The Punishment: Beginners Guide to BDSM Part Two

Tease and Punishment are both important aspects to BDSM. Both of these rely on effective power exchange between partners. Both of them can also be very fulfilling for partners. So how can Punishment be fulfilling?

Punishment is an often-misunderstood aspect of BDSM dynamics. It is a part of Discipline, however punitive punishments with a BDSM dynamic should be rare occurrences and should have a very specific purposes. If you are just beginning a dynamic together, it is actually best to avoid punitive punishments for infractions within the dynamic. Instead, you should communicate about the cause and discuss ways to avoid infractions in the future. Remember that as you are still forming a dynamic and learning about each other, disobedience could be a sign that you need to modify rules, eliminate a rule, or that your partner may not be into the obedience side of power exchange.

That is not to say, however, that Punishment does not have a place in BDSM. In a BDSM dynamic (typically Master/slave or Dominant/submissive), you will find three healthy types of Punishment that helps to build a strong dynamic.

Punishment as Closure

Punishment can serve as closure for a submissive in two ways. As you discuss punishment with your submissive, bring up these ideas to see what he or she thinks.

  • Discipline for infractions within the dynamic. After you speak to your submissive about the infraction, he or she may still feel a need for closure. This is when a punitive punishment should be used, after all communication is had and the submissive needs closure. The punishment should fit the infraction. Spanking is not a one size fits all punishment. Other punishments could include essay writing, an extra task or chore, or a 15-minute time out (note, be present and felt for this type of punishment).
  • Discipline for infractions or perceived infractions outside of the dynamic. Sometimes a submissive may feel stress or guilt for an action that he or she took outside of a dynamic. This can be anything as minor as cutting someone off in traffic to having to discipline or lay off an employee at work. Impact punishment is often a good choice, and this type of punishment should blend pleasure and pain. Discuss limits with your submissive and how close he or she wants to be pushed to those limits as part of this type of punishment. Only break a pain limit if your submissive asks you directly to do so.

Play Punishment

Play punishment is meant to just be fun. If you incorporate this into your dynamic, it should be clear that the “infractions” are only play and that the “punishments” used are not serious. Typically, this involves “punishing” an “infraction” with an activity that you would do anyway. For example, a submissive caught peeking on you as you dress would have to service you in some way.

Punishments to Avoid

There are things you should always avoid when using punishment in a dynamic.

  • Avoid Punishing out of anger and do not deliver a punishment while you are angry.
  • Do not ignore your submissive. Ignoring a submissive for any period is harmful to the relationship.
  • Do not break limits or use hard limits as punishments.
  • Do not deny your submissive the ability to use his or her safe word.
  • Do not threaten to end the dynamic as a form of punishment.
  • Do not threaten to take away something or to punish someone else if those things or people are not directly involved in your dynamic.
  • Never perform a punishment where it can embarrass your submissive (even if you are into humiliation play).

Both Tease and Punishment can enrich a dynamic. Understanding the ways to play with these very complex activities is important. It can be enriching and fun (even punishment sometimes). Most of all, what you do together will help you grow as a couple.

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