"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.