Supporting his sub takes many forms for a Dom. One that is important is encouraging good behaviour. How a coupling choose to define “good” does, of course, vary from pair to pair. But what will be usual is delivering a sanction for breaching the guidelines and rules that have been agreed or have evolved between you.
The usual disclaimer: I’m giving my opinion, discussing my instinct. I’m not didactically telling anyone how to do things or saying it’s “The Right Way”. Just that it’s “My Way.”
In my view these sanctions fall into two very different and distinct areas: Correction and Discipline.
Correction is fun and playful. There may at times be serious purpose behind it, but that needn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed. Whatever form it takes; spanking with a hand, a belt, a flogger, straps, tawses… it is founded in play. The infringements, while real, are in the grand scheme of things trivial. Unimportant except for the fact that they have been tasked by the Dom. This creates a pretext for play where a Dom can enjoy the act of Correction and empty his sub’s mind. She can enjoy receiving Correction, and allow her mind to empty.
The act of Correction becomes a ritual between you, a familiar route for you both to quickly find subspace for her. By having an understanding between you of the things that will lead to Correction, the sub will know what to expect from it, whether she’s going to benefit from a short, light spanking with a hand or a more sustained Correction with a belt, whether she’ll be over her Dom’s knee, a table, or bound to a bed, for instance.
Regardless of the type, degree and length of Correction, you both know what’s coming. You both know why, you’re both going to enjoy it, both know it’s play, it’s fun, sensual, it’s going to lead to tender caresses, care, forgiveness and orgasms.
A delicious viscous circle.
Discipline is a very different matter. At the S/M end of the BDSM spectrum, Discipline is desired, used in the same way as Correction, as an escalation of it, but into areas the sub doesn’t wish to go. I feel this is a corruption.
For me, Discipline is used when a sub acts against her own best interests. It’s important for a Dom to be able to distinguish between that and acting in a way he dislikes or disapproves, and for a sub to trust that he knows the difference. Because in the same way that Correction is for ‘trivia’, Discipline is about things that really matter to her.
A Dom shouldn’t want to Discipline his sub. If he wants or is eager to Discipline, then he’s eager for her to behave in a way that is against her interests. And that would be a failure on his part to support and guide her.
Given that, Discipline can’t be play. It can’t be something the Dom enjoys, because the behaviour that caused it should be something he discourages and doesn’t want. If he’s using Discipline as a pretext for caning his sub (for instance, a more severe impact play that he’d use for correction), where he wouldn’t normally cane her or have consent to use a cane in play, and caning is something that he finds enjoyable, arousing, then Discipline becomes almost his prize for her acting against her interests. This encourages him to allow her to act in a way that is negative for her. That’s surely a failure at the very foundation of D/s. Just a vicious circle. With the ‘Dom’ being vicious.
The other aspect the Discipline should recognise is that failure on my part. I should feel as bad about having to Discipline as she does for having to be. So the method of Discipline should be something that the Dom wants to avoid, too. Otherwise it becomes a vicious circle of a Dom tacitly encouraging negative behaviour to enable him to indulge his sadistic tendency to punish and inflict pain.
Quite what that method of Discipline should be, I feel is dependent on the cause of the Discipline, making it as appropriate as possible. But by ensuring that the Dom shares in the Discipline, finds it as uncomfortable or unpleasant as his sub finds it, ensures that he is going to be eager to avoid Disciplining his sub, and to encourage positive behaviours and encourages her to always act in her best interests.
To give an example from a recent conversation, not doing your taxes on time is acting against your best interests, and so would incur Discipline. The method of Discipline? I [half] jokingly said it would be for her to sit and watch while I do her taxes for her.
Will she enjoy watching me go through all her finances? Will I enjoy doing her taxes? Will either of us enjoy spending our valuable time together doing the year’s accounts?
Do we both want to avoid that?
Because I make this distinction, my sub knows that my motives behind Discipline are genuinely about her best interests, not about creating a pretext to indulge myself. She knows I strive to support her, because I want to avoid not only the feeling of having to Discipline her, but the method of Discipline just as much as she does. She knows I would consider it my failure as her Dom.
This also builds the foundation of trust, and the security of care she knows I am for her. Which in turn means that I’m better able to challenge her boundaries when I feel the time is right.
So I never want my sub to act against her best interests, I support her without any ulterior motive and she wants to please me by being the best she can be. I’m pleased to say that because she knows I have this intrinsic supportive nature of Discipline, I’ve never had to Discipline her.
I hope she does those taxes.
© Charles Rochester 2015