Punishment in the day-to-day

Domina Jen,

I’ve never been all that interested in D/s outside of the bedroom.  I guess you’d say I’m a bottom, rather than a sub.  But one of the biggest issues I have with a 24/7 D/s relationship, and the biggest reason I think it doesn’t work in the long run, is this idea of punishment.

You talk about respecting your subs, but how can you respect someone when you punish them?  Isn’t that treating them like children?  How does punishment and the ability to punish a sub for their mistakes fit into a healthy relationship?

Anonymous

Well…

First of all, define “long run.”  Because I have a 6-year-long relationship and two year-ish-long relationships that say you’re full of shit, bro.  Just because it may not work for you doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.

And I have to laugh whenever people claim that punishment only exists in D/s relationships.  Because it’s absolutely not true.

I’m going to quote Steel here.  You can see a sub’s point of view on it.  Now he’s never been punished by me, but this is not his first D/s relationship, and he’s familiar with the practice.

Anyone who’s suffered through a lengthy drive in silence can attest to the fact that punishments exist in conventional relationships. However, behavior is coded in faux-egalitarianism and therefore erratic and often arbitrary. In contrast, those living in a lifestyle BDSM relationship usually have an explicit binary of power and specific rules which, if broken, lead to a submissive being punished.

Punishment is not an exclusively D/s thing.  Regulated punishment is an exclusively D/s thing.

D/s relationships don’t just work, they work better (in my experience) than vanilla ones, because, in no small part, of those blue sentences up there.

In a D/s relationship, expectations are hammered out in agonizing detail, rules are set and agreed upon, and the dynamic is given quite a bit more attention than in your average conventional relationship.  Partners are expected to talk about their needs/wants/desires/fantasies, sexual or otherwise.  The level of communication required for a successful D/s relationship far surpasses that for a vanilla one.

There are things I know about the men I’ve owned for a year or less that my friends don’t know about the husbands they’ve been married to for a decade or more.  And when you suggest they talk to their husbands, the answer is always the same.  They’re too nervous or scared to say what they want.  They don’t feel comfortable talking about sex.  It’s too taboo.

So when you have a relationship where neither partner feels comfortable enough to talk, how can expectations be hashed out with any degree of clarity?  And when one partner falls short of those unspoken expectations, there’s no telling what kind of behavior that will cause.

In my relationships, if a sub falls short of my expectations, they know exactly what will happen.  I may be angry, sure, or disappointed.  But there won’t be any cold shoulders, pouting, foot-stomping, or passive-aggressive remarks.

There will be a single punishment, with a clear beginning and a clear end, and then life goes on.  There’s no need to bring it up again in two weeks or two months or two years down the line.  And there’s no need for them to continue beating themselves up for a mistake.  It’s handled, it’s over, and we both move on with no fighting or arguing.

Sometimes, of course, a discussion needs to be had about what caused the behavior, and if there are any adjustments that should be made to the relationship.

But if there’s a problem with the dynamic, or if a need isn’t being met, then fuck yes I’m going to punish them for acting out instead of talking to me about it long before it got to that point.  I’m not an unreasonable person, and my subs are not children.  They have a voice.  And they’ve been with me long enough to know that I expect them to tell me when there’s a problem, and that they can expect me to listen patiently, and with compassion and understanding.

If I don’t know something’s wrong, I can’t fix it.  And I take no responsibility for failing to fix a problem I didn’t know existed.  They’re grown-ass men, and I expect them to have the balls to talk to me like an adult instead of acting out like children.  Fuck yes, I will punish them for that 100% of the time.

Still, they have a voice, even in punishment.  Not a loud one, but again, I’m not unreasonable.  If there’s something wrong in a relationship, my goal is to find out what it is and fix it.  But they know what I expect of them.

Now it’s important to note that I have expectations I need to meet, too.  Every Dominant does.  And my subs know that they can always talk to me about those expectations.  I don’t pretend to be perfect.  I know I’m going to fuck up at some point.

Should I fall short of those expectations, do they have the power to punish me?  Hell no.  And should there be a lengthy drive in silence, cold shoulders, or passive aggressive remarks, I know how to remind them of their place and get to the root of the problem.

So no, they cannot punish me.  They aren’t even given the opportunity to do it by more “conventional” methods.  Is that unfair?  Perhaps, but it goes right back to the very first lesson my mentor taught me.

A submissive gives up control for freedom.  A Dominant gives up freedom for control.  I don’t have the freedom to lose my temper or get petty or do any of that bullshit.  I’ve always got to be aware of that.

Do I fuck up sometimes?  Sure.  But I expect my boys to tell me when it happens and help me get back on track.

I actually fucked up just recently, with Kazander.  We’ve been dealing with a shitload of problems with his family (and depending how things go when his parents get home, we might actually be in the market for a new place to live, it’s gotten that fucking bad) and up until recently, I’ve been handling it all.

Weeks of that wears a person down, and I’ll admit, I’d been grouchy all that evening.  And I was unintentionally taking it out on Kazander, snapping at him for no real reason.  Finally, he said:

“I know you’re stressed.  But remember, you’re pissed at them, not at me.”

I immediately realized what I’d been doing.  “Fuck, you’re right.  I’m sorry.”

And things went back to normal after that.  I realized that I was falling short of my expectations of myself, and I was falling short of Kazander’s expectations of me.  And he deserves better than that.  All three of my boys deserve better than that.

Had he been the one snapping at me, I would have spanked him or done some other punishment.  He doesn’t have the power to do that to me, and he never will.

Is that unfair?  Yes, I suppose so.  But a D/s dynamic is an inherently unfair one.  I call the shots.  He doesn’t.  Steel doesn’t.  Sounder doesn’t.  No man or woman I ever own will.

That’s why my relationships work.

27 thoughts on “Punishment in the day-to-day

  1. This is brilliant… a perfect response. I think I fell in love with you a little bit for a second there. 😄

  2. s.s. says:

    wonderful response! I love you more each and every day!

  3. James says:

    That’ll teach him to ask a question. The whole “You’re full of shit bro” makes me wonder about ” they can expect me to listen patiently, and with compassion and understanding.”

    • Domina Jen says:

      A) I don’t own the guy who asked the question, therefore have exactly zero obligation to him.

      B) Why are you upset about my response? It wasn’t directed at you; you didn’t ask the question. I *know* you didn’t ask the question, because I know (in person) who asked the question.

      C) This blog is what I choose to share, and nothing more. There’s an entire backstory here that’s no one’s damn business, and will remain no one’s damn business.

      D) Your comment doesn’t offend me. This is my space, my house, my blog. Were you expecting me to be upset? Passionately defend myself? Angrily attack you? I don’t know you. I’ve never met you. And I don’t care about the opinions of strangers.

  4. James says:

    Seems I stumbled into quite the nasty little neighborhood because your blog was linked on another one I was reading, and I thought I’d check it out.

    My reaction was due to the fact that the blog seemed to invite questions from people you don’t know, yet provoked an uncivil and hostile response.

    • Domina Jen says:

      Your reaction may have been well-meaning, but came off as trolling and drama-mongering. Neither of which are anything I’m hugely interested in entertaining.

      If you were actually interested in doing anything other than trying to “call me out,” why the snarkiness and sarcasm? If you actually had a question/concern/perspective you legitimately wanted to share, why write an “uncivil and hostile response?”

      Nah, I don’t buy that. And I’m done feeding the troll.

      • James says:

        I initially agreed with the original post, was interested in the response, and saw “you’re full of shit bro.” It struck me that you were looking for people to make posts like that and then kick them in the teeth if you disagreed.

        I think the original post makes a legitimate point because of the nature and unilateral imposition of the punishments in D/s relationships is hard to reconcile with “respect” for someone. The “silent treatment” or “cold shoulder” thing doesn’t feel nearly the same as getting hit, at least not to me. The “regulated” nature and certainty of punishment does seem to be an inherent feature of D/s relationships, but that seemed to be a somewhat different issue, albeit perhaps a benefit of D/s.

        It also seems inherently more difficult to feel protected enough to communicate real feelings and concerns with someone who has the authority to punish you, especially if the punishment is harsh and physical. The tone in which your response was written suggested that it might be all the more difficult to do that with you, even though you said you encouraged (or even demanded) such communication. I’d be walking on eggshells.

        That’s what interested me in the post. I guess that makes me a troll.

      • Domina Jen says:

        Alright, so this one actually has some validity to it, and my response got super long, so I’m answering it in a separate post.

  5. Oy! I did so much eye rolling over the original question and troll comments that I’m surprised I don’t need surgery to restore my optic muscles.

    Of course it works! Geez. Communication and consistency. That’s all it takes. It’s a lot of freaking work. So much work that one or both partners may drop the ball causing issues which, if not addressed, can lead to the destruction of the relationship … just like any vanilla relationship. Neglect leads to failure.

  6. Gguy says:

    Ms.Jen, I just wanted to write a few thoughts this morning before a busy day. I do admire the structured lifestyle You have developed, and admire the amount of thought that has gone into it.
    I do believe that the vanilla and kink world do have ties, and are not totally seperate.because of this belief, I do see relationships such as Yours to be the wave of the future, I do feel that the current “power sharing” is only a phase on the road to a Female Centric Society, with men taking on more of a support role, as our power fades, it will be quite important for Women to guide us, and help us understand the new way of doing things….
    Sorry for the short response, need to run now.

    • Domina Jen says:

      Thank you for the kind words, and there’s no need to apologize.

      While I believe your position is true and right for me, personally, I find myself hesitating to agree with you on a grander scale.

      My thoughts on female superiority are mixed. Female human beings are biologically superior to male human beings, but that does not necessarily mean a female centric society would be a good idea on the whole.

      I’ll be the first to admit that many women should not lead anyone. That also goes for many men. For me, it’s not about gender. I’ve known many Dommes that have disgusted and angered me, and made me fear for the subs under their care. The same is true for Doms.

      I’ve also known Doms and Dommes that have more than earned the respect they’re given, who are fit to lead many, and can handle the pressures of the position with grace.

      I do not think the gender roles in society should be switched, and men should become the helpmates women were forced to be. I don’t think that would solve anything.

      I think gender roles should disappear. Completely. They serve no purpose to society as a whole. I would not want to live in a female dominated society, because being female does not make someone capable of leading. Just like being male does not make someone capable of leading.

      • Gguy says:

        Ms. Jen, hmmm after hearing that, I would have to agree with You, as they say, it’s aWomans perogitive to change his mind” seriously though, Your points are hard to dispute, and people should not be forced into roles, or criticized for choosing a certain lifestyle, the idea of being free to be owned, may confuse some, but makes sense to me.

  7. DH says:

    “Trolling and drama mongering.” That is what “James” does. I found your blog because there is a link to it from his blog, which he entitles Disciplined Husbands, but it’s really one long anti-Domme, anti-domestic discipline rant. https://disciplinedhusbands.blogspot.com. He characterizes it as a “rebuttal” to a Female Led Relationship blog that he was removed from for doing exactly what he’s tried to do to on your blog — ask some “questions” that are really critiques, then throw a hissy fit when the blog owner calls him out.

    • Domina Jen says:

      I just looked through his blog. Wow, there’s a surprising degree of anger and hostility there, that makes me wonder what’s actually going on in his head. I’m thinking he’s a closet misogynist, or unhappy and unfulfilled in his marriage, or having trouble feeling like he’s being heard in his day-to-day life, and is therefore looking to get attention on the internet.

      Regardless, thank you for bringing this to my attention. I’ll definitely keep an eye on his comments and how he composes himself, and will block if necessary.

      • Gguy says:

        I always find it to be strange when people have to try so hard to criticise what works for other people ….

      • Domina Jen says:

        I agree, definitely.

      • DH says:

        Very true, other than the “closet” part. Once he gets going, he’s pretty openly hostile to women. It’s also hilarious that he constantly gripes about the reception he gets after leaving trolling comments on other people’s blogs, but his own blog is set such that no one can comment at all! Hypocritical much?

      • Domina Jen says:

        Eh, people always tend to be more courageous and more mean on the internet. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now, but I’ll definitely keep an eye out.

  8. Gguy says:

    Ironically , men who disrespect Women of power also disrespect the men that choose to serve them, I suppose it is hard to say where such feelings come from, I suppose people can be born that way, or get that way from an experience , or most likely a combination of both.
    Fortunately for some of us, our experience with Dominant Womnen has had a positive effect, I must admit to having lost more than one power struggle with Women, but always end up respecting them for their power, and ultimately getting a lot of satisfaction from serving them with respect and obedience.

  9. James says:

    I choose not to bring this blog into a long-standing feud I have had with DH. However, I do not concede that the characterizations of me or my positions are valid or accurate.

    • Domina Jen says:

      Which is exactly why I said I’d give you the benefit of the doubt here. The blogosphere is a small world, filled with politics, and I choose not to play games. I didn’t see your comments on the other blog, but I saw the blog you run, and as long as you keep your hostility and hateful comments there, and don’t write them here, you and I are golden.

      But given what I’ve seen myself of your behavior and your tendency to say things in what seems like an emotionally immature, purposefully douchebag-y way (you know, sort of like your first comment here), along with the new information I’ve been given, I will not hesitate to block you if I feel like you’re being a dick.

      This is my blog, not yours. There is no right to free speech here, and while I don’t censor those who disagree with me, I *do* censor assholes and trolls.

      It’s possible to disagree with someone and still remain polite and civil. You seem like an intelligent person, I’m sure you understand that, and will make sure future disagreements/questions/concerns are written in a constructive manner, with the purpose of gaining information or sharing perspective, instead of a dickish one, with the purpose of pissing people off, starting drama, and drawing attention to yourself.

      Remember this is my space, and you’re a guest here, given the privilege to have your voice heard. I will revoke that in a heartbeat, and I have before.

      As long as you keep that in mind, I don’t give two fucks what you say on other blogs. Be polite and respectful on mine, and I have no problem with you.

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