Punishment Fails


There are a few mistakes, made by newbie Doms and experienced ones alike, that I think are deserving of serious contemplation. Without malintent these mistakes are just that…mistakes. As Bruce Lee famously said, “Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” In order to be successful we must be able to admit when we have failed, be willing to face the consequences, and try to do better.

Failing to discuss why the sub is being punished. Communication doesn’t stop when there’s been a transgression. If a submissive doesn’t understand why they are being punished then punishment can’t serve it’s purpose.

Ignoring your submissive. If you feel yourself coming up with an excuse why this is acceptable, I need you to stop right now, and reconsider. I have never heard a submissive describe this type of behavior as anything other than damaging or abusive. A person who is ignored learns not that their actions were inappropriate, but that they, as a person, are undeserving of affection

Ignoring safe words. Safe words are never off limits. This is not only a complete betrayal of trust, but a violation of consent that can be akin to assault. Safe words apply whether you are beating her with a flogger,  she is kneeling on a bed of rice, or she is sitting quietly in the corner. When someone has reached their limit, and tells you so, you need to stop. Right then. No question. Take the time to comfort and calm and then open a discussion when everyone is in a better place.

Punishments that are psychologically damaging. This can be very specific to each person and relationship, but take a simple task, such as writing lines, for example. When writing lines there is a huge difference between “I am a stupid whore who will never be good enough,” and “My orgasms belong to Master and cumming without permission is theft.” Someone with a self esteem issue forced to write over and over that they are not enough will believe it at their very core. We all have insecurities and preying on a person’s insecurities can pass from degrading into damaging easily. If you’re unsure, reassess.

Using a sub’s phobias against them. Like the example above this is a psychologically damaging thing to do, but I think deserves a category of it’s own. Putting a claustrophobic submissive in a small closet is not a punishment, it’s abusive.

Being afraid to stop the scene. You said that you’d use three implements, but you can see after two that she’s on the verge of breaking down. She’s teetering at the edge and you’re afraid that you’ll be ‘soft’ if you shut the scene down. Don’t be. Your number one responsibility as a Dominant is to protect your submissive’s well-being. Submissives, especially when in a punishment mindset can be hesitant to use their safewords, don’t be afraid to say enough is enough.

Failing to provide aftercare if necessary and leave the transgression behind. Aftercare is still important following a punishment. Hormonal reactions don’t change because this was punishment and not play. When the punishment is over it needs to be OVER. The worst part of punishment for a submissive is knowing you’ve disappointed your Dom, the acts of punishment are a way to move past that feeling and bring Dom and sub back together. If you can’t move past a transgression after punishing your sub then it’s time for a metatalk about the larger problem at play.

If you’re going to punish a Submissive or Little partner (as a non-DD Daddy I’m not a huge fan) at least don’t do it wrong.