Wednesday 17 August 2011

punishment and domestic discipline

Yes - I know I said I wasn't going to write any more about punishment. I got tempted!!!

I was wondering about punishment and domestic discipline. Presumably in a domestic discipline relationship the sub should not enjoy the punishment - otherwise it would not help enforce the discipline. Some subs from relationships that they would not describe as domestic discipline have made similar points in comments on earlier posts.

But if the punishment is of a physical nature and the sub dislikes it - then is that getting close to abuse? yes - I know consent has been given as part of a relationship freely entered into. However there are relationships that clearly are abusive where the person abused does not remove herself from the relationship that she has freely entered into.

Intuitively I think we can all sense the difference. However I am still finding it hard to articulate the difference clearly and precisely.


Alice said...

I think... there are some physical punishments that I consider to be toeing the line between abuse and non-abuse, and there are even some that cross that line to me, period.

I honestly don't think it is something you can articulate well. I can't. I know for me, if that was the kind of relationship we had, I would certainly have limits and should those limits be crossed I would feel abused.

I think it largely depends on the person, their circumstances, and what exactly they have consented to, because every relationship is so very different.

Loki Taviel said...

i think the hard part is making sure the punishment fits the misbehavior. If i was to update my journal a day late for example, Master would make me write lines, and possibly give me a short corrective spanking. He wouldn't cane me until my ass was raw, because it wouldn't be appropriate for such a small infraction, and would then border on abuse.
A Dom needs to make sure he keeps corrections in check. That is what keeps a sub truly obedient.

Unknown said...

Difference between dd punishment and abuse? Fear . I think the difference is fear. When it's abuse, the abusee walks round on eggshells always worrying of wrongdoing, always scared of being perceived to do something wrong -cause let's face it, in abusive relationships anything can be deemed wrong at any given time , it's not about set rules and expectations or understanding -it's about control (and lack thereof!). In ttwd it's not. It's about setting parameters of behaviour, to give (and get!) a sense of security and stability in the relationship and in one's life.

.....I think.

Pygar said...

Alice - I think you are right that when limits are crossed thoughtlessly or carelessly then it then becomes abuseive. I'm pleased though that it isnot just me who finds it hard to articulate.

I think Kitten too that you make an important point about ensuring the punishment fits the behaviour and is not out of proportion. I'm not sure though that I totally understand your final point about a Dom keeping his corrections in check keeping a sub truly obedient. Are you saying that it is the appropriateness of punishment that ensures obedience?

Thank you though Sweet Girl for your fascinating thoughts. Fear is the difference? I think you may be on to something. If a sub embraces the discipline given by her Dom then it is D/s - but if she fears it then it is abuse. I think you might have put your finger on it there. What do others think?

I agree to with your thoughtful comments about the creation of a sense of security and stability in ones relationship and life. That certainly does not sound like an abusive relationship. Thank you very much for your interesting response.

P xx

Alice said...

I totally agree with Sweet Girl, fear would be the difference. I had been trying to articulate something like that earlier but it was just coming out weird and hard to understand so I deleted that part of my comment.

Fear is absolutely the difference. The more I think on it the more I'm convinced. I think there are many other things that make up the difference too, but fear definitely helps draw that line.

Stormy said...

I have to partially disagree. I do fear punishment, but is a healthy fear of what's coming, and it can help deter distructive behaviors, etc. I do not fear HIM. I think that is the difference. I do not fear his INTENT, or his heart motivation. Abuse is in the intent to HARM. DD has an inherent intent to HELP. To help keep somebody safe, or to keep the marriage strong, or to help end conflict or a cold war or a harmful power struggle. Which does far more lasting damage than the spanking. I live a 24/7 DD relationship, and that is my two cents for what it's worth.

I also think that "deal breakers" have to be considered. For example, for some it's ok to have soap in their mouth for lying, or face slapped for sass. Those are on my list of dealbreakers, and I get to decide. In abuse, you don't get to decide. You just try to survive anything that comes along that they inflict on you.

I don't want to go into detail, but I know both dd and abuse. They are not the same. DD can, however, turn abusive in the wrong hands.

Unknown said...

Stormy: yes, it was indeed fear of the person i was referring to (well and the punishment too of course, since it is often unjust, but not as you do, if you see what i mean?)

Storm said...

I don't think that physical punishment I dislike borders on abuse--the whole point of punishment is to discourage behavior right? If it was enjoyable, punishment wouldn't really be serving any purpose at all in my mind.

I think sweet girl makes a good point about fear, but for me the big difference is anger--I don't get punished when He's angry, maybe later, but never in that moment when He's seeing red so to speak.

Honestly, after dealing with a family member who seems to enter into one abusive relationship after another, I have come to believe that even those relationships are consensual. Consent is given by the choice to keep coming back for more abuse. Though I do realize that some women don't have anywhere to go or anyone to help them, which muddies those consent waters quite a bit.

kiwigirliegirl said...

I like erotic spanking, but i dont like punishment spanking. They both can hurt, they both can use the same implements, the same positions. The difference to me? Mindset. We have rules and if i break them then i get punished. I get a telling off, a lecture and a punishment. I know when i have done something wrong, its in his mood, his tone of voice, my guilt. An erotic spanking can be far more intense than a punishment one but because of the mood and feelings invloved in punishment, then the punishment spanking is much harder to take, but once its over with all is forgiven and forgotten - a feeling never to be underestimated.
But thats just me :)

kiwigirliegirl said...

and I think stormy makes some pretty good points too :) well said stormy :)

Pygar said...

Thank you all for the very personal comments. The discussion about fear has been very interesting and I may start a new post to develop it.

Thanks Stormy for sharing your thoughts given you have also had experience of abuse. Similarly to lil who has the sadness of seeing a family member caught in such relationships.

Where such relationships are consensual then as you say it definately "muddies the waters" in making a clar distinction.

lil's suggestion that the key element may not be fear but anger. Certainly if one fears another's anger then it is a very difficult situation.

But thanks again Alice and Sweet Girl for adding to your earlier comments and also to kiwigirl for your description of how punishment spankings are so different from erotic ones.

P xx

James said...

i have no fears so i would make a good canidate ..

wireless cameras said...

I believe it will make it more better to discipline that way.

Anonymous said...

"Presumably in a domestic discipline relationship the sub should not enjoy the punishment - otherwise it would not help enforce the discipline."

Maybe there's a distinction between punishment and sadomasochism. Punishment discourages future bad behavior, whereas S&M can use bad behavior as an occasion for inducing pain. So, punishment has to fit the crime, whereas that's beside the point in S&M. (Of course, there are elements of S&M and/or D&S in any domestic discipline relationship.)


Ultimately, a domestic discipline relationship is about service and obedience. Punishment should help the sub serve, obey, and satisfy. His or her pleasure and pain may be involved, but they are secondary.

Anonymous said...

I believe that with DD does NOT come one size fits all. That fact is proven to me every time I start a new relationship with a girl. I'm 36 & I've never been in another type of relationship except for DD, starting the young age of 18. Spankings have always been enough in my previous relationships until I met my current girlfriend.

She is by far the youngest I've ever dated. Energetic, confident, smart, and gorgeous. She never asked me how old I was. Once she found out I was actually 12 years older than her she already liked me too much. And I guess it helped that I do look a few years younger.

She comes from a tough elite athlete tom boyish background, raised with an athlete dad and brother. I tried spanking her once and she took it as a total joke and walked away. So I pretended it was a joke. I knew hand spanking wasn't gonna cut it for her, and it would just frustrate me. So I had to give myself some time to come up with a customized plan for her.

I don't like brats, and I enjoy loving more than discipline. She seems perfect for me.

Later on I broke another news to her, that I was into DD, and she said "Ok… cool. Are you gonna ask me to be your girlfriend or what?" So I knew I was in trouble then, I do really like her.

We were for a while vanilla until she broke a rule three times. That's where I grabbed her hair and laid a slap across her face, first form of discipline. Her eyes widened, she was shocked, and her heart beat was at its most for the next 30 minutes. A few days later, she bit me after she was told not to and I slapped her again. This time she was even more shocked and asked if the slaps were going to keep happening. And I said yes if she doesn't start listening they will keep happening. I was pretty convinced at the result. It was an immediate humbling effect.

She was at her best behavior and I could sense a decent appropriate fear for a while until she became comfortable with me again. In a few weeks she started playing with her phone in front of me, playing constant pranks, and cheating her way through things, especially talking back. I warned her a few times to not talk back and realized she'd lost the sense. Next time it happened I walked up to her and I could see her smiling fading as I got closer. She started walking away and I ordered her to stay where she is and she immediately obeyed. I gave her three good slaps and she was in tears. She was back in her best behavior within minutes from calming down.

The only other time I noticed such effect with her was when she was acting up in bed. I asked her to go get my belt and she started crying and begging me to do "anything else but the belt". She has never been spanked with a belt before but I believe the idea of it was frightening for her. So I gave her a first time rough and unlubed anal sex, which she screamed and cried her way through it, but no safe words were used. I'm convinced next time I ask for the belt I'll get the belt.

I believe in personalized treatment plan for all my girls. With her face slapping brings immediate humbling and a deep fear of disobeying, even though it's no where as painful as anal sex, belt spanking, or bare bottom spanking. I don't think I'll ever try bare bottom spanking unless it involves a belt since I know that touches a weak psych spot on her.

Her safety and making sure I don't damage anything along the way is my number 1 priority, always. Slaps and Anal sex were performed with full discretion. She has a healthy psych background and agrees to all terms of DD.

Pygar said...

Thank you Anonymous for your fascinating account of your relationship with your girlfriend. I have written elsewhere on here I think about how very powerful face slapping can be.

Good luck to you both.

- P

Anonymous said...

Hello, Pygar, I am quite new with even knowing what BDSM is, stumbling across accidentally at in the last month or so. Your blog seems more contemplative and introspective than most and questions assumptions, so I am hoping that you can help me (and other vanilla people like me) get more insight into BDSM (and power exchange in particular) that simply does not make sense to me as a non-practitioner. I hope this question gets seen as it is replying to an old posting. I will check back here to see if any response...

What I didn't get for a while is why the sub participates at all, at first. Why be subject to someone? Now I see examples that for some people it is fun to feel like they want things done for them as escapism (which in some cases and lighter reading seems to be the case, like bedroom-only submission). Others apparently feel the NEED to serve others more than wanting to have things happen to them in the bedroom. . More surprising still to me is that this come across as NEEDING to get hit and are unsatisfied if their Doms (in some cases husbands and wives) are not into "impact play" ENOUGH -- they actively want to feel pain, and not always as masochists. Etc... It strikes me as an odd constellation of attributes that do not seem connected to each other... service vs being controlled vs wanting to be treated meanly or painfully in the moment (still in good fun like a scene) with impact play... But I get the various reasons, disparate as they seem.

Anyway, this is all background to my main question, which is about punishment and why people who choose to participate in power exchange let themselves agree to be punished... Here are some things I think I DO get: I see husband/wife blogs where wife beats husband but he LOVES in a consent-nonconsent kind of way so it is a kindness to him (or vice-versa) and ultimately actively enjoyed (after the moment of pain at least), where it all seems like good mutual fun and definitely not punishment. Fine. I also subs who want to give their all for their Doms -- they serve to please. Fine. Also where subs want impact play . Fine again. What I do NOT get is the REAL punishment thing. I understand after I got some replies that it is consensual (or should be). Sub has consented or even negotiated it. But that does not mean the punishment is not damned painful still from what I see.

What I don't get is the sub mindset that has them consent to it in the first place. WHY would a sub consent to extreme unpleasantness for human failings where a vanilla relationship the might deal with (just) the partner's disappointment or need to promise to improve to their spouse but not be receive significant (often physical) pain? Or for things that would not even be considered a transgression in a vanilla relationship? I have read blogs where multiple strikes of the cane (or crop) is the punishment... serious ouch? Here if I am a sub who wants only to serve someone and make their life better. I also agree to be corporally punished if I screw up? Why not just walk away from entering this relationship in the first place? why would I want a Dom like that (and this one is NOT a rhetorical quetion, as obviously many subs DO like a Dom like that, lost of very happy sub bloggers talk about punishment and yet seem to love the relationships...).

Also people are punished for simple things... forgetting to do chores, accidentally erasing a recording, getting angry, whatever... I do not sense in may cases that is proportional, or fair. Fine: Dom/Sub can be inherently unbalanced/unfair (you want someone to tell you what to do and you want to obey), but why would someone sign up for that (the punishment dynamic aspect I mean)? CONTINUED in next reply...

Anonymous said...

(continued from prior comment...)

What I do not get is all the SERIOUS references to this terrible thing (for a sub) that cannot be enjoyable (blogs say it should be VERY unpleasant to be a reminder in future, etc.), so where is the fun in that?? I would run for the hills! Supposedly the Dom hates to give it too (usually I read that), etc... sub must endure it as it is for her benefit in the end, etc. But generally in psychology, praise and positive reward gets better results anyway that negative consequences.

Are subs so screwed up that they feel they need to agree to be chastised this way (no offense to any sub intended, this is a rhetorical question and my thinking is that the answer is NO they should not need to feel to accept this). Does they somehow get off on the idea of being punished, it is somehow part of the kink of the whole thing so they ultimately like it? Or are they desperate for a Dom and tolerate it for this reason (yes, consensually, i know, but enthusiastically?)

Why would a sub agree to something so singularly unpleasant with someone she wants to have a good relationship with? I would think this would make subs resentful. This absolution/atonement thing (sub needs it / requests it to feel better) can't be the main reason can it? Surely some subs can make a mistake and just feel like "oops sorry I will do better because I care for you and agreed to be obedient" instead of kicking themselves emotionally over it forever... Why get so upset if I had reason to disobey one time? Surely the Dom is imperfect too and for minor infractions he just slides by...(for major ones I imagine the sub might walk away just like if your spouse cheated on you, etc., but to me that should stop the BDSM agreement completely anyway so it is a moot point).

And even more seriously, a number of bloggers and bdsm sites report they in soe relationships the sub cannot even use a safeword during punishment. What kind of consensual and mutually gratifying is THAT? Even consensual-nonconsent play needs a safeword, but punishment does not? This is going into the risk of forcing people if you ask me. What next, if non-consent can my Dom LITERALLY force me into restraints to apply a punishment and not let me safeword out? Does this happen? Is there still any consent left with no safeword? It seems a very slippery and dangerous slope to me, and seems accepted not only in a lifelong relationship where a safeword is disallowed with a wink-wink because a husband and wife really know each other's true tolerances for years anyway. I simply cannot bend my mind around that one (no safeword) case not running the risk of being abusive (should the sub want to stop it) or VERY close to that risk...

Anyway, maybe Doms really think it is good because they get the submissive to do what they want or "improve", but do all subs need such improvememt? Probably no more than your average person, who doesn't have to suffer painfully for it. Surely they do not all feel so bad about themselves (subs are strong and feel good about themselves I also read!) that for every screwup they need to accept this... sorry I am ranting and rambling but help us vanilla folks get an answer to "what am I missing here?" Thanks anyone for reading and replying thoughfully... I hope nothing I wrote was deeply insulting to anyone, it was not intended in that spirit, but truly to try to understand something I just do not get. People choose this, and many seem to love the overall lifestyle, even as they claim to us (or themselves) that seriously unpleasant punishment is OK because the Dom/me says they screwed up (and MAYBE the sub even agrees). But why?

Pygar said...

Thank you Anonymous.

I think you cover too much ground for me to be able to answer effectively in a comment here. So I plan to publish your comment on my 'Uncle Agony' blog where readers write in their questions for discussion by readers. It may be that there it will get greater readership and more chance of contributions from from other readers who may have more useful support than myself.

To follow comments and to contact others who blog about some of the relationships you describe it may be worth setting up a Google account for email and blog posts under an assumed name. Then you can click the box asking to be informed of follow up comments and email bloggers who you may wish to discuss issues with.

I will post a link here when I have published your questions on Uncle Agony.

P xx

Pygar said...

I have written about the recent comment on Uncle Agony here. If readers have any thoughts, please do visit there to discuss.

P xx