The idea of punishment as a form of reprimand is not new. It’s been a fixture in many D/s dynamics as long as they have existed. For myself, punishment is a double-edged sword. On the one hand I find it to be a necessary part of my D/s dynamic. On the other, there is the associated shame that comes along with it; the shame in having to be punished in the first place. In recent months, I’ve achieved a greater sense of clarity regarding the positive impacts of punishment.
I’m a submissive at heart, a manager in my day job, but a brat/babygirl somewhere in between. I still war within myself. I struggle through the transition from my day-to-day, in charge duties to my time with my Dominant. There tends to be some residual snottiness that I hang onto. He knows it. He is always prepared for it. Someday, the attitude won’t be there anymore (or maybe it will?), but in these early stages of self-realization and awareness-it’s still rearing it’s ugly head. On the heels of this behavior are the constant mistakes and missteps. There are always feelings of failure and me kicking myself because I forgot a protocol or rule. I am always working on my self-esteem and becoming the best babygirl for Him. This will always be my present mode of operation as a work in progress.
In terms of punishment: He and I have a two-part understanding. If I make a mistake, disobey a rule/protocol, or upset him, I will be punished in a manner of his choosing. The second part of the understanding is that immediately following the punishment, the slate is wiped clean and W/we never bring up the offense again. He will never hold the mistake over my head (nor would he want to) and I will never have to live with the worry of not being held responsible for my actions. This prevents me from dwelling in the past, admittedly another bad habit of mine.
For example’s sake, I’ll use a personal rule and punishment that we have encountered. I’m forbidden from indulging in sweets without asking permission first. Often times, I’ll be running around at my job, and the constant allure of the candy dish at the front desk is too tempting! I’ve taken a piece or two, only to immediately turn around and text him my mistake. Because of our schedules, he has a routine of letting all of my infractions add up over the week before administering punishment. This also contributes to my shame and guilt surrounding such things. Punishment comes by way of either a spanking or by lulling me into a fun play session that unexpectedly includes punishments. There are all types of specific rules and punishment protocols that belong solely to each relationship. It’s a learning process to pick and choose what is realistic within your dynamic. Exactly how much of your end of the bargain are you able to uphold? It’s important to set rules and guidelines that you know you’ll be able to realistically follow within your dynamic.
This brings up another point worth discussing; what is the difference between a punishment and play? On the surface, a punishment is something you do not enjoy or want. In this example, the “not wanting” part is still consensual in the context of the D/s dynamic. However, the punishment may be something more extreme than your regular play. It may even be something he (or she) knows you loathe. The point is, the goal is not for you to enjoy it but rather be taught a lesson or reminder. There is not only the “physical” pain of punishment, but also the emotional or psychological aspect as well. You feel guilty and sorry for what you have done and need to be taught a lesson.
Going back to the no sweets rule; this example definitely on the lighter side for the types of rules we have within our dynamic, but one can see the potential here. We also have rules surrounding some of my other poor habits such as self-confidence issues and/or negative thoughts. I’ve heard of other couples implementing rules regarding housework or curfew times. The options are endless!
By implementing this punishment methodology, as a submissive there comes a sense of relief. Imagine doing something wrong, receiving a reprimand, and never having to talk about it again. Granted, there will be times where I most assuredly will commit some sort of error that may require a long-term adjustment. Just because we live in this methodology does not mean there won’t be a necessity for bringing up old problems again but W/we don’t look at it as bringing up old wounds. Sometimes you have to dissect a series of events or behaviors in order to better understand the underlying root or reason. But to live in a dynamic, free from animosity, to live with transparency; that is of the utmost importance to U/us both. There is also a standard in which bratty behavior and rule-breaking for the sake of receiving attention or punishment is not acceptable. The whole point of protocols is not to use or abuse the system.
The idea sounds so simple that one must think it would fail in practice. I’m whole-heartedly astonished that it works so brilliantly for U/us as well. It’s all about the accountability, communication, and expectations. He holds me to a high standard. He has expectations of me that he sees through to completion. I have an expectation that he will hold me accountable for the things I’ve been assigned to or the protocols W/we have outlined. Punishment plays a major role in this. The best part about all of these expectations is that they are constantly changing and evolving. W/we both have license to ask for revisions. He especially has that license to “break out the big guns” if some aspect has become completely broken in the dynamic. W/we’ve reached a communal state of understanding. The daily relief and security I feel in this comes with the knowledge of that accountability.
Writer, model, babygirl, submissive. After trying vanilla relationships one time too many, anniebear finally realized her submissive desires and discovered the BDSM community. When not writing for Kink Weekly, she enjoys spankings and being tied with rope.