It is my belief that EVERY Dominant/Master should have punishments in their dynamic. I feel that the ones that do not have it in their dynamic will end up growing at a slower pace but I will explain that as we get further into the discussion. We are also going to discuss some misconceptions of punishment that make me shake my head.
Lets start with some confusion and discuss “discipline”
Discipline is NOT the same as punishment but it can include punishment. Discipline is the practice where the Dominant sets rules for the submissive that they are expected to obey. When rules of expected behavior are broken, oftentimes, punishment is used as a means of disciplining.
The goal of discipline is to teach the submissive that they have made a mistake, so that they learn self-restraint and become a better submissive in future. As the submissive keeps failing the same discipline, the punishments will tend to be more aggressive each time.
So what is a punishment?
– the infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offense.
The above definition is the one that I like best for punishments. It describes what it is all about and why I feel it is a requirement in the D/s or M/s lifestyle.
Lets talk about the word “offense” for a second. The D/s or M/s dynamic is based on Power Exchange. In order to get to the point that a submissive/slave will submit to you the dynamic has to be built on Trust, Honor, Respect and Communication among other things. The submissive/slave is to always trust that you are making the right decisions for both of your well beings and they must respect you at all times by following the rules and structure that you have in place. There will always be times when the submissive/slave will break that Respect or will break a rule or fail to comply with the structure. This is an offense and should be dealt with in a consistent, timely, proper and effective manner.
The other portion of the definition is “the infliction or imposition of a penalty”. This is the actual act of providing the punishment in a hope to better correct the offending behavior but also to re-establish a common ground for both parties. Punishments can be anything that will remind a submissive of the offense and you really have to think outside the box here. What works for some will not work for others. What ever happens, the key word here is “penalty”.
How do you go about providing a punishment?
I have steps that I follow when it comes to punishments and it works very well. Here are my steps that I use:
1) Immediately recognize that an offense has been committed and acknowledge it to your submissive with details.
2) Allow your submissive/slave a chance to speak their mind and explain why and how the offense happened.
3) Check your head space. If you are upset or angered then allow Yourself time to cool down.
4) Decide on a punishment that is suitable to the offense and present it to your submissive/slave. Provide details on what will happen, when it will happen and reassure your submissive/slave that it is being done for their own good.
5) Follow through with your punishment until it is concluded.
5) Debrief afterwards with your slave/submissive and make sure that both of you understand what is expected in the future. Remind your submissive that the offense has been dealt with in full and will not be discussed again but if the same offense takes place then a more strict punishment will be in place.
The reason I have steps for my punishments is so that I can be consistent and fair at all times. When my submissive and I first entered into a D/s dynamic I was extremely new to the lifestyle. It was my first D/s relationship and we both had to learn a LOT fairly quickly. One morning I had told kitten to get out of bed and jump into the shower. 5 minutes later I went back into the bedroom and she was still in bed. I woke her up and told her to get into the shower NOW! As she got up and headed to the shower I gave her a slight smack on the ass and told her that I was going to have to punish her for the offense. After she got out of the shower, she was obviously very upset and explained that she wasn’t feeling well and didn’t even hear me the first time. At that point I felt VERY small as I knew that I had failed. BUT, with failure there is always an opportunity to grow. I discussed the situation with my Dom mentor who outlined what he does and it is similar to what you see above. I failed to explain the offense properly. I failed to get an acknowledgement from My kitten to make sure she heard and understood me. I failed to listen to her side of why it happened. It is my hopes that the people reading this will learn before following My failure.
What is so important about punishments?
Punishment is about neutrality in the dynamic.
– absence of decided views, expression, or strong feeling.
When an offense has been committed there is typically upsets on both parties. The Dominant has been disrespected and the submissive has failed their requirements. There is tension in this situation and there has to be a way of relieving it. If it is not dealt with then there will always be a wedge driven between the people in the dynamic. If you get enough wedges built up then it can mean disaster for the dynamic.
Punishment is the thing that removes those wedges and gets you back to neutrality. It takes away all the “decided views, expression or strong feelings that have built up. Basically, it gets you back on neutral ground with your partner. There is nothing like the feeling that all the hurt, anger and such has been dealt with in full.
Some do’s and do not’s of Punishments:
Do NOT make it pleasant. A pleasant punishment will not be taken seriously. Therefore since a large majority of submissive’s enjoy spanking, perhaps that should be saved for non-punishments.
Do NOT punish the submissive out of anger. Let the submissive know that you are upset and that you need some time to process the situation but that you will discuss it at a later point. Punishment is a way to correct and become neutral with the submissive. It is not a revenge thing.
Do not punish by disallowing Your submissive to communicate with You. Communication is a huge part of any relationship and not allowing communication can completely destroy trust. Not to mention that a submissive will more times than not, feel abandoned or start filling their own heads with thoughts like; ‘maybe He doesn’t want me anymore’, ‘that’s it, I’ve ruined the relationship’ or ‘i’m not worthy of being His’. These are devastating thoughts, but ones that most submissive’s will have in their heads when they are not able to talk to You. Time outs would be suitable if it is used for short time as a way for the submissive to reflect on what happened.
Do NOT punish the submissive with avoiding or ignoring them. This can also be called “pouting” and since we are all mature adults, we need to address the situation head-on and solve it. Even saying things like “We will talk about this later” is not effective unless you are in a situation where it can absolutely not be talked about immediately.
Do NOT punish the submissive for anything in regards to soft or hard limits. Those are there for the Dominant to strictly follow and never surpass. If they are ever passed, you lose trust. If you lose trust then you lose the dynamic.
Do allow safe words when punishment is being given. Safe words are there to make the submissive feel safe and should be respected even in punishment. If you decide on impact as punishment then it helps to reassure the submissive after each impact about how good they are doing.
Do accept the sub’s apology and also accept their guilt. After the punishment is done, the Dominant is back on neutral ground with the submissive. This is the perfect opportunity to discuss things and hug it out. After that is done, it is time to move on and not dwell on what happened.
Do remember that when a submissive has done something wrong, they will usually make themselves feel worse than You ever could as a Dominant. A submissive does not like to let down their Dominant and that guilt will eat away at them. A punishment should be made with this in mind and the punishment in the end should take away that guilt from the submissive.
What options are there for Punishments?
This is the part that drives me crazy when talking to submissive, slaves and Dominants from time to time. There are a large majority of BDSM dynamics where punishment equals inflicting pain. I implore you to think outside the box! There are tons of other punishments available to you but sometimes someone just has to flick on the light and make you understand this. If you are a parent then this article may help you too.
First off, lets make a quick reference to actual real live dogs. Now, I am sure I am going to get a few raised eyebrows but I want to reassure you that My bringing up dogs is not a direct reference to submissive’s. It is just an analogy to better understand my following statements. It is in direct relation to the spirit of living things and how you can damage that spirit.
When training a dog it used to be an appropriate training method to train a dog by inflicting pain when they didn’t listen. Smacks on the nose, choke collars, pinch collars and such were deemed to be effective. They were effective in bringing the behavior in-line with what you wanted and the dog realized that if he doesn’t want to be in pain then he must listen. What you end up with is a broken spirited dog in the end that listens out of fear rather then listen to you because he trusts and respects you.
This same analogy could be applied to a Dominant that always uses impact as a source of punishment. Imagine the submissive after years of being with that Dominant who always punishes with pain. While a lot of submissive’s may crave the pain, there are other punishments available to the Dominant to at least mix it up while allowing the dynamic to grow.
Now to “think outside the box” for a second and discuss punishments that are available keeping in mind the submissive’s limits that are in place.
- Physical punishments are the most common.
- Impact play related (flogging, whipping, belting, caning and spanking). Some add to this by making the submissive count and say thank You and ask for another.
- Kneeling on the floor on something such as rice, dried peas, lego
- Cold showers (A couple days of cold showers will absolutely get the point across)
- Having the submissive hold a pose such as “Endure” which is a very uncomfortable pose where the submissive fully squats with legs apart and hands tucked behind their head with elbows raised and fully extended.
- Psychological and humiliation
- Standing in the corner naked for a time out
- Holding a coin against the wall with only their nose.
- Being forbidden to look at your Dom in the eyes for a period of time.
- Having the Dominant take a picture of the submissive naked but holding a sign saying they are “sorry” or “please forgive me”. If you are involved in BDSM related social media then perhaps making the person post the picture online would be an option. Please keep in mind that any nudity would need to be censored depending on where it is posted.
- Washing the submissive’s mouth out with soap which works well for swearing or saying the wrong thing.
- Non-pleasant options
- For littles – Take away their favorite stuffy for a period of time.
- No TV or video games.
- No sugar products including only drinking water if they were used to sweeter options.
- Writing lines the old school way.
All the above can be VERY effective depending on the dynamic in question. You can go as mild as listed or as wild as you want depending on the limits that are place.
Finally, the most important thing to keep in mind is that the punishment has to match the offence. If the offence is minor and the punishment is major then you have to ask yourself what you would do for a major offence? It is like judging a diving competition and the first diver does a great dive and you give them a 10 out of 10. The next diver does his dive and it is even better then the first one. Take this into account when dishing out punishments. Even pre-plan some things that you feel your submissive is going to mess up and align it with an appropriate punishment. There is absolutely nothing wrong with cheat sheets!
Misconceptions that make me shake my head
Yep, I said I was going to recite some misconceptions that I hear about online quite a bit. Now, if these work in your dynamic then who am I to tell you that it doesn’t work right? Absolutely right, what works for you works for you.
- I don’t have punishment in My dynamic because I don’t believe in punishments.
- Response: There are very few situations where a submissive will break a rule and there is no ill feelings with either party. In my opinion, this would only happen if there is connection at all between the Dominant and the submissive. So, if you have no punishments in the dynamic then how do you neutralize those ill feelings???
- My submissive likes to be punished so I am not sure what I am supposed to do.
- Response: If your submissive likes the punishments then guess what? YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG! Punishments are not supposed to be enjoyable. Do something that your submissive will not enjoy. If you submissive loves spankings then treat that as a reward. If My submissive enjoys cake, I am not about to give her a piece every time she does something wrong.
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