June 13, 2010

Punishments-Some Thoughts

This is a topic that is often discussed on the different forums and sites that I visit. For whatever reason, Masters/Doms are always seeking ways to punish those who are under their control. I can only presume that newer people are in search of effective ways to punish. Sadly, I believe most miss the point of why punishments are necessary.

Why Punish?

Why does a Master/Dom punish a sub/slave? To me, discipline is at the core of all that we do. Punishments are not meant to be handed out randomly or as a way for a Master to show his "power". Instead, punishments are meant to reinforce some type of lesson that is being integrated.

A sub/slave's growth is vitally important. Over the course of time, he or she ought to be expanding the abilities one has. As in all walks of life, the best learning tool is our own personal experience. Mistakes are one of the best teachers we have if we learn from them.

One common mistake is that some want to punish for mistakes. This is also something that goes against my beliefs. Mistakes are part of the process and the important factor is that a sub/slave learns from them. Of course, repeated failure to learn the lesson does often warrant punishment. This is where discipline enters into the picture.

Punishment, quite simply, is a means to modify behavior. A sub/slave will not act appropriately in all situations. Punishing is the methodology which will reinforce the behavior that one is seeking.

Make Sure Behavior Is Known

Punishing alone is ineffective unless the old behavior and desired behavior are explained. Naturally, this requires a Dom/Master to maintain some wits in situations where loss of control is real easy. Anger is the one thing that blows everything out of proportion. Maintaining emotional control is a crucial element to success in this area (I know, a hell of a lot easier said then done). Nevertheless, focusing on the behavior is vital.

The process simply starts by identifying the behavior that one is upset with. If you are like me, this is often apparent by my screaming. This is the point where I find I must concentrate on what the desired outcome is. When I can make both behaviors known, I find that whatever punishment I opt for is more effective.

Another factor is to ensure that the desired behavior is also known. A sub/slave needs to know what is expected of him/her. Simply stating that Action A is wrong while instilling discipline is a half measure. The other component is to relay how you want him/her to behave in the future. This reinforces the change.

Worthy of the Crime

The final thought that I want to convey is to have the punishment "fit the crime". It is very important that any punishment be in proportion to the behavior that one is trying to correct. Many have a tendency to go overboard with the disciplinary action in situations where the action is slight. We often see this in sports where suspensions are reduced after each side has time to analyze the situation. Dealing with a sub/slave is no different.

Punishing when one is upset is a dangerous route to take. Emotions cloud one's thinking. When one is in an emotionally charged state, he or she is apt to overreact to whatever is occurring. There are a number of occasions where I found myself instilling a punishment only to retract it later because of my lack of emotional control. I cannot stress enough how important it is for a Master/Dom to maintain his/her composure when dealing with these circumstances.

Punishments are a necessary part of the lifestyle. They enable one to mold a sub/slave's behavior in a way that fits what is desired. However, becoming an abuser is not what this life is about. Take caution when you are delving into this area since the consequences can be harsh when you make a mistake.

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