Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Club - Meeting 349 - Witnesses

But that intimacy of mutual embarrassment, in which each feels that the other is feeling something, having once existed, its effect is not to be done away with. - George Eliot

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.  Mine was tiring.  Several very early morning meetings, back to back.  I’m rolling into the weekend pretty exhausted.  While my week was tiring but boring, for others it was a little more exciting.  Who in the world could have predicted stuff like this would be happening in real life:

Well, we shall continue to let 2020 play out as it will.  For this week, however, let’s get right to it.  Our discussion last week was about severity, but one of line of comments went off on the subject of humbling, and then became more focused on the issue of others knowing.  A light bulb apparently went on for ZM’s wife, and she seemed to understand a bit better about one of this fantasies – others knowing and possibly witnessing a spanking.  She even identified a mutual friend as the possible witness.  Now, at this point it sounds like they are just talking through one of his fantasies, but these things have a way of taking on a life of their own.  So, I hope he will keep us updated on that front.  In the meantime, the discussion led Liz to suggest this topic:

For both husbands and wives, if there WAS going to be a witness, with no getting out of it, who would you choose and why?

It’s a great question, and one permutation on it is who would be doing the choosing.  In looking back at some older posts where we talked about witnesses, I found this anonymous comment:

We have often discussed telling another woman about our spanking activities and this has been a very exciting fantasy for both of us. Recently, however, my wife has suggested that we take this fantasy and make it real. She has told me to choose among three women who will be told about my spankings. I must choose either her mother, her sister or her old college roommate who will be coming to visit for a month this summer.

I posted this issue as a question on a Yahoo forum last week and have gotten some interesting advice. (Too many thought all three should be told. That is not going to happen.) My wife wants to tell her sister because she hates keeping secrets from her. And she has pointed out that when her old friend visits for a month, it is possible that I will be spanked during that time and it might be easier if she knew ahead of time.

In my mind, I have ruled out her mother. (That just seems icky.) I find the thought of either of the other two knowing exciting (but that is still fantasy). My wife has insisted that this is going to happen. The only choice I have is which one gets told. I seem to recall that in your old guest book (that is now offline) many of your “guests” told stories not only of others knowing but of others actually getting involved. My wife and I used to really enjoy reading those comments (but of course we don’t know how many were just the guests’ own fantasies).

He eventually chose his wife’s college friend. His story makes me feel some vicarious embarrassment just reading about it.  While having a witness seems inherently humbling or embarrassing, at least the first time, having to participate in choosing the witness seems even more so.  But, the torture wasn’t quite that simple, as his wife told him that she intended to tell her friend soon but refused to tell him when, leaving him with the possibility of talking to the friend without knowing whether she had been told yet and trying to figure it out for himself.  Evil women.  😈

Interestingly, while witnessed spankings are the exception for most of us in our adult DD relationships and the prospect seems very embarrassing, I'm guessing a fairly large number of us have experienced one in our youth. Witnesses were not uncommon at all when I was  growing up.  Indeed, adults had no hesitation to spanking in public, in front of adults or other kids.  

And, while being spanked with others knowing or witnessing was embarrassing, wasn’t it also titillating in some way to know that someone you knew was getting a spanking or about to be spanked?

And, as we discussed last week, even having someone in your life who knows about your spankings can be embarrassing even if unwitnessed.

So, who would I choose?  That’s really hard.  I honestly cannot envision it happening with any of my family.  Same with my wife’s.  It’s just not the kind of thing any of them would do.  Though, I do have one sister who has always kind of resented me, and I suspect that she might actually get off on watching me get spanked.  My wife really doesn’t like or respect her siblings, and hates her sister, so I think as a practical matter her family is out as well. 

That leaves friends, whether hers, mine or mutual.  I don’t know many of her friends all that well, but it’s hard for me to envision any of them who I know being into watching her husband get spanked.  Which leaves my friends or mutual friends.  As I’ve recounted before, to my knowledge, there are only two people who know who I am and that my wife gives me real disciplinary spankings.  One is a mutual friend (female) my wife and I have known for many years.  The original connection was through me, but she and my wife also got close over time.  I have been friends with this woman for many years.  One day we were having a few drinks at happy hour.  She asked how my wife was doing and how things were going for us, and I found myself blabbing to her about this new lifestyle we were exploring.  I can't say I wasn't embarrassed talking about it, though this friend is one of the least judgmental people I've ever known, so I was really more embarrassed by the kinky nature of the activity and my male reticence to talk about such things openly than out of fear that she would judge me for engaging in it.

The other person who knows me and knows that I am spanked is a female blogger in an FLR relationship. We started corresponding with each other through blog comments, then through emails, and over time we developed enough mutual trust that we were comfortable revealing who we are in "real life."

For me, either of these two women could be a candidate to witness a spanking.  I suspect my wife would prefer our mutual friend, if only because she is, in fact, a friend to both of us and one with whom we have a long relationship.  The issue I see with it is that, while she is very non-judgmental, she’s almost too much so. What do I mean by that? Well, I think KD hit it on the head last week regarding why it is more embarrassing when the person who knows is either in the lifestyle or actively believes we deserve what we’re getting:

These people aren't mistaking this talk of spanking for spicy conversation over some playful bedroom kinkiness that Rosa is revealing. They understand these are real spankings for actual issues. And while being on the receiving end of even a playful spanking is more embarrassing than being known as the person on the giving end, having someone know that the spankings are painfully real punishments is much worse.

And the second factor is their degree of support. We've opened up to some people who are 'accepting' of this quirk, but aren't overly in agreement that this is some ideal arrangement. It's more like they're OK with it, but that's kind of it. When people like that are let in on something, their knowledge is embarrassing, but not nearly as much for me as if the person is more enthusiastically in support of Rosa's authority. We are out to a lot of people and the vast majority fall into that accepting category, but there are a special handful that fall into the more supportive category.

Essentially the reason people like this knowing are more embarrassing than others is that they understand the spankings are real, AND think they're an appropriate outcome for me in particular. It's that combination that seals the deal.

Our mutual friend is very accepting, but she isn’t into disciplinary spankings herself, and I think she might actually be a little too forgiving of my faults, having experienced them first hand for many years.  If Anne were to spank me in front of her, I think her reaction might look something like this: 

On the other hand, my blogging friend checks a lot of boxes that might maximize the embarrassment.  She is very strict with her own husband, and I think it is unlikely that she would be looking askance or clutching her pearls at witnessing a spanking. She also would be pretty likely to actually encourage one if she thought I deserved it.  I think she’d be a lot like Tomy describes Aunt Kay at certain DWC functions where men were sentenced to be spanked for their transgressions then led away for it to happen.  She’s quite a bit younger than me, which makes it seem even more embarrassing.  Finally, we are in the same profession and actually do have some contact with each other in that context, which is always weird in the moment because I'm hyper-aware that she knows about my DD lifestyle and no one else in that context does.   

It all adds up to a scenario that theoretically could happen (though I think it highly unlikely that Anne actually would spank me in front of this person or anyone else), which makes me feel embarrassed just thinking about it. And, isn’t embarrassment the point?  This isn’t something I want to happen, but if it did, and if it were to have a disciplinary goal, it would have to be embarrassing or humbling to have that, right?  For that reason, I'm not sure something like hiring a pro to witness a spanking would have much emotional impact.  I think that kind of impact really would require the participation of someone I either know fairly well or am likely to encounter in vanilla settings.   I doubt I would be that embarrassed in front of some stranger I’d never see again. Though, I could be wrong.

Of course, things might look different from Anne’s perspective. I could see her gravitating toward someone she knows very well, like our mutual friend.  Or, one of her other friends who might be more open to something like this than I know.  I can see how that might really unleash something in her.  Alan has observed that his wife’s spankings in front of a witness tend be even harder than his unwitnessed spankings.  It’s almost like the wife is showing off, or declaring her power and authority to deliver a real spanking.  

Would it ever happen?  As I said, I really doubt it.  But, who knows?  She definitely is more comfortable in her power these days, and for all I know she might get off on displaying it. In fact, I'm not sure that wasn't the case more than a decade ago when I told our mutual friend that Anne spanks me. They later had a very frank conversation about it over drinks at a football game, then called me from their car and Anne told me over the speaker phone that she and our friend had talked all about how I am spanked and why.  She capped it off by announcing that I would be getting one that night.  So, it’s not quite as big a leap as it seems now, when we've settled into certain patterns and left openness still mostly unexplored. 

Although, perhaps a witnessed spanking is not likely in the cards for you, if it were who would you choose to be the witness if, once chosen, there was no getting out of it?  Why?  How do you think that person would react?  For the wives, how do you think it would make you feel to spank your husband in front of someone?  Or, if that is too big a stretch, what about just telling someone that you spank your husband? Is that something you have done?  Is it something you can see yourself doing in the future?  If so, who would you tell?  For the men, do you have a desire for others to know you are spanked?  How about taking the next step and being subjected to a spanking with a witness?  How do you think that would make you feel?

Have a great week.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

The Club - Meeting 348 - Severity Revisited

A person who is knowingly bent on bad behavior, gets upset when better behavior is expected of them. - Jane Austen

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 fairly frustrating. Lots of work drama, much of it set off by my recent announcement that I’d like to start transitioning out of my current roles. It’s becoming apparent that this transition is not going to be pain free and may end up taking a few more months than I’d hoped. And, in the meantime, a return to the office any time soon doesn’t seem very likely given the current Covid trends.  What a screwed up year, and I’m starting to get a little concerned that 2021 may end up looking a lot like 2020.

I liked last week’s discussion, even if I didn’t participate in a lot of it.  It doesn’t really surprise me very much that most of the people answered KD’s question affirmatively regarding whether DD would likely continue in some form even if one’s behavior was suddenly perfect. There were a small number of us who said it might not. It surprised me a little bit more that the women who responded seemed to be unanimous in admitting they kind of enjoy holding the power and might have a hard time giving it up. I’m not surprised they feel that way, but I am a little surprised they all admitted it.  I feel like I might have gotten a different answer back when I first started the blog; it seems like there is an increasing openness among some women when it comes to declaring that they like being in charge.

This week’s topic extends from a comment Belle passed along a couple of weeks ago from her Jimmy.  When asked what he likes and dislikes about DD, his dislike centered on this: 
"I wish she didn't spank quite so hard. I think I would still get the message." (Belle, I found this picture in my collection – it reminded me of how you've described the relationship between you and Jimmy.)

These days, I am kind of there with Jimmy. From the beginning, we have taken Domestic Discipline seriously.  Though it clearly has erotic overtones, it isn't part of a kinky game for us.  The goal really did remain to make me pay a price for bad behavior such that I would be less likely to do it again.  My earliest exposure to Domestic Discipline reinforced that the starting place should be to err on the side of severity. Aunt Kay of the Disciplinary Wives Club advised: "The harder you spank him, the more he will love you for it."  And, I still believe there is a lot of truth in that. I also believe that if it isn't really hard, and designed to push him not only to his limits but somewhat beyond them, then is it really punishment?  If it's something you can easily take, then how are you really being punished? And, over the course of the first few years, I was definitely the one fixated on "hard" spankings.

As time goes by, however, I’ve had more doubts about the "harder is better" premise.  Over the years, I followed the “more severe is better” path into experimenting with scarier and scarier tools. We ended up getting rid of several of them, including rubber straps that we found did way too much damage. I’ve also found over the last couple of years that many of our wooden paddles seem to hurt much worse than they used to. I really don’t know whether my butt has gotten more sensitive over time or if Anne is swinging harder. Yet, even as the spankings have come to feel more severe over the years, I’m hard pressed to say they are more “effective.” For example, after about 15 years of being in this lifestyle, I’ve never once gotten to a point of tears, even with extremely painful implements, like those rubber straps.  After a certain point of severity, I just cannot give into the process and reach any point of actual submission or surrender when she is strapping me with them.  My mind becomes so singly fixated on just trying to get through it, there is no way for me to give in.  I not only do not surrender, I become more resistant to surrendering.  

Now, one could argue that tears are more my goal than hers, and if she is delivering an incredibly hard spanking, then I am being well and truly punished and am surely less likely to commit that same offense in the future. But, I’m finding that isn’t really true either.  Instead, I think the way it really works is I just get less inclined to self-report, and I find myself trying to create distractions or excuses so she either forgets about her intent to give a spanking or ends up showing mercy when she probably shouldn’t. 

The plain fact is, even though we are basically empty nesters these days, over the last years the frequency of spankings has dropped, not gone up, and I have to be honest about the fact that part of that is because I am finding ways to delay or avoid.  And, of course, all that defeats the entire purpose of acting for discipline and accountability.  It’s kind of like KD’s observation about pickpockets engaging in their trade during public hangings – severity by itself may not deter the crime though it may make the culprit more careful or sneakier. .  

I am more and more convinced that frequency and consistency are more effective than really severe pain, and that severity may work against frequency and consistency. Honestly, I really believe she might have better luck really changing my behavior if she stuck with two or three effective but not over-the-top instruments and spanked way more often but with each session being less of a long, staged event.  In one of his comments last week, Alan observed:

The more authority a woman feels, the more likely she is to use it to shape her husband’s behavior beyond the issues that led them to adopt a DD lifestyle. A wife often discovers or becomes aware of additional behaviors that she decides to correct. In effect as a relationship matures, discipline becomes stricter and standards are increased.

It hasn’t really worked that way for us, but I think it is what Anne should be aiming for – setting higher standards, being stricter and more quick to punish, but with the caveat that really long and severe sessions be reserved for really exceptional conduct. I still believe that a disciplinary spanking should be an event to remember and that a certain amount of severity is required. But, I also think it’s more about frequency and duration than “hardness” per se.  For me, there seems to be some sweet spot where it hurts a lot, but not so much that my defenses become impossible to surmount. I also think that focusing more on being strict and punishing frequently but less severely could actually reinforce her own feelings of power and control, because she would be exercising her authority more often and being more “bossy” more consistently.

I also find myself really wanting spankings that feel more parental, which in my mind is associated with things like being taken over her knee and spanked with a smaller paddle, which we have almost never done in the past because of concerns the position wasn't very good for delivering a really hard spanking.  Yet, while other positions may produce more pain, being disciplined for me is also about being humbled, and being made to put myself over her knee just seems more humbling than laying over an inanimate object like our bedroom ottoman. Other spanking positions that in my mind are associated with parental or school discipline include being told to bend over a desk or table. So, if she wasn't in the OTK mood or wanted a more immediate spanking, she could take me to her office for a quick paddling. I truly believe that 10 or 20 paddle swats that happened more frequently might get my attention just as effectively as our longer sessions, and might render avoidance less likely.

Any thoughts on this?  Is harder necessarily “more effective”?  Is strictness about being willing to give really hard spankings, or is it more about consistency and frequency?  For those like Alan and ZM who report their wives have gotten stricter over time, can you explain that more in the context of severity, consistency, duration, etc.?

I hope you have a great week.

Monday, July 13, 2020

The Club - Meeting 347 - Perfection Achieved

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

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.

Hi all. I hope you had a good week.  I’m sorry for not getting a post out yesterday. I’d like to say I have a good excuse, but not really. I planned to post yesterday, but I got caught up in trying to finish a very long book and decided to do that instead.  In the meantime, KD had already done my work for me, coming up with this proposed topic:

"If starting tomorrow, behavior suddenly improved to a point that DD was no longer warranted......what would you do going forward? Would you drop DD completely? Change it to something else? Essentially, without the rationale of behavior as the impetus, would you resort to living out your days as a harmonious "vanilla couple" or "kinky couple" who continues to use spanking for less 'real' issues?”

It’s a great topic and cuts right to the heart of what our real motivations are.  If I wanted to engage in the kind of semantic quibbling that KD and I are prone to engage in with each other, I could give the surface level answer that, if behavior is great such that there is truly nothing to address or to try to improve from either party’s perspective, then almost by definition any spanking that is happening isn’t “DD” anyway. So, the issue isn’t really whether you would drop DD, but whether you would drop spanking or, probably more accurately, drop the disciplinary rationalization or justification for the spanking.

But, that’s a bit too easy.  For myself, I would answer it like this:  My motivation for DD has always been tied primarily to the accountability element and only secondarily to the spanking element.  So, if all of a sudden my behavior and performance became perfect in both my eyes and hers, I doubt I would feel much motivation for corporal punishment or its trappings. And, this isn’t just theoretical.  I have had periods where my desire for that part of our couple dynamic just vanished.  It happened once after I had surgery. Some residual impact of the anesthesia left me totally and completely uninterested in DD, DD blogging, DD art, etc. for several weeks. It just vanished. So, I do know that life without the desire for DD is possible. Moreover, I’ve gotten close to that absence of desire for DD at times when I’ve seemed to be getting to some deeper level in my meditation practice. There have been a few times here and there when I would reach a semi-sustained level of contentment, and at those rare times most of the desire for accountability went away. 

So, again, I know there is some state of being I could get to in which DD just would not be something I cared about. But, to answer KD’s question about whether the kinky side of DD would go forward, it’s complicated.  I’m sure kinkiness would go forward in some form, but I’m not sure it would be anything like DD or spanking fetish stuff. I kind of doubt it, because for me when you remove the accountability element, the spanking element alone just doesn’t do that much for me.  A more open question is whether the FLR and dominance elements would continue. Perhaps. As time goes on, Anne clearly becomes more and more openly into being in charge.  And while part of me resists it, another part undeniably finds it sexy.  But, it’s hard for me to say how tightly linked that is to DD since our explorations in that area began with DD and could possibly end with it. Honestly, I just don’t know.

Now, ZM provided a much different answer in his response to KD. He is emphatic that his DD desires are linked only in small part to whether a change in behavior actually happens:

- There is a big difference between benefits and reasons. For us one minor benefit is improved behavior - among many others such as unparalleled intimacy, better communication, and so on - but the REASON we do DD is quite simply because I have a fantasy/fetish/kink/need for imposed discipline.

- Probably DD could be effective without there being an underlying fantasy or kinky desire, but that would dramatically change the dynamic. Then it would be a lot more like being sent to the principal’s office was for most kids.

- If you remove most of the sexual element from it - i.e. Alan’s “nuclear option” - does that make the feelings around the whole thing seem more like the principal’s office experience.

- Huge paradox. How is it that something that I want and need so badly that I actually crave it can be used as a punishment? Some might say to make the punishment to not be spanked, though for me that wouldn’t work as well. For us, the key to this is that while I really, really crave all this every other time OTHER than when it is happening (or imminent). THEN I will do anything and everything to keep it from happening and I most sincerely do NOT want it to happen!

- The fact that is all at once so not wanted at the time, yet also so deeply tied into underlying fantasies is what gives it such incredible power and effectiveness for me. When she “speaks to me” in this way, she will be clearly heard, and it will stay present in my thoughts for days or weeks afterwards, so that can help to change even deep-rooted behaviors and attitudes.

- Another paradox. The act of spanking (at least in the context of marriage or relationship) is undeniably sexual, even though it is unbelievably unpleasant at the time and even if the “topic” or reason for the spanking (which is a real transgression) is not in any way sexual.

- this whole sexual and non sexual thing is what drives the secrecy dilemma. I really wish that someone - anyone - could know about this, since it is such a large part of what makes me tick. But because there is a sexual element, it is not easy to share.

- Why do we so need to convince ourselves that our DD relationship is not driven by a fantasy for it to be real? I can assure you, the times my wife has chosen to punish me, it has been because she was truly upset, irritated, disappointed, hurt, or frustrated. Yes, the whole DD thing plays into my fantasy, but the reasons are real enough, the punishments are a little too real, and the fact that there is an underlying fantasy just helps to really drive the message home.

- At the same time, there are those who need to convince themselves that the reasons for punishment are not all that real, so they can take comfort in knowing it is just some kinky game for them with trumped up reasons. Maybe they fear they might be seen as abusive bullies or something? My wife kind of fell in this camp in the beginning (she really needed it to be just a game), until she realized that DD was actually super effective at dealing with real feelings and issues. Of course, if we didn’t have DD, we would find other ways to work through problems - like simply talking or something - but we have DD, we have found it to be most effective, and we prefer it.

- I am going to assume that many people are here because the husband has a fantasy linked to spanking or imposed discipline which he has shared with his wife. Fantasies that are shared bring incredible intimacy, whereas fantasies that are hidden tend to bring about distance and even destruction. Also, trusting your wife to choose when, how, and how hard to punish you and also look out for your well-being causes another level of intimacy. So having experienced this type of intimacy, if you didn’t have DD, what would you do to not lose that level of intimacy?

What is your answer to KD’s question? If your behavior suddenly improved dramatically, would you still have the desire to be “disciplined” even if there was no bad behavior to correct? Would you go forward with something that looks a lot like your current kinky practices, even if the behavior modification element was no longer necessary? What would that look like?

Ladies, if he suddenly improved all those things that annoy you, hurt you or make you angry, would the desire to spank still be there? What about the desire to dominate or exercise your power or authority in some other way?

Have a great week.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

The Club - Meeting 346 - Better

"My dad will hide me anyway but hell, its worth a hiding! Let's do it! What do ya say?" - Chris Chambers in Stand by Me

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 pretty sedate in terms of actual workload, yet stressful at the same time. I’ve reported in the past that I was approaching an inflection point in my career, and now it is really happening.  All in all, I think it is a good thing, even if a little unsettling. In the end, it’s time to stop doing something that stopped being fun a long time ago. 
But, I am finding that shutting down something you spent 25 years building is every bit as hard as it should be. Much of last week was spent letting people know that I’m transitioning out, and that was hard. It also proved hard on my body, as several of those conversations ended up involving too many “virtual” happy hours with cocktails that were all too real. Part of my regrets the excessiveness of it all, but another part of me maintains it is worth it in the end, if I separate with the people who cared about me and who I cared about feeling like I took the time to hang out and engage.  Did it earn me a spanking? Probably. Was it worth it? Probably. Hence the quote above.

I hope all of you in the U.S. had a good holiday weekend. Ours was pretty low key.  Spent time hanging out at our vacation condo.  One of the kids and his/her significant other hung out with us.  Did some walks with the dogs and did a very nice motorcycle ride today.  All the while respecting social distancing and mask wearing rules.  Do you get the impression that mask wearing seems to be what separates states that are doing OK from those that aren’t? 

We are in one of the states that opened earlier than maybe we should have, yet we aren’t seeing a big upsurge in cases. Could that be because we are a purple state that didn’t turn mask wearing into some idiotic political statement? Yeah, I kind of think that had something to do with it. Don’t agree with me? We can debate it later.

I almost posted another notice saying “No Post This Week.”  I keep finding myself running out of time on the weekends. I think that is probably a good indicator that things are going in the right direction, because I am spending very little time working on the weekends these days (unlike most of my 25 year career), yet I’m staying busy with family, hobbies, and friends.  Speaking of friends, I had one those “synchronicity” moments a couple of weekends ago.  We went to a graduation party at some friends’ house, and they were serving Busch beer. Busch isn’t really a thing here (is it anywhere?), so it kind of caught my attention in light of the fact that just a couple of hours before I had seen this meme that I thought was amusing:

Now, thankfully despite these fun and productive weekends,  I ended up not needing to completely punt on a topic again, as Tomy had so nicely provided me with a suggestion earlier in the week. He sent me an email stating:

A topic might be something like specific examples of results that benefited the home etc. I know you have mentioned better behavior at work and the implied benefit is there. This is more like asking for detailed examples.  

Arthur mentioned being a "better employee." It brought to mind the story a couple from the old DWC days. The man married a woman who had a teenage son. She was an unapologetic spanking disciplinarian and if the kid messed up, had a bad report card, etc. she took him in the bedroom and spanked the daylights out of him.

Hubby did a lot of his work out of the home - maybe accounting - I don't recall. I think there as some element of it that she helped him with.  It was a small house and hubby, who didn't even know he had a spanking interest, clearly heard everything, and found himself basically turned on by it. He wrote to Aunt Kay and she encouraged him to talk to his wife about it which he did. She agreed on the condition that there could absolutely be no changing his mind.

What resulted in the long run was that their business improved dramatically to the point of their upgrading their home and lifestyle.

So, that is the topic for this week. Are there examples you can give of ways in which Domestic Discipline has benefited not just one of the two parties most directly involved but the household as a whole? 

There isn’t any question in my mind that DD has benefited our household as a whole, though some of it has been indirect. A few that come to mind:
  • We found DD at a time in which both of us were increasingly frustrated with my behavior. If something had not come around that (a) gave her more control; and (b) imposed some boundaries on my behavior, I think we could have been heading toward something like Liz has recounted, with her moving out and taking the kids with her. Now, I don’t know that things would have headed in that direction, but it is definitely within the range of likely possibilities. So, without DD there is some chance we would not have had a household at all.
  • Similarly, I think that DD kept things kinky and interesting, such that we didn’t really hit that “seven year itch” thing that really does seem to lead couples to look around at alternatives every seven years or so. Interestingly, we started doing DD a little more than 7 years into our marriage, at a point where things weren’t going all that smoothly. In the period since, we have never hit the kind of impasse that other couples seem to hit. I have to wonder whether that is because DD and FLR (a) led to growth on her part that kept her interesting to me; and (b) kept me from fucking up so badly that she would have shown me the door.
  • I’m not really sure whether DD has enhanced my career and my contribution to our household earnings over time. But, I am pretty sure that the confidence and better self-image Anne got as a result of it improved her career significantly. Again, while the cause and effect is not perfectly linear, I think that DD gave her the self-confidence to change her career direction, to get an advanced degree, and to take on leadership roles in her career.  When I listen to her on a Zoom call with colleagues today, there is a confidence there that I am not so sure would have resisted without her taking on a leadership role at home.
  • My wife grew up with what I consider a pretty piss-poor example of a wife and mother’s role. Her dad worked. Her mom raised the kids mostly without his help.  He drank and hung out with his buddies. She got pissy and confined him to the couch, but other than that, did little or nothing about it. I think that thanks to DD, our kids saw a more productive approach, with an empowered wife who drew meaningful lines and was her own advocate.
  • I know my kids have benefited from me thinking before I talk or, more pointedly, tease. I never intentionally hurt feelings, but the prospect of being spanked if I said something hurtful certainly made me think twice about saying something that might have been taken the wrong way and caused resentment.
So, those are my thoughts on concrete benefits of DD for the family as a whole. What can you tell us about how it has helped your household and the people in it?