My experience, both within my relationship with Joy and also within my professional career, is that discipline, in opposition to revenge, is a dish best served hot. In other words, the best time to administer discipline is the moment a transgression is recognized.
Allow me to provide an example for us to work with in our discussion. At various times over the years, Joy has been given an assignment to practice her oral skills using a dildo. Often this assignment has been given for times when she is home and I am out—it serves as a good way for her to relish her submission even when I am not around to reinforce it in person.
The specifics of the assignment are these—Joy must use our suction cup dildo to practice giving a “proper blowjob”. A proper blowjob, for those who are not aware, requires that Joy must be stripped to panties (or completely naked), on her knees, with her hands behind her back, while she sucks. For this assignment, Joy must practice giving oral pleasure to the dildo for five minutes, timed by clock, taking the dildo as deeply down her throat as she can manage. When she has finished her five minutes, she is required to text me to tell me that her task is complete.
The benefit of such practice should be obvious. Joy has practiced a fair amount, and it has made a difference in her cock-sucking abilities. At this point Joy can take a standard 8” dildo and make it vanish entirely down her throat, a skill that she is embarrassed to discuss or even receive a compliment about, but of which she is secretly quite proud.
However, the assignment to practice is not her favorite, especially if I am not at home. Partly this is because it is humiliating for her to have to stop what she is doing, take off her clothes, kneel, and suck off the dildo. However, the humiliation also makes it exciting for her, so this is only part of the problem. The real issue, I believe, is that she resents having to take the time out of her day to perform this task. Joy very much enjoys feeling productive, and taking a break to get naked and blow a dildo interrupts her productivity.
A long time ago, back when we were relatively new to BDSM, I gave Joy the assignment described above for a week, with the stipulation that her practice be performed each day before I got home from work. Monday went fine, but on Tuesday, I never received the text from Joy that I expected.
I had brought dinner home that night, and when I got home, Joy had the counter set for us to eat. She greeted me with a smile and began to tell me about her day. I put the food down, walked over, encircled her in a hug, and asked, “Joy, what happened to the text you were supposed to send me?”
“I know…I’m so sorry. My day was so busy, and I forgot about it until just before you got home, and I didn’t have time…”
Joy was in a good mood, the counter was set, and the food was getting cold. I was looking forward to a peaceful, relaxing evening. Consider the various options I had. I could have…
- …told her, “I understand, and I’ll let it slide this time. I understand you get busy. But be sure to get with the program tomorrow.” This would have been the worst choice, and if you want to understand why, read my post “Sweat the Small Stuff”.
- …thought about the dinner and the good mood, decided not to derail things at the moment, and said something like, “I understand you were busy, and we’ll discuss it later. For now, let’s eat.” Once “later” arrived, I could have gone ahead with whatever disciplinary action I felt the situation called for.
- …done exactly what I did do, and addressed the situation immediately.
I believe Joy was completely astonished at how quickly she found herself over my knee, skirt up over her back, my hand coming down on her bare bottom, and listening to a necessary lecture on prioritization and making sure she follows through on her assignments, busy or no. Her legs kicked a couple times and her hand came up to try to get in the way, but I grabbed it and held it in the small of her back until she settled in for her punishment. And when we were done, I got the suction cup dildo out and stuck it to the side of the refrigerator so that she could do the practice she had missed right there in front of me. For whatever reason, she didn’t see the discipline coming, and I’m still not certain I understand why. Dinner was a little cold by the time we got done, but nonetheless, this was the correct choice. And just in case you’re wondering, we ended the evening all wrapped up in the sheets together, spent and naked and happy in bed.
Option 1—not addressing the issue at all—was a non-starter. But let’s think about the differences between the second and third options I laid out. Even if Option 2 ended up with exactly the same spanking I gave using Option 3, Option 2—postponing the disciplinary response—would have provided a much different and less effective message than Option 3—immediate discipline.
When an Option 2 variant is employed, the message the Dominant sends to their partner is, “This matters, but it is less important to me than whatever we are doing right now.” While this is a better message than, “This doesn’t matter,” it is far less powerful than the “This is unacceptable!” message given by Option 3. If I had used Option 2 in the situation I described with Joy, when I gave her my mid-spanking lecture, I would have been telling her, “I want you to re-prioritize your day to make sure you complete your assignments” immediately after having demonstrated that completing my own assignment–dealing with her transgression–had less priority for me than dinner and a glass of wine. Clearly this would muddy the waters, and dilute the impact of what I was saying.
In addition, Option 2 variants don’t really do a good job of postponing the discipline, anyway. The Dominant has recognized the transgression and informed their submissive that it will be dealt with—how comfortable can the sub be with waiting? Joy isn’t stupid—not by a long shot. If I had said “We’ll discuss this later,” to her, she would be well aware that much of the discussion would be taking place with her bare ass up, laying across my lap. Frankly, it would have ruined our evening as Joy would dread her coming punishment and begin to build up resentment inside her.
It is much more effective and much better for all concerned to deal with any disciplinary action immediately. And allow me to share that I am not the only one in my BDSM relationship that feels this way—Joy firmly agrees. “I hate it when I know I’m in trouble,” she says. “Once I’m in your lap and getting spanked, I can cry if I need to and let it out, and when it’s over, it’s over. And I can feel better. I want to get to that spot as quickly as I can! Having to wait just sucks!”
Of course, dealing with a transgression immediately isn’t always possible. Suppose, for instance, you discover your wife is wearing panties, despite your instructions that she is never to wear panties when you are out on a date together, after you are already out in public. In a situation like this, immediate action isn’t necessarily possible, at least not in the form of a spanking. Instead, my suggestion is to embrace Option 2 above, as it is the best you can do, while at the same time, taking whatever measures you can implement to rectify the behavior. On the evening when Joy forgot and wore her panties, I required her to immediately remove them and hand them to me. Fortunately for Joy, the table we were sitting at had a long tablecloth.