Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Slave Mythology: Bad Slave! No Cookie!: Punishment Dynamics

Soooooo, Punishment. It's a thing. It's one of those topics I expect to see numerous posts on in Fetlandia, but I always dread them. Half the time, they consist of "tell me/my owner how to punish my s-type/me!" The other half are perfectly legitimate questions, but half the responses are lectures about how not everyone does punishment, or useless responses of "we don't do punishment," or, the most irritating, "we don't do punishment. We prefer communication because we're adults." 


I really don't understand the abject disdain some people have for punishment dynamics. I mean, it's okay if it's not your thing, but do you really have to be a complete asshole about it? I can only assume people have had bad experiences with it that soured it for them. I've had my own share of bad experiences, but, for me, it's still an integral part of an M/s dynamic for me. I require that as a feature. It's just how I roll. 

So, let me dispel a few arguments here. Warning, ranty times ahead...

Asinine Statement #1

I'm an adult. I don't need punishment. We discuss it like adults.
Thank you, inconsiderate bitchface, for just implying that those who participate in such dynamics are somehow childish and less of an adult.

This is simply idiotic. Just because one chooses to have a consequence system set up for their D/s or M/s interaction doesn't make them somehow more immature. I mean, you're in a punishment dynamic with your local law enforcement. You fuck up, and they're going to fine you, put you in jail, or a number of other delightful things that constitutes punishment. Does this make you childish? I don't think so. It's a dynamic that people want to have. If it works for them, great! It doesn't make them not adults.

The strangest thing is, I've seen this one lobbed at "funishment" recently. Now, I think the word "funishment" is incredibly stupid and it doesn't really sound sexy to me, but I found the "I don't do funishment. I'm enough an adult that if I can ask for a flogging if I want one." Um...okay, while I'm annoyed by the half cocked arguments against punishment, going after a type of play like that is kind of weird? You're disdainful of a game?Why? What's the point in that? Unless you have a raging hate on for brats and brat play and consider funishment a brat thing. 

Idiotic Statement #2
 We don't do punishment. We discuss things. We communicate instead of just punishing.
Well, no shit, Sherlock. Where the fuck did you get the idea that punishment precludes communication? Do you have this image in your head?

S-type: -does something stupid-
D-type: Bitch! -spanks s-type's ass-
S-type: -cries and goes about being all slaverly-

Punishment is a tool used to enhance communication. It does not take the place of it. If communication weren't an inherent part of the punishment dynamic, punishment would be pointless. Think of it like a punctuation mark. It doesn't prevent one from discussing the problem and how to fix it, but it does (well, a lot of the time) put an end to the issue.

Those of us who do punishment still talk about what error was made and how to correct it. Punishment is just part of the process. Many arguments are that it's terrible for behavior modification. But it's not the punishment that changes the behavior. Sure, it provides incentive, but it can't change behavior by itself. But neither can talking. The changing of the behavior is ultimately the responsibility of the s-type. Without the desire to change the behavior, no external force is going to fix that. Discussion, punishment, and reward. They're all external motivations. Which ones inspire the internal motivation to improve varies by person. 

Obnoxious Assumption #3
Physical punishments do not work on masochists.
What?

No, seriously. What? Where do people get the idea that masochism equals the love of all pain? Being a masochist doesn't mean you're going to get a (lady) boner from slamming your hand in a door, breaking a leg, or childbirth. NOT ALL PAIN IS SEXY.

I'm a masochist, but you know what? I hate canes. FUCKING LOATHE THEM. Studded belts put me in a homicidal rage. Stubbing my toe? Yeah, doesn't get me wet at all. It makes me say fuck, but it doesn't make me want to fuck.

We may like pain, but that doesn't mean we can't be punished with it. Punishment pain is a damn sight different than pleasurable pain.

/ranty times

Your reward for sitting through the ranty times. Have a
Fairy Bunny. 

Regardless of type of dynamic I've been a part of, punishment has always been a given. It was part and parcel of the whole power exchange package. It never really occurred to me that it could be otherwise. It's like blow jobs. I hate blow jobs, but blow jobs are part of the whole slave thing. The chances of meeting a man who doesn't like blow jobs is abysmally small. :D

Now, I could do without blow jobs. I'd be super happy if he told me I never had to do that again. However, punishment is an institution of which I'm rather fond. Sure, it sucks, but despite being a writer, I am very physical when it comes to my interpersonal communication. I like having tangible consequences for things. It makes my brain happy. It gives me a degree of closure that talking alone just doesn't manage. It's a clear sign that the issue has been addressed and forgiven and is now no longer an issue. 

I also like it that the rules are enforced with something more substantial. Without it, it feels like your options are talk or leave. It actually reminds me of a quote from McLintock! by the shopkeeper. McLintock! has always been my favorite John Wayne movie, since I was a little kid. I have a feeling the two spanking scenes had something to do with that. Anyway, towards the end of the movie, after you've spent nearly two hours listening to Katherine be a straight up bitch to GW, Birnbaum (the shopkeeper) drops this little gem:
"My father used to say, if you raise your voice [and] it doesn't do any good, it's time to raise your hand." 
Now, before you get all up in arms about that quote promoting domestic violence or abuse, all he does is spank her, and she chases after him and they live happily ever after. 


This quote resonates with me. As does this one:
"Servants cannot be corrected by mere words; though they understand, they will not respond." - Proverbs 29:19
Not to say that discussion alone doesn't work for others. It does. I just prefer the additional element of punishment. I have a strong desire for force. If my relationship is lacking that element, it doesn't feel like M/s to me. I like that he will backup his words with force. I like the fact that he will make my life suck until I do what I'm told. That's actually one of the rules on the big list. 

"Orders are not negotiable, and failure to comply will be punished. After a punishment is completed, the original order still stands, and will be followed or punishment will continue until it is."

That one gives me the warm fuzzies. It solidifies that feeling of ownership for me. Not only because he can do it, but because he will.

I honestly don't understand the amount of contention the subject of punishment produces. It's a fairly common element among power exchange dynamics. I don't see the need for all the contempt for the practice. It seems like people feel the need to justify their lack of it or something by emphasizing some perceived inferiority. Or maybe it's a part of the whole one twue way bullshit. 

I don't know. But punishment is a thing. It works for some. It doesn't for others. Personally, I'm a fan. It makes my little slave spleen squee with happyface. 


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