Behavior Modification

I’ve been thinking more about punishment today and one of the things that goes hand in hand with punishment, I think, is modifying the behavior of a submissive.

I don’t, I hope, punish you because I find it amusing, or just for the hell of it.

If I do, odds are, after a relatively short while the number of people willing to offer themselves up to me for said punishment is going to dwindle.

I punish you because I want your behavior to change.  It’s a little like cutting out a rough outline of a paper doll and slowly, over time, trimming away the edges here and there, maybe adding a little piece taped on to expand a curve.

I think that you’re given to procrastination, or a little too quick to promise and a little too slow to follow up.  It might be that I’ve told you exactly how I want my tea prepared and you seem unwilling to actually do that, whatever.

But that leads to a bigger question.  Is it even really possible the change?

I don’t think you can really change another person in the strictest sense of the word.

You can, however, inspire someone to want to change to please you, or even to avoid displeasing you.  And changes maintained do become habit.

But maybe we expect too much, too.  Change is hard.  Very few people do it, really.  We talk all the time about it, but it’s an uncommon thing when it actually happens.

Leopards rarely change their spots.

I did change a long time ago when I found the box I had built for myself no longer fit, and that I was suffocating inside it.  I stopped being gay, and that change cost me enormously.  I lost my relationship, obviously, but also my best friend.  My other friends because, alas, radical Lesbian separatists do not really take kindly to it when you turn straight.

I moved out of the house I loved, left my dogs behind.  Her family had been my family, so I lost them.  I lost my mind, too.  In the end, I got most of them back, although there are those who will argue that my mind never returned.

I did change.  And it was painful and unpleasant and often felt as though I was tearing myself apart.  I remember at times thinking, “This is why they say your heart breaks, because that’s how it feels…”

So maybe as dominants we flatter ourselves to think we can ever change another person’s behavior, at least really.

Or maybe the stakes just have to be high enough.

About MsConstanceExplains

Ms Constance has been actively involved in the BDSM/Leather community since the mid-1990’s. She is the Founder of the Louisville Munch as well as its hostess for ten years, from 1997 to 2007, and was christened as “Louisville’s First Lady” by her community. As a member of various BDSM/Leather organizations, she has been nominated for Pantheon Woman of the Year as well as regional awards, and has been nominated with her slave, drew, for Pantheon Couple of the Year. She serves as Special Events Director for the Great Lakes Leather Alliance. She produces the Bluegrass Leather Pride Contest, sending contestants to Great Lakes Leather Weekend, and was Presenters Committee Chair for Leather Leadership Conference 2010 Great Lakes/Ontario. She has produced and judged Leather events and contests, been instrumental in the organization and creation of various groups and clubs, advised and encouraged other communities and endeavors, and produced a performance by a BDSM comedian. Groups around the country use her writings in information and introductory packets, and she is an occasional columnist as well. She and slave drew hold the titles of Great Lakes Master and slave 2003.

Posted on September 21, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I do think we switch boxes sometimes. As you say, we force ourselves out of a box and into another, or we are forced out.


  2. *clapping*

    so heartbreakingly, achingly stated.

    Yes, change is hard. It takes time, nurturing, corrective measures, and love. Kinda like being a parent, in many ways. Or training a pet.

    But always, I think, it begins with love.


  3. I do think most of the time when we truly change, we are forced into it. sin is exactly right in the fact that I found myself living in a box that got progressively smaller and smaller and tighter and tighter until I really couldn’t breath anymore.

    The only choice was to remake myself into something that could live outside the box, because I really wasn’t able to live inside it anymore.

  4. most of the time, yes, likely we are forced to change to adapt to some new thing in our lives…but there are times when we change (speaking as a sub here) because it pleases our Top, and that makes everything…hmmm…i was going to say better…but it’s that old dichotomy again…we change to please our Dominant, but we don’t like change, but we like getting the “good girls” and the pleasure of serving is good, too, even though we don’t really like the change as we go through it…and then suddenly (or not)….it is routine and we’ve adapted to it.

    Maybe there are just different kinds of change. Or maybe it’s different for Dominant personalitilies than for submissive ones?


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