Thursday, August 9, 2012

To "Sir", or Not To "Sir?"

Image courtesy of Corbis Images.
  Opinions of the word "sir" range all over the board amongst domestic discipline couples.  Is it right for you?  You can read this article on our new website by clicking here.


HOLLY said...



Bad-Cat said...

H has not really required it of me but I use it most of the time. It helps me keep my focus on respecting him at all times. I especially need that focus during a punishment session.

SpankedWifeUK said...

Thanks for the post Clint. I too have struggled with this, but I have realised recently that it is different in the UK. When I have been to the US, I have whitnessed people using Sir in normal day to day activities, e.g. 'excuse me sir can you tell me how to get to the nearest gas station?' However in the UK we don't do this. We would just say 'excuse me' without the sir. I think this is why I find it hard with my husband. In schools, the workplace, public it is unusual to hear the use of the word sir. Infact if you do hear it it is very suprising!

Anonymous said...

My husband expects it during discipline, not any other time. However he doesn't mind it and actually likes it any other time.

Anonymous said...

Me and my husband lives in Sweden and over here the word sir started to disappear in the late 60s and by the time we were born in the early 80s it was almost completly gone.
Having not been raised with it we bouth feelt awkward when we tried to include it in our marriage, during a lecture i look him in the eyes when giving a reply to show him that i have listen.
Keep up the great work and all the best to you and Chelsea.


lilmisses said...

I find that if I respond to Hubby with a "Yes Sir" then I am more likely to remember his request and therefore get it done. He's never asked me to, and honestly I think it may make him a bit uncomfortable, but I want to do it. It's about where my heart is. If I just respond with "yeah, okay" then I am sure that I'm not really listening to him and I tend to forget.

49Percent said...

For us, if I say "Yes Sir" or "No Sir" it can only be in jest - we both start laughing at the awkwardness of it, so for us, there isn't any point in using Sir.

Christina said...

We don't use "Sir" at all - Jim has said it makes him uncomfortable or makes him feel old. I can see the value it can have for others, its just not something we do. And, I laughed when you ended the post with, To "Sir", or Not To "Sir?" Very funny!

Anonymous said...

I address my husband as Sir, during discipline amd sometimes at other times. He only as asked me to do it during discipline. I have done it so long, that it is natural now.

Anonymous said...

@Holly-Maybe you're not aware of this, but posting in all upper caps is the same as yelling. Clint has an awesome post about maintenance spankings.Maybe you should check it out while you're waiting for Clint to respond to you.

Kate said...


My hoh doesn't require "Sir" but I tend to use it when I am feeling especially submissive to his leadership. And I don't mean to use just comes out that way wether I *intend* to say it or not. lol


Karyn said...

My husband doesn't require it at all times, but during a lecture or discipline he requests it. The rest of the time he just appreciates me tossing it out here and there".......when our son is present I use the word dear, we he understands tobe sir

Belle L said...

I feel that I want to say it when my husband questions me during discipline, however I don't know if it's too soon. My husband is not quite comfortable with disciplining me consistantly. He sometimes looks for loopholes, because he wants to make me smile instead. I will probably bring this topic up when I feel he's more comfortable with the whole ttwd. -Belle L.

Holly said...

To Anonymous August 10, 10:03 am:

No, I was not aware. I usually use all caps when I send e-mail because it makes the words bigger and more readable. Is this better? Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've never commented before but I've been reading your blog for a few months now, and it's really helped me and my Hisband figure out how to navigate this lifestyle.

I do have a question for you though. Since beginning there are a lot of strict rules, such as when and how the house must be cleaned (everday throughly), Dinner must be made every night and ready when my husband gets home. Which I don't mind. But how does one explain this to others? For example I'll go out with a friend and say I have to leave to go make dinner, but when they ask the joking "why, will he beat you?" I don't know how to respond in a way that explains that this is a consensual relationship of my choosing. The one time I did, I ended with "Just kidding" because my poor friend was appalled and terrified for me. So I guess my question is, how does a wife explain it without sounding like an abuse victim, and in a way that people understand it's not a fetish?

Anonymous said...

I refer to my husband as sir most of the time but definitely during a lecture, punishment or when he is giving me a warning. If I forget and just answer with a "yes" or "no" he'll say "yes what?" Or "no what?" And I remember very quickly to use sir. I don't feel uncomfortable using it because I feel my husband is such a wonderful husband and father to our son (and our new baby due in Jan) that I feel it is a small gesture I can do to show him the respect he very much deserves. A lot of people are surprised by the dynamic between my husband and I because we are in our early 30's yet have a very traditional old school marriage. But I couldn't be happier with my husband or our marriage. I truly am a lucky girl :)

Anonymous said...

It definately shows who is in charge. When you have to call him SIR - he is the master, HOH, decionmaker, punisher, etc. It is also a sign of respect. My HOH does feel that if you do not say SIR, you are being disrespectful. I have to say SIR ALL THE TIME, not just for punishment or during a lecture. If I forget to say sir, he'll say that too ("yes, what" or no, what?) and then he marks it as a one point and if I reach ten points (due to not saying sir), I get a punishmetn spanking. I hate it!

Anonymous said...

Ok I am new to this so what do I know? I can understand saying it during discipline sessions or a wife saying it spontaneously other times, but to require it 24/7? Since respect in a DD relationship is a 2 way street, does that mean 24/7 he calls her Ma'am?

Learning Domestic Discipline said...

@HOLLY - Hello Holly. I did not miss your question on the other post. It takes time for me to get to all the comments sometimes. I do my best to keep up, but I've been known to fall behind from time to time. Thanks for your patience.

I answered you on the other post, but I'll include my same answer here for you.

Your question depends a bit on your experience level, but in most cases the maintenance spanking should NOT be as severe as a punishment spanking.

I've covered maintenance spankings here on LDD, and I encourage you to read the following post:

It discusses what they are, a recommended way to conduct them, etc.

I hope this helps you out, Holly. All the best to you.

@Bad-Cat - "Sir" certainly helps to remain focused when heightened focus is needed. Thank you for sharing your experience.

@SpankedWifeUK - Wow, that's very interesting. It is relative commonplace here in the U.S. I'll remember not to say it if I'm ever fortunate enough to visit the UK! :)

@Anonymous (August 10th 3:40 AM) - I get the sense that is the most common expectation of "Sir" in a DD relationship. Thanks for sharing your experience.

@Jenny - Using "Sir" can certainly be awkward for some. Given the infrequency in which the word is used in Sweden, it makes sense it would be awkward for you as well. Thanks for offering your thoughts on the subject, and thank you so much for supporting LDD. All the best to you.

@lilmisses - You and your husband are very similar to my wife and I when it comes to using "Sir." When my wife does, it seems to help her remember our discussion. Thanks for offering your view. I certainly appreciate it.

@49Percent - Lol. That's pretty funny. :) Thanks for sharing your perspective.

@Christina - We don't use it often, but there are times where I need my wife to really focus, so I'll request she use it for the discussion at hand from time to time. I thought the rhetorical question was a fitting end to the blog entry. :)

All the best to each one of you.

-- Clint

Learning Domestic Discipline said...

@Becky - That seems to be a common perspective on the use of "Sir." Thanks for sharing your experience.

@Kate - Lol. You're a natural! I'd imagine your husband doesn't mind the additional respect you show him by using the term. Thanks for sharing your experience.

@Karyn - I'm glad you found what works for you both. That's what it's all about. :) Thanks for sharing your perspective.

@Belle L - There's nothing wrong with going at your own pace. In due time this topic may come up, and you two can discuss it and determine if it's something you want in your DD practices or not. Thanks for sharing your perspective. All the best to you.

@Holly - Your question wasn't directed to me, but I would just like to chime in and say, yes, that is much better. Thank you.

@Anonymous (August 11th 10:34 AM) - Explaining the DD lifestyle is definitely a tricky thing to do. If you truly want to explain it to your friends (at the risk of their apparent judgment, which is unfortunate but I digress), I think it's important to do so when you have a block of time to REALLY explain what this lifestyle is all about and what all it entails. I don't think it can be explained in just a few minutes. I've written a post about this, as has my wife, and you can find those posts here: (Mine) (My wife's)

My post talks more from the HoH's point of view, but I still think you can take things from it. My wife's is from the wife's point of view, which would probably help you more than mine would.

As for a comment from your friend saying, "Why, will he beat you?", I would respond with something like, "No, he just appreciates it and I like to make my husband happy. It makes me feel good knowing he's happy." I think something like that would suffice. I don't think you need to go into a big spiel about the lifestyle, unless, of course, you want to.

I really encourage you to read the two posts I linked to. I think they'll help you a lot. It's nice to see a woman standing up for what she believes in. I admire your courage, your pride, and your commitment to the lifestyle. Heck, I'm not your husband or anything obviously, but as a fellow DD practicing individual, I'M proud of you for doing that. Kudos.

All the best to each of you.

-- Clint

Learning Domestic Discipline said...

@Anonymous (August 11th 11:16 AM) - Yes, it sounds like you are indeed a lucky woman. I'm so happy to hear that YOU'RE happy. :) You may be a young couple, but there's nothing wrong with having a traditional marriage at any age. I think the lifestyle is gaining popularity among young people, and I think it's wonderful.

Thanks for sharing your experience. All the best to you.

@Anonymous (August 11th 12:08 PM) - Hate is a very strong word. If you hate this arrangement so much, perhaps you should consider talking to your HoH about it and finding something you both can agree is fair. To dislike it is one thing, but to flat out HATE it is another.

Anyway, I appreciate you sharing your experience. I wish you nothing but the best.

@CP - Just because you may not have as much experience with DD as others doesn't mean your opinion/thoughts on anything regarding the lifestyle doesn't matter or carry weight. We all learn from couples of all experience levels. I think you make a fair point and ask a fair question.

Your opinion matters, and I encourage you to speak up whenever you feel compelled to. Experience, in my opinion, has nothing to do with whether or not a comment is a valuable one.

Anyway, I wish you the best CP. Take care.

-- Clint

Anonymous said...

I am a born and bred Southerner. In our family the quickest, sure way to get punished was not to say Yes Sir/No Sir or Yes Mam/No Mam. It is still required of all the children and by that I mean if I'm speaking with my 79 yr.old Uncle it is used. There is nothing more disrespectful than hearing a younger individual respond with yeah or no way. So I'm not required by my HOH but he knows it is ingrained in my thinking. Lucy

Learning Domestic Discipline said...

@Anonymous (August 12th 10:43 AM) - Yes, it does seem to be more common amongst Southerners. It's interesting to hear perspectives like yours. Thank you so much for sharing it.

All the best to you.

-- Clint

sara said...

I live in Israel , If I shall use the word SIR when I discipline, my husband thinks I'm making fun of him (and then I would not be funny) I usually say "yes my husband " meaning of the word "my husband" in Language Hebrew it's "my Owner"

Blondie said...

Well here in California we are a little bit casual with titles. Instead of saying Mrs. Lastname, people want to say Miss First. I still call my childhood friends' parents Mr and Mrs So and So and I hate introducing my children to adults and calling the adult by their first name. Everything is pretty casual.
In our DD relationship, I do call my husband Sir when I am over the knee or he is lecturing or having a serious conversation. It is a way of reminding myself that he should be treated with respect.
He has told me that he would rather me never call another HoH sir.

Anonymous said...

Using the English term "Sir" would sound completely artificial (or even funny) as we don't live in an English-speaking country (and consequently don't communicate in English). However, I surely regret that there isn't any suitable equivalent to "Sir" in our native language/in our country. I feel the need to address my husband not by his first name but by a "special term" on certain occasions, e. g. when I want to tell him that I'm sorry or if I want to confirm that I understood and accept his request. Unfortunately, we haven't found anything appropriate yet.

The comments were interesting for me, as I always thought that the term "Sir" is widely used in everyday situations in ALL English-speaking countries, particularly if you don't know the name of the male person you are dealing with. So I frequently used expressions like "Thank you, Sir", "Have a good time, Sir" and so on, when speaking to clients from English-speaking countries in my job. I was never aware of the fact that this habit is not suitable for persons from Great Britain... hum, well, what about those from Australia and New Zealand...? Anyone knows?

Best wishes

Anonymous said...

The husband is always in authority over his wife.

Learning Domestic Discipline said...

@Sara - Very interesting. It's nice to get perspectives from those outside of the United States. Thank you for sharing your experience.

@Blondie - Sir certainly shows an elevated level of respect, which is always a good thing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts/experiences.

@Tamira - It will be interesting to see if anyone from Australia or New Zealand shares how their country views the term "Sir." I find the different perspectives from different countries fascinating. I'm learning a lot from the comments on this post as well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

@Anonymous (August 16th 7:43 AM) - That's the idea in a DD marriage, indeed. In a loving way, of course.

All the best to each of you.

-- Clint

Anonymous said...

Clint, I'm hoping you can confirm for me that the punishment spanking I administered this evening was justified and fair. It was our first very serious disciplinary session and I felt it was needed to address my wife's lack of control behind the wheel of a car. She was stopped for going 86 mph. Thank God she was stopped and thank you to your wife for providing mine with good advice in telling her to tell me. I would have found out as soon as I went in to work but it was good that she came to me and told me. This however did not lessen the seriousness of the reoccurring problem. She has even gone through defensive driving so I didn't know what else to do to make sure this didn't happen again. I followed the intermediate advice that you give but I did increase it a bit and I did use two implements, my belt and a hairbrush. We had never before used implements but I had warned that for dangerous actions this would the punishment. I felt it important enough to follow through. The spanking went as it should in my opinion and I do think the message was made clear. The problem came with her attitude afterwards. She cried quite a bit,which I expected, but didn't really allow me to comfort her for more than a few minutes. I felt a real need to be there for her and let her know that we are in this together but she asked me to leave her alone. I didn't expect that. I had to leave for work so I got ready to go and she allowed me to kiss her but refused to look me in the eye. I had to leave. I grabbed her iPad and took it with me because I don't want her online comparing us to others and trying to garner sympathy. I love her and I hope she understands that I followed through on what we both agreed on. Was it too soon? That is my real concern. Thanks.

Mollie said...

I use the term 'Sir' in many different situations with my husband.
Not only is 'Sir' used during lectures, in response to a command and during a punishment/spanking, my husband considers the term 'Sir' to be a necessity to manners.
After 'thank you' or 'please', I'm expected to use the term 'Sir'. It's not as critical in these situations, but if I repeatedly choose not to do so, there's generally a punishment for it.
I'm from the UK, and 'Sir' isn't used as frequently here. On American TV shows, you see children calling adults 'Sir' all the time. Here that would be seen as rather posh and strange.
However, in our marriage, 'Sir' is most certainly a necessity.
Best regards, Mollie

Learning Domestic Discipline said...

@Anonymous (August 16th 10:25 PM) - From what you have described, I feel the punishment was perfectly fair and reasonable for the speeding issue you've been dealing with for quite some time now (at least I get the impression you've been dealing with it for a long time). I understand you two are fairly new to DD, and I typically recommend couples wait about two months or so before escalating to intermediate level spankings.

With that said, however, every couple is different, so your question of, "Was it too soon?" is difficult to answer. I hope you can understand and appreciate the answer to that question will differ with every couple. The way I would answer that question for YOU is like this - if you've spanked for her speeding at least once prior, and she's STILL not slowing down on the road, then my answer would be no, it's not too soon to escalate to an intermediate spanking. Clearly the beginner level spanking did not correct her speeding issue, so the spanking needs to be intensified, which is precisely what you did. It's much too dangerous of a situation to take lightly. I think you handled things correctly, from what I know about you two and your situation.

As for the reaction from her after the spanking - something about the spanking itself bothered her. It's impossible for me (or you) to identify what that is unless she opens up about it. Communication is key, as I'm sure you both know, so I encourage you both to discuss this and address whatever was bothering her so you can fix it, and put this entire situation behind you both. She needs to open up and be honest with you, even if she's upset, mad, hurt - whatever - at/by you.

I hope this helps you two. Good luck.

@Mollie - That's very interesting Mollie, thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I'm learning more and more about the UK with each passing week. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

All the best to you.

-- Clint

Not the Petries said...

Sir is actually a college nickname of R, mockingly created by fraternity brothers--long long story. Since we met in college, it just has a whole different connotation for us. These friends still introduce him at parties as " this is Rob we call him Sir it's not a term of respect". Their kids call him "uncle sir"

So sir is off the the table.


Anonymous said...

Clint, Thank you for your advice and continuous support. My wife and I spoke about the speeding situation and the way she reacted after the spanking. We have cleared it up. She was upset/ surprised by the use and the pain of implements. Though we had discussed it prior to the serious issue, she says she didn't think I'd actually go through with it. Well, she now realizes that I am committed and she is still on board, so all is well. I don't believe that there will be any further speeding issues. Again, thanks to you and to your wife for the help in getting us through this. Mike

Learning Domestic Discipline said...

@Not the Petries - Given that personal history, I can definitely understand why "Sir" would be off the table in your marriage. Thanks for sharing your story. All the best to you.

@Mike - It's our pleasure, Mike. Now that she knows you're capable of using implements when you spank, I imagine you'll see her behavior drastically improve. I think you'll see her taking your warnings much more seriously in the future as well.

I'm glad this issue is fixed for you two and you both can now move on from it as better, safer people. It feels good to put things like this in the rear view mirror.

Good luck to you as you both move on into the future.

-- Clint

His_sweet said...

i most definitely call my HoH Sir. In fact it's not just a display of respect, it's almost become a term of endearment for us. I rarely call him by his first name, except during very intimate moments. For me our relationship is all about respect and I feel more respectful when I call him Sir. I know that may not be the case for everyone, but it's definitely the case for us. I mean he calls me ma'am from time to time, but not all to often and not in authoritative way. It's just politeness.

Clint, thank you to you and Chelsea for your blogs. Sir and I are pretty new to this lifestyle and while we are incorporating a lot of these practices into our relationship, we are complicated. I guess we are what you would call a quilt of various different practices we like. We take a little from here and a little from there, but since we are so new, it's nice to find a reliable place to learn. This weekend we will be sitting down to talk about our rules and such. Thanks again!


Learning Domestic Discipline said...

@Renee - You're most welcome for the blogs! Thank you for reading them. There's nothing wrong with being "complicated" (as you put it), and I hope LDD can continue to be an avenue for you and your spouse to learn the different nuances of the DD lifestyle.

Thank you for sharing your experience, and I wish you and your husband nothing but happiness in the future.

-- Clint

Anonymous said...

I have decided to respond only because I have come into a new issue. I live in the South, TX at the point by Galveston. Growing up I was taught as soon as I can talk to respond yes ma'am yes sir. Here where I live it is a natural word of everyone's vocabulary. It's not a rule set in stone in our house it's just known. I call all HoH Sir, and Mr. This actually has come to be offensive so some, and well I didn't understand why. I had to actually take time to understand why? So I asked a few fellow DD couples and read your blog. Hmmm well I cans see if you havnt grown with it how uncomfortable it may be, I now understand and respect it. However because it is so natural to me I say it to anyone that calls my name....even my children and in return my children respond that way to adults. I call my husband sir all the time in front of fam and friends it is almost like a term of endearment.....along with babe or baby. Now saying Mr well that's just a habit ........I call my hubby Mr Keith when being silly or when wanting his attention( that sometimes may not go well lol) but again a natural thing for me. I have some well 1 ask me not to call him Mr causes he feels old LOL so I respected it. I just wanted to give some insight to why I personally say it. And to be honest I'm glad I asked see, when you live here in the south where it's natural and have never been anywhere else you dint realize how differnent it may be. I had a naive moment , but I learned and was able to open my mind.
Sarah K

Learning Domestic Discipline said...

@sar8229 - It's interesting to see how much the idea of using the term "Sir" varies based on location, isn't it? Opinions are truly all over the board, as illustrated in the comments on this post. I appreciate you sharing your perspective and experience with it. I always enjoy hearing new perspectives on the idea of addressing the HoH as "Sir."

All the best to you.

-- Clint

Anonymous said...

Hi Clint,

I was just wondering, how do you feel about requiring the wife to address the husband as master during a spanking only?

Learning Domestic Discipline said...

@Anonymous (November 1st 4:42 PM) - Having the wife address the husband as "master" is not something I support, condone, or recommend at any time, not just during a spanking only. The primary reason for my feelings on this is because the wife is not a piece of property, and is not "owned" by her husband. In my opinion, the term "master" implies some form of ownership, whether intentional or not. A marriage is an equal partnership between two people who love one another, and both partners should treat each other with respect. The wife addressing the husband as "master" comes off as disrespectful to HER, with intent to belittle her or embarrass her, which is not the point of domestic discipline. Again, that may not be the intent of anyone choosing to require this of their wife, but those are my personal feelings on it, since you asked.

All the best to you.

-- Clint

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