Today’s topic is about discipline and punishment. For me and my Dom, the timing was perfect as we were diving into new depths in this arena. The presentation of it by LovingBDSM included some very thoughtful and positive discussion questions and resources (Thanks again, Kayla!), and has made way for a great conversation\negotiation that was waiting to be had. One of the reasons we put this discussion off was because of the overwhelming amount of resources that didn’t seem so positive, and then there’s the actual language.
Discipline - "...the practice of training a submissive to obey a dominant and follow certain rules." ... "Although punishment can go hand in hand with discipline, it typically focuses more on helping a submissive learn what is expected of them and how to act accordingly." https://www.kinkly.com/definition/648/discipline
Behavior Modification - Behavior modification is a type of consensual domination practice that involves changing undesired behaviors into more desirable ones by using reinforcement or punishment. For example, a Dominant would use behavior modification techniques to encourage a submissive to use proper titles (like Sir or Madam) at all times. https://www.kinkly.com/definition/6612/behavior-modification
Corporal Punishment - "Corporal punishment is a form of intended bodily harm on a submissive or slave in a BDSM relationship." https://www.kinkly.com/definition/10194/corporal-punishment
Corner Time - "a type of punishment a submissive person may receive in a BDSM-style relationship. During corner time a submissive will stand in isolation, facing the corner of a room. Corner time generally occurs after another form of punishment, often corporal punishment such as a spanking or flogging, has been administered." https://www.kinkly.com/definition/6637/corner-time
As we began D/s, it took some time for us to get over some of the terms and labels, particularly looking at them from an outside, vanilla world. However, many of those terms and labels are now cherished signs of affection that live in our daily mantra to each other. Owned comes to mind, and I know there were others. With this topic, discipline and punishment, even nastier terms come up. Punishment itself sounds bad, not to mention behavior modification, or corporal punishment, and behind them lies many nasty ideas and acts. These terms are used in cases of serious abuse, torture, cults, and even prisons. Try googling punishment images and you’ll find pictures of children being beat, medieval torture involving saws (OMG!), and nooses. That’s absolutely fucking terrifying! I can hear my deceased, vanilla self (and many others) asking “why in the fucking hell would anyone sign up for that?!?”
Well, I will tell you why.
A Dominant and submissive relationship is founded on Trust, Consent, and Love. It is, in my humble opinion, the most beautiful way to gain Personal Growth in existence.
The first thing to remember is that a D/s relationship is consensual. While my Master is my Dom, I have given control to him. This exchange of power does not make me less important, or weaker, or powerless. In fact, I’ve never felt so important or valued in our 20+years, or my entire life. I have full control over the exchange of power, and I recognize my strength in that. I am asking for this, asking him to take the power because it works for us, it makes me a better person, a better wife. (See any of my earlier posts on submission.)
The second thing to remember is that D/s is literally a power exchange. I give him power and control by submitting to him. It is there for a reason, loved and cherished by two consenting adults, but still a power exchange. It needs to be maintained. Adding punishment or discipline to the dynamic feeds that power exchange, and pushes us both to grow.
For us, we don’t need punishment. Punishment, I feel, is slightly different then correction, or discipline. Punishment is a response to an intentional break in the rules. If a sub were to willingly and knowingly break a rule, punishment may be appropriate, but that would be up the sub and Dom in play. I can think of examples where the sub called their Dom names (Fuckface comes to mind). This would never happen between us. I could never, ever disrespect my Master like that. Never. That didn’t even happen in our vanilla world – ever.
What we have opted for is is correction, and time-outs.
Correction is purely verbal. It involves Master having a brief discussion with me, and letting me correct my behavior with his guidance.
Here’s a recent example:
One morning, I was having a minor emotional melt down and began withdrawing. I could make excuses about being sick, but regardless, I was not handling myself well at all. It wasn’t only upsetting to MAster, but to me as well. I was in a funk I couldn’t pull myself out of. Master had got me up and walked me to the door, trying to get me back into our normal morning routine. He said he loved me, but I had shut down, and didn’t say a word. I was so shut down, in fact, that I didn’t even realize I was completely ignoring him. He stared at me, the door open behind him, a stern look on his face, and waited patiently for a response. In the meantime, he is getting later and later for work. — Side note: I hate it when he’s late for work. I feel terribly guilty. It’s my responsibility to make him breakfast, and get him out of the door on time – and for good reason. In our vanilla life, he was frequently late, which may have been
partly (okay, okay) frequently my fault. —
This moment of him looking at me as I tried to figure out what happened straightened me right up. I had to question what was going on. He wouldn’t look at me like that, or wait here with the door open unless something was going on. I responded quickly, so he could get going. he left, and I turned around and had a great day. He did too. My low moment was over, and I could move on with my day. There’s a flip side to this. The side where I don’t get corrected. I know that side too. We did it in our vanilla life plenty. He would have left in a huff, leaving me upset and crying at the table. He would have felt bad, which would have turned into anger, and then possibly guilt, as the day went on. I would have gone to bed sick and miserable, and cried all day. We both would have had a crap day.
His correction, and my submission, made us both stronger as individual people, as a couple, and in our D/s roles.
Time-outs are something we just added, mostly at my request. They are for more serious infractions. An example of this would be where I might slip into barking orders, trying to control the day, instead of submitting. (I use to do this a lot, and can easily slip back.) When at home, I would be sent to my rug, a place of comfort and grounding for me. From there, I could self-reflect and calm down. Then we could discuss what happened and move on. When out, it would be to an assigned spot, say a nearby bench. Using a time-out was Master’s idea, and I agreed. He knows the only way I would move on, or figure out what is happening, is to take time by myself and then talk it out. In our negotiations I saw a need for a bit more. I have the full ability to get really angry, and suggested that I should be sent on a walk if this happened. It hasn’t yet, but I know it’s only a matter of time…
Then of course, there’s funishment. 🙂
Funishment or Play Punishment - Play punishment is a specific type of punishment used in a BDSM relationship to spark an erotic encounter. Unlike traditional BDSM punishments, play punishments result from trivial misdeeds rather than from true behavioural infractions. While pain may be an element of play punishment, it is not usually too intense or severe. Play punishment is also sometimes called funishment, a portmanteau of "fun" and "punishment." https://www.kinkly.com/definition/12053/play-punishment
My submissive self, minnie, doesn’t want funishment – at all. It is too close to punishment for her. But sometimes Little Minnie comes out, especially if I’ve had days to play. She loves funishment! She may tease Master in such a way as to bring on a spanking, or possibly be sent to stand in the corner (with her stuffie, hopefully). It is, however, usually sexually charged, and is always done with a playful mindset. This is more like role playing then actual punishment.
I see a lot of strength in adding correction and discipline to our dynamic. For us, the decision was made to help us both grow into our roles, strengthening our dynamic. I feel more submissive, and him more Dominant. It also fulfills personal goals within those roles, building upon the rules we have made for ourselves. It is done with a great amount of trust between us. For me, that trust comes in knowing my Master would never act out of anger, nor send me to time-out when there’s another issue at heart besides my infraction. Being called on that infraction is also part of my trust in him. I am asking for this growth in our relationship and as a person, as his wife and sub. Him calling me on my behavior pushes me to do better. If he were to let a possible infraction slide, it would be a break in that trust, even if I am uncomfortable in hearing it to begin with.