In “The Punishment Manual, Part I,” we outlined the use of physical punishment in the training of a submissive or a slave. But, as I said, that is only half the story. The true aim of punishment is to imprint your displeasure on the sub’s mind so that he/she will not repeat the offense. So ultimately all punishment has at its core a mental aspect to it.
In this second part of the Punishment Manual, I will present many purely mental punishments. I have used some myself. Others have been designed by other Dom/mes. But you should not confine yourself to those listed here. The only limit is your imagination and your understanding of your sub’s psyche. And this is worth repeating (and I will): always use a safe word or safe signal. In isolation punishments use the technology available; use a camera/cellphone combo to watch your submissive for any signs of distress.
The most important part of any punishment is the mental part. All physical punishments should be preceded by a lecture explaining what the submissive did to displease the Dom, Domme, Master, Mistress or Goddess. Explain what the submissive is being punished for. This is essential. I would also give the submissive a chance (if he/she so desires) to explain why he/she thinks the punishment is unwarranted. Most likely, this will turn into a brief excuse session. But keep an open mind. If you, as the Dominant, are mistaken or you misinterpreted the infraction, be big enough to admit it. You will grow in stature in the submissive’s eyes. The lecture is indispensable to the proper discipline of a submissive. It is as important as the penalty itself. These lectures or explanations should precede all punishments — whether physical or mental.
There are some Dom/mes who use the lecture as a punishment in and of itself. Some submissives respond strongly to disapproval. Since the object is to train the submissive; the Dominant should not need to use physical punishment — or more severe mental punishment — unless necessary. Use the least painful punishment (mental or physical) that will accomplish the task. If a lecture works — and that is all that is needed — by all means use that as your primary tool of discipline.
Many punishments mimic those used in grade school. Requiring your submissive to hand write a given phrase – such as “I will not disrespect Master/Mistress in public” — a hundred times (or more) works wonders. Another old school punishment is the classic “dunce cap” routine. There are innumerable variations on it. Standing in the corner for a given period of time – an hour or two, for example – is one version. Making the submissive literally wear a home made “dunce cap” (make the sub make it) is not only humiliating, it borders on the totally devious. Use this latter one with care since humiliation is not to be used for every submissive’s discipline. If humiliation is a hard limit, don’t go there. Even for discipline.
Speaking of humiliation, punishment based on humiliation (if applicable) can be awesome. Making the submissive wear a baby pacifier in public can be a humbling experience. If the submissive has been mouthy, an entire evening without being allowed to speak will do the trick. A very extreme humiliation – use with care – requires the submissive to wear a sign stating her offense at a BDSM play party. Or just make the slave watch and not participate (if he/she likes to play publicly) at such a BDSM party. Yet another one – make the sub or slave eat out of a bowl on all fours like a dog. (But make sure the sub or slave does not like this; if he/she does, use another punishment.)
Isolation is another mental punishment. Making the submissive stay in a small room or closet with no link to the outside world for a couple of hours can be maddening. And one a submissive might not ever wish to repeat. But make sure the submissive cannot sleep though it. Standing up can make sleep all but impossible. As stated before, a safe word in these extreme punishments is essential – as is a camera to observe the submissive’s mental state.
A less severe form of isolation – especially in the information age – is suspending the slave’s computer, Internet, email, cellphone or television privileges. This is one form of isolation that is quite effective as a punishment. Complete sensory deprivation for a period of time is yet another variation on this isolation theme. Ball gagged, blindfolded in a dark room – add sleep deprivation (wake the sub/slave from time to time) and you have a totally diabolical punishment. Use with care.
If your slave is trained for housework, then punishments such as re-folding towels that were done sloppily or being made to eat off dirty dishes that were improperly cleaned are widely used. The “let the punishment fit the crime” imperative is a wise one to follow.
Then there are those unique punishments you devise yourself. These are the most fun. And the most bonding – because they are unique to your relationship. I tied my submissive up in a room and played The Weather Channel LOUD for an hour. She hates the weather channel. I doubt if she lives to a hundred she will ever forget that one.
Just keep in mind that even mental punishments can have their dangers. To repeat, never use a hard limit as a punishment. But if you use your imagination and maintain a sense of what is fair, the use of mental punishment to train a submissive or slave can be as effective as physical ones. And when used in combination with physical ones…WOW!
Finally, no matter what punishments you have used, do not forget aftercare. A punishment session can be exhausting for the submissive, both physically and emotionally. Thus the same procedures for post-scene aftercare apply for punishment sessions as well.
After a ten year run as head writer for the legendary bondage.com, and an equally long run as the host of the hit internet show “Baadmaster’s Dungeon,” we are pleased to welcome the one and only Baadmaster to KinkWeekly. His thoughts about all things BDSM will now appear regularly on these pages. From the mental aspects of D/s to the nuts and bolts of S&M play, Baadmaster will cover every facet of this ever expanding lifestyle.