“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 Couple’s 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 uneventful. Work continues to scale down as I approach a real exit point. I actually toyed with taking off ahead of my current plan, but the powers-that-be didn’t want to take me up on it. I have this aversion to getting paid to do next to nothing—probably a holdover from my very blue collar roots—so I’m trying to treat dealing with that aversion as a growth experience. And, it’s not like I’m losing a lot of life changing opportunities by riding it out a little while longer. I spent most of the winter rehabbing from the fix for a chronic injury, and although it is coming along, I’m not going to be training for an Ironman any time in the near future. And, while spring and summer outdoor activities are just around the corner, our weather is not quite there yet. In fact, we have a surprising amount of snow left from a storm a couple of weeks ago.
So, I ended up spending the week doing some minor home renovation projects, catching up on some reading, and binge watching a Netflix series. And, of course, having fun with the good discussions we had last week, even though (or perhaps because), they strayed quite a bit from the original topic. That is fine and, in fact, I keep thinking I need to make these weekly discussions less topic driven. So, don’t be surprised if some weeks I spend time talking or observing, and then kind of let people take things where they will (within reasonable limits). Given that I’m once again not particularly inspired by any particular topic, this may be one of those weeks. So, let's meander a bit based on last week's discussions and see where it leads . . .
I was amused and, frankly, a little turned on by their very frank admissions that they would like to see their adult brothers spanked. I don’t know why those admissions turn me on, but they do. I think maybe it reflects the simple fact that I find women expressing their genuine desires around DD and exercising power very seductive, including something as straightforward as admitting that spanking someone, or witnessing a spanking, turn them on. I wonder whether the mutual attraction to the power exchange is a big part of what makes long-term DD marriages work, even if the level of interest begins on very different levels. I also wonder sometimes whether my own interest in the power exchange aspects has changed over time, or whether I misinterpreted some of the nature of the early obsession. As I noted in a comment to ZM:
I am not turned on by the spanking itself, and definitely not in the moment. It's really about the power differential. Interestingly, a few weeks ago I went back and read some of the stories on the DWC site that first attracted me so much to DD, and it was interesting how many of them did have a pronounced FLR element. While I always think of FLR as something we've dabbled in outside of or in addition to DD, it makes me wonder how much of the original obsession was tied to the FLR elements and not specifically to DD. But, that's not quite right either, because the FLR/power exchange elements don't do that much for me absent the whole dynamic of accountability, boundaries. Though, I wonder whether those are about the authenticity of the power exchange and not really about a desire for punishment? As Brett says, it's complicated stuff.
Belle and Danielle both responded that the power imbalance in their favor turns them on as well:
This is definitely the turn-on for me, the power exchange. He is so much bigger and stronger, yet he obeys me (and only me). In some ways it is an expression of his love, so while I am usually in the moment irritated about the behavior that has triggered the punishment, I also love him for his obedience and am aroused by it. Anger, love, arousal ... it's intoxicating!
I agree completely with Anne and Belle: it is the power exchange that turns me on. I have come to find spanking itself kind of erotic, but that's because it is so symbolic of the power exchange. Other forms of power exchange turn me on too, sometimes even more. That's why I like having a full FLR rather than just DD.
These discussions around origins and motivations always fascinate me, precisely because we are all such complicated creatures and there clearly is no one “right” answer for how we get ourselves into these arrangements which—whether DD, FLR or some mix of the two—all involve some consciously arrived at allocation of authority that includes the authority to correct or punish. The unique mix of motivations reminds of a poll I took back in 2017 (when Blogger still had a polling widget) that tried to explore the various motivations for getting into DD. Respondents were allowed to pick more than one answer, and the percentage choosing each option I gave in that poll were as follows (in descending order):
Handing control over to someone for a while 55%
I like my wife strong and powerful 51%
Boundaries and rules make me feel better or safer 38%
It's primarily about a spanking interest or fetish 36%
Stress relief 35%
I like pain 9%
As I noted when posting this poll originally, it may be one of the worst I've ever done. Among the numerous problems I see in retrospect, it's missing at least one option that I suspect would have ranked pretty highly, namely performance improvement. Maybe that option is kind of wrapped up in "accountability," but only obliquely. I also wonder what would have happened had I forced people to choose their primary motivation.
In any event, it seems a happy coincidence that men inclined toward DD like “handing over control” to “strong and powerful” wives, while our strong and powerful wives get turned on by having the power to take control even if the degree to which they exercise that control varies widely. And, on balance, it’s probably a good thing that there are strong women out there who are willing to take control. I hear KD’s points about gender stereotypes and not over-generalizing, but it doesn’t seem that controversial to me that on average, men really do seem to be having a harder time of it than women these days. While discrimination still obviously exists, I don't think it is a stretch to say that it is increasingly becoming a female dominated world. In 2009, the number of women in the workforce exceeded men for the first time. In 2014, women accounted for 55% of undergraduates in four-year colleges. Once there, they tend to earn higher grades and drop out less. In 2019, women for the first time comprised a majority of the college educated workforce. Women now get more Masters and Doctorate degrees than their male counterparts.
So, women are doing great. Men? Not so much. While a little dated and hardly scientific, a study in 2014 showed that 88.7% of Darwin Award (given to people who “eliminate themselves in an extraordinarily idiotic manner, thereby improving our species' chances of long-term survival”) winners were male. Other truly scientific statistics are just as telling. Between the ages of 15 and 24, men are three times more likely to die than women, because they are far more likely to engage in reckless behavior or violence. Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of death for males in this age group, followed by homicide, suicide, cancer and drowning. Here is some additional and updated background on these statistics, if you’re interested:
Even when they aren’t killing
themselves and flunking out college, doesn’t it seem like the latest generation
of men just need some – motivation? There
is a scene I love in an otherwise cute if uninspiring De Niro movie, The
Intern. Anne Hathaway’s character, “Jules”,
owns her own company. While out enjoying
some libations with several of her young male employees after a (contrived and
fairly silly) caper, Jules offers the following assessment of the respective states
of affair for young men and women:
Jules : Here's my theory about this. We all grew up during the "take your daughter to work day" thing, right?
Ben : Mm-Hmm.
Jules : So we were always told we could be anything, do anything. And I think guys got, maybe not left behind, but not quite as nurtured, you know? I mean, like, we were the generation of "you go, girl."We had Oprah. And I wonder sometimes how guys fit in, you know? They still seem to be trying to figure it out. They're still dressing like little boys. They're still playing video games.
[male employees interjecting about the wonders of video games]
Jules : How, in one generation, have men gone from guys like jack Nicholson and Harrison Ford to... [nodding at slacker male employees]
So, while I hear KD about over-generalizing and about women having lots of their own issues, it does seem to me that it isn’t that controversial to maintain that on average, men do seem to have the greater need for some additional discipline and motivation.
On the other hand, I do think it’s become a little too easy to characterize every stray male comment or action to some peculiarly male bit of malice or incompetence. This has been, after all, the year that being a “Karen” became a thing, right?
While definitions vary, I kind of liked this from the New York Post:
“Karen” has become social-media shorthand meaning a middle-aged white woman — potentially with an asymmetric haircut a la Kate Gosselin, circa 2009 — who makes a big fuss, and is not-so-blissfully ignorant. Recently, a fake American Girl doll ad for “Karen” caught the eyes of Twitter: The doll mock-up is of a sweatsuit-wearing, gun-wielding shopper who “refuses to wear a mask in public places.
So, it seems there are plenty of women out there who exemplify the worst of the stereotypes women have taken to slinging about us hapless men – social aggression, stupidity, lack of concern for the welfare of herself and others . . . Not a pretty picture, and maybe it explains why M/f domestic discipline seems at least as prevalent as our community’s F/m version. Though, of course, the attacks on the Karens of the world can be just as over the top as those aimed at the most innocent example of manly incompetence.
In that vein, I had a run in this week with the female version of “mansplaining.” I have a covid-era puppy who missed some socializing thanks to the pandemic. He’s a sweet little guy with people most of the time, but he can be kind of an asshole with other dogs. I’ve been trying to catch him on social skills by taking him to a local dog park. Some days he does OK. Others not so much. But, he usually does better after he has a chance to get settled in. Therefore, now when we first get there, I tend to keep on the leash a while if he is showing signs of being aggressive. And, I feel like I have to take him to places with other dogs; otherwise he’s never going to learn to socialize. So, a few days ago I went to the park later in the day than I usually go, which meant instead of the regulars there were dogs and their owners who were strangers to us. I took him into the park area with his leash on, and the dog started acting like a jerk, nipping and growling. So, I kept his leash on and walked him around so other dogs could come up to him, but he couldn’t run with them until he settled down. We were walking along a path in the general direction of three women who were hanging out talking while their dogs ran around. A couple of them came up to us and, sure enough, my dog started growling. At that point, one of the women started lecturing me about how keeping him on the leash would just make him more aggressive. I explained that he has a habit of being aggressive with other dogs and can’t be trusted off leash initially but usually will settle down after a few minutes. So, she segued into telling me that if he wasn’t friendly, perhaps I should take him to the other side of the park. I told her, again, that he can be perfectly friendly, but it just takes him a while to get comfortable. She started to once again give me her unsolicited advice, but I was irritated enough and just walked away. It wasn’t so much what she said, but the tone from this total stranger, a self-appointed know-it-all regarding dog training and dog park etiquette who inserted herself and just started running her mouth without knowing anything about my dog, me, etc. To KD’s point, it wasn’t mansplaining, womansplaining, Karen-splaining, or whatever. It was just passive-aggressive rude behavior from a note-it-all who happened to be a woman.
Though, the incident did have one curious effect on me. I’ve always said that I have no desire to give a woman a disciplinary spanking. None. But, you know what? I would have loved to put that woman over my knee or would gladly pay to watch her husband do it.
Like I said, I have no real topic for this week, so feel free to comment on anything the above brings to mind.