Mrs. Lion made an offhand comment about our female led relationship that may puzzle some of our readers. She said in a recent post:

“Although we’re in a female-led relationship, I maintain I can’t insist Lion be ready to play at any given time. While a woman can have sex when she’s not turned on, it doesn’t quite work that way with a man for obvious reasons. It’s apparent when a man isn’t in the mood. “Not tonight, dear. I don’t have a boner.” It’s hard (groan) to argue with that. So until Lion is ready, we wait.”

If the sex Mrs. Lion seeks was for her, there would be no problem. My tongue is in perfect working order even if I don’t want sex for myself. I suspect that even if she wanted sex, it would be unlikely she would insist if I’m not in the mood.

That’s the thing about an FLR, it’s not some sort of 24/7 femdom scene. It would be suffocating to both of us if it were. Having power doesn’t mean continuously exercising it. For one thing, as I’m sure you know, I’m not particularly submissive. I don’t need Mrs. Lion to make all the decisions.

As far as I’m concerned, I want Mrs. Lion to have a strong voice. I want her to insist I correct the behavior that upsets her. I also want her to let me know if she wants something. Yes, these are my “I wants.” I understand that I’m not in charge.

Why do I get to say how I want Mrs. Lion to operate? I guess I don’t. However, I asked her to take charge. When I did, I explained those two wants. I didn’t suggest that was to be the limit of her authority. I just said that I thought they were very important to our relationship.

Lest it goes by unnoticed, I just said that I asked Mrs. Lion to be in charge. It wasn’t her idea, it was mine. The same is true of male chastity. I asked her to lock me in a chastity device.

I’m not alone. There are very few couples practicing male chastity at the woman’s request. There are even fewer FLR’s started by the woman. I don’t think a single domestic discipline arrangement was initiated by the dominant partner.

How many wives are ready to say, “I want to be your mommy and spank you when you are naughty.”? Most wives may think of their husbands as their oldest kids, but it’s unlikely they want to initiate a disciplinary relationship with them.

Mrs. Lion doesn’t want to be my mommy. She’s done with child-rearing. The last thing she wants is for me to regress into a little boy. There is an inherent parental aspect of domestic discipline. It’s hard to deny that when Mrs. Lion punishes me, that it doesn’t have a maternal flavor.

I don’t think of her like my mother even when she paddles me. I realize that the power dynamic that gets me punished can best be described as maternal. We have no notion of wifely punishments in our society. But that’s exactly what I get.

We don’t have a definition of how the archetype disciplining wife behaves. There aren’t any self-help books on the subject. Blogs like ours offer discussions of how we practice it. We are a rare breed. Mrs. Lion doesn’t know any other women who punish their husbands. [Mrs. Lion — It’s possible I do without realizing it. It’s not something we advertise. Lion may know other husbands who are punished without realizing it. That’s his point.] External support groups don’t exist.

Most discussions of the subject are centered around the punishments themselves. While this is potentially useful since most wives have no experience spanking grown men, it isn’t really the point. The more important information is how to structure a healthy, loving marriage around explicit female authority.

A lot of men, including me, express thoughts on the subject. Maybe some of what we have to say is helpful. It would be far more useful for women in disciplinary relationships to share how they do it and how they feel about it.

Mrs. Lion is absolutely effective as my disciplinary wife. She knows how to deliver a meaningful spanking. I imagine she might want to share with other women how she feels about my request to punish me for annoying her. That seems to be difficult. [Mrs. Lion — Difficult indeed!!]

I’m sure there are other useful topics to share. I suspect the least interesting subject would be how to spank a man. Men like to read about that. Women don’t need classes on that subject. What’s more important is how to handle the emotional weight of real-life disciplinary marriage. Did I get this right, Mrs. Lion? [Mrs. Lion — I never thought of it that way, but I guess so.]

Domestic discipline is about education. Certainly, there is a sexual component since spanking is the principal punishment used in DD. That component is responsible for motivating the disciplined husband to comply and accept his medicine. A lot of people who seriously practice DD choose to overlook this little reality. That’s fine. The reason I bring it up now is that as I think about education, allowing any titillation to enter the equation muddies things up to the point that I’m not sure whether I am involved in a very hot, if-painful game or a serious marital activity. Let me start off by saying that I do get turned on thinking about being disciplined. I do not get turned on when Mrs. Lion punishes me.

Now that we have that out of the way, there are some realities that I think makes sense to consider: The biggest one is that one way or another couples punish one another. In some cases it’s obvious. One spouse yells and screams at the other when upset. In others, it’s more subtle. The net effect is that somebody is going to feel unhappy and the other partner is going to feel guilty for doing something wrong. Guilt is the primary tool most people use to punish their spouses. It’s destructive and there is absolutely no good way to resolve the issue.

Another, even more, destructive pattern is when the spouse who is injured simply suppresses reactions and allows the feelings to fester inside. Sooner or later these feelings come out. Almost always they come out in a way that hurts both partners. I think that this is extremely easy to fall into. It’s certainly much less risky than confronting one another. It also might be the reason the divorce rate is so high.

domestic discipline may not be right for everyone, but it is for us

I’m not claiming that domestic discipline is the answer for everyone. That makes no sense at all. What I am saying is that constructive confrontation is the only safe way to express unhappiness with any hope of resolution. For us, it takes the form of DD. Mrs. Lion has agreed to punish me when I do things I shouldn’t.

All this is well and good if it were a simple matter of flipping a switch and converting stuffed feelings into painful spankings. It’s not. This is the bump we’ve run into. In a way, it’s almost funny. The other day I upset Mrs. Lion. She followed her normal pattern of keeping it to herself and withdrawing from me. I noticed and asked her if I had earned a punishment. She said she guessed I had. So far so good. We were moving festering suppressed feelings into overt action that will result in a resolution.

The next day I asked her if she was going to spank me. She said she thought she would. I commented that she didn’t seem very definite. She rolled her eyes and said that I shouldn’t be surprised. Aha! The lightbulb went on. I wasn’t the only one who needed education. It’s true that the way I receive lessons is by the application of a paddle on my bare bottom. What about Mrs. Lion?

I’m asking her to do something that is very difficult for her. I thought that just because I could identify a situation when I upset her, it would be a simple matter for her to resolve it with her paddle. That was very naïve of me. The reason she doesn’t express her upset overtly is that it’s difficult for her.

She said she was in a bad mood

While I was writing this post, Mrs. Lion and I had an email exchange. Early this morning, I wrote her an email just after she got to work asking if she had returned something that needed to go back to Amazon. She wrote back that she had just gotten to work and the place wasn’t even open where she could return it. I realized that was insensitive of me and sounded like I was nagging her. I wrote back and apologized and suggested that I had earned another punishment. She replied that it was more the fact that she was just generally upset.

Because I was in the middle of this post, I was particularly sensitive to this sort of communication. I realized that it would be easy to agree and say that I just got caught in the winds of general upset. Then I realized that it really didn’t matter. What I did was make things worse. There were so many ways I could have asked her about the return without making her feel she didn’t do something she should. I let her know that I believe that even if this was minor in her mind, it still deserves punishing. I pointed out that she has to learn to express her feelings with her paddle. She can only do that by actually spanking me when needed.

This is exactly the same learning experience we had we first started domestic discipline. Mrs. Lion selected rules she knew I couldn’t help breaking. For example, I got spanked if I spilled food on my shirt. Neither of us thought doing that was a big deal. We had a giant bottle of stain remover we sprayed on those spots before putting them in the washing machine. That wasn’t the point. The point was for her to learn to observe and punish infractions.

We both realized from the start that our goal wasn’t to reduce buying stain remover. It was to build disciplinary habits that would carryover to situations that were much more important to us. My acting insensitive, disobedient, argumentative, or condescending were at the top of the list of things that need correction. They were also things that Mrs. Lion never confronted me about. When I did any of those things she would generally withdraw. I had to work hard to get her to tell me what was upsetting her. I couldn’t find a way to resolve her feelings about these things. Obviously, promising never to do them again made no sense. She knew I would.

As she evolved as my disciplinary wife, it became more obvious to me that we had to work on this next step. I read other blogs that talk about disciplinary relationships. Most of them are pretty much BDSM games. However, some are serious efforts to correct behavior. As far as I can tell, one of the biggest challenges, if not the biggest challenge, is getting the disciplinary wife to observe and punish infractions. Even couples who have been doing this for years struggle with this problem.

is it her job to catch me?

Disciplined husbands often write that their behavior went off the rails but their wives did not respond with their paddles. The threshold for punishment seemed to get higher and higher. This was a little disappointing to discover. This most recent exchange with Mrs. Lion illustrates a key point: domestic discipline is not a one-way process. It isn’t just the disciplining wife punishing her husband as needed. That might be the fantasy but the reality is nothing like that.

The model is not the same as punishing children for misbehavior. Children are not expected to tell their parents when they need to be punished. That’s the parents job. As a parent I know it made me feel guilty when I had to punish my kids. There’s a lot of self-doubt packed into the role of a disciplining parent. There is even more for a disciplinary wife.

Mrs. Lion wonders if maybe she wasn’t in a bad mood and misinterpreted my words. That’s valid. But it’s also a terrific rationalization to avoid taking action. I appreciate her strong need to be fair. I count on her sense of fairness to govern the way she chooses to punish me. However, at this point in our disciplinary evolution, a sense of fairness is almost guaranteed to prevent her from taking action and to continue in her old patterns.

in the beginning it’s more important to act than to be fair

The simple fact is that punishing me isn’t a very serious thing. Certainly it doesn’t require a lot of judicial analysis before paddling my bottom. As I see it, there are two very good reasons to punish me: The first is the obvious one, I broke a rule or upset Mrs. Lion. The second is far more important. That’s to help Mrs. Lion learn to create new habits. As much as I need to learn to correct my behavior, Mrs. Lion needs to learn to react in a disciplinary way when I upset her.

Since she is almost guaranteed to rationalize her upset as her fault; she’s having a bad day, someone said something she didn’t like it work, she misinterpreted my words. She has to learn to avoid those rationalizations. The only way she can do that is to turn off the filter and use her paddle each and every time something I say or do upsets her. It shouldn’t matter if anything else in the world contributed to her feelings. Until she builds these new disciplinary habits, I will probably receive a lot of spankings I might not have deserved.

There are two ways to think about this. First of all, there is that sexual component. While I absolutely hate being punished, I like thinking about it. Therefore, if I get an undeserved spanking, there is still some benefit for me. Also, each and every time Mrs. Lion reacts to being upset by spanking me, she is building the same sort of habits she built when she learned to observe that food being spilled on my shirt. It will become easier for her to translate my upsetting her into spankings.

That’s only the first step. Based on my reading, no matter how long we do this, I have an obligation to keep reminding her when I need discipline. I’m not saying that I’m the only one who gets to say when I need to be spanked. I’m simply saying that it’s my job to help Mrs. Lion remember hers. This is where my sexual attachment to being spanked is very helpful. It allows me to willingly get myself paddled when Mrs. Lion may not have remembered she needed to punish me.

The fantasy about domestic discipline is being helpless and controlled by my disciplining wife. The reality is that DD is a partnership activity. It’s her job to do her best to correct me when my behavior requires it. It’s my job to remind her if I notice that I’m slipping and not being corrected. Domestic discipline is definitely an educational process. It educates both partners. I learn to correct behaviors that are destructive. Mrs. Lion learns to immediately express her feelings in a concrete way. I think that it’s probably harder for her to use the paddle on me in these situations than it is for me to accept the beating. Maybe that old saying, “This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you,” is true.

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.

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.