I am feeling lately like the summer heat is just baking my brain cells. I'm just kind of walking around, happy and content, but loopy and dazed and not doing anything that requires too much thinking. Like writing. And the thing is, I'm in too much of a good mood to be bothered enough to motivate myself to do something about it. Like that sentence right there--there were four "to" sounding words in that thing, I should probably rewrite it and cut down on the "to"s, but I won't. Cause it's structurally sound, and good enough.
Good Enough. That seems to be attitude lately. Things don't need to be good: they just need to be Good Enough.
The one area where Good Enough doesn't really cut it is punishments. Punishments tend to get rated on a pass/fail bases: if the punishment works, if it keeps the sub from repeating the offense, then it was good. If the sub commits the same offense or breaks the same rule twice, that means the first punishment was a failure. Not good, not even good enough: it was Not Good At All. It was INEFFECTIVE.
Sometimes punishments end up being ineffective because, deep down, the Dom is doing it more out of pleasure than disciplinary action. He's not putting enough force behind the blows, 'cause he's getting off on her little shrieks of surprise and sighs of pleasure. Maybe he indulges in some sympathy, and thinks he's being nice by going easy on her. Or maybe he's simply tired, and wants to get to that blowjob he's been waiting for, and thinks an evenly-spread rosy blush across the bottom (instead of some hard-earned welts) will get the point across.
Ineffective punishments that end up having to be repeated can hurt both Dom and sub. The Dom feels like he didn't do a good job punishing her the first time; his pride is bruised. He is chastised by her very actions of defiance.
The sub ends up having to get through two punishments instead of just one, and while the first one wasn't enough to teach her the lesson, the second will probably be twice as harsh as it needs to be, because the Dom will feel like he has to go above and beyond what is necessary to make sure she doesn't commit the same transgression--again.
Sometimes punishments have to be repeated because both Dom and sub are still finding their way, still learning what works and what doesn't. This is different: it's part of the natural process, and if you're lucky, it's an ongoing thing. Punishments, like everything else in life, can get boring if used too often, and boring often translates into ineffective after a while. They have to be tweaked, revamped a little, changed in some way to keep working as they should.
Twenty-five swats with the belt can be changed to twenty with the belt and ten with the hand (five on each ass cheek). Or a flogging session can go from a bent-over-the-bed position, to one of the sub lying on her back, hugging her legs to her chest, feet straight up in the air. I find that the position I'm most afraid of is the one where I have to press against the wall with my hands, ass out and feet shoulder length apart, because this position is the hardest for me to hold and when I break position I end up adding to the punishment.
The point is, sometimes punishments need to be worked through to remain effective, but the goal is to make sure they keep the sub from transgressing again. Anything less and the punishment didn't do it's job.
Which the Dom shouldn't see as a personal failure. There will always be more opportunities. :)