A brief introduction is in order; Mistress Alison is a good friend and a very knowledgeable and experienced Mistress, she has also been a frequent contributor to PDQ. She is now available to answer questions from both Mistress and sissies alike, assuming a respectful tone of course. These email conversations may well be included at some future date in PDQ though a request for privacy would be respected. Feel free to write her at firstname.lastname@example.org and please don't waste her valuable time asking "where / how can I find a Mistress?"
Dear Mistress Alison
Does petticoat discipline always have to involve corporal punishment? I adore wearing ladies clothes, just underwear beneath my masculine clothes when I go out, to work, shopping etc, plus a skirt and blouse or a dress in the privacy of my own place. I would love to find a lady who would accept me for what I am and maybe take command in a Female Led Relationship. But, and it's a big but, I'm very scared by the thought that such a relationship would involve corporal punishment and most of the letters in your magazine and your replies in your advice column indicate that it would. I was never beaten either at home or at school so I don't know how I would be able to handle it and am terrified I might attract a sadist whose only interest was in inflicting pain or using me for some ulterior motive. Is it possible to be in an FLR without corporal punishment?
While it is usual for petticoat discipline as part of a FLR to include at least an element of corporal punishment, it isn't a sine qua non. As its name implies petticoat discipline is a system of training, a regimen, to control and realign male behaviour and thinking through the wearing of what would normally be regarded as female clothing. It is a method through which males are made aware of their own innate inferiority to the woman controlling their lives, to ensure they know and always keep their proper place in the scheme of things, to promote their docility and submissiveness, and above all to inculcate their constant respect and obedience. Which is why the clothes they are made to wear are always those of a female of low status; a young school girl, in the extreme case of an infant, and most commonly a maidservant. However, on the occasions when wearing these clothes fails to have the desired effect then the lady in control, frequently but not always referred to as their Mistress, is forced to take sterner measures, the two most common being public humiliation and corporal punishment or a combination of both. But there are myriad other ways in which an inventive Mistress can teach a misbehaving sissy the error of her ways, these include simple loss of privileges and corner time, early bedtimes, bread and water diet, writing lines, stress positions or a combination of these. Image a week of early morning supervised cold baths, eating only cold porridge for breakfast, dry bread and water for lunch, with no television, no computer access, no mobile phone, all your spare time spent writing long and complicated lines and being locked into a nappy before bed without any dinner at 7pm and you will get the idea.
When applied corporal punishment can vary from a light hand spanking or face slapping (and if you can't take those you must really be a wimp) to a prolonged flogging with one of the many varieties of whip. One of the skills of being a Mistress is knowing exactly what effect each disciplinary instrument will have and just how much pain to give, obviously it must hurt and the level of pain must be commensurate with the offence. But pain is a deeply personal thing, one sissy's agony is another's mild discomfort, and if you make a strong emotional connection with the lady wielding the instrument then you'll find you can take a great deal more pain from her than you would from a stranger, and indeed find yourself wanting to take more pain for her. Not that you will have any choice of course, if you do succeed in entering a Female Led Relationship then you will have to take what you're given and be grateful for it.
I suspect that although you found that last sentence a little scary you found it even more exciting. Because that's what you actually want, isn't it? You may not like to admit it, even to yourself, but you are naturally submissive. All the men I've encountered who choose to wear, or wish to wear, feminine clothes and in particular ultra feminine sexy underwear, as opposed to being forced to wear them, are submissives. All of them want to be dominated. As with most things in life there is a vast spectrum of the levels of domination they seek. At the lowest level it may be simply being bossed about and the occasional over the knee (OTK) spanking, and ranges all the way up to things that I would consider dangerously abusive and would never contemplate.
So much for the theory, time for some more practical advice. You say that you don't know how you would be able to handle pain; well the easiest solution is to find out by experiencing some at the hands of an experienced and understanding professional dominatrix. You don't say whereabouts you live, though I'm guessing from your spelling and syntax that you are English or were at least brought up in the UK. Type the word "dominatrix"followed by the town where you live into any search engine and you will be amazed by the number of professional ladies operating within travelling distance of where you live, almost all of them will operate a cross dressing service and they will all have seen nervous beginners before. Some will offer you a so called safe word, use it and she will stop immediately and some use a traffic light system in which red means stop immediately and the other colours mean slightly different things which they will explain to you. Go and visit one and be completely honest when you tell her what you want. You may find your visit "cures" you of your desire to be in a FLR though my guess is that it will bring out your naturally submissive tendencies and make you hungry for more.
Once you have a clear idea of what you want and what you can handle you could try one of the many sissy and sissymaid dating sites or visit a fetish club where you will meet like-minded people. However you should take all the sensible precautions you would about using any dating site or club. Finding a suitable partner of any stamp always carries some degree of risk, even if it's only that she will laugh at you or take whatever's on offer before dumping you. In your own case there is the additional risk that she may expose your true nature to others or indeed have some ulterior motive. But without taking that risk you're never going to find anyone. You can't learn to swim without getting in the water.
I wish you luck in your search.