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Camping analogy of punishment


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This is a little clarification essay about people who have a punishment or discipline kink... or more specifically, for those people who don't understand "punishment" as a kink and continue to make judgmental remarks about it.

Here we go...

I think there are four levels of what might be termed "punishment" within kink relationships, and it occurred to me that camping would make a good analogy for illustration purposes.

Level 1- Camping in the Living Room

This is the "let's pretend I'm punishing you!" version. Sort of like putting up a tent in your living room, toasting marshmallows in the fireplace, and cuddling in sleeping bags. Let's pretend that we're camping, only we're really indoors and there are no nasty bugs or bears or inconvenient rain storms or rocks under the sleeping bag. Woo-hoo! Fun! You know it's fun, I know it's fun, and we're only pretending I'm "punishing" you because we both like it (grin, grin, grin). This is what people frequently refer to as "funishment."

Level 2 - KOA, or "I'm camping, really I am!"

This is where punishments (and maybe rewards) are part of your play dynamic. The relationship is set up deliberately so that you can earn punishments by various "misbehaviors." The role-playing goes a little deeper, here, and the punishments can be out of your control. Maybe you brat a little and earn a punishment. Maybe you neglect a chore or beg for something you're not allowed to have and your partner then has the right to "punish" you, as set out in your agreement. The difference between this level and the next is that your partner isn't unhappy with you- the punishment isn't just role-play, but it is still part of your play.

This level is scary fun. I love the look on his face when he's thinking, "Oh, you're in for it now, little girl!" It's sort of like staying at a KOA Kampground. You're actually outdoors, with a real fire under the stars, but there are also hot showers, an in-ground pool, and if you're tired of cooking you can get in the car and go find a restaurant.

Level 3- Backpacking

In Level three, you've negotiated a relationship where your partner has the ability to seriously punish you for violating the terms of the contract or doing forbidden behaviors. And like backpacking into the mountains, once you're there, there's no easy way of getting out of it.

You've planned for this trip ahead, you've worked out exactly where you'll go and what you'll take... but once you're on the trip, anything could happen. At this level, the first one that could truly be called discipline, usually the recipient has no control over the punishment. What punishment is chosen, how long it lasts, etc. is usually out of the hands of the one being punished. They've agreed to the trip, but after that, control is in the hands of the dominant partner. There are often no safewords to get out of this sort of punishment, but the punishment is still taking place within an agreed-upon relationship structure.

This is my favorite level. Sometimes the punishments are miserably painful. I don't enjoy messing up, and I don't enjoy getting in trouble any more than I love mosquitos, sprained ankles, rock slides, or occasionally getting lost or having my tent blown over in a storm. But I do love backpacking! And I love having the excitement of the possibility of real, no-shit punishments in our relationship. I don't enjoy the punishment itself, but I love the flavor of excitement and adventure it gives our lives.

Level 4- Survival Situations

I think when people say that they don't need punishment in their relationship because they talk things out with their partner & settle problems with rational discussion, this is the kind of thing they're talking about.

In a survival situation, you're not playing around any more. You really fucked up. The plane crashed in the Rockies, and though you've cobbled together a shelter & fire, you're not camping, you're trying to evade bears and keep from getting frost bite! You've done something to seriously damage the relationship between yourself and your partner, and if you don't get things fixed, the relationship will suffer.

This is not camping. This is not kink. This is not play. And yes, if something like this happens, talking needs to happen. Apologies. Re-negotiation. Restoration of trust.

But unlike some people, I think there can also be a place for physical punishments in these situations. After the talking and apologizing is over, when fault has be accepted and you're looking at making amends... it may be that a punishment of some sort will help clear the air and reduce the miasma of guilt that lingers after a serious breech. Punishment won't fix relationship problems. But, especially for subs with guilt issues, it can help restore the relationship after the issue is fixed.

When I hear people say, "If you like punishment, then it's not punishment at all, it's funishment," I get frustrated. For a person with a punishment kink, "funishments" are rather like getting cotton candy when you were hoping for a steak dinner. They're just not satisfying. I don't like the role-play. I don't like to do "let's pretend" punishments where it's just an excuse to smack someone and it doesn't mean anything deeper.

What I like is to be in a relationship where I can truly be punished, sometimes quite severely, for messing up. I like to keep it around level three- serious, but not life-threatening. If we hit level four, it's not on purpose, and we always settle it with talk.

And no, naysayers, loving a punishment dynamic does not make punishment less effective as a behavior modification technique. That's like saying that just because football is a game, the players won't be motivated to win!! I am a motivated, competitive person, and I ALWAYS strive to succeed, to be my best, to follow the rules. In my ideal world, I'd get so good that he would have to nit-pick like crazy to find things I mess up bad enough to get punished for them. That hasn't happened yet, but I'm still trying!

That’s a really thoughtful description, thank you

I like the analogies and how you've separated things out

I also feel this is where some people run into potential mismatches for example a Dominant who might like to be in your level 1 or 2, with a sub who relies on closer to a 3.    Or a Dominant who works best in 2 or 3, with a sub who rely just wants to be in number 1.

And a lot of the problems I see (potentially in a spin from another thread) is when partners are not on that same understanding.

I like this analogy, I'm realizing I have a bit of a punish kink so I've been struggling to see how far it goes as well as contexts. This helped clear a lot up for me, which is great cuz then I can explain what I need to a potential Dom later.
This is a really good metaphor. I like backpacking and KOA camping, and sometimes after a survival, if things are okay, you pick up the pieces and maybe agree that a punishment is in order and it does help me feel like we're going back to normal. A punishment for seriously messing up does make it feel like atonement. [Luckily that's not a continuing problem, but stuff happens sometimes, we mess up]

as a small though

punishments can be great but there are a few problems attached to them

The two main ones are

1) Like a lot in kink there are some people who think this is something they HAVE to do because it's what they've seen or heard a lot, and it isn't really for them.

It's kinda important to also inflict - you don't have to go camping at all in order to be in the lifestyle

2) Some people hide abuse under the guise of punishment.    This is obviously not consensual, good practice and I am sure no one would agree with it.

This might be especially common if punishments are too frequent, excessive, or disproportionate.  This is not saying punishment as a kink is wrong, it's saying that : both people have to be happy with this and levels and so on

3) And some people take things too far to get punished

Which can cause burn out and stop being enjoyable.    Even something as simple as intentionally fucking up a task - the task still need done (possibly redone) and the Dominant now also needs to take time to instill the punishment/discipline.  


@eyemblacksheep You missing the point of the whole post.
Proper Negotiation , Consent unless in CNC is paramount ...but thats BDSM 101

You also do not see the difference between punishment and funnishment .
Kind of like it is set out

Punishment: Correction and closure on something that was neglected
Funnishment: Impact Roleplay 

lets start YKINMK: Some people are in a punishment dynamic, its not up to you or me to decide if that is right and healthy

Punishment gives closure too, a clean slate
Some spankings sort that too:



Nope, I am well aware of the differences.

If people - both the Dominant and the submissive are into a dynamic involving punishment - that is fine, that is their dynamic.

However, there are also those who think that punishments have to be part of the dynamic : they don't.

There are also those who are abusive who have tried to hide their abuse under it being "punishment" - it is very, very, important that people understand the difference.  And that is true for submissives and Dominants alike.

Add in: speaking up about bad practices helps protect the consensual nature and other dynamics.

Posted (edited)

All sorts of abuse go on vanilla or kinky, you do not need impact punishment for abuse.

The avarage Dom minded person seems to think that the average sub (unattached) is fair game to them
And I heard of a fair few ladies who's ex used limits to punish them

The amount of people here who have not one iotas clue about negotiation, limits

Scenes and Relations at a start need to be negotiated
ONCE a D/s or T/b is agreed and discussed for which I use something similar  to this  one page negotiation sheet

Devianceanddesire* /2016/04/tonight-i-want-negotiation-sheet
you can grow, and you can either amend your agreement (playdates) or take it less official in a relationship. Keeping in mind that hard limmits are hard limmits

For me ... (in)action comes with consequences

Too many Bartty Princesses and Babygirls out here looking for (sugar) daddies ..without willing to accept consequences.
BDSM is about power exchange -> The Dom/top  has the power ... the Slave/Sub/bottom does not

I am not much into TAKING submission, that sentence is often misconstrued and abused

But punishment is a reminder that the sub stopped giving their submission


The other side of punishment is following through
In a relationship  life happens ... things are not always as important  can not always be helped and because I love my partner I can let it slide
As much as I like to hurt my partner (I am a sadist)...I do not like punishment >
As much as she is a masochist ...she does not like punnishment
The mindset for punnishment is very very different from impactplay or funnishment
I might be tired  or not care about a rule being broken.
The thing is I as the D type have to follow through as well ...IF I do not I am ignoring/neglecting the (rules of) the relationship as well


Edited by FETMOD-TF
*External link removed
I love this post. It’s given me a new view of Sado/Maso. Thank you.
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