was successfully added to your cart.

Cart

Punishment, Discipline or Something Else: The Curious Case of Wording in the #BDSM Community

By 2019-05-09Uncategorized

What Is Punishment? What is Discipline? As it turns out, there are many words for the exact same thing. What I see as being punishment is what others call discipline.

Punishment. It’s a word W/we use in the BDSM community often. It seems like a simple word. By definition it means: “the infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offense” (Dictionary.com).

But in O/our community, W/we have a debate about what this “infliction or imposition” entails.

For many, punishment is anything done to them. For example, an s-type who violates a rule of the dynamic will get a spanking. Others might just be flogged or caned. This branch of the BDSM community views punishment as anything done to the s-type, regardless of what the violation was.

This poses a few issues for me:

  • What is done to “reward” the s-type? I use the counterword here in quotes because a balanced relationship—whether “vanilla” or a BDSM dynamic—must have a series of “rewards” and “punishments” in some manner. A relationship of all “punishment” is abuse. A dynamic of all “rewards” isn’t a BDSM dynamic at all. A give-and-take, a system of “rewards” and “punishments” is required.
  • What constitutes play?

 

These two points are at the center of the debate.

For Me and others, punishment follows the dictionary definition.

Of course, W/we all have a system specific to the dynamic in which W/e exist. But this is my personal view on the “reward/punishment” system: I do NOT like the term “reward” within the context of BDSM dynamics. For me, it’s simply ‘play’, the way my subs and I operate within O/our dynamic.

Punishment is a system of corrective actions. I spent 13 years in the U.S Army and am a parent. As a result, I use tactics—punishments—that are aimed at correcting any behaviour that deviates from O/our agreed upon protocols. I don’t use a paddle or my crop or any of my tools. My tools are for enjoyment, not for punishment.

By ensuring my tools (some call them ‘toys’, so fill in whatever word you use for what you use with your subs) are used for “rewards”, I instill in them a reverence, a respect, a love. When a sub sees a paddle come out, or ever feels my arm close around their neck, they know Master (some subs refer to me as Mommy) loves them and will be helping them better understand the depth and breadth of my love and respect for them.

Instead of impregnating my tools with negative meaning—like how a belt or spoon has if you ever received corporal punishment as a child—I have my subs do very crappy tasks. For example, should one of them ever spend money in a wasteful manner, I would punishment them by making them stand facing the wall. They’d then have to hold a coin against the wall with a finger at full arm’s length. If the coin drops before the designated time is up—which is determined by the amount of money wasted on some petty or pointless purchase (like buying a ‘fidget spinner’). I calculate the time required at 25% of the purchase amount (i.e., $100 = 25 minutes like that)—then they restart the clock but with both hands now holding up a coin.

As they stand there performing the horrible punishment, I have them recite why they are being punished and what they should have done. In this example, I’d expect them to say something along the lines of, “I will use O/our money for purchases that are not frivolous, Master.”

I’m not stating that others who don’t proscribe to this literal sense of “the infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offense” in their dynamics are wrong. My intent is to show the language gap we have. I do think we need to work on a more centralized dictionary of O/our own which allows newcomers and veterans alike to be better able to speak in a way that avoids any misunderstandings. “Punishment” is as good a place to start as any.

Miss Ruby

Miss Ruby

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: