Sunday, October 30, 2022

The Club - Meeting 415 - Whatever It Takes

"Obedience of the law is demanded; not asked as a favor.” - Theodore Roosevelt


Hello all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couple’s Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are, or would like to be, in a Domestic Discipline relationship.



First off – Happy Halloween!  My second favorite holiday of the year!  


And, definitely the sexiest. Though, we’re a little too tame for X-rated Halloween parties.  Well, might or might not be too tame. No one has invited us to such a party, so it’s hard to know.  



Last week was one of those where the conversation started with a particular topic, then went off in a very different direction.  Which is absolutely fine.  It’s great that the group has enough cohesion and enough good contributors that conversations can develop organically.


In this case, the conversation started with the topic of reporting.  The conversations were helpful. It made me think about taking up my journaling practice again, but perhaps in a different format. I don’t know why, but some journals and planners just seem to work better for me on paper.  I really can’t articulate why. I have one journaling app that I like a lot for day-to-day entries and also for things that I might want to be able to search later.  You can also add pictures to entries, which is great for journaling about things like travel and vacations.  Yet, for some reason, I don’t like it for putting down deep or very personal thoughts.  Same with the electronic DD Journal I’ve kept sporadically.  Some thoughts just seem to like paper.  So, I may explore something like a dedicated journal that I can leave in her bedside table and she can read from time to time.  In the old days, we had to worry about kids finding a paper journal.  Now, it’s very unlikely anyone would find it and, if they did, they necessarily would have been snooping and would be very unlikely to bring it up.


After exploring reporting, the conversation veered off into further exploration of a theme that was derived from KOJ’s revelations about being taken to a room and spanked during a party.  Since we’ve talked about that happening, and a few people have experienced, I’m not sure exactly why it resonated with me, but it did.  It seemed to get to Alan, too.  For me, it may have been related KOJ’s description of what it did to the overall power dynamic between him and his wife:


“I also totally agree that escalating the punishment to semi-public had a profound effect on me and our relationship. It planted a healthy fear in my heart and made it clear how much authority she really wielded!” - KOJ


As ZM had alluded to last week, it’s all well and good to talk about “anytime, anywhere, for any reason,” but it’s kind of a meaningless grant of authority until she uses it in a way that truly pushes the envelope.  By spanking him in a semi-public scenario, that’s what KOJ’s wife did, and it left him feeling a sense of “healthy fear.”



I have a feeling that suggesting a goal of DD might be to fear one’s spouse may raise some hackles, but isn’t it kind of inherent in the whole concept? If you don’t fear the consequences your wife may impose, then what’s the likelihood you’re going to change your behavior?  Some may say that’s about fearing the consequences and not fearing the spouse, but if the spouse is determining and applying the consequences, that seems like splitting hairs.



The challenging issue, and where the “healthy fear” may arise, is reflected in Alan’s follow-up question:


“Just one of those [a semi-public spanking] would bring about a dramatic behavioral change in almost anyone. But it raises the question: how far are you or your wife willing to go to “manage” behavior?


“So many of us talk about wanting real discipline and accountability and even about “any time, any place for any reason “ (and I am on board for all of that). And here is one wife who did exactly that (and from various sources on the blogosphere, she is not the only wife to administer that kind of discipline.)


“My question is how many of us are ready for it to go that far? Or maybe a better question is how many want it to go that far.” – Alan


As Alan went on to point out, sometimes bad behavior is intractable.  It may be lessened or controlled but not really eradicated.  That could lead to what he called “uneasy equilibrium” in which “she is comfortable knowing she can manage those behaviors when they become a problem knowing they will crop up again and she will need to deal with them again.   


But, importantly, some wives may not be willing to stay in that sort of equilibrium:


“But for DD wives unwilling to compromise, most couples probably find there is a limit to what can be accomplished with spanking alone, if for no other reason that no loving wife wants to take a beating to the place where serious or permanent injury could occur.


That seems to me the direction KOJ and his wife took, to the threat of, and then the reality of acutely embarrassing public punishment which must be a truly transformative event for both husband and wife -but is also virtually guaranteed to take care of all but truly intractable problem behaviors.”


Let’s explore that a bit more. 


You could use lots of terms to describe what KOJ’s wife was willing to do to make her point.  “Tough love” comes to mind.  “By whatever means necessary,” is another.  “Escalation” is another good word for it.



I really believe that one key to effective discipline is for the recipient to know that he absolutely will not win in a power struggle. When I was growing up, my father was kind of a force of nature.  I didn’t get in many outright power struggles with him. Thankfully, he was not into making a lot of rules, because otherwise, I’m sure my ass would have been bruised well and often. There just wasn’t any question about who was boss, and part of that was in any contest of wills he was going to escalate to whatever level necessary to win.  That’s just who he was. 


Have you experienced that in your Domestic Discipline relationship?  Has there been a time when your wife’s message wasn’t getting through, so she increased the stakes in some way that finally got your attention?  



Maybe the spankings became longer, more frequent, or more severe? 


Or, as Alan notes, there are limits on how far spankings can go.  If she’s amped up the severity, duration, or frequency and it hasn’t resulted in the change she’s looking for, what then?  Does it result in an “uneasy equilibrium,” or does she ramp things up in some other way?  Non-spanking punishments? Something added to the spankings, like doing it in front of a window or where someone might overhear? Perhaps some more severe form of humbling or public embarrassment?



Whatever it was, did it work? 


Conversely, perhaps there is some behavior that you want her to help you fix but current efforts have not been successful.  Is there something she could do that you fear enough that it might actually result in a real change if she did it or threatened it?  

Once again Happy Halloween.  Enjoy your week.


Sunday, October 23, 2022

The Club - Meeting 414 - Reporting, Self-Reporting & Check-ins

“Nothing quite encourages as does one's first unpunished crime.”- Marquis de Sade


Hello all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couple’s Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are, or would like to be, in a Domestic Discipline relationship.




I hope you had a good week.  Mine seemed to fly by, though I can’t say I accomplished very much.  But, at least we’re one week closer to the sexiest holiday of the year!




I really do love this time of year, though this weekend definitely started feeling like that transitional week between autumn and something distinctly more wintery, though there still are some trees with green leaves around our neighborhood.


Last week’s discussion was one of those that never seemed to quite gel and it kind of sputtered out near the end.  Though in both the last two sessions there have been individual comments that really resonated with me. Just a few that “got to me” in one way or another, including several from KOJ:


How some wives take to expanding their power with sometimes surprising alacrity.


“My wife also quickly morphed from misbehaviors in her presence to any misbehavior. She would question me about my driving, my drinking, my attitude to customer service people, my respect level for female co-workers, etc., and punish me accordingly.” – KOJ


How sometimes behavior correction is about a wife escalating until she gets enough “leverage” to get the husband’s attention sufficiently to effectuate a real behavior change.



"Then came the shock of my life that I have previously mentioned when she took me upstairs during a party and set me on fire with a hairbrush that could be clearly heard, and then we returned to the party. Now that was a surprise! But I must say that it dramatically improved my behavior out in public because I did not want a repeat of the embarrassment." – KOJ


A reminder about the difference between actions and words, no matter how well-meaning the words might be.


“As far as contrition, she was of the school that talk is cheap and the only way to demonstrate true contrition was to improve my behavior. She knew full well that I would promise anything while she was whacking away!” - KOJ


Then, this one that presses several buttons for me, including the express connection to maternal discipline and how it indirectly led to KOJ’s adult discipline relationship, and a wife’s increasingly brazen openness about her authority.


“Like most couples here, I was the one who suggested corporal punishment. I still remember the question my wife asked me: "What would your mother do if you disrespected her the way you disrespect me?" "Thrash my ass," I answered truthfully. She said nothing, and a few days later I went to her and suggested she use Mom's technique, and promised her I would accept it. About a week later the first spanking happened.


“The "anywhere, any time, for any reason" grew out of our shared belief that the best way to break bad habits is with immediate consequences -- similar to the gentleman who got spanked in front of the light switch he forgot to turn off. For years those immediate consequences happened only when we were alone, but as I have mentioned she became much more brazen after our retirements, including threats in front of just about anyone and punishment in earshot of others. She never invited witnesses but there was one accidental witness, a story I will tell someday.”


A simple but profound statement from Alan about why “anytime, anywhere, for any reason” is arguably qualitatively different from a rule-based or conditional approach.


The big difference is her authority to discipline can’t be challenged and that was a game changer. – Alan


And, this reminder from Alan not to expect perfection.


"But expect it [a punishment that didn’t work or was “wrong” in place, time or reason] to happen once or twice in a mature DD. She isn’t perfect and neither are you."



Then there was this from Norton:


“Re. self reporting, we have established a bi-weekly check-in where she will ask me specific questions about my drinking, driving, etc. It is much easier to self-report if asked direct questions, and then your responsibility is to simply answer truthfully. She instituted this protocol, and I am grateful she did.” – Norton


The issues of reporting, self-reporting and check-ins had come up several times over the last couple of weeks, and I’d already decided to make it this week’s topic.  Donn and ZM then had an exchange that resulted in an articulation of a related topic:


(1) How do you, as a couple, help ensure that needed corrective action does NOT slip too far behind; how do you track pending corrective actions, and schedule the same;


(2) How do you, as a couple, deal with "missed corrections," or corrections that don't achieve the desired changes in behavior; how do you track previous "corrections" of misconduct to verify that changes in behavior persist, and assess "recurring/recalcitrant misconduct"?


The general problem of how to track offenses and “check in” on developments relevant to the DD aspects of the relationship had been on my mind, in large part due to my own failings in this area. For years, I’ve identified reporting, reminders, and check-ins, as key to consistency, or lack thereof, in our DD relationship.  Over those years, I’ve crafted lots of systems and processes, drafted various reporting forms, and committed to scheduling periodic check-ins.  


Yet, none of those plans have ever gotten much traction.  Why?  Because most of them require me to actually follow through with initiating the reporting or check-ins.  A long time ago, I set up a reminder in an on-line calendar.  Each week it sends me a reminder email, which I’m supposed to send to Anne as reminder to think about whether I’ve done anything that week to deserve a punishment.  I’m also supposed to report my own view on whether there have been any such offenses. 


Unfortunately, I’m the single point of failure in all these systems I’ve created.  I still get the emails every week, yet I seldom forward them to Anne. For a long time, we just seemed to move away from any sort of check-in system.  On other occasions, I’d get the email but, in my mind there was nothing to report, so I wouldn’t forward it along to Anne.


Lately, however, I find I’m most likely not to forward the emails on precisely those occasions when I know there has been some unpunished offense, and I don’t want to remind her of it.  We have a fairly long tradition of delayed punishment becoming no punishment, and sending a reminder email makes getting out of it at least a little less likely.



I take responsibility for my own failings in this area, yet I think there is a “real world vs. DD fantasy” element to those failures.  I mean, in the real world, how realistic is it to think that someone who has asked to have discipline imposed on them because they have trouble doing it themselves will magically develop such self-discipline when it comes to reporting that same conduct?  In the real world, aren't most offenses self-reported if, and only if, the offender knows he's going to get caught anyway, and often not even then?


My own failures in this area make me curious about how those for whom it does work have structured their approach to reporting or ferreting out offenses.  For example, when KOJ says his wife “would question me about my driving, my drinking, my attitude to customer service people, my respect level for female co-workers, etc.” how does that work logistically?  Same with ZM’s weekly check-in sessions.  When such interrogations or check-ins happen, what are the mechanics?  Are they scheduled for a certain day and time?  Who initiates the information exchange, him or her? Is there any kind of formal process, or is it more off-the-cuff?


There also is the timing element that was part of Donn’s topic articulation and that ZM and I also discussed.  As I said, part of me admires the approach of those wives who never let a substantial offense go unpunished, even if circumstances force a long-ish delay.  On the other hand, I find that if more than a few days separate the offense and the punishment, the latter loses most of its emotional force.


I look forward to your thoughts on these topics.  Have a great week.

Monday, October 17, 2022

The Club - Meeting 413 - "Anytime, anyplace, anywhere"

"Sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zones.  We have to break the rules.  And we have to discover the sensuality of fear.  We need to face it, challenge it, dance with it." -- Kyra Davis


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 wasn’t as productive as the week before, but that’s OK.  Sometimes, you just need some time off.  


My week also started with an encounter that was totally normal in most respects but was an amusing twist on our eemingly never-ending fascination with witnesses.  


I got an email out of the blue from someone I worked around at my last gig.  We weren’t super close, but we liked each other and shared some hobbies.  Anyway, he was going to be passing through the town where we own a condo we escape to on the weekends and asked whether there was any chance I’d be around that day and up for having breakfast.  I hadn’t planned to be there, but I hadn’t seen him in a while, so I decided to make the drive up to meet him.


There was nothing out of the ordinary about the breakfast.  It was fun catching up.  What was odd in the context of all our “witness” and “others” conversations is that this is a guy whom I dreamed about spanking me! I've seen him since that dream, but not in a context where we were sitting around having a conversation together one-on-one.


I’ve related here that I don’t dream about spanking very often, which is itself kind of odd given how big a part of my life DD has become.  So, when it does happen, I tend to remember the dreams. I wrote about this particular dream here back in 2019, but I’ll describe it again:


I had a dream that probably speaks volumes about what I find really threatening.  I dreamed I was at a large gathering of business colleagues.  It may have been a holiday party or something like that.  But, unlike a normal work party, I also had family members in attendance, including both my wife and my father.  While the details are sketchy, someone had ordered me to be spanked for some office misbehavior.  It was to be done by our office manager, who is a man.  As he was attempting to take me to an adjacent room to spank me, I turned to my wife, who was sitting at a table with some other people from work.  I asked her to intercede.  I seemed to think there was something very unfair about the spanking, and I was very agitated and intent on pleading my case. 


Instead, she looked up from her conversation, and directed me very dismissively to run along and get it over with.  My father was sitting at a nearby table, and he too seemed fully on board with my forthcoming punishment.  He told me this one would be of a “totally different order” than anything I had experienced before. I was sullen and angry, though my concern seemed to be not so much the spanking itself but, rather, that everyone would know it was happening and might be able to overhear it.  Our manager took me out of the room, and in the odd manner of dreams I didn’t really experience the spanking from a first-person perspective, but I could hear myself getting spanked hard and crying.



The guy I was having breakfast with was the office manager who, in my dream, took me out for the spanking.  


As I sat there having breakfast with this guy, two thoughts hit me.  First, it was a very weird angle on the conversations we've had here about how we would feel interacting with someone who had witnessed one of our spankings or at least knows about them.  In this case, the guy actually gave me one, but only in my dream.

Second, I still cannot for the life of me figure out why my subconscious picked this particular person as the spanker in that dream.  He’s totally non-threatening. The relationship we had was non-hierarchical, though technically I would have outranked him by a lot.  So, very odd all around. 


None of that has anything to do with today’s topic but, rather, was more of an interesting anecdote I’m using partially for space-filler, since I don’t have a very coherent topic in mind for this week.


Speaking of which, I am still loving October and this whole season, for many reasons not the least of which is it gives me an opportunity to post Halloween and autumn-themed memes here on the blog.



As is often the case, we did seem to cover a lot of ground last week with what I thought was a pretty narrow topic.  Surprises led to discussions about rules, strictness, contrition, and penance, among others.   


With respect to the correlation between contrition and spanking, TG had this observation, which resonates with me.


“I think if there’s a relationship at all between contrition and punishment, it’s inverse. I had a situation last week where the bottom line was that what I said and did really upset her, although she was not directly involved - it was related to kids and grand kids. She’s suffering from a really nasty cold at the moment so it’s on hold, but there’s a punishment coming my way when she feels better. Here’s the thing though, she was prepared to see this as outside the scope of our marriage DD and move on. I’m feeling really bad about it and have said that I need the punishment to “wash it away” and move past it myself. So contrition and punishment go hand in hand here. Conversely, I think if I didn’t feel bad about it and she insisted on punishing me, I can’t imagine refusing it, but I think my reaction would be (inner) anger at being - what I would think was - unreasonably punished, rather than the feeling that I screwed up, it’s been dealt with and we can move on.”


Whenever possible, I like to let one topic transition into another based on reader comments, and I felt TG’s comment (especially the part in bold), while focused on contrition, raised an issue that was coming through in different ways in a few other comments.  Here are a few other illustrations of the point I’ll get to with this topic:


"When you enter a DD relationship your behavior is being judged by your wife or girlfriend. So, her judgement really determines if your behavior is well disciplined or not. And you find yourself being evaluated for things you probably never considered important before such as not cleaning up a mess, missing a chore or disobeying a “minor rule.” The last spanking, I got was for spilling my coffee in three spots and not cleaning it up while carrying it from the kitchen to my office working on an important project. I was very self-disciplined about finishing the project but my wife felt she had to supply the discipline for my disrespect for her rules about the house." – Alan


“Currently, I’ve gone a few weeks without a spanking, but that will change this week. I messed up, first not meeting a goal for maintenance on Saturday and then leaving my coffee mug in the bathroom this morning. I will be spanked on Monday and Tuesday. – DWC Fred


“I see such situations as part of the continuum of Disciplinary Wives expanding their powers. Most DW's begin with specific rules and behavior in the home and between the couple. These are then extended to respect and consideration for the wife's feelings. Later, these are extended to the wife's power of correction of the husband's moods. Often in parallel with this power extension, the wife starts controlling husband's interactions with "third parties" when in the wife's presence. Continuing further, the wife extends her power to situations where the husband's interactions with third parties that might "somehow" effect the wife's feeling. (Somewhere in this "power progression," the couple will have adopted the "wife can 'discipline anytime, anywhere for any reason' dynamic."” – Donn


The topic that I’m extracting from these disparate comments is a little amorphous, but it’s related to Donn’s observation about the “continuum of Disciplinary Wives expanding their powers.” He also characterized it as a “power progression.”  Also, is Alan right that "When you enter a DD relationship your behavior is being judged by your wife or girlfriend. So, her judgement really determines if your behavior is well disciplined or not"?

Is Donn right that such a progression happens in most DD marriages?  Do most wives begin dealing with a concrete set of rules and then progress over time to something close to “anytime, anywhere for any reason”?  Or, do some jump to the “anytime, anywhere, for any reason” relatively quickly without many intermediate steps, while others never come close to that level of control?


For us, I think there was a difference between theory and practice.  We did agree to some offenses that were presumptively punishable and even to a presumptive minimum number of swats for each.  But, that “system” was really designed to be a confidence builder and wasn't meant to limit her authority to punish outside those agreed-upon offenses.  I think that pretty early on, perhaps even in our very first discussion about trying DD, I proposed that the “rule” should be “for any reason.” 


That was the theory. In actual practice, it’s been a lot slower and more of a process, similar to what Donn describes but with somewhat different steps.


Also, in theory, Alan is right that Anne is the judge about whether my behavior reflects the kind of discipline she expects.  In practice though, she often asks whether I think something rose to the level of deserving a spanking. In fact, it happened just last week.


I was also intrigued by how Alan and DWC Fred’s coffee-related offenses fit into the power progression.  Have things like misplacing coffee cups and spilling coffee on the floor without cleaning it up been identified specifically as spankable offenses, i.e., made the subject of a rule, the breach of which would lead to punishment?   



 Are most of the rules that clear? Or, were those concrete examples of some less concrete standard, like “everything in its place” or “clean up your messes”?  In relation to Donn’s “progression of power” theory, were these very concrete, everyday behavioral issues around sloppiness or forgetfulness deemed spankable from the beginning, or did that evolve over time?


Or, were they ever identified as spankable? Maybe they were spanked for them because at some point--perhaps even in the moment--she decided to make those particular acts subject to her “for any reason” authority?


For those who have gotten to that “anytime, anywhere, for any reason” (or some variation of it) end of the continuum, how has that worked out?  Do you end up agreeing that the exercise of authority was “right” most of the time? Or, have you experienced something like what TG describes as a likely reaction when one doesn’t feel contrition, i.e., an angry or resentful feeling that a punishment wasn’t “fair,” even if by definition it fits within that “for any reason” grant of authority?  In other words, it’s all well and good to say, particularly at the onset of a DD relationship, that her authority is virtually wide open, but what happens when the proverbial rubber meets the road?


I hope you all have a great week.  I leave you with this pic of a couple in Halloween costumes, which makes me laugh every time I see it.



Sunday, October 9, 2022

The Club - Meeting 412 - Surprise Spankings

Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.” -- Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns


Hello all. Welcome back to The Disciplinary Couple’s Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are, or would like to be, in a Domestic Discipline relationship. 


I hope you all had a great week.  For once, I felt like I got quite a bit accomplished over the course of the week. Nothing big, but I managed to check lots of small tasks off the to-do list.  I also beat most of the people in our neighborhood to putting up Halloween decorations.



We had a good discussion about dealing with the loss of a spanker.  Although loss of a spankee also was included in the topic, we didn’t get much on that, which I guess isn’t surprising given that virtually all our commenters these days are on the receiving end of the paddle.  I wasn’t sure whether the topic was broad enough to generate much interest, but I think it did serve as a launching point for people to emphasize what a big role DD plays in most of our commenters’ lives once it is established. 


While we were all discussing that topic, Glenmore sent me an email with the following topic suggestion:


"I notice that for most of us, including myself, we know about a spanking and that it will be coming. But I do have a couple of occasions where she 'ambushed' me and the spanking was a complete surprise.


While the spankings were not welcome at the time , those two events tend to resonate with me upon reflection.


On both occasions, the spanking was deserved but I had just assumed she had no intention of following through. On one occasion she was waiting for me after coming out of the shower (she did permit me to dry off thankfully), and the other was after an evening entertaining friends and we were doing the tidy-up after she left.


The surprise element left me mostly speechless although my initial impulse was to resist or argue for a reprieve. I just wasn't ready to be spanked, but she remained determined.

Neither were the hardest spankings I ever got, but she certainly seemed to enjoy the power she asserted in those situations and how my resistance quickly dissipated into acceptance.


It certainly kept me 'on my toes for a while after that not knowing that a spanking may be coming or if you did something to upset her unknowingly.


Planned spankings you have time to get your head around and can prepare yourself mentally and physically, but not when she 'ambushed' me."


While it hasn’t happened a lot, I can think of a few instances in which she took me by surprise, though sometimes the spanking itself, or that she decided to spank for something, wasn’t a surprise but the timing was.   


In fact, that happened in a recent spanking I talked about here. A few weeks ago, I asked for comments about how couples here deal with multiple offenses and with attempts at delay.  It had come up in the context of me seeking to avoid or delay getting spanked for not locking doors.  Virtually all the commenters said that I should have been spanked for each and every instance of leaving the garage door open, and possibly for arguing.  I’m never sure when Anne is keeping up with reading the blog, so I summarized the comments in a journal entry, which I sent to her by text one afternoon.  I knew that by putting it down in a journal entry, I was increasing the odds that a spanking would actually happen, but I also thought that if it did, it would probably be that night.  To my surprise, a few minutes after I sent the text, she came into the kitchen and told me to get upstairs for my spanking.  I must have looked as surprised as I felt, because she commented something to the effect of “Oh, you didn’t think I’d take care of it that quickly, did you?”  The result was our first daytime spanking in front of a window without the shades drawn, which I talked about a few weeks ago.



There have been a couple of other times I can think of when she ordered a spanking unexpectedly, and as I recall both involved chores.  One was failing to sweep the kitchen floor after she told me to do it. The other was forgetting to clean a rice cooker.  Both came as a surprise because I had forgotten about the tasks, but also because she carried out the spanking immediately.


Glen noted that in both of his “surprise” spankings, he deserved the spanking but didn’t think she would follow through.  I can’t recall any times that has happened to me, and I can't really think of a time when I thought I would get away with something but didn't.  


Glen also noted that his first reaction both times was to resist or argue for a reprieve.  I just wasn't ready to be spanked, but she remained determined.”  I can understand the “I wasn’t ready to be spanked” reaction.   


We’ve talked a lot about how immediate spankings are probably best in terms of actually modifying behavior, but the reality in our DD marriage has been that there is almost always some substantial delay between the offense and the punishment or between her telling me I’m going to be spanked and it actually happening.  For the most part, I think a short delay can make a spanking more effective, because it gives you time to think about it, accept that it's going to happen, and to let that inevitability really sink in.  I do think it takes some time to process the whole thing, so I get what Glen means about not being ready to be spanked.


How about you?  Have you been taken by surprise by a spanking?  Why was it a surprise?  How did you react? Did your disciplinarian seem to enjoy an additional sense of power in taking you by surprise?


I hope you all have a great week.  I’m going to continue to enjoy the wonderful Fall colors and maybe do a little additional decorating.



Sunday, October 2, 2022

The Club - Meeting 411 - Loss of Spanker or Spankee and Selective Self-Discipline

“Discipline yourself, and others won't need to.” - John Wooden


Hello all. Welcome back to The Disciplinary Couple’s Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are, or would like to be, in a Domestic Discipline relationship.  I hope you all had a great week.


While September was a lot of fun, I admit I’m a little glad to see it in the rearview mirror.  Kind of literally.  I had two big road trips, both consisting of some fairly adventurous travel.  In retrospect, it’s all going to be great.  But, in the here and now, it was pretty damn tiring.  Anne felt it too.  We both felt like September got very busy, without a hell of a lot of planning on our part.  It was all good, but we’re both in the mood for some downtime at home. 


Fortunately, our calendars and the weather are cooperating in that respect.  Definitely a chill in the air that wasn’t there just a couple of weeks ago. Long-term readers of this blog know, I freaking love this time of year.



One thing I needed to face up to after all the adventuring was the need to write a post.  Unfortunately, I had zero inspiration as to any particular topic. Thankfully, a couple of you helped me out over the last couple of days.  Here are a few of the relevant exchanges:


J:  When DD ends because of the passing of a spouse . . . If it was the spanker who passed away, how does the spanked spouse remain disciplined? If the spanked spouse passed away, how does the spanker adapt to not having a spouse to spank anymore?


I assume Aunt Kay's husband is still around, but I haven't heard anything on how he is staying disciplined in her absence. How have you remained disciplined since your wife's passing?


KOJ: I also suggest Dan consider this as a topic. The question might be: Are spanked husbands undisciplined people who need discipline imposed by their wives? It would seem at first blush as if a simple yes would suffice. But in my case, and it seems among many writers here, I was very self-disciplined in some aspects of my life (work, attitude at work) but not others (chores at home, attitude toward wife, exercise, food, alcohol, flirting, etc.). So can self-discipline be selective? Is that truly possible? Don't we have it or not have it? Can it be compartmentalized?


Or is something else at play, like we both bought into the dynamic of me as undisciplined to the point of naughtiness and her as my disciplinarian. Maybe it was all kink! Maybe me being undisciplined at home was a reason to create a power exchange that we both wanted in our marriage?


All of these questions have been rolling around in my mind since her passing,


J: I was very undisciplined (outside of the armed forces rules imposed on me) and getting married caused a sea change in my character! I suppose this speaks volumes about me! I seem to be prone to going off the rails without a firm hand on me. I am surprised I was able to get married at all, given my habits, but my wife no doubt saw what I could be with some discipline.


ZM:  KOJ said: "I was very self-disciplined in some aspects of my life (work, attitude at work) but not others (chores at home, attitude toward wife, exercise, food, alcohol, flirting, etc.)." - Are we twins? ;-) This pretty largely describes me.


"So can self-discipline be selective? Is that truly possible? Don't we have it or not have it? Can it be compartmentalized?" - I certainly think it is possible to be self-disciplined in some things and not in others. There are at least four things that could be at play.


1) Need - You are more likely to be "self-disciplined" if there is an actual need to be disciplined. So perhaps at work you felt more pressure to be self-disciplined, and when you were at home trying to relax, you didn't feel like it was as needed.


2) Reward (and consistency of timeline to see rewards) - perhaps at work, you knew that if you worked very hard and were very self-disciplined, you would get a good raise at the next review. The things you mentioned that were outside the workplace mostly have longer term rewards if you are self-disciplined, but immediate gratification if you aren't.


3) Audience - at home, you had mostly your wife to impress. At work, you had many people to notice your stellar performance and to praise you.


4) Desire - maybe you really wanted to get ahead at work, but didn't really care so much about some of the "home" things you mentioned as deeply?


"Or is something else at play, like we both bought into the dynamic of me as undisciplined to the point of naughtiness and her as my disciplinarian. Maybe it was all kink! Maybe me being undisciplined at home was a reason to create a power exchange that we both wanted in our marriage?" - Could be, but for me at least, I can say that I would be at least as undisciplined at home if I didn't have my wife around, so I am pretty sure that while we might like the "kink" aspect of our DD relationship, my self-discipline problem is real and runs much deeper than that.


Regarding the passing of a spouse, I haven’t experienced it directly, so I don’t have much to contribute on that specifically, but perhaps others with more experience can chime in.  I do think it might be helpful to expand the loss of a spouse or significant other to divorce and other permanent separations, as that might help get a few more responses. 


Regarding Aunt Kay’s husband, I am still in contact with him, though I actually don’t think he is “still around” if by that you mean around this blog.  When he stopped participating here and stopped updating his own blog, it was because he made a conscious decision to put that phase of his life behind him, I think because he wanted to ensure it wasn’t blocking his ability to move onto a different phase.  I don’t want to go into in a lot of detail because I don’t want to share confidences without permission, but I know there have been times when he screwed something up and felt the old need to be held accountable.


I have more to contribute regarding KOJ’s questions as to whether spanked husbands are merely undisciplined people who need discipline imposed by their wives, and whether self-discipline can be selective.


I have fairly strong feelings about the first part of that question.  Yes, we may lack discipline, but compared to whom? And, on what scale?  I think many many who gravitate toward this lifestyle have a lot of drive and energy and passion, but they also tend to hold themselves to very high—perhaps absurdly high—standards.  Maybe we need more discipline, but perhaps we also hold ourselves accountable far more than others.


I often think about this in relation to my own biggest behavioral challenge – binge drinking.  I always feel like it’s something I need to control better, yet I have many, many friends who drink far, far more than I do.  The difference is, when they wake up with a hangover, they see it as the natural price to be paid for the good they had. I, on other hand, tend to see it as a moral failing on my part.


While drinking too much is probably the starkest example, I can hold myself to absurdly high standards in many areas.  Exercise. Productivity at work. Business development at work. Time management.  Diet.  If you asked people who know me how I do in those areas, I think many would say I’m more disciplined than the norm.  Yet, internally, I feel like I’ve let myself down if I’m not either perfect or working toward it.


Conversely, I feel like many who are most proud of their self-discipline and ability to follow rules are, in fact, natural followers who don’t give into temptation because they don’t feel much of it.  It’s the difference between a race horse and a stable pony.  One may be full of rebellious energy, but man what great things can happen when it’s directed and focused.  The other doesn’t create much trouble, but what does it accomplish in the end, other than its primary purpose of settling the more spirited down?


Regarding whether discipline can be selective, I’m of two minds.  On the one hand, I do feel like when I let my self-discipline slip in one area, it tends to spread like a cancer to other areas as well.  There definitely is an “all or nothing” aspect to it for me.  



On the other hand, it definitely is the case that I’m more likely to let the self-discipline slip in some areas than others.  When it came to work, I could always outwork pretty much anyone.  If I had a major matter I was handling, I would walk through a minefield to meet the client’s goals.  I’m also pretty disciplined around exercise and physical health.


On the other hand, I can’t seem to make myself clean up my office no matter how often I set it as a goal.  I spend way too much time surfing the internet and watching TV, no matter how often I tell myself it’s a waste of energy.  I’ve had lots of ideas for books I want to write, yet I seldom get around to putting pen to paper.


I think ZM is right in his four-factor analysis, though for me the categories of “need” and “audience” entail a desire to avoid failing or humiliating myself in front of others.  


I’ve always believed that while my profession seemed hyper-competitive, a lot of that behavior was driven by chronic insecurity.  In short, in those contexts I either didn’t need external discipline or the prospect of losing respect within my professional or social groups was itself a form of external discipline.



I also have issues that seem to be impervious to self-discipline and that cut across multiple social contexts. I can have a bad temper, and it flares at work, at home, while driving, while in the gym if someone is monopolizing equipment or leaving a mess in the locker room, etc.  I have told my wife several times that I feel like she should make disrespect something she punishes for much more aggressively, but I also wonder sometimes how amenable that problem would be to external discipline. 



I created quite a few problems for myself at work because I couldn’t hold my temper, yet whatever consequences occurred never stopped me.  Though, those consequences tended to play out over time and were kind of amorphous, which isn’t a prescription for effective behavior modification. 



Perhaps a more immediate and concrete consequence—a spanking other quick, sure disciplinary punishment—might have an impact (no pun intended), where workplace consequences failed.


Thanks in advance for your thoughts on all this, and thanks to J. and KOJ for their topic suggestions.


In the meantime, happy October.