Lion has a sore on my weenie. He asked me to unlock him because it was bothering him. Since I was having such a crappy day yesterday, I didn’t feel like doing anything with him but unlocking him was certainly not a problem. Today is going minimally better so maybe, if he’s up for it, we’ll play tonight.

I had a meeting at work this morning. I hate meetings. First, we’ve already had email versions of whatever is being said. Second, everyone nods like a bobblehead that they understand and will do X from now on and, inevitably, nothing changes. It’s a waste of time. When I got out of my meeting, there was an email from Lion. Any other day, I might have shaken my head and wondered if he thought I had cloned myself on the way to work, but my first thought today was that he was being unreasonable and what the hell was he thinking. Before I replied, however, I had talked myself off the ledge and sent a different reply.

So what was the problem? He had an item that needed to be returned to Amazon. Since I’m near a UPS store, I can return it. Obviously they aren’t open before work and I wouldn’t have had time anyway so the “any day” response might have been teasing him about what the rush was to getting it in before work. Today, I read it as his telling me I was a slacker and don’t I know it needs to be done before anything else. Of course, he was asking if I’d remembered to take the return with me. I do forget a lot. It’s a reasonable question. Even though I made a point of putting it by the front door, I’d be just as likely to walk right past it as take it. I tempered my response by saying the place isn’t open before work and I normally drop things off after work.

I know Lion wants me to punish him when he annoys me, but if I am a giant raw nerve right now, is it reasonable to punish him for asking a question? Sure, he could have phrased it differently. I could have read it differently. To me, being mad at him about his question would be like being mad at him for breathing too loudly. He may breathe at that same decibel all the time. It’s just this one instance that it annoys me.

I do understand the concept of punishing him to get used to punishing him. I don’t really care if he spills food on his shirt. It was just something he was bound to do that would give both of us an opportunity to get used to our roles. If I punish him for every “oh, that Lion” moment, I’ll be able to punish him for the “dammit, Lion!” moments. In theory, it all makes sense. When he reminds me I have to punish him in the same moment I’m having a mini-meltdown, I’m much more likely to want to cry rather than spank him. My choice, in that moment, is to get myself under control instead of getting him under control.

I don’t have any idea how long my meltdown will last. It may go away as suddenly as it came. Maybe it will even sneak away. I may wake up a few days from now thinking that the day before was a pretty good day and wonder how that happened. Maybe it will require some action on my part. I used to go to the batting cages and pretend every ball was my husband’s (at the time) face. Symbolically knocking the snot out of him helped sometimes. Ironically, actually knocking the snot out of Lion doesn’t seem to have the same effect. Lion wishes it would.

[Lion comments — Actually I don’t expect spanking me right now to have any healing effect on Mrs. Lion. All I want is for her to get used to punishing me for any and all “Oh that Lion” moments. It’s just like when we first started and Mrs. Lion was getting used to punishing me.]

I managed to piss off Mrs. Lion. We were having a conversation and I wasn’t doing a good job communicating. It was an emotionally loaded subject that upset me to discuss. The topic isn’t important. I apologized after we went back to doing our own thing. She wasn’t terribly receptive. I mentioned, apropos of my post yesterday, that this seemed like a situation where I earned punishment. In a doubtful tone, she said, “I suppose so.”

Her lack of conviction about punishing me said less about the seriousness of the situation than it did about how useful she must think domestic discipline is for her. There was no question that she was visibly angry at me. I got the strong feeling that she doesn’t think of punishing me as any more than something I want her to do.

I’ve had this feeling before. After all, she is nearly perfect in spotting and punishing offenses like spilling food or eating first. Just this past weekend, I forgot to remind her that Saturday was punishment day. She was ready to pounce right after my deadline for telling her. Yet when I truly upset her, the idea of punishing me didn’t seem to cross her mind.

She isn’t doing something wrong. I don’t believe that she isn’t bought into domestic discipline. I think the issue goes far deeper. I think that after a lifetime of holding her feelings back, it doesn’t feel right to express them. One of the reasons I want us to practice DD is to give Mrs. Lion an immediate, direct way of expressing her anger at me.

I believe that holding feelings back can eventually poison the well. Feelings have to go somewhere. Sooner or later they have to get expressed. The question is how? I’m convinced that the healthiest way is via the domestic discipline channel. We have some evidence to support this: When I don’t prepare the coffee pot for breakfast, Mrs. Lion has to do it in the morning when she is rushing to get to work. It’s an annoyance. If DD wasn’t in place, she would almost certainly say nothing and just do the work herself. I am absolutely certain this would annoy her. It would certainly annoy me if the situation was reversed.

With our DD, if I forget she lets me know that I will be punished. She knows that by spanking me she is providing an incentive not to repeat the offense. She also gets a bit of a positive feeling from catching me. She genuinely enjoys discovering me offending. Obviously, there is no deep, emotional issue brought up when I forget to get the coffee ready. That’s not the case when I upset her in a conversation.

We both know that domestic discipline works for us. Where Mrs. Lion applies it, I improve. Yes, I backslide sometimes, but that is handled in a fair, dispassionate way by spanking me. It’s effective for both of us. I don’t think there is any reason to assume it wouldn’t be equally effective if applied to those emotional issues that Mrs. Lion tends to avoid.

It’s probably up to me to spot those situations and suggest punishing me when they come up. It may feel a bit like topping from the bottom, but it’s actually self-reporting. The thing is that I am not the best reporter. I probably only notice the more serious incidents. Still, it’s a start. I have faith in Mrs. Lion’s ability to adapt and grow.

I wasn’t going to write a post. I just couldn’t get my head wrapped around what’s been going on. I’m not sure I can yet, but here goes. I’ve had enough of this year. The unknowns abound. Will we get sick from the virus? Are we doing enough to keep ourselves safe? Will the economy ever bounce back? If the virus doesn’t kill us, will he have enough money to survive? How long will I be allowed to work from home? Can we get through this presidential election already? I just want to hear that the orange menace is out of office. And so on.

Last week I had a few nights that I couldn’t get to sleep immediately because it was hard to turn off my brain. What ifs kept swirling around. Sometimes I feel like I can’t hold it all together. For whatever reason, last night I was able to sleep. I felt pretty good this morning. And then the phone rang. It was a bit of bad news. But it sparked a conversation that probably should have been ongoing and, in the course of it, Lion apparently thought I was attacking him. Nope. I was putting information out there. That’s all. Whatever miscommunication there was undid any sleep I got last night. Lion felt attacked. I felt attacked. The damage was done.

Lion suggested he should be punished for upsetting me. His theory has been that if he upsets me, swats will reset everything. I suppose, under normal circumstances, that’s true. Right now, it feels like whatever tenuous hold I had on reality is gone. It’s not entirely because of this morning’s conversation. It’s all the stresses from the past six months coming to jump on the one nerve I had left. Spanking Lion will not help that. I’m not even upset with Lion. Maybe I just need a day to fall apart so I can gather myself together and move on.

Another week has begun. I received a spanking on Sunday for forgetting to remind Mrs. Lion that Saturday was a punishment day. It’s ironic that I get punished for not remembering a punishment day. Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking that it might be fun to play Spankardy tonight. I know, I’m a glutton for punishment, but the idea turns me on. Mrs. Lion was a little disappointed at the total number of swats I earned the last time we played. So, it looks like we will be modifying the rules once again. Here’s how they will go:

  • I get one swat for every question I don’t answer during the regular Jeopardy round.
  • I get two swats if I answer a question incorrectly.
  • During double jeopardy the swat assignment doubles: two for not answering and four for getting one wrong.
  • In either round, I can bet during the daily doubles. I can bet up to the entire number of swats I’ve earned.
  • I can do the same during Final Jeopardy.

This modification is certain to make the spanking I get at the end of the game considerably more painful. Remembering how reluctant a spanker Mrs. Lion was in the not-too-distant past, it’s interesting that she wanted to find a way to increase my discomfort. I want to point out that the last time we played, a week or two ago, she was hitting as hard as she does when she punishes me. I’m not complaining. It’s exactly what I expect. I’m just a little surprised that Mrs. Lion feels the same way.

Maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised. Lioness 4.0 has a decidedly less sympathetic view of paddling me. I’m not sure she’s given it any thought, but it seems to me that 4.0 has only one speed. I like that. It’s not that it’s fun to get a painful spanking, but it’s very exciting to have the stakes raised on games we play. If Spankardy is going to result in a sore, red bottom if I don’t do a good job answering questions, I am much more intensely involved. It seems to turn up the volume on the sexual excitement anticipating the game.

What about domestic discipline?

When it comes to our disciplinary relationship, we seem to have hit a bit of a wall. Mrs. Lion said she was going to be a great deal more sensitive about things I do that might annoy her. This heightened sensitivity was designed to help her build a new disciplinary habit: punishing me for upsetting her. When we first discussed it, I got a couple of spankings when I annoyed her. Since then, either I’ve been perfectly well behaved or Mrs. Lion is still having trouble making the transition.

I get it. It’s much more difficult to hold me accountable for doing things that might piss her off. This is tricky in the same way learning to punish me for getting food on my shirt or eating first was for her in the beginning. Mrs. Lion has become a vigilant observer of my behavior in that respect. I can’t get away with a thing when it comes to those initial rules. Apparently, it takes a new kind of awareness to identify behavior that needs correcting.

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple to identify specific things I might do to trigger punishment. It’s highly subjective. I think that’s true of any behavioral issue. We spent a lot of time learning how to establish our roles and consequences for me. We haven’t really developed behavioral reasons for using these tools. Since I initiated domestic discipline in our marriage, I think I have the responsibility to help nudge it along. Unfortunately, I am terrible at identifying things I do that might be annoying to Mrs. Lion. If I were more self-aware, I could confess doing things that might have upset her.

She does a very good job of hiding her feelings. I’m only aware of her being upset if I’ve done something fairly serious. When I bring that up, invariably she shrugs it off. She doesn’t seem to want to translate my offense into punishment. I’m not sure how I can help. My lack of self-awareness really gets in the way here. I guess all I can do is keep reminding Mrs. Lion what we agreed we would try. When she finally decides to take it up, I know I’m going to be very sorry I started this. Actually I won’t be. It’s just what I need and what I think will make things better for both of us.