This post was inspired by The Kamamama, who sent out a general question on twitter: what is the difference between discipline and punishment in a D/s relationship.
I can only answer this from the viewpoint of my own private relationship with Husband. Someone else might have an entirely different answer. Hell, even Husband might have an entirely different answer. And we've been together for so long, breaking down the tiny differences and nuances in the "reasons" he has to spank me might be difficult to explain. But I'll give it a shot.
We are trying a new toy/implement for (one of) the first ten times.
I think I've stated before, Husband and I follow the "rule of ten," meaning we do our best to try out a toy/implement at least ten times before we decide if we like it or not, and if we do, under what circumstances. It's kind of like the way you treat little kids with new foods: you make them try it out at least ten times before you let them say for sure they don't like it, because (if you're a parent you know this), by the sixth or seventh time, often the same food the kid said he hated before has now become his favorite one. Toys are the same, sometimes.
The first few times we try something new, the whole point is just to get a feel for the thing. Ongoing communication is vital. I am obligated to be as honest as I can in my feelings, say everything I'm experiencing with it even if it doesn't seem important at the time, pain, pleasure, fear, everything. Husband is also supposed to tell me what he's feeling as we go, if it's getting heavy in his hand, if he doesn't like the positioning, if it's tricky to aim it right, etc.
After a few times with it, we can try different techniques, different styles, use it in conjunction with different toys, etc. But getting to know a new toy, bondage, or torture implement is vital so the sub (and Dom) doesn't get hurt accidentally.
I have done something I knew I was not okay to do, but I did it anyway. Or I was told to do something, had every opportunity to do it, but chose not to do it anyway.
Husband does not usually give me a specific request, but when he does, and I agree to it (and this part is vital--if I do not agree, he cannot assume I will do it the way he expects), then he considers the matter closed. If he finds I did not carry through on my commitment, then a punishment is in order, and rightly so.
Punishments are typically harsh to ensure they are effective. The point is to ensure the lesson is learned, so the behavior is not repeated. An ineffective punishment is an unfair punishment, both for the sub, and the Dom.
I need to be "reminded" of my place, my responsibilities, and the dynamics of our D/s relationship.
Let's get real here, I am a sub in a D.D. lifestyle, but I am also a self-proclaimed Smart-Assed Masochist. I mouth off, I get snippy and snarky, I do things I'm not supposed to do...I get playful. Sometimes Husband just lets it go. Other times, he feels the need to discipline me.
Discipline sessions are not typically as bad as punishments. There's no one specific thing I'm being punished for; I'm just being reminded not to be a brat. Often, the intensity and rigor of the discipline is up to me: if I submit quickly, it's over. But if I continue with my bratty behavior, the discipline grows harsher. Usually, unlike a punishment, we both "play by ear" with discipline scenes in the bedroom. My stubbornness is a huge factor--and I can get very stubborn.
Husband has had a bad day and needs to take it out on me.
These sessions are typically quick, to the point, and brutal, but once done with, over for good. Husband gets his stress out, and we both walk away satisfied. I love being his whipping post, not just because I like the pain of it, but because I like being of service to him in this way.
However, these sessions are not always quick, and some bad days are worse than others. I usually have very little warning when I can expect to be used as a whipping post; sometimes a phone call from his car when he's five minutes away home is all I get. These keep me on my toes to be sure.
The need strikes, and that's all there is to it.
We would not be in this kind of relationship if we didn't both have the kinky need for it. Sometimes He just needs to dominate me physically, and sometimes I just need to be physically dominated.
These times might be some of the hardest to define, because there's an element to this in every time he takes ownership of my body. If I feel the need to be spanked/belted/ordered to submit, I might just ask him. But I also might get smart-mouthed and bratty, just to piss him off and make him discipline me. Or he may feel the need to spank me, but for whatever reason, not want to come out and say so; in those cases, he'll try to trip me up, get me to misbehave, so he has a "valid" reason to spank me. In other words, he'll get playful. And as I've said before, a playful Dom is a dangerous Dom, but my playful Dom knows I love the game.
So there you have it; the basic top five reasons I get turned into a sniveling, begging, crying, sweating ball of delicious submissiveness once in a while.
All the photos in the post were taken from The Monster in the Basement. Go enjoy.