I’ve had several people ask for my help in this respect, so let me explain my qualifications first. I normally am not fond of doing this, as it seems silly to claim authority in this case, but I think it’s important if you’re going to listen to what I’m about to say. My experience with discipline comes from the point of view of someone who’s not only a Dom, but a teacher as well. I have received numerous recognitions on my discipline systems in my classroom, and the same skill-set carries over into the D/s world. In fact, I teach classroom management and parenting management classes (through a few organizations that have noticed my prowess for discipline and the like). First of all, you need to know what type of disciplinarian you are to begin with.
The Four Types of Disciplinarians
This is a style wherein the Dom gives multiple opportunities for redirection. Someone giving “warnings” four or five times is common. Too much leniency leads to a style that is respectful, but not firm. It leads to a relaxed structure, but it lacks limits. You will constantly be shifting gears and trying new tactics to try to get your subs to cooperate. Bottom Line: subs learn they can ignore your words until you take appropriate action.
Many (new) Doms who are generally “good guys” or “nice gals” fall into this trap, as they don’t want to push their subs too far.
This is a style wherein the Dom gives punishments that may be excessive and possibly insulting in delivery (or without any warning/explanation in advance). Punishments may not be explicitly stated in advance (i.e.: “My sub should have known x would lead to to y” rather than “I told My sub that she would get x if she did y.”) This style is firm, but not respectful. It is a poor match for strong-willed submissives. Imagine how you would respond if traffic laws were punitive; you’d learn the rule, but be irate at the message’s communication. Bottom Line: Overly compliant subs will obey out of fear (which may be fun sometimes, but long-term isn’t a positive thing; that’s not really submission). Strong-willed subs will rebel or seek revenge.
Doms who feel the need to be super-Domly and very S types (or those who have issue understanding the difference between being Dominant and controlling/abusive) fall into this trap.
This is a style wherein the Dom oscillates between permissive and punitive. They may start out being lenient, but when pushed to a point, they snap. It seems, to the sub, to be possibly at random (as they cannot predict the times punitive action will be taken). This can breed confusion and/or negative attention seeking. Bottom Line: subs will not know when you will be punitive or permissive, and will test more than usual.
A Dom who feels unable to control his submissive and doesn’t understand how to properly manage behavior or discipline will get frustrated and oscillate into a mixed style.
This is a style that relies on the things I’ll detail later: avoiding making it personal, avoiding emotion, giving limited choices, taking action immediately and consistently, etc. There are no lectures or bargaining, here– simply respect with appropriate actions taken. It succeeds because it is not adversarial. Bottom Line: subs create less conflict because actions are consistent, they are given choices, and respect is evident.
A Dom who is in control and understands how to properly train a submissive will fall into this category
If you fall into any category other than the last one (or your Dom does), read on to get some insight on how to adjust your actions to more appropriately discipline your submissives. I will give you ten tips to start with.
1) Consequences Must Actually Be Discipline/Punishments
What I mean by that is that “funishments” do not, in fact, work; or rather, they do not have the intended effect of behavior change. The punishments should not be something that the person (or people) being punished would actually enjoy. Positive reinforcement can work, and I may get to that later– but that’s not our purpose, at the moment. If you suggest a punishment and the punishee enjoys it, then something is awry.
2) Consequences Must Be Related to the Misbehavior
If I tell you that it is wrong to hit, and show you that by hitting you, I am teaching you something different than what I’m saying. I’m saying “hitting doesn’t solve problems,” but then showing you that it– in fact– does. If, for example, the person you are punishing was told that they were to send you three outfit choices for you to pick between and they do not, a punishment of ignoring them doesn’t make sense. It’s not related to what they did directly. A punishment of a beating is not related, either. What is related, however, is anything regarding clothing and the timeliness of finishing tasks. Something along the lines of having to send the outfits (with photos) and then be forced to wear an overly revealing choice in public? That’s directly related and consequential. Furthermore, it allows the first task to still be completed.
3) Ensure You Are Consistent
You need to make sure that you consistently punish, and in similar ways (presuming those ways are effective and follow the other steps listed here). Say you have two subs who misbehave in the same way (or even if you have one, and they do the same thing twice). One time, you punish the sub; the other time, you do not. What are they truly learning? What they are learning is: “I may be able to push the boundaries here.” Remember, your action or inaction is teaching a lesson here. Only you can control who is in charge of that lesson. In other words, consistency is key because you should…
4) Use Actions; They Speak Louder
A speed limit sign says that the maximum speed before a penalty is 55 mph. You know, however, from experience that you are unlikely to get a ticket until you’re going over 65 mph. What is the actual law? It says 55, but those are just words– the ACTION (of when the consequence occurs) is what truly matters. Not only do you need to say you will punish (and how you will do that), but you need to actually do it. And consistently, as mentioned in number three.
5) Remove Your Emotions From It
Discipline is about changing behavior (or behavior patterns). It is not about vengeance or a vendetta. It is not about being upset or hurt. Surely, you may be hurt when your submissive misbehaves and/or ignores your demands, but your punishment cannot come from that place. Your goal is their self-betterment, submission, and a change in their actions. Putting emotions into it leads to being more severe, showing less restraint, or having illogical/inconsistent punishments. None of these are good. Furthermore, the bratty subs out there will get a kick out of your emotional reaction and will seek it out. You do not want to give them that attention, here.
6) Make Your Messages Clear
No matter if you’re disciplining or merely telling your submissive what your desire is, how you phrase your message is vital.
Keep your focus on the behavior.
“You can talk with me after you write in your journal, and not before” is much stronger than “Why are you being such a shit? Write in your journal.”
Be direct and specific.
“Wash, dry, and put away all of the dishes; pack up the leftovers in the containers; and clean off the counters” is better than “clean up the kitchen.” How can your submissive know what you want if you’re unclear?
Specify the consequences for noncompliance
“Stop looking at your phone while we’re talking, dear. If you take it out again while we chat, I am going to take out your battery until the end of the weekend.”
7) Give Choices
When provided with options, people are far less likely to rebel (even if they are a brat). The options needn’t necessarily be wonderful, even– they just need to exist and be communicated to the person who may be punished. For example, when you get options after getting a speeding ticket, you feel you have some degree of “control.” You are aware, then, that you may pay a fine directly or go to court to fight it. Neither of these are charming notions, but you have some flexibility and ownership over the punishment.
8) Make Your Choices Logical and Limited
Imagine that you have Netflix and that you don’t return a movie on time. If they instantly charged you for another rental, it would seem unfair, wouldn’t it? Of course. So why do we do this sort of thing to our subs? We need to provide choices and let them prove themselves as capable. What does Netflix actually do in this scenario? They give you a choice. Return your movie on time, or be unable to rent another one. There is also a final, hard-limit (punishment)– after a certain number of days, they charge you for the film.
So how do implement this? You restrict the number of choices to two or three. You make the submissive responsible for his or her behavior (asking “What will you choose?” puts the onus upon them and gives them ownership). Then, if they do not comply, you follow through with your consequence/punishment.
I will post a series of example punishments should I get enough interest in seeing such a list of logical/limited choices.
9) Avoid Unclear Statements
When you tell your submissive to stand in the corner until they are ready to do x, y, or z, this is a problem. Some submissives may be “ready” to do x, y, or z right away. Some may get irritated and choose to stay there infinitely longer than you had intended. Give time limits and time-frames. “You will stand there for thirty minutes. When you hear the timer go off, we can move on.” Also, never use the word, “Okay?” at the end of your consequence. What if it’s not okay to the sub– does that mean he or she can choose not to do it? Of course not.
10) Give a Clean Slate
When the punishment or consequence is finished, it’s finished. Don’t lord the misbehavior over your submissive. You wouldn’t want it done to you, so why would you do it to them? Many submissives feel horrendous enough when they misbehave (as they do not like to disappoint)– if the goal is behavioral correction, reminding them of their misdeed over and over again will only cause resentment or anxiety. That is not your job, as a Dom, and that is not the goal of discipline.
I hope this helped, as a start. I may post a list of some common misbehaviors along with example responses that fulfill these guidelines if enough people would be interested!
The Original was written by Mister_Emm