I really MUST get some work done this evening. For my own peace of mind, I know, but that peace of mind has been chiseled away over the last three or four days.
Still, C and I have been having an ongoing discussion about something that I think is relevant to Punishment Book - we've been discussing the power of rituals.
Some of my friends here have written about and commented on rituals in their own lives that have to do with spanking and/or punishment. But there are many other rituals that take place every day in each of our homes. One of mine, for instance, is to whisper a blessing against our daughter's forehead after she falls asleep. This ritual isn't interactive in the least and probably means nothing to her, but I feel, however foolishly, slightly deprived when I don't have that opportunity - no matter the reason.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but my assumption is that discipline rituals, particularly ones maintained for months or years at a time, hold a certain power over their participants. Not a physical power, but an emotional one - and when that ritual is missed or taken away or somehow denied, the sense of loss would range from mild disaffection to profound distress.
But my (really, our) question is this: to those of you who engage in discipline rituals (lacking a better descriptor), do you find that they lose any effectiveness as time passes? Alternatively, do you find that in order to achieve the same results as you did early in the life of the ritual that the intensity (length, painfulness, etc.) must be increased after a period of time?
Let me give two hypothetical situations, certain to be similar to someone's real life experience but in no way intended as such. In the first, a bottom/submissive/slave/word-of-your-choice-inserted-here is called upon the carpet after dinner each evening, to recount her (his?!?) activities of the day. If - and only if - some deficiency is discovered, then bottomA is punished in accordance with the top/dominant/etc's policy or whim.
In the second situation, bottomB is called upon the carpet after dinner each evening as well. Then she is required to recount her activities of the day. But afterward - regardless of her accomplishments or failures - she is bent over and a hairbrush (or other favorite implement of your choice) is judiciously applied. The intensity also is determined by the policy or whim of her partner but she is always well-spanked when the review is concluded. In other words, she receives the discipline whether she has earned it or not.
I understand fully that she may well feel a submissive's incentive to please her partner. But does bottomB - eventually - stop feeling any physical incentive to perform well?
So, are there diminished returns to maintenance spankings? Inquiring (and enquiring) minds would like to know ...