A lot of stuff has been going on around here recently. Not that this is an excuse or anything, but it's hard for me to think clearly about discipline, punishment, spanking, kink, or anything sexual when my parents inhabit my office and other living space and work occupies nearly every waking minute that the baby doesn’t.
Anyway, awhile ago, Lil asked the question: "Have any of you ever needed discipline (even a play spanking) from your Dom, then discovered that he is not remotely interested in giving you one, or even having anything at all to do with spanking?"
The question brought up an entire gamut of emotions and memories for me. And to be honest, a (general) topic I've considered writing about before is the dissonance between partners' kinks and/or libidos. It's a topic in which I have a personal interest.
I suppose most of the time that most married couples don't have equal libidos. That is, one half of the couple is probably more interested in sex than the other half. Or, at least, at any given opportunity, one partner is generally more interested in sex than the other because of fatigue, stress, timing, atmosphere, or even the evening television schedule. So I suspect it is normal that partners' kink abilities don't exactly align either.
You see – I've referred to this before – C doesn't punish me in the same way that, say, Abel punishes Haron. In fact, the reality is that there is very little punishment in our house that isn't related to our sexual relationship. Bedroom discipline is the type of 'disciplinary' relationship in which C can ethically (or practically, given the baby and other life constraints) participate. My submission (or more recently, my very pathetic attempts at submission) to C is self-determined; I offer it as a gift voluntarily. He does not ask for it.
Indeed, I don't really want C to be different than this, either. He is my best friend, my confidant. I think if he suddenly became my disciplinarian as well that I might be tempted to hide some of my self-confessed faults from him – and I really think this would take something special (and needed, for me) from our relationship.
However, I have a very real affinity for discipline – discipline reinforced by punishment when necessary. Not all-encompassing discipline that extends to all areas of my life all the time; I know my temperament is not made for such an arrangement even if it is fantasy fodder. I don't know that this is a need – I do know that there are days when I push and push and push C, unintentionally, to goad him into treating me as I really feel I deserve and when he doesn't respond the way I want him to, I feel hurt and disillusioned and tell myself that I'm being hormonal – even though he isn't inclined to be a disciplinarian in the first place.
The truth is that my 'need' for discipline comes and goes. Some days I really do need it to feel loved and to feel that there are boundaries in life that I have to observe. Other days I really don't need discipline and really resent having anyone else's opinion of my responsibilities imposed over mine. The end result is that I don't think I'd make a fantastic submissive (without a lot of training I'm not sure I'd appreciate) even if C were inclined to be an amazingly attentive dominant. It does, also, make me difficult to live with some days.
In other words, C and I don't have a complementary need for discipline. This also applies to other areas of kink. He has a couple of interests that I don't particularly reciprocate (I just have a terrible time getting a spanking from the principal). Likewise, I have a couple of interests beyond spanking that he doesn't find at all interesting. We accept those differences in each other.
We have both, I think, discovered a liking for some areas of play that we didn't find as fascinating before we met. C has discovered that he enjoys more breast and nipple play than he might have otherwise thought he did, and that receiving a foot massage can be a very erotic experience. I, on the other hand, have come to *cough* *mumble* enjoy *cough* anal play and *mumble* intercourse *cough* more than I ever would have thought possible.
Part of the difference between our relationship and Lil's, I guess, is that spanking has been a part of our interaction since the first day. Still, there were two times in our relationship where I have felt memorable emotional pain due to, well, a lack of spanking – even play spanking.
The first time was about three months after we were married. One Saturday morning in bed, when I turned for my usual slap and cuddle, the smacking was gone. It wasn't a conscious decision on C's part, I know, and I didn't say anything at the time. But the pattern continued – until I got worried. I asked him (annoyingly often) if he still liked spanking me and he always said yes. And then one day he said to me, "I haven't spanked you very much lately, have I?"
Well, no, he hadn't. He explained that he hadn't been 'in the mood' to spank me – and he started spanking me again. Since then, I've noticed that his interest in spanking wanes when he is depressed or under significant stress and it bothers me less. That first time, however, was very hard.
The second time was when I was pregnant. Now, you'd expect at some point C would stop spanking me – and he did. But the really difficult thing was actually before the end of spanking. It was the day I realized that he wasn't going to let me lay over his lap again until sometime after the baby was born. While I understood and accepted his concerns over the safety of the baby, I cried that day – that position is such a source of emotional comfort to me that losing it was dramatic and hurtful. I cried the day I got to come back to it as well – six weeks after the baby was born – though that time it was from joy and relief.
I've since wondered how other women manage during these periods. Ranting and crying and having tantrums aren't really conducive to have a loving marriage, even if the end result is a spanking punishment reluctantly given. I know it is possible to accept the inevitable and make the best of it – but I've never had to face the question of whether the spanking element of our relationship was over for good either.
So the crux of Lil's question is how to deal with the loss of spanking/discipline/punishment in one's relationship and I haven't really answered the question. One practical alternative is to discuss non-spanking punishments: corner time, writing lines, weeding flower beds, reading (and writing reports) on immensely (un)helpful self-help books, or the loss of something considered to be a privilege – like surfing time on the Web or a favorite computer game, watching CSI or West Wing, or losing your mad money for the month. How effective these methods are I can't really say and I hope never to find out. *grin* Reserving spankings for specific behaviors that are truly important – like smoking or drinking to excess or coming home late or getting another speeding ticket – might be a compromise everyone can live with as well.
I haven't addressed the question of what happens when the bottom no longer wants to participate in the spanking relationship. I have thought how difficult it must be for the top partner as well to accept that serious loss of consent (as opposed to playing with non-consent), particularly in a disciplinary relationship.
I can say for certain that this has never happened to me. Yah, yah, I'm a spanking slut. So what? C will just have to spank me for being greedy.