The other day, I had a brief chat with a lovely friend also in the scene (henceforth in this post they shall be known as LFAITS) and this happened:
LFAITS: Does it make me a brat if I did something wrong, feel awful about it, but am “looking forward” to the punishment? Like not the pain, just that I am being held accountable? Is that weird?
ME: Slightly. But I think that sometimes it’s understandable to look forward to punishment, as long as you’re not regularly acting out to get punished. Not weird at all. Being held accountable is incredibly…useful. It helps you understand and feel safe and secure in your place in the relationship. It helps build trust, that there will be follow through and your partner(s) words and orders and actions mean something. It enforces care because they are taking time to make it happen and hold you accountable. It’s incredibly fucking important, actually, I think.
LFAITS: Our D/s is super casual…so I look forward to the serious times.
ME: Oh wow. I think I might write on this. Do you mind me anonymously quoting you?
ME: Oh, I hear that, too.
LFAITS: I don’t mind at all
Got me thinking about punishment and corrections and how I also technically “enjoy” them. I don’t derive pleasure from them, but it makes me feel loved and cared for when there are consequences to reinforce that I made a bad decision, acted poorly, or simply willfully disobeyed. (The latter doesn’t happen often at all, but it has been known to happen once or twice.)
Basically, though, the punishment should somehow suite the person, infraction, and reason. Like, I can take lots of impact on my back, but I’m a total ass wuss. I don’t like spankings as part of D/s general play, unless there’s sexual stimulation or penetration involved. However, I know there are some people who love spankings just…as a spanking. Nope. Not me, thank you. But that makes it a very effective tool as a punishment for me, should there be a fitting reason to spank me. Other punishments or corrections I’ve been given are writing assignments, kneeling for a period of time, and sometimes kneeling while holding something, having things I enjoy taken away. I’m curious about emotional punishments, but with everything going on in my life right now, it’s likely better to wait to delve into anything like that. I think I was the best hydrated that I’ve ever been for months after I was made to kneel holding a glass of water because I had not properly hydrated during an event last year.
As far as being bratty, I personally don’t find it bratty to look forward to the serious times, especially when there’s a mostly casual dynamic. In the past, I’ve been collared in a 24/7 relationship and have also been in/am in more casual dynamics that were uncollared. And there have been/are some dynamics that were/are undefinable. But what it boils down to, for me, at least, is knowing that the person on the other end of the lead (tangible lead or not) is there. That we’re both actively involved. It makes me feel safer in the relationship and builds trust.
I remember one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned in regards to this came when I was nannying a few years ago. There was, obviously, no D/s involved between me and the kids. But I observed that the two girls I was nannying would act out around their parents all the time. The parents would then lament that they couldn’t control their kids and regularly ask why I was able to get them to listen to me. What was my secret? They wanted to know. How did I do it?
Simple. I held the kid’s accountable. If I said that we wouldn’t go to the library for story time if they didn’t clean up their toys first, then we didn’t go to the library for story time if they didn’t clean up their toys. If I said that they were going to wind up in time out if they threw a tantrum about getting All The Things at the store when we were going for just milk, bread, and whateverthehellelseIsaidIneededtoget, then they got a time out. Their parents, however, gave in. Or brought them to the library anyway. There was no follow through. And when they did get punished, it happened really abruptly, in angry ways that just made the whole situation feel out of control. The kids didn’t learn anything but to try maybe not push quite so far, but that they could totally get away with way more with their parents than with me. I also said “no” and meant it. I didn’t say it angrily, nor in an upset way. It was matter of fact. Sometimes, I was apologetic, but it was still firm. They learned they couldn’t and shouldn’t push it…with me at least.
I feel like this lesson translates well into life and a D/s dynamic, specifically. Be clear about what you want and your expectations. If something happens that goes against them in a D/s way, then I think punishment/correction is warranted and I, too, have been known to “look forward” to being held accountable in that regard. It gets a little more complicated as adults, though, especially when I don’t think it’s realistic to think that there can be a clear, known punishment for every possible infraction. Sometimes Dom(me)s/Tops have to get creative. But just knowing that there will be a punishment/correction is incredibly important, as far as I’m concerned. I’m curious what others think and have experienced.