Sunday, February 26, 2017
Punishment and Intimacy
Somehow Katie and I were talking about punishments. I don’t know what got us on the topic but we found ourselves engaged in a discussion. She brought up a past memory in which she remembered a series of incidents when one of her children would get into a mode where he'd continually do the wrong thing. “I didn’t want to spank him but I knew I had to. And when I did - every time - he stopped being so bad for a while. It was that way every time,” she said thoughtfully.
It was about this same time when I received a comment from Jake. He made mention of instances in which his mistress needed to punish him. He states: “On more occasions than I can count, my wife has handcuffed me to the bed frame, forcing me to spend the evening on the hardwood floor, as she makes herself comfortable in our king-sized bed. That translates to 10 seconds of “work” for her, and 10 hours of suffering for me, with the net result being the doubling of my eagerness to obey her the following day.”
I also read a comment by Marisa on The Disciplines Husbands Forum: "….. I LOVE confession. I am not talking about the contrived “mommy I was naughty" version designed to get a spanking, but the sincere heartfelt admission of guilt and acceptance of penance………”
Punishment and penance. Two words that are pervasive throughout all societies. Our criminal court system is based around the principle of punishing the guilty and giving absolution to the innocent. Children punish their friends in their little kid ways. Parents punish children. Employers discipline employees. Police officers hand out tickets to speeders. Teachers punish misbehavior in school. Coaches make kids run when they disobey. Punishment can be found everywhere and the use of reward or punishment is a foundational method of rewarding or discouraging various types of behavior.
What I wanted to hone in on was Katie’s comment regarding the effect her punishment had on her child. The outcome was the same with how Jake responded after being cuffed him to the bed. In both instances it curbed inappropriate behavior. My hunch is it removed the tension between parent and child, between mistress and submissive. In the case of Katie’s child it restored a relationship that was partly broken. It did the same with Jake and his wife. Adding to the power of punishment is what Marisa feels when having to handle her submissive when he comes to her to own up to a wrong. She loves when he does. She loves having him own up to a wrong committed by bringing it to her attention. Why? Well she went on to say in her comment …. “(the act of her submissive man confessing) is very hot for a dominant woman. I believe it taps deeply into our nurturing nature as well as the penance giving role so natural to us."
Isn’t that statement revealing? Aren’t women all about their man being open, honest and vulnerable? Don't relationships become 'real' during those times when we really cast aside the protective facades we too often use and really bare our soul that the one who loves us? Those times can affect us in such profound ways. Marisa is one who loves it when her man tells her what he’s done wrong. She loves it because he’s given her power to do with him whatever she deems appropriate. Will she simply say, "Thank you for being honest?” Might she levy out punishment? His vulnerability suddenly created a relationship building moment. And in the case of Marisa she loves it. His vulnerability is sexy. His vulnerability stimulates her in ways she normally isn't. His vulnerability creates an opportunity for the two of them to engage in something she views as both nurturing and intimate.
That is the key takeaway point here. Punishment and intimacy are tied inseparably together. Katie spanking her child resulted in a parent child bond. He no longer wanted to disobey. Her nurturing act of spanking him allowed her child to let go of whatever underlying insecurity it was that made him want to act out. Because Jake was cuffed to the bed and made to sleep on a hardwood floor, that punishment was interpreted as an act of love on his part. It gave him time to reflect on how his actions hurt his mistress. It gave him perspective. It made him love his mistress all the more. It didn’t create a divide. Marisa too found the act of her submissive confessing and the subsequent punishment delivered as a means of bolstering their love-bond. In each instance love was manifested through the act of disciplining. In each situation two individuals were brought closer together.
The reason why is beyond my level of understanding. Maybe it is because the punishment removed feelings of guilt from the transgressor. Maybe it’s because it brought closure to a breach in the relationship. Maybe it was because of the depth of trust demonstrated on the part of the confessor as well as the one serving up the punishment. I'm sure it can be just as difficult for her to tell him to stand in the corner as it is for him to confess and know something uncomfortable is about to take place because of that confession. There is a mutual trust required by both.
So what does this mean to me? I’m not completely sure. As of yet, Katie has not begun to have ‘talks’ where she probes my actions to see if I am following orders to the highest of standards. Katie has never punished me. I do believe she is giving it consideration. I think so because of some comments she made when we had that talk that brought our issues to the forefront.
I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this topic. Does the confession of wrongs build closeness in your relationship? Does punishment of any sort work when thinking of it as a way to build intimacy? Can there be ‘bad’ punishments or improper punishments or ineffective punishments? When thinking of the word punishment, does it really have to equate with a spanking or are there other effective and more useful ways to accomplish the same objective?
Just a few thoughts for this time around.