Sunday, August 29, 2021

The Club - Meeting 381 - Inevitability, Openness, Etc.

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." -- Lao Tzu


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 an odd combination.  Grueling. Exhausting. Life affirming. Centering.  A little more on that later.


That was a great conversation last week.  I like it when our group gets into a genuine conversation and takes things in a lot of different directions.  Indeed, it’s kind of what I hoped for when I decided to try to become a little less topic focused.  The conversation just seems to work better when it’s more like riffing on a theme, just kind of throwing out some thoughts and seeing where it goes.


On the public aspect of punishment, Caged Lion noted that people are uncomfortable with just about any level of public punishment or even rebuke.


It's the act of disciplining someone. I think it is uncomfortable for people to witness scolding. No matter what your personal beliefs, watching punishment isn't necessarily comfortable for spectators. 



ZM didn’t disagree but he noted some of the benefits of public punishment, or at least public knowledge a punishment was or would be delivered.  He related this to school punishments, noting: ZM


Public punishment wasn't uncommon for much of recorded history, and at times it was even a source of morbid entertainment. Going back to the school punishments, I think that the whole system benefited from the discomfort that everyone felt when someone was sent to the office; even those who were amused were a little jarred by it knowing that it might be them next.


[As an aside, ZM and I both seem to be quite attracted to school punishments, even though (and perhaps because) we were more bystanders than participants.  Interestingly, I did get sent to the principals office a few times assuming that I would get paddled, only to go back to the classroom with an unspanked bottom. I guess I was good at talking my way out of consequences even back then.]


I agree that the openness of punishment growing up did seem to create a kind of collective deterrent effect in which the whole was greater than the sum of its parts. And, I can’t help but wonder whether we all are now are reaping what we’ve sown with our aversion to discipline in general and certainly to any kind of public shaming.  Fights breaking out on airplanes and in airports at unprecedent levels. Parents and patrons at stores feeling free to rip masks off the faces of teachers and employees.  Really unprecedented levels of public rudeness. I really do wonder how much of this can be traced back to a couple of generations in which unfettered freedom is emphasized over discipline and public decorum and where there is seldom any serious public shaming for bad behavior.



While I share the group’s ambivalence about openness and public shaming, it seems to be pretty hard to deny that it might be darned effective at actually changing behavior.  ZM noted how embarrassing it would be for acquaintances to know about our punishments:


For me the thought of guys knowing, especially friends, is generally harder than the thought of women knowing, but I am not sure exactly why that is. Also, it is interesting that in general I think it would be easier to tell guys that I was grounded (though she has never done that), and it would be easier to tell women that I was spanked. I am not sure why this is, and in fact only realized it as I was sitting here writing.


I think for me personally, it would be hard for both male and female friends to know about both spanking and grounding.  I suspect that knowing that Anne would, or even might, tell others about a particular punishment would give me a very big added incentive to behave. And, it wouldn’t even have to be people we were very close to.  



Al talked a bit this week about being spanked by others, and Tomy has talked a bit about times when Aunt Kay sent him to another woman to be spanked or other women sent their husbands to Aunt Kay for a session.  I admit that something about those stories turn me on, but they also really do scare the hell out of me. I think I would react to being sent to someone else to be spanked exactly the way I reacted when sent to the principals office, i.e. with a sense of dread that far outweighed the actual likely physical pain from the spanking.


For me, I think it’s not just the public nature of a spanking by someone else, or witnessed by someone else, that makes it particularly gut wrenching.  It’s also about inevitability.  That has always been a really big part of the mystique of corporal punishment for me.  If Anne sent me to be spanked by another woman (or man), I would know on the trip there that it was actually going to happen, period.  Something about that kind of inevitability – knowing that I can’t and won’t be able to avoid it -- causes a really powerful reaction in me.  Somehow, making it public that a spanking or grounding will happen makes it seem more inevitable, and making a past or current punishment public makes it seem, somehow, more real and—maybe surprisingly—less erotically motivated.



The power of inevitability hit me this week, in a context that had absolutely nothing to do with DD but perhaps did have a bit to do with self-discipline.  I took on a physical/athletic challenge that I knew was going to be hard, but in the end I discovered I had totally underestimated just how hard it would actually be.  There came a point where pulling out really wasn’t an option and even if there had been some way to quit, there was going to be a huge amount of effort and discomfort involved in getting back to where I started.  It was an odd feeling – wanting something to end so badly, yet having no way to avoid not just the current discomfort but a lot of discomfort to come. There was a point where it was really, really miserable.  Yet, I felt really odd when it was over.  On the one hand, there was some satisfaction in having gotten through it and in gutting it out, yet I also recognized that there had come that point at which I really made it through because there had been no other choice.  It wasn’t really pride or satisfaction but, rather, just a certain weird peace of mind in knowing that I got through something that had at some point become inevitable.  There was a strange sense of peace or freedom in being in a situation in which I had little control, particularly control when it came to quitting.


Right about the time I got through this ordeal, I found this meme that really sums up my ambivalence about motivation and extreme performance. I hope you find it as ironically amusing as I do.



I hope you have a good week.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

The Club - Meeting 380 - Discretion, Openness, etc. and continued

To be accountable means that we are willing to be responsible to another person for our behavior and it implies a level of submission to another's opinions and viewpoints." ― Wayde Goodall


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 OK, if a little frustrating.  We had something go wrong at the house.  It wasn’t a huge catastrophe, but it required getting services from a few different vendors, and it all had to be coordinated.  I was really surprised, and more than a little pleased with myself, that it all seemed to come together miraculously, and suspiciously, easily. Then, it all kind of fell apart, with two of the initially responsive vendors more or less ghosting me for several days, which is kind of a common issue in our community.  It wasn’t a huge problem, but annoying nonetheless and frustrating to schedule around.  I guess I should have kept my expectations a little more reasonable.  


It also was a frustrating week on the health and fitness front. I talked last week about the behavioral fail that earned me a good, hard spanking (more on that in a bit).   


After that fail, I kind of got my shit together and had a really good week in terms of diet, working out and, at first, on weight loss.  I put in hard workouts every day, with the exception of one planned recovery day, and I stuck to my dietary plan pretty strictly.  I also added some additional cardio, even though I fucking hate cardio with a passion.  At first, it all seemed to be working. I got within striking distance of a soft weight loss goal I’ve had in mind for a while, and I was pretty excited about that. Then, all the progress just kind of stopped.  No matter how hard I worked out or how strict I was on the diet, I just couldn’t get the damn scale to move.  In fact, by the end of the week I was one pound heavier than the week before!  My reaction probably says something unflattering about my psychological makeup.  Instead of doubling down on the diet and exercise, I got pissed off and decided I was going to eat anything I fucking well pleased all weekend.  Not looking forward to getting on the scale tomorrow.


Speaking of that spanking after last week’s fail, it was one I was feeling for a good long time.  That surprised me a little, since it was an OTK spanking with a brush, even if it was a bath brush. I’m not exaggerating when I say I was still feeling very tender four days later, and I could still feel some of the deeper soreness after a full week.   



Glen asked how I rate the effectiveness of Anne’s brushes. There’s not a simple answer.  If used very vigorously, I think the hairbrush hurts at least as much as the bath brush in the moment, probably because the business end is smaller, so the impact is more concentrated.  But, the bath brush unquestionably resulted in longer lasting, deeper soreness.  By the end of the spanking, the bath brush was causing some numbing, but in fairness it was a longer spanking than she has given me with the hairbrush.  Finally, Anne has also mentioned how much she likes a very nasty, short leather DWC “paddle” with holes.  I hate the thing. It is far more wicked than it looks, and its end has a way of finding the inside of the crack between my cheeks resulting in a really unique and excruciating sting. While she hasn’t done so, it is short enough that I’m sure she could use it OTK.


Thanks for last week’s discussion on disrespect, fairness and openness.  One theme emerged that I’d like to follow up on a bit. 


On the issue of fairness, Spanked Cowboy noted:


“At the onset, during agreement drafting time, it was agreed that she would have uncontested control over discipline. When she determines discipline is warranted there is no debate.”


It sounds like many of us have more or less the same agreement or understanding, i.e. that the wives have the discretion to spank for anything they think merits it, yet it also seems to be the case that many of them struggle to use that discretion.  They do fine with concrete things like spanking for missed chores (see Caged Lion’s comment) or when there is something like a checklist involved (see ZM’s comments about their bootcamp check-ins with clearly defined targets.  But, they seem to struggle more on judgment calls like whether a particular instance of disrespect or attitude crosses a line.  



For the wives, I’m curious, do you agree that being a disciplinarian is easier if there is less discretion involved and the spankable offenses aren’t subject to your interpretation or judgment? Or, are you more comfortable with discretion and calling it like you see it?  



On the issue of openness, by coincidence, I read an article this week on Medium about going to a kink party and how freeing it was for the author.  She talked about how society’s aversion to things like public displays of affection allows others to set the bar on our personal choices around sexual freedom, or at least when and how we express it.  In discussing where one draws the line, she drew a distinction that I thought was kind of interesting, contrasting to teenagers she saw making out on a train with a guy staring at her while masturbating.  In her mind, the distinction hinged on the extent to which she was being brought into a sexually explicit scenario without her consent.  As she put it, with respect to the guy masturbating, it made her feel “like a pawn in someone else’s exhibitionist fantasy. I don’t want to be part of someone else’s sexual experience without being asked if I’m okay with it first.” But, with respect to the teenagers making out, “I did not feel implicit in their experience — I was just a bystander. I did not feel I was part of the sexual act, being brought in against my will.” 


I wonder whether an overheard spanking, or one seen through an open window shade, could be seen the same way?  If your neighbor just happens to overhear a spanking, they be uncomfortable, but you didn’t try to bring them into the act in any way or make them take part in something. Rather, you just weren’t particularly worried about their wounded sensibilities if they happened to overhear.  On the other hand, if you gave a spanking in the woods on a busy trail hoping that someone else would come along and witness your kink . . . . That does feel more manipulative, more intrusive somehow.


I also really liked ZM’s observations regarding the connection between openness and ego: 


I think that openness ties in perfectly for dealing with disrespect which comes from excessive ego. If too much ego is the problem, then the cure would not just be a bruised bottom, but also a bruised ego. I am not talking about being brutally humiliated, but rather being taken down a peg or two. And while this can happen in private, it would be much more effective if accompanied by the embarrassment of others knowing that it was happening, especially in those cases where the victims of the disrespect are the ones who hear about the consequences. It would be very impactful if others knew that my wife punishes me for things between us, but I can’t even imagine what it would feel like if I was being my usual loud, cocky self and suddenly my wife announced to the very people I was showing off to that I am going to be spanked.


While I know I would be mortified were Anne to actually do something like that, ZM is undoubtedly right that my disrespect issues do result from an abundance of ego, and the most effective solution probably would be aimed directly at that ego; at, as he put it, taking me down a peg or two.  It’s a possibility that I think my subconscious clearly gravitates to and is repulsed by. As I’ve discussed here before, I haven’t had spanking dreams very often, but when I have they have tended to involve things like being taken out of a social or work event, with everyone knowing I am to be spanked.  Or, my mother pulling over a car to the side of the road to spank me, where anyone driving by could see.  Whether anything like that will ever happen, I don’t know. But, it’s certainly food for Anne to think about.


As you may have noticed, I didn’t really assign a topic to any of the above.  I’ve obviously been struggling to come up with topics lately.  But, during those periods when I’m not feeling inspired by anything in particular, there often still are thing going on that I might feel like relating to others or mulling around collectively.  So, I may try free-forming it for a while and see where it leads. . .


Have a great week.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

The Club - Meeting 379 - Disrespect, Unfair Punishments & Openness

“Reasonable orders are easy enough to obey; it is capricious, bureaucratic or plain idiotic demands that form the habit of discipline.” - Barbara W. Tuchman


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.


As some of you may have intuited based on my relative lack of engagement with the blog, we’ve had a busy summer.  Unfortunately, for Anne the summer is more or less over, while I have far less structured demands on my time these days. I can’t say I’ve accomplished much with that additional free time, though that was kind of the point all along.  I’ve spent a fair amount of time puttering around playing on or with motorcycles, which remain my go-to distraction this summer, even if Sturgis is something I will have to table for yet another year.



I’ve also become fascinated with the idea of #van-life and customer camper vans.  I’ve spent hundreds of hours at this point researching vans, watching Youtube videos on vanlife, and generally fantasizing about owning such a $100k - $200k toy.  Thankfully for my bank account balance, the things are so damn popular right now, there is very little available inventory.  I’m finding all sorts of my more expensive toy fantasies are getting stymied these days by lack of supply.  I came back from a recent motorcycle event with a lengthy list of modifications I wanted to do on one of my motorcycles, only to find that virtually every part and piece of gear I wanted to buy was out of stock.  While inflation theoretically may be surging, I wonder how much impact it’s having on most families’ finances, given that while lots of things may be more expensive, they’re also mostly unavailable, so who cares what they cost? 


Given the state of things out there in the wider world, I’m glad I’ve had individualized distractions like motorcycles and road trips that have kept me away from the news to some extent.  So far, 2021 is giving 2020 a run for its money.


While I was distracted, you guys managed to keep a good conversation while I was out playing, particularly on the subject of openness.  As often seems to be the case, ZM did a good job of reflecting my own views and drives:

I have such torn feelings on the whole openness thing. On the one hand, I wish that spanking could just be a little more matter of fact, kind of like it was in the home and back in school, rather than having to be hidden. I guess I somewhat feel morbidly fascinated with the accompanying embarrassment that came with the very open discipline that was prevalent during my childhood.


I share some of that same morbid fascination. One reason trips to the principal’s office carried such emotional power, and why the memory does so today, is you knew what was going to happen when you got there . . . and so did everyone else!  If anything, the walk back from that office was worse than the walk to it, because on the return trip everyone knew what had happened to you, and you had to face their knowing stares.  Those teachers and principals back then knew how to concoct punishments that really stuck, didn’t they?


Danielle also had some great observations, including about why, even though for some us making the FLR or DD relationship more public is kind of a lurid fantasy, in reality it may make the relationship dynamic more real and less like an erotic game:


I think if our FLR was a totally secret thing we only did when we were alone, it would feel like an erotic game. Putting the power dynamic on display somehow takes it out of the bedroom and makes it feel more real. I love, for example, that when we have guests over for dinner, my husband is the one in the kitchen wearing an apron. If that aspect of our FLR was only practiced when we were alone, I would still benefit, but I would feel as though I wasn't really the head of the household. If it is real, it shouldn't have to be entirely hidden, should it? I guess the same thing applies to spanking. Disciplinary authority feels more real if it can be put on display.


Alan also emphasized how publicizing the husband’s status really brings home the reality of the whole thing:


Having a third party (first my former girlfriend’s best friend and later my wife’s sister) experience a spanking was like a quiet announcement to the world that I was under female authority and subject to discipline and that I accepted it. That moved DD from private where I could rationalize it was a form of kinky play to quasi-public where its reality was unavoidable and undeniable. So it altered my own self-perception from someone who could mark it all up to serious kinky play to a spanked boyfriend and later husband who was very much under female control. All of this was very healthy and brought me much closer to the core of who I am.


His comment about being brought closer to the core of who he really is resonated with me, though in my case it’s not a simple matter of bringing out who I really am, and I’m not sure whether there is a "real me" whose coming forth would be a good thing. . I’ll provide a little background so you can understand what I’m getting at.  It’s been a while since I wrote one of these weekly posts while sitting on a sore, swollen bottom, but that is the state of things today.  Anne recently bought a new bath brush, and this was the first time ever that she has bought something specifically with spanking in mind.  That seems like a big new step in her level of proactive interest in this thing we do, and it kind of is.  But, the reason for her employing it last night wasn’t new.  It was, as has often been the case, me over-indulging on alcohol after a party.  (Though, overall, my alchohol consumption has been way, way down over the last few months.)  What is just as telling as her buying her first implement on her own is what she didn’t use it for.  Again, some background.



Anne and I went on a road trip together recently.  Now, although I like travel, I will admit I am not the world’s most happy traveler, and my track record on road trips is kind of bad.  After a few days of long drives and poor hotel sleep, I can get pretty grumpy, and that happened a few times on our trip.  There was one point where I directed some of that ill-temper at her, and she basically said that I was lucky she didn’t have her new brush with her on the trip, because if she had she would have used it on me right then and there.  But, nothing prevented her from giving me a thorough butt blistering for disrespect when we got home.  Yet, she didn't. Instead, a week went by and then she gave me one for drinking too much -- in the evening ,at home, by myself.  And, sort of for disobedience because at one point she told me I should go to bed soon, and after she went herself, I ignored the instruction and stayed up late. But, it was really the over-indulging that led to me draping myself over her knees for a very long and hard spanking. 


Although I am glad she took me in hand, I see a potential problem in how things played out with respect to two separate events, either one of which could have led to a spanking but only one did.  When I say that I’m not sure that me getting closer to the core of who I am would be a good thing, I’m referring to the fact that part of who I am is someone who arrogantly loses his temper and directs that anger at others.  My temperament seems to be very close to our regular commenter, Arthur, who is spanked prophylactically once a week to keep his temper under control.  I have some of those same tendencies toward arrogance, sarcasm and aggression that Arthur and Liz have described here, and those tendencies can manifest in shows of disrespect to Anne.  We’ve talked about how it isn’t acceptable, and it really shouldn’t be. Yet, it has been very rare that she’s taken the logical step and spanked me for it.  Her seeming reluctance to spank me for disrespect while doing so for drinking seems backwards -- the former goes unpunished even though she is too often the subject of the bad behavior, while the latter frequently earns a spanking even though me staying up late and feeling like crap the next day really has very little direct impact on her.



We talked about it a little last night, and I told her that I thought it was a problem that we keep talking 

about her spanking more for disrespect, but it never really seems to happen.  She recognizes the problem, and she says that sometimes she just can’t decide whether a given instance of snark or attitude really rises to the level of deserving a spanking.  We talked about the fact that it really shouldn’t matter whether I think it’s “fair” in a given instance.  If it was enough to make her feel mad or hurt, then she should spank first and talk about fairness later, if at all. As we’ve talked about before, for me there is something stirring about her deciding whether any specific spanking is fair, me having nothing to say about, and if she gets it “wrong,” well, too bad for my ass.


For me, this also kind of gets wrapped up in the talk about openness.  I really don’t know whether I act disrespectfully because that’s who I really am, or is that aggressive personality something overlays something deeper and more genuine.  If she really decided to get to the root of the problem through some combination of very consistent discipline, along with more open shows of authority that emphasized my place in the pecking order, would that chip away at some of the haughtiness and allow more humility to come to the surface?  I feel like there is a lot of truth for me in the combination of Alan and ZM’s comments, i.e. and that being more openly subject to her authority and discipline would be humbling in a way that would be both morbidly fascinating and also really a genuine and positive growth experience. And, as Danielle said, it certainly would make the dynamic seem more real if she were more open about it.


There may or may not be an actual topic in any of the above, but feel free to weigh in on anything that resonates with you about thinks like disrespect, “unfair” discipline, open shows of authority, road trips or camper vans. 


I hope you have a great week.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Sorry, but . . .

I warned you that my posting schedule might get looser than usual over the summer.  That's obviously turned out to be the case.  Anne and I got back safely from our little mini-vacation, but I now have some other things I'm trying to get done as the summer winds down, so I probably won't get to a post this week either.  There also hasn't been any DD action for us in several weeks, so I don't have much to report on and it hasn't been on my mind that much lately.  So, sorry for the long-ish summer pause.  I guess I should enjoy it now, since who knows what the fall is going to look like with respect to our ability to socialize and congregate, though I can't keep from seeing the whole thing as Darwin at work.

The summer really is winding down, isn't it?  We were in a mountainous area for our vacation, and I thought I detected hints of fall in the air. Then, when walking the dogs this morning I saw groups of kids plodding along to what must be their first day of school for the fall semester.  I distinctly remember that when I was growing up, summer vacation included the month of August.  Not anymore.  

Have a good week.  I will consider posting later this week if anything worth posting arises.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Out This Week

Happy Sunday to you all.  Anne and I are going to be on the road this week, and I won't have time to post. So, have a great week.