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Domestic Discipline Relationship Characteristics: ETHICS are a Key to DD

What is ethical behavior in a Domestic Discipline Marriage or relationship? As with most questions posed when beginning and sustaining the DD dynamic within a marriage or relationship, personal ethical standards are communicated and discussed as part of an individuals beliefs on honesty and morals. It is also important to understand your personal feelings on Ethics if you're single and seeking a DD based relationship foundation.

Ethical Behavior, Character, Consent & Correct Conduct are Keys to DD.

To begin, lets take a look at some definitions of Ethics.

Wikipedia describes Ethics as: 
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. The term comes from the Greek word ethos, which means "character". Ethics is a complement to Aesthetics in the philosophy field of Axiology. In philosophy, ethics studies the moral behavior in humans, and how one should act.

Dictionary.com defines Ethics as: 
eth·i·cal [eth-i-kuhl] 
pertaining to or dealing with morals or the principles of morality; pertaining to right and wrong inconduct.
being in accordance with the rules or standards for right conduct or practice, especially the standards of a profession: It was not considered ethical for physicians to advertise.
(of drugs) sold only upon medical prescription.
2. moral, upright, honest, righteous, virtuous, honorable.

2. immoral.

It's interesting to note that the synonyms presented in the second description are widely considered some of the characteristics of a HoH and TiH in a successful Domestic Discipline relationship. Morals don't have to be religious in nature as some might think, they can also be seen more as an ethos of correct conduct.  Character is also included in the first description. 
Even more interesting are the words, how ONE should act
Personal ethics are part of an individual philosophy. The ethics expressed in a DD marriage or relationship is where the two individual philosophies intersect. Imposing one persons ethics on another would be considered judgmental behavior. After all, it's not considered acceptable to impose an individual ethic on another person in a micro-managing and controlling manner. As we know by now, those traits can be seen as "red flags" or warning sign of something more unhealthy coming into a relationship. Consent must always be present. Trying to force someone to act outside of their free will, or to arbitrary rules, would be considered at the very least, a form of domineering behavior. Sometimes newer HoHs accidentally fall into dictatorial behavior patterns while changing some of their past behaviors, becoming more of a leader and learning about their new role within the DD relationship. It doesn't happen everytime  but some try to force their TiH partner to agree to a list of rules that the TiH had no part in consensually developing. Beyond that, a new partner in a DD relationship might lose sight of their original ethics and privacy within their relationship. Mistakes can happen, but are reduced tremendously when there are scheduled discussions (Sit Down Discussions) and open communication based on honesty, trust and what is agreed ethical behavior inside and outside of the home and relationship.   

One of the characteristics that defines a DD marriage or relationship, is that it is based on a consensual and agreed upon foundation. There are rules & goals defined in the HoH Rules, but as it's been presented here within the first article in the ADDS Free DD Lifestyle Guide, those rules grow and they come mostly from the TiH List. Basically they come from the TiH in the form of goals or individual activities they would like to personally improve as their part of improving the relationship from within themselves as a person, and more outwardly as a partner in the relationship. Especially in the beginning, using the TiH List to patiently develop the HoH Rules, is a built in and ethical check & balance system promoting consensual, honorable and agreed upon behavior.

A vital part of a DD relationship is based on the consensual free will of both individuals. A gift of submission is something discussed in various formats throughout the community over the years. Within a DD marriage or relationship it's widely believed that a TiHs gift should be honored and protected by the actions and behavior of the HoH.

For example, if a spouse or significant other gave their loved one a cherished heirloom as a gift, they might let some see it, but wouldn't give it away. The recipient definitely would never give it away without first discussing it with their partner. Letting people see how you prefer to interact respectfully together in public and with friends would be considered letting someone see a gift. Revealing or "outing" your relationship dynamic to your friend without discussing it and being in agreement with your loved one, would be considered giving their gift away.

If it hasn't been discussed yet, I would highly suggest including what is considered right & wrong conduct and Ethical Characteristics as part of your next Sit Down Discussion (SitDD). 
If this is your first SitDD this is an excellent place to start, but first read the "Where to Start your DD Lifestyle Together" series of articles.
Be open and honest, SitDDs are a safe zone where no information shared with each other is to be used outside of your Sit Down Discussions in any negative way.
This is the suggested way to begin.
* Before the SitDD, each partner privately makes a list of what they consider to be ethical behavior and characteristics. This is not a rules list of any kind. This isn't a list about your partner and what you want them to do or not do... be or not be. On each list are positive human characteristics that you have or aspire to posses. 
* Have these private lists complete before the Sit Down Discussion begins. 
* When you are both ready, sit down and compare your lists. 
* Take the ethical characteristics lists and circle each one that are compatible. Exact matches would be nice, but not necessary. What you decide are compatible matches is what is important.
The ones that aren't circled are discussed and then decided if they belong on both of your ethical lists.
Discuss some scenarios that you would each consider ethical and honorable. Take note on where they intersect and where there might be differences in your individual ideologies. Having a firm and consensual grasp early in a DD relationship choice will help avoid future pitfalls
* Discuss the positive aspects these characteristics would have on your relationship moving forward.
* When this exercise is complete: You will have developed a first HoH Characteristics List and a TiH Characteristics list that is individual, consensual and agreed upon within your marriage or relationship.
* Making a commitment to one another, that these are the beginnings of the foundation you wish your marriage or relationship to be built on has often become the closing part of this discussion.
These make excellent reminders moving forward. I have seen couples make them into wallet sized cards or folded lists that are carried by each partner as a commitment to each other. Or they can simply be kept somewhere private on a cell phone. What you decide to do with your Characteristic lists is of course up to you.

I wouldn't suggest texting or emailing the original privately written pre-lists to each other, it means much more when they are written down and saved along with the first TiH List and other items in the DDaversary envelope. Developing your first HoH & TiH Characteristics lists into a more in-depth code of conduct and expanded "DD Core Values" version distinctly for the HoH & TiH is a good idea, but the first ones are always special. A  version of a later HoH Characteristics list can be found on this ADDS site, but I'm not going to include the link below on this article. If you haven't read it yet, it's better to wait until after your Sit Down Discussion on this topic.
As with everything here on A Domestic Discipline Society, the above suggestions are just that, experienced suggestions based on helping couples working on their DD dynamic. What you decide to use or not use it of course up to you. This is meant as a guide to be discussed and either followed as written or changed to fit a particular relationship. This is not intended as "How To" instructions. Because Domestic Discipline as a lifestyle choice is a highly varied and individualized relationship dynamic, there are no sustainable "How To" instruction manuals.     
Related reading and research

Where to Start: Beginning your DD Lifestyle Together > ADDS Free DD Lifestyle Guide
Coming Out about Spanking & Domestic Discipline Desires
How to Start DD Research (Series)Domestic Discipline Marriage: Beginning A Domestic Discipline Marriage 

This article is the latest in a continuing series titled: KEYS to a Domestic Discipline Relationship
All of these below also make excellent SitDD topics.
1) Communication is a Key to DD
2) Domestic Discipline Honesty
3) Domestic Discipline Confession
4) Domestic Discipline Aftercare
5) Domestic Discipline Forgiveness
6) Domestic Discipline Relationship Characteristics: Ethics are a Key to DD
7) Domestic Discipline Key to DD: Patience
Everyone using the ADDS Free DD Guide is welcome to email with any questions & there is a free chat-room where all questions are welcome.


  1. Anonymous2/08/2013

    Wonderful post on all counts. Thank you for bringing home what this lifestyle is actually about.


  2. Hiya Elisa & Will, Thank you very much for your kind comment.
    I just went back and re-read your "I Don't Need You" post. Moving every time :)

  3. Anonymous2/09/2013

    We absolutely love your blog and find your post's to be just what we're looking for.
    Do you allow guest writers to write content?

    1. Thank you, I work hard trying my best to present helpful information and resources. And I am going to have Guest Posters included here. Any Contributing Member is welcome to contact me with their idea. (CMs are Joined members of this site)
      But we need to know who they are "Anon" :)

  4. We've hit a bump and this was so helpful. Thanks!

    1. You're very welcome Priya. Little bumps are normal when shifting or making changes to your relationship dynamic. I would be surprised if there weren't any little bumps :)
      I'm so glad you found this article helpful.

  5. Hi Mr BBS,

    It is very nice to meet you! I am slowly making my way around blogland to say hi and thanks to everyone. You may have seen it around but Rob and I have been married for almost 25 years, and I have to say that things have never been better, thanks to making some big and little changes (which started with me). I read and lurked and thought and learned- I still am. We are a work in progress always and I constantly tell Rob that I never want to go back and he agrees. The spanking stuff is new to us, but he admitted recently that he kind of likes spanking my *ss! He absolutely has the swatting thing down. Uh oh!!! Rob doesn't want me to blog at this time because of the whole anonymous issue/safety thing, but he recently told me to send him an entry with a case for blogging so I will go at it this week with my fingers crossed! Thanks for your great information MrBBS! I love to read here. It really makes me think. (((((hugs)))))!


  6. Welcome Katie & Rob! Very nice to meet you too :)
    If you do make your case for starting a blog, please feel free to email me and I'll give you a few tips on how to protect your privacy. There are also some experienced bloggers out there who are very nice and very helpful to new bloggers you could also write and ask some advice from. It's a very supportive and caring community.
    I appreciate your kind words about the ADDS site, I'll do my best to keep you thinking! :)

  7. Thank you MrBBS! I will email you! That would be very helpful! I don't really understand the google+ thing yet, and all that it means so until I do, I hesitate to accept that kind of thing. Plain old email works well for now. I would be happy and honored actually, to meet and hear from anyone that wants to chime in. I wish that I had a blog- mostly, to start by thanking everyone for sharing their stories/info and all! One of our top five things that we tell our kids is to go out and make a difference. That certainly happens in this community all the time. I am grateful! Thanks again!

    1. Hi Katie & Rob, I'll look forward to your email. If you are allowed to start a blog in the near future, I'm sure you'll fit right in, and make a difference all your own! :)

    2. Thanks MrBBS! :)

  8. Well said Mr. BB. At the end of the day, without personal integrity and ethic, there is no point in even trying DD, IMO. It is integral. The unexpected thing that usually (and should!) happen is as the couple evolve, begin a set of rules for the TIH, they also end up setting standards for the HOH by fallout. Because leadership is as much about showing the way through action and deed, having self-control, and setting the bar through their own behaviors, the couple can BOTH find the better parts of themselves, become better people in their marriage, and ultimately the dynamic works to hold both to an ethic.


    1. Sara! As always, VERY well said yourself! I appreciate your dropping by and sharing you sage advice :)
      I don't know if you realize it, but in an email we shared last week, I found several jewels of wisdom that helped me continue through a difficult time. For that I am indebted to you.
      Thank you.


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