than I had ever taken.  I told her that I wasn’t sure I should take that many.  Without skipping a beat, she told me, “Then, I guess you should have behaved better.  You’re getting 65.”  Thus, a true Disciplinary Wife was born.

Over the last few years, I have become convinced that my lack of tears will never be solved by increasing severity, in terms of the kind of implement or the strength of the swat.  If anything, it works the opposite.  If the tool is just “too much” (thick rubber straps and some paddles qualify), I cannot prevent myself from going into “resistance mode” in which I can’t avoid just trying to gut it out.  But, I’m not as sure that the same thing holds with respect to duration. I have always wondered whether a longer spanking would result in me finally breaking down, if it just kept going on and on with no relief in sight.  I’m hoping ZM will weigh in on this one in particular, as he did reach a point of real tears last year and I recall him saying it was because his wife basically decided it would keep going until he did.  I would love to hear more details about what that actually looked like.


So, for the group, how long do your spankings usually take?  Have you ever timed one?  Is there a goal for it to last a certain amount of time? Does that vary depending on the offense? Or, Ladies, are you looking for some particular indication (tears, begging, etc.) 

By the way, regarding Caged Lion's specific question about bruising, I used to bruise regularly and fairly easily.  After the first couple of tries after we discovered DD and after she laid down the hairbrush in favor of an actual paddle, I bruised pretty much every time.  Now it is the reverse; regardless of the severity of the spanking, I very seldom bruise.  One exception was a few months ago when she experimented with some synthetic cane.  One of them wrapped around my butt and left very nasty bruises on my hips.  Honestly, I do miss bruising.  It was concrete evidence for her of a spanking well-given, and the need to cover up in the gym made the whole thing seem a bit more edgy.