"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.”
“’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.