A longstanding debate between some guys who identify as being in domestic discipline relationships and me has been the apparent lack of seriousness in how Mrs. Lion and I do it. Dan asks:
” I guess my question is, do either of you *really* like/want/need discipline, or is discipline just a justification you seem to want to use for more spanking?”
That’s a fair question. The structured way that we approach domestic discipline certainly has the flavor of a BDSM game. Our search for more concrete rules to enforce enhances that impression. After all, we do play spanking games sometimes. Is this just another one?
My sexual interest in spanking led me to read the old Disciplinary Wives Club website. The stories were very hot. From my vantage point, the site was at least fifty percent sexual content and fifty percent information about domestic discipline. I was attracted to both aspects. Mrs. Lion had been spanking me (BDSM) since shortly after we met. It didn’t shock her when I proposed that she punish me for breaking rules. I didn’t suggest that she set easy-to-break rules as a way of training us.
The original idea was that she would punish me when I upset her. I hated it when she ignored me after I had interrupted her a few times. I had to extract why she was upset. I knew that her past marriage forced her to hide any bad feelings she had. My thinking was that she could learn to express those feelings when they occurred by spanking me. In my mind, it was a two-birds-with-one-stone concept. I had no idea that I was opening Pandora’s Box.
Unlike some couples, we didn’t have serious behavioral issues to correct. I don’t drink, smoke, or gamble. I can be forgetful and act like a know-it-all. Mrs. Lion likes me to handle the finances and make many of the routine decisions. I thought we had a safe environment for her to express displeasure. When I proposed a disciplinary relationship, she agreed but was doubtful about her role changing.
She decided to make “rules” that I would almost certainly break. She said that it would teach us both. I agreed. In the beginning, her spankings were pretty anemic. They were less intense than what we did when we played. I figured it was because the offenses were fairly trivial. When we talked about it, Mrs. Lion said that she didn’t feel good about hurting me. She didn’t like spanking me for a reason.
We talked and wrote about this. I wanted her to like the idea of punishing me, just like the DWC wives liked beating their husbands. She made it clear that she would never like it. We discussed our very different views about the purpose of disciplinary spanking. I insisted that if I got any pleasure from one, the value would be lost. Mrs. Lion was steadfast in her wish not to hurt me.
Eventually, we settled on her doing a series of spanking “experiments.” These were sessions where she would use various paddles, intensities, and techniques. She learned to deliver spankings that hurt like hell and made me sore for days. This didn’t thrill her, but she did it because she knew it was what I wanted.
After that, my punishment spankings were very painful. I got no sexual pleasure from them. She refined her technique and settled on making a punishment ten minutes long for the first offense. Any additional offense added another five minutes to my spanking. I hated those punishments.
I was left with two concrete rules. Both were for me to do things that Mrs. Lion considered important: closing the shower door and setting up the coffee maker the day before. I learned to be very careful to do both. On very rare occasions, I would be punished for interrupting. Mrs. Lion and I wrote about this as well as having numerous discussions. She was still having a lot of trouble punishing me for things that annoyed her.
That brings us to the present. Mrs. Lion gives me butt-bruising spankings without remorse. She is one-hundred percent consistent about enforcing my chore-based rules. She still has trouble punishing me for things that annoy her. I get somewhat frequent “Just Because” spankings. These serve the purpose of reminding us both that we are in a disciplinary relationship.
Domestic discipline isn’t natural to us. Mrs. Lion doesn’t think of spanking me when I annoy her, at least not most of the time. We agree that my behavior needs improvement in my communication style with her. She still isn’t certain about punishing me for these subjective offenses. She agrees that spanking teaches me to correct my behavior.
Does this mean we don’t meet Dan’s standard for a true domestic discipline marriage? It might in his mind. After all, there is no objective standard for any of this stuff. It’s true that Mrs. Lion isn’t a “natural” spanker. She was never spanked as a child. She never spanked anyone before meeting me. Unlike Dan’s wife, she had to learn to spank me when I did something wrong.
Mrs. Lion is learning. She’s comfortable with giving me painful spankings. She enjoys catching me breaking minor rules. She still isn’t comfortable with punishing me for the more serious, subjective offenses. That’s where we stand. We believe that we are in a disciplinary marriage. We are making progress. I can’t know what happens in Dan’s house. I only know how it feels to be in my marriage. I am grateful to Mrs. Lion for making such major changes for me. I don’t care what label anyone wants to put on what we do. It works for us, whatever it is.
“Does this mean we don’t meet Dan’s standard for a true domestic discipline marriage?”
It’s not “my” standard, and you’re once again mischaracterizing our discussions. My comment about the reality of your DD arrangement after you *repeatedly* either expressly characterized or or insinuated that commenters on my blog, including me, who stressed real behavior modification were “fantasizing” or “pretending.” This was hardly the first time you’d done it. It’s also hardly the first time I’ve encountered it coming from people whose basic orientation is BDSM or Femdom. Honestly, I don’t care at all how you describe your own dynamic. What I care about is when you project your dynamic onto others on my blog.
“What I care about is when you project your dynamic onto others on my blog.”
Your blog and the people who agree with your take are somehow injured by my “take?” Really? We aren’t all that different. I read your blog regularly. I’ve noticed that you never refer to what happens to you as “punishment.” The only word you use is “spanking.” That’s significant to me. I wonder if that indicates that what you want is spanking for being naughty. That’s fine, of course, but does infantalize the discussion. You regularly “discuss” with your wife the need for more “guard rails.” I get it. You have a very strong investment in the way you choose to think of your role. That’s fine. It doesn’t make my relationship “femdom” or BDSM. I spent 25 years as a BDSM top. I know better than you how it works. What my wife and I have isn’t the same. Also, the fact that it’s difficult for her to punish me for subjective offenses is exactly what you’ve complained that your wife struggles with as well.
I have no trouble accepting that you need to think about domestic discipline in a specific way. It works for you. Why is my take so threatening? I’m in a happy disciplinary marriage. From my reading of the Disciplinary Wives Club site, we are doing it in a similar way to what Aunt Kay wrote about. The only big difference I can find between what you write and what we do is that my wife punishes me when needed. She happens to prefer spanking, but doesn’t feel a close attachment to that method. You get spanked and never discuss punishment. As far as I can tell, the only real difference between our situations is that I don’t drink and need help sometimes with that as a problem. I do need to exercise more and I wish that my wife would consider enforcing my adoption of an exercise routine.
I also wish that you could see that we have a difference without a distinction. We both advocate disciplinary marriages. By the way, I enjoy reading your site and commenting on it. I also promote it here. My web analytics indicates that I send you quite a few readers. I’m glad. What you have to say is interesting and helpful.
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So, are you admitting that I am, in fact, accurately characterizing “your take”?
I don’t find “your take” threatening. I find it insulting. You’re basically insinuating that you have some ability to get into people’s minds and determine that what they see as genuine efforts to change behavior is just fantasy, pretense and wishful thinking.
“I spent 25 years as a BDSM top.” That pretty much makes my point for me.
I actually avoid the word “punished” because I think it has the more juvenile connotation, while “spanking,” “paddling,” “strapping,” etc. are just straightforward descriptions of what is going on. Also, I have used it several times, particularly when the topic is “alternative . . . wait for it . . . punishments.”
I think you read into what I say what you want to see. Maybe you are on the One True Course of domestic discipline, and we are just playing at it. I can’t get into other people’s minds. I was inferring that attraction to spanking strong enough to prompt asking someone to spank you is evidence of a visceral attraction to the activity. On many occasions, you have stated that the Disciplinary Wives Club website drew you to spanking. Are you saying that you weren’t turned on reading that site? I was. I was also attracted to the women being able to influence their partners’ behavior. It’s true that I didn’t have any relationship-threatening bad habits, but from my reading, most of the men in DWC didn’t either.
I don’t know what you think or fantasize about. I just believe that a very good explanation for what might bring any of us to want to be Spanked is at least partly feeling aroused by the idea of a spanking or surrendering control to our partners. That’s not mind reading. It’s logical and supported by pretty much everything I’ve read on the subject. You may be the rare exception.
Again, you keep setting up these strawmen in which you suggest my position is that DD doesn’t, for most men, have some kind of erotic/sexual energy driving it or associated with it. You know darn good and well that’s not my position, but it’s the one you keep going to because you don’t want to admit that you have repeatedly suggested that people are just fantasizing or pretending when they suggest that DD actually does or can work to change behavior. Your only response is to suggest I’m misreading your statements, even though I quoted them verbatim.
Oh, Dan. You quoted a sentence. Here is a little quote from the post in question:
“Domestic discipline isn’t natural to us. Mrs. Lion doesn’t think of spanking me when I annoy her, at least not most of the time. We agree that my behavior needs improvement in my communication style with her. She still isn’t certain about punishing me for these subjective offenses. She agrees that spanking teaches me to correct my behavior.”
Every single time I write about DD, I point out that in our case, the sexual root was the bait that drew me into a most useful disciplinary relationship. Unlike on your website, my wife writes nearly every day and freely corrects any possible misstatements I might make. I have consistently written that DD has changed my behavior right from the start. I never, ever suggested that they are “just fantasizing.” I am saying explicitly that DD often has sexual roots AND that has no effect on its value as a way to change behavior.
The other part of my comment that you’ve chosen to ignore is your repeated statements that your wife doesn’t really get anything out of the DD aspects of your relationship. You say you’re trying to “empower” her, but it doesn’t sound like she has much interest in exercising that kind of power or authority and doesn’t like doling out hard spankings. Yet, you keep asking her to do it, while insisting it’s all about *her* empowerment. Sounds a lot like a concept that I don’t like in DD but that has a lot of play in BDSM, namely “topping from the bottom.”
You missed the key elements. She likes that she can change my behavior. She likes catching me, and most importantly, she doesn’t mind spanking me. It’s been years since I’ve had to ask her to punish me. She is self-motivated at this point. There are plenty of times I don’t want to be punished. You seem very personally involved in discrediting our domestic discipline.
No, I’m not invested in anything. I’m returning the favor. If you want to make inflammatory statements to the effect that people are fantasizing, pretending, etc., don’t be surprised if I point out the evidence that you’re just projecting.
I never suggested that anyone is just fantasizing or pretending. I did point out that there is a sexual aspect to it as well as the obvious disciplinary aspect. I have no doubt that it is real for you as it is for me.
Sooooooo the punishment spankings I deliver are not BDSM. I may give a few easy swats to get the blood flowing so I don’t shock the hell out of his buns but I hit harder than any BDSM spanking I’ve ever given him. He may like the idea of being punished, but once he’s on that bench he certainly doesn’t like it. As far as empowering me is concerned, I’ve said I don’t feel empowered by spanking him for interrupting me. However, it is the way he learns. I guess it’s a necessary evil. At this point, I couldn’t care less about the coffee pot being set up. It was just a rule to get me used to spanking him. The shower door needs to be closed so the dog doesn’t make a mess. I don’t think the actual rules matter all that much. The fact that they are enforced is what matters and I take that very seriously.
I came here today to look for a specific chastity issue, given the usual direction of this blog and stumbled on this topic in the recent archive. It immediately interested me, however I never expected the exchange following it. It takes me back. LOL
Despite some minor differences, I would hope that you know that I have decades of experience in this lifestyle and am not fantasizing or ‘talking out of my ass’. So to return to the original question, I believe (at least from my experience which over time has involved many different people in many different capacities) that to adults who ‘enjoy’ (you can read that as sexually stimulated, playfully titillated, or just think it’s fun) spanking, even as “discipline”, the range can occupy a Kinsey-esque scale of seriousness vs. playfulness.
I’ve experienced the authority figures and disciplinarians in my life being tears-in-the-eye hurt and dead serious, objectively serious, feeling a bit playful or mischievous but with an actual broken rule or issue at hand, right on down to just having some dominant muscle-flexing fun.
Given that range, it would be easy and even accurate to characterize the latter types as an excuse to play……but even then I have found that with spankings associated with any sort of real issue or misbehavior, “play” is in the mind of the parties involved and they need not be the same. Rosa can have an issue, be feeling playful, spank accordingly, and I might be feeling more guilty about it than she is actually upset about it, and while she is having fun spanking me, I am feeling genuinely punished. (Given what a good spanking feels like, there often isn’t much difference in what our butts feel, the differences are in our minds and attitudes.) So what would a spanking like that be? Play? Serious? Both?
I believe that a lot of us who seek this lifestyle gravitate towards strictness, and even a bit of rigid formality and yet in all of the various disciplinarians I have submitted to, not ONE was rigid in how THEY viewed this. They could be super strict over one thing and not care much about another. Maybe it’s how women see this.
To the point of topping from the bottom though, I can say that all have wanted the authority……even if they all gravitated to different aspects of it as per their personalities. However, this a partnership of sorts, and if taken seriously, we have felt that even the submissive partner is entitled to a say in things. (In my case, I can ask for punishment if I feel guilty over something, and Rosa will usually comply, but she does so because she sees the discipline as important to each of us. Therefore if she wants me to respect her feelings of what is punishment-worthy, she realizes it helps to respect mine as well. That’s just basic communication.)
It does not surprise me that a subject this emotional and complex can incite strong reactions though. Very few people who list themselves as “Spanking enthusiasts” or “spankos” engage in actual DD of ANY degree, and being in the minority within a minority, AND being perpetually surrounded by these more playful sentiments, it’s pretty easy to feel like maybe we’re all fooling ourselves. But……we’re not. And all it takes to realize that is a discussion with anyone who spanks only for fun…even with a concocted or exaggerated offense.
It is my conclusion, that a person just playing is quite aware that they’re playing, maybe even to the degree that they want to make sure it’s just play. Some may blur the line, but even then it’s with the intent to make the play more real-feeling.
What we (you, Dan, me, and others) do is categorically different and in such a way that I believe that an analogy might be “wet”. A thing can be moist, dripping, or drenched, but by virtue of a single droplet, all are wet to some degree. I think that if a couple enters into a dd arrangement with serious intent, with commitment, consent, and behavioral focus, it doesn’t matter if a spanking on Monday is a bit more light-hearted than the one from last week. All are in some way disciplinary……which is NOT what scene players do.
I believe that some people feel threatened if it’s suggested that domestic discipline might have roots in sexual interest in spanking. From my perspective, it doesn’t matter how the interest manifests. What counts is whether discipline is used to support change.