Wednesday, 27 July 2011


I have been offering some mentorship to a sub friends. She had recently come out of a long term relationship and was missing her submission. So I have been providing her with some support and tasks to help her maintain and develop her submissive feelings until she feels ready for a new relationship.

As I am not her Master - and also I suppose because I am standing back a little - I have not felt it appropriate to "punish" her. Instead I have used lots of praise for when she has done well - which is most of the time as she is committed and trying very hard.

So she has had lots of praise and encouragement as a sub and no punishment ...

... and she is doing very, very well. She is blossoming into her submission and feels that herself as well as it being my perception.

So I have a couple of questions.

1. Is it possible to have a D/s relationship where training relies totally on praise?


2. Am I misleading her by providing a regime that may be very different from a more punishment based one with a future Dom?


Anonymous said...

I think it's possible for sure. I can only speak for myself though, each sub is different in what she needs. I am my own worst punisher, so praise is more effective. Punishment might teach me to be good moreso to avoid punishment, or to keep being bad in order to get attention through punishment. Praise is better. It shows appreciation and reinforces my positive behaviors without feeding in to my weaker ones. Thus I grow stronger.


Anonymous said...

1). No!

2). Maybe. If she understands that each Dominant (just like each submissive) is different and has different methods then no.

Both are useful methods and both need to be used.

Praise is not needed for the day-to-day duties a submissive performs. However, when the sub goes over the top to excel or to do way more than what is expected, then praise (and even rewards) is in order. Nevertheless, should the submissive fail to function or screw up badly, then discipline (or punishment) is definitely called for.

However if the submissive is after attention through punishment (or any other method) then another form of discipline (or punishment) is required. Not talking to a submissive instead of spanking or sending the submissive away (or home) for a few days is just as effective as a severe spanking.


Anonymous said...

One must consider that punishment is a relative sort of term as well.

There are those who punish for each little infraction. There are those who only really punish major violations.

Then one must consider is it a true punishment or is it just because the sub enjoys pain.

This sub responds best to praise. In the year of my submission, I have only really been punished twice. Ironically for the same offense. The rest of our punishments are part of the pain play that we both enjoy.

Who said punishments have to be physical anyway?

Unknown said...

This had me thinking. You are not her Master so punishment is difficult, I do however think it is still appropriate to admonish her. As we all know that can hit pretty hard too. Or maybe a very light form of punishment, like an extra task? or a more difficult one? I don't know. But of course praise is important, personally however I have difficulty in receiving it, I shrug it off, sometimes even negativize (that SO is a word! OK? :P) it. I know that is bad, and I understand that it may actually hurt my Dom -so I try to take praise and compliments graciously, I try. Although the famous Good girl always hits home ;)
OK, so I realise I haven't even really answered your questions.
1. Yes, I think so (I know of people that do). But I think it has to be a method that is preferred by both parties. Therefore I think it's (more) rare. But yes, possible.
2. Well, she has had (a) previous relationship(s), so she's not completely oblivious to it is she?
And well, I think just reminding her with a "you know, another Dom would've had you over his knee for that"...or something like that.

Anonymous said...

i feel praise is very important to a submissive and also very effective during the Mentoring and Training of a sub. i know that i benefit from praise. But i also feel she would need to know if you were unhappy with something, say a task she didnt carry out fully. it doesnt have to be a physical punishment (though she may quite like that!!) each time but something that shows her how disappointed you are (and actually sometimes that is enough, because a sub will usually beat themselves up because they know they have made a Dom unhappy).

i feel both praise and punishment would be beneficial to her as it would be important to give her the whole sense of how Doms differ from one another, as sweet girl says she has had been with a previous Dom and i am sure you would be aware of what she experienced in that relationship, so you would know how far you could take it with regards to punishment should the need arise.

so my feeling would be that it is important to show her both during her time with you.


Pygar said...

Thanks K - I am interested to read how well praise works for you.

I am interested Jakesir in your views. You may be right that in most D/s relationships punishment pays a major part. But why is that necessarily the case. Can a relationsip that involves control and obedience without punishment not be a D/s relationship. My view is that it can. My worry is that my sub friend when she finds her long term Dom may discover that most take your position and will find that difficult having followed my approach.

Yes Mindset punishment is relative and I wonder if in many cases it is used because the sub also enjoys punishment as part of the dynamic - it is only in this circumstance that I would generally use it. I'm pleased though that you respond best to praise - and you are right that punishment does not need to be physical.

Thanks Sweet girl. I think you are right that admonishment may be appropriate at times - and I suppose might even be a sort of mild punsishment when the sub is disappointed to have caused displeasure.

I am sorry you find it difficult to accept praise. I know there are others who also feel this. However I think it is something to grow into and learn to accept. I think it is part of a healthy D/s relationship so I hope your Master works with you on this.

Thank you d for your perspective. I see you agree with the point that I and others have made that displeasure itself can be a punishment. Perhaps you are right though that in mentoring a sub she needs to experience the full range of what subs might expect to experience with a Master. Thank you again d.

acquiexence said...

I literally have no time to read the other comments, so I apologise if my sentiments have already been stated. I also won't have time to check back here for responses, so if by any chance you want to ask me anything further, feel free to ping me on Twitter. :)

1. I believe so. Like anything else when it comes to relationships, it depends so much on the people involved, the situation they're in, and what kind of preferences they each have when it comes to interacting with one another. Where some relationships are almost cruel, others are absurdly sweet; "different strokes", as they say. I don't think that this is 'missing the point' (as some might think). A D/s relationship is still a relationship. It still relies on interaction and communication; it still revolves around the joint axes of thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. What triggers one sub to tears may be another's wet dream. What makes one sub feel rewarded may make another feel rebuffed. In short: it depends.

2. No, you're not. You're providing her with the essential core of a D/s relationship, which is honesty. You are being truthful to the way you prefer to relate to her (and possibly all of your subs) -- you are being true to yourself. Yes, she may experience a stricter, more punishment-oriented relationship with her eventual chosen Dom, but don't change what you're doing just because he might be different. He WILL be different. Be yourself. Be honest. :)

little said...

I am not experienced enough to really weigh in here but... :)
for me punishment always feels unjust and a little silly as I always try my best. Sometimes I suspect punishment is more for the Dom's joy than any real transgression on my part though this is just as valid I don't think it should be diguised as 'punishment for sub transgression'. Having said this, I don't think I've really ever had the pleasure of finding the right man, the real one for me.
Praise on the other hand..a few well placed but hard to earn 'good girl's' works wonders. Makes me roll over and purr. I always try to please to hear those very powerful words.


Anonymous said...

Well first of all can I just say thank you for the information that has been placed here on this topic. My understanding being vanilla( desperate to become a kind doms sub) the that the two can and do entwine... But what do I know right

Pygar said...

I am pleased that you have found the discussion helpful Anonymous. I hope you find the kind Dom you seek and that he proves you right!

Good luck

P xx

Anonymous said...

1. As I understand it, there is a mild controversy about abstinence from physical punishment and its influence upon D/s dynamics. To preface my opinion, my experiences are those of one, versatile practitioner. I try to create scenes that simultaneously satisfy all partners and only use the most minor forms of pain, if pleasurable to those partners. Furthermore, I only pursue people that understand and can agree to these practices.

Please, remember that I do not personally fault other, BDSM approaches. To answer your question at face value, I believe that BDSM requires more than praise in the strictest sense. A dominant practitioner must in my belief have at their core "strong values that benefit the scene, the desire and motivation to continuously improve, and the ability to control and direct a submissive partner towards an aim with skill as agreed upon by all parties."

I could abide by impact play, if refined through assisted, practical application and research. However, I have found through my efforts to responsibly design scenes that the use and function of punishment in submissive training does not benefit my personal aims. For one, positive application of punishment via. operant conditioning may be effective, yet inhumane and detrimental to a subject's creative faculties and other functions.

To provide advice, I would describe punishment as a last resort, if paramount. I recommend positive reinforcement to encourage the creative thought processes of a subject, amongst other faculties. As described elsewhere, "appropriate use of positive reinforcement [may] prevent the need for punishment dynamics, when all participants are healthy and emotionally mature adults."

However, I view all failure to comply with traditional, submissive training, which I rarely use, as an opportunity for discussion and retraining, if necessary. Yet, you may still describe that as a consequence, despite being more attentive than traditional punishments. In conclusion, pain is simply against my values and aims, although I respect that you, also, have the right to your opinions.

2. I may approach this later as I am pressed for time. Personally, I think that you could research negotiation, communication, play, safety, and scene preparation as applied to BDSM, amongst other practices, if this is of major concern to you. Securing the fundamentals of communication, informed consent, and healthy behaviour is important for any sexual or non-sexual relationship, especially regarding D/s.

To answer the question specifically, the matter of whether you are personally misleading her depends upon whether she is aware about variety in the BDSM community. If she is inexperienced, I would recommend for her to devote time to personal research, herself, prior to agreeing to a relationship and I would encourage you to be responsible in the understanding that you may be effectively influencing her understanding of BDSM.

Off of the top of my head, I think that you could emphasise that you consider your approach to be different from other, dominant partners. Discuss different approaches to BDSM. Discuss her expectations. Ask her if she would like to understand the dangers of scenes, but respect her decision to remain uninformed unless her understanding is paramount to reducing harm. Have scenes prepared beforehand and refine your understanding of the kink you're trying to perform (e.g., bondage, impact, etc.), especially in workshops.


I apologise for the late comment and recommend that you reconsider methods, your self-confidence in your methods, the traits that you admire and would like to exemplify as a dominant partner, communication, negotiation, safety, play, and preparation, and a practical and moral understanding of the psychology of "submissive training." Please, be careful. Note that, regarding psychology, conditioning has been historically used to deteriorate the minds of vulnerable people (e.g., ABA practices), especially "positive punishment." I hope that you have a good day.

Pygar said...

Thank you Anonymous for sharing your very comprehensive thoughts.