Why do some subs thrive when they are held accountable with painful submissive punishment? This is a question I’ve asked myself many times because I am one such submissive. While positive reinforcement can be a powerful tool and works well for me most of the time, I’ve found that certain circumstances warrant actual punishment. Not for play, but real punishment. This is also known as behavior modification. When used properly the benefits of submissive punishment make way for huge amounts of growth in the submissive.
I realised how important submissive punishment can be when I submitted to my Dom for the first time in person. He’d let me know he didn’t like withholding. That if he asked me a question, I was to answer with a real answer. This boundary he’d established clearly before I ever submitted in person. Yet when I was there and he asked me what was wrong, my response was, “I don’t want to talk about it.”
He smiled calmly, told me to follow him, led me to his dungeon, then took his belt to me. Not as hard as he could have, but he still did. Afterward, he stood me in the corner. I cried harder than I’d ever cried before, but the thing that surprised me most was that I felt this huge relief wash over me. Because he’d held me accountable. Which also meant he cared enough to hold me accountable. His choice in that moment changed many things for me. I knew from that day forward that if I didn’t follow the rules, I’d be punished. And that gave me boundaries.
I couldn’t understand why it had been so effective. What I discovered is that for many subs, submissive punishment is a chance to get rid of guilt. It’s also a great way to modify behavior. If I keep staying up late and it’s affecting my schedule during the day (making me less productive), I simply ask my Dom to hold me accountable. If I don’t follow what I set in place for myself, then I confess this to him.
Not being honest about breaking rules will only add more guilt. If I’ve broken a rule, like the recent one—withholding details of a situation—then I first confess what I’ve done. Or not done. Then I ask to be punished for said act. The asking part is important because it shows the Dom/Domme that the submissive is serious about fixing their behavior. Asking is similar to begging, which means it’s a very conscious choice.
After I’ve asked, then I’m told to retrieve the cane and tell him how many strikes I deserve. Then submissive punishment is dealt. There is no warm-up, no lighter hits, it’s hard. This sometimes provokes screams and definitely tears. While it’s happening, I can feel the release of all those difficult emotions that make me reflect negatively on myself.
After the submissive punishment, I’m told that I’m forgiven. This instantly rids me of guilt. If I’m being punished in a behaviour modification manner, being forgiven isn’t always helpful. So in that case, I might be told not to let it happen again or that the punishment will be swifter next time. Either way, I’m given tools for growth through this accountability process.
Reasons for punishing a submissive can cover many areas and the benefits (for most) are fantastic. Even my non-kinky friends tell me how nice it would be to be rid of their guilt. They see the benefits too even if my style isn’t for them. For me, accountability and growth are hot, and punishment in the right circumstance is a great way to achieve this.
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Images by David Flam and Jennifer Ann via Flickr with CC BY 2.0 license
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