Saturday, February 29, 2020

The Club - Meeting 333 - Resets

“A spiritual reinterpretation of events gives us miraculous authority to command the winds, to part the waters, and to break all chains that bind us.” ― Marianne Williamson

Hello all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly meeting of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, Domestic Discipline relationships.

I hope you all had a great week. Mine was basically a continuation of last week – slow at work, feeling like I’m not performing well, yet not facing much in the way of consequences at home or at work.  As I said last week, we are going through the process of closing the books on last year and dividing the spoils. I see this as very mixed year, with enormous stress that came from taking on a new role at the beginning of the year, yet I’m not sure how much I’ve really accomplished in that role and, in the meantime, I feel like I really under-performed in my core professional area.  My profession tends to be pretty “coin operated,” so I’ve really been expecting my 2020 pocketbook to reflect what I see as pretty uninspiring performance in 2019.  But, as things gel this week in a series of meetings that I’m not a part of, it’s becoming a done deal that while certain parts of my compensation may come down, when looked at as a complete package I’m likely to make as much or more in 2020 as I did in 2019.  When mentoring younger people in our organization, I often remind them that like NFL football players and other professional athletes, we get rewarded not for effort or for good intentions, but for delivering results. I guess I was wrong and we do, at least partially, get paid for effort. There is a weekly topic in there somewhere.

I had originally intended to make this week's topic something about “maternal” or “parental” disciplinary motivations, influences and practices in adult Domestic Discipline relationships, but it hasn’t really gelled yet.  It’s a meaningful topic to me, so I don’t want to do a half-ass job with it, so I’m going to put it off for a while.  Instead, I thought I’d talk a little about where we are with DD and FLR and explore some options for moving forward. 

As to the former (where we are with DD), the simple answer is we’ve been in a very long holding pattern where not much of anything is happening. There are several reasons for the sustained pause. There have been the usual travel, social and health distractions. Even when we haven’t been distracted by those, they have often sapped the energy right out of one or both of us, or left us in a state where we want to spend romantic time together without any disciplinary or FLR kink involved.  But, the far bigger impediment has been the presence of one of our young adult kids in the house.  As I’ve said before, I keep learning that “empty nesting” is more a process than a status or an event.  One of our kids is waiting for a new job to start and, in the meantime, has been living with us for a few months.  

 But, that situation is changing soon, and I’ve told my wife that sometime shortly thereafter we need to have a real discussion about how to get back on track. And, although I know I’m probably not being realistic and may be setting myself up for disappointment, I feel like whatever reset we initiate, it needs to be substantial.  That word – reset – has been on my mind a lot in thinking about this.  2019 was a tough year, and I face a lot of the same job-related hurdles to sustained good behavior in 2020 that made last year so hard, and if I don’t get a handle on some of these issues I’m likely to continue to suffer consequences – aches and pains, nagging injuries and health issues, chronic exhaustion and lack of energy – that are in the long run more severe than any spanking is going to be.   

Also, I feel like we keep dipping our toe in an FLR but it never quite clicks even though we are both genuinely interested in taking it to a different level.

I was thinking about all this last week when Brett made some comments about how the fantasy for him is a wife who initiates or imposes the DD relationship with the recognized authority to do so.  I think it is safe to say that the wife initiating the whole DD relationship is a very prevalent fantasy and a very rare reality.  As Brett said:

“I think you’re absolutely right that it is quite rare for a wife to initiate a disciplinary relationship (unless she is the one to be disciplined.) And if she doesn’t do it with consent, then it is domestic abuse. She loses her credibility as a leader if her own ethics are in question. There must be consent, so it’s really about attitude. If she came to me and explained how she needed to be the leader in the relationship, that her authority would have to be real and respected, and that under our agreement she would implement discipline in the home in a parental fashion, then I think I’m hooked. That must be about as close as I could get to what I like to imagine, but I can’t say for sure how I would live with it.”

Now, the problem with the fantasy for those of us who are already in DD relationships is the ship has sailed.  We husbands did initiate things, even if we really wish our wives had done so. But, I’ve played with the idea of whether there really can be a reset such that it feels like she is initiating things going forward, even if we’ve been going down a path that I initiated a dozen years ago.  One option would be simply playacting something along the lines of what Brett suggests, with my wife coming to me and stating that she has decided we are going to have a DD or FLR relationship, what it is going to be like, etc.  

We could just ignore the preceding dozen years and pretend to be starting now with her initiating.  I’m not sure that would really work for us for a couple of reasons. First, I think at the root of many disciplined husband’s desires for this lifestyle is an out-sized need for authenticity. We want real discipline for real offenses; the whole relationship has to be reality-based or it feels like something is missing.  Second, my wife and I have never really been into playacting or doing fantasy “scenes.” I’m not really sure whether we could pull it off without getting very self-conscious, embarrassed, etc.

So, I was thinking that maybe we could do something that recognizes the prior history and actually leverages it into a real reset, one that she "owns."  It would still require her to initiate the discussion to some extent, announce her intentions, tell me the rules she’s going to impose, etc. But, she could characterize as reflecting her, more or less genuine, frustration that despite a dozen years of effort, a lot of my behavior hasn’t improved much.  And, in the meantime I’m continuing to place my health and future prospects at risk by burning the candle at both ends and failing time and again to resist temptation.  If she could pull it off without getting too self-conscious, I could see a scenario in which she may not have initiated our DD or FLR relationship at the outset, but she could initiate ramping it up and making it real.  The idea is that even if I started it, she would be taking over and making it clear that she's taking it from here, imposing what she wants whether I like it or not.

Now, I think the unfortunate reality is I’d still have to take a substantial role in making this actually take place.  In most of these relationships, it seems the disciplined party is almost always the one who takes the lead and puts more intellectual energy into moving it forward and fleshing it out.  So, unfortunately for men like Brett (and me), I think there is almost always going to be some gap between the fantasy of a purely wife-initiated process and the reality of “if you don’t ask, you likely won’t get.”  But, if she agrees to something like that, I think it could still move things a little closer to the ideal in which she really claims our relationship dynamic as her own.

Therefore, what I’m toying with is sort of a “boot camp” but focused more on communication, getting to the root of what we each think is working well, what we’d change if we could, what holds us back, etc.  The goal would be that we spend several hours communicating in a structured way about this, and after she’s digested the information she would take the initiative to announce the terms of our effort to “reset.”  A couple of years ago, I put together a list of structured questions we would each have to answer (the below are the questions directed toward her), originally envisioned as a set of communication exercises at a boot camp:

  1. When it is working at its best, what does DD/FLR do for you?  How does it make you feel? 
  2. Do you like being in charge?  What do you like about it? Are there aspects of it that you don’t like? 
  3. If you knew that I would be on board with whatever you directed, what would you want your level of authority and control to look like?  How strict would you like to be?  How dominant would you like to be?  How would you like to act?  What level of submissiveness would you want from me if, again, you knew that I would not only comply but would agree with your vision? 
  4. Are there particular punishments or forms of discipline or control that you want to impose or would like to try?  (Examples: More openly dominant in public?  Spanking at different time of day or in different location?  Chores? Grounding and taking away privileges?  Mouth soaping? Corner time? Personal service or sexual service?) 
  5.  Is there a particular role/archetype that appeals to you the most when you think of how you would like to approach running things or being the disciplinarian?   (Examples: Strict Wife?  Strict Mother?  Teacher? Principal?  Other?) What does your chosen role entail?  What implications does your chosen role have for how each of us should act? 
  6. What holds you back from taking on the role you want?  Are there specific things that I could do/not do to help you get there? 
  7. Was there someone you associate with disciplinary authority -- mother, father, relatives, teachers, principal – or some disciplinary act you experienced, witnessed or heard about that still resonates today or that you think would be helpful to bring to the current relationship? 
  8. Do you want to be more dominant sexually?  What would that entail, specifically?  What would you love to do if you were totally in charge sexually?
One challenge with this plan is that we talk a lot about talking.  If anything, we have been less successful in carry forward with plans to really talk in a heart-to-heart way about what we want for DD than we have been in doing DD. But, we both need to push through that, get over the embarrassment and talk about what this could be if we started from scratch with her firmly in charge.

What about you?  Have there been times that you’ve been in a lull or unsatisfied with the current state of your DD relationship and then done something different to try to reset it?  How did that work out?  What do you think about my plan to create a greater sense of her imposing the relationship by creating an environment in which she can own and “initiate” things going forward?  Any thoughts on other questions we should ask each other during this process? I hope you have a great week. 

Saturday, February 22, 2020

The Club - Meeting 332 - Mixed Feelings & Imposed Consequences

"At the heart of every frustration lies a basic structure: the collision of a wish with an unyielding reality." - Alain de Botton

Hello all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly meeting of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, Domestic Discipline relationships. 

I'm not sure exactly what happened, but I posted this several hours ago. Then, upon returning from running some errands, it was nowhere to be found.  I have no idea what happened. Thankfully, I write these posts in Word then copy and paste to Blogger, and I had not yet deleted the Word file.  Anyway, sorry for the late post.

I hope you all had a great week.  Mine was one that had me thinking quite a bit about consequences.  To some extent, it was “same old, same old.”  Plans for self-improvement and better behavior made early in the week, then all but abandoned by week’s end.  But, that’s not a big departure from my normal week.  Instead, there were some things going on at work that created an interesting interplay between my “real life” and the things we talk about here in this little electronic community.  There also were some interesting, and I think largely unintentional, overlaps among some of the blog comments.  While the topic was about realization and rationalizations, several of the comments ended up focusing, to one extent or another, on how we feel about “imposed” discipline.  ZM made the point explicitly and talked about the essential paradox of wanting something, on the one hand, and wanting to avoid it, on the other and how having it “imposed” both in support of, and somewhat against, our wishes somehow bridges the two:
“So I have a fantasy of being subject to real discipline, and that it be imposed without my really having a say in the matter (at least on a situation to situation basis). . . .  In summary, I really, really want her to impose something that I definitely won't want or enjoy in the least. And then when she does impose her will, I will probably struggle somewhat with having to submit to her authority, so she needs to be super strict and firm, even to the point of being ultra bitchy, and that will help me to not struggle as much? Yeah, I guess it all seems straightforward and logical! ;-)”

Then there was this from LH, which again hit on wanting something you don’t want, how having it imposed bridges that gap, and how a couple’s comfort level with such imposition may depend on their comfort level with an FLR relationship:

I think the degree or level of a FLR might impact the contradictory reactions associated with discipline and imposed boundaries. My wife is the boss but she can be very benevolent, very fair when it comes to the rules, boundaries and punishment. For example, she was extraordinarily annoyed when I didn't finish a project that was taking far too long in our home. My heart wasn't into it and it was a project I've done before. It was boring and annoying. Here I am a man in my 50s and she grounded me for two entire weekends, which were to be dedicated to completing the home project. I was going to see a show with friends and had paid for my ticket in advance. She let me to go to the show as scheduled with the promise that the job would be done before a certain date. The grounding took place over the following two weekends. It worked out well because I finished most of the work the first weekend and had light work and cleanup to do the next weekend. I gave a bit more explanation than was probably necessary, but the point is that I would have resented things if she had told me I couldn't go to the show. My wife was happy, but it also annoyed me in the moment that she said she would have disciplined me if the job had not been wrapped up. My first thought was I'm an adult. Do I have to be disciplined? Later, the kinky part of me was wishing she had disciplined me.

Finally, there was this from Liz:

First, it is extremely comforting to know there is something I can actually do about Art's arrogance. I used to feel helpless, to the point that our marriage was in danger and I had to leave temporarily. He did not respond to my anger or my sadness about the way he was treating our children. But he does respond to the paddle! And even to threats, knowing looks, and other warnings. To know I can actually STOP his arrogance when I need to has changed everything between us.

Similarly, I don't just feel comforted by my new authority. I LIKE it. I like knowing I have this power over him. Neither of us wants an FLR, but there is an "FLRness" to our relationship that is new. He is more service oriented. He helps more around the house. He is more polite. He is more attentive to my needs, both in and out of the bedroom. He is more deferential. I wasn't sure I would like deferential, but I do. It is a realization that he can be a bit submissive - there, I said it - without losing his manliness.

All these comments get at, from various angles, how some of us feel about imposed boundaries and imposed consequences.  For many of us who are into DD, it’s not just about the spanking and not just about feeling a need to be held accountable.  The extra element that seems to contribute an outsized share of the fundamental attraction to DD is the feelings we get from boundaries and discipline that are imposed on us whether we like it or not.  That “whether we like it or not” isn’t some tangential element.  It’s at the heart of the whole thing!  What I really like about Liz’s comment is it points out that “imposed” consequences aren’t just attractive to the men; it’s part of the benefit for the women too.  As she said, it’s about knowing there is something she “can actually do” about whatever is causing the relationship problem. It’s about having agency or, as Liz frankly admits, having “authority” or, at what I think is an even more primal level, having “power.” 

How fortuitous is it, then, that some of us have this overpowering need to have someone in our lives who has the power to impose her will on us even when we seem not to want her to do so, while at least some wives have, or can acquire, a corresponding taste for wielding such power.

I think sometimes the wives don’t quite understand just how powerful this need is for those of us who have it.  Both LH and ZM allude to the fact that, in the moment, we genuinely do not want to face the consequences of our actions, whether spanking, grounding or some alternative punishment. Because the fear or aversion is real, it is actually easier for us when our wives take a very strong and unyielding stance, to the point of, as ZM puts it, being “super strict and firm, even to the point of being ultra bitchy.”  And, as LH’s final sentence alludes to, we even feel disappointed when we successfully avoided the very consequences that just a short time earlier we were, in fact, so desperate to avoid! It even happens if we do get spanked but less severely than we know was actually deserved.  I have been in the middle of a hard spanking, hoping with all my might that it will end soon, then five minutes after it's over felt vaguely disappointed that she had more mercy on me than probably was deserved.

This all does relate, loosely, to something that happened at work this week, illustrating both the extent to which some of us crave consequences but also perhaps how DD can spillover into other areas.  As I’ve alluded to, this last year was pretty rough at work.  I won’t identify what I do for a living, but if I said I was in a “consulting” business that would be more or less true.  As a consultant in a large organization, three are really three elements to my job: (a) selling my expertise (marketing); (b) delivering that expertise (my actual professional role); and (c) helping manage and grow the organization.  Last year, I was extremely busy with the last of those elements, while I arguably under-performed by a good measure on the first two.  I’ve also talked more than once about incidents I’ve had involving insubordination, and recently there was something that I myself see as exhibiting disappointing leadership behavior. Given what I myself acknowledge to have been a year where my performance could have been a hell of a lot better on multiple fronts, I’ve been kind of expecting that as we close the books on 2019, my under-performance would come back to hit me where it hurts – in my pocketbook.  (Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the two best routes for getting through to me—my wallet and my ass—are in such close physical proximity.)  But, it’s not playing out that way.  Everyone is cutting me some slack, probably recognizing just how hard the job really was last year. 

How do I feel about that?  Well, honestly, both relieved and disappointed. I anticipated that punishment would be coming and, when it didn’t, part of me was relieved but another part feels like consequences could have and should have been imposed.

I don’t have a narrow, concrete topic related to all this.  I’ll just leave it open for discussion around our experiences with and/or feelings about:
  • imposed consequences
  • the feelings that arise from imposing consequences (for the wives) or having them imposed upon us (for the husbands)
  • the mixed feelings we get when consequences should be imposed but aren’t
  • whether our DD experiences with imposed consequences, and our attitudes about them, spillover beyond DD
Also, I’d like some help on a future topic.  Liz’s quote also alluded to parental discipline, observing: “Maybe it is not that hard to act parental towards men who act childish!  We’ve talked before about the extent to which DD has a “maternal” vibe for some of us.  I’d like to explore that more but am struggling with ways to flesh out the topic.  If you have ideas, please offer up suggestions, but please don’t provide an actual response. It’s hard enough coming up with topics each week.  Let’s save this one for next time!

Have a great week.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

The Club - Meeting 331 - Struggles & Rationalizations

From “The Big Chill”:

Michael: I don't know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They're more important than sex.
Sam: Ah, come on. Nothing's more important than sex.
Michael: Oh yeah? Ever gone a week without a rationalization?

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 great week. Mine was, once again, more of a struggle than I’d hoped, on a lot of fronts.  I am getting constant, annoying reminders that getting old isn’t for sissies, even if it is better than the only alternative. But, it really is a struggle facing up to one’s own physical limitations and owning up to the fact that there may be a bodily price to pay for a life well-lived.  

I’m also really struggling mentally with the fact that the universe is flashing signals left and right that my career is going in a different direction that may be beyond my control, and that I’m probably starting to go over that inevitable apex of the hill that happens when you stick around in any job or relationship just a little too long. In other words, as I get deeper into middle-age I find myself surprised to be going through an unsurprising mid-life crisis. Given that I am a problem-solver by nature, my reaction to all this is to wring my hands and create to-do lists and draft journal entries laying out the pros and cons of various major career moves.  I ran some of those past a work colleague a few months ago, several of which she thought made no financial sense, leading her to advise: “Why don’t you have a normal mid-life crisis and just get yourself a blonde and a sports car.”

So, right now I’m struggling with roles, and I'm rationalizing all sorts of reasons to stay, to leave, or to do either on a certain schedule.  That’s probably why, when I was complaining to KD this morning that I couldn’t think of a weekly topic, it resonated when he suggested asking people if they have had to struggle with accepting their own roles and what realizations and rationalizations resulted.  So, let’s do that.

Based on the exchanges we’ve had over 7 years on this blog, I don’t have much doubt that most DD relationships are initiated by the man literally asking for it.  That common pattern was reinforced just yesterday, when Liz and I talked about how Art suggested they try ‘real’ spanking, after his mother-in-law reacted to some bad behavior by telling him he should be “thrashed” for it.  While the exasperated observation came from Liz’s mother, it was Art who ultimately took it seriously and suggested giving it a try.  I’ve recounted several times that I initiated our Domestic Discipline relationship after coming across the Disciplinary Wives Club website, though I wonder whether I’ve always made it clear that while the website itself had some mysteriously powerful influence over me, I don’t think that would have been the case had I not been in an emotional place in which I was frustrated with my own bad behavior and lack of self-discipline and looking for some solution.

Of course, as we’ve all talked about many times, there is a big difference between fantasy and reality, and it definitely is possible in DD relationships to get more than what you asked for.  So, on the realization front, I can say that I’ve realized—many, many times—that real disciplinary spankings hurt like hell and are far, far different from the fantasy.  I’ve also realized, because I have had so many real disciplinary spankings, that some behaviors are really, really hard to root out.  I know that I’ve used this particular caption several times, but I think it really does express the quandary that some of us go through when DD becomes, for lack of a better term, real.

In terms of struggles accepting a role, for me that is more of an FLR thing, though not entirely.  As I’ve said, I initiated the DD relationship, and in general I accept my role as the disciplined party.  Obviously, like probably every man here who has experienced a real disciplinary spanking, I struggle to accept the reality of what is going to happen once Anne has ordered one, and I definitely struggle to accept a real spanking as it is happening.  In fact, I would say that difficulty accepting—surrendering—to the reality of the situation is probably why I have not been able to cry from a spanking, ever.  I just can’t quite get past that internal resistance that causes me to “man up” and just try to get through it.  In fact, it’s been interesting working through this paragraph because, when I wrote the first sentence I really was of the mindset that I accept my role in DD but not so much in an FLR, but as I continued to write I started to process the fact that even in DD my ego gets in the way of really surrendering to my role of chastened, punished husband by really letting go and crying in front of her.

Accepting the “lesser” role in an FLR is even harder, probably because it is far less aligned with my impulses.  As I said, I think DD was attractive to me intellectually because I knew I had behavioral issues that needed to be addressed, but the appeal was also incredibly visceral.  I wanted it and needed it.  With FLR, it is more intellectual than visceral.  Like Art and kind of ZM, I have problems with arrogance and ego, and I feel like being bossed around at home and being humbled in that way would be good for me.  But, the attraction to that is much less visceral than was my reaction to DD, and the plain fact is I really, really hate being bossed around while it is happening.  That’s not to say that I don’t find my wife’s exercise of that power sexy after the fact, but it is very much after the fact.  In the moment, I hate it.  But, I rationalize complying with those orders because, in the long run, I do think it helps me to let go of control and ego.  It’s sort of like a Zen tool but it involves being bossed around and humbled instead of sitting on a meditation mat. 

I guess another rationalization is that there are certain issues (drinking too much, in particular) that DD just has not rooted out or even tempered much after several years.  Yet, I have come to the conclusion that DD benefits my wife even in those areas where my behavior may not improve much, because it allows her to express her dissatisfaction with that behavior in a very concrete way.  Now, I don’t know whether that is realization, rationalization, justification, or some combination of those, but I do think there is at least some truth in it.

What about you? Regardless of which side of the paddle you are on, have you struggled with accepting that role?  What areas have been particularly hard to accept?  Have those struggles led to any insights and realizations you’d like to share, profound or pedestrian?  Do you find yourself rationalizing some of the stuff that prevents you from accepting your role? I'd love to hear from the women what they've struggled with, though I have to admit I sometimes scratch my head in wonder at how easily many wives seem to slide into the role in terms of accepting the role of disciplinarian almost like it was just another item on the to-do list.

There's also an interesting interplay between my acceptance and my wife's, and I wonder whether the same dynamic holds for some of the rest of you.  The two illustrations immediately above involve an elevated level of assertiveness on the part of the wife, and I think they illustrate (in very different ways) a point that I've brought upt to my wife several times and that I think she finds counter-intuitive: The stronger she is in her role, the easier it is to accept mine.  I do struggle with accepting my role in an FLR, and sometimes I struggle to accept a particular spanking even when I have it coming.  Because I do have that internal resistance, it actually helps for her to be more strict, more stern and generally more bossy.  On some level, harder, more stern orders are simply easier to comply with, probably because they don't seem to invite the possibility of actual resistance.  I know one of the struggles some women face is being perceived as "bitchy," but I really react better and accept my role more easily when she is more strict and stern.  Let's face it, who wants to follow a weak leader?

Before, I go, an update on the reporting regimen that Liz suggested.  It is interesting that once I came to a somewhat workable technological approach to reporting, I do find myself really struggling with aspects of it.  In suggesting his ideal reporting tool, ZM talked about how the ideal tool would involve a report that you can’t “take back,” i.e. once you hit the button it’s gone and she knows.  That is what I find myself struggling with, entering information into an app and knowing that the second I hit “enter” it shows up on her own networked app.  Something about it seems even more like self-sentencing to a spanking that does journaling about certain offenses, perhaps because the report in the app is so simple—just a list of offenses committed—and thus lacks precisely what this week’s post is about, namely rationalizations and explanations. But, I’m also accepting that our reporting just isn’t going to work very well until our current living arrangements change and we have more alone time.  So, I’m going to keep reporting but I don’t see things changing much for another few weeks in terms of impact on consistency.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Club - Meeting 330

“The more a daughter knows the details of her mother's life [...] the stronger the daughter.” - Anita Diamant, The Red Tent.

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. 

For me, it was a pretty rough one.  January got off to such a good start, but it just fizzled.  I feel like I’ve taken steps backward on so many fronts, some my fault but some less so. A physical injury keeps getting in the way of any aggressive exercise routine, and it’s starting to become a major distraction.  I had a work event that turned into a much—too—late evening affair.  We also had some other things going on that, in conjunction with the injury issue, kept me from catching up on any rest as we hit week’s end. I hate it when I feel more draggy and exhausted on a Saturday morning than I was on Friday. That was par for the course in 2019, but I was hoping for better in 2020.  Oh well.  Best laid plans, and all that.
There was one thing that happened at work that almost made the whole week worthwhile.  As I’ve noted on here a couple of times, I wear a  choker with a pendant that symbolizes a submissive male in BDSM circles. I spent quite a bit of time shopping on-line for it and, in the process, I became at least somewhat attuned to some of the more common designs for submissive “day collars," i.e. inconspicuous necklaces and chokers that symbolize a BDSM slave/submissive collar.  Well, yesterday a work colleague, who works in another office, was visiting my office and stopped in to talk. Near the end of the conversation, it finally hit me that she was wearing a slave collar.  Perfect circle in the middle of a cloth choker.  Had I noticed it earlier in the conversation and had time to process the realization, I might have commented with a benign “nice necklace” or something. Could have been fun watching her reaction.

Another thing we’re struggling with is alone time.  We just haven’t had much lately, and it definitely has put a major crimp into our plans to crank up the DD and FLR aspects of our relationship.  Though, as I’ve noted before, restraining DD and FLR activities is a choice, not an inevitability.  KD is very open about those aspects of his relationship with Rosa.  ZM and I (or our wives) have been much more inhibited.  Danielle noted last week that she has a grown son in the house and has decided to put her arrangement with Wayne out in the open, and at last report she was thinking through when and how to make it more visible. 

KD does seem to be the rare exception in which the DD relationship is pretty much fully out there, at least within the family.  And, in the seven years I’ve been doing this blog, there have been only a handful of commenters who have said that they knew growing up that their father was subject to domestic discipline, and those seemed to involve a more or less passive understanding of the situation. There was no open discussion about it, rather, it was just kind of in the background.  One of the rare examples was Holly, who recounted how she “learned” about Domestic Discipline:

"There wasn’t any time I wasn’t aware of domestic discipline. Mom spanked our dad, never in front of us, but when she took him into the bedroom there was no doubt what was going on and anyone in the house could hear it. I didn’t think much of it except that mom was definitely in charge, which everyone knew anyway."

Later, after her young and immature husband started acting up, her mother openly advocated that she should take up the paddle or strap. She resisted at first because she thought her mother had been too ready to spank for every offense, but she came around as her husband’s behavior worsened.  While she was also one of the seemingly rare examples in which the wife instigated the DD relationship, she had reason to believe her husband would accept it and might even want it.

“I knew it was real from the first spanking I administered because I knew men can be managed with a strap if a woman is determined. I had also suspected for a while my husband wanted this. Our dating relationship really became serious when he found out my father was punished. He never directly asked me to take control, but I was certain he would accept it, and I was right since I received no resistance when I told him what was coming. Also, the way he stripped and presented his ass to me on command convinced me I was right.”

So, Holly was the rare woman who observed (or overheard) her mother spanking her father, who had discussions about it with her mother about it at an appropriate time in life, went on to tell her future husband about it, and then went on to have a Domestic Discipline relationship herself. 

The last time we devoted a whole topic to this was back in 2017. Since I’m feeling uninspired today, I’ll repeat some of that post here, but I’ll also try to add some more detailed questions and recent observations.

We have talked several times about how to work in DD around the presence of kids in the household, and we've shared ideas about how to mete out well-deserved discipline without the kids overhearing.  But, what about once they are grown, or at least young adults?  Is the DD or FLR side of your relationship something that should be kept from them once they are off on their own?  Or, was Holly’s mom right to be relatively open about being in charge and disciplining the father, culminating in the mother openly advocating that Holly take up the paddle.

Based on seven years of talking from time to time about what kids do know or should know, it seems like most of us are reluctant to share this part of our life with anyone.  But, why is that the case once our kids become adults and move onto their own relationships? Aren’t we supposed to try to give our kids the benefit of our parental wisdom?  If you think DD is something that help’s  your own marriage, or if you think it helps your own performance or your mental/emotional wellbeing, shouldn’t you share that with your adult kids for their own potential benefit? 

Those benefits could take a lot of forms.  Perhaps, like Holly’s mother, you have a daughter who needs to take charge of her own ill-behaved husband?  Or, or maybe your darling son (or daughter) is having a hard time growing up or otherwise could profit from being on the receiving end of the marital paddle or strap? So, isn't that something we would want for our adult kids as they move out into the world and experience their own inevitable marital and personal challenges? Even if we thought it was something that needed to be kept private while they were growing up, do those same concerns still apply later in life?

I once just sort of assumed this is a private activity and should be kept that way.  But, my views have evolved over time.  As I said in response to a comment from Danielle two posts back, I've pretty much decided that, now that they are (young) adults, I am OK with them know everything at a general level, whether about the disciplinary spankings or about our blooming FLR, or both. As for what they actually do know, to the best of my knowledge they don't know about the spanking part. At least that’s my wife’s view. But, I do have my doubts. A spanking could have been overheard at some point, or they could have seen a paddle or strap that wasn’t locked away. As for the FLR, they have noticed my wife's more assertive role in the last couple of years, and one of them has noted her bossiness. They have told my wife that she seems to "wear the pants" and she doesn't deny it. But, I don't think she has taken it any further than to tell them that I like her making more decisions because I have so much responsibility at work and, therefore, want to have less responsibility at home. Or, words to that effect. 

Honestly, I don't know how open we eventually will be. As I've said, I've decided that I'm OK with them knowing everything, though I don't have any desire to talk to them about it. It's really my wife who is reluctant to let them know more, and I'm not totally sure why. I think it would be empowering for her, and possibly a growth thing for them, if they saw an example of a woman being fully and openly in charge at home.  Our 2017 topic addressed this.  I noted at that time a quote that had caught my attention: 
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.”

While I didn’t note it at the time, the quote was from Marianne Williamson, who later threw her hat in the ring for President of the United States.  When our DD and FLR wives hide the strongest part of themselves aren’t they “shrinking so that others won’t feel insecure. 

 As I said, we addressed this topic back in 2017, but we’ve added several commenters—including two or three Disciplinary Wives—since then, and others’ views may have evolved during that time.  So, here are some specific questions, but please feel free to add your own thoughts, observations and experiences:
  • Were either of your own parents disciplined by the other parent when you were growing up? 
  • Are your kids aware of you disciplinary relationship? 
  • For those of you who are in an FLR, are your kids aware that the wife is the leader in the marriage? 
  • Have you ever spanked or been spanked by your spouse while the kids were in the house or might overhear? 
  • If your kids are not, to your knowledge, currently aware of your DD or FLR relationship, might you tell them or let them find out about it in the future? Why or why not?   
  • Does their gender effect your view in any way?  If your daughter married a man with maturity or performance problems, would you pass along some helpful hints that maybe she should educate herself about DD?  What if you had an immature or misbehaving son? Would you ever suggest to him (or to his frustrated daughter-in-law) that maybe disciplinary spankings could give him the structure and boundaries he seems to need?
I hope you all have a great week.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

The Club - Meeting 329 - Attitude

Don’t let your mouth get you into something your ass can’t handle. – Unknown

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.

This one was kind of rough for me.  One of those nagging, age-related infirmities I’ve been dealing with really flared up and wrecked my plans to get back on track where exercise was concerned.  It was pretty painful, which may or may not have contributed to a spat I got into regarding someone at work. It was one of those things that you can really rationalize in the context of Domestic Discipline relationship when you are kind of hoping to avoid punishment for it.  The other person’s behavior really was out of line, and it did really need to be addressed. Yet, I feel like my reaction may have been excessive, and even if it wasn’t it created a major time sink as I dealt with the fallout of raising the issue in a very strong way. Basically, I lost my temper and didn’t really pause to make sure I was level-setting my response appropriately.  Given that my temper is one of those things that I think a good hard spanking might give me an incentive to try to control, there is a good argument that I should get one. Yet . . . I can’t quite bring myself to feel the slightest remorse or contrition about my dealings with this jerk. But, maybe it's about needing to be disciplined for not being self-disciplined because, whether the reaction as justified or not, it reflected a loss of control and letting my temper and anger dictate the course of events.

There.  I guess that was my self-report for the week.  😉  But, seriously, I did take up Liz’s challenge. Sort of.  I did report the work incident and one other issue, but I did it this morning and, thus, arguably blew the 48-hour deadline.  Though, to rationalize things once again, I sent Anne a proposal regarding self-reporting after discussing it on the blog last week, and I haven’t gotten any communication back saying she agreed with the plan.  So, we really still need to discuss it and agree to the logistics, including the deadlines.   

I also had a change of plans mid-week regarding the mechanics of self-reporting I originally envisioned using a shared electronic log, using the “Collaboration” feature on our Mac computers' word processing program, which allows you to share a document with others who can then edit it in real time.  But, later in the week I had an exchange with one of the commenters about an app called Wunderlist that we have used for a long time to share things like shopping lists and household to-do’s.  I had thought about using it for a self-reporting tool some time ago, but I didn’t really follow up.  I think I’m going to experiment with making it my primary vehicle for reporting misbehavior.  It has a few advantages:
  • Secure & Confidential:  The app owner can create shared lists—such as “Behavior Log”—and invite only designated people to each list.  So, we can have a Christmas present list or household shopping list that all family members can add items to, but I also can create a Behavior Log list and invite only Anne.  Other family members will not see it on their device and they won’t get notices when an item is added. 
  • Instantaneous notice:  Whenever I add a new item to the list, like “Lost temper at work,” Anne gets a notice on her app showing I added it.  And, if she has enabled notifications for that app on her phone and computer, she will see the addition and its content right away.  So, she doesn’t have to open a file periodically or login to anything to discover whether I’ve entered anything.  The other thing about instantaneous updates is as soon as I write an item on the list and hit one butt, there is no taking it back.  She now knows and there is no going back to delete or modify something before sending.  Just doing that this morning added to a sense of “inevitability,” that I think some men who are attracted to DD really want and need.
  • Archiving: An item stays on the list until it is either marked as “done” or deleted, and you can choose whether completed items are deleted completely or archived.  I like that feature for two reasons. First, since an item will be marked as “completed” only after she has either spanked or otherwise punished me for it, the list just keeps accumulating until she gives me a session over the ottoman (unless she adopts the “waiver” deadline that Liz suggested – we still need to talk about that).  Second, the cumulative list of “completed,” i.e. punished tasks is something we can go over periodically to see whether behavior is improving, whether she is being diligent in correcting behavior, etc.
  • Deadlines:  The app allows you to set deadlines and reminders, which are useful for tracking whether bad behavior is being addressed promptly. And, the app shows when each entry was made, which should help her monitor whether I am reporting things promptly.
  • Comments: As Liz noted last time, the individual items on a log should probably be pretty short and to the point, like “lost temper at work.”  But, the app also allows you to append a longer comment to each item.
  • Encouraging FLR and bossiness: The app allows the user to assign a “task” to another user.  So, if she wanted to, say, assign a chore and wasn’t there to do it in person, she could just enter a task and assign it to me along with a deadline for completing it.
So, this one app accomplishes a lot of what I wanted in a reporting tool or log.  There are, however, two issues.  First, the app was acquired by Microsoft, and they are ending support for it in June. But, they have their own app called To Do, which seems to have almost all the same functionality and which can import data from Wunderlist.  Second, I do still kind of like the idea of having an actual log or table listing offenses and punishments, perhaps with more information about the spanking or punishment itself.  Something along the lines of a log that Alan reported his girlfriend used to keep. So, I may use Wunderlist for reporting to Anne, but task myself with creating and updating a log.

Arthur reported on his efforts at self-reporting, noting that in some ways it is detracting from his communication with Liz because he always self-reported anyway, and he misses telling Liz about work-related incidents verbally over dinner.  I’m not sure the two are mutually exclusive, though for this experiment they have chosen to use the written reports as the main communication vehicle.  He did observe some positive aspects of writing things down, including making him take a closer look at some of his behavior: “On the other hand, I have made a couple entries of things I have said that I may not have mentioned in conversation because they didn't seem very arrogant until I thought about them. Is being a smart-ass a form of arrogance or just my kind of humor? I guess it's flirting around the edges of arrogance. Is that a slippery slope? Probably. I did get paddled more this week than in a long time (extra swats both Monday and Thursday) and I am not looking forward to this coming Monday. Maybe the log is showing me that I haven't made as much progress as I thought.”

So, I will keep trying to make headway on my own self-reporting and will report back in a few weeks. Though, in all likelihood reporting is not going to lead to any immediate change in our disciplinary frequency.  Danielle reported that one of their sons is living with them again for a short while, and we have a similar long-term houseguest situation going on.  I suspect it will keep us from really changing very much for at least a month.  Though, I will say I admire Danielle’s decision not to change her public demeanor, basically ensuring that her son knows that she is in charge.

But, on to this week’s topic. Arthur and I have both shared our concerns about our workplace behavior, and they are at least somewhat similar.  His concerns are about arrogance, while mine is about temper, but in both cases the behavior is about saying something that isn’t polite, is potentially hurtful, and might be unfair to the person on the receiving end of the behavior.  Or, it’s just kind of boorish and should be beneath us.  Edmund Burke said, “Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.” He was right, and I’m not proud of myself when I act that way at work.   

Worse, I have to admit that my mouth or a display of bad attitude gets me into trouble at home as well.  Like Arthur, I have a pretty sarcastic and smart-ass sense of humor, and I can sometimes take that too far.  I also can sometimes have an attitude, including to my wife.  I even catch myself in it sometimes.  She’ll ask me a question, and if I think it’s silly or uninformed I may roll my eyes.  Or, she asks me an open-ended question and I give her a one-word reply.  And, every once in a great while I will display some real temper around her, like the incident I reported on last year in which she told me to turn off a movie and go to bed and I let my temper show and let her know I thought she was nagging. 

Surprisingly, she hasn’t really resorted to her spanking authority to deal with those “attitude” issues.  In fact, it’s kind of remarkable the extent to which Domestic Discipline in our home has focused on things I do and not so much what I say or how I communicate.  In fact, I can really think of only one time that she spanked me for rudeness, when she thought something I said to the one of the kids—that I thought was a joke—crossed the line into sarcasm that left hurt feelings.  There are times I catch myself doing something like an eye roll, and I myself know I probably should be paddled hard for it.  Yet, I don’t think she’s ever spanked me for copping an attitude with her or for mouthing off.  

I’m not really sure why, because we have flagged disrespect as a punishable offense many times.  I think maybe it is because spankings in our house tend not to happen immediately after an offense, and during the time delay between an act of rudeness or attitude and the next spanking, she’s forgotten all about it.  Or, it’s one of those things that doesn’t reach a certain level that seems to be required for her to remember that spanking is an option to put me in my place.  I think it also may be that she has not quite made the mental leap to seeing herself not just as wife who spanks for certain offenses but as a real Head of Household and maternal figure who can and should spank simply for being disrespected. 

While I definitely do not want more or harder or longer spankings, I do think it is a mistake to let incidents of disrespect or verbal offenses slide.  They can have a really pernicious impact on a relationship.   

And, if this maternal-like grant of authority we’ve talked about means anything, surely it means I can’t get away with disrespecting her.  It's also one of those "broken window" things, in which punishing "small" things might have a larger impact. If she makes me more attuned to the need to watch my mouth at home, might that make me consider things more before popping off with something inappropriate at work?

How about you?  Does your mouth sometimes get you into things your ass can’t handle?  Are you spanked for mouthing off or saying disrespectful or rude things to your wife or others?  In this age where Thanksgiving dinners descend into ideological warfare, have you spanked or been spanked for something said to a friend, relative, co-worker, service provider, etc.  Do you think you should be?  

For the wives, do you spank as often for things your husband says as for things he does or fails to do?  Is disrespect or discourtesy something you let slide too often? If you have spanked him for such things, is there a certain special satisfaction in being able to use spanking or other punishment to take him down a peg?

I hope you have a great week.