Sunday, May 23, 2021

The Club - Meeting 376 - Preventative Spankings


"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." -- Benjamin Franklin


Hello all.  Welcome back to The Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, Domestic Discipline relationships, mainly of the Female/male variety.  I hope you had a good week.


Mine wasn’t bad, all things considered.  I went into it with some trepidation regarding some of my personal conduct issues.  As I alluded to a couple of times recently, in the back half of 2020 and the first part of 2021, for the first time in longer than I can remember, I seemed to make some actual progress on the health and behavior front, including a pretty substantial reduction in alcohol consumption, particularly binge drinking.  But, it’s not so easy turning on a dime from something like this (my profession really does feel depressingly like Mad Men sometimes) . . .



to something more like this . . .



While the progress of the last few months was real and undeniable, I knew going into it that May had the potential to be really stressful and, sure enough, this month has involved some backsliding.  By the end of last week I was pretty disgusted with it and started  thinking a lot about how to get back on track.  Hence, the quote at the top of last week’s entry regarding abstinence being easier than moderation, at least for those of us prone to excess.  But, I had a couple of events going on this week involved saying good-bye to some people I’ve been close to, where the relationship has always involved getting together and talking about life over a few beers.  I also had a dinner planned with Anne to celebrate an important milestone.  So, I really didn’t feel injecting a stilted abstinence into those social gatherings, but I kept worrying that with my track record, one or two drinks would lead to a bad night and yet more backsliding.  Well, somehow it didn’t turn out that way.  I attended those events, had a few drinks to celebrate people and events that are important to me, and nothing got out of hand.  Progress.

But, while I was ruminating about the prospect of things getting out of hand and possible means of nipping that in the bud, my mind drifted to this thing we do, and some of the comments naturally took me there. While our topic was spanking instruments, some of the discussion drifted into the topic of preventative spankings.  In response to a comment that referenced “maintenance” spankings, Liz observed:


“We do weekly spankings whether or not there have been any transgressions, but we don't call them maintenance. We consider them motivational: Art gets paddled every Monday morning to remind him to keep his arrogance to a minimum. I do believe in DD that is proactive in addition to reactive. Maybe that's what some couples mean by maintenance, but I don't care for the term. It sounds weird to me. I'm not his maintenance department. But yes, I like restricting DD to one day a week so it is not a dominating thing in our lives.”


 Alan responded: 


“’I do believe in DD that is proactive in addition to reactive.’ In one sentence Liz, you have captured the essence of ideal DD for me and I suspect many others. DD can be very effective as both a way to modify behavior and a relationship tool if it is just reactive. Many men and I include myself will thrive with DD that is just reactive. But if a woman takes a proactive position together with the energy it generates, DD reaches a new plateau. That’s one reason I believe that preventive spanking work so well-- because she is proactively managing behavior rather than waiting for misbehavior to happen and reacting to that. I don’t think I can express it better than that but it is both thrilling and intensely motivating when a wife acts proactively to establish or maintain discipline.”


Art also gave his perspective on the “preventative” nature of Liz’s spankings and also their limits:


“I also have come to believe in preventive DD. Liz paddles me every Monday morning as a reminder to curb my arrogance. She spanks hard enough that sitting is uncomfortable for 2-3 days and I can even feel it as I walk. And with the discomfort is the sense of being humbled by the corporal punishment. That discomfort serves as a constant reminder to be humble and keep my mouth shut when I want to make sarcastic comments. As the discomfort fades, so does my humility. All of my recent incidents of arrogance have come toward the end of the week. I obviously have not yet internalized the message. I continue to need that proactive external reminder and maybe I always will. For a few weeks I got a second paddling on Thursday mornings but Liz feels that should not be necessary and of course she is right. I must develop the self-discipline to keep my mouth in check for at least a full week. I am grateful to my wife for the externally applied discipline that has helped me improve my behavior.”



When we first addressed this topic a few years ago, Alan characterized “preventative spankings and their effects thusly:


"These are spankings administered before parties or events in which historically my behavior had earned me a spanking after the fact. Her reasoning was that if she was going to have to spank me eventually, she would prefer to avoid the behavior and get it done before rather than afterward. Most preventatives are done several hours before a party or we get into the car to travel and designed to give me a warm bottom that reminds me what could happen. With one unforgettable exception this does work to prevent really bad public behavior. It does not always make my behavior perfect but I am careful enough that she is satisfied. There are now three or four of these scheduled before holiday events and they have become so routine she actually often puts them on the calendar. This gets to your point about that second (or third) drink just pushing the reality of future punishment out of your mind.) The reality of punishment is very much on your mind after a recent spanking (For me that feeling lasts at least two or three days.) So sipping your drinks, avoiding family confrontations and boorish behavior is much easier.”



I used to be a skeptic about whether preventative spankings had a legitimate role in DD relationships.  It didn’t seem to qualify as real punishment or accountability,  and seemed to be more than a little unfair, since it seemed to involve “punishing” something that hadn’t even happened (yet).  But, I now definitely get their value in tackling deep-rooted behaviors that seem to arise in particular contexts.  Anne has done it only a couple of times, but when she did it truly did stay on my mind throughout events at which usually would have created a high risk of me over-indulging. 



For two reasons, I didn’t end up asking Anne for a preventative spanking prior to the social get-together that I was the most concerned about this week, though I thought about it.  First, the get-together was in the early afternoon, and Anne had to leave for work early that morning. That made a same-day preventative spanking logistically difficult to pull off. Second, I probably chickened out, using the logistics challenges as a rationalization. 


At the risk of asking people to comment further on something they addressed last week, let’s talk a little more about preventative spankings. Have you used them?  In what contexts?  Have they worked to prevent problem behaviors?  How do they compare to real punishment spankings in terms of severity and duration?  For the ladies, do you feel like addressing problems before they happen enhances your authority and feelings of being in charge?  For the men, do you find preventative spankings to be more or less humbling than punishment spankings, or are they about the same?


Have a great week.

Monday, May 17, 2021

The Club - Meeting 375 - Instruments

"For those who are given to excess, abstinence is easier than moderation." - John Drybred


Hello all.  Welcome back to The Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, Domestic Discipline relationships, mainly of the Female/male variety.  I hope you had a good week.


Well, I think last week will go down in history as the week the pandemic ended in the U.S.  Not “ended” ended, of course.  But, the week it ceased to be the defining fact around which so much of our life revolved.  The CDC announced that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask.  While many of the businesses I’ve been into this week still have signs requiring them, my gym—which has been very conservative and responsible throughout the pandemic—ended its mandate and took down the temperature screener it had installed at the front desk. 


Like so many big, complex, nuanced events, this one brought out the best and the worst in so many people.  I’d say this meme pretty much sums up whatever wisdom I take away from a year of lockdowns.



I admit I’m a little nonplussed at how little life changed in some ways and that a year of lockdown didn’t result in some profound change in the way I feel about, well, life in general.   



Though, at a practical level a few things did change, mostly for the better.  I seem to be one of the few people who can say that I actually lost weight over the pandemic, so thankfully I never experienced this:


Unlike so many, I managed to shed a couple of pant sizes over the last year, and so far I am keeping it off.  Also, and perhaps relatedly, while alcohol consumption soared across the nation during the lockdown, mine actually dropped pretty substantially. Though, there have been some troubling relapses lately.  (More on that below.)

I can’t say I will mess all the electronic team building and happy hours, though going back to the office will be a drag for many and may require some readjustment.



It would not bother me one bit to never, ever participate in another Zoom team meeting.  My inner introvert never liked meetings anyway, and Zoom meetings were even worse.  At least physical meetings during the pandemic were kept short, small and distanced.  Though, I had to laugh at this cartoon that I came across shortly after reading Liz’s latest story about Art’s arrogant behavior at work.  Maybe liberal mask wearing in meetings might literally have saved his ass? 



And, was mask wearing really all that bad?  It was almost like a fun fashion trend.


Thank god I was too old and committed to have to deal with dating, and its consequences, during a pandemic.



So, life is getting back to normal.  Unfortunately, so is some of my bad behavior.  I talked last time about the fact that after many weeks of relative temperance I kind of fell of the wagon.  It happened again last week.  To some extent, that’s happening because I’ve been in the process of transitioning away from work, and that has created its own surge in socializing.  But, I definitely do not want my new normal to look like my old normal. And, honestly, I really can’t let it.  For years I’ve had to deal periodically with some nagging health issues, basically a constellation of “chronic fatigue” or fibromyalgia-like symptoms, with period bouts of fatigue, joint pain, digestive problems, etc.  The irritating thing is, lately even when I am relatively good on average, if I have one slip up on diet or drinking or exercise, everything seems to go to shit.  It’s like I have to live like a Buddhist monk just to have a shot at feeling somewhat healthy.  It really is irritating as all fuck, though I suspect I have myself to blame by virtue of burning the candle at both ends for so many years.  Even back in high school I was living like I was on borrowed time.  I suspect when you spend 40 years digging an energetic hole, it takes more than a few months of relatively healthy behavior to pull yourself back out again.   



For those reasons, ZM and Something Random’s discussion about DD and maintaining health resonated with me, especially this from ZM:


“DD for health-related things is a very good idea. While it might seem a bit extreme to give a spanking for missing a pill or two, often these small patterns are what ultimately lead to poor health. An extra piece of cake or two here, not getting enough exercise this week because life got busy, not taking medicine when needed, etc. Since the marriage long term kind of requires both partners to be alive, I think it is a totally valid use of DD to help ensure that your spouse will be around for many happy and healthy years to come.”


Agreed 100%. However, I didn’t really feel like building a hole topic around that this week.  (Feel free to comment, however, on whether you have used DD to address health issues or behavior that has a bearing on health.)  Instead, I was feeling kind of lazy and uninspired, so I thought I would default to a very concrete topic that will probably bore the hell out of some of our long-term commenters but might give some insight to folks who are new to DD or thinking about trying it.  Last week, we had several comments about spanking implements.  When we first started DD, I had no idea how effective any particular element might be (or not be), and I had no idea where to find quality instruments or even what a quality instrument might look like.  I do remember the flimsiness of the first brush I bought for her.  It was laughably ineffective, and it sounds like Tomy had a similar experience.  It was only with a lot of experimentation over the coming months and years that I developed some strong views on what works and what either doesn’t work or, in some cases, works a little too well.  Yet, as my thoughts about the session with the hairbrush indicate, even today I can be forced to reevaluate some of those opinions.  Prior to that session, I was very skeptical about whether a hairbrush, no matter how heavy and solid, could deliver a spanking that I would truly be desperate to end.  Now I know it can, and she wasn’t even trying that hard.


So, tell us about your preferences around instruments.  Do you have one “go-to” instrument, or do you incorporate several into your disciplinary activities?  Do you use more than one per session?  Are there instruments you have found to work especially well?  Are there others you have tried that were either ineffective or, conversely, just too much?


To kick things off, I often think we have too many instruments at this point and too many are used in a given session.  It seems like sometimes just when it is building up to something that is genuinely pushing my limits, she will stop and switch to something else. Often something not as effective.  I’ve thought about suggesting that she just pick one per session and really use it to full effect. Though, I don’t think that would really work with the vast majority of our wooden paddles, as they all seem to result in a high degree of numbness after maybe 20 – 30 swats.  After that point is reached, they really aren’t accomplishing very much.


I’ve become a big believer in leather straps over the years. They seem to me to be the perfect combination of severe, but not too severe, and no many how many times she brings one down on my ass, there is very little numbness.  While I’ve bought a few over the years, her go-to looks a lot like this:



It's from the London Tanners, which is a great source for leather implements. It wasn't cheap, but the quality is great and it will last forever.   


A couple of years ago, Tomy was kind enough to share with me another strap from the DWC collection that looks deceptively mild.  It is pretty short – almost more of a leather paddle than a strap.  It isn’t long enough to really strike both cheeks at once, and that is exactly what makes it some ungodly painful.  The end of the strap always seems to find its way right between the cheeks, which is really excruciating.


We also have tried rubber straps, but they fit into a category that I was once not sure existed, i.e. they are too severe.  I’m not sure why they are so much worse than leather, but they are.  In addition to inflicting really unreasonably sharp pain, they were very prone to cutting and tearing the skin.  After trying several, I finally threw them all way. Way too many spankings came to an abrupt end after a rubber strap cut into the skin, which is counterproductive to teaching a real lesson. So, Anne fully agreed with the decision to get rid of them.


Then there is the bath brush.  Anne doesn’t use it every session, but it definitely is use in a lot of them.  Belle forward me this picture. It’s not the same brand that we have, but the size and shape are pretty similar.



If a couple had to choose only one instrument, the bath brush should be high up on the list of contenders.  It is very painful – far more than most hairbrushes.  The combination of a wide—but not too wide—head and longer handle can deliver a truly memorable spanking. I also don’t tend to get numb nearly as fast with the bath brush than with a larger paddle.


Those are my initial thoughts on instruments.  Please share some of yours.


Have a great week.


PS: Received these from Tomy in relation to his comment below regarding a recent gift from his daughter:


Sunday, May 9, 2021

The Club - Meeting 375 - Readers Talk About Recent Spankings

When you don't respond to bad behavior, you get more of it. - Carly Fiorina


Hello all.  Welcome back to The Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, Domestic Discipline relationships, mainly of the Female/male variety.  I hope you had a good week.


Mine was pretty uneventful.  Downright boring, in fact.  Part of that was due to weather.  This seems to be an uncharacteristically cold and wet May where we live.  It was gray, rainy and cold almost the entire week.  So, I didn’t get much accomplished beyond some minor yard work and reading a few books.  Although it is easy to blame the weather coupled with the fact that work was a non-factor, I still feel like I should have set a more ambitious agenda for the week. Seems like being slothful like this could become a real habit in the absence of some concrete goals. Before this laziness gets any worse, I may need to think about coming up with some ambitious non-work goals that would require a little effort, perhaps by looking back at our discussion a few weeks ago about DD and goal setting.



Last week’s conversation took some interesting turns.  Couples’ respective views on goals covered a lot of territory, and some of the dividing line seemed to be around the inverse relationship between the clarity of the rules and the perceived need for warnings, with those who had the most concrete rules seeing little or no need for warnings. I also thought the discussion around captioned photos was productive, even if I didn’t agree with a lot of the points.  It’s nice when you can have people with diametrically opposing views manage to hold a civil conversation.



As for this week’s topic, thanks to Liz for providing one, since I had nothing in mind.  Liz stated: “Dan, you mentioned you got spanked last week for the first time in a long time. Maybe the whys and wherefores of that incident could be extrapolated into a topic. Maybe something specific, or maybe just the most recent punishment received by or given by each reader, and what they learned/gained from it or what surprised them about it.”  So, let’s keep it simple this week and just talk about the most recent punishment we each received or gave, why it happened, any details you are willing to share, anything you learned/gained from it, and whether there was anything surprising about it.


I can kick things off and respond to Liz’s question.  I did, indeed, get spanked a couple of weeks ago, and it was the first time in several months.  The reasons for the delay are complex and not particularly interesting in and of themselves. In a nutshell, I’ve made reference a few times to a medical procedure I had last year. The recovery time was fairly long, and I was more or less homebound for a lot of it.  That resulted in three inter-related factors that eliminated DD spankings in our house for several months.  First, for much of that time, I simply could not have handled one physically. There was a fair amount of pain for several weeks, and the tensing involved in being spanked is something I really could not have withstood during that period. Also, it would have been very difficult to get into and hold our usual position.  Second, because I was home and away from most temptations, my behavior was much improved to the point that I really didn’t do anything meriting a real spanking for many weeks in a row.  Third, as a result of the restricted mobility and several weeks of healthier eating, I had dropped quite a bit of weight over the holidays and during the first several weeks of 2021, to the point that Anne said my butt lost so much mass that she actually got a little squeamish about spanking me given the visible loss of “padding” back there.


Well, all good things must come to an end, and a couple of weeks ago my streak of better-than-usual behavior reached its limits. It was a Friday, and I went to lunch with a work colleague. It turned into a celebration of sorts. After a few glasses of wine, we walked back to the office and I ended up having a few more beers with a couple of other colleagues who had nothing better to do.   



While it never got really out of hand, it was excessive by any reasonable definition.  Though, honestly, when she decided to spank for it, I think it had more to do with us both recognizing that it was time to get back on track than with any genuine concern about the volume of alcohol.


This spanking was different both in terms of how long it had been since the last one and with respect to the instrument she used.  A few months ago, I had given her a real, high quality antique ebony hairbrush.  It was the absolute epitome of an iconic hairbrush used for spanking, and I bought this one used so it really may have been used on someone else’s bottom in the past. It looks very similar to this:



Even though we have been doing this for many years, we have never had a really good quality wooden hairbrush.  As I’ve related before, when we first decided to try Domestic Discipline, her first instruction to me was to buy a hairbrush for her on my way home from work. Unfortunately, I came to learn just how hard it is to find wooden hairbrushes with any real heft.  I bought the best I could find at the time, but it wasn’t much in terms of quality or weight.  She tried it out that night, and it really didn’t have much impact, physically or psychologically. We soon moved on to more “serious” implements, like paddles, straps and bath brushes.  We never really went back to hairbrushes, and I came to think of them as generally ineffective tools thanks to their generally light weight and short handles.  But, remember what I said about Anne’s squeamishness about spanking my newly slimmed down butt?  It seemed to me that a session with her new hairbrush might be something that would ease us both back into things.  So, that’s what we did.


To answer Liz’s question as to what I gained from it, the answer is a surprisingly sore butt. Which also answers her question about whether anything was surprising. From virtually the first “whack” on, I was shocked at how much it stung. I don’t know whether it was simply that it had been several months since my last spanking or whether the weight loss really did lead to some heightened sensitivity, but it was very, very painful.  She was pretty measured in delivering each swat, never working up to a really serious volley of whacks with it, yet it really hurt a lot and I very much wanted it to end well before it did.  She said afterward that she regretted that she didn’t spank me harder and that she felt like the short handle did decrease her ability to really swing, but all I can say in response is that it not only hurt like hell but I was pretty sore for a couple of days.



So, that was our most recent spanking, and I suspect there will be more coming now that our long dry spell was broken. I look forward to hearing your own stories of recent punishments.


Have a great week, and happy Mother’s Day to all the moms in our group!



Saturday, May 1, 2021

The Club - Meeting 374 - Warnings & Communication

In spite of warnings, change rarely occurs until the status quo becomes more painful than change. - Ralph Waldo Emerson


Hello all.  Welcome back to The Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, Domestic Discipline relationships, mainly of the Female/male variety.  I hope you had a good week. 

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks for us.  There was a bunch of family drama with involving some very bad decisions and bad behavior among one branch of our family.  I really try not to live my life like a cliché, but with my in-laws, I fail.  I’ve always had a hard time tolerating them, and it’s getting worse not better.  I think sometimes my wife must have been an orphan left on the doorstep, because her normality and general sense of responsibility sticks out like a sore thumb among her immediate family.



It’s finally starting to feel a little more like spring here, but it varies day to day.  With better weather coming, and more time on my hands (more on that at another time), I’m hoping Anne and I can start having some more fun and doing some traveling, especially now that we’re both fully vaccinated and the world seems to be getting a little closer to normal again.  Paradoxically, with more time on my hands, I have a feeling it is going to get harder and harder to post on my previously semi-reliable weekend schedule.  I’m not sure the overall frequency of posts will decrease, but weekends may be more packed with activities. So, I may start posting on whatever day I seem to have the best combination of inspiration and time. 


Now, on to this week’s discussion. It is an extension of some things that came in comments over the last couple of weeks.  For some reason, several recent comments centered on various aspects of communication between husband and wife regarding DD or the behavior that led up to it. 


 Here are a few examples:


Belle: The thing is, he is embarrassed to talk about DD, whereas I want to. But maybe it's easier for the spanker because I feel no embarrassment. He just wants me to impose the sentence and carry it out and not discuss it before or after.


Alan: We did informal debriefs after major spankings from very early and she made me talk about it and talk about all kinds of things from the effectiveness of the spanking to my feelings about it and also her thoughts and feelings and future expectations. They were designed as a kind of “after action “report and a road map forward.


Brett: I would be hugely embarrassed to talk about DD or about punishments before or after, and I can’t see myself bringing up the subject at any time. However, if she didn’t talk about it, I believe it would leave me with an empty feeling and of something left unresolved. It seems the one in charge should insist on discussing both specific issues and evaluating discipline in general.


Liz: I do appreciate the opportunity to scold and lecture that DD provides. Without the paddle, I'm bitching and nagging and he can complain about that and not change the behavior that I am nagging about. With the paddle, I'm correcting and he knows he has to listen and improve. The power of DD in changing a husband's attitude about scolding is quite extraordinary. It's one of if not the best thing about F/m DD.


Then there was Liz’s communications with Art’s co-worker, which I personally find to be an incredibly significant escalation in the communication process.  I’ve always thought it would have been great if Anne had developed a relationship with someone at work who might rat me out to her, but it never happened.  For a short while, I had an assistant who was pretty obviously quite kinky and, based on something she told me about her reading preferences, her kinky tastes plainly tilted toward S&M and erotic spanking.  Had she been with me longer, there is some possibility that I might have confessed about my DD interests and tried to work up a process for her letting Anne know whenever she witnessed bad workplace behavior on my part. But, she was meant for bigger and better things and moved onto another role shortly after she told me about her exotic reading habits.  So, I guess I will just have to live vicariously through Liz and Art.


The discussions about communication narrowed as we got to the end of this week and began to center on a more discrete topic, namely “warnings.”   


Again, some examples.


Glenmore: I know it really resonated for me when I saw my 'offences' in writing.

I recall being surprised the list was so long and that some of them upset her so much. It wasn't long before she 'taught me to memorize that list, and those offences occur much less often these days , especially since she started with the 'warnings.’


Tomy: Indeed, those "warnings" had become very effective for me too. Often she would, if we were in public settings, subtly make a gesture on her palm indicating "that's one." It was her counting to "three," which was a definite point of no return. I didn't make a game of her getting to "two". But if she did I was very vigilant to avoid "three."



Belle: I need to start doing this. A public warning of some kind.


This culminated in Belle suggesting an actual topic:


“Dan, I am interested in warnings and a possible topic might be what kind of warnings (threats, promises) does the spanker in your relationship give, both in private and in public. How many warnings are typical for the same misbehavior? And what exactly do you hear (or say for the woman) when it is the absolute last chance and any more misbehavior means a spanking.”



So, let’s make that this week’s topic.  Also, regarding the more general topic of communication and some of the examples above, I’m curious about the degree of verbal strictness—including warnings but also verbal chastisement, lecturing, etc.—you have, or would like to have, in your DD relationships.  Back when Blogger had a polling feature, I had a couple of polls that centered ways in which men might want “more” of some aspect of DD – more spankings, harder spankings, more rules, etc.  The one item that every participant identified as being something they wanted more of was verbal strictness.  Is that the case among our current commenters?  Do you men wish your wives were more vocal in holding you accountable, giving warnings, setting boundaries, etc.?  For the ladies, is issuing warnings, threats, commands, etc. something you enjoy?  Do you have any desire to be more verbally strict or dominant?


Of course, there is something to be said for not giving warnings, isn't there?


Have a great week.