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couple spanking silhouette isoAs I was thinking about writing this article, I realized what a big umbrella the words “domestic discipline” is. It covers all kinds of relationships, from Orthodox to secular, male dominated and female dominated, polyamorous and polygynous. For the sake of clarity, I’ll restrict my comments to the relationship I know best: a male dominated, monogamous, heterosexual household.

The men in this relationship are often called “head of household” or HoH. There are men who take this role easily and naturally, with or without spanking. And there are men who have to be coaxed to take this kind of responsibility on. My husband was a natural and didn’t need coaxing. He would never have considered a relationship where he was not the HoH, and neither would I. So we had that down pat right from the beginning.

Domestic discipline is usually based upon good and bad behavior by the wife or female partner. That doesn’t mean that the husband HoH is perfect, but rather we presume he has the grace to make up for his shortcomings and take the consequences without a physical punishment. Women, in my experience, are sometimes less willing to say the words, “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong.” I don’t know why that would be the case, but as I’ve seen it in action, I can say anecdotally, that it goes like that.

A woman does not have to be “weak” in order to accept her punishment. Strong women learn to take their lickin’ and remain strong for the family. But that strength should never override a HoH’s final say or become a contest of wills. That’s why the relationship has been divided into one Chief and lots of Indians. Someone has to have the final decision, and in a domestic discipline household, that is usually the husband. Both parties agree to it and, presumably, both parties are willing to accept the responsibility that entails.

As naughty as women can be, it is rare when they don’t realize exactly how awful their behavior is. The HoH is likely to give fair warning if punishment is eminent. A little self-control seems in order for the wife, but sometimes, the whole self-control issue is lost in the frustration of the day. Those frustrations have a tendency to build up and lead to true naughtiness. It is a HoH’s responsibility to stop that behavior in a safe and sane way. Thus, spankings, corner time, writing lines, and other harmless but humiliating punishments.

Humiliation is a big component. It is humiliating to be treated like a child — we don’t even treat children like that anymore! Being vulnerable, less than strong, less than at your most upright and righteous position, is humbling. And that humbleness takes a lot of the starch out of the need to act up.

During punishment, a woman is sometimes brought to tears and as the dam bursts, the frustrations of the day, week, month, are released. Catharsis happens with punishment, along with forgiveness. When you know you’ve been “bad” you want your conscience to be cleared so that you don’t feel guilty for that hurt look on your husband’s face, or the irritation in his voice, or the embarrassment of having a messy house if visitors come to call.

Domestic discipline isn’t a panacea for all marital ills, but it can be (and is) an answer to many couples’ troubles. It does help keep some marriages together, the parties happier, and stress lower.

But what if the wife really enjoys being spanked, less for the catharsis and forgiveness, and more from a physical reaction, often erotic? Is she likely to encourage the punishment spankings in order to feed that urge? I hope not. That’s manipulation and deserves a punishment all on its own. When things get to this point, a long conversation is required, as well as a change of punishments. Something less “pleasant” than spanking becomes an answer. Those kinds of punishments vary considerably from one couple to another.

And maybe erotic spankings can stay on the agenda in order to feed that urge, but it needs to be made clear that punishments and playtime are separate. If they cross the line too often, there’s a disconnect between bad behavior and strict discipline versus bad behavior and a spanking reward.

Domestic discipline can be a very effective tool to make a couple closer as they work through their various issues, and can often make a difficult wife less difficult. And we’re all difficult sometime or another.

I live a domestic discipline lifestyle and have for about 20 years. Although I can’t recommend it to everyone, I think for some people it might be the answer to a happier marriage.