Each day in September, I will be posting a question about submission, along with two responses- the first written five years ago and the second from today. I welcome all who wish to join in this exercise to post your own answers in the comments, adjusting the question if necessary to suit your own roles and sensibilities.
Do you accept and/or expect discipline or punishments as part of your submission? How do you feel about it?
Growing up, true punishment was rare. Occasionally, an adult may express disappointment, but that was nearly always as far as it went. I tried my best to not be disappointing. In a way, I think this was more effective than punishment would have been. I was so terrified of what the people I respected would think if I did anything wrong that I was very (probably annoyingly) well-behaved.
The concept of punishment is very comforting to me. It’s the acceptance that I’ve done something wrong., but that action does not define me. It’s something I can learn and grow from. Punishment is someone else recognizing that, accepting me along with my failings, and helping me to develop.
Do I accept?
Easy- the idea of being disciplined and punished is the core of my attraction to kink. Opening up enough to admit that I have done wrong, that I have failed in some way, and accepting judgement, punishment, and absolution from a dominant figure is a powerful, positive experience, though it has been a rare one for me. It is still something that I am seeking, and the couple of glimpses that I’ve had have only reinforced my desires.
Do I expect?
This is harder. At first, yes. I had assumed that more people would be looking for the same things I was- an easy assumption to make after spending so much time reading and interacting with people drawn to sites dedicated to this particular style of submission.
When first venturing into the in-person scene, I struggled to process the sensations and emotions of light-hearted BDSM play. I knew other people found this fulfilling and/or fun. I tried to as well. I knew that punishment was a lot to ask of a new partner, a casual friend. I knew that less-emotionally-intense forms of play were more suitable for public events and new relationships. I tried to shift my thinking, to enjoy the sensations and connection alone. I succeeded, but only somewhat.
I’ve come to enjoy other forms of BDSM: role play punishments and scenes not involving punishment at all. However, I still struggle sometimes with pain disassociated from the disciplinary headspace. I still struggle with forms of play that do not involve pain, and with flavours of pain which I do not associate with punishment.
It’s not always a struggle. The planning of a scene is generally quite fun. The memories of a scene are treasured. Most of a scene itself is a wonderful experience, but there are moments during where the bliss irrationally turns to anger. I feel like lashing out, like pulling away, stopping everything, resolving never to do this again. This wasn’t what I wanted, and I don’t need to accept it. What made me think this was a good idea in the first place, this thing so close to what I want and yet so entirely different? Why do I continue to put myself through this, why don’t I just stop?
But I don’t disengage. I stay, I breathe, and the feelings pass. The paddle strikes again, or the top lays a hand atop my head, or I glimpse an enraptured onlooker and I remember why I do this. I relax back into the scene. The bliss of submission returns.