Does discipline and punishment work for me? This is probably a question for the site FAQ (er, when we get around to writing one). It's something that has come up in the Usenet group we've all been part of (alt.sex.spanking and its successor soc.sexuality.spanking). Can any adult, especially an adult with a spanking fetish (which I feel safe in saying all of the blog authors have to some degree or other) be punished by spanking and have that punishment work to change their behavior?
My answer: Yes, no, sometimes and it depends.
Does that make sense?
Having covered all bases I'm going to try and give reason to my own answers.
First for the "yes". Yes, I believe spanking (and a few other things) work for me as punishments. They work not because they resolve the tension between my partner and myself (although that can be happy side effect) but that my behavior has changed. I'm a far cry from perfect, but I'm more honest in our relationship and have lost a few bad habits over the years. I attribute that, in at least part, to Pab's generally consistent spanking me for lying. It's also helped with improving everything from work habits to bedtime.
So why then the "no"? Because sometimes spanking doesn't work between the two of us. That's happened in two different types of situations. First, when we've been too ambitious and tried to impose a complex grid of rules very quickly. It's too much too fast for me and I tend to flail miserably and end up resisting everything. My partner's scene isn't about controlling me or micromanaging my life so we both end up frustrated. I feel like a failure and, I discovered not too too long ago, so does he. Spanking also doesn't work as a punishment between the two of us if it's for something that matters to me (like say not eating candy for Lent) which doesn't matter to my partner. Not eating candy for Lent would especially not be something he felt I needed to do as he's not religious and doesn't do Lent so he's not going to spank me for eating chocolate on Good Friday. I can't ask or expect him to enforce rules he doesn't believe in. And yes, we've tried -- it wasn't about Lent but it was lame.
The opposite isn't true, by the way, though it would be elegant if it were. Pablo can indeed use punishments to change behavior that upsets him but doesn't really bother me. Example: I used to smoke very very occasionally. It obviously didn't bother me and I thought it harmless, but he made me promise "never again" and twice thrashed me almost beyond what I could bear when I let myself smoke. The first time I was testing him, the second because I convinced myself it was over between us and it seemed the most "in your face" thing I could do. I'll never touch another cigarette as long as I live. I'm just fortunate that his ethics haven't pushed that beyond what's right.
So there's times spanking / punishments in general have worked well and there's times they haven't worked at all. Now for the sometimes / it depends part. My schoolwork sometimes can be positively effected by punishments. How? Well, I respond rather well to threats and discipline (how very embarrassing) at least in the short term. I like to be seen as a "good" girl and so want to be approved of. Plus external structure works for me. I get more sleep, I get into a routine, my on-line time is curtailed, I get more work done. But that said, it only works sometimes. Why? Because it's a push / pull issue. Pab can push me on the right path and even nudge me to stay there. But the work has to come from me, he can't pull it out.
That's where the "it depends" and, I suppose, "consent" comes in. I'm not a child or a grammar school student. I'm not even working on my BA. There's no reason for me to still be a student and still do school work except that I want to -- getting a PhD is my choice. If I stop wanting to write a dissertation, stop wanting to finish my degree, knowing that Pab will be disappointed in me will make me sad, but fear of that isn't going to be enough to get 300 plus pages written. So all of this working depends on my own motivation, what's inside me that makes me want to write about the emergence of the Chicana as author and editor in the 1970s.
Pab wants me to finish for me because I want to finish. And so while I do depend on him to help me focus when I drift, he has to expect (and more importantly I have to expect) that in the long term, the excited energy sustaining my work is going to come from within me.
Though thoughts of a heavy brush and swishy cane can and do impress the importance of working hard on this often very lazy girl.