Pain as a punisment

So I recently reconnected with an ex (we’ll call him Beck) after he reached out, asking about my views on love.  Since then, we’ve talked about a lot, but he did bring up an interesting point.

In a recent post, I made the comment that using pain to punish a masochist is never a good idea.

However, a few months ago, in my group on Fetlife, I made the comment that I will use pain with a masochistic sub, with great success.

And for someone who’s so into precision of language and all that, it’s a bit on the unclear side.  So allow me to clear it up.

First of all, here’s what I wrote in the group discussion.

I’ve always had success using various forms of corporal punishment. Subs like my husband are easy. He doesn’t have a masochistic bone in his body, and hates pain. But even masochists I’ve owned, I’ve been able to use whipping/spanking/paddling as an effective punishment, simply by manipulating their headspace, keeping them from entering subspace, keeping the endorphins from kicking in.

So they get the adrenaline, the physical pain, the sense of inevitability, the frustration, and the fear, but none of the pleasure or after burn that usually comes with it.

But I guess I should point out that the actual punishment is more emotional/mental than physical at that point. It’s a very uncomfortable, unnerving, disturbing headspace, and some handle it better than others. Some, like my husband, react with anger, and need to be tied down. Others have broken down and sobbed or screamed, from fear, anxiety, or just being generally overwhelmed. One would become very quiet and withdrawn for hours or days afterward, and needed to be gently coaxed back out of his shell.

But then, I prefer to take D/s relationships a bit deeper and darker than most, as far as the psychological aspect goes, so every punishment I’ve used has incorporated that kind of headspace.

I love using emotions like fear, anxiety, or anger in a punishment. Now, I mean the sub’s emotions. Not mine. I never touch a boy when I’m angry or upset. I play hard, and my self-control is the only thing keeping me out of prison and a boy out of the hospital. I don’t fuck with that.

Spanking, whipping, flogging, etc. has always been fantastic, in my experience, because it’s also something I’ll do for fun, something I enjoy, and something that can be quite light-hearted and entertaining. My husband doesn’t particularly like it, unless he’s already in that headspace, but my collared boy is quite masochistic, as are my sissy and my newest boy.

So taking that act, taking an activity that brings mutual enjoyment, and warping it into something twisted and dark, something that he legitimately fears and wants to escape from, and then taking away his ability to escape inside his head, to escape into subspace, has proven quite effective in my experience.

So yes, I do use pain to punish a masochistic sub.  And it’s quite effective, and gets my point across.

Then why did I tell Sarah that it’s a bad idea?

The easiest answer is because Sarah is relatively new to the lifestyle, and still learning, and was dealing with a specific issue with her sub in their relationship.  I don’t know Sarah personally, so I have no idea what her strengths and weaknesses are as a Dominant.  She may very well be capable of manipulating her sub’s headspace during a punishment.  It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest.

But she stated that the punishments she’d been using weren’t effective, and that pain wasn’t working to correct the behavior she wanted to correct.

For the average inexperienced Dominant, when dealing with an unruly, masochistic sub, pain is not a good idea.  You’ll note that later in that post, I told Sarah that there are no rules, that she knows her sub, and to trust her instincts.

Manipulating a sub’s headspace is something that simply takes time to learn.  Keeping a sub out of subspace is something that can’t really be explained using generalities.  It’s not something I can teach in a blog post.  It’s something that has to be experienced.  Trial and error.  Watching and observing the sub.  Talking to him before, during, and after, to find out what kind of effects you had on his mind.

That’s something that Sarah, as well as every Dominant starting down this path, needs to learn on their own.  Once you figure out how to twist and warp something your sub likes into something they fear, then yes, you can absolutely use pain to punish a masochist.  Until then, no, using pain to punish a masochist is generally not a good idea.

Every relationship is different, every dynamic is different, every sub and every Domme is different.  Find out what works for you, and do that.

4 thoughts on “Pain as a punisment

  1. The way I have always seen it. If you inflict pain as punishment on someone who likes it or even wants it. Then it’s not punishment. Spanking me or the like is doubtful to change a behavior problem and would probably encourage worse behavior. Even though I know better. Punishments should be punishments. In the regard the sub/slave dreads them. And there’s where creativity and sometimes simple things make the most punishing things.

    • Domina Jen says:

      You’re absolutely right. A punishment that ends up being pleasurable for the sub won’t be an effective way to modify behavior. That’s why, if I do decide to use pain on a masochist, I have to consciously work to alter his mindset, to keep those pleasurable endorphins from coming.

      And that’s not something that’s easy for a lot of people. So a good general rule is just to avoid pain when punishing a masochist. There are too many other creative things to do to for punishment.

  2. dave94015 says:

    Reblogged this on dave94015 and commented:
    How manipulating your partner’s subspace can change funishment into punishment

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