Last Thursday, we went to the beach. By 'we', I mean Mija, Iris, the princess and I. (I'm including Mija and Iris because they've already identified themselves as my companions in comments to Chris's discussion of this incident.) I had lots of fun, but we were outside for 3 1/2 hours in the middle of the day.
And when it was over, my back was burnt. Pretty badly. Chris even posted a picture of it.
To be honest, I didn't dream it would be a spankable offense. I mentioned it to Chris later when he met us for dinner, and was almost immediately informed otherwise.
Chris stated that this occasion is yet another example of how I haven't been taking terribly good care of myself lately. I haven't been exceptionally cognizant of my own health and safety, he pointed out, since this spring. I understand, accept and have in the past acknowledged this difficulty. Note that only too recently I posted about forgetting to lock the front door. I've been drinking entirely too much caffeine in the form of soda. I haven't been sleeping enough on a fairly regular basis. And there are other things I've done (and not done), too.
Even so, I argued about the sunburn being something I ought to be spanked over. Now, I've been clear in the past that I appreciate and would benefit from a bit more discipline in our relationship. And he agrees that I need him to be more toppy than he's been in past months. But it's still hard to be enthusiastic over the actual reality of punishment, and Chris is perceptive enough (and knows me well enough) to understand that I was reluctant. On the one hand, jumping up and down and shouting, "Yes please, punish me! I want you to hurt me!" sounds like a ridiculous position to take, doesn't it? And yet, at the same time, he's making a conscious and considerate effort to step up and take a more active role in taking care of me, and it seems incumbent on me to participate willingly.
In theory, then, I should be excited and relieved and thrilled. But when the paddle is imminently threatening, it's not so straightforward for me, because I don't like punishments. They hurt. And my back was (frankly) killing me through a slow torturous and infinitely more painful process. So I argued that the sunburn was punishment enough. I argued that he hadn't specifically warned me not to get sunburned. I argued that Iris and Mija (probably) weren't going to get spanked for their sunburns.
Chris calmly reminded me that I clearly knew about how to prevent them - the only one of the four of us who wasn't sunburnt was the princess, thanks to judicious application of sunscreen and a hat. He distinctly remembered telling me in the past that health and safety issues were spankable, and that I had always told him that I given him blanket permission to spank me as he saw fit.
It's quite difficult to object to that argument. I accepted and received the punishment without fussing about it much more. But in a number of comments since, I have mentioned my reluctance over a spanking that I claimed at the time was unfair.
So last night we sat down and had a chat. I use the word 'chat' instead of 'discussion' because there was no spanking involved, no disagreement, and some kissing (and my parents always used the word 'discussion' as a euphemism for a drop-down, dragged-out, loud argument). Instead, what evolved was a clarification of our expectations of each other, why we will engage in spanking for discipline and punishment, and what our mutual concerns are about punishments, consistency and what limits each of us have.
When Chris first brought up the notion of sitting down and 'talking' about the entire spectrum of punishment, my initial reaction was ... again ... reluctance. I didn't really think there was a reason to discuss it, given the afore-mentioned blanket consent he had invoked last week. In addition, I'm not terribly good at discussing things out loud, in words. I tend to absorb and then come out with my feelings on the matter at a later time. (Usually, if I can express it all immediately, it's because I'm seriously displeased about the situation, my temper has been shredded and I'm outwardly and angrily ranting.)
A day later, I'm glad we talked about it. Our relationship has, I think, undergone a rather noticeable change in the last few weeks, and while those changes are good, they - and we - are important enough to deserve a chat. And I'm glad that I have some idea of what he's thinking, and of what I'm thinking, and of what we think of each other.
I really do want him to take an active role in my behavior, and to respond in a way that still reminds me that I am loved, appreciated and adorable. Punishing me with spanking does that. And punishing me in general means that I remember not to do it again (usually), even if the spanking isn't severe. It's the chat and the process of spanking, I think, that leave the impact on my memory, rather than the implement.