In the first article in this series, I said that many women want to be under the loving, protective dominant control of their man. In the second, I argued that being taken in hand is not just a game, but that it is erotic. You might want to read the first two articles before you read this one.
“If a woman finds the idea of “getting a hiding” erotic, how can it also ”work” to modify her behaviour? Spanking would be a reward, not a punishment!”
Punishment implies subjecting a person to pain, confinement, or some other disagreeable consequence such as confiscation of something that person values, or being made to do something unpleasant, like writing lines or a letter to the tax people. Doing something the person loves would appear to be counterproductive: how could something the person loves be unpleasant for them?
Is it that punishment spanking is to non-punitive spanking what rape is to consensual sex? You can love sex but find rape unbearable.
No, that comparison does not hold up under scrutiny. In the case of real, non-fantasy/fun rape, the woman absolutely does not want it, and if she could avoid it, and never experience it, she would. By contrast, plenty of women do long for their husbands to take them in hand. Such women may feel “unwillingness” and “fear” in association with a serious spanking, but nothing like the very real fear and non-consent a woman who has no interest in being taken in hand would feel. In that case, the spanking is abuse. In the first case, the woman finds the possibility that she could be taken in hand erotic, and on some level she really wants it, “unwillingness” notwithstanding.
But if it is erotic, how can it possibly work to modify the woman's future behaviour? If you want to punish people, you impose a negative consequence on them, you don't give them something they have been longing for for the last thirty years. So men new to these ideas often decide that the punishment they will give their women is not to spank them. They withhold spanking. If taking a woman in hand were simply about using punishment as a deterrent, then this would make sense. But it is not that simple.
The underlying aim of all this is to create and maintain a good relationship—an evolving, ever-improving, intimately-connected relationship in which problems get solved and the partners retain sexual desire for each other. It is not about knocking a faulty woman into shape. If it were, why should any man want such a tiresome burden? Why not just get a dog? And how many men would feel perfect enough to stand in judgement over their woman? Let's face it, chaps, more often than not, she is a lot more sensible, reasonable, capable, and responsible than he is, so presumably she would have her hands full knocking the faulty man into shape too!
Whilst some women do valiantly take on that gargantuan task, in many cases, that is not what happens, and no matter how many glaring faults in need of correction the man has, he is nevertheless the one in control. That is what both of them want. And it can make the difference between an unfulfilling, lifeless relationship, and a vibrant, sexually and emotionally fulfilling one that facilitates the growth of both persons.
Friendships can be close and intimate and fruitful, as can parent-child relationships. What distinguishes a friendship from an “intimate relationship” is the sexual element. Maintaining high contrast between the man and the woman is sexy. The more similar the man and the woman become, the more indistinguishable they are, the less interesting they become to each other, and the less they desire each other. When a man is dominant, and not just as a bedroom game—when the woman feels his authority all the time, when she knows that he will not hesitate to take her in hand if he thinks it necessary—the woman's desire for the man is phenomenally intense. She is aware of his otherness, his masculinity, his power. This prevents her from feeling like his mother, his boss or his teacher, and thereby losing desire for him. The man in turn feels more desire for the woman. Instead of turning the man off by reminding him of his controlling mother, boss or teacher, the woman remains a woman to him. Their connection is better in every way.
But that's not all. One of the problems of conventional relationships is that small errors in signalling and interpretation lead to huge fights and, worse, to withdrawal and stonewalling. The most trivial problem can turn into an all-out war. Even tiny accidents and misunderstandings can set off a chain of events leading to an out-of-control downward spiral of ill-will and misery. You think he is being unfriendly (when in fact he is just preoccupied) so you are slightly less friendly yourself. He subconsciously notices your slight negativity, and responds more guardedly than he would otherwise have done. You think he is being unpleasant and can't understand why, and you feel annoyed and respond accordingly. He thinks your evident annoyance is out of order and becomes annoyed himself. And pretty soon you have a fight on your hands. …. And all because of a tiny mistake in your interpretation of his state of mind at the beginning of the interaction. Unfortunately, many conventional couples simply have no means of arresting such downward spirals of bad feeling.
One of the most important benefits of the kind of relationship we talk about on Taken In Hand is that it embodies powerful error correction. No, I do not refer to the errors of the allegedly faulty woman, I am talking about the tiny errors in signalling and interpretation—the little misunderstandings that happen between people all the time—that can so often end up in what feels like a descent into hell.
Instead of allowing little problems to metastasise into misery, accusations, fighting, or icy silence, the dominant man can use serious discipline or some other way of expressing his authority to invoke the relationship. Instead of withdrawing and breaking their connection, he can, through taking or re-establishing control, highlight and re-affirm his commitment to their relationship. Taking a woman in hand is a way of invoking the relationship that can be done without losing face, without any damage to his pride or ego, and without any emasculating grovelling to the woman or loss of power on his part. Through this action, he signals to the woman that he is ready to put the troublesome issue behind them rather than dwelling on it, fighting about it, sulking or stonewalling. It minimises if not eliminates the build-up of niggling resentment that can do so much damage to relationships.
He is also re-affirming his love for the woman and his trust in her. In asserting his authority and requiring his woman to submit to a serious spanking, he is trusting that she will submit rather than call the police or tell him where to stick it. This is a powerful symbol of his commitment to the relationship, and in a way, the more serious and real the discipline he is imposing, the more he is reaching out to his woman.
Similarly, when a woman submits even to serious and possibly painful discipline, she thereby affirms her acceptance of her man's authority as the head of their household. This is a powerful statement of her love of him, and (whether she admits it or not!) of her submission to him as her man. In consenting to the discipline he wants her to accept (even if she doth protest!), she is likewise signalling her willingness to put the matter behind them instead of allowing it to pollute their interactions in the future.
Just as the man's actions are a way of reaching out to the woman, so her submission amounts to reaching out to her man. This tells the man loud and clear that their relationship is very precious to her. In putting herself in his hands, she shows that she belongs to him and totally trusts him. She is showing that she considers their connection more important than any particular disagreement or other issue they might have. She is raising a white flag and diffusing any potential hostility before it becomes an ugly confrontation. Submitting to her man's authority, even if that means a serious spanking, is an affirmation of the relationship. It communicates her love.
Much of the communication in a serious spanking is tacit, not explicit, but it is important, valuable communication nonetheless. And how much more fun it is than a horrible war of words—in retrospect if not at the time! A serious spanking is a short, sharp, dramatic way of settling a matter. It clears the air. It gets any bad feeling out of the couple's systems, and it often leads to passionate sex which is, I'm sure you'll agree, a very much underrated cure for most of life's ills (or at least ill-feelings)! Then, when the two individuals are feeling good about each other again, they can then talk constructively if anything remains to be resolved after the spanking.
The way serious disciplinary spanking works is not by acting as a deterrent, but in this more indirect way. Paradoxically, its effect is positively encouraging rather than negatively deterring. It re-affirms each partner's love, commitment to, and trust of the other, and repairs any break in their connection. It represents the man's authority and thereby helps to keeps the sexual tension white hot. It makes the woman feel an incredible sense of peace, contentment, and passionate love, and that makes her want to do anything and everything she can to please her man. And when his woman loves to please him and is peaceful, happy and always wanting him, the man is happy and relaxed too.
So if you are new to this kind of relationship and you are thinking that surely it would be more effective to withhold spanking, because your woman loves to be spanked, that reasoning is understandable, but it is a huge mistake. Spanking is not compulsory, and there are other forms of discipline and other ways of expressing your authority, but to withhold spanking in order to punish her is a psychologically violent act. It raises walls between you; it is taking a step away from your relationship; it is a declaration of hostilities. The primary object is not actually punishment, it is your sexual and emotional connection. Giving her a good spanking can solve a problem quickly and cleanly and works for your connection; withholding spanking works against it.