Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Components of Punishment

There's something else I've never quite understood about chosen methods of punishment.  Thinking about this makes me realized that I've just taken on something very complicated.

When you look at the ways Dommes choose to punish subs, I had originally thought there were a handful of levels that could be approached:
1. Physical
2. Emotional
3. Sexual

I'm now realizing this is an inappropriate breakdown  My mind is going about 100mph right now but I feel like I've noticed something new.  Maybe the best way to view a punishment isn't so much rooted in its action, symbolism, or process, but the desired end result of the punishment.

After a bit of thought, I've come to two desirable end results of punishment:
1. Remorse - Deep regret or guilt for a wrong committed.
2. Atonement - Reparation for a wrong or injury.

Let's use an example of an over the knee spanking.  On its surface level, I see two basic components:
pain and humiliation.  The next process is to trace in what ways these components trace their way to an end result.

Pain leads to physical suffering.  Suffering is necessary for atonement.

Humiliation has two parts, embarrassment and shame.  I consider these different in that embarrassment is the emotional pain felt during the experience and shame is the emotional pain felt after the experience.  e.g. If a woman humiliates you, the embarrassment is the pain of hurt feelings and shame is the after feeling like you are weak, inferior, etc.

Embarrassment -> Emotional Suffering -> Atonement.
Shame -> Remorse.

Reaching these end results would then make an over the knee spanking being "suitable" as a punishment activity.

I'll use corner time as another example.  This one is a bit more complicated since it doesn't affect the sub equally in all cases.
If the sub feels he did a wrong and feels bad for it, corner time includes the components of humiliation and loss (of time).
Loss of Time -> Something being taken away -> Atonement
Humiliation -> Embarrassment/Shame -> Atonement/Remorse

What if the sub doesn't feel like he did something wrong?  Instead of spending the time reflecting upon his error, he simply stews and bides his time.  In this case, corner time leads to atonement but no remorse.

With these results, corner time is "often" suitable for punishment, but the punishment isn't always as "complete" as other options.  

Another interesting notion is that the relationship between the punishment and crime can change the way it is processed.

For this example I'll look at chastity as a punishment.
If this is the choice of punishment for a sub who masturbates without permission, this brings on humiliation, physical suffering, and loss (of freedom).

Loss of Freedom -> Atonement
Humiliation -> Atonement/Remorse
Physical Suffering -> Atonement

Now if we look at chastity as a punishment for forgetting to take out the garbage, this most likely changes.  In this cases it's a safe assumption that the sub experiences this punishment frequently, so humiliation is far less likely to be felt.  What we have left:

Loss of Freedom -> Atonement
Physical Suffering -> Atonement

So when using chastity as a punishment, it's more complete if used to combat sexual offenses, less complete if used to combat non-sexual offenses.

I'm trying to write less clinically and more personal, so let's go with forced feminization as a punishment.  This brings on Humiliation -> Atonement/Remorse, so it covers the two end results we are looking for.  It also has no "conditional" basis:  it's humiliating regardless of what the sub feels about his wrong or what type of wrong was committed.  The only time this doesn't work as a punishment is when a sub prefers to be feminized.

Any thought on any of this?


  1. This post did make me give more thought to my subs emotions during and after punishment.I find myself wondering of my most effective punishments hold an element of humiliation. This is something for me to think about.

    1. Thank you, Miss Lily.

      I think humiliation is an effective contributor because it ensures a response on both outcome fronts. This is a new way of thinking about things for me so I haven't had a chance to fully explore it my head yet.