Punishment Continued

So, punishment has been on my mind lately and no, neither of my slaves are in trouble, all is well on the home front.  Just a topic that’s stuck in my head like one of those songs where you only know one or two lines but can’t get rid of it.

Anyway, so, back to punishment, though perhaps I’m now beating a dead horse and this IS the punishment.

I think that for punishment to be effective, the submissive has to accept that the punishment is both fair and deserved.

By that, I mean that if the submissive really thinks that some/many/all of your punishments are essentially unfair, they’re unlikely to be very effective.

That doesn’t mean that they have to raise a right hand in solidarity and offer a hearty Hallelujah every time.  That’s a little more than one could hope for.

But remember when you were a kid and your parents did something, gave you what was probably a well-deserved punishment, but maybe for the wrong reasons, or a sibling deserved the same or worse and escaped it, remember how the *unfairness* of it was what burned in your soul.

The times when you really knew that you got pretty much what you deserved, those times fade from memory, but the unfair ones stick in your craw.

So, if your submissive thinks that their act of rebellion, because that’s what most of them really are, is a minor infraction and you punish it as if it’s a major infraction, they will remember.

Now, if you have a reasonably good relationship and it works and your bottom trusts you in the greater sense, and if you do generally make good decisions and all, well, in that situation the occasional unfairness is unlikely to harm the whole thing.

How fair is it, really, for instance, that slave drew, who was lying on the couch and watching tv with the dogs on him had to get up just now and get me something to drink because, well, because that’s the deal?  It’s not, of course.

But it is fair in the sense that he agreed to it and it makes sense to him.  He likes to serve, he doesn’t mind hopping up and doing it, and if I do get it for myself he will usually say, “Darling, I would have gotten that for you,” to which I always reply, “I know.”

So I think that’s the difference.  It has to be fair in the submissive’s mind, fair in a larger rather than entirely specific way.

I think in the beginning of a relationship, it’s important to let the submissive into your mind.  Sometimes it gives them a viewpoint they might not have had – when you act kind of bratty it makes me look bad, too – or at least some insight into why something bothers you particularly – I hate having dirty dishes piled up because it reminds me of my mother who was a slob.

That can help with someone not feeling like a punishment is justified because at least they have the opportunity to understand.

The other piece of advice I gave the gentleman who asked me for it was that I often used to make a submissive come up with their own suggestions for punishment.

I liked it not just because it seems very devious and evil, though that does add to the appeal, obviously, but because it’s a good way to judge how severe a submissive thinks an infraction is compared to my assessment.

If they think they should lose two hours of computer time and I think it should be two weeks, then clearly, we’re not on the same page.

More often, though, they think  it should be two months of no computer and bread and water to eat for the whole time, too, and I’m toying with two hours and no ice cream for a week, then we are still not on the same page.

Sometimes the best part about punishment can be convincing the submissive that we’re done with the issue.

Submissives can be challenging when they feel they’ve disappointed us, because they’re often far less willing to let things go than the dominant.

Sometimes I think it can turn into drama, that paroxysm of self-flagellation where they seem to require being told over and over how good and sweet and pretty and smart they are, but often, it’s a genuine inability to let go of a past error.

And actually, in those cases, punishment is a good way to let go.

The ritual of the Catholic church is a pretty powerful one, or at least it used to be, I’m told it’s different at least at some churches, but in any case, the ritual of confessing your sin, atoning for it and being forgiven, sent out with a clean slate is a powerful one.

They say that if you get a song stuck in your head, the way to make it go away is sing or listen to the whole song, and that will sometimes “unstick” it.

Let’s see if that works here.

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 22, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Thank you.

    There is so much “meat” here it’s hard to stick to one issue, but over and around it…you have immense common sense.

    That’s a really, really good thing to have. Submissives are people too. With hearts that can be damaged fairly easily. When we give our all, and still somehow fuck up some other part…and get taken to task for the mistake, it can be …incredibly painful.

    To know that we’ve displeased our Dominant/Master/Mistress can be every bit as much a punishment as the actual punishment.

    nilla

  2. It’s important to me whether I think it was “fair” or not. I always get tangled up in “fair”.
    -sin

    • I think that’s both common and important. If our internal barometers of “fair” are so different, or our interpretation of the actions is so different, we kind of have a problem anyway. Even if you hate the punishment, it’s a lot easier when you feel like you deserved it and it was fair.

  3. Nice series on punishment – and of course i would think that because i agree with you! Of course, a lot of what i “know” about the lifestyle, i learned by listening to you.

    Fortunately for me, Sir X seems to have a very similar way of thinking about this.

    Thanks for writing about it.

    aisha

  4. I think punishment is one of the double-edged swords of our lifestyle, because I believe punishment is a part of it. For one thing, it’s a real sign of a power exchange. If you allow someone to punish you, you are acknowledging their dominion over you, that they have the *right* to punish you, and that’s pretty remarkable, really.

    I mean, however much you might love and live the role of slave or girl or boy or puppy or kitty or pet, you are, in reality, a grown-ass person who COULD say, “No the fuck you are NOT spanking my ass until I can’t sit down.”

    And if you did, really, I couldn’t stop you. So the fact that you actually DO allow us the right to punish you, to do things to you which you honestly do not like, well, that’s kind of impressive, isn’t it?

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