content warning: D/s, honorifics including “Daddy,” impact play as punishment, impact play as pleasure, discussions of past abuse
Damien and I have been doing D/s for several years now. Our dynamic is full-time, though it isn’t very protocol-heavy, and Damien isn’t particularly strict, with just a handful of rules and sacred expectations. I’m not, generally, a bratty submissive. When I misbehave, it’s not something I’m proud of, and usually comes from being overwhelmed or otherwise not at my best. Discipline has thus always been a very minor part of our dynamic. While we agreed on punishment as a feature early on, Damien prefers to to dominate with praise, which I thrive on.
For much of our dynamic, we avoided spanking as punishment. We both come from physically abusive families, so we were both anxious over the idea of it. Additionally, I’m a masochist, in that I derive genuine pleasure from getting spanked. Yes, it hurts, but I love it. We worried that a spanking punishment would risk either lessening the enjoyment, or lessening the punishment.
I’m the one who started thinking about it first. As with so many things, I explored it in self-indulgent fiction, and read about it, and then brought it up with Damien. Was this something we could see working for us? Was it something they wanted to do? And if it appealed to me, did that invalidate it as a punishment?
We discussed it for several weeks, weighing our options, weighing our feelings. We had other forms of discipline at our disposal, on the rare occasions when it was needed: I wrote essays, or sat in the corner, or I had my “good girl” dog tag taken away for a while. These are all good options, but they all shared one problem: they gave me space to belabor the issue.
As I said, misbehavior usually stems from being overwhelmed, and so for us, punishment and discipline are not a toll I pay for it. They are a way of helping me to move on from it. I’m a being made of carbon and guilt, and if I make a mistake, I’m excellent at beating myself up about it for hours or days on end. While I’m generally much better about that than I was in years past (therapy and age are great for perspective) I sometimes need some help pulling me out of that mindset. This is why we agreed to discipline in our dynamic in the first place: it helps to ameliorate the guilt I feel naturally.
The other punishments were great for making me feel like I’d atoned, for helping me to calm down. But they nonetheless forced both of us to dwell on the issue. They left a lot of space for me to analyze and contemplate. I wrote the essay about which rule I wasn’t following, and Daddy read it and was very proud of me for internalizing the rule so well, but then all I could think about was that rule and how I broke it. The rest of my day is usually spent in a bad funk. Physical punishment had the benefit of a concrete ending point, creating a solid transition between “misbehavior” and “all is forgiven”, which seemed potentially very helpful to my particular weird brain.
Spanking in general also helps me to reaffirm my submission and their dominance. Our dynamic is very comforting to both of us and generally speaking, I am an extremely obedient submissive. Often when I’m overwhelmed to the point of misbehavior, it’s a sign that I need reassurance of our dynamic. Thus, I’m not being punished for being overwhelmed, but for the behavior within that, and by punishing me for that behavior, the dynamic is reaffirmed, and so I am better able to return to my normal, happy headspace—a headspace in which I’m not inclined to misbehave or break rules in the first place. It’s all a bit recursive.
So, after going around a lot and considering the benefits, we decided to try it—but we had to put a few rules in place.
1. It has to be a toy that I don’t hate, but don’t like.
Damien didn’t want to “taint” a toy that I loved by making me associate it with punishment. They didn’t want some primal part of my brain to make me sob about what a bad girl I am in the middle of a fun play session. I’m sure that’s a good time for some people, and hey, no shame, but that’s not what either of us wanted.
However, they also didn’t want me to feel like I was being tortured. It was punishment, nothing more, a few swats to make sure I knew I’d misbehaved, before we could move on.
Fortunately, this was very, very easy to figure out: the Geeky Sex Toys TardAss paddle that I reviewed earlier this year fit the bill. It’s thuddy, which is not a sensation I prefer for fun, because I find it very jarring and it doesn’t seem to start up my “good times” engine. However, it’s also not too painful. I’m not gonna feel like Damien’s shattering my pelvis, and it’s not something I can’t handle. While I don’t like the sensation, I could actually endure it for quite a bit longer than Damien requires of me.
2. We both have to be calm when punishments are administered.
Because Damien and I both come from abusive homes, we’ve both been struck in anger. The amazing thing about angry hitting is that it really doesn’t help anything. The person who’s angry just gets angrier; the person being hit either feels like cowering in terror or gets angry back. (Sometimes both.)
This was one of the most important rules as we established this new protocol. Neither of us felt like being triggered while acting on things we chose to do, and no one wanted to risk a loss of control. Punishment is, for us, a productive and positive thing, however it’s administered, and we wanted to keep it very separate from negative things.
So, before any spanking is administered, we both cool our heels. Even if neither of us feel angry in the moment, we both take some time to chill. And once it’s time for the actual spanking, it’s a very deliberate process, and Damien both keeps an eye on me and checks in regularly, in their calmest voice possible.
3. It must be done the same day.
While we need to relax for a bit before a punishment spanking happens, Damien also doesn’t want to drag it out. The whole point is that we’re able to move on after, and sitting there for three days while I dread a spanking (which isn’t even that bad) is pretty counterproductive. Also, we both have the memory span of a goldfish, so there’s a chance that we won’t even remember what the fuck I’m being punished for.
If, for some reason, a spanking can’t be done that day—if Damien’s not feeling well, or we’re going to be out all day, or some other reason—then we drop it. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than dreading a spanking for a week and not quite remembering why. This actually hasn’t come up yet, because the few occasions that I’ve earned a punishment, they’ve been able to deliver.
Since we started implementing physical punishment, it’s only been administered four times. (I have gotten a few “Do you need a spanking?” warnings, and boy does my behavior clear up. It’s not because I’m afraid of the spanking, but rather, it makes me pay attention to what I’m doing and saying, and how I’m behaving.) They’ve varied in some ways, but they’ve all followed a general script.
After the cool-down period, Damien brings me over to their bed and I either lay face-down on it, or kneel at the end. My pants are lowered, but the rest of my clothing is still on, because Damien wants me able to cover up again once we’re done.
Damien runs a hand over my back, or over my hair. They assure me that I am a good girl, and that they know I can be a good girl, and I just need a reminder.
The paddle comes down. It hurts, but I can handle it. They tell me I’m doing well, and remind me to breathe.
They spank me, maybe six times, or ten. We don’t really plan it out in advance. They’re mostly quiet, but they check in with me. Ask if I’m okay. Tell me we’re almost done. Remind me to breathe some more.
I cry, not because of the pain, but because it feels good to let go of something, and because my thoughts are so, so quiet while the paddle is so loud on my skin. I misbehaved, but that’s okay; we’re taking care of it, together. It reaffirms that they’re in charge, which in turn makes me feel safer and more secure.
And then they stop. If I’m laying on the bed, they crawl over me and just hold me, gentle and loving, and their weight is so comforting that I either stop crying immediately, or I don’t stop for a while. And that’s fine. It took me years to feel safe enough to cry around Damien, growing up in a house where tears only fueled further anger. Crying is good. Crying is safe.
And then I stop crying, and I’m calm, and Damien is calm, and they’re so proud of me for getting through my punishment. And I’m proud of them, too, because they followed through with their promises, because they’re wonderful, because they care enough to take the time to correct me while building me up.
Aftercare continues as normal then, and we talk, a normal conversation, and have something to eat. Damien has found that their own aftercare (because tops need care too) often includes doing something like making food, and that fits in nicely with my own needs because I’m useless after a spanking, punishment or pleasure.
Sometimes I’m a little horny after, because even if I don’t like the spanking, my body doesn’t necessarily know that. And that’s okay. I don’t need to hate the spanking on every level. We know what it means, and anyway, the spanking is over, and my punishment is over. Maybe they let me masturbate that day. Maybe they don’t, not to punish me, but to tease me, because that’s part of our dynamic—never too serious for too long, no less important for it.
And then, everything is okay. I’m fine, and safe, and secure in the knowledge that I’m still Daddy’s good girl, and they’re still in charge. And we can move forward.
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