Category Archives: Musings

Not Doing Punishment

i-love-disciplineThis is the first time I’ve written about this at the time rather than after a restart, maybe because the reason doesn’t seem quite as personal as has sometimes been the case.

We’re not doing punishment right now.

The “Why” has a simple and not-so-simple answer.  It’s not something Paul and I have really discussed, so these are simply my reflections.

The short answer: my dad has been living with us most of the time for the past six months. During this time, we’ve not been doing much punishment or discipline or even much play.

This isn’t really a good long answer though.  I suspect we could (and perhaps should) make the adjustment that our friends with children do, seeing time alone as time to play, but we’re not used to doing that.  There are plenty of other punishments / disciplines that don’t involve spanking (we’ve used them too at other times) that we haven’t chosen to do.  It’s been easier just to put kink off with conversations (hot conversations mind) about it and thoughts of what we’ll do when.

I’m not sure that not doing it right now is a bad thing, partly because I tend to like thinking about it or the possibility of it more than the actual doing, but also because playing for us has always built on itself — perhaps a side effect of us spending so long doing long distance.  Discipline and punishment have always been part of our day – to – day life inside our house.  I wonder if changing that to work around my dad would take away from the feeling of “realness.”  I’m also not sure I could ever quite shut off my fear of my dad walking in on us —

— o the horror.

It’s also reminded me (maybe both of us) that I don’t need this to keep my life together. I’m not saying I’m as on top of it as I am when Paul is disciplining me, but I do okay.  I mostly still follow our rules and can still feel him watching over me in a good sort of way.

Yet this is so central to our kink that we also don’t seem to play much without it.  In the past, times when we haven’t been playing much have been times when we’re less close emotionally — one of the reasons I haven’t written about this before.  That doesn’t feel like the case now so it’s hard to remember that we’re not playing much / at all for weeks at a time now.  I miss it, but I don’t (much) fear it not coming back the way I do when we’ve been emotionally or physically distant.

I don’t have any brilliant conclusion here except to reach out and wonder how you feel about such times.

…But What Have You Done For Me Lately?

Dear Readers,
Please be patient with me as I hash out one of the age old questions of kinky people: What is the purpose of punishment? I am sure you've all seen articles and opinion pieces about this before, but I'm not asking it in general. I'm asking it for myself. Why do Master and I include punishment in our relationship?

Well, the obvious answer is because it's my kink. I've known from the time I was old enough to think about these things that I was oddly interested in punishment, especially spanking. When I went searching for someone to fulfill that fantasy with as an adult, I bumped into Master. Of course, I was not really looking for a Master/ slave relationship. I really just wanted someone to spank me. The fact that we were discussing my submissive mindset was a totally separate thing for me. It still sent shivers down my spine, though, the first time Master told me, "If I am not available to ask, and you use the tools available to you to do what you think I would want, you won't be in trouble." Woah. You mean, I *could* be in trouble? Yeah. Serious shivers.

Fast forward six years and I can tell you a few things about this kink of mine – 1. I'm not a masochist, and apparently needing to be spanked doesn't make me one. 2. I would do almost anything to avoid being punished at any given time. I will do everything in my power to argue my way out of it, because I am very afraid of the reality of punishment when it approaches. 3. I am still insanely turned on by the whole thing. That sure is a predicament.

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Spank Me Till I Come & the non-sexual formal fellatio “thank you”

— Noto Bene: This is a repost from my blog. I posted it over there first, because I wasn’t sure it would be welcome over here, but I have been assured it’s okay, so I’m delighted to share it here, which was the first place I thought of posting it! I hope all my fellow PB-ers and our dear readers enjoy it, and it provokes good thought and discussion. —

I’ve been organizing the books in our apartment, as they are threatening to take over the place, and I found this gem among Papa Otter’s erotica collection.

spank-me-till-i-come

The cover is more funny than arousing (to me, anyway) but what is lovely and even in it’s own way arousing is the innocence of the image. No worries about feminism, here, no angst about if spanking your wife is okay, no confusion about whether discipline should have sex involved (the author thinks it should, if you can’t tell by the spanker’s humongous erection!) — these are some happy ’60s swingers who explore their desires with an almost child-like innocence.

The book cheerfully merges domestic discipline with sex (and swinging, because once you find out the neighbours like spanking, too, the obvious next step is to spank and fuck the neighbour’s wife, non?) in a way that is very heartening for me, because Papa Otter and I find they mingle very well indeed, and I was very surprised when I came across the DD [Domestic Discipline] community and found out that I wasn’t supposed to want to mix those things!

My favourite example of this (and I really need to carry the URL for this site around with me, because when I tell people about it they just can’t believe me) is this fabulous article, Thanking the HOH — The “Formal Thank You” as a Non-Sexual Act. I don’t know how I found it, but once I realized what I’d come across, I had a reaction that combined all the best aspects of shooting my drink out my nose and punching the air and shouting, “Yes!”

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Why domestic discipline is not domestic violence

Last week (at least it was last week when I started this post) I read Jessica Wakeman's piece over at The Frisky about her first D/s relationship and was going to write about the similarities/differences with my own first spanking relationship. Except that within the essay was a link (that didn't work but I found eventually) to Amanda Marcotte's post at Pandagon about that article Jessica wrote for Bitch Magazine regarding domestic discipline two years ago featuring, among others, yours truly and my dear friends, Mija and Pablo (see this post for my thoughts on that article). Needless to say it rather distracted me from the post I intended to write.

I'm not sure how I missed Marcotte's post as I was reading Pandagon fairly regularly at the time (and would be now if I was awake more), but it was probably a good thing I did miss it as most likely I would have taken it quite personally ("these people are fucked the fuck up")*. Instead I shrugged off it and its comments as sort of like watching and listening to random people in a bar discuss an event they saw on TV in which you actually played an intimate part. Plus the idea of A. (or Pablo) as an ideologically-motivated pater familias or a misogynistic wife beater made me laugh.

At least, initially I shrugged it off. But…it kept bugging me. As it's been two years since her post, it seemed just a bit late to write a post in response.  However the more I continued to think about it, the more I began to feel that a post addressing why domestic discipline is not domestic violence had a great deal of merit.

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Submitting to Correction

calligraphy1Those of you who follow my blogging in other places (el tercer ojo and my new calligraphy blog) will know that I’m presently taking a calligraphy class studying the Gothic hand.  The mixed ability (some students have been studying calligraphy for years — others like me are taking their first class) class meets once a week for three hours.

Like most art classes, the teaching style is very structured. Anyone who imagines that most art courses are about creative free expression hasn’t taken many.  This is even more true of calligraphy, and within calligraphy, with learning a historical hand.  While there is a vague sense other ways might exist, my instructor only wants to see one way — the way she’s teaching us.  As we’re learning a medieval hand, the teacher also tends to mention life of early scribes and student scribes and their floggings.  This, of course, prompted me to do a little burst of research to discover what a “palmer” might look like (see links for the images I found).

calligraphy2At the second class meeting I was delighted to discover that our homework was being collected.  When I got home, Paul was pleased for me too, especially when I told him it would be turned back marked. The following week my homework was returned, with red inked corrections, at class a week ago Monday.  Not all the comments were positive, as you can see in the included images. In fact, except for a closing “Good Work,” every red mark was negative (or constructive criticism as I believe they say in the biz).  While I blushed to see my mistakes circled, it was great they weren’t being glossed over with a banal “Good Effort” or the like.

Last week I was actually called out a bit in class for not having practiced more during the previous week (it was not a lack of desire, but sadly other unavoidable demands on my time). Nonetheless I felt totally abashed at her slight disappointment, but again also thrilled because she’d noticed and thought it worthy of remark. I made no excuses for my lack of practice but simply promised to do better during the two weeks we have between classes due to various holidays.

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Listening & Leading (or sometimes, topping from the bottom is okay)

We were together on the bed not so long ago, doing what we do very well. Canoodling, I called it once, and Chris laughed at the word but agreed. Sometimes it is foreplay, and sometimes not. It is touching, often naked touching. Sometimes there is spanking.

It'd been about a week, because of one thing and another, and I'd sorely missed his time and attention. In addition to my own woes, I was under a work deadline (finished 2:30 this morning, yay!, waiting for feedback now). And I have a bit of a cold coupled with a nasty cough. Chris has just started another semester of graduate school and the subjects addressed in these courses promise to be of a pertinent and absorbing nature for him. He has a new toy and is busy getting iTunes behaving properly instead of me.

And, he'd been to the gym that evening.

You know, in and of itself, that's not a problem. Except his particular fitness facility is filled with college co-eds, most of whom have been worshiping at their own altars since puberty and are exceedingly conscious of how they look. Everywhere. I've seen them.

So he comes home and tweets this sentence while grilling dinner: "Saw a great pair
of shorts at the gym today. Well, wasn't so much the shorts as what was
in the shorts. Or rather partially in the shorts."

For some reason, it hit me the wrong way, you know? Now, I'm not a jealous person, normally, although I've had my moments, and my jealousy tends to focus on things rather than people (i.e. that video game, that volunteer opportunity that takes 40 hrs of your week outside of work, that iTouch you're playing with when I'm in the room trying to have a conversation with you, etc). And, as Chris pointed out later, I'm generally just as likely to point out that cute bum before he even notices it. Generally.

So we're canooding, and he's got me all tucked up against him.

Intending to confide, I told him that I'd been jealous about the girl whose bottom was half-displayed by her shorts, presumably intentionally.

He was honestly surprised, and why shouldn't he be? I'd normally not care a whit. But "I haven't felt very sexy lately," I reminded him, proceeding to cough up a lung into my pillow.

Chris gathered me up in his arms and muttered against my ear. "I should hairbrush you for that."

And here's why this blog entry is on Punishment Book… because if he had hairbrushed me, it wouldn't have been a nice little loving spanking with a hairbrush. No, it would have hurt. It would have felt like punishment, and he would have intended it to be painful. I don't think the momentary reaction of jealousy would have been included in why he wanted to hairbrush me then and there, but the feeling that caused the jealousy – the feeling and sense that I was undesirable – would have been what he was punishing.

He doesn't like it when I express self-doubt. I believe there is a standing rule around here that if I ever say "I'm a terrible mother" again, I'm headed straight over his lap with the ebony hairbrush, no ifs ands or buts. I know this and how he feels about my expressions of internal angst and self-loathing.

And yet, I need to be able to confide in him and tell him my fears and my hopes and my needs. If I can't confide in him and trust him to make it better, then who else is there to turn to? (Nobody, not like that, and my heart would break or ice over, and I would withdraw emotionally and probably sexually.) And if I can't confide in him and trust him with my whole heart and not just the stronger pieces of it, then are we really as strong as we believe us to be?

But, if he can't punish me for fear of breaking that trust, am I manipulating things to get my own way? And is, as he pointed out in very pertinent ways much later, my backside really his to do with as he pleases if he can't hairbrush me without risking a silly breakdown? Should I be repressing all of those feelings so that he can hurt me at will and way? Should he hurt me at will and way even if he risks those silly breakdowns, just to prove the point that he can and that he's unhappy with me?

In the end, this is yet another reason why our relationship is not a simple Top/bottom arrangement, and why Chris must be (and is) a listening leader. It's a symbiosis … and that's probably best. He didn't spank me, but listened to the tremors in my voice when I pointed out that hairbrushing me would discourage me from, in the future, telling him when I was upset. I did suggest he arrange for a hairbrushing on a different night. I even suggested (for more selfish reasons!) that he combine it with bondage. And the moment passed without tears or recriminations or the hard spanking he wanted to give me.

This morning, I'm still confused as to why I was jealous.

But…

Thank you, Chris, for not forcing the hairbrush. And thank you, for listening when I said to please not. I don't think it would have worked out quite the way you intended – then and there in that moment, I think it would have escalated it instead of purged it as you intended – but I know you could have. And you know I wouldn't have stopped you, if you'd insisted. So thank you.

Open Door – Juggling Kids, Honesty and Disclosure in a Kinky Household

Parenting kids in a kinky household really is different. I suppose everyone experiences parenthood differently, but I think kinksters definitely have unique challenges.

Our kids have been raised in a very non traditional environment.  I
don't think that will really come as a shock to anyone who knows much
about our family. First, they were exposed to polyamory from their
earliest memories. There was always Mommy, Daddy, and, from the time
they were 4 (almost 5) someone else. I wasn't the first person either
of them had in their lives seriously, either. It has always been
perfectly natural for them to see multiple people loving each other and
sharing affection.

They also see evidence of our dynamic. Both CC and I always called
him Sir, and I still do.  When they were very small they actually
thought it was his name. We also slept on the floor, each with our own
beds on the ground next to Daddy's. Again, I still do this.  They've
never thought of it as sleeping on the floor of course, they think,
"Daddy's bed and bridget's bed."

Yet, for all this openness we've
always tried to be very careful about crossing age appropriate lines.
They never see or hear us play. They aren't aware of the specific
sexual dynamics that exist between us. In fact, when CC was pregnant
with the little guy they told me they consider all three of us to be
"married" and then hastened to add, "But you and Daddy don't have
sex… right?" At the time I told them they really needed to talk to
Mommy and Daddy about that.

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Unresolved: Establishing Authority

I wrote this to post over at This Thing We Do Forum, and then thought that it would be a useful post for the Punishment Book as well. I also want to encourage people–especially tops, we REALLY need some tops over there–to check out the forum and join in the discussions there, if they are so inclined. It’s a pretty great place, or so the people who are members keep telling me. 🙂

W asked me to post about this, although I admit that I can’t remember all of the specifics of what she wanted me to say. So I will go with my best memory, and add some things from my own perspective, and we’ll see where that gets us.

We have been struggling for a while with W establishing her authority. I am frustrated. I feel like either I’m making myself follow the rules and behave–which undermines my perception of W’s authority, because I feel like I’m the one in control of what happens, and whether or not we get into fights. Or else I’m breaking the rules, and causing W to respond to my behavior–that kind of topping-from-the-bottom thing, which makes me feel like I’m still the one in control of the situation.

W, on the other hand, is frustrated because she feels like she *is* establishing her authority. From her viewpoint, either I’m following the rules, or I am breaking the rules, and she is enforcing them. And then she’ll get feedback from me, usually afterward, that says, “Well, but I felt like I was the one in charge of that situation.” Which, frankly, undermines her confidence in her authority.

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Discrection and Compartments

I've been lucky in many ways. For almost my entire adult life I've had
the luxury of being "out" to everyone close to me. Although it wasn't
by choice, my parents found out all the gory details of my relationship
pretty early on. When you live in a family comprised of one man and two
women, the neighbors notice. We even came out to the school. I've
never held a job where it mattered one way or the other if people
figured out what was going on at home. I couldn't afford to. Having an
unorthodox living arrangement and having appeared in adult films come
together to make things not worth hiding.

So why don't I have this same luxury now? Basically, because our wife left us.

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Maintenance Fail…

I can't remember the last time I was actually punished for something. Honestly.

It's not that I'm perfect, but that I'm not spanked for being imperfect. We're all imperfect. So fouling up Chris's lunch or forgetting to get the car washed or not doing the laundry do not garner punishments. Chris gets serious if it affects the family's health, the family's safety or putting shredded paper in the canister without bagging it first. Otherwise, he's just as likely to indulge me as not.

I'm perfectly happy with that.

The thing is, discipline – punishment – has been part of my quirky head for as long as I've had it. A variety of fantasies have provided me with dream fodder for decades now, and I'm not ashamed to say that in the days that preceded a real, live disciplinary agreement, the whole notion of being punished was a lot more rosy than reality. In my dreams, I'd misbehave a lot more and get spanked a lot. In reality, I misbehave very little and get spanked a lot.

So for a few months now, I've been pondering … and I think I have to conclude that mock punishments and maintenance ('just because') spankings are no longer enough of a substitute for discipline. And, I have to say, I'm not entirely happy about that. It doesn't seem quite right that I should be jonesing for punishment, simply to satisfy some sulky petulant corner of my brain. It doesn't seem fair to me or to Chris, and as really pushing his buttons means needlessly endangering someone or something, it really isn't fair to our home and family.

Add in 4-6 days of enforced neglect from regular reinforcing intimacy and I have been ripe for challenging Chris in the last two evenings.

So last night I took our daughter's 50-cent disk shooter off the bureau, where I'd left it after confiscating it from her, and shot it just past his head. It hit the wall behind him, but he did stop talking mid-sentence, grabbed me, and dragged me over his knee for 5 minutes of hard spanking. I remember dimly hearing the words "You're asking for it, aren't you?" I don't really remember answering.

Tonight, after he studiously and deliberately ignored my three hints that he might want to do the dishes, I took an ice cube from the freezer and put it in the back of his shirt. I'm sure I had a good reason – maybe to get him to pay attention, as he kept ignoring me. Or maybe to get him to pay attention to me? In any event, when he very clearly told me to remove it from the back of his shirt and said he'd had enough, I did remove it.

And then pushed it down his pants so it slipped between his ass cheeks.

Of course I got spanked for it, later. When the princess was asleep and the house quiet, there was a paddle and a strap. Perhaps the playfulness of it all has gotten to me too, because I didn't have to fight off any guilt. Pain, yes. Guilt, no. Not even much repentance, honestly.

I've never really been a brat. I doubt I've bratted like this since well before the princess was born. Even Chris asked me what had gotten into me. I'm worried that I'm trying yet a new way to get what I want from him on a nearly constant basis – his dedicated, focused, energized attention.

I suppose this is one of the problems of taking a fetish and turning it into a working, living relationship. There's no question that discipline helped me master the concept of locking the doors to our house, or taking care in the sun. I'm more careful about what I do with a cell phone in the car, too. There's also little question that I pursued a disciplinary arrangement with Chris because I thought it would help me prioritize his needs and desires more, and I think that it still mostly has that effect. But I can't and won't deny that I also found the whole concept of a disciplinary relationship sizzling hot. It pushes nearly every power-exchange fantasy in my head and feeds my sexuality with instantaneous arousal.

I'm afraid that spanking me 'just because' isn't a preventing sort of
spanking anymore. But if it doesn't work, what will stop me from
pushing again and again and again?