Friday, September 23, 2022

Out for a Week or So

All, sorry for the inconsistent posting recently.  September somewhat unexpectedly became a very busy month.  I'll be out through the end of next week and unlikely to be posting.  I'll also have very little time to check the spam filter for pending comments, so post at your own risk.  Google's algorithm has seemed, however, to settle down a bit over the last week, with more comments getting through without my intervention.

Have a great weekend.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

The Club - Meeting 410 - Changes, Openness, Bitchiness, etc.

Have you ever gotten the feeling that you aren't completely embarassed yet, but you glimpse tomorrow's embarrassment? - Tom Cruise

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, a Domestic Discipline relationship.  I hope you all had a great week.


It’s been an interesting few weeks for us.  Anne retired a couple of months ago.  We’d talked a lot about whether that would change the disciplinary aspects of our relationship.  We both agreed it should but I admit I had my doubts about whether it actually would.  I thought that things would change profoundly when we became empty-nesters, but they really didn’t. I wondered whether this latest life event would similarly prove to be a non-event where DD is concerned.


Somewhat surprisingly, things really do seem to be changing in ways that are probably great for our relationship and her empowerment but not so great for my butt.


First, I do seem to be getting spanked way more often.  In past years, there have been more than a few times I’ve wondered what basis I had for writing semi-authoritatively about Domestic Discipline when sometimes months would go by without any real disciplinary action.  Since Anne’s retirement, however, it’s become more like weekly, and sometimes more than once a week.


Second, she’s spanking with more immediacy, no longer letting days go by between the offense and the punishment.  That may explain in part the increased frequency since, as we’ve discussed here many times, when too much time goes by after an offense it becomes less likely it will be punished at all.



Third, she seems to be gravitating toward being much less shy about her status and that she spanks me.  A couple of years ago, I did a post here about being spanked in front of windows.  At the time, I hadn’t experienced a spanking in front of a window with the shades up.  That changed a couple of weeks ago.  In accordance with her new commitment to immediacy, Anne decided to give me a spanking in the middle of the day, which isn’t typical for us.  We went up to our bedroom, and the shades were up.  I asked her if she’d like me to close them. I’m not sure why I asked the question instead of just closing them, but I did.  Surprisingly, without really skipping a beat, she said “No, leave them open.”


It wasn’t a one-time thing. A few days later, I got another spanking.  This time the window shades were closed when we went into the bedroom, and Anne walked over and opened them.


How did this new openness make me feel?  Maybe not quite as vulnerable or embarrassed as I once thought it might.  I think the fact that it was during the day probably makes it less likely that the people in the house immediately behind us (the only house on our block with a possible view into our bedroom) could see anything.  Glare on the glass makes it harder to see inside during the day, and the odds of them being out or at work were higher. 



I later asked Anne about the new openness, and she quipped, “It’s just the neighbors.  Who cares if they know?”


That got me thinking things through a bit more, and I thought of one situation that actually would have made me feel pretty vulnerable.  I don’t know our current rear neighbors very well, but they seem like nice people. I did not feel that way, however, about their predecessors.  I had “words” with the wife a couple of times about some things regarding our respective dogs.  She initiated those words and, frankly, I thought she was kind of a bitch.  Had Anne’s timing for this new openness been different, I definitely would have felt much more embarrassed if there had been any chance those former neighbors would have seen a spanking in progress, because I have no doubt the wife would have been joyful at seeing me humiliated and might have even brought it up.


Speaking of bitchiness, a couple of our commenters last week mentioned that their spouses enjoy either spanking them or being in charge.


T said: “My wife enjoys spanking me and for her it’s a turn on.”


I commented that it was a shame that women seem to have more trouble embracing their power, leading Cynthia Ellen to observe, “My husband has no problem getting off on control. He loves it! He just doesn't like hurting me so he won't spank hard. I guess maybe it's still easier for men to get aroused by control in our culture.”



I do see it as problematic that Disciplinary Wives probably are subject to a double standard.  We disciplined husbands often like it when the step up and take charge, but the broader culture doesn’t always seem okay with that.  To some extent, it’s probably not a gender thing.  We’ve created a society in which everyone goes to great lengths to express their devotion to egalitarianism, even if the reality is a lot different.  We are so into equality and suspicious of power that it’s uncomfortable to even suggest that getting off on exercising power might be okay in some contexts.


It's a shame, because I think a Domestic Discipline or FLR relationship probably is more likely to work and become core to the dynamic if the wife isn’t constantly concerned that she might be seen as “bitchy” for taking control.  Ironically, while I think women do worry their men may balk if they really do exercise strong control, when I used to run polls here asking what men want “more” of in their DD relationships, the highest number of votes invariably went to things like “more sternness in communications” and being “more openly dominant.”



Until the recent “open window” incidents, Anne hadn’t shown any real inclination to be more open about her authority or this aspect of our relationship. Yet, she is candid with me that she does, in fact, get off on exercising power.  It’s not so much about the spanking.  It’s about exercising the authority that leads to one.  She says she likes ordering me to go upstairs and get ready and watching me do it.  She likes instructing me to get over her knee or whatever position she’s decided to spank me in.


She also clearly gets off on “service domination,” i.e. ordering me to do things around the house or to serve her.  She says she loves it when it’s plain from the look on my face that I so want to tell her to fuck off (she knows how much I hate service domination and being ordered around), yet I comply.  She would plainly be much less into it if I were more into it.  


I know the first time Anne carries through with chastising me in public or referring openly to her intention to spank me, I will almost certainly be extremely embarrassed.  Had you asked me a year ago, I would have said it was very unlikely she’d ever take the step of referring openly to her authority and to how she uses it on my naked, upturned butt.  I thought there was some chance she might tell one or more of our kids, but I thought it was highly unlikely the openness would extend to anything more public.  Now, however, I’m much less sure of that.


I’m sure when it happens I will absolutely hate it in the moment. But, I also think it’s highly likely that I will find it very arousing in retrospect.  Part of me can’t help but hope she becomes more comfortable over time with openly demonstrating, and reveling in, her own power.  In that light, I found a couple of old comments from real Disciplinary Wives about embracing their “bitchiness.”


Danielle: Once I took up the hairbrush, I regretted not having done it when he first asked me. He became an attentive husband, and I discovered I liked being in charge. I like the way I can instantly put him in place with a spanking or just a threat of a spanking if he starts to get argumentative or moody. I think I may always have had an inner bitch that has now been freed. I like having the final say, I like being obeyed, and I like being able to express myself bluntly, either with the hairbrush or a verbal dressing down, when I am dissatisfied. Nobody except my closest friend knows I spank Wayne, but I no longer hide my bossiness from family and friends. I like that people can see I’m the boss.


Holly: I think we are all "bitches" to our husbands when the rubber hits the road (so to speak) I reconciled myself to this long ago. The amusing thing is that growing up I thought my mother was a bitch for spanking too often and severely. Now I find although I probably do not spank as often as she did, I certainly spank harder. If a wife wants results she does need to be a bitch sometimes (As Tina Fey said " Bitches get stuff done") I am not saying that being a bitch is necessary to be a good disciplinarian. But sometimes being a bitch is just what is needed and don't be intimidated by the fact that someone (like your husband) might think you are a bitch once in a while.


Great advice.


I don’t have a concrete topic related to any of this, so just let me know your thoughts and reactions to any of it.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

The Club - Meeting 409 - Erotic v. Disciplinary Spankings - Distinct or Not?

Everything in the world is about sex, except sex.  Sex is about power. -- Oscar Wilde


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, a Domestic Discipline relationship.  I hope you all had a great week.


Our week was such that Anne and I were both commenting this afternoon that we feel totally exhausted and, yet, it’s only the beginning of a three-day weekend here in the U.S.  Getting old does kind of suck.  I’m at that stage where I need a weekend to recover from my weekend.



Thanks to everyone for the robust discussion around a pretty limited topic, i.e. marking.  There’s definitely a wide range of experiences and preferences out there, from actively avoiding to tolerating to willfully causing.


Near the end of last week’s discussion, Alan made this topic suggestion, which I’ve posted in full:


“I am going to suggest a topic that really deserves at least one post. For years when we discussed the question of “how many are there are out there” we have treated “erotic spanking” as something outside of DD, discipline and certainly FLR’s of any kind – at the same time acknowledging that spanking was almost certainly going mainstream among many adults.


For sure distinctions among the types of spanking are complex and appear to reside in the heads of the couple doing the spanking.


But just now I am reading a biography of Socrates. Socrates was certainly and old fart and while he didn’t deserve the hemlock, he was irritating a good deal of the time. And one reason he was irritating was his habit of questioning everything. “How do you know” was his regular refrain.


So planning to drink neither the kool aid nor hemlock I ask a question some may find irritating: How do you know when you engage in “erotic spanking” that it isn’t actually disciplinary in nature?


Think about it. Spanking as a stereotype and a template is inherently about punishment and discipline. We all learn that as children whether we were spanked or not. And in everyday language we tend to use the word spanking to describe punishment in settings as diverse as sports journalism or politics. My point is that spanking as an act and a concept is understood early as a punishment by most people.


Yet we are to believe that as adults it suddenly becomes an erotic pleasure perused for its sensual pleasures or to “role play.” There is a page missing there.


I don’t doubt that many adults experiment with spanking as a bedroom game without any disciplinary overtones. But once someone continues to incorporate spanking into their relationship after that experimental phase—they are inevitably using it as discipline at some level, often laughing all the way. The logic and purpose of spanking is just too compelling to argue it is just “erotic.”


This also explains why many people report “evolving” from erotic spanking to DD. They didn’t evolve. They just allowed the reality of what they were doing into consciousness. Many “erotic spankers” never do this –and continue to make the distinction between what they do and the much scarier discipline stuff they would never do.


So let’s talk about whether people are into spanking or not --because the distinctions we make, between “erotic” spanking and DD – don’t hold up to close scrutiny. They are distinctions without a difference.



The excerpts I bolded above are the ones that evoked a response in me, though unlike the response of the Athenian citizenry to Socrates, it wasn’t irritation, except maybe a tad at the bit about consciousness and accepting reality.

I was in a hurry when I read Alan’s suggested topic, but I put some initial thoughts out there, which were as follows:


“My initial reaction is that the quoted paragraph is kind of a non sequitur. There are obvious overlaps between disciplinary and erotic spankings, and it might be that real life spanking stimulated a desire to simulate disciplinary spankings in an erotic context. But, the desire to simulate a disciplinary spanking doesn't mean that the simulated experience becomes real, let alone that it is inevitable that it becomes so.


If this were a Venn diagram, it seems like you're insisting that if there is an "erotic" oval and a "DD" oval the overlap is 100% My view is that just because there is an intersecting oval between Oval Erotic and Oval DD doesn't mean that there is 100% equivalence between the two. The fact that A includes B, and C includes B, doesn't meant that A = C.


If anything, based on the anecdotal evidence, I kind of see the argument working in reverse. People may incorporate DD and believe they are doing it for purely non-erotic purposes, but for one or both parties it either becomes erotic or they come to admit there is an erotic element to it.


IMO, it's not the case that these are distinctions without a difference. We've discussed here before why many of us believe DD is not some subset of BDSM or DS. I believe that there are important distinctions in intention/motivation and also desired effect/outcome.


You also said, "They just allowed the reality of what they were doing into consciousness." I'm always suspicious of any argument that depends on its opponents being oblivious to or incorrect about their "real" motives or desires. Seems like that Freudian view of things has been pretty well debunked. I personally don't like it because the assertion that someone thinks they are acting for one reason but really it's another reason isn't provable one way or another, and taking that position would require me to assert that I really know more about what makes someone tick than they themselves know.”


I don’t really have a lot to add to that, but I’ll quickly make a few additional points and then turn it over to the group. 


First, Alan said, “This also explains why many people report “evolving” from erotic spanking to DD.”  I’m not sure it’s factually the case that many people report evolving from erotic spanking to DD.  It’s probably the case that many of our readers report that to have been the case, but I don’t think that can or should be taken as an indication that many people who are into erotic spanking evolve, transition, adopt, or experiment with DD.  Obviously there is no real data to turn to, but if you take the position that Alan took in his first paragraph that erotic spanking has gone mainstream, but the also acknowledge that DD seemingly has not, the more plausible conclusion would seem to me to be that very few who experiment with or get into erotic spanking end up doing the same with DD.


Second, I can think of all sorts of areas in which something may be seen as a punishment in one context or at one stage in life yet be seen as beneficial at another.  How about, to take a pedestrian example, running?  Many adults run either because they enjoy it or because they think it has beneficial health effects that make it worth any discomfort.  Yet, most student athletes probably experienced it as a punishment.  I think this reflects a few fairly common-sense truths.  First, context matters.  Second, our perceptions of an activity's utility or desirability may evolve over time. Third, our perceptions regarding an activity's utility may come to outweigh our natural aversion to it.  

Third, I do balk at the suggestion that erotic spanking versus disciplinary spanking is a distinction without a difference.  There are obvious differences that we’ve talked about here dozens of times in the motivations of the parties, the agreed-upon purpose, etc.  I don’t the fact that both may share some level of eroticism renders those very substantial distinctions to be without differences.  In one, eroticism is the entire point.  In the other, it’s more of a byproduct or one component, but only one, of the underlying drive or motivation.  Further, as I said in my original comment, I don’t think it follows that because people once experienced or were fascinated by real discipline and they now engage in simulated disciplines means that those simulations of discipline are or will inevitably become real discipline. 


Finally, I do take issue with the assertion that people who see a difference between erotic and disciplinary spanking to so because they aren’t conscious of their underlying reality.  To me, it’s really the same as asserting, “You disagree with me about what makes you tick. It can’t be because you know what makes you tick better than I do.  It must be because you lack self-awareness.” Though, I also fell into making that kind of argument a bit myself when I said that some people who are into disciplinary spankings may come to “admit” there is an erotic element in it.


I look forward to your responses to Alan’s thought-provoking topic.  For those in the U.S., enjoy your long weekend.