There is an article that I wrote that touched some of the subjects so I am going to add this here: Discipline Vs Punishment – A pup’s perspective and this was written by Pup Scout
I know it is customary to add sources and references at the end of a piece of writing, however I would encourage you guys to read the above links first before continuing onto reading the following article: Corporal Punishment / BDSM Lifestyle and Pup Play.
“Inflicting a graduating amount of pain, in order to maintain discipline or authority in a relation, or in a BDSM role playing scenario.”
A deliberate act of inflicting pain to a subject, for a perceived transgression of the rules. In sexual terms, it is used during various role playing activities associated with the BDSM community. However, it can take ‘milder forms’ in normal sexual situations, such as in the spanking of a buttocks.
All forms of punishment are basically corporal punishment, where the infraction may determine the amount of pain administered.
It is also a form of establishing one’s authority over another, such as in s/m culture, or BandD role playing.
As old as history, where society has ‘punished’ members of its society for rules infractions. It has ranged from caning (still practiced in some countries, such as Singapore)
Ancient Sparta was considered to have an extreme use of ‘corporal punishment’ which was used for toughening and strengthening. Rome would use ‘flogging’ as a form of public punishment. In addition it was limited to 40 lashes, actually 39 so as to insure not breaking the law.
Medieval Europe saw an increase in Corporal Punishment, especially in schools, due to the influence of the Church and it’s concept of the human body. This included the ‘religious’ practice of ‘self flagellation’ during one’s solitary prayers.
Some believed it was to help drive out the evil spirits, others thought it was to accept punishment for one’s mortal sins. It is rumored to still be a part of some obscure secular believers rituals.
It was also commonly used by the British Navy and Army in colonial times, for those who breached rules of conduct. Generally such punishments were supervised by medical personnel. They would stop such ‘flogging’ if the offender was incapable of receiving the full scope of punishment.
It has been used in some form or another, to enforce discipline in schools, and though mostly no longer allowed, some States in the USA still use ‘paddling’ as a form of punishment in its schools.
In some areas, corporal punishment was outlawed for girls, while still being allowed for males. In other regions, administration of corporal punishment is considered ‘abuse of a minor’ no matter the level of pain being inflicted.
In 1784, Poland was the first to ban spanking or corporal punishment in schools. The United States refused to sign the United Nations charter of the ‘Rights of Children’ (in 2004) because of the provision banning parents from ‘using excessive discipline’ though it didn’t specifically mention Corporal Punishment.
History (Legend): Noted German psychologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing claimed that there was a link between a child who experienced corporal punishment at home, later sadist and masochist behavior in their adult life., though Sigmund Freud disputed that correlation.
Can take various forms. It can be as mild as a few brief whacks across the bare buttocks of a partner, or can be more intensive, where a great deal of pain is inflicted.
It can include the use of various implements, like whips, paddles, hair brushes, and other firm objects. It can also cause damage if applied to more sensitive parts of the body. Usually such measures are applied to the more fleshy body parts, such as the buttocks.
The most used are the open ended palm of a hand, or a paddle.
Some BDSM role playing involved the ‘bottom’ deliberately creating a situation for the ‘top’ that various forms of ‘corporal punishment’ are administered. This can include whipping, paddling, and such.
During ‘impact play’ or other associated BDSM activities, corporal punishment takes on many forms. It can include any means of inflicting pain on a ‘submissive/bottom’. It is usually instigated by the ‘bottom/submissive’.
Being bound is not a requirement, though is generally accepted as being part of the whole ‘game’. Care has to be used, when using Corporal Punishment techniques, in order to avoid possible permanent injury to the ‘bottom’.
During any BDSM role playing, the USE OF A SAFEWORD will end the administration of the punishment.
In many instances various apparatuses are used, where the ‘bottom’ is forced to lay across or bent over, so that the ‘top’ can administer the punishment with an assorted variety of tools. The ‘bottom’ can be bound as well to these apparatuses, such as a ‘X’ type cross, trestle, bench, or other similar items.
Spanking or Paddling are more traditional during ‘age play’ scenes, and can be very painful. Flagellation is generally not involved in such scenes, but is left to the more ‘extreme’ role playing scenarios.
Most forms of Corporal Punishment are directed towards the buttocks, the back, the back of the upper legs, and the soles of the feet. Other body areas are far more riskier, in that very serious injury can be inflicted without being noticed.
There is also the ‘humiliation’ factor to be taken into account in this type of fetishism. While hitting the soles of one’s feet isn’t necessarily considered ‘humiliating’ it is extremely painful and the effects (pain) can last for lengthy periods of time.
The force of the blow can be a factor, but generally is administered in a less intense manner, but can be repeated over a lengthy time frame, increasing the sensitivity of the area being struck, thus increasing the pain being administered.
Noteworthy: In some countries, Corporal Punishment of Children is considered a form of abuse, though not some of the more ‘western’ countries (notably the United States, that defends the rights of parents to discipline their children as they see fit.). Most psychiatric experts note that such ‘punishment’ does not produce long term benefits, but actually the opposite effect. They claim it leads to more aggression from grown children who were subjected to regular corporal punishment.
Reference: Gay Demon – Source of above article: GAY-DEMON The above definitions, practice and history is not my work, the original article can be found at the link provided above.
If a submissive is to be disciplined, should they be caned, whipped, beaten? Is utilising some form of corporal punishment effective in modifying behavior or counterproductive?
It depends – of course – but my position is corporal punishment can be effective as long as the dominant is skilled, experienced, and mature. In regards to pup play I personally feel that for many submissive pups positive reinforcement is more likely to work then corporal punishment. The pup mentality generally wants to please their Handler or Alpha then disappoint. In saying that sometimes pups do need a firm hand. Once again I would say this would be open to the discussion between the parties involved.
Why would a submissive sound off on the topic? Because it’s been brought up repeatedly with in various internet circles, including Fetlife. I have seen many post on this topic with strong views that you should never strike a pup. Mostly, those arguing against the idea, use more emotion and second-hand anecdotes than informed reason and logic to make their points. Basically it comes down to common sense and what has been communicated in that particular arrangement.
When Sir strikes me for being bad, I know it is justified and deserved and I have protocoles in place including a punishment register that enables me to reflect on my behaviour, what I did wrong and how I was punished.
Below are well-reasoned arguments for a hostile audience who’ll probably never read a single word.
Qualifications are tedious but seem unavoidable given the subject.
Polthus explains that, “Punishment is an aspect of Lifestyle BDSM relationships that saliently sets them apart from conventional ones. Anyone who’s suffered through a lengthy drive in silence can attest to the fact that punishments exist in conventional relationships. However, behavior is coded in faux-egalitarianism and therefore erratic and often arbitrary. In contrast, those living in a lifestyle BDSM relationship usually have an explicit binary of power and specific rules which, if broken, lead to a submissive being punished. Yes, some lifestyle D/s relationships have looser strictures than others, and there are thousands of different dynamics, but some reduction is required to have a discussion.”
Back to the issue: to strike a submissive as a form of punishment or not.
Common arguments against corporal punishment tend to run as follows: a beating rewards a masochist; it doesn’t matter if the attention is negative because it’s still attention; a dominant might abuse their power and harm the submissive; mixing ‘fun’ activities with genuine punishment leads to confusion and resentment; or ‘funishments’ lead to bratty or SAMmy (Smart Ass Masochist) behavior.
I’ll address the ‘against arguments’ later, but for now here’s my working axiom for understanding why corporal punishment is effective:
An experienced dominant knows how to make the most pleasant activity an awful experience.
If you catch someone indulging in one cigar, how might you teach them a lesson? A common approach is to have them smoke five in a row. The same logic applies to eating cotton candy, riding a carousel, or damn near any other combination of verb and noun. In regards to corporal punishment, a logical disconnect seems to occur because the same tools/toys used for pleasure are being utilised to punish. Furthermore, tools such as the crop, or paddle have connotations that tend to evoke emotional responses as opposed to rational ones. Yet as I just demonstrated, pretty much ‘anything’ can be a source of discomfort.
A skilled dominant can make a punishment beating an experience that even an avowed masochist will avoid by using a combination of psychology, preparation, setting, and relentless repetition. Essentially, it’s the same cocktail used to launch a sub into space – except in reverse. The experience becomes one full of unpleasant and painful sensations that are as inescapable because the dominant makes them so.
Safe Words – Please see Polthus view on Safe Words [ safe words here.] Whilst I agree with the uses and setting up safe words, the link shows another view that always should be considered. As I have previously mentioned in other blog posts, I would assume that your play partner would be familiar with the practice of SSC, and would also practice RACK or PRICK or both.
This post IS NOT a ‘how to’ guide, I won’t provide an example of a punishment session. However, agree or disagree with my position, anyone who’s experienced in BDSM can understand the concept above. And for fucks sake – if you’re just getting your toes wet with kinky sex and lifestyle dynamics, please find an experienced mentor before you hurt yourself or someone else.
That said, here’s a brief response to the arguments against corporal punishment in lifestyle BDSM relationships:
“A masochist is being rewarded” – If we’re talking about someone ‘hard core,’ someone who derives sexual pleasure and catharsis from raw pain no matter who’s causing it and why, then yes, an extreme masochist would be rewarded. But we’re not talking about the fringe extremes here are we? And even if we were, the statement above leaves out a key component of psychology- the submissive desire to please their dominant.
Because if the person being punished is a submissive masochist, the event occurring means their dominant is so displeased with their behavior that they’ve set aside a portion of the day to address it means they fucked up badly. This knowledge can be part of what’s used to keep a submissive from deriving pleasure when being punished. Additionally, a dominant who knows what they’re doing has a pocketful of tactics to keep a sub from floating away on endorphins or escaping into their own mind.
Understanding the psychology of punishment and how it’s enacted, destroys the idea of ‘funishments’ and concerns over confusion. And, look, if you cannot differentiate between the ways ‘fun beatings’ and ‘punishment’ are very different beasts, then you probably shouldn’t be dispensing corporal punishment as serious aspect of your relationship.
I will add that displeasure or not pleasing your dominant, for both many submissive’s and pups is more than enough to realise they have fucked up, and should be used to ensure they understand the difference between a pleasurable beating and one that is meant for punishment.
As for dominants being abusive, that’s a completely separate issue. Why? Because they have the same tools and power to be abusive whenever they damn well please. And the tools themselves are just as much of a strawman as the nature of the relationship. Since when have abusive rageoholics required rules and rituals to oppress others? An abusive dominant that lacks self-control is dangerous to their submissive – full stop. The fact they have or have not incorporated beating someone as punishment is beside the point.
I have written two blog posts on BDSM Vs Abuse Part 1 & Part 2.
More often than mot, people tend to believe the knowledge they receive first without question. It’s human nature to do so. However, far be it from me to prescribe whether rational adults should or should not do something behind closed doors.
But if you want to know whether corporal punishment can be an effective means of correction, my answer is yes. Generally speaking the Dominants that I play with or train under are very experienced, they tend to know what makes me tick and I respect the Dominant that is training me. Those are three significant reasons I’m quite keen to avoid punishment.
Let’s be clear, knowing someone has the power to whip my ass until they decide I’ve had enough is arousing. However, I have ZERO desire to get a lesson beat into me. If you cannot grasp the seduction of giving up power and the appeal of the ‘unfairness’ in a D/s relationship, then either a D/s is not for your or you have just commenced your journey.
For those that are commencing their journeys will need to understand the seduction of giving up power and placing your trust into the hands of your dominant who will in-turn be a protector of that trust. And just as Polthus explains the appeal of the unfairness in a D/s relationship goes to the heart of the TPE.
Most of the above texted I have not edited and left as is, as I agree with it, I wish to thank Polthus who has expressed the desire for their writings to be shared. And I encourage you to read their post in it entirety.
Just like every D/s dynamic where there is a perceived power exchange, power imbalance or however you wish to describe it, pup play can very well fall into this category. And whether your a pup, and Alpha or Handler, etc. in the pup community you need to be aware, and be able to communicate your desires, and needs.
It must be noted the pup is not the only one that has the needs and desires that are needing to be meant, whilst many appear to forget the Handlers in much of their writings. The Handlers or the Dominants of the dynamic are equally as important as the pup.
As the community grows and people bring in their own interpretations of pup play, and include other kinks such as corporal punishment, we need to be open about this without discouraging others ideas. I will be discussing such ideas and cross overs in my next blog post. The take home message is just because it something you do not believe in dose not make it wrong, pup play can take many forms and have many interpretations