A reader question:
“In a recent thread on FetLife you mentioned that you use punishment as part of your dynamic, while both recognizing and agreeing with the reasons some do not.
How does punishment work in your relationships? Removal of privileges? Some kind of physical punishment? Something else entirely?”
I did mention that, yes. For the record, my comment is here (requires Fetlife login), and the pertinent paragraph was:
Those who don’t like punishment dynamics generally fall into three camps: The ‘Talk about it!’ camp, the ‘He’s not a child’ camp or the ‘It doesn’t work’ camp. I get a bit tired of explaining it, but suffice it to say that I agree with all of the people in those camps, and I STILL use punishments.
I do get irritated with some of the anti-punishment crowd who tend to assume that those who have a punishment dynamic are fundamentally stupid and are replacing communication with a spanking. It’s an ignorant assumption.
I have talked about my approach to punishment previously, but I think it bears going over again.
Punishment dynamics are controversial for a number of reasons, but it works for me.
When my submissive fucks up in some way, what happens is that it creates a little crack in the dynamic. Something has gone wrong. It might be a minor thing, or it might be something more significant.
For me, there are two parts to dealing with it:
1. Discussing what happened, why, and coming up with a strategy to ensure it doesn’t happen again
2. Reaffirming the dynamic, repairing the crack, reassuring each other that we are okay, getting us back on an even keel.
For those in a non-punishment dynamic, it is finished at the first.
For me and mine, the second is the realm of punishment.
Punishment is a concrete consequence of a transgression, it’s a penance, it’s closure, it’s reasserting the dynamic. All that.
As to what sort of punishments I use, well, I don’t use corporal punishment, I don’t use anything that gives him my energy and attention, and I don’t use anything that creates a bunch of work for me. Those sorts of things are not ‘punishment’ to me.
I mostly try to make the punishment something that is related to the transgression. If he forgot to take the garbage out, I might make him take the bin to the curb and back 20 times in a row. If he forgot to address me as I prefer, I might have him use my preferred method of address in every single sentence he says to me for a day. If I want him to reflect on something he did wrong, I might make him write about it.
And afterwards, when the punishment is done, and equilibrium is restored, we come together and regroup with incredible sweetness and petting. All going well, we feel *stronger* after it has been dealt with than we did before it happened.
And then it’s done, and we move on.
Want to ask me something? Pop on over to my Ask Me page and do it! It’s completely anonymous, even to me, so nobody will know it was you…