A recent posting at the blog Forever Hers got me thinking a bit about some experiences I had with my first Mistress.
Since our relationships suffered from the same ups and downs that any relationship goes through, we weren't always in the right mood to keep the D/s dynamic going all the time, but she had a method of keeping track of my behavior when things were both "on" and "off."
Early on she had instituted a punishment log, which was a journal she used to record my infractions in, especially during the early periods of my training. In its original form each time I broke a rule it would earn a check-mark in the book along with a date/time and what I did to earn it. At some point in time she would decide to punish me and each check mark was "worth" two spankings with a paddle (e.g. 20 strokes would cross out 10 check marks).
At first she used this for several reasons:
-To make sure no infraction went unpunished.
-To weed out bad habits on my part.
-To avoid feeling guilty when she wanted to hit me.
Some early reasons for a check mark were things like not addressing her as Mistress or forgetting to ask permission to go to the bathroom.
As our relationship progressed and the "new car smell" faded away our moods began to vary across a more normal spectrum and the amount of time she wasn't in Domme mode began to increase. Some very stressful things also happened that ended up causing a great deal of strain on our relationship. Around this time the punishment log began to evolve a bit.
While it still encompassed the normal rules during our D/s times she began to incorporate it into the more vanilla times as well, basically citing any time she felt my attitude drift away from the priority structure of our relationship (which is a fancy way of saying that she started recording the times that I was acting selfish). Also, instead of simply using a single check mark she began to write out values for things she felt were worse offenses. e.g. if we got into an argument and I pissed her off she might value that at 50 spankings. I had to be really careful at times like these since she tended to get a bit trigger happy with the log book when she was angry.
Overall I think it was a pretty good idea to use the log. It was quite cathartic to her and allowed her to let go of her anger when she knew that I would be punished for it later. At other times she would let me know I had earned a mark and it would be enough for me to realize my attitude was poor and turn things around before it got worse.