Have you ever heard of domestic discipline?
The term ‘domestic discipline’ first entered the cultural zeitgeist back in 2013, when a number of media outlets covered the marital trend. The movement encourages men to be the head of household and discipline their wives to help keep them in check.
This discipline can come in the form of spankings, as shocking as that may sound in these modern times. Although the practice has orthodox roots and has become linked with conservative movements, even progressive couples have been known to practice domestic discipline.
In a recent interview shared by Truly, a couple speaks frankly about how they use domestic discipline and why spanking helps to keep their relationship strong. Brandi and Laz may look like your typical American couple with young kids, but behind closed doors, their relationship probably looks much different than yours. Whenever Brandi slips up or steps out of line, partner Laz punishes her with discipline methods like spankings or making her write lines.
Now, you might be wondering, what on earth could compel a modern woman to submit to such an arrangement? Isn’t this abuse? Why would a husband ever want to hurt his wife if he truly loved her?
There are many things going on here: First, I would say that it’s likely that many women in domestic discipline arrangements likely have a past of corporal abuse in their childhoods. They were probably spanked as children, creating a vandalized lovemap in which they learn to associate pain and punishment with approval and attention.
Submitting to spankings causes physical pain but it also creates a trauma-bond in which the child being spanked craves the love and respect of the parent or caregiver who is spanking them. Over time, the child becomes convinced that they deserve the physical pain and that by enduring it, they are earning the approval and love they so desperately crave from their parent.
Hence, spankings can feel cathartic, because the child knows that when it’s over their parent will love them again. This can be worsened because parents who spank often will say things like “This hurts me more than it hurts you” or “I am only doing this because I love you.” Hence, it’s very easy to see how a child can begin to interpret this abuse as an expression of love.
Also, after a spanking, the body will respond by flooding the brain with natural pain-relief and even endorphins, so you get almost a ‘high’ from the painful experience as your body seeks to heal itself. No wonder a person can experience lifelong trauma as a result of corporal punishment.
But do I think domestic discipline is inherently abuse? It depends on whether the woman is truly submitting to the arrangement or she is afraid to say no. Perhaps she thinks that if she ‘bargains’ and accepts a spanking, her partner will be less likely to be violent in a more volatile or explosive way. Giving him the option to spank her may create a boundary that helps her to feel safer, especially if she knows it will always happen in the bedroom where the kids cannot see.
I also think it’s important to note that in nearly every situation you read of domestic discipline online, it’s the woman who is being punished and ‘kept in line’ by her husband. This is important to note as women are inherently an oppressed class when compared to men, especially if they don’t have the financial freedom or ability to leave an abusive relationship. So even if they are purporting to submit to the arrangement, it’s important to be sure that they are truly submitting to it out of their own volition and not because they have no other options.
All of those caveats aside, if a woman is truly submitting to spankings because she enjoys them and feels she benefits from them, then I would consider this not to be abuse but rather an offshoot of BDSM. Although it’s not posed as erotic, there’s no denying the ’50 Shades of Grey’ appeal that may be helping to popularize this trend among modern and even progressive women. After all, Christian Grey frequently spanked Ana, with either his hand or various instruments, and although Ana spoke of being scared or even embarrassed at times, ultimately, she found his dominant side to be incredibly appealing and the spankings to be highly erotic.
I think that sexual motivation may help to explain why some women are submitting to these spankings, especially as it relates to conservative or sexually repressed women who aren’t comfortable tapping into their sexual sides. For women who were raised being taught that ‘nice girls’ don’t behave sexually or enjoy sex the same way that men do, it can be hard to release these inhibitions and tap into sexual pleasure, even when they are married and ‘allowed’ to have sexual experiences.
By utilizing spanking and other BDSM experiences, these women have a way to access sexual pleasure without feeling like they are being bad or dirty. They’re submitting to their husband, and perhaps even feeling like it’s something their religion orders them to do, which gives them carte blanche to lay over his lap and enjoy the sensations of pain and pleasure without feeling sinful.
I also think many people who grew up in very authoritative or abusive homes may struggle with listening to their own intuition, creating their own guidelines, and following through with self-discipline on their goals. Without an external force directing them, these adults struggle to find internal drive and perhaps even self-worth. Spankings and domestic discipline are a way for these people to find a sense of structure and direction, so it doesn’t surprise me that it can create feelings of security and intimacy for those with vandalized lovemaps or histories of physical or sexual trauma.
Would I recommend domestic discipline? Well, I am all for kinky and erotic experimentation but I would really urge couples to proceed with caution when it comes to these purportedly non-sexual spankings which are for correction’s sake. It’s easy to see how this can quickly cross the line and lead to injury or emotional fallout. And, if you are going to practice spanking or any form of BDSM, remember the importance of getting consent every step of the way and having a safe word for when you want the play to end. And remember the importance of ‘aftercare’ which is when you show affection and attention to the submissive partner in order to ensure that she’s physically and emotionally okay after the play ends.
And please make sure to get a sturdy lock for your bedroom door! I would never advise or support corporal punishment of children, but it’s going to become very tricky and disturbing if your partner is spanking you in a potentially sexual way and then also spanking your children for discipline’s sake. Keep your play private because witnessing such loaded scenes between parents can be very confusing for children.