The Beginners Guide to Dominance and Submission

Chapter 4 - Reward and Punishment

This point is where many D/s relationships fall to pieces. Overpunishment for minor infractions, non-acknowledged good deeds, and ignoring blatant wrong action cause the affinity in the relationship to break down. The roles of both Dom and sub are fairly rigid; the duties of both well understood. When a Dom doesn't punish major infractions, or ignores correct action by his sub, the agreements made at the beginning of the relationship are broken. It is here that a Dom shows his true colors. The Dom should be in control not only of his sub, but himself as well.

At the beginning of a D/s relationship, the Dom and sub may agree on a long list of correct and incorrect actions, but if the Dom does not remember them, the sub is "getting over" on the Dom, and in the process, losing respect for the Dom's power. It would be better to have only a few rules at the start, then as time progresses, expand them as the relationship grows.

Overcorrecting is also poor. If the Dom is cruel or vicious, the sub will only do what is required out of fear of punishment. Over time, the sub will have no desire to please the Dom, and the Dom will suddenly realize they have no real control over the sub.

Punishment is a tool to correct wrong or no action by the sub. It should never be done in anger! This is a very important point. When you punish in anger, real injury can occur, safewords are nullified, and limits do not exist. This is a very dangerous situation. The Dom who punishes in anger is moving into the area of abuse. In D/s, the Dom cares about the feelings of the sub. It is very difficult to have empathy when you are angry. Pain is not the end all and be all of a D/s relationship. It is just one more tool at the disposal of the Dom to guarantee the rules are complied with.

Punishment does not even have to include pain. Movement restrictive bondage, humiliation, harsh words, or even a look can punish the sub. Privileges can be removed such as not being allowed to sit on the furniture, or by the Dom forcing the sub to sleep at the foot of the bed. There are many ways to punish incorrect actions. Save the severe stuff for major infractions. If you beat a dog every day, all you get is an angry, uncontrollable dog. The same goes for a sub, and an angry sub is much more hazardous than an angry dog. Punishment is always followed by reward when the sub corrects the infraction. The sub must be allowed to make up the damage, and then it is forgiven.

Rewards show the sub that the Dom is pleased. It is a tangible show of love and caring from the Dom to the sub for a correct action. This is the true power of the Dom. The reward can be a kiss, a caress, flowers, a short note, or even a long, tender session of lovemaking. Rewards given to the sub shows that the Dom is thinking of them, and cares for their well being. It acknowledges their proper behavior and reinforces it. This is how the Dom creates in the sub the willingness to please him. A happy sub will do anything to ensure the happiness of the Dom, and will avoid actions that disappoint.

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