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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Much ado about punishments

I wasn't sure what to call this post.  It's really just my thoughts on punishment.  I know a lot of subs out there say that just knowing that they have disappointed their dom is punishment enough and that's the truth.  As subs (men and women), we tend to be harder on ourselves than anything handed down by our Doms.  


I think the bigger question is do we need to be? 


Punishment is sometimes just needed, not because the Dom is so pissed off that his rules are ignored but for us. Sometimes we (by we I mean subs/slaves whatever term) just get stuck in a mental way and continue beating up ourselves over a transgression they feel wasn't such a big deal. So yes in reality we are far harder on ourselves than we need to be.  Some would ague that's punishment enough but I think sometimes a few swats on the rear, or whatever reminds me all that now the punishment is over.  It takes the pressure off me, I've been corrected, and while I don't want it to happen again, I can move on from it.  


I have seen in my own relationship with Omega, the times that he did blow off something I did and saw me feeling miserable about it.  He let it go, thinking in that logical way of his I was punishing myself enough.  The problem for us and for me was that while I was self-punishing, I was also not focused on him.  I was focused on me and whatever I did wrong.  This actually led to more acting out (in a subconscious way), which continued the cycle until I had done something so bad, I required a heavy punishment from O.  When he punished me, mentally at least for me, it wasn't about the last thing I'd done, but maybe the 20 before that also.  


Kinda like when Paul Newman won the Oscar for The Color of Money.  I don't think it was about really that role but honestly all the roles he had NEVER won for.   


After talking to O about it, and working hard in my private blog to get my feelings across it suddenly started making sense to him.  I needed correction or punishment for the little things I was doing wrong, not just for the big things.  And ya a look of strong disapproval can do wonders to improve my attitude, but it doesn't compare when he sleeps on his side of the bed alone and in the morning pulls me close to him.  Just like being told to be still.  That's punishment too.  Or when he orders something for me in a restaurant that I wouldn't enjoy as much as something else and he knows it.  I know it.  It's firm, and final.  There are no lingering thoughts from me.


And then I can move forward, beyond whatever it was I did wrong.  I can turn the focus away from me.  It's interesting that when he started doing these little corrections, my over-all balance improved, as did my attitude.  I broke fewer rules and was able to refocus my energy more on him, which is of course where it should be.  

10 comments:

  1. Mouse,
    This is so still not resolved in my head. My own insane thinking about it, other peoples' comments, posts, and emails are helping me realize that there is something more that would be better, more useful, helpful, something. Someone called it "being held accountable in a more active way" or "assertive control", you say correction. I know it's semantics, except it's somehow important. I know I want to know what he wants, and I know I want to know that it matters to him whether I succeed or not. There is an answer for us in there somewhere. Part of the problem is that, whatever I want, need, or think i want or need, isn't really the whole point. He has to figure it out, decide, and do it. Maybe part of it is that we have worked together so long, that it's hard to imagine taking apart and re-assembling certain parts of it. Sorry for rambling - as always, I appreciate your post.

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  2. Mouse: Good post. Interesting that the little things are as important to you as the big things.

    Sounds like he knows how to keep you under his control.

    FD

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  3. Mouse, what a great post! We all beat ourselves over our heads for things we fail to do or do incorrectly or whatever, and yet it really is being held accountable in the small things that keeps us focused and on track.

    You really have a way of getting straight to the heart of things when you type your thoughts out, and it helps clarify a lot of things for me.

    *hugs*

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  4. I agree, when the small things are noticed and we are corrected it seems (for me)that we become closer with our Masters.

    Love the post
    Carrie
    My Submissive Journey

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  5. You have me contemplating this without any completely resolved thought.

    My husband rarely lets things go that are important to him. He doesn't care for my cheeky retorts and he tells me so, pretty much every time. I imagine that if he didn't do that, they'd just get worse. He knows that I hate lectures, so that keeps me fairly much on the straight and narrow path of being diplomatic and respectful which is what matters to him.

    One of the vales of the mentoring is that I know very clearly what are my limits and I have very little desire to risk crossing over the line (except in a slightly playful way sometimes, which is usually ok). I would really feel that I had let myself down if I did that. Thinking about this, I get a lot of praise if I progress, and I would not want to risk that.

    I think it is 'praise' rather than 'punishment' that may deserve more attention on the dom's part. (as she slips out quietly...)

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  6. Greengirl,

    Your on this journey tho with him and ya it's for him to decide but sometimes it needs to be discussed (this is true for any issue not just this one) and sometimes you can provide insight to what he missed.

    Unfortunately I think sometimes taking everything apart is the only way; to rebuild or reshape it and make it better.

    I can't imagine where I'd be if I hadn't done that.

    Hugs,
    mouse

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  7. FD Sir -- Thanks so much.

    schiava -- that's really the point..sometimes I just beat myself up waaaay more than he would.

    reina(RT) -- Thanks I think it can bring us closer...but as vesta pointed out it's not to be the only means at their disposal.

    Finally vesta!

    You are so right praise is a good thing, the best way of moving forward. The focus should never be solely on punishment. I didn't mean to imply that. Praise is always better--and way more effective. All I did mean was that when O gives me a look of disapproval, I will obsess over the look. Rolli it over in my mind. It's horrible really.

    If there is correction tho from him...I move beyond it much faster.

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  8. As I understand it, according to cognitive psychological science, rewards are much more effective in changing a behaviour or instilling a new one, than punishment. But I'm guessing that punishment isn't only a tool for correcting behaviour in your lifestyle, but also serves other purposes (like maybe asserting the power exchange and/or other things).

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  9. That's exactly how I feel about it. Sometimes when I do something (like spilling my drink on the modem and frying it) I feel so guilty and beat myself up over it... I can't seem to let it go, but if he punishes me over it... even if it's just a minor punishment, it really does take the focus off what I did wrong and helps me get past it.

    *hugs*

    turiya

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  10. "The problem for us and for me was that while I was self-punishing, I was also not focused on him. I was focused on me and whatever I did wrong."

    you captured the essence of the problem perfectly.

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