Temperance

Posted at 15:21 on 17 Jan 2011 by Pandora / Blake

Tags: Adele Haze, D, dominance and submission, Jimmy Holloway, other pictures, Real life punishment



Before Christmas I asked D if he'd do something for me. I'd become aware, lately, that I'd been drinking more than I was comfortable with, and I wanted help keeping track of it. With some nervousness, I hinted that the sort of help I wanted was the D/s type. D's never been particularly comfortable with formally structured protocols, and prefers a level of informality and spontaneity to both play and punishment. 'Serious' rather than playful punishments have been rare between us, and mostly on a one-off basis - although I've learned over the years that this doesn't mean our D/s dynamic is any less real.

So I wasn't sure how he'd react to the idea of a more structured, explicitly negotiated system to help me watch my drinking. I told him the truth - that I'd taken the proposal to Tom, first, but although he'd agreed, he never ended up acting on it. Tom's health has been so poor lately, and his stress levels so high, that it hadn't seemed fair for me to put extra pressure and responsibility on him. So I checked that Tom didn't mind, and approached D instead.

To my surprise, D seemed amenable. Unlike Tom and me he almost never drinks; perhaps that was why he felt comfortable keeping tabs on this area of my life. He'd feel hypocritical, he said later, holding me to standards he wasn't keeping himself. (In my defence, I'm not a total pisshead - four pints of cider is an unusually heavy night's drinking for me - but I do find it all too easy to have one or two at the end of a long day, and it adds up. When I realised I couldn't remember the last day I'd abstained completely, I decided it was time to change my habits.)

After a vague "yes" but no further discussion, I knew better than to push, and left the ball in D's court. Sooner than I expected, however, I received a startlingly stern email from him describing the process and principles he wanted me to follow, and asking me to let him know the guidelines I wanted to be kept to. I read that email several times: it was a delicious mix of negotiation and dominance. The basic rules were up to me - although he was prepared to let me know if he thought my suggestions were too slack. But once agreed, he would keep me to them; and it was him that insisted that I send him an email every morning reporting what I'd drunk the night before. If you don't report a drinking level for a given day, without a good reason, then I'll assume you deserve a punishment for that day regardless of surrounding drinking levels. I shivered with delight at the realisation that he was taking this seriously.

We discussed punishments. A designated implement seemed sensible, given the associations it was likely to accumulate. With some trepidation I proposed the horrible little bath brush which, conveniently, has been barely used since I bought it. We were both being very honest with each other - him about his lack of booze knowledge, and me about my own weaknesses. The whole thing felt more consultative than authoritative, but I felt very secure knowing that, unlike me, he wasn't going to cut me any more slack than I deserved. I was confident that the structure we'd developed was sensible and sustainable, holding me to the spirit (as it were!) rather than the letter of the law, and I trusted D to make fair judgments.

As I sent him my daily emails (a hard habit to get into), it became clear that I was trying to lean too heavily on my 'rules', whereas he was more interested in general patterns and my perceptions. At first it felt like I was in a constant state of self-denial - possibly the restrictions increased the temptation - and moderation felt surprisingly difficult. Nonetheless, as I'd hoped, the act of recording affected my decisions, and the prospect of disappointing my Dom proved far better motivation than my vague guidelines in themselves.

After about a week, I discovered that he was collating the emails in a spreadsheet. A categorised, colour-coded spreadsheet. I was amused, flattered, aroused - but also shiveringly nervous at the precise record-keeping this implied. I've had punishment books before - but this was my first punishment spreadsheet!

I got to see it in person on Friday afternoon. Green text marked the booze-free days; red the heavier ones. A blazing scarlet background denoted the day I forgot to check in. We argued about that, a bit. The thing is that I was fairly sure I'd not drunk anything that day, but I couldn't prove it until I got back home. I was perfectly happy to be punished for not sending the email, but it seemed unfair and unproductive to treat the missed email as if I'd had a piss-up. The two crimes were clearly separate! Eventually he agreed - by which point of course I felt anxious and guilty about having got my way.

Once the spreadsheet was up to date, D cheerily suggested that we get the punishment over with. With alarm, I suddenly realised how close I was to tears. A combination of disappointment for having missed a report, anxiety about the perceived unfairness and guilt for arguing with him. As we hugged he noticed my trembling, and decided that spankings would happen after dinner. I was both relieved and disappointed. I appreciated the chance to calm down enough that I had a chance of taking my punishment with some dignity, but no-one likes to wait.

(To be continued...)

Comments

"It seemed unfair and unproductive to treat the missed email as if I'd had a piss-up."

In the absence of certainty (and you weren't certain, at the time), it's entirely fair to take the upper limit of your uncertainty - which was "I might have had one pint". I only (and immediately) agreed the two factors were separate after you proposed a way that you could verify that you'd remembered correctly.

Don't expect to get away with it again without similarly convincing evidence. :-)

Understood, and I certainly didn't intend to continue the disagreement in this post. I was more objecting to the idea that you might have taken the upper limit of possibility in general than the upper limit of my uncertainty, but in retrospect I can see that's not really what you were suggesting.

Emailing you every day is now at the top of my to do list - I'd much rather be punished for something I have done than something I haven't!

xxx

There is only one solution, and one solution only. Even before you start imbibing to heavily on liquor consumption, which you now say is moderate. The answere is 'six or more strokes of the cane on your bare bottom. And I mean six or more of the best strokes of the cane, will do wonders of keeping you sober, because of the pain, that will be emerging from your bare 'sit me down'.

I've recently asked my husband to help me in a similar fashion, but with a different issue. I was really unsure if I could do it, so I told him that we'd first try for a month to see how freaked out I got. I haven't slipped up yet, but I'm sure that it will come. Good luck on your goals, and thanks for the fabulous post!

Good for you for deciding there is something you want to change in your habits, doing something about it, and having the people around you to help you do it.

Alcohol can be a phenomenally dangerous drug, much more so than some of the drugs that are commonly treated as illegal. And alcoholism really is wide-spread. I find that, with almost every single one of my friends or acquaintances where our relationship is close enough to talk about such things, I hear the story of at least one full-blown, hopeless, pisshead alcoholic in the intermediate family who is making life difficult for himself and those close to him. I once had the experience myself with someone in my family, someone who has fortunately given up the booze by now. But it was the source of a great deal of stress and sadness at the time, and even though I never had a drinking problem myself, I have talked to professionals about the subject.

I don't imagine that it's anything nearly as bad with you, but it's good to fight the (possible) beginnings. Admitting to yourself that there might be a problem is the most important step of all.

"In my defence, I'm not a total pisshead - four pints of cider is an unusually heavy night's drinking for me - but I do find it all too easy to have one or two at the end of a long day, and it adds up."

An unhealthy drinking habit isn't necessarily about how much you are drinking. It has just as much to do with the regularity of drinking, with how easy or difficult you find it not to drink, and with psychological dependencies. Psychological dependencies are already in place when people believe that there are certain things which alcohol helps them do. "Having a drink or two helps me relax!", "I can really loosen up and talk to people after a few drinks!", that kind of stuff. That's the kind of foundation on which a really bad habit, if it develops, will build.

Best wishes to you, and also to Tom - I am sorry to hear that his health is not good, please give him my regards.

I've found that moving to a place where the rivers flow with vodka helps one quickly lose interest in alcohol. But your way sounds better : )

Also - punishment spreadsheet! Love it. May have to steal it for a screenplay.

I rather like the sound of this program, both for the serious help it gives you, and for prurient interests as well.

By the way, can I just say how hot that photo of Adele is? Because dayum.

Discipline agreements are damn hard to negotiate, so good for the pair of you for trying. I reckon, the spreadsheet is going to make *all* the difference. :)

Seriously, though, if you work out early on how to work out borderline cases and disagreements without resentment, you've basically won.

Zugzwang - thanks! :)

Wicked Lush - I first misread that as "I haven't slippered up yet", which would have been rather appropriate! I'm normally very nervous about giving this sort of control to my partners, but in this instance I haven't really given up control, I'm just asking for help maintaining my own self-control. Best of luck with your own endeavours - I hope it proves both entertaining and useful!

Graham - Yeah, unlike LIVING WHERE I DO. I mean. Anyone would succumb!

I don't know if the precise nature of the punishment goes into the spreadsheet too. I kind of hope so, but suspect not. After all, that's what this blog is for, right? :)

Zugzwang - Quite! It's like the best of both worlds :) And yeah, isn't the photo hot? I do like that dress on her.

Adele - Absolutely. If it succeeds or fails, it'll all be down to the spreadsheet. Yup yup. (Crikey, have I found a kinky activity which has made excel seem a little more appealing?!)

So far we've negotiated the disagreement without it feeling like it challenged the deal. He's asking me quite a few questions as we go about what I think is reasonable and how I feel about different types of drink, which is really helping me feel included in the process. And I've got a few "good girl"s for being honest even when it was to my detriment. It's very feelgood. Basically - I get a say, but his word is final. I'm cool with that :)

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