On Men & Violence

In my last post, I wrote about a new and fierce resistance that has suddenly cropped up in my willingness to honor our DD covenant. In the intervening time since I last published, this resistance has grown progressively stronger. Despite having experienced first-hand the benefits of DD, many of which I've tried to chronicle here, I am quite simply suddenly terrified of being disciplined, spanked or otherwise.

Since mutual consent must be at the heart of the DD experience, that part of our relationship has been suspended for the past two months (longer actually). This suspension is by unspoken agreement -- my partner, to his credit, senses he's stepping onto volatile and uncertain ground in trying to discipline a terrified and resistant woman. And at the moment, he definitely does not have my consent, much as I wish otherwise.

Tensions in any relationship tend, as we all know, to build up if not dealt with. And now, deprived of the only way we've ever found to work through tensions, we've been fighting more and more -- and the fights are getting uglier and uglier. In fact, we're almost back to where we were when we started this whole DD thing a year or so back -- distant, angry, unable to communicate with each other and utterly unable to trust enough to make the first move on either side.

And so it was that one day last week, we lay in bed trying not to have another blow-up over yet another thing. After about ten minutes of arguing, I had asked him if we could please stop for the night, as I was tired and emotionally drained and to upset to hear what he was saying anyway. I wanted to read my book and calm down for the night, not spend it railing at the man I supposedly love. Rightly or wrongly, my partner chose to ignore this request, and summarily grabbed the book out of my hands and struck me repeatedly across the shoulders with it. (I will skip the awful scene that ensued.)

The following morning, I woke up still upset from what I perceived as a gross violation of our covenant (which included, specifically, that random, non-ritualized violence and particularly above-the-waist violence of any kind was strictly off limits). My bad mood and his resulted in another argument, this one ending up with him dumping a glass of water over my head while I was still in bed and then subjecting me to a tirade of verbal abuse while turning on the cold water when I tried to take a shower.

(NOTE: He, of course, has his own version of these events in which I am more the villain of the piece, but since this is my blog, well, heck, I get to tell the story my way. )

My first instinct, quite honestly, was to get the heck out of there, away from him, to sort things out and figure out how to end the relationship once and for all. There is DD and
the honoring of traditional archetypes in a relationship, I reasoned, and then there are demeaning, abusive and violent tendencies which infringe on my self-respect, dignity and right to be safe in my own home. In my opinion, he clearly crossed all of the above boundaries.

His actions over the past week are to me, violations of a sacred trust that couples must enter into when starting a DD relationship. His behavior was, by virtually every contemporary cultural and psychological standard, abusive, inappropriate and unacceptable. And while my partner has apologized, sort of, for the "book incident," he has yet to do so for anything else. If anything, our arguments are continuing to escalate, and each of us continues to dig in our heels about the rightness (righteousness?) of our respective actions.

And here is where the story would end, were this a regular feminist blog. Supportive and indignant readers would write in with hotline numbers and words of encouragement about how to reclaim my sense of power by getting out of an abusive relationship, and I would head for the nearest bookstore or library to load up on books about "Healing from Domestic Abuse." My partner would be relegated forever to the ranks of "abusive men in my past" and there would be -- could be -- no quarter given by myself, my friends or the feminist community for his actions.

But the reality is, as reality often is, a bit more complicated -- especially when you're in a DD relationship and especially when you work as actively with primal archetypal energies as my partner and I do.

A few posts ago, I wrote about the theory that female energy is inherently submissive ("Feminism: The Power of Giving Way"). In this article, I argue passionately that we as women need to be courageous enough to honor our own internal archetypes of submission and "taking in" in a culture that does not allow women to be who they truly are.

But if I'm going to argue that fundamental to the core of feminism is submission than I have to acknowledge that fundamental to the core of masculinity is domination. In modern society, this domination is most often expressed in cut-throat business deals and killer racquetball games at the club. But underneath all of that civilized veneer is the reality that, at its most primal heart, domination is still about one thing -- violence and brute force.

Men are by their very nature beings who express themselves physically (especially when it comes to strong emotions). That's why they play rough, physical sports. That's why they punch each other on the arm when they're happy. That's why, failing all else, they yell obscenities at the TV when their team is losing. These aren't stereotypes -- they're expressions of archetype.

Just as it would take more than a few social movements to "cure" women of the desire to be taken care of and conquered, it would take more than a few "Iron John" workshops to eliminate in men the instinct to clobber over the head anything that feels like a threat to them. We may not like this, but as with many things in our lives, not liking it doesn't make it any less true.

Women, for the most part, don't resort to violence when they're angry. Lacking the physical strength of men, women have learned over time to settle disagreements with the "talking cure." But men, however, dressed up and civilized we may pretend, are still men. Their first instinct when angry, if the men in my life who speak frankly about this are to be believed, is to hit something -- or someone. Again, we may not want to admit this, but that doesn't make it less true.

Now add to the mix a culture that, in its completely necessary and understandable need to stop an epidemic of violence against women, has labeled any and all acts of violence by men not committed while playing a sport as unacceptable. Throw in a generation of Phil Donahue, Alan Alda and Bill Cosby, and you get disaster waiting to happen.

When a generation of women finds their fundamental archetypal energy suppressed, we pull inward to deal with our pain, taking it out on ourselves as is part of the feminine psyche -- with depression, eating disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, burn out, etc.

When a generation of men finds their fundamental archetypal energy suppressed, they will deal with it as their nature demands -- by striking out, by hitting things, by hitting people. And so paradoxically, despite perhaps the most concentrated and vigorous attempts by women's groups, psychologists, etc. to reduce domestic violence, here it is on the rise again. Surprise, surprise.

But the Victorians could have told us -- what we suppress is driven underground -- and resurfaces in ever more destructive ways.

DD is, of course, meant to be a harmless, safe (and even sexy and fun) discharge of this destructive energy. What better way to avoid incidents like the ones I've described above than to give a man permission to spank a woman to tears when he is angry with her? To tell him that, yes, you ARE at heart a physical, violent being and I -- as a loving woman who wants a strong, honest, whole man -- am giving you the greatest gift in my power to give --permission to express and honor those allegedly "shameful" tendencies in a safe, mutually consensual way (added bonus that these "shameful" tendencies are a huge turn-on...).

To add to the personal narrative here, it must be said that my relationship with my partner has been under a great deal of strain recently. We've just started living together for the first time. He is, for the first time, 1000 miles away from his children and misses them desperately. He is in a key leadership role on a hotly-contested congressional campaign that's getting national attention -- and at the very moment he most needs my help, I tell him that I'm sorry but I can't take the stress of politics anymore and I'm retiring to become a working artist and would he please be supportive of that even though I'm committing arguably the worst sin I can commit in a man's world -- abandoning him on the battlefield when he needs me the most, but hey, don't be mad, honey, okay? More than enough pressure to drive anyone to extreme acts, to be fair.

There are, of course, men who are not driven to violence as my partner clearly is in times of extreme stress -- men who have their violent tendencies much more firmly in hand. But at least for myself (and I stress FOR MYSELF), I can't help but wonder if the price I pay for having the kind of man I want in my life -- someone who is deeply in touch with his primitive instincts and his raw sexuality, someone with an innate "alpha" ability to command others, someone who triggers all my archetypal female desires and instincts -- is that that same man hovers more closely on the knife's edge of real violence than a more "civilized" man would.

Perhaps, at least for us, DD works so well precisely because we walk along that knife's edge -- and collapses in on its own repressed energy when we suppress it, as we've been doing for the past few months due to my resistance.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that had I not been resistant over the past two months, the incidents of random violence would not have occurred. Does this make what he did my fault? Absolutely not. Does that make what he did acceptable? Absolutely not. Am I owed a sincere apology for his having violated my person as he did? I believe so. And do I owe him an apology for having deserted him on the battlefield, when he counted on my support, thus triggering his most primitive responses? I believe that, too. But these, to me, are the easy questions to answer.

The harder questions are the ones we mostly don't ask. If I claim the right to be a woman in times of distress (read emotional, illogical, even hysterical at times, though I hate to use the word), than what right do I have to deny him the right to be a man at those same times under those same pressures? Have we drawn the lines of unacceptable behavior in a relationship so strictly and unforgivingly that we haven't left room for men to be men without accusing them of abusive (hence unforgivable) behavior? Is it perhaps time to revise our "one strike and you're out" approach to domestic violence, acknowledging that however well-intentioned, it actually makes things worse by increasing the pressure in all the wrong places?

I don't know the answers to these questions. What I do know is that modern feminist thought would make this a clear case, and for me at least, this is one case that isn't at all clear.


PS -- Thanks to those of you who've emailed in the last little while. I'm behind on responding, but will try to reply as soon as possible. Also, there's an article in the current issue of "Bitch" magazine written by Jessica Wakeman about domestic discipline. I haven't read it yet, so I don't know how accurate it is or what Jessica's ultimate take on DD is, but my partner and I were interviewed for it awhile ago and she seemed genuinely interested in learning about our weird ways... (For those who are interested in that sort of thing, my pseudonym in the article is apparently "Greta.")

23 comments:

  1. Anonymous23:06

    Hi Viv,

    Missed you badly. So glad you are back. With this insane election cycle and your careers, I'm happy you are both still with us.

    I do not have any answers, comments or special fairy juice. I'm going to print this entry and read and re-read it again and again to try to understand all its' nuances and hopefully find some clarity to share.

    Sara has been unraveling the spaghetti in my brain for the last couple of blogs, please stop by and check her out. Maybe you will ferret out some hidden gem in her endless well of good sense.

    I am troubled by your fear of discipline/spankings. I thought that was a DD linchpin. However, I know many couples with defined masculine/feminine roles who do not spank. Perhaps there is an answer that way. AKM over at Marriage Bliss does not spank. He is a teeny tiny bit forceful in his opinions on the how-tos of submission, but a good read nonetheless.

    I hate to hear fear in your post, I am disconcerted to say the least. I do not think it is indicative of an insurmountable problem. It obviously needs to be addressed forthwith. Hopefully some of the other, more experienced ladies will have better answers available at their fingertips. But I will ponder this, do a little research and see if I can be of assistance.

    k

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  2. Hi K,

    Thanks so much for reading, posting and your thoughtful response.

    I'm troubled by the fear issue as well -- it's not what DD is supposed to be about. I've experienced DD is something that felt safe, empowering and loving in the past, and the appearance of so much fear all of a sudden is, to me, an indication that something's up that needs attention.

    As soon as I have some deeper thoughts than these, I'll try to share them here as well.

    Your contributions to the discussion are, as always, deeply appreciated.

    -Viv

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  3. Viv, First let me say I am sorry you are going through such a rough time. I hope you and your partner find your way to better times.

    Second, I have to say that I think you really must separate out the troublesome behaviors you describe from anything having to do with a Domestic Discipline relationship, per se. Any relationship can have troubled times, and people sometimes display hurtful behaviors that are damaging. But you almost suggest that enhancing the power dynamic might open the floodgates. This would be a good reason to never engage in a DD relationship, if it were true. I do not think it is.

    " But underneath all of that civilized veneer is the reality that, at its most primal heart, domination is still about one thing -- violence and brute force."


    I have to take issue with this. I believe domination is really in it's essence about power. If you go back to the dictionary definition:

    Main Entry: dom·i·na·tion
    Function: noun
    1 : supremacy or preeminence over another
    2 : exercise of mastery or ruling power
    3 : exercise of preponderant, governing, or controlling influence


    No where is "violence or brute force" included. I believe it is how power is expressed that makes the difference between discipline and abuse. The scenes you describe seem to have more to do with uncontrolled anger, humiliation and disrespect. As you well know, I think, people in a position of power, whether they be a political leader, a corporate leader or an HoH must have the capacity for self control, to be a good and respected leader. Their ability to separate out their personal emotional responses from their intellectual understanding of what is the right thing to do, is needed for the good of all, in the business or the home. They must have self discipline before they can successfully impose discipline. Their ability to separate their impulses from their actions is key.

    "someone who is deeply in touch with his primitive instincts and his raw sexuality, someone with an innate "alpha" ability to command others, someone who triggers all my archetypal female desires and instincts -- is that that same man hovers more closely on the knife's edge of real violence than a more "civilized" man would."

    Viv, you imply that a dominant male, one who can be the HoH, the DD partner, ir the "alpha" might be in some way entitled to be less in control of himself, or perhaps should be excused for misbehaviors, due to his inherent tendency towards manly violence. Again, I disagree. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing, and I think must be a part of every healthy relationship. None of us do not make mistakes, and occasionally big ones. That is a personal issue you two will need to grapple with. Alpha men might be more in touch with their primitive selves and then channel that into acceptable outlets. Consensual spanking might be one of many. However, random expressions of anger is just that. Recognizing boundaries and being able to honor them is essential. I am sorry to say, if I were you, I would feel afraid too. In two and a half years of a pretty intense Dd marriage that has included discipline from the get go. I can honestly say I have never been afraid.

    Perhaps there is an issue with anger management. I cannot judge him, you, or the relationship. I will put out here, though, that a misuse of power, a loss of control, acting in a way that is not supportive of the values of the relationship, is also just that. I do not feel it has anything to do with DD or with a man being dominant.

    I wish you the best, Sara

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  4. Dear Viv,

    Thanks for another thoughtful post, and I am truly sorry that you are having these difficulties. I do not have any answers, nor even suggestions, as my own experience, and relationship, is so vastly different to yours.

    All I can do is offer sympathy.

    You are right in one thing, men have an inate tendency to forcefulness/aggression/violence and this has systematically been denied us in recent years, or possibly channelled into places where it can only address one particular aspect of our lives viz. that of competing with other men within closely defined parameters, and often vicariously.

    Sometimes men suggest that they feel emasculated by this, and I feel it in myself, knowing that there are ways I'd like to express myself, which are now beyond the pale.
    Needless to say, the idea of emasculation is poo-poo'd as exaggeration, but that doesn't make it untrue.

    Personally I have difficulty with the whole concept of DD, for all the reasons which you have detailed elsewhere, and that is why I keep coming back to you, one who not only struggles with these ideas as I do, but is actively trying to live within them.

    As I said, all I can offer is sympathy.

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  5. Viv

    I am also glad that you are back, I've missed your wonderful insights too.

    I would add one thing to the words of the others and that is to remember that after all we are all human and we make mistakes.

    I have gone through several periods of acute stress and have noticed that during these times I tend to make even more mistakes than usual, partly as my mind is clearly not not 'firmly on the ball' as it is racing trying to sort out those other three million things which are worrying me and parly because I tend to sleep badly during these times and become over tired. This then puts me in a worse position as I become more stressed knowing that I have made these mistakes. This continues ad infinitum unless I break the cycle in some way. Spanking is sometimes effective to break it but at present this does not seem a good idea for you. A good alternative is to take yourself away from your current "reality" for a short time, 24 hours should be enough. Even though your other half is really busy, I am sure that you can both invest a measly 24h in your relationship. For example, go and stay at a nice local hotel, go out for dinner and then cuddle up and watch a movie in the hotel room and eat crisps/chocolate/popcorn in bed (you do not need to clean the bed or room in the morning!!!). Do not talk about anything serious (DD or work for example) this 24h is just for fun, just relax and enjoy being with each other and having a mental time-out. It is often possible to reconnect and destress more effectively when you are away from your usual battlegrounds!

    Finally, hang in there, we are all rooting for you.

    Hil

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  6. Dear Vivian,

    I don't think I can possibly add anything that hasn't already been said, but I wanted to weigh in as one more woman in a Domestic Discipline relationship who nevertheless finds your partner's behavior unacceptable.

    Even the best men do make mistakes, but if he justifies his behavior, it's time to head for the door. One of my biggest regrets is that I did not leave my husband after the first time he hit me.

    I have often read your blog, and I am frankly envious of your intelligence and beautiful writing. I would hate to see that flame spent by an abusive man, if that's what he is or is becoming.

    Best of luck to you,
    Constance

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  7. Thanks to all of you for your insightful comments, thoughts, etc, and as always, for reading and contributing to this blog!

    One particular note to Constance -- your idea sounds wonderful, but unfortunately, the idea of asking a key person on a political campaign to take 24 hours off in the middle of it is about as likely as Hillary Clinton dropping out of the presidential race!

    The good news is that I'm mostly alone these days, as he's off on the campaign trail almost all the time, so there is lots of time to think and sort things out.

    We are considering some couples counseling, but I'm not entirely sure how to do that given the DD element. Whether we all like it or not, even in a case of possible abuse, it does change the rules a bit and it would be hard to get honest counseling from someone when we'd either have to 1. withhold the information and thus distort the truth of the situation, or 2. try explaining it and have them haul him away for battery, even when it was consensual.

    This is all, of course, part of the risk of this type of lifestyle. Hopefully at least I'll get some insights out of it than will be useful to all of you!

    Thank you again,

    -Viv

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  8. Viv, check out www.ncsfreedom.org

    That is the link for the National Coalistion for Sexial freedom. They maintain a list of "Kink Aware Professionals".

    Good luck! Sara

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  9. Anonymous18:24

    Vivian,

    I'm really sorry for your distress. Rather than leave too long winded a comment I'd encourage you to go back and read your own words 'Why Spanking Matters' and even the comments including Pandora's comment that probably every DD relationship has a dominant and submissive side to it.

    Recognizing that your partner is in the job from hell at the moment, wouldn't you both feel a lot better (and connected again) if you picked up the phone and said something like, "You shouldn't have done what you did and you know that in your heart. I didn't behave well either and I'm sorry for my behaviour if you are sorry for yours."

    My guess is he'll run with that opportunity and say "Yes I'm sorry for my part in causing the upset."

    He *does* need to acknowledge his part in this mess, but then you need to forgive and put it behind you and even agree to be spanked asap.(This is a kind of token spanking. Not severe but an opportunity to return to the dynamic between the two of you.)

    My guess is that you want that great feeling of happiness back. Remember he needs to trust you as much as you need to trust him. I think you need to give him a break. If you soften a litte here, I'm guessing he'll be mellow jello too.

    Anyway that's my opinion and I wish you good luck.

    Rob

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  10. Julian06:40

    Dear Viv,
    I'm so sorry you've in such pain - and not a 'good pain' either.
    Your courageous honesty and integrity embolden me to ask a a question that may be neither to the point nor helpful but that arose in me after rereading a good deal of your blog.
    Whose anger and capacity for violence do you most fear, most reject, your partner's or your own?

    warmest wishes
    Julian

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  11. Hi Rob,

    I think yours is an excellent suggestion -- problem is, I've tried that and he refuses to apologize, saying he's not sorry and that he believes what he did was merited and appropriate.

    His -- to me -- somewhat scary -- rationalization is that since I didn't tell him he couldn't do what he did, it was fair game. In other words, he can do anything he wants within the bounds of our DD agreement as long as I haven't specifically ruled it out. I've tried to explain how crazy and irrational that is, but I don't seem to be getting through.

    Paul, your comment is a wise one. The answer is, of course, both.

    -Viv

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  12. Viv,

    make a list of everything" he's not allowed to do:

    1. No scat.
    2. No blood letting.
    3. No sticking splinters under my fingernails.
    4. No suffocation.
    5. No pouring battery acid in my coffee.
    6. No hitting me with books.
    7. No hitting me with bricks.
    8. No amputation.


    Make it long enough, and absurd enough, and maybe he'll get the point.

    Fondly,
    Constance

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  13. Dear Viv, Of course he shouldn't have acted as he did! But is he likely to do it again? How well do you know him? Do you really like him?
    Men hate losing face, but love need not demand it of them.
    Forgiveness is at the very heart of loving. I don't mean overlooking dangerous aggression, but you have shown with your usual clarity that you understand his frustration. Therefore, instead of demanding apology, give freely of your submission; kneel, smile, kiss, serve.

    I know giving advice like this is provocative, even subversive, yet I was a feminist when you were still in pigtails! I've seen so many relationships fail on a legalistic self-righteousness, I'd hate for you to lose a man you love (allowing for your own safety of course) when you understand men better than many women do.
    I'll add a final suggestion: affectionate touching, stroking, massage or just hugs; a primal language that says what our tongues dare not...
    Best of luck, girl!
    k

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  14. Kate,

    Thank you for your words of wisdom. Of all the comments to this post -- and I must say that ALL of them have been profound, immensely valuable and deeply appreciated as we sort through this -- yours struck the deepest chord.

    It is exactly the "legalistic self-righteousness" you speak of that I'm trying not to trip and fall over. Sometimes it seems impossible to untangle what's genuinely empowering and right from what's been mandated by our "feminist" culture as empowering and right. As those of us experimenting with DD know all too well, these two categories are worlds apart much of the time.

    At any rate, thank you. I will take your advice to heart. After ten years of being together through some of the most challenging times of both of our lives, he is a man worth holding onto and a relationship worth saving.

    -Viv

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  15. Anonymous06:37

    Your partner owes you an apology for losing control. We are talking discipline here that means control. But an apology you have to ask for means nothing and it is even worse when they blow you off.

    You owe him a large one yourself. It obviously cost him a lot to even enter into the DD relationship and then you changed your mind. I have been on his side of the fence. I have gone against things I believe in to make someone very special to me happy and then she changed her mind. It is not that she changed her mind that still bugs me but the fact that she never acknowledged that it cost me a lot to try and make her happy and I have nothing to show for it. It looks like your partner is feeling the same way.

    I am also sure by what you said that this is making you question your political views. As you said you are afraid to seek counseling because you are afraid of laws that have eliminated patient client confidentiality. Laws that the Democrats have passed.

    What happened to you is minor. Think about the guy who gives his wife a black eye. Goes to a therapist and says;"Hey Doc, I hit my wife and I am afraid I might do it again, help me" The therapist is required by law to report this. So the guy goes to jail. If he has kids there is a good chance CPS will take them etc. And all he wanted was help.

    Before everyone thinks I am a Republican, forget it.

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  16. Anonymous22:29

    Hello...

    I am not really certain why I felt compelled to write to you after reading your blog, although I think your most recent post was one that had me nodding my head in complete understanding. I was involved in a DD relationship for 10 years...my partner was my love, my best friend, my mentor and my disciplinarian. He passed away suddenly just before Christmas of 2007. This evening was my first attempt to make my way back into the Internet world of posts, blogs, etc. about this topic.

    In the year before he died, I found myself out of control, but unable and unwilling to allow him to either take control as he always had or push me back into it....I was, in every sense of the word, lost. He was an amazing, wonderful man and I think had he had the opportunity he would have ultimately done what your partner did - when he announced the correction would be given, whether you agreed or not. I know that flies in the face of the agreements that we make when we begin this journey - but it comes back to the one thing we really can't control: trust.

    Over the years I learned to love and trust him. There was nothing he was ever going to do to 'hurt' me - which for those that don't understand the DD relationship absolutely makes no sense. Had he had the opportunity - he would have regained control and in doing so, restored my sense of balance. He didn't have the chance and some days I feel I am forever lost.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and giving me the opportunity to stroll back through time to a different place...when I felt safe and loved and aware that no matter how far out I ventured, there was always a safety net to catch me.

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  17. Anonymous22:36

    Hi Vivian,

    I just found your blog a few weeks ago. I have enjoyed your insightfulness and candor very much. I have found that your writings nurture my own soul. I would like to present a few ideas and observations for your consideration.

    I would agree with you that the nature of a man is one that is locused about the principles of violence,power and domination. I would also say that it is in the controlling and channeling of these drives that a male becomes a man. The Samurai said that only the strong can be truly gentle. A weak person has no choice but to be gentle or face destruction while the strong can choose to be gentle or destructive. I do not feel that it is necessary for a man to humiliate his mate by pouring water over her head or beat her with a book to show his dominance of her.

    You and your mate are walking a very thin line that is as, you've pointed out, not supported by our society. In DD you are each seeking to find and express your deepest selves. In doing so you are flying in the face of what society considers appropriate and civilized behavior. You need to keep in mind that the primary purpose of society is to repress the very drives that you and your partner are seeking to express. Both of you were raised within this culture so you are not only fighting with each other you are each fighting yourselves. This is what is causing a major part of your troubles.

    I would offer the following suggestions first to you and then to your relationship. First I would have to say that you are not truly being submissive. I have noticed in your blog that you seek to control the when and how of when you are disciplined. It can't work like that. If he is dominate over you then it is his decision of when to discipline you. It is not relevant whether you agree or not or think it is fair or not. I am not saying that he has the right to injure you or humiliate you but as the one who is dominate over you he has the right to force you to accept a discipline session. If he does not have that right then you are not actually submitted to him. It is something to think about.

    A corollary of this is a Dominate person and one who has submitted to one are not equals. If you were equals then you would not be submitting to him. I am not saying that you are not worthwhile or intelligent I am stating an observable fact. You accept his care, his protection, and his discipline then you are subordinate to him and not his equal. a loose analogy of this is the work place. When you accept a supervisors direction or correction you are submitting. Your submission says nothing of your individual worth but does indicate your status. Your mate probably becomes very confused when one minute you tell him you are his equal and the next you are over his knees being punished. For a male this does not compute. This issue created the problem of the work situation. Saying you were his equal you entered the battlefield with him and then when it got too hot you left him to be killed (figuratively speaking). Being perceived as a equal You were judged as a equal. In his eyes you were a traitor to him. I know that sounds harsh but that is how a man would judge another man in that situation. What I am about to say will seem ludicrous and probably make you very angry. A solution is for you to apologize to him not for leaving him in battle but for deceiving him by pretending to be his equal. I would also suggest that you ask him to discipline you for that deception. It will go a long way to bring healing to the situation. There is more I would like to say but this is becoming a book. I would be interested in your comments.

    -M

    "in each woman there is a companion and slave. Give each, effectively and mercifully, her due. Treat the companion as a companion; treat the slave as a slave." John Norman

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  18. Mary20:46

    I am perplexed at how to respond. I do not see how he could not recognize the need for an appology. YOu had actually asked to retreat and he lashed out at you in an uncontrolled manner. That made my abuse hackles stand on end for sure. However, you seem to be clear that this is a relationship worth saving, and one in which there were extenuating circumstances leading up to the dreadful event, so i will trust you with the wisdom of what will work within your own relationship. Can I ask, have you figured out what you are afraid of? Is the discipline too harsh -- too randome, too furious, too....????? I feel nervous before discipline, but never afraid. If I am more nervous and unsure than usual, he is careful to take it slow and start with corner time. He will talk to me, stern, but in a soft voice, talk me through the events leading to the need of discipline -- this way he walks me to acceptance and being willing to submit. Sometimes we have no prescribed start and stop, but when I am particularly unsure, he will tell me exactly what will happen, how many and with what. This helps me tremendously as I feel I know what I am submitting to before I go into it. Perhaps that is less trusting than going in blind, but at times, his calm certainty of what will take place helps calm me and ready me for it. If I express that I am not sure I can handle a part of the punishment, he has let me know that A) he thinks I can, and B) that he can give me a moment to think about it before that particular phase begins. Usually he is right - I am ready to accept by then - I am warmed up, beyond warm, and feeling submissive and wanting to give him all I can - I do. Anyway, maybe some of those ideas can help you.
    Good luck.

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  19. Anonymous14:31

    I think one is on dangerous ground in justifying any violence from a man. I speak as a man. My wife spends a lot of energy being subject to me. I don't have to enforce that as it will take away her free choice and the subjectivity would then be something different born out of fear. No violence or domination should be allowed in any marriage in my view.

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  20. The last commenter has a valid point.
    There may be submission but not domination. The one is offered, the other taken, and that is the danger which is run in this set-up, the partner in receipt of the submission can grow to feel that their domination comes as their right and not as a result of their partner's free gift.

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  21. Anonymous01:58

    You are absolutely right Ollie and have re-iterated a fundemental truth in all right relationships. Without that you have manipulation of which the male version is domination. To put oneself under that is being an enemy to your very self.

    Raymond

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  22. I love this blog..you are an amazing writer and always make me think.

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  23. Anna03:19

    Hi Vivian!
    I'm quite new in the blog, but I cannot stop reading it!
    I think your man made a mistake.

    Is it true that in principle, in DD you should submit to the punishment, wether you agree or not. But if the punishment clearly upsets you so much, you've the right to escape, otherwise it is abuse!
    A real HoH must be able to understand when it comes the moment to quit.
    If a man insists in punishing a woman in such a strong state of sorrow, or making her feeling desrepsected, he will entirely destroy her trust. And, what remains after?

    But I also must admit that I have been shocked by a sentence of yours:
    "What better way to avoid incidents like the ones I've described above than to give a man permission to spank a woman to tears when he is angry with her?".
    I felt a knot in my stomach. A DD relationship should not be -in my understanding - a way to convert a woman to a punching bag for her man's frustrations. It does not really matter if she is the cause of frustration. A HoH cannot lose his self control. Never ever.He cannot be anger-driven. A HoH must be a man of honor, that's why you submit to him. He wants respect, but must respect you as well. Beating you to tears to boost his masculine pride... is not love. in a few words, PUNISHMENT IS NOT A REVENGE.

    Otherwise again, he would destroy his partner trust.

    I hope you won't hate me for the last thing I am going to say. Keeping a relationship together is a good purpose, but it has boundaries. if it makes you feel crashed inside, ask yourself if it is worthwhile.
    My best wishes
    Anna P.

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