Saturday, November 19, 2022

The Club - Meeting 418 - Alphas, betas, Dominants and submissives

“I can no longer obey; I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up." – Napoleon Bonaparte


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.

 

This upcoming week includes Thanksgiving here in the U.S.  In the past, I’ve tried to come up with sexy drawings or memes to post like I do for other holidays like Halloween and Christmas, but I’ve exhausted my supply. There just doesn’t seem to be anything very sexy about this particular holiday, so this year I’m not even going to try.  So, I'll go political instead.

 

 

Well, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks, particularly for those of us here in the U.S who are politically oriented.  The Republicans took back the House but by the narrowest of margins.  It’s going to make governing a nightmare for the new Speaker.  In the meantime, the current Speaker will step down at the end of this term.

 

It’s quite a contrast in leadership.  Whether you love or hate Nancy Pelosi, no one with half a brain and any knowledge of political history can claim the woman didn’t understand power.  In fact, when asked what her “secret” was to ascending to the role of first female Speaker of the House in U.S. history, she was always quick to emphasize that no one gives you power.  If you want it, you have to take it.  

 


I wasn’t a big fan in the early days, but I started coming around during the financial crisis in 2018.  With the economy teetering on a replay of the Great Depression, the Republican President, George W. Bush, couldn’t rally even a bare majority of his troops in the House to help pass a rescue plan.  Pelosi pushed a majority of very reluctant Democrats in the House to support Secretary Paulson’s plan, even though it handed the Republicans a win going into a presidential election. It wasn’t the first or the last time she pushed her caucus into taking votes they didn’t want to take.  Love her or hate her, the woman not only understood how to take power but how to use it. 

 

Her successor?  So far, it’s not clear that, despite having an abundant desire to achieve power, he has any talent for it.  Obsequiousness and ass-kissing may get him the job, but it’s going to take a completely different skill set to exercise actual power and get things done.

 

What’s that all have to do with today’s topic?  Quite a lot, I think.  I don’t know whether Pelosi is a “natural” dominant in her domain.  McCarthy sure seems like a natural beta to me, but whether he comes by it naturally or adopts it in order to get the votes he needs for the position he craves, who knows?  Is there such a thing as an obsequious Alpha? I do think that Pelosi dominating male peers and McCarthy seemingly taking marching orders from Marjorie Taylor Greene are powerful data points that alphas and betas aren’t to be categorized by the presence or absence of an X chromosome.

 


How we determine relative dominance and power in our own relationships is the topic for today, as articulated by ZM.  Are the men who participate on this blog naturally dominant, naturally submissive, or does it depend on context? Same for the wives. Are they naturally dominant, or do they adopt the superior position only in the very limited context of discipline?  In addition to the power to spank or punish, what is the extent of the wives’ authority to set the rules in the first place or to make important decisions?  

 


It was those questions ZM was trying to get at with his suggested poll.  His thoughts, and specific poll questions (with a couple of additions and tweaks from me), are as follows:

 

I think we struggle a lot on here with the terms of "dominant" or "submissive" or "alpha" or "beta" because these don't really mean all that much. I am realizing more and more in life that there are areas I am pretty strongly dominant, and others in which I am almost totally submissive. While my wife and I try to make decisions together, I end up making quite a few decisions in life. And yet, I am rather sexually submissive. Having said that, I can also be quite aggressive sexually.

 

I think a really interesting sort of poll-type thing would be to see where people fit on these different spectrums. I am sure the way I structured it would be non-ideal, but I am just kind of thinking as I type here.

 

For family structure:

 

In our finances...

 

I make most decisions.......we jointly make decisions.......she makes most decisions

 

In our family interactions (children, etc.)

 

I make most decisions.......we jointly make decisions.......she makes most decisions

 

Socially

 

I make most plans.........we both make plans depending......she makes the plans

 

Sexually

 

I usually initiate sex..............it just depends..........she usually initiates sex

 

I take more control during sex……….it just depends……….she takes more control in bed

 

With regard to DD

 

She punishes me for things I ask her to................We agree on rules about what is punishable……….Anytime, anywhere, for any reason

 

Decision-making authority

 

If we disagree on a significant issue, I make the final call………it just depends……….she makes the final call.

 

In terms of personality:

 

Work

 

I feel more comfortable giving orders...............I prefer to stay out of the hot seat

 

Confrontation

 

I kind of like hitting things head on............I avoid confrontation at all costs

 

Comfortable with opposite sex

 

It was easy for me to ask women out...........I was so careful I was often friend zoned

 

Reputation among friends

 

My friends would say I am naturally dominant……….naturally submissive………neither dominant nor submissive.

 

My wife’s friends would say she is naturally dominant……….naturally submissive………neither dominant nor submissive.

 


These are all great questions and reflect that dominance and submission almost certainly aren’t binary.  We may be comfortable leading in some contexts but not others. We might be Alphas at work but yearn to let someone take the lead at home.

 

When I first started blogging here, I assumed that most men in DD relationships were Alphas or Type-A personalities who liked the surrender of control that DD represented.  I still think many DD husbands are like that, but polls I ran back when Blogger had a poll function showed that a surprising (to me) number of our readers see themselves as more naturally submissive or as followers both at work and in their relationships with their wives.

 

My own spot on the dominance-submission spectrum seems more complicated now than we first started exploring these power exchange dynamics.  I do tend to be pretty domineering at both home and at work.  When I found the Disciplinary Wives Club website, I think one reason it hit me so hard is it revealed that while I was naturally dominant, I didn’t necessarily want to be. At least not all the time.  At the time, I saw DD as kind of a yin-yang tool, restoring balance to an unbalanced personality and to a marriage where the power and responsibility were tilted too far in my direction.

 

  

These days, I don’t know whether “balance” is what I’m after.  My personality is what it is; my first inclination is going to be toward boldness, taking control, being in charge, etc.  Yet, I know that in the context of my marriage, at times I like not just surrendering control but having it actively taken from me.  My fascination with the notion of “consensual non-consent” seems like a pretty big indication that some aspect of my personality gets off on not being in control.

 

 

So, why do I recognize those submissive aspects in myself at home but not at work?  Well, probably because at work submission was not a realistic possibility and would have been downright detrimental to my career.  In my profession, betas worked on projects that the Alphas brought them. They had no real influence or security.  It would have been a lousy way to live.  Also, the Alphas could sense weakness a mile away and would absolutely take advantage of it.  A friend of mine compared it to being in the Mafia, with a very clear line of authority between the capos and the soldiers.

 

I look forward to your thoughts on ZM’s poll. For those in the U.S., have a great Thanksgiving.  For all the rest of you . . . have a great Thursday.

 


 

68 comments:

  1. We originally met on an early website, over twenty years ago, through a shared interest in spanking, this developed quite quickly into a broader interest in BDSM. DD carne a little later. At the beginning I was Dom and she was sub, although that quickly morphed into a situation where we switched. That didn’t last long as she quickly graduated into a pure Domme. I have always remained equally comfortable in either role but if I wish to play as a Dom, it has to be with someone else. We haven’t tended to play with others much in recent years and even between ourselves BDSM has somewhat faded. DD however became a long term part of our lives, although only in one direction. We also discovered the DWC website long ago and found it a very illuminating resource. Her favorite paddle now is still one bought from DWC back then. Back in the early two thousands we belonged to a few groups and went to various parties and gatherings and I developed the theory that many subs are alphas for whom submission in a BDSM context is a welcome opportunity to switch off and let someone else take control Moving into the DD arena, I’m sure there are disciplined husbands who are genuinely submissive in FL relationships, but I don’t find it difficult to believe that there are others who are dominant alphas in every other aspect of their lives who happily accept discipline from their wives when appropriate. Overall our marriage is a partnership where we each have our own strengths and we make decisions together. On balance, FLR ? Probably yes, the balance is overall slightly towards her. Although discipline is more often triggered by me than her - which I think is in line with many comments I’ve seen in this blog. I’ve tried to answer ZM’s questions below although in many cases the answer should be a shade of grey rather than black or white.

    For family structure:
     
    In our finances...
     
    She generally leads but we make the final decisions together
     
    In our family interactions (children, etc.)
     
    we jointly make decisions
     
    Socially
     
    we both make plans
     
    Sexually
     
    I usually initiate sex
     
    she takes more control in bed
     
    With regard to DD
     
    Mostly she punishes me for things I ask her to. Occasionally she decides to punish
     
    Decision-making authority
     
    If we disagree on a significant issue, it just depends
     
    In terms of personality:
     
    Work
     
    I feel more comfortable giving orders
     
    Confrontation
     
    I try to avoid confrontation
     
    Comfortable with opposite sex
     
    I was so careful I was often friend zoned
     
    Reputation among friends
     
    My friends would say I am neither dominant nor submissive.
     
    My wife’s friends would say she is naturally dominant

    TG

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    1. "Her favorite paddle now is still one bought from DWC back then."

      I wonder how many of the old DWC implements are still in circulation

      Delete
  2. ZM,
    You came up with a pretty interesting poll. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. We started off using spanking erotically. It then morphed into DD with some prodding on my part.
    My wife was spanked as a child and it affected her negatively growing up. Although, she is comfortable thrashing me. The finances are clearly my responsibility. My wife wants zero part in them. This is probably because she has a shopping habit lol. We make joint decisions with the children. Socially, I make most of the plans. We have mutual friends on both sides and she makes plans at times. Sexually, I initiate sex more than she does. It is extremely refreshing when she does.
    With regards to DD, we are still newer and are working on punishing any time for things we have discussed. She just needs to be a bit more consistent. The punishment spanking she has given are pretty intense. Believe it or not, we generally do not disagree on many issues. We generally come to a consensus on issues. I give the orders at work. I’m definitely an alpha male. I’ve never been submissive. I do not mind confrontation. I am comfortable with the opposite sex and never had a problem dating. My friends wives would say she is submissive and I am an alpha dog. Unlike some, I enjoy parties and get togethers and like social events. It keeps life interesting in a sometimes mundane grind.
    T

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    1. Hi T,
      "Believe it or not, we generally do not disagree on many issues." - I totally believe this because it is very much that way with my wife and me. We almost never really disagree about anything of any significance. And even when we do, we talk about it a bit and pretty soon we are on the same page, with give and take on both sides.

      -ZM

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    2. "I am comfortable with the opposite sex and never had a problem dating. My friends wives would say she is submissive and I am an alpha dog. Unlike some, I enjoy parties and get togethers and like social events. It keeps life interesting in a sometimes mundane grind."

      There are three in a row where we are different.

      Delete

  3. In our finances…we jointly make decisions. On many financial issues, she largely defers to what I think we should do, but then on some things, like saving money, she continues to press until we are doing as she thinks we should.

    In our family interactions (children, etc.)…she makes more decisions than me. This is less an issue of control or power-sharing and more an issue of very strong interest on her part. Though of course I love our children beyond measure, she is still more of the caretaker.

    Socially…she makes the plans. It is not that I can’t make plans, but I am an engineer, so I don’t really want to spend time with people! 😉

    Sexually…I usually initiate sex, though not always. Both of us are pretty much up for it anytime, and we make love most nights.

    On who takes more control during sex…it just depends. I would say that she maybe does, but then there are times that I am very much in control, and she likes that a lot too.

    With regard to DD…we are one of the anytime, anywhere, for any reason couples. Having said that, in practical terms much of the time she is punishing me for things that I have asked her to control, such as my weight/fitness. Also, she has never really exercised the “anytime” and “anywhere” clauses, so these are still more theoretical and untested.

    Decision-making authority…just depends. We almost never have strong disagreement on any significant issue, because we generally will talk about it until we agree. If we did end up disagreeing on anything very significant, I am guessing that whichever of us was more emotionally invested in the decision or impacted by the decision would end up making the final call.

    At work…I feel more comfortable giving orders. It is not so much that I like to give orders, but as Dan said for himself last week, I simply cannot stand having someone else giving me orders.

    For confrontation...I avoid it at all costs, even when it is seemingly unavoidable and even when it would benefit me greatly to confront someone, I almost can’t bring myself to do it.

    I am comfortable with opposite sex…In fact so comfortable that I have been friend zoned even when it was pretty clear someone was interested in me romantically, simply because I couldn’t bring myself to make a move.


    My friends would say I am naturally dominant…but it would depend on which friends and where they know me from.



    My wife’s friends would say she is …naturally dominant. No question, she is always the leader of a group, or at least everyone listens to her and ultimately backs up what she wants.

    -ZM

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    1. "Socially…she makes the plans. It is not that I can’t make plans, but I am an engineer, so I don’t really want to spend time with people!"

      Apparently that tendency applies to non-engineers, too. I love the holiday season EXCEPT that it usually forces me into all sorts of socializing that, left to my own devices, I'd skip out on.

      Regarding confrontation, it's a very nuanced thing for me. At work, our CEO once gave me a talking to about complaints that I was "pugilistic." So, I definitely had a reputation for being confrontational. I pointed out to him, however, that I almost never initiated a fight. Rather, I just had zero tolerance for some of the passive-aggressive BS that came from many in the organization and, when it was directed at me, I'd call it out. So, I'm OK with confrontation, but I tend to exercise it defensively. Kind of a "I don't start fights but I'll damn sure finish them" kind of attitude.

      Though, I do wonder whether deep down inside I like the drama of confrontation. My core professional function was inherently confrontational, and now that I'm out of it, I find the battling and competitive aspects are something I miss.

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    2. "Though, I do wonder whether deep down inside I like the drama of confrontation. My core professional function was inherently confrontational, and now that I'm out of it, I find the battling and competitive aspects are something I miss." - I wouldn't be surprised. Much of what I THINK I would like to reduce or eliminate in life is stuff that I in fact thrive on. And while I might feel momentary relief if it was diminished or went away completely, I am reasonably sure that soon I would find a way to bring that drama back into my life, whether consciously or sub-consciously.

      -ZM

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    3. "Much of what I THINK I would like to reduce or eliminate in life is stuff that I in fact thrive on."

      Exactly!

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    4. I am pretty high drama. I have been described by friends, relatives and husband as High Maintenance. I know I thrive on it. It is so sexy when my husband puts me in my place! (Even verbally)
      Cynthia Ellen

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  4. For us, things are affected by me being in the military and therefore spending long periods of time away from home: during these periods, it is simply not practical for me to be making lots of day-to-day decisions during such periods. My answers are given for periods when I am around or when my wife is able to contact me, unless otherwise stated.

    Giving my answers again (sometimes with some elaboration):

    For family structure:

    In our finances...
    I make most decisions.......we jointly make decisions.......she makes most decisions
    I make long-term financial decisions. If it is a day-to-day decision and I am not around, my wife will make it. If it is a very big financial decision, she will involve me somehow or other.

    In our family interactions (children, etc.)
    I make most decisions.......we jointly make decisions.......she makes most decisions
    I make most decisions, but a lot of decisions in this area need to be made quickly and she does this when it is impractical for me to do so. If it is a complex issue involving a lot of detailed decision-making that I cannot practicably be involved in, she will put together a plan and I will give "executive sign-off" (for want of a better expression).

    Socially
    I make most plans.........we both make plans depending......she makes the plans
    How many plans I make depends on my ability to do so, but we will generally go with things if I particularly favour a certain course of action.


    Sexually

    I usually initiate sex..............it just depends..........she usually initiates sex
    I always initiate sex. DD tends to precede sex, so one could argue that I by default have some control over the timing of DD.

    I take more control during sex……….it just depends……….she takes more control in bed
    I take control during sex.

    With regard to DD

    She punishes me for things I ask her to................We agree on rules about what is punishable……….Anytime, anywhere, for any reason
    Not anytime or anywhere for us, but punishment is for any reason with whatever intensity and length she chooses.

    Decision-making authority

    If we disagree on a significant issue, I make the final call………it just depends……….she makes the final call.
    I make the final call. Most of the time, we are able to see each other's positions and find win-win outcomes. I run on the basis that it is good to consult her wherever this is useful, but at the end of the day, I have to make a decision.

    In terms of personality:

    Work
    I feel more comfortable giving orders...............I prefer to stay out of the hot seat
    I feel more comfortable giving orders.

    Confrontation

    I kind of like hitting things head on............I avoid confrontation at all costs
    I kind of like hitting things head on. I suppose this is one reason why I have always favoured DD.

    Comfortable with opposite sex
    It was easy for me to ask women out...........I was so careful I was often friend zoned
    It was easy for me to ask women out. I decided I wanted marriage early on, rather than constantly enjoying the thrill of the chase, so this was only a skill I exercised for so long.

    Reputation among friends
    My friends would say I am naturally dominant……….naturally submissive………neither dominant nor submissive.
    My friends would say I am naturally dominant. At some point, the ideal would be to "sell" my friends our DD lifestyle, though I don't know if and when that will ever happen. I am hoping that if and when it does, they will already have a picture of me as dominant and therefore not see DD as "emasculation".

    My wife’s friends would say she is naturally dominant……….naturally submissive………neither dominant nor submissive.
    My wife's friends would say she is naturally submissive.

    J

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    1. It would be interesting to know whether military spouses, by virtue of having to make so many decisions when their spouses are deployed, end up exercising more or less control when deployments or military service end. I could see it cutting either way. On one hand, maybe they develop more dominance because they are used to making the decisions. On the other hand, maybe they're more like the Alpha men who tire of making decisions at work and turn to DD and FLR because they want to have a place they can give up all that Alpha-ness.

      FYI, there was a story I always liked in the Real People section of the DWC website titled Military Duty Calls, in which a female in the Reserves is called up and leaves her mother in charge of disciplining her husband while she is deployed.

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    2. In terms of exercising control, my wife exercises the control she needs while I am away, but she exercises less control when I am back (obviously excepting what happens regarding DD), because this is how we have agreed our family structure will work: me as the leader, but her deputising when I am not around to perform these functions. Not too far from how things worked with the colleague I have sometimes mentioned: after his passing, it wasn't a huge change to the family dynamics in some ways, since his wife was used to deputising.

      My wife and I had a quick look through "Military Duty Calls". If it were her in the military and me and home, it is probably not the route we would take, since we have never been enthused about involving third parties like that. Having pondered this hypothetical possibility, we think the best solution might be a spanking machine operated remotely (if one exists) and a webcam showing my wife how things are going, influencing her decision of how to continue for.

      Although it is not the same as having my wife actually there, my wife is reasonably satisfied that I have some restraining forces while on tours of duty because of all the rules military personnel operate under.

      J

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    3. Dan wrote: “there was a story I always liked in the Real People section of the DWC website titled Military Duty Calls ..”

      I remember that story and would have been skeptical about it except I know Aunt Kay carefully vetted submissions to that section of the web page. Maybe the most interesting part of that story was the epilogue when the mother of the female disciplinarian writing the post managed to awaken a desire in her own husband to taste the hairbrush after spanking her own son in law.

      Assuming the story itself was true, my guess is that mother and father shared a disciplinary relationship sometime earlier that had fallen by the wayside. The mother who ended up spanking both a naughty son in law and a willing husband, seemed too knowledgeable about discipline for it to be all a new experience for her. And a daughter as aggressive as the writer was has probably grown up in a household where mom ruled.
      Alan

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    4. Alan, it's possible. Also, after responding to J., I went back and read that story again. I had always assumed the author was in the U.S. military, but it jumped out at me this time that many of the word choices seem very British. The UK did, of course, have a substantial force in the Gulf during and after the Gulf War. While you're right that skepticism is always called for with those kind of stories, given how much more prevalent the spanko interest seems to be in England than here, it gives the story even more plausibility in my mind.

      Though, of course, it doesn't mention a cane . . .

      Delete
    5. It would be interesting to know what proportion of our UK friends do use brushes, paddles and the lot-versus canes. Canes are of course iconic in UK culture ( tawses too in Scotland). But how often are the actually used among other spanking tools?
      Alan

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    6. Yes, that's a good point. Similarly, hairbrushes are iconic here, but I wonder whether they really see that much use in real DD relationships.

      Delete
    7. Interesting situation re US vs. UK. The writing of "Military Duty Calls" is quite ambiguous.

      I was raised as a small child, and mostly learned to spell and read, from mostly UK and Canadian printed books. Had a devil of a time with teachers when I starts elementary school in the US!

      While I agree with Dan's assessment that some of the writing "style" appears British in some places, the "spelling" is overwhelmingly US. (I say "overwhelming" because I did find one exception.)

      The author ("Tristen") spells all relevant words (that would have alternate spellings) in the "common US" spelling (e.g., US's realize, organize, authorize; NOT the UK's realise, organise, authorise). However, she does clearly spell "offence" as the British system does. If this wasn't the "intended" the British spelling, then it would then be the ONLY apparent "misspelling" in the entire story!.

      It is possible that Kristen is of "mixed" heritage or possibly mixed education. She simply, naturally writes with a mixture of US and UK spellings, such as myself.

      Related, I'm not so sure that the Kristen's mother and father had a previous (long in past) DD relationship. Kristen's mother stating to her husband "[If he] was interested in trying it out, he should wait for her return in their bedroom . . . ," I believe, strongly suggest otherwise.

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    8. I agree with Allen re the "authenticity" of Tristen's account of her recall to the reserves.

      In addition to Aunt Kay vetting the accounts in the "Real People" sections, the entire account has a "ring of truth" about it (to my ears). It simply seems way too detailed and practicality oriented to have been written as a man writing as a woman, or a woman fantasizing about hypothetical relationships, in her own marriage or her parent's marriage.

      It has been almost nineteen years since I last read that account. It is certainly an excellent addition to Aunt Kay's DWC website

      Delete
    9. You're right, it could be someone educated in the UK or a former colony, now used to writing for an American audience. It could also work in reverse - someone originally from the U.S. who emigrated to the UK? To me, the tip-off of possibly British (or, perhaps some other British colonial country??) origin wasn't spelling so much as word choice, including several words or phrases that one would not hear very often in the U.S.:

      - "my lad"
      - "the most marvelous solution"
      - "faces the dancing stick"
      - "came round"
      - "underpants"
      - "wittered on"

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    10. Dan: Absolutely correct; those phrases have a huge amount of "British vibe."

      Looking back, those did not stand out to me in the least, possibly because they seem to be so natural to me, from my "mixed" background. However, to you, with an (almost?) entirely US-education, they must stand out like sore red flags.

      Delete
    11. We broke up when my future husband enlisted after high school. I simply couldn't promise at the age of 18 to see no one else for three years. He didn't want me pining for a guy who might not come back. I did date, but not seriously.

      When he got back I noticed he was more subdued and mature, not the devil-may-care that first attracted me. But I still loved him. He is our decision-maker but he doesn't act dominant about it. I wish he would!
      Cynthia Ellen

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  5. Finance:
    The first one is easy. My wife has no interest in finances and she is quite happy to leave that to me. She enjoys spending, but managing our money is my domain.

    Family:
    We don't have kids yet, but I would see my wife taking the lead on raising a family. She comes from a large family and had plenty of practice with younger siblings.

    Socially:
    I am way too introverted to be in charge of our social life. She can convince me to participate, but I'll never be the organizer.

    Sexually:
    I am almost always the one who initates sex, but we share control in bed. I think that Beth would agree that I've helped her become more creative.

    DD:
    After this much time, we both know when my behavior warrants corporal punishment. I have never failed to comply when my wife chooses to spank me. On rare occasions I have been surprised by her decision, but I recognize her authority to discipline me.

    Decision Making:
    I think we each have our areas (see finance above), but any big decisions are made jointly.

    Work:
    I am the CEO of a small organization and won't take my responsibilities to heart. Although I'm a bit of an introvert, people seem to appreciate that I am calmly decisive during difficult times.

    Confrontation:
    I'd have to say that I don't enjoy conflict, but I don't shy away from it either. It's just part of my job to manage it.

    Opposite Sex:
    Most of my professional colleagues are female and that has been a remarkable learning experience. I feel like I understand women much better than I used to.

    Friends:
    Most of our friends would say that Beth and I are pretty balanced in our marriage. But the ones who know us best can see that she has a dominant side. As she gets to know people, she's more likely to let it show.

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    1. Thanks, Kevin. It's interesting that there seems to be a pattern developing when it comes to socializing and that many of us resist it.

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    2. Dan, what is the pattern you are noticing?

      J

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    3. Dan wrote: “It's interesting that there seems to be a pattern developing when it comes to socializing and that many of us resist it.”

      I agree. The question is what the pattern signifies, assuming a small sample is representative of men in or interested in female led DD relationships. Are we or do we tend to introversion; do we differ from males in more traditional relationships; Is there something in a DD relationship that promotes social avoidance; does the type of socializing matter (e.g., large party or small dinner party )

      These are all questions to consider. Personally I don’t seek out socializing opportunities, but when they present themselves, I don’t usually avoid them. Also of interest to me at least: I almost always have much more fun than I expected.
      Alan

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    4. All good questions, Alan. There's also the wrinkle that DD participants appear to trend older, with most of us middle-aged at least, and middle-aged men are notorious for not keeping up with outside friendships.

      My proclivities sound close to yours, though I may be a little more introverted. I don't avoid, and often do actively seek out, small gatherings and especially things like a 1:1 happy hour with a friend. But, I definitely avoid larger parties and even smaller ones if it's not people I'm really close to. But, very much like you, I usually have more fun that I expected.

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    5. I haven't noticed that in myself or the former military colleague I have sometimes mentioned.

      J

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    6. Dan, I don't fall into the middle-aged category. One of the reasons I opted for early marriage was my view that being a carefree bachelor for too long and being confident with women would quickly ruin me and that the accountability of being married would make me the best version of myself, hence another incentive for F/M DD. Can you think of any particular reason why men in this age range appear to have more enthusiasm for DD?

      J

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    7. J wrote: "Can you think of any particular reason why men in this age range appear to have more . . . DD."

      I have a hypothesis that this combination of "enthusiasm" combined with actual "activity" substantially increases in "middle age" for both men and women. For both sexes, the person becomes less "bound" to the cultural learning and accepted mores that they learned as children and adolescents. The person's rational thought processes become more dominant over their subconscious and emotional responses; they become more willing to experiment in areas that they previously would have dismissed. They have less anxiety, and greater trust in their spouses as they "mature." (It also helps that many of the challenges of "young marriages" have been overcome or passed through, and possibly some boredom has settled into their lives.)

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    8. Donn's explanation is as good as anything I can come up with. While some people definitely do get more and more rigid and locked into their biases and preconceptions as they age, I think many others get more open to admitting to and exploring new aspects of themselves. Also, it takes a certain amount of maturity to reach a point where you admit your faults and are willing to risk a bit of ego to ask someone to help you address them. As for women, I think some of them are very into Alpha men when they're young, but over the years they start seeing that those guys come with a lot of baggage and, as the relationships age, they get more fed up with dealing with that baggage and have an openness toward addressing it.

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    9. Dan wrote: “As for women, I think some of them are very into Alpha men when they're young, but over the years they start seeing that those guys come with a lot of baggage…”

      This is a very astute observation and does help explain the apparent preponderance of female disciplinarians in 30’s or later. However, I hypothesize there are also biological factors involved. Specifically, I speculate younger women of prime child-bearing years are biologically driven to seek out alpha men on the evolutionary grounds that in historical times alphas were desired for protection and resources. Modern times considerably attenuate that relationship in the real world, but evolutionary biology is a powerful force.
      Alan

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    10. I agree, Alan. I'm sure there are all sorts of biological imperatives we've inherited that don't really serve us well today.

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    11. Agreed on the part about alphas coming with baggage. I have no doubt that it would have taken very little to get me to that stage, had I not decided early on that I wanted to be married! Many women get into relationships with alphas thinking they will tame them: many fail at this, F/M DD is by far the best solution for accomplishing this, but he has to be motivated to be the best version of himself in order for there to be potential for him to be tamed.

      J

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    12. As a young man I thought I wanted a partner who was the opposite of my mother (overbearing) and I wanted to run the show. I married such a woman. By middle age, with a marriage with a lot of frustration on both sides, I wanted a wife more like my mother -- to manage our lives, including with maternal discipline. Fortunately for me, my wife was growing in confidence and was so sick of my boyish and boorish behavior tthat she instantly took to her newfound authority backed up by corporal punishment. I think it is no coincidence that we both took on these new roles in middle age, for all of the reasons already cited by others. My wife's explanation wss simple and straightforward: "I just couldn't take any more of your shit, and whipping your ass to get my way was a better option than divorce."
      KOJ

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    13. KOJ, I think your simple answer is probably the right one. These relationships happen in middle age because it's a period where the wife is sick of us and the chaos we create, we're kind of sick of us and the chaos we create, so the stars come into alignment. Before middle-age, most of us probably aren't self-aware enough to ask ourselves whether we're satisfied with marriages filled with frustration and/or we haven't really considered what the alternatives might be. We also probably get about a ten year grace period before our wives are good and sick of us. So, your wife's explanation makes perfect sense to me.

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    14. KOJ, I wonder if things might have been similar with my wife and me, had I not opted for early marriage and early accountability.

      J

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    15. I hope I don't have to wait for middle age to get regular disciplinary spankings!!
      Cynthia Ellen

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  6. Our balance(s) of decision making hase evolved over the years. Most of that evolution was within the first two to three years, with a slower rate these last couple of decades, mostly in response to changing circumstances.

    For family structure:

    In our finances . . .

    I have discretion to make any minor financial decisions (below $100), and any immediate (~ 0 - 12hrs) decisions needed to maintain family function. All other decisions are made through consultation, with her having final authority.

    I generally pay all regular bills, and bring to consultation with her any unusual bills that she might not be aware of or she might dispute. I must also bring to her the detailed credit card and bank statements on a monthly basis.

    We jointly engage in long term financial planning, with her making final decisions and me being responsible for implementation and regular status reporting to her.

    In our family interactions . . .

    We have no children, all of my parents are deceased, and all of my siblings live at great distances from us. On the other hand, both of her parents are alive, and she has three sibs, all five of whom live within, at most, a half-day's drive from our home. Thus, the overwhelming amount of "family interactions" are with her family. She has a much better "feel" for how I should interact with her parents and brother ("sensitivity;" "accomodation"), and is much closer and remains protective of her two younger sisters. From the start of our relationship, it has always seemed most natural for her to make all decisions ("rules") regarding our (i.e., "my") interactions with all of her immediately family members.

    Social life . . .

    I may occasionally make suggestions, but she does almost all planning and makes all decisions. I'm expected to keep her informed of my daily activities (outside of employment). She also requires her direct permission for my individual participation in almost all other social activities; mostly she insists that there be some type of "direct, discrete supervision" by one or more of her female friends or aquantences -- no "singular guys" events that could possibly lead me astray. (The only exception to some type of female presence are weekend "group mc-rides" in the mountains of SoCal.)

    Sexually . . .

    Our sex life is dedicated to her personal satisfaction and fulfillment, so she makes all of the rules. I'm never allowed to ask for any personal sexual satisfaction; only she can decide and initiate any such experiences. I am very rarely allowed PIV sex; other types of sex are solely for her benefit, and/or for strengthening our relationship dynamics.

    (Cont. . . .)

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  7. (. . . Cont.)

    Domestic Discipline . . .

    She is much more experienced and competent in designing and enacting management programs; in changing and maintaining desired behaviors. She understands me very well, in many ways better than I understand myself. Very early on we agreed that she could, and would, make any and all rules she decided were in the best interests of myself and our relationship. (A big part of this early decision [on my part] was to enhance and reinforce her self-confidence as she stepped into a role she has never previously considered.)

    We have regular "family management" meetings, where she will always explain any new/changed that she has enacted. These are "wide-open" meetings, with no concerns about talking freely about me own feelings and perspectives on her decisions; sometimes I do disagree with her, and express my belief(s) as to something being a problem, or that other rules or methods might work better. It is very unusual for such a meetings to end with me not fully agreeing with her detailed explanations of her motivations and reasoning -- agreeing that her decisions are, indeed, best of both of us.

    I've always been allowed to make suggestions of rules for myself; ways that she could assist me to overcome obstacles or that I thought could enhance our relationship. She feels free to incorporate these into her programs. Sometimes she does, and other times she has simply said something like, "That is something you will have to work on, entirely yourself. [DD] is not an excuse for you to ignore 'self-development of self-discipline'."

    Decision-making authority . . .

    She has final decision making authority in any disagreement. Simple as that! (I've never encountered a situation where I was not willing to defer to her, to preserved her authority and confidence in my deference, as well as our marriage. I'm not willing to risk either being damaged; we've never encountered any conflict that seemed more important than those.)

    (Cont. . . .)

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  8. Donn,
    I admire your FLR relationship. It definitely takes a special person to live like yourself. I wanted an FLR relationship for quite sometime after I split from an ex. Our relationship was toxic and far from what a relationship should have been. I hurt her and she hurt me. I was young and would have greatly benefited from an FLR. My Mother was very domineering growing up. She was extremely loving, but we feared her tremendously. She had no problem pulling down your pants and beating you at the slightest whim. We learned quickly to toe the line or you would feel the paddle or strap. I was hoping early on to meet someone who had similar values as she. A women who wouldn’t take any of my crap. Unfortunately, I never found that women. I did marry a wonderful women who definitely puts me in my place when need be. I unlike you, now look back and would not want an FLR. My alpha ego would never allow it and I enjoy my guy time away from my wife. It has actually strengthened our marriage. As she says, I don’t want u up my butt all the time. My naturally submissive wife who can’t be bothered by mundane things such as finances, does hold me accountable for things such as my attitude and disrespect to situations at times. I have earned her respect, by always placing her needs prior to mine. She was sick and had complications for quite some time and multiple surgeries. I was there through thick and thin. I cooked, cleaned and assisted with all household chores. I do it because as a partner; that’s what your suppose to do. I know she still feels weird thrashing me at times but understands why I need it. It’s amazing how two people can grow up in similar situations and be completely opposite. I think we have a great balance. The ying to the Yang so to speak. She continues to get better with scolding and spanking. Her last strapping was a perfect DD punishment. I didn’t want a spanking. She actually took charge, told me I was getting one and followed through. The thrashing was severe enough to get my attention. I was marked and very sore and extremely apologetic afterwards. Her words of your bottom will pay the price for your mouth resonated for days afterwards. Along with my very sore bottom.
    T

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    1. "I didn’t want a spanking. She actually took charge, told me I was getting one and followed through."

      I think that's one of those real threshold moments -- when you really don't want one but she insists on doing it and follows through.

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  9. Dan wrote: “McCarthy sure seems like a natural beta to me, but whether he comes by it naturally or adopts it in order to get the votes he needs for the position he craves, who knows”

    McCarthy is-to use a technical term- a “political whore” He will “do” anyone, anytime, if it gets or keeps power for him. He is Trump lite, utterly devoid of integrity or any moral compass other than seeking power. Watching him try to “lead” that caucus is going to provide some much needed levity for the next two years.
    Alan

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    1. I agree with you that it's going to amusing, though there also is a high likelihood that a Speaker as weak as him won't be able to force his conference into things like acting like adults on huge things like the debt ceiling and funding the government. All indications are they'll fixate on weighty issues like Hunter Biden, and fiddle while Rome burns. It's going to be Whitewater all over again, and these guys are too stupid to remember how that ended up -- with Clinton winning in a landslide after being impeached and the Republicans suffering a huge drubbing in the congressional elections.

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    2. Without Republicans to help,Democrats might have been a third party long ago.

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  10. I handle pretty much everything. Dev takes care of my infractions. She needed blood work done per Drs orders. She always has a reason not to go. I tricked her into going yesterday. I said the Dr is going on vacation and needed it before the holiday. Reluctantly she went. We were in the kitchen when I told her well my plan worked. She said I lied to her. ( indeed I did ). She went down the hall and returned with her black ebony hairbrush. She spanked me in the dining room long and hard ! Hurt like hell !! But it was worth it. JR

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    1. Good man. You did the right thing even if your ass paid a price.

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    2. This is fascinating. Punished for lying for a good cause. I think I'll try it when a situation presents itself!
      Cynthia Ellen

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  11. Our relationship is different than most described on this site, because we have separate houses, money, interests and friends. However, we do spend a lot to time at each others houses, and have some mutual friends and interests. This lifestyle is different than the one I have lived in for most of my adult life, which has been married, with children. It requires both partners to be very independant and comfortable with solitude. When we got together I wanted her to discipline me and would self report, resulting in many spankings. We practiced that for a few years and it did help me to cut back on my excessive drinking. Recently, she let me know that in order to do that, she had to numb out, which neither of us wanted. We agreed that we are not going to continue doing that, and she will give me maintenance spankings every week. She continues to have the authority to spank me for any reason, but she will no longer discipline me for not meeting my goals, etc. She will spank me for anything I do that annoys her, or sometimes just to surprise me. I treat her very well and seldom give her reason to spank.

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    1. Norton,
      I agree with the direction you are taking. My first (and only other) DD relationship was with a woman I did not live with. She did not do maintenance spanking but her strong emphasis was on how I behaved with her and the health of our relationship. Several of my goals were important to her because they impacted the relationship but the relationship was her focus. That made it much more real and kept her interested in discipline.
      Alan

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    2. Agreed. While I think it's great if wives are willing to "help" with personal goals, and it obviously works for some commenters like ZM, it seems to be the exception. Usually things are going to work best if the wife disciplines in response to things that have an actual impact on her or on the relationship as a whole.

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    3. I agree that probably DD normally works best when the wife is disciplining for something that she has some stake in. Certainly, it can be effective in cases where the wife is trying to help the husband attain his goals, but even then she will usually be quite dispassionate while delivering a spanking - which of course does not preclude her delivering a hard punishment - unless either she has some interest in the subject at hand or perhaps if she feels disrespected because he is not taking it seriously enough.

      -ZM

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    4. I don't recall ever setting my own goals and expecting her to punish me for not reaching them. Our DD was about behavior she did not like (such as disrespect), or felt was unsafe (aggressive driving), or felt was bad for the family (spending money on toys). She set the standards (all quite reasonable) and strictly enforced them!
      KOJ

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    5. Maybe that is part of our issue, that he doesn't have goals for me. He says stop being sassy or a brat, but he sees it as behavior I should improve on my own rathrr than him holding me accountable.
      It seems that some of you guys changed your wives minds so they took accountability over you. How did you do that? Maybe a future topic?
      Cynthia Ellen

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    6. CE,
      Both of you must decide what behavior triggers discipline or punishment. In short, he must buy in and should feel some considerable stake in it. It can’t be only things you care about; it should be things you both take seriously -preferably very seriously
      Alan

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  12. Thanks, Dan and Alan. It took awhile for us to get to where we are now, which seems to have a nice balance. The main issue I was disciplined for (drinking to excess) is no longer impacting her at all. It always seemed selfish of me to bother her with having to get involved with "helping" me meet my goals. Also, she never enjoyed giving me a hard disciplinary spanking, as it makes her shut down a part of herself to do it. That is not the case with maintenance spankings, which really do have a positive impact on the relationship, and almost always is an intimate time for us. She probably enjoys being able to spank me for small offenses like leaving the toilet seat up, as she knows a spanking, or ever the threat of one, has my full attention. Little things can be annoying to women, and having a method that will correct them often ends up having some humor in it, instead of creating resentment and distance.

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    1. "Little things can be annoying to women, and having a method that will correct them often ends up having some humor in it, instead of creating resentment and distance."

      Good point.

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  13. I grew up being taught that husband's lead and wives submit but what I observed was usually the opposite. Men put on the pretense of being the HOH but when it came down to it the influence of the wife almost always won out. I wondered if in private they were more dominate then the public persona. I got my answer when over at a friend's house I heard his mother verbally chastise his farther. I don't know if she spanked him in private but at least I fantasied she did. My dad was the HOH but the money was generally mom's domain. What ever my parents were like behind closed doors was never very obvious but on occasion my Dad would allude to spanking mom, so I assumed he was the HOH. It is complicated and eache marriage is different. My wife always appeared to be strong and a little more dominant. At first I hated it and wanted her to be more submissive. I bullied her into submission but we fought a lot
    One day I came across the DWC website and wondered if her spanking me would work to resolve issues. We tried it with somewhat limited results because she couldn't adjust to changing roles. I resently asked her for a full on FLR which we both want but it will take time and work but in general it has approved our relationship so we are progressing
    Ward

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    1. I grew up being taught that husband's lead and wives submit but what I observed was usually the opposite. Men put on the pretense of being the HOH but when it came down to it the influence of the wife almost always won out."

      You're probably right. I admit I get a little annoyed at some of the mental gymnastics and denial that go on with some couples to preserve this illusion that the man is in charge or to let him maintain his view that he's the HoH. We've had couples here express something along the lines of, "He can't tie his own shoes or balance a checkbook without me spanking his ass, but he's my leader."

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  14. Another step in our disciplinary relationship. Because we have to wait until Monday, when our pup is ready to go back to daycare, to be able to spank me, Ann had me put up a tally list on our refrigerator.

    Now, it only has the letters « SP » on it and then the hash marks, but that’s pretty out there for us. I asked her if that was specific enough for her and she said it was ( thankfully !) And it’s not right on top.

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    1. Fred, sorry, I don't understand the reference to needing a pup to go back to daycare before the spanking can occur.

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    2. Sorry. He has to be out of the house for a spanking to occur. Next week offers us the first time in two weeks for a time alone (a spanking to happen.)

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    3. Ah got it. We just put ours out of the bedroom and lock the door.

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    4. We have a male cat who likes to watch my husband spank me (and do other things)!
      Cynthia Ellen

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  15. As far as the poll goes my wife really as always had the final say on every aspect of our marriage. However, I am extremely stubborn and have tended to bully her into giving into what I want. Lately because we have talked so much about my selfishness and stubborn pride. She has been more determined to put a stop to it. If I start aggressively pushing to get my way she will stop the argument and if I continue I end up OTK and spending time in the corner until I understand who the boss is. If I am submissive she generally will ask my opinion about a lot of things but she will decide what happens and I better fall in line. I hate arguing but can't stop myself especially if I think I am right so I kinda hate it when she ask for my opinion. I have improved but have a long way to go to always submit.
    Ward

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  16. This is KOJ. Here are my answers:

    Finances: She managed the household budget. Major expenditures we decided together.

    Family interactions: Joint parenting.

    Social: She made most decisions on who to see when.

    Sexual: We both initiated sex.

    DD: She set the standards she wanted to enforce.

    Decision-making: Joint

    Work: I enjoyed working pretty independently. I did not like supervising others.

    Confrontation: I did when necessary, especially at work.

    Comfort with opposite sex: Women usually made the first move. Once I knew they were interested, look out!

    Reputation among friends/relatives: This changed dramatically after retirement. Folks previously saw us as equals. After retirement she was obviously dominant. One of my adult children has discussed this with me because the change was so blatant to her.
    KOJ

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    1. "Reputation among friends/relatives: This changed dramatically after retirement. Folks previously saw us as equals. After retirement she was obviously dominant. One of my adult children has discussed this with me because the change was so blatant to her."

      It really is interesting that your wife seemed to undergo such a dramatic change so quickly. Out of curiosity, what did you tell your adult child in response to her question?

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  17. In terms of finances, my husband has taken over because I am a shopping girl and spend too much.

    In terms of family, I lead when it's my side and he leads when it is his.

    Socially, I come up with most of the ideas but he gets to approve them.

    Sexually, I tease him a lot but he decides if we are going to do it (and what).

    DD, I try to initiate it but he decides of course.

    Decisionmaking, we make a lot of decisions together.

    Work, I like having a boss who makes it clear what I need to do that day.

    Confrontation. Friends and relatives might call me very confrontational but most of it is banter. I don't want to have a real fight and I want to be stopped before it gets that far.

    Comfort with the opposite sex. Um, yes.

    How others see us: I think they see me as an unbroken pony. Is that dominant or submissive or both? They see him as a quiet leader. Is that dominant or submissive or both or neither?
    Cynthia Ellen

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