A question on one of my old posts brought the concept of punishment to the forefront of my mind again. Specifically, how our D/s works without it.
In all honesty, there are still days when I miss punishment. Or more accurately, I miss the absolution and sense of having a clean slate that punishment brings.
In the spring of last year, he announced that punishment would no longer be a part of our dynamic. I may have had a minor meltdown. "You can't have D/s without punishment?! Now I know you're doing it wrong!"
Yea...I even tested the waters a bit. You know, see if he could be provoked into a retraction. Nope. He stuck to his decision like glue. I swear I went through withdrawals.
No punishment doesn't mean that I get away with anything that wasn't allowed before. It's just...Different.
Being the logical man that he is, Alpha patiently explained his reasoning while I panicked and bounced off the walls like a deflating balloon.
He wants me to submit because I need to, because I want to, because of a sense of personal motivation on my part; not because of threat of punishment.
He said that there's enough punishment in the world, without having it in our relationship. Plus, I am apparently quite good at self-punishment. Too bad it comes without the sense of absolution...
I have adapted, and I can see the point and value in his perspective--I am responsible for my own behavior. If I need to be Dominated, I will submit. If I know better, then I should be better. He doesn't feel that it's his job to force me to submit every time I balk at something.
It's not to say that there are not consequences, or that I get to do whatever I want. There is often instant discipline if I step over the line, but he refuses to call it punishment.
There is also the painful fact that one of the terrible side effects of D/s is that his disappointment is utterly crushing.
Seriously, wanna see full grown Little Miss Independent turn into a quivering ball of tears? Catch me in that moment after he says he's disappointed in me.
I miss the sense of absolution that punishment brings. But I also now see the sense in holding myself responsible for my actions as opposed to expecting him to do it for me.
I want to be his and am willing to do whatever is necessary for that to be our reality. Because it is who I am, and I need it. Punishment is ultimately unnecessary for us to accomplish that.
There are many healthy and fully functioning D/s relationships that utilize punishment. I think that there are also more D/s relationships than people realize, which do not have punishment as part of the dynamic.
In some odd, and perhaps twisted way, withholding punishment becomes a punishment in and of itself--there will be no absolution to look forward to after I fuck up, there will be no pain to wash it all away. There will be bitter disappointment, and the knowledge that I did wrong.
Since this post originated with a question, I think now would be a good time to add that no punishment doesn't mean no pain.
Sometimes I need that beating, the pain and absolution that washes the weight of life away. And I get it. It just does not come in the form of punishment.
Alpha has many responsibilities. One of those is helping me to be what he expects me to be by creating an environment where I desire to submit to him.
Ultimately, this is a consensual arrangement, and I am responsible for exhibiting the kind of behavior that I know makes our arrangement function well.
Taking punishment out of our dynamic was his way of ensuring that my submission always comes from an inner desire and need to please him, not fear of repercussions.
He is still just as patient and strict as ever, perhaps more so. Above all else, he expects that I will do my best to please him. It is a simple and all-encompassing expectation that is not always easy to accomplish. But I try. Because this is who I am, and he is what I need.
Even though this is quite the ramble, I have a feeling that I somehow managed to leave a lot out...