Dear Readers, Please be patient with me as I hash out one of the age old questions of kinky people: What is the purpose of punishment? I am sure you've all seen articles and opinion pieces about this before, but I'm not asking it in general. I'm asking it for myself. Why do Master and I include punishment in our relationship?
Well, the obvious answer is because it's my kink. I've known from the time I was old enough to think about these things that I was oddly interested in punishment, especially spanking. When I went searching for someone to fulfill that fantasy with as an adult, I bumped into Master. Of course, I was not really looking for a Master/ slave relationship. I really just wanted someone to spank me. The fact that we were discussing my submissive mindset was a totally separate thing for me. It still sent shivers down my spine, though, the first time Master told me, "If I am not available to ask, and you use the tools available to you to do what you think I would want, you won't be in trouble." Woah. You mean, I *could* be in trouble? Yeah. Serious shivers.
Fast forward six years and I can tell you a few things about this kink of mine - 1. I'm not a masochist, and apparently needing to be spanked doesn't make me one. 2. I would do almost anything to avoid being punished at any given time. I will do everything in my power to argue my way out of it, because I am very afraid of the reality of punishment when it approaches. 3. I am still insanely turned on by the whole thing. That sure is a predicament.
We've gone through some ups and downs with the punishment thing. At the beginning of our relationship it was a somewhat frequent occurrence to find me bent over for the belt. In a way I think of this as the honeymoon period. Although I wasn't trying to get in trouble, I was still learning Master's expectations and I fell short fairly often. The power that getting my needs met and the reality of being punished held over me was enough to overshadow any issues, though I was always afraid of the pain. I never argued about being in trouble, I just trembled and apologized.
Over time, this shifted. I stopped being punished with any sort of regularity because mostly I did what was expected of me, and Master isn't one to nit pick every little thing. We fell into a space where the status quo was that I would not be punished. CC was also very rarely punished for anything. Yet, I felt a twinge of sadness, maybe a bit of jealousy, when he would punish a new girl he was seeing. I would wonder if he just didn't care enough to correct me anymore.
On the other hand, if I ever did get into trouble for something I would buck against it and feel frustrated much of the time. I'd be upset with Master for not seeing that such and such a transgression was mitigated by x y and z. I often felt very put upon when it came down to it. I think perhaps I was overwhelmed with all the hats I was wearing, but either way I didn't like to hear I'd failed.
To Master's credit he never let me off the hook once he told me I was to be punished, but I think I encouraged him not to make an issue of something unless he wanted to fight about it. And, who wants to fight with a grown woman about something she claims to need? The result was that he eventually he chose the path of least resistance. We'd discuss it once in a while, and I would be sad, but it was extremely rare for anything to come of it. On the rare occasions that he did decide to push something, I ended up feeling very angry, and that he only punished me to let off steam etc. It was a very viscous cycle. And, life was so busy we didn't really have time to fix it. We would talk about fixing "our dynamic" but really, we just kept on with the status quo.
Then, CC left. I know I've written the following paragraphs in various ways on this blog and my own, but it's still very much a part of my reality and I'm still working through it. Thanks for your patience as I repeat variations of it again and again.
One thing that is arguably better now is that we suddenly had a lot of time to focus on each other and our relationship. We only have the kids 50% of the time now, and Master is currently not involved in any other serious relationships. And, as a result of the breakdown of his relationship with CC Master and I are both quite focused on figuring out what works for us, and making sure we are on track.
The major down side to CC leaving is that we both feel tremendous loss and grief. We are both dealing with the grief process in our own way, and unfortunately our cycles don't always match up, which has led to some interesting fireworks over the last year and a half. The combination the anger I already felt about our punishment dynamic united with the anger I feel over losing CC and the life we had led me to a point where not only was punishment risky, but all bdsm play became a potential trigger.
During one conversation Master told me he felt punishment was no longer productive for me, and he didn't want to do it anymore. He pointed out that I don't really like pain and do all that I can to avoid it. He also pointed out that I am extremely angry any time he tries to punish me. He was right. It was broken. It didn't work anymore.
I wondered if our own relationship was ending. I wondered if I was in fact vanilla. I wondered so many things, but mostly I was devastated and sad about the loss of this dynamic that meant so much to me. I just couldn't let go of it, and spent long hours on the issue. Finally I decided that this is definitely something I need in my life, and I told Master so. I told him that I do need to be corrected, even if it makes me angry. I am continually thankful that he heard me, and was open to pushing through this with me.
We tread carefully now. Things aren't the same as they were in that honeymoon period, but somewhere deep inside me a light switch has been flipped. I can allow myself to accept correction, and Master is willing to provide it. We've done some things to let the pressure off. Master no longer feels he has to make a big "production" out of things. More often than not if I've gone off course a quick spanking over his knee is all it takes. I know his belt and other implements are available if it's something he sees as warranted, but usually he doesn't.
And I'm not so angry anymore. I can't claim that I won't ever be triggered again. Fear, anger, sadness, all of it finds it's way out eventually. But, for the first time in over two years I can say, "Master punished me, and it worked." I can't claim that I'm on the other side of my personal mountain. But I think maybe I've found the path again.