Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Club - Topic 341 - Buffet Night

"It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable." - Moliere

I wasn’t wild about 2019, but 2020 is turning out to be a real motherfucker, isn’t it?  While I’m sure there have been times in the past that I haven’t felt like posting because of  turmoil going on out there in the “real world,” it has never happened this many times back to back. 

I do want to get back to posting regularly, though today I really struggled again to find a particular topic I wanted to discuss.  I can’t say I came up with anything we haven’t talked about before. Since in this post-Covid world we may not be enjoying buffet-style dining for a long while, so let's indulge in some buffet-style sharing here at the Club.  I’ll set the table by exploring some of the user comments from last week and people can pick and choose what they'd like to take up and discuss.

To kick things off, I related last week that Anne did something she’s never really done before over all the years we have been doing this DD thing – really cut loose with her anger while lecturing and spanking.  Liz observed: "It sounds like you finally got what you have always wanted in a DD relationship: nonconsensual punishment. It would be interesting to hear how you feel a few days later." My reply to her and a similar comment to Glen was that I am still processing it. While it goes too far to say it was non-consensual, it did feel like in that moment, in her mind, my consent was pretty much irrelevant.  In terms of what whether there has been a lasting impact, I think the answer is sort of.  We've both been busy and there have been family around a lot, so there hasn't been any substantial spillover or extension of that encounter. I do think I have been more careful about what I say to her and how I say it, though I felt some of that care starting to dissipate a little as the week went on.  As we’ve discussed, it’s hard to break old habits.

A separate question would be whether asserting herself like that led to any lasting change in how she feels or how she approaches this.  I guess only time will tell.  On the night of the event, she seemed poised to take more control than she has in the past, including flexing her muscles in areas that don’t have a direct impact on her.  One of the things she said she wants me to change is posting about politics.  While she and I are pretty aligned politically, she thinks it detracts from the blog, so she more or less ordered me to stop posting about political topics. Now, it is really hard for me to watch a week like this go by and not say something about it, but I guess you could say that last week’s dynamic has stayed in mind enough that I have more or less obeyed her order on this even though it is not an easy thing to do.  Does she enjoy being able to exercise that kind of power?  I haven’t asked her since the night she spanked me, but I suspect she does and that if she continues exercising power she will enjoy it more and more.  As Alan said, “That power and authority naturally grows as it is exercised. It is very reciprocal. The more you command ( or exercise it), the more he obeys (or responds to your authority). Ours has grown over time to a handful of items (first suggested by Aunt Kay) to today's "anytime, anywhere for any reason I decide" That seems to be the natural path of DD.”  And, while Liz says she does not desire to have power over her husband, even she admits that the shift in the power structure, no matter how subtle, is hard not to enjoy.

Talk about enjoying the power that goes along with being the on the “giving” end of the paddle or strap always seems to make a few commenters nervous.  But, Danielle suggested what I think is, for many wives, a naturally limiting principle.  She observed:

“I think my disciplinary methods wouldn’t satisfy the needs of some of the men who post here. When I punish my husband, I draw on maternal instincts I honed from raising two boys. That’s why I don’t limit my disciplinary toolbox to just spanking. And when I do spank, I don’t go overboard. I know some of the guys here feel that a spanking isn’t real unless it’s brutally long and hard.”

First, at the risk of arguing with a disciplinary wife, I don’t know whether she’s right that many of us feel a spanking has to be long or especially severe to be “real” or to be effective, even if we may have received some real bottom blistering spankings. It’s all relative and, as Danielle has said, the punishment needs to fit the crime. For example, if my wife wanted me to do a better job of taking out the garbage, I think 10 quick swats with a paddle in the kitchen could reinforce that message quite effectively. But, in that situation the behavior to be changed and the offense committed is pretty minor. For more substantial offenses, I think some of us need more substantial punishments in order to really feel a sense of accountability. Finally, for those for whom a goal is really breaking down the ego and getting to a cathartic sense fo surrender, it does seem like some need a really long spanking in order to get over the internal resistance they feel to giving in like that. In 15 or so years of DD, I've never gotten there even with pretty hard spankings.

Second, and the issue I’d like to explore a little more is Danielle’s statement that she doesn’t limit her disciplinary toolbox to just spanking.  We’ve done this topic before, but it’s been a year or so, and it’s one I’m always interested in.  To some extent, my interest in this topic extends from some of my own reservations about the limits of the effectiveness of spankings alone.  This blog obviously focuses a lot on corporal punishment, but it is hardly the only form of punishment available to wives who want to see real, positive behavioral change.  Further, it’s hard for me to identify that many spankings that have really changed my behavior fundamentally over long periods of time.  I talked above how last week’s spanking affects me a week later, but the lasting impact wasn’t really from the spanking itself; while it was bad, I’ve endured worse with less emotional and behavioral impact.  What made the difference was her tone and attitude.  So, I feel like spanking is often more effective when coupled with other factors, such as tone or attitude but also perhaps other kinds of punishment or behavioral control.  As discussed, her banning me from discussing politics on the blog wasn’t a punishment, but it was a limit on my freedom of action, and I find it more humbling than a spanking precisely because it requires me to pay attention on a sustained basis to this new limit on my freedom of action.

So, while we have addressed it before, I hope some of you will share some specific examples of non-disciplinary punishments you’ve imposed.  Grounding?  Loss of privileges?  Additional household chores?  Please share your thoughts and experiences. How about financial controls?  Have you ever restricted your husband’s spending or imposed budgetary constraints as a punishment or a means of humbling him?  Again, Danielle had some interesting thoughts: 

“Alan, your former girlfriend’s comment about DD “levelling the playing field” hits home for me. That may seem strange since I have so much power over my husband now. But the fact is that he has always been the main breadwinner, and even in retirement he brings more money to the table than I do working part time. I sometimes wonder whether he would be able to accept being so thoroughly under my thumb if we weren’t both aware of his financial contribution to our lifestyle. No matter how much I may humble him, he can take pride in that, I think.”

This one struck a chord with me, because we are getting closer and closer to, if not retirement, then some kind of profound occupational change that is likely to result in my income becoming much smaller and less predictable.  We’ve never been big spenders, but it’s funny how when retirement and loss of income start becoming a real thing, it does seem to change my attitudes about spending. I suddenly find myself passing up small purchases (clothing I don’t really need, books I might never read, etc.) that I might not have thought twice about just a few weeks ago. While she hasn’t exercised much control over my spending, it might be good for us to explore that as we get closer to actually needing to exercise some self-restraint in that area. 

Like I said, I don’t have a specific topic in mind for this week, so comment on any of the above that strikes your fancy.

Have a good week.  Stay healthy and safe.

Monday, May 25, 2020

The Club - Meeting 340 - NOT Asking for It, and Anger Revisited

When someone says that I'm angry it's actually a compliment. I have not always been direct with my anger in my relationships, which is part of why I'd write about it in my songs because I had such fear around expressing anger as a woman. - Alanis Morissette

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 had a good week.

Well, I feel like I’m finally coming out of the Covid-19 induced blahs.  I’m not sure what brought them to an end, mostly because I’m not sure what caused them in the first place. Though, in a situation as abnormal as the one we’ve all been going through, is it any wonder that it’s pretty easy to get disconnected and discombobulated? But, it really was becoming pretty problematic, because it wasn’t just my interest in DD that plunged.  My libido diminished down to nothing, and I found myself not having any interest in much of anything.  The ultimate result was that during a period in which we had the house to ourselves almost every day and more than ample time on our hands, we were having less sex than usual and Domestic Discipline was starting to feel like a distant memory.  In fact, because the pandemic got tacked onto an extended period with houseguests, almost five months went by without a single spanking.  That is by far the longest “break” we’ve ever taken, and it was not something either of us consciously initiated or wanted.My bottom’s months-long reprieve ended this week.  In retrospect, it had been building for a long time. say familiarity breeds contempt, and wow have we ever been familiar to each other for the last few weeks.  I'd gotten snippy with her several times during the lockdown.  Honestly, I’m not sure it was much worse or more often than usual, but this time there wasn’t any time apart between those instances of marital friction.

I had plenty of warning.  Several times, she called me out on it when I said something insensitive or arrogant.  In the past, when I caught myself behaving badly, I usually would have pointed out, perhaps in a journal entry, that our DD arrangement gives her the authority to put me in my place any time she wants.  Yet, I didn't do it this time. Why not?  Well, two reasons. First, as discussed, for some period of time I just lost interest DD.  Second, I was frustrated that even though she kept voicing hurt and displeasure with how I was talking to her, she did absolutely nothing about it. I finally decided (sort of) that if this thing we do was worth doing at all, then she really needed to take ownership.

In an interesting bit of timing and synchronicity, I had been thinking about this non-initiation strategy on Friday morning, and wondering whether she would ever recall that if she was really angry about my conduct, she had the power to do something about it. That night at dinner, out of the blue she said that whether I was interested in DD or not (she had apparently been reading the blog and knew about my flagging interest), I was going to be getting a dose of it.  Her message wasn’t conveyed with a lot of authority. Yet, I can't emphasize enough how different it feels when a Disciplinary Wife takes the initiative, as opposed to just kind of accommodating or initiating only after being reminded about her authority.  It is just a totally different thing when the prospect of a spanking actually feels imposed.

I’ve talked a couple of times recently about wanting a “reset,” i.e. something that might change the nature of our DD relationship and make it more “real.” More imposed.  Something that feels less initiated by me, to the point that it feels almost non-consensual. Well, I think I may have finally gotten it.  I admit that I was pretty anxious about the likely level of pain I was going to experience, being spanked hard on a butt that hadn’t felt a paddle or strap in five months.  Yet, we’ve been at this so long, it’s hard for it not to feel a little routine or scripted.  I went upstairs when instructed.  I set out her tools, stripped off all my clothes, and waited for her.  She came out of the bathroom after a few minutes, and the lecture began like it has so many times before.  She sighed a bit, a soft expression of disappointment that usually leads into a fairly unemotional listing of what I am about to be spanked for.

Yet, this time, something changed.  She really cut loose with the lecturing.  In an increasingly angry tone, she told me not just what I had done, but how my arrogant tone and remarks made her feel.  She was virtually yelling at me, as she berated me for my behavior and said that was absolutely done taking it from me. It went on longer than any of her prior lectures and, when she had finally said everything she had to say, she told me brusquely to get over the ottoman that she always spanks me on.  She laid into me hard and long with multiple straps and paddles.  After several minutes and a couple hundred swats, she asked whether she was getting through to me.  Between gasps and yelps, I assured her I was, but she made sure I knew I had more coming.  And, she delivered.  I got up from the ottoman one thoroughly chastened little boy.

It’s not just me who saw this as a possible turning point.  She said afterward that this was the first time she had spanked me when she was feeling real anger and the first time she really cut loose when lecturing me.  We talked about how empowering it would be for her if she stopped censoring her own feelings and just spoke up whenever she was mad.  

 How do I feel about it?  I’ve said before that I like it when my wife displays emotion before or during a spanking, but this was on a really different scale. It was disturbing and embarrassing and extremely humbling in the moment.  Yet, I’m glad that she now seems to have internalized that it is OK to hurt not just my bottom but my feelings when I hurt hers.  I also think this is the way it has to be if discipline is going to lead to real improvement.  My ego is pretty strong, and I need more than just a cold, clinical application of the paddle to break down my defenses and really accept accountability. It also helps me to accept her authority if she is expressing herself like she really is in charge.

How about you? Ladies, do you keep your anger at your husband bottled up?  Or, so you sometimes cut loose and let him know how he’s made you feel? Do displays of anger and emotion help establish your role and your authority.  Or, do your spankings tend to be more business-like and controlled?  Men, have you pushed your wife to the point of real anger? Does it make the discipline feel more real?  Do you feel more under her authority when she expresses that authority with real strength and angry passion?

 Have a great week.