The Toothpaste Tube Syndrome

Sometimes when I’m trying to drift off to sleep, I think about what I want to write here. Last night, my thoughts turned to my last spanking. As you might recall, I had gotten a bit of my dinner on my shirt. That is a violation of a rule Mrs. Lion set for me. The penalty is a spanking. So, when we got home and I removed my clothes, after a while Mrs. Lion went to her “shoe holder” behind the bedroom door and selected a paddle.

She told me to roll over onto my stomach. I really didn’t have even the slightest interest in being spanked. There was no erotic twinge. I just wanted to be left alone to relax, watch TV and eventually go to sleep. I didn’t want to play, didn’t want my chastity device off. I just wanted to be left alone. That, in itself, is unusual. Even though I hate being spanked, the idea usually turns me on, at least a little bit. Not this time.

Of course I rolled over and kept my mouth shut. I’m not suicidal. To my surprise, she shoved something up my ass. It turned out to be ginger root. She was figging me! That was interesting, but still not erotic. After the burn from the ginger wore off, she spanked me. It was painful, but mercifully short.

Anyway, as I recalled those events, it occurred to me that the reason I was annoyed was because the offense was truly trivial and I had decided it wasn’t worth the ensuing pain. Well, getting a little sauce on my shirt isn’t a big deal. Instead of silently growling as I recalled this, a light bulb in my head went on.

Let me explain. One of the favorite sitcom plots is when a couple bickers over small things. You always squeeze the toothpaste from the middle of the tube is a perennial yuckfest. You get the idea. It seems to me that the longer people live together, the more grating these small things become. Over time, as more and more little things pile up, anger grows and people start to act out in destructive ways because they feel silly about making a big deal over a toothpaste tube and allow the bad feelings to grow unchecked. Maybe getting food on my shirt probably isn’t one of the things I do that irritates Mrs. Lion, but it is a useful example. Let’s assume she just hates it when I do that. I’m very sure that under other conditions, she would never mention it when I do this. But it would grate on her.

I’m not going to claim that domestic discipline cures this sort of thing. In most cases it doesn’t. Disciplining wives punish for more serious behavioral issues. They feel as silly as the rest of us about spanking their husbands over a middle-squeezed toothpaste tube. In a family that practices spanking, corner time, writing assignments, and other childhood punishments, parents don’t discipline for these small offenses. So, as adults, even though they punish their husbands using the techniques they learned as children, they don’t apply them for the small stuff.

Because we need to learn what others experienced through childhood, I’ve been spanked for minor offenses. Would doing something annoying be any more trivial than food on my shirt? I don’t think so. I will say that there is no chance I will never spill again. That’s one reason Mrs. Lion selected this offense. It assures lots of practice. But what if she used this trivial rule as a template for small things that actually bother her?

She has done just that. She hates it when I interrupt her. So, she made it a rule that I can’t interrupt her. If I do, I get punished. Unfortunately, Mrs. Lion is as likely to decide to skip the punishment as she is to actually administer it. After all, it’s a lot of trouble for a little thing.

Ah hah!

That’s the toothpaste tube syndrome. It’s not important enough to make a big deal about it. I think that it’s actually just as important as the more serious offenses that traditionally earn a spanking. Think of it like this: You’re in your kitchen. It’s nice and clean. You accidentally drop a few bread crumbs on the floor. You decide to keep cooking and ignore them. Over a week or two you disregard small spills and food drops. As you move around the room, the food is ground into the floor. When you finally can’t stand the mess, you clean. It’s a lot of work to scrub up all those little spills. However, if you stopped and swept up the crumbs or wiped up the spill, the floor would stay clean. Periodic maintenance would be easy.

It’s the same thing with behavior. The more little stuff you ignore or decide to pass over, the more negative feelings build up in the disciplining wife. Meanwhile, me, the disciplined husband, gets mixed messages. It’s ok to interrupt most of the time. However, every so often the behavior earns me a bruised butt. In other words, a series of little things build up until there is an explosion of whomping.

When that happens, I do understand that the punishment is for cumulative events. It isn’t a shock. The problem is that I don’t build a strong cause-and-effect connection between interrupting and pain. I get it intellectually, but on the all-important gut level I don’t learn anything.

That was my midnight revelation. The constructive, positive value of domestic discipline is rooted in developing an almost subconscious connection between behavior and consequence. That’s why a spanking has to hurt so much. It’s not a BDSM activity. It’s a serious effort to extinguish a negative behavior. That’s how to cure the toothpaste tub syndrome: consistent application of averse stimulation each and every time the behavior is observed. B. F. Skinner had it right.


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  1. Author

    Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this post. It’s been a while since I commented, but rest assured that I am here and reading. You and Mrs. Lion are an inspiration.

    1. Author

      It’s great to know you are still with us. We miss both of your comments.

      1. Author

        Thank you. I’ll be more active. I’m sure she will see this, but tell Mrs. Hi.

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