Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Club - Meeting 345 - DD and Parenting

“Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.” - Carl Jung

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 good week.  The same can’t really be said for the country, unfortunately, with the Coronavirus surging again in 31 states.  So much for it dying on its own accord over the summer.

I want to thank everyone for keeping the conversation going so well last week after I lazily adopted Belle’s comment suggestion and added very little to it in the process.  In the process, some good stuff came out.  A comment by Alan, led to some discussion our audience.  He observed:

“I should acknowledge I did benefit greatly from my former girlfriend’s discipline. (I have recently discovered that she probably reads this blog, so I need to be transparent here.)  My sense is that quite a few women either in F/M relationships or interested in them are tracking your blog. I hope even more comment. I have learned a lot from those who have shared their views and experiences.”

I share ZM’s skepticism of whether it is really the case that quite a few women in F/m relationships for interested them are monitoring the blog, though I hope Alan is right.  It’s always a little disappointing to me that after seven years of blogging on this topic, the total number of simultaneous female commenters seems to stay about the same.  Seems like it’s always kind of gain-one-lose-one.  It would be nice to build up a roster of longer-term female commenters.  Assuming there are some substantial number who encounter the blog in one way or another, Liz laid out a partial prescription for keeping them around:

“My husband found this blog and showed it to me. I decided to comment because there is an intelligent exchange of ideas and as I understand it there are few blogs on this topic that are not about titillation. And because Dan specifically asked the wives to participate.”

I think (hope) I’ve been doing a better job of inviting wives to participate than I did for the first two years of the blog.  I never had any intention to exclude them and, in fact, always hoped they would participate.  I always just kind of assumed that if I phrased topic questions with a husband-centric way, a wife who wanted to respond would just flip things around and comment from the female perspective.  I think that assumption was a mistake, and I’ve tried to be more inclusive in the way I phrase topics.

As for Liz’s kind description of the blog as a place for an intelligent exchange of ideas that don’t center on titillation, that one is harder to pull off and also not always in line with my own inclinations.  I do try to keep the blog focused on exchanges of ideas, views and experiences about Domestic Discipline, but I’m not a prude.  I obviously find a lot of the content I post and others’ stories titillating. And, I’m not a prude by any means.  When Danielle or Carol or other wives allude to kinky activities that are distinct from, but wrapped up in, their DD activities, it definitely perks up my interest.  Recently, I found myself tempted to ask them to expand on those allusions. But, inevitably some guy who reads the blog and is into Femdom would use that as an excuse to post a bunch of nonSexuiturs, and I’d have a very hard time explaining why it’s OK in one instance but not in another.  I hate Potter Stuart-like “I know it when I see it” exercises in line drawing; but sometimes that’s what I’m left with.  Anyway . . . thanks to all of you for the kind thoughts on the blog and its direction.

This week’s topic is one I was thinking of last weekend before I ran out of time to do much with it that week.  It was Father’s Day weekend, and my thoughts were inevitably drawn to my relationship with my kids.  We’ve talked a lot on this blog about the maternal aspects of discipline.

But I think I’ve only once did a full post (Meeting 276 in December of 2018) about the role our interactions with our fathers might have on our openness to Domestic Discipline as an adult. At that time I was thinking mainly of whether being disciplined by a father might have influenced our commenters openness to DD as adults.

Liz gave us a different angle on this last week.  Growing up, she was aware that her mom disciplined her dad.  In her case, it didn’t seem to have much influence on her own marriage until her husband actually asked for it.  As she said:

“I also was surprised that I didn't think of using DD myself before my husband suggested it. Since it was in use by my parents, you would think that I would have thought of it. But I had a blind spot, trying to be the best modern-day version of the 50s wife I could be. But some of them spanked their husbands, too, my mom being one example.”

This wasn’t the first time she mentioned her early exposure to the idea of F/m adult spanking and discipline. A few weeks ago, she discussed it in the context of how easily she took to spanking once Art requested it:

“I do think I slipped into my disciplinarian role quite easily, but I assumed that was because spanking was so prevalent in my family that it was not considered a big deal. So it is interesting to hear that other women without my background also have been able to adopt the role easily. Maybe it is not that hard to act parental towards men who act childish!”

 Compare that to “Holly,” a commenter from a few years ago who, like Liz, was aware her dad was spanked.  And, her mother appears to be have been even more open about it:

"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."

But, in her case it originally led to an aversion to being a spanking wife. She got over that, however, and as in Liz’s case it was her mother’s insistence that the husband deserved a thrashing that served as the impetus for eventually taking up the paddle

“The amusing thing is that growing up I thought my mother was a bitch for spanking too often and too severely. Now I find although I probably do not spank as often as she did, I certainly spank harder. . . .  Calling me a bitch was what led to my husband’s first appointment with the strap. He had done it before, but my mom heard it for the first time and told me I was a fool for allowing it. There were other things going on at the time, including his general brattiness and temper tantrums when he was frustrated. It was a big change for me, because I had been determined to manage my own marriage differently than my mom had done. But over a period of time, about three years, I saw the same behavior in my husband that had gotten dad in trouble with mom.

Let’s talk a little bit about how DD influences multiple generations and the chains of cause and effect involved.  What was your parent’s attitude toward spanking and discipline and how did it affect, if at all, your own openness to DD as an adult whether you are now spanker or spankee?  Further, how has being a Disciplined Husband or Disciplinary Wife affected you as a parent?  

If you are a husband who is spanked by your wife, does that affect your relationship with your kids in any way?  Does it make you a better father? More attentive and less immature, perhaps?  Does being subject to spanking and being lectured or chastised affect how you interact with your kids?

For the moms, how did your own exposure or lack thereof to spanking as a kid affect your own openness to adult corporal punishment?  Today, has taking a disciplinary role over your husband changed your approach to being a parent in any way?   

Have a good weekend.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

The Club - Meeting 344 - Most and Least

All, sorry for the delay, but as reported on Sunday, Father's Day weekend found me busier than I expected.  Then Monday found me distracted by other things, and it's kind of the same thing today. I was planning to just say "no post this week," but then Belle suggested a topic, below.

"I have noticed that I actually enjoy lording it over my husband with the bath brush. So I thought that might be a topic for both the guys and the women: what do you like most about your DD relationship? And what do you like least? What has surprised you the most? If only one of the couple participates here, you could suggest that person ask their partner so we get as many responses as possible."

Since I have nothing else for the week, let's go with that one.


Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Club - Meeting 343 - Leading by Example

“Instruction is good for a child; but example is worth more.” ― Alexandre Dumas, Twenty Years After

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 good week.  Life continues to normalize a bit where we live, though I’m coming to doubt that there just won’t be any part of 2020 that qualifies as normal.  And, maybe that’s a good thing.  A lot of (justified) anger out there and, hopefully, an equal amount of reflection and self-examination.  If you’re a person prone to reflection and self-examination, that is.

And, while things have started to open up here, it’s a little one-sided and may reinforce some bad trends.  Restaurants have been opening up for the last couple of weeks to one degree or another. Friends who were under quarantine are now getting together socially.  So, we’re all back to eating and drinking as much or more than we were under quarantine. Gyms, on the other hand, are still largely closed or are just beginning to open with limited access.  So, plenty of bad food, plenty of bad drink, but limited options for working it all off.  

While last week was a little subdued with respect to the number of comments, there was some good stuff.  Among the quotes I gravitated to:

"More, or perhaps the better word is 'different', responsibility falls on me because I'm in charge and I'm also a caring person." - Carol

"Yes. It's good to be boss." - Carol

“He thought I should no longer say please and thank you to him because that didn’t sound dominant to him. He said I should be more “imperious”, i.e. bitchy. I wasn’t comfortable dropping the social niceties, even though I expected him to treat my polite requests as orders. He was so insistent about it that one day I blew up and tore a strip off him for presuming to tell me how I had to speak. In the long run, as I became comfortable with my dominant status, I started to develop a bitchy tone, dropping the please and thank you’s. But I needed to follow my own path at my own pace.” - Danielle

“Incidentally, the problem wasn’t a reluctance to spank on my part. On the contrary, I had started to enjoy spankings. I liked having the power to humble Wayne that way. I liked the one-sided “discussions” when he was bent over with his bottom bared. I liked deciding whether to use the paddle, the hairbrush, or the strap, and how long and hard to apply them depending on my mood and the reason for punishment. I liked the sound of the implements striking bare skin. I liked how responsive he was, physically and vocally. I think Brett is right about spanking being “a form of communication.” As such, it is a form of self expression for the spanker.” - Danielle

“I definitely felt more responsibility for his happiness at each stage than the stage before. I also feel more responsible for his behavior. The burden of that responsibility went down when we acknowledged that we have a wife led marriage. Before, if he misbehaved, I would feel obligated to do something about it but wouldn't know quite what to do and I felt like I needed to convince him to accept whatever I did. Now, I know I can use my paddle anytime he acts up. It is still a burden, but much less so. Sometimes I feel obligated to paddle his behind when I would rather be doing something else. (I'm kinda embarrassed to admit that I sometimes get into a mood where I really enjoy it.)” – Anonymous

Lots of good stuff in there.  Some of the discussion regarding how the sense of responsibility felt by some of the disciplinary plays out, if at all, in how they themselves behave and whether it ensures that the rules and expectations are fair and reasonable. 

Basically, it got me thinking about whether making the rules and enforcing them have a positive influence on the leader’s own choices and behavior.  If your husband sometimes over-indulges in food or alcohol, does holding him responsible for those choices make you more likely to behave yourself?  If you discipline him for being a slob and not getting chores done, does that make you more likely to clean up your own messes?  If you hate his backseat driving, do you check your own tendency to tell others how to drive when you’re a passenger.

Or, in terms of impact of spanking on behavior, is it a purely one-way street?

Tell us about whether practicing DD makes you more or less likely to lead by example.  Has disciplining him made you more disciplined, whether at home or in other aspects of your life? Does your own behavior enter into your rule making or disciplinary practices?

I’ll end this post with a drawing Red posted a few weeks ago. It has nothing at all to do with this week’s post.  I just loved it, and it took me a good five minutes of staring before I could see “happy people.”

I hope you all have a good week. 

Sunday, June 7, 2020

The Club - Meeting 342 - Freedom & Control

"A submissive gives up control for freedom.  A Dominant gives up freedom for control.” - Unknown

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 years I’ve began every blog post with a line saying, “I hope you had a good week.”  Now, week after week it seems like a stretch wish.  We seem to go from one crisis to another to another.  I’m not sure I’ve ever gone through a period in which I’ve felt less in control, at least in terms of being able to influence the events in my life through thought or effort.

Yet, in other ways I’m taking control like I seldom have before.  I’ve talked before about making a major career transition.  Probably not “retirement” per se; I’m still kind of young for that.  But, a very significant change of pace and direction.  Like many people at this stage of life, I’m looking for ways to spend my time that are more about personal meaning and service, and less about economic necessity.  I’ve always hoped a time would come when what I do is more about doing things I like and giving back than about needing to earn a paycheck, though I’ve found that where retirement saving is concerned the bar seems to keep moving up.  You can always have a little more, right?

Well, I finally decided that it is all relative and the bar will keep moving up if I don’t consciously draw a line in the sand, to mix a whole bunch of metaphors.  So, I started taking action a couple of weeks ago to start the process of winding down.  It likely will be more of a process than an event, but it feels good to get things rolling.  It feels good to take control and move events forward, instead of just drifting along the established path. I've also hit a point where I'm worried about regrets I'll have later if I stay in the same rut even if it is a pretty lucrative rut.

That feeling of control and the need to assert it is definitely part of what is driving my need for a change.  I work in a pretty large organization, which implicitly means not having direct control over many things.  Even when decision making is decentralized and fairly democratic, the decisions are being made by a group and not by me.  There are times I’m 100% sure that I’m right about organizational or management issue, yet the decision goes the other way.  And, I’m kind of tired of that.  I want something smaller and simpler, but bound up in that is a burning desire to have a life that is less subject to decisions I didn’t make.

Now, you see where this is going, don’t you?  A big part of the attraction of Domestic Discipline for some Type-A personalities like mine is giving up some level of control and, rather, having rules and consequences imposed.  That desire to give up control is reflected in my metaphysical pursuits like meditation, mindfulness and Zen. 

At the top of this post is a quote that I came across a few years ago.  In two short sentences, it seemed to sum up for me the trade-offs involved in Domestic Discipline and, to an even greater extent, FLR.  There may (or may not) be some negotiation of the rules, but once they are set the disciplined husband loses some freedom.  His actions are now subject to some painful consequences that are purposefully designed to change, and thereby limit, the choices he makes.  For the Disciplinary Wife, there is a corresponding tradeoff.  To the extent she takes her role seriously, it involves taking on responsibility for disciplining someone when they fail to show self-discipline.  It means being consistent and diligent and exercising good judgment.

There is an inherent paradox in the quote above, and it’s the same paradox I come across in metaphysical pursuits like Zen.  Trying to control everything is exhausting and often pointless, and a sense of freedom emerges when you stop controlling things and let life go where it will.  So, while it may seem paradoxical that giving up control ultimately gives one a greater sense of freedom, I believe it is true and potentially a life changing perspective.  As I transition to a new phase of life, I’m seeing more and more of those paradoxes, and sometimes it feels like the various themes are not only paradoxical in themselves but even contradict each other.  I want to leave myself open to more of what life might have to offer, so I’m consciously not laying out a plan for what this next phase will look like.  Yet, moving out of my current career is very much about wanting to assert more control over my day-to-day activities.  Whatever I do, it almost certainly will involve a big drop in income, so frugality becomes a concern in a way it hasn’t been in the past.  Yet, as I said in an exchange with KD last week, there seems to be a certain sense of freedom in denying myself some material things.  

With all that said, I still have a hard time articulating how it is that there is a sense of freedom in handing over control to someone else.  And, it is also true that there are some areas in which yielding control does not result in an increased sense of freedom. When Anne gave a spanking in anger a couple of weeks ago, being reined in and told how she expects me to treat her felt very powerful and right.  Yet, there have been a couple of instances lately where she tried to exercise control over personal behavior issues that did not really affect her and I found myself not particularly caring what she thought.  Things like whether I had two beers or three as I was reading and watching television and she was doing something else. Maybe it’s about the extent to which a rule or direction seems to be arbitrary or pointless?  I think that may be one dividing line between men who are into DD and men who are truly submissive.  I get turned on by having her exercise power over me when it serves some purpose or involves being held accountable for some real failing.  Yet, I think I would start chafing pretty quickly if her exercises of power seemed arbitrary or capricious while some men would get very turned on being subject to such arbitrary control.  And, I’m not wholly consistent in how I react to being subject to rules I don’t actively consent to; sometimes being subject to discipline that seems “unfair” is a turn-on and sometimes it’s not. 

How does this work in your DD relationship?  Do you, in fact, feel a certain freedom in giving up some level of control?  How far does that extend?  Are there some areas where giving in to her rule setting works and some where it doesn’t?   

Conversely, for the wives who assume control, does that give you a sense of freedom or does it impose a sense of responsibility or burden?  Or, is it both at the same time?  Is it freeing to make decisions without checking with him and even more so to impose your own rules or decisions on him? Assuming that, as the quote indicates, such freedom comes along with a certain exchange between freedom and control--because you are now taking on additional responsibility and leadership--is that trade-off something you feel comfortable with?

I hope you all have a great week, or as great as possible under the circumstances.