What means someone’s being “Good”?
As is true for many in D/s, telling The Girl she’s a Good Girl, is very important to me. But what is that? What constitutes “being good”? And how does it relate to being a “Bad Girl”?
I know many subs would play at being a bad girl, or be treated by her Dom as if she’s been a bad girl for play. Role playing at being a Bad Girl for her Dom’s enjoyment, or role playing the receipt of punishment for her enjoyment, is in itself being good. But a sub should never be honestly treated by her Dom as if she’s been a Bad Girl if she hasn’t, because those lines shouldn’t be blurred. If she’s been Good she shouldn’t be punished, or you’re positively encouraging her not to be good. Of course, what constitutes punishment and reward differs depending on where you sit on the BDSM spectrum, as does the language you use to frame your behaviour.
But what does “Bad” and “Good” mean, then?
I’ve said before (very proudly, I might add) that The Girl has never done anything that I’ve had to discipline her for. (Yes, she did her taxes on time. Phew!) Bad leads to Discipline. For me it’s far easier to define Bad than Good. “Bad” would be something that isn’t true to herself, is done with hurtful intent, weakens the bond between us, or is against her best interests.
It doesn’t follow that everything “UnBad” is “Good”. There’s all those things she might do that lead to correction, for example. These things aren’t “Bad”, she and I are not harmed by them, they are rules we have that are part of an ongoing game that resets every time she receives the correction she’s earned. In part, they exist to facilitate that correction, to give a pretext to her submitting to my Dominance and the entitlement to correct her that she gives me as part of her submission.
But when is she a “Good Girl”?
There’s so many ways she’s a Good Girl. I’m going to stick to generalities, though…
Everything that leads me to tell her she’s a good girl is linked in some way to her submission to me. Either submitting physically, her training, her enabling me to care for her, her obediently following an instruction, or doing something without instruction because she knows it’ll please me.
Importantly, after she’s accepted correction (or discipline, had that ever been necessary), she’s a Good Girl. Whatever has happened before, the slate is wiped clean. Anything I haven’t attended to is my responsibility. Nothing can be brought up later, nothing can be left unaddressed, nothing can be left in the freezer. In this way she always knows where she stands, need never worry that I’ll drag something up at a later date.
Like the things that earn correction, without the specifics of “us”, many of the “Good” might seem trivial to others. But once the context is added, once the intent is understood, they become important. They bring us closer; by deepening her submission, by strengthening the rituals and understanding of needs that have evolved between us, and by ensuring that I can take care of her. Crucially, we both gain fulfilment from them: It means I can tell her she’s a “Good Girl” something that makes my day, and means she knows she’s pleased me, which makes hers.
Just as there’s a “Bad” that fills a different place – a “lower” place – than correction, there’s a level of “Good” that exceeds our existing context and inhabits a higher plain. Far less rare than the never-happened-Discipline, these are her achievements beyond the completion of tasks, they earn more tangible rewards, just as the “Bad” would earn tangible Discipline (if it ever happened). These are the things that make me burst with pride (like last Saturday). Achievements in her life, completion of training, or overcoming a boundary of trepidation to please me, for instance.
She knows that the greater the achievement, the more pride I feel and the more pleased I am. I know that would be reward enough for her. But these things earn rewards beyond my praise. Not because she needs them or asks for them, but because I need to show her.
© Charles Rochester 2016