Saturday, February 25, 2023

The Club - Meeting 431 - Preventative & Maintenance Spankings

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." -- Benjamin Franklin


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


I hope you all had a good week.  Mine was pretty uneventful.  I spent part of it trying to gather all our tax information to submit to our accountant.  Somehow, it always seems so much more complicated and time-consuming than I anticipated.  I thought with Anne working only part of the year and me not working at all, it would be simple, but there are the complications of retirement income from investments. Silly me thinking “I lost a buttload of money all year” would make things super simple.  It just seems like there should be an easier process.



Anyway, despite the insinuations by one commenter that Anne’s recent pickleball injury renders her an invalid who I should be hovering over instead of leveraging the situation for a topic on surrogates . . . sigh . . . she has brought up the issue of discipline/spanking a couple of times recently.  A couple of days ago, she asserted that I was owed a spanking for some bad behavior from a week ago. I retorted that she had “waived” the issue by not dealing with it closer to the offense.  (We have no such “waiver” rule, though I’ve thought from time to time that maybe we should, and it at least was worth trying.)


Instead of rejecting my “waiver” argument directly, she went all argumentative aikido on me, attacking my proposition indirectly from another angle.  Her retort was something to the effect of, “Well, it doesn’t really matter. We have a social event coming up, so we can just treat it as a preventative spanking.”


The spanking didn’t happen, or at least it hasn’t yet, and we still have one social eent to go this weekend.  It did, however, at least give me a topic to write about this week.  It’s been almost two years since we’ve done one on preventative spankings and, in the meantime, we’ve added some regular commenters.  Also, honestly, I was all out of inspiration for anything better.


So, let’s talk about what I call “preventative” spankings.  Let’s also talk about another form of “unearned” spanking, i.e. maintenance, though I admit my personal level of interest in that topic is not high.


Preventative Spankings


I’ve also seen preventative spankings referred to as “precautionary” or “prophylactic.” The basic idea is they are spankings that are delivered before bad behavior has taken place, in an attempt to head off that bad behavior and perhaps prevent it from happening.



I used to be a skeptic about whether preventative spankings had a legitimate role in DD relationships.  It didn’t seem to qualify as real punishment and also didn’t seem to be about being held accountable.  It also seemed to me to be more than a little unfair, since it seemed to involve punishing for something that hadn’t actually happened and might not.


Over the years, while Anne has done it only a couple of times, I’ve come around to the concept.


As I said, one of my basic objections to the idea of preventative spanking was that they seemed downright unfair.  I think there are at least two answers to that.


First, when we’ve discussed this topic in the past, it seemed like in most cases the wives who used it were responding to situations in which there was a well-established track record of misbehavior. It might be drinking too much at a party. It might be getting into political arguments at holiday dinners. Whatever the particulars, in most cases it appeared that the wives were well-justified in believing these particular contexts resulted in misbehavior.  So, while there might be a little unfairness in presuming bad behavior would happen, the husbands seemed to concede that the wives’ predictive power was pretty good.



Second, and closely related, the alleged unfairness of preventative spankings seems to be at least somewhat mitigated if they are seen as a precursor to the much worse spanking that will be avoided if the preventative spanking actually works. 


So, it’s not strictly true that a preventative is “unearned.”  Rather, it’s been earned over, and over, and over again.  She’s just trying to keep you from earning another, much worse one.


Do preventative spankings work?  As I said, Anne has done them only a couple of times.  Once was before a graduation party, with a group of friends who have a track record of encouraging excess boozing.  I recall sitting there, on a slightly warm but still stinging butt, very aware of each drink I took and on what came out of my mouth. So, in that instance, it definitely worked.  I don’t remember anything about the other time she used it, other than it was at least somewhat effective then, too.



My example fits well with a comment Alan made on one of the other occasions that we addressed this topic:


There is a lot of discussion on this blog about the mental, emotional, and sexual impacts of DD. But preventive spanking, while having its mental and psychological effects, is primarily for me not mental, psychological, or sexual but instead about the physical memory of being spanked, i.e. a warm bum -- and the constant reminder it gives me.


It’s been remarked how well behaved a guy is after a spanking. There is a reason for that beyond the mental and psychological effects of being punished. And that reason is the condition of your bottom. How long that lasts probably depends on how severely you were spanked. For me it seems to be around three days to a week.


So it’s much easier for me not to lose my temper behind the wheel or have that extra glass of wine or refrain from telling Uncle Carl that he should read a newspaper once in a while if I have been recently spanked. What stops me is not the abstract thought that she might spank me, but the all too vivid physical memory that she has already spanked me.”


Maintenance Spankings


I don't know whether there is an accepted definition, but I think of maintenance spankings as "reminders" or "just because . . ." spankings. While I guess they don’t necessarily have to happen at pre-set intervals, my impress has been that our couples who use them seem to do so on a pre-scheduled basis, like once a week, once a month, etc.


My primary issue with maintenance spankings was basically the same as my concern about preventive spankings, i.e. was it really discipline if it didn’t involve punishing a particular action or failure.  I always wondered whether it was just an excuse for someone with a spanking fetish to get spanked more often, while for some reason needing to call that “disciplinary.”


I don’t feel that way about it anymore, though we still don’t have any plans to do them.  Also, as I went through some old comments to prepare for this post, I realized that while I’ve always seen “preventative” and “maintenance” as distinct categories, I’m now not so sure.


One of our past commenters “Liz” had this to say about what some here call maintenance, though she preferred another term:


“We do weekly spankings whether or not there have been any transgressions, but we don't call them maintenance. We consider them “motivational”: Art gets paddled every Monday morning to remind him to keep his arrogance to a minimum. I do believe in DD that is proactive in addition to reactive. Maybe that's what some couples mean by maintenance, but I don't care for the term. It sounds weird to me. I'm not his maintenance department. But yes, I like restricting DD to one day a week so it is not a dominating thing in our lives.”


Her husband Art offered this:


“I also have come to believe in preventive DD. Liz paddles me every Monday morning as a reminder to curb my arrogance. She spanks hard enough that sitting is uncomfortable for 2-3 days and I can even feel it as I walk. That discomfort serves as a constant reminder to be humble and keep my mouth shut when I want to make sarcastic comments. As the discomfort fades, so does my humility. All of my recent incidents of arrogance have come toward the end of the week.”


Liz and Art’s comments show a blending of the concepts of prevention, maintenance, and punishment.  Liz’s references to “proactive” and “reactive” were echoed by Danielle, who liked the term “management”:


 “If spanking is viewed purely as punishment, preventative spanking doesn’t make sense. But I view it as “behavior management,” rather than just punishment. I have used it in a specific context with my husband in the past. The men in my husband’s extended family have epic political arguments during family dinners. I have always found that annoying, especially when my husband gets involved, which he often does...or rather used to. Therefore, I have, on a couple of occasions, spanked him before going to a family dinner to heighten his consciousness of the behavior I expect of him. I also couple the preventative spanking with the implied threat that if I have to intervene in an argument during dinner, I just might "forget myself" and remind him of the consequences of misbehavior at the dinner table. I have found that it works. That’s the important thing to me.”


Liz also had an issue with frequency and the need to repeatedly discipline deeply rooted, ongoing habits.  Her husband’s issue was arrogance, which he apparently displayed more or less daily when she first took up the paddle after their marriage hit a very rocky place thanks to his behavior.  She did not want DD to dominate their lives and was unwilling to spank only for particular contemporaneous acts of arrogance, as that would entail spanking him nearly every day.  For her, spanking him once a week was both a kind of “catch up” covering all the issues during the week (including arrogance at work, which she wouldn’t necessarily learn about) and also a reminder for the following week.


In this sense, maintenance seems to perhaps be kind of a sub-category of preventative, though I guess you could also say that preventative is a sub-category of maintenance if maintenance equates with “management” or “proactive.”  It may address accumulated bad behavior that has gone unpunished, while also serving as a reminder to behave in the future.


There is another sense in which I see maintenance as having a role that is totally distinct from preventative spankings, namely “role affirmation.”  Power exchange relationships like DD and FLR may require undoing a lot of deeply-entrenched power dynamics and hierarchies.  If a woman was raised in a patriarchal environment, or if her marriage was itself an example of such an environment in the past, just like he may need periodic reminders to behave and that he’s now subject to her authority, she may need to periodically remind herself that she indeed has that authority.


In that sense, I think that preventative and maintenance spankings—and that relationship management function Danielle referred to--may also be indicators that the marriage has progressed from something confined to DD to something more like an FLR, with her taking on a more proactive role in managing conduct instead of just punishing it.


Liz summed up all these various roles for maintenance and preventative spankings nicely in this single quote:


“I'm not sure if there has been a Monday morning when there was NOTHING to punish Art for. So we start with that. Then we move on to the upcoming week, though there really is no noticeable transition. On many Mondays nowadays there are more swats about the upcoming week than there were for the past week. To me that is a sign that our DD is working because he had a good week last week. But he admits that he needs a paddling to remind him to keep it up. If he completely stopped being arrogant, maybe the reminders would stop. But that's all speculative since his arrogance is unlikely to go away completely. I think the routine we have established of paddling him every Monday has been good for Art. He knows what to expect. And it is good for me too, to remind myself of the authority I now hold in our marriage. I don't have to and won't accept his arrogance anymore. Maybe we both need weekly reminders of that!”


Do you practice preventative and/or maintenance spankings? What role do they serve?  Have they been effective?  In what sense?  Also, I’m curious about the mechanics.  Is a preventative or maintenance spanking less severe than a punishment spanking?  Is the duration shorter? Do you have a pre-set schedule?



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

Saturday, February 18, 2023

The Club - Meeting 430 - Surrogates

“The rate at which a person can mature is directly proportional to the embarrassment he can tolerate.” - Douglas Engelbart


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


I hope you all had a good week.  Ours began okay but is ending with something that may put our forward progress on disciplinary spankings on pause for a month.


Anne had been having some pain in her hand, apparently as a result of too much pickleball.  She saw a doctor about it and, while nothing is broken, they decided it need to be immobilized for four weeks.  So, she’s now in a cast. And, as luck would have it, it’s on her spanking hand.


I probably should feel happy about the possibility of going unspanked for a month regardless of behavior.  But, honestly, I don’t.  For the last month or so, I’ve felt like my behavior has been worsening on multiple fronts.  While I knew I wouldn’t like it as it was happening, I also knew that I needed some of those enforced guardrails we discussed here a couple of weeks ago.  I was serious enough about it that I actually gave Anne a journal entry suggesting that she take a less hands-off approach around drinking and also start tightening the screws in other areas. 


It looks like now that may not happen.  I am going to suggest that she evaluate whether there is much she can do with her other hand, but the reality is that we may have to take a month off.


I was whining about this to Aunt Kay’s husband, Tomy, and he brought up that during its heyday, the wives associated with the Disciplinary Wives Club would have been happy to stand in and lend a hand under similar circumstances.  He also pointed out that it’s quite possible there are couples within easy driving distance who are in female-led disciplinary relationships.  He's probably right.  Hell, for all I know one or more of the commenters on this blog may live near us. 


A few weeks ago, I asked the group whether you would be okay with your wives spanking other men. The views were varied and equivocal.  At the time, a few thought the issue of being spanked by another woman was more interesting.  I agreed, but I didn’t want to take it up at the time, because it was clear that the scenario of a wife spanking another man made some of you uncomfortable, which I thought made it well worth exploring.  But, this week, let’s take up the topic of being spanked by another woman.


Have any of you been given a disciplinary spanking from another woman while you were in a relationship that included disciplinary spankings?  If so, how did that come about?


 If not, do you think it is something you and/or your wife would ever seriously consider?  What if, similar to my situation, an injury or disability interfered with your wife’s ability to discipline you?  Would you look for alternative spankers or just learn to live without disciplinary spankings?  If you did explore alternatives, would the preference be for someone you both know, or would it more likely be a professional?  Would your wife be present when the spanking happened?


I honestly don’t know how things would go if our current pause was going to be longer than four weeks.  I’ve always said I could live without disciplinary spankings if necessary, and I’m sure I could. But, I do feel like having someone put those guardrails in place from time to time has benefits for both of us and for our relationship. Still, the impediments would be fairly daunting.


First, seeing a pro probably would be the most practical option, but I really have no interest at all in seeing a pro.  It not only doesn’t attract me, but I have an adverse reaction to the idea.


Second, I don’t know whether Anne would be at all open to me being spanked by another woman.  She admits to being pretty jealous, far more so than I.  I’m not sure whether she would ever be able to get her mind around another woman taking on her disciplinary role, even temporarily. Though, I also think a lot depends on the exact circumstances.  If she struck up a friendship with another disciplinary wife, I’m not sure where that might lead.  It's always possible that she’d be okay with someone standing in temporarily if it were someone she knew and trusted.


Third, regardless of Anne’s openness or lack thereof, it is the case that if there are disciplinary wives living near us, we don’t know it. 


Maybe because there are so many practical impediments, and because of the inherently intimate nature of adult spanking, this doesn’t seem to be a scenario that those wired like us contemplate that often.  Among the dozens of stories on the Disciplinary Wives Club website, I think only one, Military Duty Calls, involves a surrogate stepping in during a period when the wife was going to be absent for several months.  In that case, the wife asked her mother to be the surrogate.  For us, family members would be a non-starter.  Anne would never, ever look to her mother for that kind of thing.  She does have a sister, but they don’t get along.



While I’ve been talking about another woman acting as a surrogate, it is of course possible that such a role could be filled by a man.  In fact, my guess is it would be easier statistically to find a man to fill the role, because there probably are more couples in M/f dynamics. I've also read that disciplinary spankings are somewhat prevalent in the gay community.  


As mortified as I probably would be if Anne sent me to a woman to be spanked, I can’t imagine what it would be like to be sent to a man. Given her jealousy issues with other women, it does seem like a male surrogate might be more palatable to her.  


It also seems that, while I'm sure I would find it utterly humiliating, my subconscious is okay contemplating it.  I’ve talked here before about a dream I had in which I was taken out of some work-related party or function to be spanked by the male office manager.  In that dream, Anne was present at the function but didn’t go out with me to witness the spanking. Instead, when I balked at doing it, she told me to move along and get what I had coming.  At least in my dream, she had zero problems with someone else spanking me, at least if that someone else was a man.


Please let us all know your thoughts about this.



I also wanted to refer back briefly to Norton’s reference to some written and audio materials he’d seen by a woman named Jacqueline Omerta, called The Psychology of Adult Spanking.  It really is too bad that the audio version seems to have disappeared. I recall one of them very distinctly, in which Ms. Omerta brought a young female client to tears with a long spanking.  Given my own fascination with the prospect of crying from a spanking, it was powerful listening to it. Ms. Omerta claimed to be a licensed therapist, and I did wonder at the time whether using spanking as therapy would be a big “no-no” for that kind of professional licensure.  I assume it would be, which is kind of too bad. I have no doubt that in certain therapeutic settings, particularly marriage counseling, spanking would be a powerful tool in the right hands.


I hope you have a good week.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

The Club - Meeting 429 - Asking for it, journaling, rules, etc.

A person who is knowingly bent on bad behavior, gets upset when better behavior is expected of them. - Jane Austen


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


I hope you all had a great week.  Mine was pretty good.  After complaining all last year about our lack of snow, this year I’ve found myself hoping for a break from it. This week, contrary to the groundhog’s prediction of six more weeks of winter, it’s been almost Spring-like.  It feels like motorcycle weather is just around the corner.



As a preliminary matter, I wanted to check in on the Blogger sign-in issues.  While it’s definitely an intrusive move on Google’s part to require a sign-in (and to require that it be exclusively a Gmail account), it doesn’t seem to have prevented any of our regulars from commenting.  I hope I’m right about that.  I did take a look at the blog’s statistics and, while the change hasn’t been in place long enough for me to really determine whether there is an emerging pattern or just random noise, it does look like the average readership dropped significantly over the last couple of weeks.  Anne is also frustrated with it and doesn’t seem to want to get a fake Google account. 


So, it may be that a move to another platform is becoming inevitable.  I’ve been playing around with a WordPress version, but working with their templates isn’t nearly as easy as Blogger and I’m not really satisfied with the look and feel yet.  But, I may have to just live with it. Here’s what I have done so far.  I’d be interested in your feedback.  


After having a good run of inspiration for blog topics, this week I seem to have run out of gas.  I don’t have a particular topic in mind, but instead of not posting, I thought maybe we could follow up on a few comments from last week.


Near the end of the week, ZM note that he and his wife haven’t established any formal “rules” per se and asked for input from the group on what rules others have put in place.  I don’t think many saw that request, as only a couple of us responded.  If you do have either agreed-upon rules or rules that she has imposed, do you mind sharing?  I’d also be curious, have any of the wives imposed a rule that you actually don’t agree with?


On the subject of rules, KOJ said:


We definitely had a set of rules, all of which she established and enforced with spanking. But she also was very much into spanking for "disrespect" and ungentlemanly conduct," and that could take almost any form. Occasionally I would be surprised by her reasoning, but usually she was spot on. 


Did spankings decline as she "trained" me? Yes, but not as much as one might imagine because she kept setting the bar for my behavior higher and higher. Plus, she both needed to and enjoyed asserting her female authority, and nothing did so as directly and dramatically as ordering me to take down my pants.


We didn't do maintenance, but there were times when I noticed her getting antsy and I knew she would soon be finding a (good enough) reason to put me over her knee. Sort of a gender reversal from the more typical situation of the disciplined husband needing a reset. It was her demonstrating that "I'm in charge here, and don't you forget it!"


Regarding whether the frequency of spankings declines as a husband becomes better “trained”, have you experienced the same phenomenon KOJ references, i.e. that the frequency doesn’t go down as much as you might have expected, because the bar keeps getting raised?



Also, what about the “gender reversal” reset he referenced?  Do your wives start getting “antsy” if they haven’t spanked you in a while?  I used to think that Anne saw spanking as kind of a chore, and perhaps for a long time she did.  I think that changed, however, a year or so ago when we simplified things and sort of streamlined all the “ritual” around a session.  While she hasn’t said so expressly, I do think there are times when she does almost hope I’ll do something to earn one.



As I said when answering ZM’s question, early on we did have agreed-upon rules.  We really don’t anymore, though there have been consequences associated with certain things to the point that I guess you could say there is an unwritten but fully understood rule.  It tends to be the “smaller” things, like not forgetting to clean something in the kitchen after dinner or not locking the doors at night. 


For the most part, I’m happy with her deciding what is and is not punishable.  As Alan said:


Something not much discussed is encouraging her to use her discretion makes her much more comfortable about exercising the authority most of us want our wives and G.F. to use. And the more she does use her discretion, the better her judgment is likely to be on the things that matter to both of you.


I think that’s right.  ZM has commented about his wife getting very hung up on the issue of “fairness.”  I’m sure that’s true for many wives, and I suspect that it takes quite a bit of time and practice for many of them to get comfortable using their discretion about when to take us over their knee.  Personally though, with one or two caveats, I prefer her to use her own judgment.  It makes the whole thing feel much less like I’m in control, which is one of the goals.


I also liked TB’s explanation of his journaling practice:


In my journal I also covered why DD was important to somebody (like me) who has almost as long as I can remember had a 'thing' about spanking. It is a deep 'drive/need' that I had never shared with anybody. And this drive linked with my need to have boundaries, limits and targets made it in many ways ideal to re-balance our relationship. That explanation has seemed to make complete sense to her in a way that previous attempts have failed.


The closest I have come to 'asking for it' is in such a journal where I will express the view that I deserve & need a 'reset' - but that does not stop me later trying to avoid it. I find it difficult to imagine asking to be spanked and then immediately having to submit to the spanking. It feels like the 'journal' form of request is more in line with a general consent rather than asking for an immediate, specific, painful action. TB


I like the description of his need as being about “boundaries, limits, and targets.”  That really nails it with respect to what I think I found so compelling about DD when I first discovered the concept.


Like TB, I also have kept a journal from time to time that I share with Anne.  She has told me that she likes it, because it gives her insight into what’s going on in my head. Like TB, I sometimes do use it to suggest a spanking is warranted for something.  Though, honestly, I think that one reason I’m so inconsistent with the journaling process is the likelihood that it will result in more spankings.  While consistency used to be a real issue even when I did self-report something, with the way things have changed over the last year or so it now seems to be the case that I report something in the journal, it almost certainly will result in a spanking.  Probably that same day.  So, journaling now seems like a form of “asking for it.”  Which is . . . hard.


Speaking of asking for it, KOJ and Alan both talked about how their wives would ask them, “Do you need a spanking?” Alan observed:


Just asking me, “Do you need a spanking?” (privately) probably actually saved me from dozens of actual spankings that I was close to triggering from her.


Anne actually hasn’t given that kind of warning very often, which is too bad because I think it could be very powerful.  It definitely gives me a powerful reaction just reading the words.  It may be because I have a vague memory of my parents asking something very similar, though I think it was phrased as “Do you want a spanking?” Had they wanted an answer, I’m sure it would have been “no.”  And, despite having initiated our DD relationship, I think the answer still would be “no” today.  It’s easy to think about how much better off I would be if she was much quicker to spank, yet in the moment it would be very hard to agree I deserve one. 


While the memes below are more about asking for a disciplinary relationship, as opposed to asking for a particular spanking, I thought the sequence did a nice job of laying out a compressed version of the kind of things that go through many wives' minds as they consider such a request, at least once the surprise wears off. 





I look forward to your thoughts on any of the above.  Have a great week.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

The Club - Meeting 428 - Consensual Non-Consent, Asking For It & Communication

“The leader can never close the gap between himself and the group. If he does, he is no longer what he must be. He must walk a tightrope between the consent he must win and the control he must exert.” - Vince Lombardi


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


I hope you had a good week. Things were relatively slow and uneventful here, other than I got pulled into some drama at my former gig, where I haven’t worked in almost two years.  I wouldn’t mention it, except it kind of bears on this week’s topic, which I’ll talk about later. 


One thing that did feel eventful was a change in the weather.  I know that Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter, but here winter decided to at least take a breather.  After weeks of bitter, snowy weather, I actually had to take my heavy coat off during dog walks this week.  I can’t say I minded the change, though this time last year I was bitching that we seldom seem to get real winters here anymore.



I also wanted to address the recent Google/Blogger changes that Donn flagged.  I’ve said before that Anne does sometimes read this blog, though I never really know when or how much.  Well, apparently it made it into her reading schedule last night, because she walked into our room and asked, “WTF?  Why do I suddenly need to login to view your blog?”  Good question.  It would be nice if Blogger would send its blog owners notices about this kind of shit but, of course, they never do.  It also says a lot that the company pulled this move--requiring having a Google login in order to simply view content, arguably locking in more consumers who may not want to give Google their information—at the same time they’re getting sued by the Justice Department for alleged antitrust violations and by the Europeans for violating privacy regulations.


I was already thinking about other platforms, and maybe this puts the nail in the coffin of my long-time Blogger relationship. It’s not so much this one move, as the fact that every few years Google decides to put the screws to producers of “adult content,” going so far a few times as announcing a ban.  While you’re always basically a tenant on any free platform, subject to the landlord’s whims, Google seems actually to act on those whims regularly and, as with this login change, unexpectedly.  For that reason, I’m playing around with a “beta” Wordpress version of this blog, though I’m finding Wordpress a much bigger pain in the ass to set up. Very simple things like creating a blogroll or listing of links in the sidebars seems to take me an hour to research.  Nothing is very intuitive.  But, I’m trying.  Then, I’m not sure whether I’ll try to keep the blog in two places, or commit to one and shut the other down.  It seems logical to do the latter, since having comments in two places would be a major pain and inhibit conversations.  Anyway . . . stay tuned. On to this week’s topic.


We’ve talked here often about issues around “asking for it,” with “it” being particular spankings, and related issues of consent, rules, and consensual non-consent.


We disciplined husbands often seem to have a big need for “authenticity.” We want real spankings.  We want them to be for real offenses.  And, we want them imposed in a way that feels like exactly that – like they are being imposed on us, whether we like it or not.


We talk about it in terms of “consensual non-consent” or, perhaps less controversially, “blanket consent.”  We consent to the disciplinary relationship as a whole, and perhaps to the rules that govern it, but we don’t want to have a choice on whether particular spankings are given within that context.  In fact, many if not most of us say that we want her to have the sole discretion to determine whether a spanking has been earned.  


Some of us take it even further and say that once we’ve consented to having the disciplinary relationship, she can take a “for any reason” approach.  We consent, but it’s a very broad form.  Basically, we’re consenting to her using her best judgment.


In an ideal world, we’d like her to use that discretion fairly but rigorously, erring on the side of strict enforcement of the rules.


If there are any formal rules. Many (not all) of us are comfortable with the idea that, like a parent, she’s not confined to punishing only those things that the offender agrees should be punishable. Rather, she can determine in the moment what is spankable.


In fact, we would kind of like to be left out of the decision-making process as much as possible. If she is constantly seeking our agreement on whether something should be punished, then who is really in control?  Remember that need for authenticity I talked about?  Does it feel like an authentic imposed punishment if you have much say over the “why, when, and how” questions?



Yet, there are times when such a wide-open grant of discretion is a problem.  Maybe she’s shown that in certain limited areas, her judgment isn’t always state of the art.  Or, maybe the way the way she’s using her discretion strikes too closely to a core identity issue.  Or, perhaps it’s having social or personal consequences she’s not thinking through.


Conversely, maybe the current application of discipline—whether agreed upon or imposed, may be proving to be too lax. Or, maybe something is going on inside his head that she may not be aware of that he may think really needs to be dealt with more strictly, whether in this one instance or more systematically.  Even if both parties prefer her to be in control, maybe he needs to be able to “ask for it” when needed.


This came up for me this week in a concrete way.  Anne and I have gone back and forth a lot over the years about what the approach should be to my alcohol consumption, with everything from numerical limits to bans on drinking at home. Such rule-based limits and bans just never seemed to work, to some extent because work and social drinking situations varied so much.  And, as I’ve said, perhaps because it is so easy to say that some arbitrary number is “too much,” Anne has tended to kind of over-rotate on alcohol issues, spanking for them way more often than for other behavior even though other issues—like being disrespectful or communicating poorly or offensively (see last week’s post)—affect her much more personally.


Things kind of came to a head over the holidays when we were hanging out with other family members, with everyone drinking. Everyone had a good time and there was zero bad behavior on my part. Yet, the next day Anne suggested that maybe I should be spanked simply because I—along with everyone else—had several drinks. 


It was part of one of those big arguments I referenced a few weeks ago.  I basically blew up that she was tightening the screws in the context of a social event in which my behavior was exactly on par with everyone else’s and absolutely nothing had gone wrong. I let her know that if that was going to be the rule, then I’d just start refusing invitations to hang out with friends or family, because she couldn’t expect me to socialize freely with drinkers when the line between “okay” and “not okay” seemed to be totally arbitrary.


I told her that my view was that alcohol in itself isn’t the problem.  It’s the bad behavior that rarely, but sometimes, goes along with it.  If such bad behavior happened, then it should be spankable.  If it didn’t, then it really should be “no harm, no foul.”



That seemed like a workable compromise, and I think she agreed.  But, now I’m kind of backtracking.  Not on the part about bad behavior should be spankable but, rather, about whether consuming “too much” should earn a spanking even in the absence of some glaringly bad behavior.


It’s about something we talk about here frequently – guardrails.  I also sometimes use the word “boundaries,” but I’ve been thinking lately there is a subtle difference.  A boundary seems more like an externally imposed standard that could be entirely arbitrary; if you step over it, there are consequences even if the behavior didn’t harm anyone or have any negative impact on the relationship. 


A guardrail seems more like something that isn’t designed to stop movement that is good or non-destructive.  To the contrary, it's about allowing the driver a lot of autonomy when it comes to setting speed and direction, but also providing for a warning or course correction if things seem to be getting out of hand in a way that looks like it easily could become destructive.


However, sometimes I am the only one who can tell when things are starting to feel a little out of control.  Also, sometimes things that aren’t problematic in and of themselves have a way of accumulating into an unhealthy pattern.  Sometimes I need those things to be nipped in the bud even if they haven’t yet reached the level of a real problem.  I’ve learned from painful experience that about the time I decide I’m doing fine on my own and may have outgrown the need for DD, something usually blows up in spectacular fashion. 


Yet, I still don’t want to go back to Anne exercising unfettered discretion in this one area, because for all her great judgment, she does seem to over-rotate on this one issue.


What’s the solution?  Well, I think like a lot of things with couples in the “real world,” expanding communication might help a lot.


In most areas, I do still like the notions of “consensual non-consent” and “anytime, anywhere, for any reason.” Therefore, I continue to think it should be our baseline rule.


However, since setting the right bar around alcohol has proven to be so challenging, there needs to be a carve-out for that one.  The baseline rule we came up with around spanking only if there was other bad behavior at issue still seems to me to be a wise one.  But, if either of us sees a potential pattern developing, that should be discussed.  It could include things like:


·      if I blow my usual pattern of not drinking a majority of days each week even if none were really excessive;

·      if I have multiple weeks in a row in which I have even one objectively excessive night, even without other behavioral problems;

·      feeling bad enough the next day I skip a workout or otherwise limit my activities;

·      I stay up later than some pre-set time (11:30 or 12:00?)


The point being, there are signs a pattern might be developing and might need to be nipped in the bud. 


January was kind of the poster child for what I’m talking about.  The month started out great, with no drinking at all the first week. Then, we had family in town and had a night or two where everyone was drinking a fair amount. Then, two weeks ago I skied with a friend, and we had too many beers the night before and quite a few the following day.   



That incident really illustrates the problem.  I actually had a great time with that friend and, given that reconnecting with friends was a big goal for me in 2023, I’m not sorry at all that we connected over beer.  But, in the larger context of the month, it could be part of a pattern that I don’t want to extent into February.


Therefore, if there are times when some of those other indicia of a pattern are emerging, or if I just feel like things may be getting out of control, I feel like I need to be able to affirmatively ask for one. 


Now, whether I actually will when confronted with the prospect is a whole other matter.  For that reason, she too should be able to raise it as an issue.  Perhaps, instead of the “for any reason” default rule, she could come to me and say, “Here are the facts I’ve seen lately.  My inclination is to spank you for it. But, if you disagree, here’s your chance to make your case.”  It’s kind of like what she did a week ago, but in that case she asked my opinion only about whether the facts as she described them.  In this case, she could also ask me my opinion on whether a spanking is merited, though my view might not be binding.



These issues around consent are tricky, but so are the issues around asking for it.  I know ZM has said his wife doesn’t want to be asked.  Anne said that too, though it was several years ago.  I haven’t followed up to see what she feels these days.  And, even if she were more open to it today, I still think things work better when she’s making most of the determinations on her own.  So, even if I were to start asking, or reporting more knowing that the result would be the same, I still think I would want to limit it in such a way that she still had far more control than I did.


I don’t have a specific topic around this but welcome any thoughts or reactions.


Speaking of alcohol, I burst out laughing the first time I saw this meme and still do every time I stumble across it in my collection.