Our Rules

Perhaps your household works without a structure. Go you. The rest of us mortals need to figure out how this thing works. This is a spot for talking about how we create the structure of our various domestic arrangements.

Re: Our Rules

Postby splorange » Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:36 am

Ice-cream wrote:I've studied psychology and the idea that you can effectively change and correct a persons behaviour through punishment is widespread but not supported by scientific evidence. Positive reinforcement is far more effective for a number of reasons. And if you systematically analyse the behavioural contingencies in a spanking encounter there is a great deal more going on than a simple punishment contingency.


I think you make an excellent point Ice-cream - it's clear that the DD model doesn't work in any other adult situation, and I also don't believe it works for children, but others might disagree. So, it's not spanking as punishment that improves behaviour. And there's obviously a whole host of research showing that praise is much more effective than censure, but because of a difference in feedback, punishment can look more successful (if regression to the mean occurs after a punishment for bad behaviour, it looks like improvement. If regression to the mean occurs after praise for good behaviour, it looks like deterioration). All the personal and sexual elements of discipline from a loving partner seem to be what makes it work.

Ice-cream wrote: Suppose what I want to say is that being a mother is extraordinary but unappreciated. I would strongly advise reading something like " what mothers do" to try and appreciate it. Being a good mum is often invisible. Housework, tans and sex can all be quantified, but there are days when I've abandoned all my other responsibilities to sit with a sick child, or just taken them to the beach to make happy memories.


A lot of good jobs well done have invisible benefits! That's why we have to be wary of attempts to quantify everything (sorry, I'm thinking more of new initiatives in my country's public sector to get rid of under-performing teachers - unfortunately their definition of an under-performing teacher isn't the same as mine)

Ice-cream wrote:To be honest motherhood made me seriously question the underlying assumptions of CDD. It seemed to me that if the creator god made a being in his own image, it was most likely woman, the gender who can create. And if he then created a helpmeet to support the important job of creation, then men with their muscles for carrying burdens, their skills of hunting and providing and protecting, makes sense. Just a thought!


My boyfriend would agree with you! Although he doesn't put it quite like that. Long before our relationship turned to ttwd, he always used to say that men were expendable and that's why my life was more important to him than his own.

I like where this has come from. The first point of yours that I quoted, I think I had it in my mind in essence, but never quite pulled together like that. It's great to have an idea verbalised and made clear. Thank you!
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Re: Our Rules

Postby artlover » Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:29 pm

Ice-cream wrote:. . . And if you systematically analyse the behavioural contingencies in a spanking encounter there is a great deal more going on than a simple punishment contingency . . .I'm not convinced that himself can change me by spanking me, but when he punishes me I feel much more sweet and loving towards him and more committed to making him happy.

* * * *

I am very turned on by the notion of having rules, and it allows me to feel safely vulnerable, appealing to my inner child I suppose! I've had a personal rule throughout our relationship of not refusing him sexually, but as art lover might predict it comes from me rather than being imposed on me. And I am blessed to have a husband with the sensitivity not to press his case when I've been ill or otherwise unavailable. With the best will in the world there are simply times when it would be disastrously destructive to our relationship to force the issue. Most of the time, we share a fantasy that I am sexually available to him, and on several occasions he has pushed harder than he would have in another relationship. I wont use the R-word because what I am trying to describe is utterly incomparable to the soul- destroying experience of other women. But for my part, things have happened between us that would have shattered any other relationship I've been in. I can't imagine tolerating it from anyone else but between us it's, well, its just a part of TTWD.

* * * *

For me it can be so cathartic to be Punished for the chores I didn't get done. It relieves the pressure in some way I can't explain (yet) but ultimately our personal version of ttwd, even when it is uncomfortably real, is still fantasy.


As for the first and last point quoted above, I agree that what is most important about dd is the emotional, relational benefits. But while I can see that there is a large element of fantasy in the narrative we place dd in, the emotional and relational feelings are very real. I have read many posts, particularly from female bottoms, who say it has enriched their their marriages, sometimes, that it has saved their marriages.

Now, there are dozens of posts that say very clearly that the looming threat of discipline does influence a bottom's behavior. Even my wife, who at this time is barely fairly characterized as a bottom at all (she has not submitted to a spanking in about five or six months), uses the fact that she has agreed to be spanked for breaking her remaining rule or two as a little extra motivation for not breaking them.

Still, as to the point about discipline not "really" stopping behavior, as I noted in another post, the fact that punishment does not put a stop to the behavior in question does not mean that it was a failure. As you say in your last point, you find it cathartic to accept punishment for breaking your "rules." Both the top and the bottom can feel that the behavior has been "dealt with." This can be very satisfying. You see this most in posts where women talk about being disciplined for attitude, being disrespectful, etc. For some couples this might involve little trifling things that they seize upon for having a reason for discipline. Yet for many, it seems like this involves the kind of interpersonal behavior by the bottom that might make a spouse fed up, or that might fuel tit-for-tat arguments. It is clear that for many couples, having the matter resolved by a session of discipline clears the air, reconnects them, etc.

For a couple with some particular recurring points of abrasion in the relationship, things that are not huge in and of themselves but over time can lead to strife, dd can work very well, if the person breaking the rules is suited to dd. Same thing if the "top" is motivated by all this to keep up his own side of the relationship. I am never more keen to help out around the house and praise and gush over my wife, as when we are doing dd. And when we were doing this, I let her off on more than one occasion when I did not feel my own house was in order.

As to the middle point, the "sexually available rule" clearly means different things, in practice if not always in theory, to different couples. IMO, this is mainly different women have different levels of how "real" or "strict" they want that authority to be. Some women report being very turned on by fairly aggressive exercise of such authority. Others with ostensibly the same rule would be appalled.
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Re: Our Rules

Postby JigsawAnalogy » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:01 am

W and I don't precisely have a rule that I have to be sexually available when she wants sex, but in practice, if she initiates in a dominant way, nine times out of ten (possibly more) I will be available when she wants it.

In a less sexual situation, we do have a rule that I need to come out and talk with her when she gets home from work. That's one that really did change my behavior, to the point where even when our housemate gets home from work, I go out to talk with him, just because it's been ingrained in me to come out of my room when someone gets home....

As for whether or not punishment "works".... I know from experience that it's different for different people. As a kid, the possibility of being punished for something made me not do whatever it was. But with my siblings, the misbehavior was quite often more appealing than avoiding punishment, so it didn't really change their behaviors. So my take is that punishment does sometimes work, depending on the personality involved.
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Re: Our Rules

Postby Louise » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:54 pm

I think punishment can help as an incentive to do/not do certain things, though in my case it is mostly in the short term, rather than being a permanent cure for my vices.

I certainly agree that looking after young children is very demanding, and being bound by too many rigid rules would be very tiresome, allowing for no flexibility in taking them out etc.

But I don't agree that creating life if an exclusively female activity. It requires input from the male as well, women wouldn't get very far producing children without men.

And as the mother of three sons, I disagree VERY strongly that men are more expendible than women.

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Re: Our Rules

Postby splorange » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:58 pm

I agree that it's an equal partnership. But after all the centuries of 'woman was born to serve her mate' I think some consideration of the reverse possibility does no harm. I don't think Ice-cream was saying that one gender *was* created in God's image, merely that it's as likely that it was woman as man. Put it this way - someone who insists that God created man first and made woman as his helpmeet, would do well to consider the logic of looking at it the other way round. Because if one is objectionable, so is the other. And if one is a beautiful metaphor, they both are.
Last edited by splorange on Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Our Rules

Postby splorange » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:42 pm

Louise wrote:And as the mother of three sons, I disagree VERY strongly that men are more expendible than women.

louise


I didn't see this line in your post at first, for some reason - I think I'm tired. I find this very beautiful. To me it speaks of the kind of love where we put others ahead of us, and parental love is probably the most unselfish expression of this. In the purely biological sense, which is what my boyfriend meant, more women need to survive to propagate the species - a very small number of men will suffice to foster reproduction, but a woman is limited in how many children she can have. But of course, as people and human souls, neither is more important. That goes without saying.
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Re: Our Rules

Postby Louise » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:37 am

Well, if human life and its value is considered purely from a breeding point of view, then I am totally expendable, because my breeding days are over. A somewhat disconcerting thought.

But keeping humanity going requires more than breeding, and if you don't have enough men, areas in which men tend to excell are going to suffer. Technology, science, engineering, surgery, building etc. It'll be jolly difficult to get a plumber.

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Re: Our Rules

Postby splorange » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:04 am

Louise, I've offended you. I'm really sorry. Sometimes when looking at a theoretical concept, I examine it from a completely scientific point of view to get at all the available nuance from that standpoint. I wasn't making any kind of value judgement about anyone's life - I couldn't do that. I'm so sorry for upsetting you, and please believe it wasn't my intention. I don't consider any individual in the world expendable.

I don't agree that men naturally excel in the areas you describe more than women. It may be more common for them to have a natural preference, yes. But there is no innate reason why a woman should not work in any of those areas, and already a great many do.
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Re: Our Rules

Postby Ice-cream » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:27 pm

I'm at a loss as to how, or whether, to rejoin this discussion!
Possibly the word "fantasy" is problematic though I'm unsure what to offer as an alternative.
I'm not saying that ttwd doesn't work - but that it works as a whole package. There is a lot more happening in any ttwd-interaction than just punishment (that's why we all get so confused about our feelings). Artlover, I think, has expanded on it beautifully and much more cogently than I can. One of my concerns is that when the relational side of ttwd is ignored it can lead to a dangerous misapprehension that a failure to effect a change in behaviour can only be corrected by escalating the severity of the punishment. Over and over again I've read descriptions of the state of connection and catharsis that comes after a "good" spanking. But when a top starts off too hard and heavy, it can be difficult to sustain the episode long enough to get to that point. As a bottom I can testify that there is a world of difference between those types of spanking. If the detterant factor alone were controlling my behaviour then it would make sense that the latter type would be as or more effective than the former. But in reality, what is more likely to stop is the bottom's willingness to submit, rather than the behaviour that was the target of the punishment.

Louise - I didn't intend to be offensive in my deconstruction of CDD (well I guess I did really, but I'm sorry if I have upset you). Splorange has reiterated my point so nicely I don't need to. But it isn't my position that men are in anyway worthless or expendable or interchangeable. Sometimes when I watch Himself watching our children with such naked pride and love in his face, I think that if something were to happen to him, or if our relationship were to fail, and I ended up with a new partner, that another man, no matter how kind, would never look at the chidren that way. It frightens me so much to think of losing him, for his sake, for mine, but most of all for the children.
But I think that any society/philosophy/religion that does not value children above all else is dangerous and wrong, and history proves that over and over. Where children aren't treasured, mothers don't matter, women aren't valued, and men, who may hold the outer trappings of power are interchangeable at best, cannon fodder at worst. Hmmm, I suppose it is only fair to admit that I'm recovering from a deeply embarrassing Phillipa Gregory binge!!! But even more recently the layers upon layers of the clerical child abuse scandals coming to light surely back up my point?

I think men and women are different but equal, and I think that one of the goals of modern feminism is to cherish men. If we can't value each other, or we believe one better than the other, we are only paying lip service to the notion of equality.

Splorange - I think you were quoting your boyfriend's view originally on the expendability (?) of men, and I can't help wonder if that view is in part his way of coming to terms with the risks of a military career?

This has become such an intersting thread, but it has swung off it's original course and I'm conscious I haven't addressed the original topic! I love the simplicity of the approach you've achieved ddlovelife - it covers a multitude and the only parts to remember are the most important principles instead of tonnes of rules. We are still in the early stages, and have too few rules to forget yet. I hope we get to the point where we need to simplify one day!
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Re: Our Rules

Postby splorange » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:19 pm

Ice-cream wrote:Splorange - I think you were quoting your boyfriend's view originally on the expendability (?) of men, and I can't help wonder if that view is in part his way of coming to terms with the risks of a military career?


That is correct - as a woman I wouldn't feel comfortable making such a blanket statement about men. Since he is one I think he's entitled to the opinion! When it originally happened he was saying much the same as you did, that women are precious because new life comes from us (and that view of the sacred feminine is one shared by many religions). I think though, that he was also just being romantic and gallant in saying that my life mattered more to me than his own, and certainly wouldn't be comfortable with his statement being extrapolated beyond the purely theoretical! I think you are probably right too about him thinking of it from a military perspective, which I hadn't realised before. He isn't a professional soldier though - he's actually a professional actor! He is in the army reserves. I have never really been comfortable with him doing this because I feel as though the army doesn't respect the human dignity of its personnel - and he's had lots of experiences this week that both confirm and contradict that, so I guess it varies a lot. I'm sure you are right, now that you mention it - of course he would have had to put a lot of thought into sublimating his individuality for the benefit of the group. It's not something I could do.

Ice-cream wrote:Possibly the word "fantasy" is problematic though I'm unsure what to offer as an alternative.
I'm not saying that ttwd doesn't work - but that it works as a whole package. There is a lot more happening in any ttwd-interaction than just punishment (that's why we all get so confused about our feelings). Artlover, I think, has expanded on it beautifully and much more cogently than I can. One of my concerns is that when the relational side of ttwd is ignored it can lead to a dangerous misapprehension that a failure to effect a change in behaviour can only be corrected by escalating the severity of the punishment. Over and over again I've read descriptions of the state of connection and catharsis that comes after a "good" spanking. But when a top starts off too hard and heavy, it can be difficult to sustain the episode long enough to get to that point. As a bottom I can testify that there is a world of difference between those types of spanking. If the detterant factor alone were controlling my behaviour then it would make sense that the latter type would be as or more effective than the former. But in reality, what is more likely to stop is the bottom's willingness to submit, rather than the behaviour that was the target of the punishment.


Yes, I agree. I think the psychology of punishment is pretty complex, but I wouldn't be involved in this kind of relationship if there were nothing more to it than punishment-as-deterrant. I think that's a method that can work quite well in the legal system, at least for relatively simple crimes like parking violations or not paying on public transport, etc. But in a loving relationship, either ttwd or a parent-child relationship, emotions come into it so much that the love aspect needs to be stronger than the discipline side.

Ice-cream wrote:
I think men and women are different but equal, and I think that one of the goals of modern feminism is to cherish men. If we can't value each other, or we believe one better than the other, we are only paying lip service to the notion of equality.


Agreed. I do want to stress again that my observation of a peculiarity of propagation of species is *poles* apart from a judgement of anybody's worth! That is so far removed from my personal philosophy and I'm truly horrified that I expressed myself in such a way as to make it appear otherwise!
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Re: Our Rules

Postby Louise » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:29 pm

I'm not offended, just interested in the idea that one sex might be considered more expendable than the other.

I do think that, on the whole, men are better at technology, science, construction etc, and for that reason a shortage of men would be a distinct disadvantage. most scientific and technological advances have been the work of men. Not to mention the tensions that would arise among women from competing for a limited supply of men (one can only imagine the jealousy and cattiness that would result).

i think people who suggest that we could survive with fewer men have not thought through the disadvantages such a situation would bring,

But anyway, be that as it may, I tend to see punishment as having a positive effect on my own relationship with my husband, it is a more positive way for him to express any irritation he feels with me than getting angry and shouting at me. And it is good for him too, it tends to have a calming effect on him.
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