Domestic Discipline Dynamics: The Spencer Plan

There are several different types of domestic discipline. While primarily focuses on the traditional dynamic (a male HoH and a female submissive partner) there are a variety of other domestic discipline alternatives. One of those is known as The Spencer Plan (or the Spencer Spanking Plan). Personally, we are not advocates of The Spencer Plan since there are no defined roles (among other reasons). However, we felt it was important to present alternative domestic discipline examples because we’re aware that the domestic discipline community is comprised of more than just the “traditional type” of domestic discipline couples.


What is The Spencer Plan?

The Spencer Plan is a method of domestic discipline created by a woman named Dorothy Spencer in the early 1930’s. In fact, some people believe it is the original domestic discipline method and the more traditional method of domestic discipline that we now practice was once derived from The Spencer Plan. Others believe that The Spencer Plan was developed after the traditional method of domestic discipline in an effort to answer one of the most popular questions surrounding the domestic discipline lifestyle – what happens when the HoH makes a mistake or breaks a rule?

The Spencer Plan is a version of domestic discipline that, essentially, has no defined roles. The man and woman are viewed as equal partners who have both chosen to incorporate domestic discipline, but neither one defines themselves as the head of the household, or the submissive partner. Both parties are subjected to the same rules and consequences dealt out by whoever is deemed the head of the household at that time.

This is best illustrated with an example. So, let’s say that a couple (we’ll call them John and Amanda) practice The Spencer Plan method of domestic discipline within their relationship and one of their rules is no going over budget. One day, Amanda goes out shopping with her friends and, without asking John, goes over budget. John then finds out, and he spanks Amanda for the broken rule/misbehavior. In that moment, John is the head of the household, and Amanda is the submissive partner. Sounds like typical domestic discipline, right? Well, let’s say a few weeks later John goes out with his buddies after work and spends a little too much at the bar. He goes over budget. Amanda finds out and she isn’t happy. So, she spanks John for the broken rule. In that situation, Amanda then becomes the head of the household and John then becomes the submissive partner.

The easiest way to sum up The Spencer Plan is by saying that the couple makes one rule list. Both couples are responsible for following that rule list, and failure to do so means that the opposite partner will hand out a consequence of their choosing.

Starting The Spencer Plan

The Spencer Plan is a little more complicated than just simply stating “the couple punishes one another.” The creator of the plan, Dorothy Spencer, put a lot of time and detail into molding the plan to a form that, she believed, worked the best. Like all aspects of domestic discipline, every relationship is different and every aspect of domestic discipline (whether it’s The Spencer Plan, the traditional method, or any other form) should be tailored specifically to the couples needs and wants.

The Spencer Plan starts by recommending that each couple sit down and create a list of “things that will produce discipline.” This could be things that each partner wants the other to improve upon, things that create frequent arguments, or just overall nuances of the relationship that you would like to create into rule form.

Once those are agreed upon, they become rules. Both parties in The Spencer Plan follow the same set of rules. That is one of the things that keeps it equal, and fair.

In what ways does The Spencer Plan differ from traditional domestic discipline?

The most obvious way that The Spencer Plan differs from traditional domestic discipline is that The Spencer Plan involves both parties holding each other accountable (whereas, in traditional domestic discipline, one person is the defined HoH and one person is the defined submissive partner and those roles do not vary).

However, where The Spencer Plan drastically differs from traditional domestic discipline is with the punishments. The Spencer Plan clearly states that “women are to be spanked, and men are to be whipped.” Essentially that means under The Spencer Plan, the women can only be spanked with the palm of their partner’s hand. No implements are permitted to spank women. However, for men, it is the opposite. Men must only be spanked with implements (such as a strap, wooden paddle, or ruler).

Another difference is that the guilty person within a Spencer Plan relationship must always ask for the punishment. This means that if the head of the household (at that moment) is ready to punish their partner for a broken rule, they must not hand out the punishment until the submissive partner, at the moment, has asked for their punishment. The Spencer Plan believes that this rule helps to establish accountability with the guilty person, as well as helps to provide a consensual discipline situation at all times.

The Spencer Plan also states that no more than two spankings or whippings may be given in one day. With traditional domestic discipline it is not recommended that you punish more than two times a day either, but with The Spencer Plan you must “cap off” the punishments for either party at two per day.

Aftercare in The Spencer Plan is also handled differently. With The Spencer Plan, it is said that after the woman is punished she should be given a brief hug, then left alone to calm down and collect herself. She must then go to her partner, apologize, and at that point the comforting afterward begins. When a man is spanked (or, whipped as the plan refers to it as) there are no specific instructions as to how aftercare should be given with The Spencer Plan.

In spanking situations, The Spencer Plan rules state that the women must only be spanked on their bare bottom. However, men can be whipped either on their bare bottoms or over clothing. It is up to the woman, at that point, to determine how her partner will be whipped for that rule.

In what ways is The Spencer Plan similar to traditional domestic discipline?

The Spencer Plan and traditional domestic discipline may actually be alike in more ways than the average person may realize. Although they both differ greatly on many core aspects, the overall belief of  having a consequence, rules, and rewards structure helping to guide the relationship remains the same.

One core similarity between the two is that both domestic discipline relationship dynamics must be consensual with both parties involved. Domestic discipline, in any form, will not work without consent of both people.

Another similarity is that The Spencer plan, like traditional domestic discipline, does not advocate spanking in anger. Punishing while the head of the household is angry can lead towards a multitude of problems such as the submissive partner becoming resentful, the head of the household conducting the spanking much harsher than deserved, and more. So, this is advised against with both The Spencer Plan, and traditional domestic discipline.

Once a punishment is over, with both The Spencer Plan and traditional domestic discipline, that issue is to be closed, put in the past, and both parties should move on. The Spencer Plan does not believe in harboring feelings, or not wiping the slate clean, after a punishment and neither does traditional domestic discipline.

Overall Thoughts

The Spencer Plan places a strong emphasis on consensually living this lifestyle, and equality within it. While that is, to an extent, true with traditional domestic discipline, The Spencer Plan takes both aspects a step further (with methods such as ensuring equal rules are in place, or ensuring that the partner who is about to be punished ask for, and admit to earning, their punishment beforehand).

Like traditional domestic discipline, those who live The Spencer Plan lifestyle advocate that it is the best, most peaceful way, to conduct your relationship. Those who live The Spencer Plan lifestyle often times started out practicing domestic discipline, but have changed over to The Spencer Plan after the question of “well what if the husband breaks a rule?” had come up too frequently.

Overall, The Spencer Plan is an alternative for those looking for domestic discipline in a more equal form. The Spencer Plan, like other aspects of domestic discipline, is not for everyone, and it does have pros and cons. But, if executed properly, it can help a couple to achieve both a domestic discipline lifestyle, and one that ensures fairness for both parties.


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