Sunday, December 8, 2019
The Club - Meeting 322 - Naturals
It is much safer to obey than to rule. -- Thomas Kempis
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 horrendously busy. I keep thinking I see light at the end of the tunnel, but it now seems to be an oncoming train. I really do need to sit down over the Christmas break and think about how to put the brakes on in 2019. The pattern of dysfunctional behavior being tied inextricably to work is just crystal clear. When I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago, my binge drinking stopped completely, nagging physical health problems cleared up, and my energy levels rebounded. One full week back at work, and I reverted right back to form. I sense a continuation of my annual “resolutions” topic coming!
Alan suggested a topic for us. It’s one we’ve covered in some respect before, but it’s been a couple of years. He also put a bit of a new spin on it. His suggestion was as follows:
“Over the past year I have noted a real split between men who identify as Alphas and incorporate DD within that framework -and men who identify as submissive and approach DD and FLR's more or less as a "Beta" males.These very different dynamics ( alpha vs beta male) seem to lead to different female led relationships with the latter using less corporal punishment. It might be interesting to get into this because it seems a basic dichotomy in our community.”
It's rare that I completely copy the content of a previous topic, but I am blatantly plagiarizing my own former work this week, because I’m traveling today but wanted to get a topic posted. So, some of our long-term readers will probably recognize much of the below.
Blogger used to have great polling feature, which they unfortunately killed a couple of years ago. Before they did, I ran a poll that asked whether our male readers identified as “naturally submissive. The results at that time were:
Naturally submissive: 63 (68%)
Not naturally submissive: 29 (31%)
A year before I had done a rather poorly constructed poll that tried to test both the gender of our participants and their inclinations toward “leader” behavior or status in and outside the home. The question and the results were:
I am [Male or Female] and Outside the Home I prefer to:
Female - Prefer to Follow 2 (2%)
Female - Prefer to Lead 5 (5%)
Male - Prefer to Follow 48 (55%)
Male - Prefer to Lead 36 (41%)
These polls kind of surprised me at the time, largely because I was projecting my own inclination and history onto our other participants. While many of the poll respondents seem to have been inclined to follow their “natural” inclinations around dominance and submission both in and outside the DD context, I had come into this from the exact opposite angle. My entire motivation for being in a Domestic Discipline relationship and wanting to explore a Female Led one is that I am not at all submissive in real life and strongly prefer to lead and really hate being led. It leaves me very unbalanced a lot of the time, so my inclination has been try to balance things out by subjecting myself to being made to submit to another person’s will.
Intellectually at least, my attraction to DD lies in the fact that it requires me, a fairly unyielding and dominant person, to yield and submit. I am attracted to it because it requires me to grow in a direction that is not natural to me and that makes me very uncomfortable. For me, DD is about bringing some order to a disordered state that; bringing balance to a personality that is inherently unbalanced, with way too much yang and too little yin for its own good.
Yet, the polling seemed to indicate that most of this blog's readers are coming at things from the opposite perspective, attracted to something that fits where they naturally want to go anyway. It also shows why I sometimes get into discussions where we are just talking past each other about the nature of submission and why husbands who don't always toe the line should be cut some slack. Not in terms of not getting the punishment they have coming, but in terms of understanding why they may not instantly and consistently obey every rule. Every few weeks I will get a comment from someone to the effect of, "you just need to submit." And, without exception those comments always irritate the hell out of me, because it's clear that the person just doesn't get that for a non-submissive person, submitting to someone else is a very hard thing to do. It is not natural to them, and they must fight their natural tendency to fight and resist. Conversely, if your natural temperament is geared toward submission, then isn't it awfully easy to advise "just submit"? It's what you want to do anyway!
The same is true from the opposite side of the paddle. Leading is hard, and particularly so for those whose “natural” tendencies are more passive or prone to followership. Even for people who have strong leadership attributes, it takes thought and commitment and learning to be comfortable not just with a degree of confrontation but with actually initiating the confrontation. And all that may cut against who that person has always been. But, even if following is more natural to such a person, is it healthy? What do you miss out on by not leading, even if leading is hard? Leading did not come easily to my wife. Both by temperament and socialization, when confronted with an obstinate, unyielding husband, her first reaction was to flounce and pout. But, she is figuring out over time that she actually does like leading, does like being in charge and, yes, does like spanking and punishing.
How about you? Are your natural inclinations with respect to being dominant or exercising leadership, or preferring follow or be submissive, reflected in your place in the DD or FLR hierarchy? Do you consider yourself a “naturally” dominant person or, conversely, are your more inclined toward being the leader in your work and other non-DD and non-FLR relationships? Do you do what comes naturally, or do you act contrary to form? And, regarding Alan’s specific question, does the recipient’s bent toward dominance or submission have any effect on corporal punishment? If the recipient is more submissive to begin with, is corporal punishment employed less often, or perhaps spankings are less severe?