July 25, 2014


It seems that punishment gets a bad rap in the BDSM world.  After much research, it is obvious to me that the reason this is so is because it is the favored activity of the abusers.  I cannot stress enough that BDSM is an umbrella that many abusers hide under.  They are not into this lifestyle but, rather, using it as a way to find women to beat stating that it is part of the submission.  The belief that one has to take all that a dominant has to offer is commonplace.  Unfortunately, this is the exact thing the abusers exploit.


To properly talk about the subject of punishment, we must expand our views and look at discipline.  Ultimately, this is the area that one needs to concentrate upon since punishment is a part of this.  The larger picture is what provides us with the clarity.

So what is discipline?  Most of us believe we know what it is but it really has a few meanings which are applicable at this point.  According to Merriam-Webster discipline is defined as follows:

: control that is gained by requiring that rules or orders be obeyed and punishing bad behavior
: a way of behaving that shows a willingness to obey rules or orders
: behavior that is judged by how well it follows a set of rules or orders

 Reading through these definitions leads us to the conclusion that there are two parts to this idea.  The first starts with having a set of rules which are to be obeyed.  Anyone in BDSM can understand this.  The dominant or master establishes a protocol and rules which one needs to adhere to.  When these are not followed, one option, by the definition, is punishment.   

The other part of these definition is the willingness to obey rules or orders.  To me, this takes on a slightly different approach when one takes it in the light of self-discipline.  Under this method, one takes the action required without stimulus from the outside.  The motivation comes from within.  We can see this in the area of weight loss and exercise where some can do it on their own while others needs trainers to get them taking action.  Much in the same way, hopefully a sub/slave is self motivated to adherer to the rules established by the dominant without him having to continually look over her shoulder.  Naturally, there are times when he will have to step in and take corrective action.  

Which brings us to our next point.


As was stated, punishment is a part of discipline.  When one does not adhere to the rules, punishment is certainly an option.  Many subs/slaves will only respond to punishment.  However, this is not the only option available to a dominant and should be used in the proper manner.

Before going any further, I believe it is crucial to clarify what the goal of punishing is.  Many overlook this simple idea never consider what the outcome is suppose to be.  The reason one punishes, and the only reason, is to correct or amend action.  That is the goal, to correct the action taken so it is not repeated in the future.  Naturally, the abusers do not care about this since their goal is only to inflict pain.  Therefore, one way to distinguish a true dominant from an abuser is to ask him why he punishes and what the goal is.  An abuser will talk about beating ass whereas one who is genuine talks about changing behavior.

Another thing to bear in mind is there are a host of options available in the area of punishment.  Too many jump to the conclusion that punishing means beating.  It does not.  Certainly, this can be an useful choice in many situations.  However, there are a host of other ways to go about it.  Some other ideas are:

-having her stand in the corner holding up a ping pong ball with her nose.
-removing indoor bathroom privileges.
-having her sleep on the floor
-making her eat nothing but bread and water for a day or two
-eating her food out of a bowl on the floor like an animal
-not allowing her to socialize with her friends (the traditional grounding)
-having her kneel on rice

All of these options provide one with options to alter behavior.  One thing that must be mentioned is that the punishment must mirror the infraction.  In other words, too many want to give one 75 swats with a paddle until she passes out for something minor.  They simply have an idea in mind and are going to implement it no matter what is done.  Again, this is abusive and not responsible domination.  Therefore, a true dominant will have a full arsenal of punishments at his disposal while judiciously applying them when needed.

Which brings me to the final point.  Punishment is meant to alter behavior, specifically future behavior.  In essence, a sub/slave did a particular action which he does not want repeated in the future.  Hence, the need for behavior modification.  Punishment is one avenue.  However, I want to bring up another point.  Perhaps there is no need to punish.  The goal is to modify the behavior and it is possible that simply bringing up your disappointment to her is enough to get her to change.  It also could be there was a miscommunication upon your part as to what the expectation was.  Either way, often simply talking about it will change the behavior removing the need for punishment.  Remember, it is all included in discipline, getting her to adhere to a set of rules or orders you establish.  How that is accomplished is secondary.

In closing, it is crucial to always remember what the goal is and the best way to achieve that end.  Yes there are times when a more stern approach is necessary.  Some lessons are vital and perhaps a harsh punishment is the only way to drive the point home.  However, one must balance the weight of the infraction with the level of punishment needed to get said point home.  This is what using power responsibly is all about.


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robin said...

For me, his disappointment in me is quite enough to alter my behavior. It creates in me a profound sense of failure. I can not stand seeing disappointment in his eyes or hearing it in his voice.

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