Here on Learning Domestic Discipline we’ve talked a lot about the topic of spanking in a domestic discipline relationship and this is simply because it’s perhaps the most misunderstood aspect, as well as the part of domestic discipline that everyone seems to have the most questions about (understandably). It’s often a very controversial portion of the domestic discipline lifestyle, and one that seems to garner a lot of attention whether in the media, on domestic discipline forums, on domestic discipline blogs, and more. Bottom line – people are drawn to the spanking aspect, for better or for worse.
However, one thing that hasn’t been covered is whether or not you have a domestic discipline relationship without using spanking. Yes you can, but with some changes, of course. Domestic discipline is not a spanking relationship. We can’t stress that enough. What is domestic discipline? Click here to read an in-depth definition of what domestic discipline is.
If you read the above definition, you’ll see that although it is a relationship where some form of consequences does exist, it is not centered around, nor solely focused on, spanking.
So, how do you have a domestic discipline relationship without spanking? What does that sort of relationship look like, how does it work, who is it ideal for and what changes need to be made? We’ll break all of that down for you below.
Why would a couple choose to practice domestic discipline without including spanking?
A couple may choose to practice domestic discipline in their relationship without using spanking as a consequence for many reasons. The first, and most common, is if one partner is having a difficult time getting their other partner on board with the domestic discipline concept because they are hesitant to spank. Often times one partner is immediately hesitant to include spanking and therefore writes the entire lifestyle off as something he/she wants nothing to do with. However, by removing the spanking element, that partner then becomes a lot more okay with the principals of domestic discipline and the couple is still able to reap the benefits from it.
Another reason a couple may not use spanking in domestic discipline is in a situation where the HOH is frequently exhibiting inconsistency around spanking. By removing the spanking aspect and starting with the basics of domestic discipline, it can help to get the couple back on track.
The above two reasons are the most common. However, there are other reasons such as if one partner has a history of abuse (with a previous partner, a parent, etc.) and cannot bring themselves, emotionally, to go through with spanking. Another possible reason could be that spanking just isn’t possible with the couples current situation (living with family, having young children, having a long distance relationship, etc.) or that they just don’t simply feel comfortable with it, or don’t believe in spanking.
How would domestic discipline without spanking work?
On the surface, domestic discipline without spanking may seem like a simple concept to grasp. However, it’s actually a little more complex because you’re talking about restructuring several different parts of the lifestyle (which we’ll break down for you below so you can see our recommendations of what should change).
First, let us say that the overall principle of domestic discipline should stay the same. One person is the head of the household, and leader of the home and relationship. The other person is the submissive partner and submits, obeys, and defers to the HOH. The HOH sets rules and enforces those rules with consequences that are mutually agreed upon.
So, if spanking is not one of those consequences, then what are the consequences? There are numerous other punishments that the HOH could choose from and we’ve listed a few of those below for you:
- Grounding/removing privileges
- Corner time
- Bedroom time
- Writing lines
- Apology letters
- Writing essays/reports
- Soap in the mouth
and more. Those are just a few ideas, all of which have been discussed on Learning Domestic Discipline.
Often times the rules within a domestic discipline relationship would stay the same whether spanking is a potential consequence or not. So, really all that changes are the punishments, how they’re enforced, the severity levels and the aftermath.
What we mean by severity levels is that when spanking is present in a domestic discipline relationship it’s often used as the most severe punishment with the punishments for more minor offenses being things such as corner time, bedroom time and writing lines. However, if spanking is removed, it’s important that the HOH select another punishment to act as the “severe consequence” to maintain the severity ladder within punishments.
For example, in a domestic discipline relationship where spanking is the severe consequence, it is often used for rules such as things that are dangerous (speeding tickets, texting while driving, etc.), disobedient (frequently not listening or breaking rules, etc.) or repeated habits that the HOH feels are severe enough for a spanking. So, if spanking is removed, the HOH needs to find an alternate consequence that would be just as severe for the submissive partner. If a safety risk or something else deemed rather serious happens, the submissive partner would then be able to distinguish between the severity of that infraction versus something like having a bad attitude, or another minor offense.
Another change that we recommend is adapting some form of comforting after a consequence is handed out. In domestic discipline relationships that include spanking, one of the most crucial parts is the comforting after the punishment. It’s important that when the HOH replaces that consequence with a different severe consequence that the HOH finds a way to still comfort the submissive partner. Comforting after any punishment (whether spanking, or not) is something that we believe is crucial to a domestic discipline relationship. However the HOH chooses to comfort is, obviously, up to them, but is another change that would need to be made when spanking is removed.
Other than changing the consequences, severity gauge modifications and aftercare/comforting changes, the remainder of domestic discipline remains the same.
What if we want to add spanking in later, or remove spanking and try this form of domestic discipline?
The awesome thing about domestic discipline is that it can be modified at any time. Some couples change their domestic discipline dynamic every few months, while others rarely ever change it. But, it can be changed whenever both the HOH and submissive partner feel it’s necessary and, as part of those changes, spanking (or any consequence) can always be added, or removed, at any time.
If you’re thinking of trying domestic discipline without spanking, but plan to add it in later, we think that’s a great idea (especially for beginners) as this gives you time to adjust to the core basics of the domestic discipline lifestyle.
However, if you’re currently practicing domestic discipline and want to remove spanking as a consequence, that can be done too. Removing spanking can be difficult because it is likely already “engraved” in the submissive partner’s mind that spanking is the “ultimate consequence” or the most severe consequence. So, attempting to replace that with something that the submissive partner would view as equally severe can be a challenge. But, like anything in domestic discipline, it definitely can be changed. However, before it’s removed, we recommend sitting down and discussing with each other what consequence will replace spanking and making sure that both parties are in agreement of the new consequence.
It’s important to note that the domestic discipline relationship is largely focused on the HOH/submissive partner dynamic and this dynamic is achieved through core qualities that define each role. The other aspects of domestic discipline are things such as rules and consequences, but they’re also important to make domestic discipline work.
In conclusion, domestic discipline without spanking can absolutely work. It may be more challenging for the HOH at first (in terms of finding another consequence that the submissive partner would still view as severe), and it may take longer to see long term improvements in behavior, but it can absolutely be done. As we stated before, domestic discipline is not a spanking relationship and does not thrive on spanking alone to make it function the way it’s intended to.