Do you accept and/or expect discipline or punishments as a part of your submission? How do you feel about it?
Damn this question, because you know, honestly it was something I wanted to talk about next week in a slightly different way. Alas, here I am.
If you want the short version, then no, I don’t accept punishments. I think that punishments are sometimes used by couples who think that punishments sort of what makes up a BDSM relationship, and anything else is simply “not doing it right”. It might not be intentional and it might not be abusive, but when entering a BDSM relationship, it’s important to know and understand that you don’t have to have punishments, and nearly always, what works for one kinky couple (or group) won’t necessarily work for another. Do what works for you, but also know that punishments aren’t personally what’s right for us.
Now for the long version:
As a brat, something that is often assumed is that I am wild and out of control. I cannot be tamed or handled, and the only way to bring me under rule is to train me and punish me. I want to give you two snippets of conversations that I have had on Whisper recently as examples of Dominants trying to do just that:
(Upon talking about my local woods, and the way that I like to tease my partner when we walk through them)
Him: Will you lean against the trees and pose seductively for me?
Me: I’m more likely to tease you about which trees will support me and then skip away laughing, to be honest.
Him: That can be trained out of you.
Him: I’m Dom, you’re my sub. Got it?
Me: Haha, am I really?
Him: Shut up or I’ll tie you up.
(At that point, I laughed and blocked this aggressive, entitled asshole).
For me, both of these are nightmarish situations that try to control and limit my ability and freedoms to express myself, something that I strongly object to. They restrict my ability to have fun with my partner and they may even indicate to me that my partner doesn’t have a sense of humour, something that I would severely struggle with. No, to me punishments can sometimes be unnecessary when a normal, civil conversation will do. Let me just remind you of Anastasia’s reaction to the idea of punishments in this short clip as it closely resembles my own:
Growing up, punishment was something that I was used to. I don’t like to say my parents were abusive, but they weren’t afraid to met out a punishment when they felt wronged. Grounded, time on the naughty step (or in our bedrooms) or often some form of corporal punishment. With my experiences growing up in a rough neighbourhood on top, punishment and controlling behaviour in a relationship was akin to domestic abuse in my eyes. No, I was firmly decided that punishments weren’t something that I wanted to have.
“I don’t want you to be afraid of me” he said firmly, “I don’t want you to be afraid to be you, to be afraid to do or be or say anything in case I punish you.”
It was at that moment that I knew this might just work. It was at that moment that I knew that he could be a good Dominant for me, nay, even the only Dominant for me. He loved me for who and what I was, and I felt safe around him. He didn’t want to change a hair on my head, and for that, I respected him. Once he had my trust and respect, he started to work in other areas, too.
Embracing my bratty side was one of the first things he did. As long as I stopped when I was told to and didn’t do things that were intentionally malicious or cruel, being a brat was fine. My cheeky, bratty self comes from a place of heart, he realised. It was about enlightening and brightening the world. No, he didn’t want me to stop that, and as long as I knew how and where to use it (and I do), being playful and cheeky was perfectly allowed.
In return for his acceptance, I accepted “funishments” with grace. Not being punished doesn’t mean that Wolfie won’t crack his hand across my ass if I’m cheeky to him, it just means that it’s just as fun and light-hearted as the joke or comment itself. I came to accept his rules with little question (though I did contest firmly if I did have something to say) and we created a dynamic that worked for us. Now that he accepted my playful nature, his rules and expectations mattered more. Pretty soon, I found that I didn’t want to break the rules.
Why would I not want to dress well for him? I didn’t.
Why would I want to laze in bed all day and not find ways to make him happy? I don’t.
Even when I do break the rules, there are no punishments, only discussions and a promise to do better. After that, a “necessary” spanking would most likely me feeling confused and traumatised, and definitely unsure about the state of my relationship. In order to get me to stay, Mr Wolfie realised that other things needed to go.
Are the rules and dynamics that we have the same ones that a lot of couples use? No. Are they the rules and dynamics that work for us? Absolutely, and that’s really all that matters.