Thursday, 13 June 2013

New fascination with the tawse

 I’ve recently developed an intense fascination of the tawse. I’m pretty sure that it’s because we’ve not been able to resume our DD regime yet so Mistress and I have been discussing alternative methods of punishment.

It wasn’t something I’d really considered until the option of using the tawse was initially mentioned by a Lady friend on FetLife, in a PM to me, in response to my recent post about alternative punishments in a DD regime, other than the cane on the bottom.

She suggested a hand tawsing and said her husband hates it more than the cane on the bottom. I don’t know The Lady in question, apart from brief exchanges on FetLife but I do gather she is a very strict disciplinarian so her words carried some authority. Moreover, she has an excellent collection of John Dick-style tawses and I can imagine the venom a hearty stroke one of them can unleash.

I say this with some small experience since Mistress has previously tried one or two strokes with our leather straps – we have one ‘Trident’ paddle from MC Customs (three tails of quite thick leather in a short paddle-length implement) and another really short, two-tailed tawse in black leather.

We’ve only played with both but I recall an intense thuddy sting to each stroke. A real punishment session with them would be a very serious prospect indeed.

After my Fet Life friend’s suggestion I began some research. Probably the one post I found that convinced me of the tawse’s value was a post on ‘This Thing We Do’ by Mentor Jim in 2010, in which he said; “I would like to recommend to all of you the idea of punishing your deserving partners' hands. This naturally came from British school scenarios but I wanted to say that I've used it and loved it.

“I think that it is demonstrates the ultimate acceptance of punishment - an important factor for me. When a woman (or man surely? gk) will hold her hands out for me to strap it tells me that she is fully accepting her punishment. To look in her eyes as I raise the strap over my shoulder and see the fear but also the resolve to accept her chastisement is extremely powerful. The hands are sensitive- and this punishment hurts. The hands could never accept as many blows as her bottom but a hand strapping after a session of lines or even maybe before, is a nice adjunct to a spanking.

‘Julia’ on the same forum, responded:  “Hand strapping is a strange one for me. I can take it all day long with many implements. Well not all day.

“Between my woodworking hobby and the garden and decades of hand spanking others, my hands are very resilient. That means that on the rare occasions it is used I generally get 12 on each hand with a very heavy strap/tawse all delivered at full strength. Many people would be in agony after one or two but I am just blessed (cursed?) with hard hands!

“However, the important thing is not so much the physical sensation of the strokes as the conversation that goes on between K and I during the punishment. Not a word is spoken. It is a conversation of the eyes. In essence is K says, ‘I have to do this because you earned it and you have to accept it gracefully’ and I say, ‘I know I must accept this, I am doing my best even though it's starting to hurt quite a lot.’
“Then eventually, when it gets to the final six on the first hand (which hurt like hell even for me) K seems to say, "Now this will be hard but I require your submission" and I respond with an extremely quite and submissive, ‘Yes, ma'am.’

‘That cycle just intensifies dramatically when I have to switch to the other hand and do it all over again. My first hand is throbbing and burning and I know very intimately just what is coming. It takes a massive effort of will to hold out the second hand for round two.

“It is a very intense experience of encountering an absolutely immovable force in my life. In front of me stands someone who I can't go round, can't move aside, can't talk out of it, can't joke my way through, can't move in any way, in fact. The inevitability of it....the fact that I am forced to literally ‘face up to’ my punishment.”

The intense thing for me here is the eye contact. I can imagine the absolute pain of each stroke but I struggle to conjure the eye contact.

I imagine it to be something very special to watch Mistress, unerring, delivering the stroke. I imagine also her impassively waiting to apply the next one while my face is screwed up in pain, trying desperately to alleviate the sting before the next one.

I can imagine all this because I watched, thoroughly engrossed, as Mistress Ebb applied the tawse to one of her subs in this video clip;
I love the calm objectivity she displays in her methodical business of thrashing the poor guy. She can see the suffering but just keeps up the tempo and the way his suffering brings a delighted smirk to her face.

I’d like to think that between his screwed-up eyes, moist no doubt with tears, he can see how much pleasure she is deriving from seeing him suffering – and like any good submissive, responds immediately to her command, ‘hands up’, even though he knows the pain is only to get worse and worse.

You don’t get this intensity of eye contact during a session with the cane being applied to one’s bare bottom. And while there is a certain offering one’s self for punishment in the act of bending over, it seems to me that holding out your hands for the tawse, and making eye contact with Mistress, could be one of the most significant acts of submission possible in a DD relationship.

My only concern is about potential damage of a thrashing. I’ve read about the fragility of the small bones in the hands. Yet I also know people saw the tawse applied with plenty of vigour to the hands of children back in the 1960s, and not too much attention was paid to potential damage.

I just wonder if there are those already use hand tawsing as a viable method of punishment in a DD regime – and what, if any, the long-term negative affects of the tawse might be.  

Sunday, 2 June 2013

DD: Real or recreation?

Another comment I picked up on Kealah’s blog was made by Emma Bishop who said her former mentor was very ‘sceptical of the values of the spanko 'scene'.

His comment was thus: “…..frankly I find the whole culture rather ridiculous when people describe it as 'a lifestyle'. As 'a recreation', a way of satisfying particular inclinations/needs (be they sexual, social or otherwise), then it is a perfectly reasonable way of spending time. When it becomes a means of defining oneself, a way of identifying one's whole self, an all-encompassing lifestyle, then I am afraid it is not a good way of living one's life - it can be self-centred, self-indulgent and utterly wrapped up in an artificial world that narrows one's choices and opportunities."

I’ve always struggled with the lifestyle idea – is DD real, isn’t DD real? Is our relationship really female led?

I struggle because I was the one who introduced Mistress to corporal punishment and I was the one who suggested we should try living a proper female led relationship. And yes, I was the one who suggested we adopt the domestic discipline regime we have now (or normally have when I’m fully healthy!).

So to a point, Mistress has pampered to my interests and for a long time we did just play games and it certainly did not impinge on our lifestyle.

But in doing so I unlocked Mistress’ dominant side, which was patently obvious to me very early in our relationship yet she had never really acknowledged. And as I’ve said before, she’s since embraced everything.

But has it grown to become a lifestyle? To try and answer this I looked at the mentor’s wise words.
“As 'a recreation', a way of satisfying particular inclinations/needs (be they sexual, social or otherwise), then it is a perfectly reasonable way of spending time.”

In caning me, Mistress was showing her love, giving me something she knew I felt I needed. Sex usually followed, so it was very much recreation.

Where I think things changed rather dramatically was when we adopted the idea of using the cane as a means of maintaining discipline.

Aside from the sexual connotations corporal punishment for us, Mistress was becoming increasingly frustrated by certain aspects of my behavior. I’d read about DD and suggested we adopt it as a means of keeping me in check. Mistress agreed and we launched into a more disciplined ‘lifestye’.

From that moment, corporal punishment in our home was no longer associated with sex. We both knew for it to have any real effect, the punishments had to have a higher degree of severity that the playful sessions we’d had before and, surprisingly to me, Mistress had no problem with it.

So punishment now really meant punishment. It was no longer something to be enjoyed but something to be endured and that made a big difference to how both of us viewed it.

I cannot deny I still get sexually aroused by the thought of the cane but it ends there. I can honestly say I derive no pleasure from receiving it, and get no opportunity for pleasure after it, so the entire dynamic has changed for me - and Mistress. Now it is a tool used to keep me focused and I can’t imagine either of us having a playful session as a prelude to sex anymore. And I don’t believe either of us miss that.

What else changed was the atmosphere in the home. Mistress took no nonsense. Now I am told, rather than asked, to do things. I am lectured for my faults and the lectures are real.

Back when we treated CP as a game we both use to smirk and grin in such situations but when I’m lectured now, I had better be paying attention and by goodness I would be in trouble if I found it funny.
I was worried I might resent being treated this way but I’ve found myself embracing her authority. And I think she enjoys being empowered.

If this all sounds like I’m treated constantly as a little naughty boy then I’ve given the wrong impression. For a large proportion of our lives we are an everyday normal couple, the DD aspect only kicks in when I fail to live up to the standards expected, or break rules.

I think having weekly maintenance helps clear the air so it’s rare for issues to occur. However, it’s good for us both to have the mechanism to deal with any that do.

But back to the words of the wise mentor: “When it becomes a means of defining oneself, a way of identifying one's whole self, an all-encompassing lifestyle, then I am afraid it is not a good way of living one's life - it can be self-centred, self-indulgent and utterly wrapped up in an artificial world that narrows one's choices and opportunities."

I think those are indeed wise words because even with a DD regime in place in the home, everyday life still has to go on. And as I’ve tried to explain, everyday life for us does carry on.

We both get pretty frustrated when health issues or work issues impinge on our DD relationship though. The fact that we dip in and out of DD tends to give it that feeling of being a ‘game’ that we revert to when we have a moment to ourselves. Maybe the mentor is right that it’s not good to live in an artificial world.

But is that what our DD ‘lifestyle’ is – artificial? I don’t see it like that. I see an adult male who sometimes (quite often actually) behaves like a little boy and upsets his partner. It’s not deliberate. It’s caused by just not maintaining a focus in a variety of areas and being naturally lazy.

Rather than long-drawn out discussions on what’s gone wrong and how it can be prevented, discussions that risk causing upset to one or both parties, we have a much better system.

My submissive nature means I acknowledge my failings. Mistress, with her more dominant personality, views it that way too. So there is no need for discussion. What there is a need for, is some kind of penance for the person, ie me, causing the upset. And we use corporal punishment to correct that penance.

Is that self-centred or self-indulgent? Does it narrow our choices and opportunities? I don’t think it does because we still have a loving relationship and we still carry on our so-called ‘vanilla’ lives – whilst always remembering our respective roles.

What DD means is that we have a system that suits us both. It’s different, but it is not artificial. And it is a lifestyle choice.