I doubt whether classical education ever has been or can be successfully carried out without corporal punishment. – George Orwell
Hello all. Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couples Club. Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or would like to be in, Domestic Discipline relationships.
I hope you had a good week. Mine was pretty typical for this time of year, though the first in my adult life that I wasn’t focused on year-end work stuff. We did some more holiday decorating. I did some more Christmas shopping, both on-line and in person. It’s nice seeing crowds return to live shopping and live events, though obviously a little concerning with the Omicron variant beginning to circulate. It’s also a little hard to get in the Christmas mood when we’ve been unseasonably warm and with no sign of snow and no prospect of snowmen in our immediate future.
I wasn’t inspired to come up with any particular topic for this week, so I thought I’d just follow up some recent threads and people can address whatever interests them.
A few weeks ago, I talked about my efforts to get back on track by reporting weekly to Anne regarding my behavior. Well, I made it a whopping two weeks before backsliding. It happened in conjunction with the incident I talked about in which I knew I deserved a spanking but was feeling mentally and emotionally very off and didn’t want one to happen, in a way that went way beyond the natural desire we feel to avoid a well-deserved butt blistering. Not wanting to get one, I obviously didn’t want to deliver a report that would call to her attention that she should give me one. So, I didn’t send her the weekly email reminder, and I haven’t been able to get myself back on track since then.
It seems to be part of a larger pattern of avoiding reporting or even documenting to myself things that don’t reflect goals or standards I’ve set for myself. When I was focusing hard on taking off some unwanted fat, I kept a log of my weight and body fat percentage on an almost weekly basis. I also was pretty diligent in logging all my food and drink intake in a weight loss app. Now, I find myself consciously avoiding that kind of tracking, precisely because I know I’m not being very diligent on diet and exercise right now. It actually feels like some kind of childish form of denial in which if I don’t write down a behavioral or goal failure, then it somehow isn’t real.
This seems to be a fundamental weakness with most behavioral tools that involve any kind of reporting or tracking. They work only if you are reasonably diligent and honest in reporting, and if you are reporting only to yourself, then what is the enforcement mechanism? And, even if you are reporting to someone else, there is an enforcement mechanism only if they are diligent in calling you out if you don’t report as agreed, and even if they do you still have to be honest in your reporting unless they have some kind of verification mechanism. It's one reason I was so attracted to some aspects of the Nexium group and their methods their "coaches" used to enforce agreed-upon goals (though other aspects of what they were doing was appalling).
It occurred to me this morning that my failures around reporting dovetail nicely with a topic that came up in some of last week’s comments, namely school paddlings. Those old school teachers and administrators really had the reporting system down Everyone knew when report cards were coming out, and parents definitely would demand it be coughed up if you tried to avoid giving it to them. Sometimes they were mailed to the parents. The schools and parents conspired to create a system in which reporting was formal and reliable and any attempt to cheat on the reporting probably would be detected. (Today, the reporting system in some schools is even better, with everything related to each student available to his/her parents on-line. But, now there is a great reporting reporting system but little in the way of consequences.)
Similarly, the system for reporting bad school behavior to parents was highly formal and hard to “game.” If you got paddled at school, a note was sent home to the parents. I seem to recall that at one of my schools, the note was sent home with the student and they had to return it the next day, signed by a parent. The school also sometimes called the parents directly to let them know that a paddling had been delivered. It also seemed to be the rule in pretty much every household in our community that a spanking at school meant a second one at home that night, which ties in nicely with our topic from last week regarding the deterrent value of multiple spankings. I know I was scared to death that I might get paddled at school and then get another one at home.
Though, perhaps because the consequences were so severe, I don't think I ever experienced an actual school paddling personally. Though, one reason I felt on solid ground responding to ZM with an observation about the whole process around school paddlings and how long those processes took is that I do remember two occasions where I thought I was going to get one. As I recall, both of them were in junior high. Our principal had a reputation as a very stern disciplinarian, and everyone feared a trip to his office. We had a closed campus at that time, meaning we were not supposed to leave the campus without permission. Some friends and I "ditched" to go to lunch somewhere nearby. We went back to the school after lunch and found that someone had observed us leaving. We were sent to the office, and I was sure the principal would spank all of us. But, for whatever reason he let us off with a warning. Maybe he just didn’t feel like doing four spankings that afternoon? I don’t know his reasons, but I definitely breathed a sigh of relief when we were sent back to our classes with unreddened bottoms.
On another occasion, I was acting up in class and cut loose with a very naughty word. The teacher sent me to the office, carrying a note which I was very sure instructed the principal that I should be paddled. Instead, I got a relatively mild lecture on how everyone cusses from time to time, but that I needed to control it in the classroom. I waited until class was over to go back and collect my things, and the teacher admitted to me that the note he had sent me to the principal with had requested that I be lectured by not paddled. Apparently, since it was a first offense, he had decided to go easy on me, but he clearly wanted to scare me with the trip to the office, including the walk there and the carrying of the note. It worked. I remember being very scared during that walk, to the point that I still remember it 40 years later. That incident involved a male teacher, and I wonder how I would have felt about being "sentenced" to a spanking by a female teacher? At the time, I didn't have any discernible "spanko" leanings, but maybe discipline from a female authority figure might have brought it out earlier? Hard to say.
Bringing this back to my failure to report to Anne, I’m not sure that any reporting system is going to work without the externally imposed consequence of her spanking me or imposing some other punishment for that failure in addition to any consequence for any bad behavior. The fact that I have thought for a long time that reporting was probably a necessary component for keeping me in line, yet I consistently fail to do it, shows that this is an area where the spirit may be willing but the flesh is weak. Interestingly, I really don’t think it is the prospect of the spanking that gets in the way of me reporting. Rather, I feel embarrassed about the act of reporting on myself; kind of like what I felt carrying a note to the principal’s office. There is something hugely embarrassing to me about playing that kind of role in bringing about my own punishment and also in proactively bringing my bad behavior to someone’s attention.
On a separate topic, ZM brought up a “what if” hypothetical around our semi-continuous topic of “others knowing.” He stated:
I do like hypothetical questions like "Assuming someone DID find out, how would you explain DD?" I don't think this question is just limited to our offspring either, but rather to anyone in any sphere of life, like our parents, siblings, friends, co-workers, or anyone else. The problem with it for me is that I think the answer would greatly depend on exactly who it was who found out. It wouldn't even be the same with any two of my children or my step-children.
I think ZM is right and that my explanation around DD would depend a lot on who I was explaining it to. In fact, I think that in some cases, I probably would be too embarrassed to try to explain it at all. For example, if my parents or siblings were somehow to find out, I probably would simply stay silent about the whole thing, praying that they would not bring it up. And, they probably would be happy to go along with that. We are one of those families where things like sex and money aren’t talked about unless such a discussion just can’t be avoided, and I think DD would fall into that same category of topics best avoided.
With friends and co-workers, I really don’t know. I have told one friend, and while I don’t plan to tell any others, I think that with a couple of exceptions, they probably would just roll with it. In terms of what I would tell them, if it was a close friend I probably would admit that this is something I requested, because I felt I needed some externally imposed guardrails.
If it somehow became widely known at work,
honestly I think the only way to deal with it might have been to “own it” to an extent, not trying to avoid the scandal at all but, rather, glorying in the naughtiness of being outed as kinky. A few years
ago, I did know someone in a professional capacity (though he was not a member
of my own profession) who was very “out” about being into S&M. In his niche, honestly he seemed to be kind
of a rock star. Perhaps we all should take
a lesson out of Trump’s playbook and just get through anything potentially
embarrassing by virtue of utter shamelessness. However, I'm not sure how much I would own up to the FLR aspects or how I would explain those if I were somehow "outed." As I've said before, mine was a very "dick waving," testosterone laden profession, and I definitely do think some would have tried to exploit any knowledge around real DD or FLR to my disadvantage. But, perhaps I'm just paranoid and "owning" it would have been the way to go.
Regarding kids, it’s a hard call, to some extent because I don’t feel like I have a perfect read on what form my kids’ interest might take. I used to think that one of them was wired so similarly to me that perhaps a confession about DD from me or Anne might result in that now adult kid taking up the paddle but, like me, on the receiving end. I’ve even considered that if you thought being involved with DD might help one of your kids in the same way it helps you, wouldn’t it be a failure of parenting not tell them about it or make them aware of it in some way? One could make the same point about sharing with good friends. I do have at least one male friend who I think definitely could use some imposed boundaries, and I sometimes wish I had found a way to raise the whole DD topic with him. Though, I also never got any hint from him that it was something he might be open to; quite the opposite.
At this point, the kids haven’t
asked us about it and neither of us has brought it up directly. But, the dynamic
was kind of touched upon on at least one occasion. Two or three years ago, one
of them observed to Anne that she seemed to kind of be in charge and asked how
that came about.
The whole conversation seemed to touch more on the more obvious FLR or hierarchical aspects of the marriage that we were exploring a bit more at that time and didn’t directly address DD or spanking. But, I do suspect that Anne’s explanation was not accepted as the whole story, as the question likely never would have been asked unless the questioner already had a pretty strong suspicion that we were in some kind of kinky alternative lifestyle.
To this day, I don’t know what the kids may or may not know, and I’m content for now to leave it there. Recently, however, we have gotten more cavalier about things that could give them even more reason to suspect their parents are kinksters. I've talked here about the bath brush Anne bought for herself a few months ago. We've had another one for a long time, but for whatever reason Anne never really liked that one. It was always kept on the side of the large bathtub in our master bedroom, pretty much exactly where you would expect a bath brush to be. Her new one, on the other hand, has been laying on the bathroom counter between our two sinks, ever since she bought it.
To a large extent, we both are responsible for this new subtle openness, though we never talked about. I had taken to leaving the heavy black hairbrush on the counter, then she started leaving her bath brush there. The result is now there are two brushes laying out on the counter, one of which is a very iconic spanking instrument. Moreover, the other bath brush still resides in its place at the side of the bathtub, which could lead a keen observer to wonder why we need two bath brushes and why only one is kept near the bathtub or shower. When our kids come over, they do sometimes hang out in the master bedroom with Anne, and they easily could see our growing display of brushes.
What they might make of it I think would depend a lot on whether they have had sufficient exposure to adult spanking material (movies, blogs, etc.) to draw the connection. I suspect people recognize these signs when they already have some reason to be looking for them or at least are primed to be sensitive to them. My kids are plenty smart and very able to draw conclusions from subtle hints and, if Alan's theories about genetic predispositions are correct, it certainly would be within the realm of possibilities that one or more of them would have more than a passing interest in and knowledge of spanking-related paraphernalia.
Finally, I did have an incident a few days ago that could have, with different timing, lead to someone discovering by accident that I am spanked. I’ve been seeing a therapist (physical, not psychological) for some ongoing aches and pains. While the treatments often involve taking off shirt or pants, my underwear always stays on. But, during our last session she was working on my lower back and pulled my briefs down in the back, far enough that had I been spanked recently marks very well might have been on full display. As luck would have it, I had not been spanked recently, but it reminded me that unanticipated detection is always a possibility.
Have a great week.