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On punishment

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On punishment

Postby Callalily » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:08 pm

Hello all,

I still find the concept of discipline a bit nebulous. I've seen it debated fiercely in other places and I'm wondering what everyone's thoughts are here. I am still very new to BDSM, so forgive me if I sound ignorant, and please feel free to correct any misconceptions that I have. :)

So obviously, in traditional BDSM, there are "scenes" in which the Dom tops the Sub for no other reason than their mutual sexual pleasure. These often involve restraint, physical pain, restriction, humiliation, sensory deprivation and other things that a vanilla person would probably consider "negative." For a masochistic submissive, however, they are pleasurable acts. For example, spanking: this is something that many Doms and Subs enjoy and are aroused by. Which means it's not a punishing act in a BDSM context; if anything, it's a reward.

On the other hand, in most BDSM relationships Subs have rules they need to follow, and if they don't follow them, there are consequences. When a Sub misbehaves, it's a negative thing (except, I guess, in "bratty" relationships, but I'm going to leave those out because I think they muddy the waters). Generally, Subs should not be courting punishment, or looking forward to it. The consequences for disobeying should actually be unpleasant and an effective deterrent. This is where people start to disagree on what's appropriate, because while the Sub is consenting to the punishment, it's important that she not actually enjoy it. Here are some of the questions I've seen people discussing on other forums and I'm curious how you guys would answer them.

  1. What are some punishments you have found effective, either as a Sub or a Dom?

  2. Are there any kinds of punishments do you think cross the line? (For example, I've seen a lot of debate about whether food restriction is acceptable.)

  3. Should punishments be sexual in nature? Should a Dom gain sexual pleasure from punishing a Sub?

  4. What purpose do rules serve in your relationship? To guide the Sub into being a better, stronger person? To make the relationship healthier? To deepen her submission to the Dom?

  5. As a Dom, how do you feel when a Sub has broken a rule and you'll need to punish her? How would you want your Sub to feel about it?

  6. As a Sub, how do you feel knowing you've broken a rule and are going to be punished? How would you want your Dom to feel about it?

  7. How does a spanking that's being used to discipline differ from one that's being used to give pleasure?

  8. Should activities that push limits be used as punishments?

  9. Should a Sub be able to safeword a punishment?

  10. Is it appropriate to provide aftercare after a punishment?

I'm naturally very submissive, and pretty much never break rules, but I don't know if that's a good thing? Like is disciplining a Sub for disobeying part of what a Dom most enjoys? I guess the right answer to that is "Ask your Dom." :)
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Re: On punishment

Postby Valar Morghulis » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:26 pm

Hey,

I will give my opinions on your questions, but I believe that there are such a wide variance of answers which could be given, dependant on different relationship and personal kink factors. So my answers and opinions that I'll give, I'm expecting them to be challenged and be different to others.

From my experience this whole subject, BDSM relationships, Doms and Subs, DDLG, punishments, rewards and et al, are so widely different from relationship to relationship and person to person.

On the topic of discipline, usually, discipline is something that is explored by the people in the BDSM relationship, unless the couple already knows what they like and what they do not, but yet, sometimes you get into a new relationship with somebody who likes things that you've never explored before opening up a whole new world and aspect. To a relatively unexperienced Dom and Sub it takes a while to find out what works, what is liked, what is not liked, what works as a reward, what works as a punishment. In my opinion, this is one of the best parts of a BDSM relationship, the exploration and being open to trying anything. But that won't always be the case with everyone.

A brief comment on spanking. It depends on the people in the relationship. But I believe that there can be pleasurable spanking, and punishment spankings. Again, it depends on the Sub and Dom, some Subs can not find the pain so pleasurable, some absolutely revere spanking. You need to find out what works for you and what doesn't. A lot of communication is needed in a relationship such as this.

Rules; Yes subs should not be breaking rules for a punishment and they should not be looking forward to the punishment, if they are how could it possibly be a punishment? In my opinion if this is the case it needs to be addressed and changed, but again some people like this, some people love bratty relationships, some subs, especially in a DDLG context are quite bratty and it's again a part of the roleplay that comes along with that type of relationship.

1; Spanking is a grey area. Hard spanking can work. Denying of many things- masturbation, sex, orgasms, sweets, games, time with their dom. Slaps, canes, restraints, forced orgasms, degrading words/humiliation, no panties. Writing lines, writing an apology, time out.

2; I think food restriction is uneccessary. There are so many good punishments that work so good that I believe this is just pointless, and as a Dom you should care for your sub and this crosses that. But again, this may work so very well in some relationships that I don't have a problem with. But personally, it does cross a line.

3; Sure. Why not? Not all punishments can be sexual in nature, and I don't believe all punishments should be either.

4; Everything you've listed. To create a special bond in the relationship, BDSM couples, especially subs love rules, they know what they can do and what they can't. Doms also love this, as I do, as it gives control, but in a very useful and beneficial way for both involved. For me, it's all about my sub, caring for her, nurturing her, looking after her, I can't explain it enough.

5; It depends on the rules and how she has broken it. So this completely depends. Some treat the rules as important as each and every one, some have higher priority and severity for different rules. For me it depends on the rule and how she's broken it, if it was accidental then it's a soft punishment, and if it's on purpose it's a harder punishment. On this point, in my relationships I do like having soft and hard punishments outlined, just like rules.

6; Again I can only say that this depends on different factors. But for example, you can have the sub apologise after every spank, deny other sexual contact, harder spankings, use different instruments like a belt etc, restraints, slapping, degrading words. But this is different from relationship to relationship.

7; It can do yes. Not much else to say.

8; I believe a sub should never be afraid to safeword anything. But again, I personally like the use of a few different safewords. One to take it slower, calm down, have a breather, and one to stop completely. I believe this works great. The last thing I want as a Dom is to break my sub (emotionally) or traumatise them, for lack of a better word.

9; Depends on the severity of the punishment. Once you've punished the sub, the punishment is over with and I would atleast offer aftercare and nurture. But sometimes the distance from the sub can be a part of the punishment.

Not breaking rules and being a good sub is, in my opinion, perfect. Usually, in a BDSM relationship, there is enough bondage, sadism and masochism to satisfy both that the extra discipline is not a necessity. Sure, for me, punishments are enjoyable as a sadistic dom. And some subs love being punished no matter what the punishment is. All I can say is, be open, explore, expand your knowledge, don't be afraid, push your limits, and most of all be safe.
It is sometimes a mistake to climb; it is always a mistake never even to make the attempt. If you do not climb you will not fall. This is true. But is it that bad to fail, that hard to fall?

Your thoughts do not define who you are, but your actions do.
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Re: On punishment

Postby Valar Morghulis » Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:04 am

In my reply I realised that I missed out question 6.
And so my answers are off a little :x.

Hence I don't have an answer to question 10.
It is sometimes a mistake to climb; it is always a mistake never even to make the attempt. If you do not climb you will not fall. This is true. But is it that bad to fail, that hard to fall?

Your thoughts do not define who you are, but your actions do.
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Re: On punishment

Postby MJH2013 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:37 am

Hello again Callalily. I think you are asking some interesting questions here, and I hope that my answers can provide a bit more clarification on the concept of discipline. However, my submissive has become so interested in your questions that she would also like to respond to them, and as this will be a one-time thing (hopefully :roll:) she will be using my account. But, will be responding in a different color and italicized. I hope that's not too confusing, or too annoying.

1. I have found nearly all punishments to be effective on my submissive as long as she is in the right frame of mind, and the punishment is sufficiently differentiated from any pleasurable activities. Some punishments I have used include spanking, other applications of pain, writing prompts, removal of privileges (such as extensive cuddling rights), orgasm denial (and subsequent repeated “edging” to the brink of said orgasm), as well as others.

Hi Callalily! :D Thank you for your thought-provoking questions. All punishments are effective on me as long as my Master is sufficiently displeased, because the internal self-flagellation continues long before any actual punishments occurs. :/ The feeling I get when I’ve disappointed my Master goes a long way in cementing the lesson. One punishment that was particularly effective on me was writing assignments in which I had to explain how my actions were wrong and brainstorm on how to correct them in the future. Interactive spankings where I have to count, apologize, and ask for each hit have also proven to be quite effective.

2. I think quite a few types of punishment cross my personal moral and ethical lines. I do not agree with food restriction in the slightest. If the Dominant partner wants his or her submissive to diet, then he or she need to discuss that with his or her submissive and not merely issue a command. I also disagree with any sort of permanent (or semi-permanent) modification for punishment: I think those sorts of long-term modification should only be performed after discussion and for more pleasurable purposes. I do not support extreme spankings, canings, floggings, etc. in which the submissive is not able to remove him or herself by his or her own power from the scene of the punishment. I do not support excessive physical or mental torture used as a punishment. I feel that this sort of punishments more easily invites abuse and can carry long-term consequences. There are many other punishments that I do not support, but I do tend to adopt the philosophy that as long as it is at least mostly safe, sane, and consensual (or has been properly discussed, and agreed to and thus fulfills risk-aware consensual kink) it is okay as a punishment.

Nooo!!! Don’t take away my fooooood! :( So yeah I think that crosses a line. Also any punishment that crosses a hard limit. So that would vary depending on the relationship.

3. “Should” is an odd turn of phrase to use here. We do not have the capability to control what does and what does not arouse us, so it seems rather pointless and futile to debate if it is permissible morally, ethically, logically, etc. to be aroused by a punishment. What if a Dominant was to be aroused by the activity of punishing a submissive regardless of the punishment used? Would that Dominant no longer be allowed to punish his or her submissive if the answer to “should punishments be sexual in nature” be no? Wouldn’t that be a little harsh? In terms of actually addressing the point of the question, I think it does not really matter whether a punishment is sexual in nature to the Dominant at all. Presumably, the Dominant would become aroused from the action in question and not necessarily from the action or the Dominant could be aroused from the mixture of the situation and the action in question. In my aforementioned counter-example for instance, the Dominant in question would enjoy punishing his or her submissive but would not necessarily solely enjoy punishing his or her submissive. I do not think that the fact that a Dominant may enjoy a punishments makes said Dominant any more or less likely to punish his or her submissive. On the other hand, I do not think that punishments need to be inherently sexual: sometimes a nonsexual punishment (like a writing assignment) is more useful than a sexual one.

So my Master has a “should” button that sets him off when you push it. The results are very entertaining to watch. :wink: The thing with this question is that (forgive me if I’m wrong or assuming too much) it seems like you’re implying it’s wrong for the Dominant to gain sexual pleasure from punishing his or her submissive. I think it’s fine because if I’ve displeased my Master, then I would at least want him to gain some pleasure from the experience of punishing me. If the punishment isn’t enjoyable for him, then in addition to having displeased him, he remains displeased for longer. I always want to please him, even if it might be through a punishment.

4. This is another interesting question in that I don’t think that rules necessitate a purpose for existing. I also think that many of the aspects you mention are more results of rules existing as opposed to a premeditated reason for their existence. I have rules in my relationship with my submissive because I like rules. I want there to be rules, and thus there are rules. I have certain things that I expect from my submissive, certain things that I do not like my submissive doing, certain tasks that she has to complete every day, etc. and it is much easier to codify these as “rules” than to mention them once and expect her to notice and or care about them. If, on the other hand, the question becomes “what effects have rules had on your relationship” then I can answer that rules have caused all of the aspects you mentioned to happen in my relationship--indirectly if not necessarily directly. My submissive has become a better and stronger person through her acceptance of her submission which was spurred on and helped by the presence of rules in my relationship with her. Rules allow for an easy resolution to most conflicts, as well as most questions of who gets to decide what and if something is or is not permissible and thus they make my relationship with my submissive healthier. Rules have made my submissive more pleasing to me (as she tends to follow them though she does have her moments), have made her more able to satisfy my needs, and thus have deepened her submission to me. However, I do not think any of these reasons aptly explains why they exist. They exist because I want them. That’s it.

Rules make it easier to submit. If a rule is in place, and I follow that rule, then boom! I’m submitting. :D Seriously though, it makes the dynamic much easier because I’m not unsure about what will/will not please my Master. It makes me happier and more assured and all that good stuff when I know what I need to do to be pleasing.

5. Since you addressed this question to Dominants, I will be the only one answering this one :twisted: . When my submissive has broken a rule and needs to be punished, I feel disappointed in her. I expect better, and she knows better. I do not tend to get angry (I have only ever gotten legitimately angry with my submissive twice in our relationship) as I think that anger clouds the mind’s judgement. In my opinion, it important to perform BDSM when one is in a clear, focused, unaltered state of mind. Any other feelings can get in the way and lead to potentially negative consequences. I would want my submissive to feel repentant for her actions, apprehensive about the coming punishment (as I believe a bit of apprehension on the submissive’s side is useful to keep the Dominant grounded in reality and prevent him or her from ignoring his or her submissive’s feelings too much). I would also want my submissive to be cognizant of what she did wrong, and why she deserves to be punished (which is why I tend to ask her what she did wrong and why she deserves to be punished- just to make sure she understands her circumstances).

6. All me this time! :D So as a sub, I feel terrible when I’ve broken a rule and need to be punished. I have directly disobeyed my Master, I’m angry at myself and my actions, and I’m anxious to earn his forgiveness. So as far as how I would want my Dominant to feel, all I care about is whether he feels like he’ll be able to forgive me. I have no preference towards any other emotions my Master might have because I want to accept whatever emotions my actions have inspired, internalize them, and use them as fuel for a behavior change so it never happens again.

7. This question speaks to how I differentiate my pleasurable activities with my submissive from punishments, and as such my answer is likely to a bit complicated and nuanced. To begin with, the most important difference in a spanking done primarily for pleasure and one done to punish a submissive is the submissive’s mindset going into the punishment itself. My submissive mentioned “internal flagellation” earlier and I think that’s a good way to put it. Before a punishment, my submissive and I assume submissives in general are less thinking about the fun action they are about to receive (if the submissive in question enjoys spanking of course) and more considering how they made a mistake, how to improve upon their previous error so that it does not happen again, etc. In other words, the submissive is focused on things other than the upcoming physical sensation of the punishment prior to the punishment. Contrastingly, in a pleasure-spanking scenario the submissive is almost completely focused on the upcoming spanking as that is all there is to focus on. Rather than considering past misdeeds and future methods of correction, the submissive is fixated around more temporal and present concerns such as “will it hurt too much” or “how much am I going to enjoy this” or “will I get to count this time”, etc. The submissive’s mindset makes up at least half (if not more) of the difference between a pleasure-spanking and a punishment that just so happens to consist of spanking. In addition to these mindset differences, I often change my practices when administering the spanking as well. I make it absolutely clear to my submissive before the spanking begins that it is for a punishment and ask her why she is being punished, how she intends to improve, if she thinks the punishment is warranted, etc. whereas in a pleasure-spanking I tend to just start spanking her. I also ask my submissive to count each individual spank, apologize for her mistake, and ask for each additional stroke during the punishment spanking as well—a practice I do not use during pleasure spankings. Occasionally depending on the severity of her violation, I will ask my submissive to perform certain actions, say certain additional phrases etc. on every fifth, tenth, or fiftieth spank (depending on the severity of her punishment, my whims, her feelings beforehand and a variety of other factors). But, suffice to say the punishment process is significantly more involved than a pleasure-spanking. There are of course more advanced things I do to differentiate punishment spankings from pleasure spankings (such as change the way I show affection, alter my tone of voice, etc.) , but that’s two of the more generalizable things that I do.

^ What he said. :P “Mind over matter” and all that.

8. No, I do not think that activities that push limits should be used as punishments. If an activity approaches a hard limit, it is nonconsensual and thus inappropriate for punishment. If an activity approaches a soft limit it means on or more of the members of the relationship is uncomfortable about said activity in question and thus the activity should be discussed, and brought into the relationship slowly lest it prove to be a hard limit. Approaching soft limits during punishment seems to me to invite abuse, and is thus inadvisable.

Nooooo!!! (imo) Hard limits are self-explanatory because those are things you don’t cross ever, but soft limits are a little trickier. With soft limits, it’s true that the activity can turn out to be a hard limit, like my Master mentioned. But, even if it doesn’t, approaching a soft limit in a punishment-oriented context could “taint” the experience so that it will forever be associated with punishment and cannot be experienced pleasurably (or at least, for a long time until effort is put towards correcting the association). In my opinion, it’s not a good idea to explore new horizons in such a negative context.

9. Yes. A submissive should never have his or her safeword taken away under any context. The safeword is what keeps BDSM safe, sane, and consensual and is one of the submissive’s only checks on the Dominant’s power in the moment. If something goes wrong and the Dominant does not notice and correct, the submissive needs to be able to safeword.

OMG YES! In addition to my Master’s point, I think the removal of the safeword would have an adverse effect on the goal of the punishment. Even if the submissive is determined to take whatever may come to him or her, it is still important to have that option in the back of his or her mind. If the submissive didn’t have a safeword, he or she might be continuously thinking about the fact that they can’t stop what is happening to them and hate the experience and want it to stop, which is not the desired punishment mindset – he or she is focused on the wrong things. The submissive might not be accepting the lesson of the punishment, which should be the point of the punishment in the first place.

10. Yes it is appropriate to provide aftercare after a punishment. In fact, I think it is more than appropriate: It is basically required to provide aftercare after a punishment. A punishment is designed to do exactly that—to punish and thus to bring the individual being punished down to a lower level. A punishment is a negative experience and can therefore lead to potential negative emotions such as feelings of unworthiness, over-repentance, sadness, etc. Aftercare is designed to deal with the negative fallout of a BDSM scene and restore both participants back to a state of normalcy. Therefore, it seems only logical that aftercare would be a useful tool after a punishment, and perhaps would in fact be most useful after a punishment. However, the way the question is phrased (and forgive me if I assume too much) makes it seem as though you disagree with the notion that aftercare should be used after a punishment. To which I would ask, why? What is the harm in using aftercare after a punishment? Do you continue to equate aftercare to trauma bonding, and thus see the entire idea of aftercare as inherently abusive? Because although aftercare and trauma bonding may share some surface similarities they are in actuality quite different. Trauma bonding is designed to create a bond over a traumatic incident and is generally done through assuring the traumatized individual that they were good, it was all a mistake on the traumatizing individuals part and it “will not happen again” (before the state of the abusive relationship where the abused begins to think that he or she deserves his or her abuse in which case trauma bonding shifts to a more accusatory sort of tone) while aftercare after a punishment is designed to move past said punishment—to help the submissive cope and accept that the punishment is over now and it is time to move past it. Aftercare is coping mechanism not for trauma and the action of the punishment but for the potential negative emotions associated with the punishment and directed not at the Dominant but at the submissive themselves. In other words, it’s extremely useful because it brings the submissive back up after they have been brought down by the punishment.

^W-o-w. Lots of words. So in my experience, aftercare is completely necessary after a punishment. I need to feel like I’ve been forgiven. I need to feel like things are okay and we can move on and I can continue to please my Master again. Without aftercare, I’m unable to forgive myself. I might feel like a bad sub. Even if my Master says that he’s forgiven me, it’s hard for me to believe, so aftercare is really helpful in that respect.

So, those would be our collaborated answers to your questions. I hope that our experiences were at least somewhat enlightening and that the fact that both my submissive and I added more to the discourse than the confusion about who was talking at the moment took away. Thank you for your questions. I quite enjoyed responding to them, and my submissive found them fascinating as well.

Best of luck and best wishes finding answers to your questions

-MJH (And his submissive! :D)
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