What's a Little DD Between Friends?

I recently received a question in my inbox from a reader asking if domestic discipline (DD) could work in a platonic relationship.

This reader's partner wasn't interested in DD, and she felt trapped and discouraged at the prospect of having to choose between staying with a partner that she loved and accepting that her deepest desire would go unfulfilled, versus leaving her partner and fulfilling her deep longing for DD. Her particular question was whether it would work if she stayed in her marriage and also engaged in DD with a close friend in a non sexual, platonic way.

I suspect many of us have experienced something similar, finding ourselves in a serious relationship with a partner who isn't interested in DD and fearing that we have to give up our longing for DD if we want to continue the relationship. It's a heartbreaking situation to be in. (It's also a big reason why I agreed to write the books on how to get your partner to spank you. )

As I've discussed in prior articles, I continue to believe that we all have, deep down inside, a primitive urge to act out biological sex roles -- which means that I feel strongly that almost any partner could likely be "triggered" to participate consensually in a DD relationship if the subject is approached appropriately.

For this article, however, I'm going to put that theory aside, and focus instead on the reader's original question and the issues related to it: Is DD outside of marriage an act of infidelity? Is it even possible to have a satisfying DD relationship outside of marriage? Can two close friends engage in DD and get the same powerful, intimate results as a committed sexual couple would?

To clarify, we're not talking for our purposes here about a simple, one-time spanking (the equivalent of a one-night stand). Whether or not visiting a professional dominatrix, disciplinarian, prostitute or even a good friend for an occasional spanking constitutes cheating on your spouse is a separate question (but I believe the short answer to that question is yes). We're talking here about entering into an ongoing, intimate DD relationship in which one person is consensually subject to ongoing discipline by a trusted other.

As those who have read my prior articles know, I believe that much of the deep attraction of DD for many of us is that DD is, first and foremost, a powerful, ritual method of connecting one person's inner feminine to another person's inner masculine (in whatever gender configuration). That primal feminine-masculine connection is, by its very nature, fundamentally sexual.

We are sexual creatures and whatever other civilized things we've been up to over the past several millennia, the fact remains that Mother Nature intended for us to reproduce, and to motivate us to do so, we have powerful, primal urges that are awakened through the sex act -- an act which, for the purposes of conception, virtually forces us into primal archetypal gender roles (the male giving, the female receiving). Whatever position one uses, whatever progressive sex roles one brings to the party, whatever high tech methods are used in the lab, the fact remains that to get pregnant, a man must ejaculate sperm (give) and a woman must take it in (receive it).

The primal masculine-feminine connection means that one of the biggest benefits to a successful DD relationship is that DD literally "hot wires" our circuits by creating a direct connection between two people's primal sexual selves. In receiving a spanking, the spankee experiences the undiluted feminine energy of submission. In giving a spanking, the spanker experiences the undiluted masculine power of domination. The spark is struck, the fuse is lit, and bang... a sexual explosion ensues, whether it's acted on or not.

I suspect that this direct connection between primal masculine and primal feminine is so innate to the power of DD that, if DD is even a little bit rewarding for those involved, that primal sexual connection is going to be forged regardless of whether the participants are romantically or platonically involved. If the two people involved weren't sexually attracted and romantically involved when they started with DD, it seems likely -- I would suggest even inevitable -- that they would become involved once things got underway.

All of which means that it might inherent in the nature of DD that it simply can't be -- or at least can't remain-- platonic. And that entering into a DD relationship with a non-sexual friend outside of a relationship, however well intentioned, is the proverbial disaster waiting to happen. The spark to the powder keg of sexual energy that, once released, burns out of control, destroying the "vanilla" relationship that it was originally designed to protect.

Perhaps there are exceptions -- cases of two people who have managed to create a long term successful DD relationship without sexual entanglement. But I'd be skeptical. It seems that in such a case, perhaps the relationship WOULD be sexual but perhaps not acted upon (which would make it, perhaps, emotional infidelity, if one believes in such a thing?). Or, most likely, the full power of DD isn't being truly explored within the platonic DD relationship.

Looking at that second option more closely, much of the benefit of DD seems to be that it's an incredibly powerful way to create intimacy between two people. If the ground rules going in are that the relationship must stay platonic, then almost by definition, all of our "cylinders" won't fire (to continue our automotive analogy). The platonic pair might get some of the catharsis and physical release of spanking, but they'd lose, I suspect, the mutual journey into and out of the liminal space of guilt, pain, punishment and forgiveness that is likely only possible with total surrender and the complete dissolving of boundaries and inhibitions. And this total surrender is almost certainly going to be precluded if, by definition, both partners are holding something back to avoid sexual involvement or surrender.

All of which is why I believe that the answer is, no, it is likely not possible to have a truly satisfying long term DD relationship outside of a romantic/sexual committed partnership. And that any truly rich and successful DD relationship, regardless of the intentions of those involved, will likely become more intimate and more satisfying (and thus more necessary) than your primary relationship, and so would likely jeopardize the existence of that primary relationship.

So we come full circle, back to what I believe is good news: that the basic masculine/feminine connection (again, in whatever gender configuration) is so primal precisely because it lives in all of us, however deeply buried. I continue to believe that the most reliable way to create DD in our lives is to build a deeply intimate, trusting, long term relationship with a partner. The more intimate and trusting that relationship is, the more likely it is that the reluctant partner will have the courage and love to dig deep inside and find their own primal sexual spark. And at the very least, the more likely they are to want to help us to express our deepest desires.

These are the benefits and long-term rewards of fidelity.

When It's His Idea

Jan 2011

Dear Readers,

Yes, I'm still here -- and the good news is that my batteries are a bit recharged and I've been working on the next book. I didn't want to mention it until I was fairly sure it would happen, since, like many creative people, I'm never quite sure if a project is going to make it all the way to completion until, well, it's almost all the way to completion.

In the meantime, I appreciate everyone's patience and encouragement during my hiatus from the blog. After two books, I think I was DD'd out for awhile. But writing the book -- a collaboration with my partner articulating more of his point of view than mine -- has given me more food for thought. So I hope to share some of those thoughts with all of you in the months to come. Bear with me if the articles come slowly, however -- I am, as you have surely noticed by now, not a Constant Blogger by any means.

Meanwhile, I'm publishing a letter I received below, along with my reply. Perhaps you all might weigh in with your thoughts for Kathy as well.

Happy 2011,


FROM KATHY, in response to the blog post "When I'm Angry":


I recently met a man who is interested in DD and has been trying to teach me about it and show me why it is a good way to manage a relationship. I'm not completely convinced yet, and one of the big reasons I'm not convinced is exactly because of this issue you described. So I sent him your blog entry, told him about my concerns and asked for his opinion. His e-mail response to me was as follows:

That is an excellent description of the issue. The best way I know to handle it is SERIOUSLY.

--Go into High Protocol … Ask permission to speak …
--Kneel, take lil' Master {his penis} out … lick him … suck him
--Then tell me what I did and how it made you feel.

I can't guarantee anything,but I'm pretty sure that:

--you will have my full attention
--that I will not get pissed off at you
--that I will not think you are out-of-line
--& I won't think you're being disrespectful

There's a good chance I won't do it again.

So seriously.....what do you think? I would love to let him know what someone else thinks of his idea. I told him that if I was all that angry, I wouldn't be able to do those things. If I was able to do those things, I wouldn't be very angry and I wouldn't NEED his apology all that much.

His follow-up response to THAT was:

"Keep in mind that D/s is all about Control, DD is about Self Control.
I think you can learn Self Control..."

As a woman who has a lot more experience in a DD relationship, what is your take on his comments?


Dear Kathy,

I'm sorry for the delay in responding to your email -- real life, as it often does, interfered!

I've read your comment several times in an effort to formulate a response, as this is clearly very important to you and your partner. Your situation is also more unusual, as most of the time in my experience, it's the woman asking her partner for a DD relationship rather than the other way around. (At least that's true of the ones who normally write to me!)

I must admit that my first response is a strong caution for you. I'm not at all sure that DD will have the power to elevate, transform and enlighten when the woman doesn't come to the relationship predisposed to the idea. I'll have to give that question some thought - perhaps in a future article.

Making a DD relationship work is hard work. Very hard work. I've yearned for a DD relationship with a man since I was very, very young, and still, I find submitting to discipline and his authority one of the most difficult things I've ever done in my life and I fail most of the time. (This is why my books are about asking for spankings, not maintaining successful long term DD relationships -- which I'm still working on as well.) The idea of a woman entering into a DD relationship without being inherently aroused and excited by it feels dubious at best and unsafe at worst.

I'm assuming that your partner is asking for spanking or other discipline to be incorporated into the dynamic? (There are couples who practice DD without spanking.) Being spanked -- hit, in essence -- by your partner is an extremely emotionally volatile situation even when you want it and have initiated the request for it. Experiencing that trauma without having a built-in attraction to it seems likely to lead to anger and shame on your part, and guilt on his part.

Your situation also brings up an interesting question: the foundation of why most people in the DD world don't consider it abuse is that the woman is consenting to it, and in most cases, has asked for and initiated the relationship. If you spank or otherwise discipline a partner who wants to be spanked or disciplined,, even though she may protest at the time, there's an implied consent there. If you spank a partner who doesn't want it and hasn't asked for it in any sense, does that cross the line? I don't have a clear answer, but it's worth thinking about.

I suspect your partner is encouraging you to try this because he himself understands and has experienced the transformative power of DD -- but, again, he's experienced it because he is already primed to want such a relationship. And while I do think it's possible to create a situation in which the submissive partner learns to appreciate the power of DD, it's a difficult road to travel.

So I would ask you one simple question: Are you considering this solely for his benefit, or somewhere, deep inside, is there even a tiny flicker of sexual interest/arousal/excitement at the idea of having that kind of relationship with your partner? Because even a flicker can be fanned and suggests that once you and your partner experiment, you may find it ignites in a flame. If not, it's still possible, but my suggestion would be to tread very, very (very) slowly.

This isn't to say that the foundation of DD has to be sexual. There are certainly couples out there who engage in DD and who claim, at least, that neither of them is aroused by it. Personally, I'm skeptical, given the potent sexual archetypes that are invoked by DD, but I think what they may be communicating is that the act of spanking doesn't inherently arouse them. Fair enough. But it certainly helps if there's at least an interest in your loins for such activities -- it helps get over the rough spots if there's a sexual charge to motivate you.

You haven't mentioned whether or not you've experimented with dom/sub behavior in the bedroom -- if so, did you like it? That's at least some indication that you might like to take it into your regular life with him. If not, that seems like a safe place to start. No, it's not the same as DD, as I'm sure your partner is well aware, but it's a safe, non-threatening, loving place to experiment with some basic tests about how you'd feel being ordered around, spanked, dominated, etc.

Your partner's suggestion for what to do when you're angry, while well meaning and probably exciting for him and possibly successful in the past with women who were already pre-disposed towards such a relationship, seems like it's going way too far, too fast.Your assessment that such a request/requirement from him when you're angry is likely to fail seems pretty much spot on. Perhaps, if you really want to try this, you might consider what YOU would want to do in such a situation and start from there, rather than starting with what he wants you to do (which is a fun idea, but not terribly realistic even for those of us who really really want to submit).

I certainly don't mean to discourage either of you -- only to caution you both to go very slowly and to pay utmost attention to your inner cautions as you feel your way through this. And I hope your partner is loving enough to be able to respect your need to go much more slowly than perhaps he'd like to.

I hope this gives both of you some food for thought. One other thing I'd mention is that your partner's willingness/ability to talk through your concerns with you is a good sign -- a heartbreaking number of people have the fantasy that DD will work without conversations just like the one you two are having right now. You're ahead of the game in that respect, for sure.