October 8, 2015

Brat Attack – “Crime”, Punishment, Consent & Ethics.

“For this cancellation, I deserve more punishment. “
“I am sorry I wasted so much of your time but if you are angry at me shouldn’t we have a session? Then you can get revenge right? “

Right?
No. Wrong actually. In the context of professional kink these types of interactions tend to indicate a lack of respect and/or understanding.

Punishment has a time honoured place in the world of BDSM. Many kinksters relish experimenting with punishment as a concept. The cycle of transgression, punishment and redemption works particularly well as a thematic arc for domestic discipline and roleplay scenarios, providing context for pain or humiliation. The theme of punishment can also add spice to sadism during consensual, negotiated encounters with brats and SAMs. (Smart Arsed Masochists)

Punishments can also be a negotiated, consensual feature of longer term, more “serious” D/s relationships. For example one of my slaves and I have negotiated a contract that stipulates a variety of punishments for various chastity related transgressions. Often D/s pairs have negotiated a relationship where the dominant takes a more ad hoc approach to punishment.

Notice that I have used the term “negotiated” above several times. Why? Because consent and negotiation are absolutely key to the ethics of punishment scenarios.

Sure the whole “Ooooooh I’ve been a naughty boy/girl, maybe you should spank me” thing can be occasionally good for a bit of (overplayed) kink flavoured flirting. Especially if one is playfully testing the waters with regards to potential kink interest but it’s important to be thoughtful when using this dynamic as problems can easily arise.

Punishment themes work beautifully for well negotiated roleplay scenarios. It’s when we move beyond that, closer to “the real world” that potential pitfalls start appearing.

*Punishments need to be unpleasant -When it comes to actual training an effective punishment is one that provides an unpleasant consequence for an undesirable behaviour. Care needs to be taken to ensure that the punishment chosen is indeed a deterrent to avoid unintentionally reinforcing bad behaviour. This can be particularly difficult with personality types who primarily seek attention and find negative attention gratifying.

*Anger – real transgressions can result in real feelings of anger in the Dominant. Control over a submissive or slave should stem from control over oneself. Every Dominant has a different perspective on the place of anger in D/s but I will not punish from a place of anger. I’m a sadist. I love inflicting pain but I personally feel that the risk of abuse is too high when anger is involved.

*Manipulation – This was touched on in point one. Punishment can be particularly problematic in terms of manipulation. An extreme example would be an unethical top using punishment as an excuse to push limits. More insidious is the submissive or slave who uses bad behaviour as a way to provoke a reaction in a Dominant. Textbook Topping from the Bottom. I see this too frequently in humiliation slaves who are annoying or disrespectful in order to provoke genuine contempt. Again this can be fun in negotiated scenarios but isn’t particularly ethical when it hasn’t been agreed to.

Which brings us back to the quotes at the start of this post. Even the most reliable slaves have to cancel sessions from time to time. Strangely enough slaves who have a history of being reliable almost never mention punishment in relation to cancellations…whereas slaves who have a history of not being reliable seem to LOVE this idea. If this hits a nerve with you I challenge you to spend some time thinking about your motives. Want more harshness or “edge” to your session? Like the idea of being punished? There’s always the option of just politely communicating this so that it can be incorporated in your next booking.

A healthy relationship with kink is one that is able to separate fantasy from reality. A healthy relationship with your ProDomme is one that shows respect for her as a person and for her time as a professional.

So the “punishment” for a pattern of cancellations? You will be asked to make a deposit for all future bookings.
For disrespectful behaviour or timewasting? Careful. I may decide not to bother interacting further.

After all there’s plenty of respectful, generous slaves out there and THEY are the ones I prefer to focus my attention on.