Thursday 25 September 2008


In the comments to a post by Maryann the issue of punishment came up.

"Punishment" often seems wrong to me in a normal context. Except in the context of a consensual D/s relationship.

Rewards actually work better than punishment in training. I don't punish my children. In particular I think any violence towards children is wrong. I think violence towards women is wrong in any setting - let alone a domestic one. Except ...

... in a consensual D/s setting where each is getting pleasure, satisfaction or fulfillment from bdsm play.

So I too have a little problem that I am trying to resolve with "punishment spankings" as opposed to "erotic spankings". In the end though - I think they may be the same but at a different level.

When the consent is withdrawn then it becomes domestic abuse.

However reading the above again I seem confused even to me!

From her blog Maryann's relationship seems to be breaking at the moment. I send her my very best wishes.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your kind words. It is done and I'm doing well.

Now, to your point. This is where a Safe Word is really important. Yes, the bottom or sub gives or loans power to the top or dom/domme. Part of the joy of the relationship is that power exchange. The bottom "should" submit to the top's spankings as administered.

Sometimes the top will push things a little, or even a lot, all in good fun, or even to make a point. Fine. I have no problem. If the couple involved wants to call that punishment, I'm cool with that.

Different couples may define the boundaries for using a Safe Word differently. I'm still cool with it. But how can it be love if you choose to continue a "punishment" beyond the point of real panic for the one receiving it? It isn't topping from the bottom to say, "I cannot take any more. You will break trust with me if you continue." That is what a safe word says, and it is the loving thing to say in that circumstance. Does the top really want to go so far as to break trust? I don't know how intentionally breaking trust can be called love.

I'm new to all this, but that is my "hard deck."

Anonymous said...


Pygar said...

However new to it all you make perfect sense Maryann. Perhaps I will come back to discussing "safe words" in a new post.

But you are right that if a Dom goes so far as to break trust then it is a step too far. Trust is the key in such relationships. If the trust goes then the relationship has gone.


Constance said...

If I may add my two cents, from a DD point of view.

First, I am a parent, and I do not spank. In my adult, consensual relationship, however, my lover does spank me, both for erotic purposes and to discipline me. When it is discipline, by and large, we do not view it as erotic. (In my fantasies I erotisize it, but not when it's actually happening). True discipline spankings are few and far between. If they were frequent, we could only assume they were failing to change the behavior. We don't use a safe word because I trust him to judge when enough is enough. Having a safe word in a discipline situation would put control in my hands, and it doesn't belong there. (This differs considerably from the 'good fun' Maryann describes.) He spanks open handed, no implements, and has never given me more than I could handle. (I am very fortunate, because my lover is very wise, very kind, and has amazing self-control.) The absolute most important thing about a discipline spanking is that it is actually itself a tool to put me in a more receptive frame of mind for the real lesson, which is always simply a straight forward conversation about my actions and attitude.

I completely agree with the statement "When the consent is withdrawn then it becomes domestic abuse."

Pygar said...

Thank you Constance - your comments are worth far more than two cents!

It is interesting to hear more from the Domestic Discipline point of view. It is not an aspect I am totally drawn to - perhaps it conflicts with other feelings I have about the role of women in society. Though I would never want to criticise a couple for whom this was right.

Perhaps this is an area I should write about in more detail too.


selkie said...

(having now discoved your blog, yet another comment LOL)

First, I admit freely I have a real issue with equating Domestic Discipline with the BDSM lifestyle - but that is the subject in itself of a blog.

Vis-a-vis spanking - again, I don't go for being disciplined like that - for several reasons. First and foremost, neither D. nor I spank our children on the premise that all we woudl be teaching them woudl be we are bigger and this is how you deal with issues - by violence. Second, submissive or not, I consider myself a capable adult - I would resent incredibly anyone disciplinging me as if as a child - but that is our dynamic and each to their own. A third point is that I adore being spanked in an erotic senses and D. has always maintained the last thing he wants to do is to taint it by turning a pleasurable event into something with negative connotations.

The bottom line is that for us the emotional and spiritual control he exerts on me (and conversely, I on him) more than provides an excellent form of discipline -i.e. disappointing him destroys me - spanking or some other form of physical discipline would be superfluous.

Pygar said...

I'm pleased you have discovered this blog selkie. Please feel free to comment as often as you wish.

I take your point. I've not been involved in a domestic discipline relationship so perhaps come to this from a slightly different angle. I perhaps don't see the difference quite as clearly between an erotic spanking and a punishment spanking. I perhaps see "punishment" as being part of the erotic aspect of the dynamic - not something separate and outside of it.

If the spanking became a negative event for the sub - then why would I want to engage in it? I think though that it can be part of building that dynamic over a period rather than looking at each individual event in isolation but that requires great trust and knowledge from both of the parties. I admit also to being a little unsure over my last point.


selkie said...

Your points are well taken! I think just one thing I would add - "punishment spanking" is indeed a very personal choice. I was musing on it vis-a-vis in the context of "spanking" itself - as a child my mum (NEVER my father - he woudl be horrified at the thought of laying a finger on a child or woman!), spanked us - we thought it hilarious - BUT - the bottom (grins) line is that all the spanking in the world woudl have done NO good for me - only created tremendous anger and resentment and make be even more likely to transgress. Thinking of our children - I know that with two of them for sure, that woudl be the same result - spankinn would NEVER have worked but would hae just made a bad situation worse.

Perhaps then it is very much related not just to the dynamic, but to the individual personalities.

Pygar said...

Thank you selkie. I believe that spanking children is wrong. As you wrote earlier it is teaching them that violence is acceptable as a way to solve problems. Children deserve better.

And so do subs ...

(In any case praise is a more effective way of changing behaviour than punishment.)

I guess you have hit at the heart of the dichotomy that impelled me to start this blog. I abhor violence as a way of solving problems - whether in the home or in international relations - but in an erotic D/s context I get pleasure from it!

It is important that my sub does too - or at least fulfilment or satisfaction.


selkie said...

Truly, I think a lot of ethical Doms have the same struggle - my D. certaintly has had and at times, still does - simply put- how do you hurt the thing you love? It is to your credit and other like-thinking dominants that you muse on the dichotomy ... and makes the world a safer place for masochistic submissives such as I!

Constance said...

If I may point out a significant difference between spanking children and spanking adults: consent. No parent ever sits down with a three year old and says "Do you want to be a better person? Do you want me to help you? Do you want to strengthen our relationship? Do you want me to spank you to help all of this happen?"

As far as punishment being 'ineffective' or 'less effective' than praise, I think that's probably true if punishment is isolated. In successful Domestic Discipline relationships, however, it is NOT isolated. The spanking precedes or is interspersed with a lot of conversation about the nature of the misbehavior and its implications. Being spanked puts me in a very submissive, receptive frame of mind so that I am better able to receive the true lesson my lover imparts. I have received TRUE punishment spankings on only a handful of occasions and I assure you, I learnt from them, and I have grown as a result. Even 'capable adults' sometimes make mistakes, don't we? The most capable ones learn from our mistakes, though we sometimes need someone to help us do that.

Pygar said...

Thanks selkie - that is really interesting. I've never been in a domestic discipline relationship so I think I am probably always seeing adult spanking more in a bdsm type of context. It is good to see your point of view.