Day 25: Let’s Talk About Discipline and Punishment (Both In Person and Long Distance)

Penny is back in and in a way that I didn’t expect, but got insight into over the course of several emails with her. I am very proud to be able to call her friend and this is well worth reading for the new Daddy Dom.

Penny Berry Quinn's Path

Good Morning Friends!

A very Happy Tuesday to you! Today is Tuesday Tracing Pages, so we have a new free printable in our weekly games section for you to enjoy. Today we are discussing all about discipline and punishment. How do you discipline your Little in a long distance relationship? Is ignoring them the answer? What do you do if your Little has mental health issues? How can you incentivize your little to obey your commands? All of these questions will be tackled in today’s post! Are you ready? Then, let’s dive in!

I. The Goal of Discipline:

When examining discipline in a power exchange relationship it’s important that we “connect the dots” to understand how everything comes together. In a power exchange dynamic there is a Dominant and a submissive (or multiple). There are rules which are agreed upon by all parties involved. If a rule is broken by…

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Foundations: Building the Four Pillars

Before I tackle vetting for the Dominant, I wanted to tackle something that I reference a lot but do not spend nearly enough time on and I feel like as I find myself sliding back into the saddle, it’s something that I want to address today. The Four Pillars of BDSM are Honesty, Communication, Respect and Trust. I put them in that order for a reason and my reasons will be made apparent as we dive in. I hope you guys are ready. I’ve looked forward to this one. When I researched this more fully in preparation for today, so it wouldn’t be me rambling on about just personal feelings, the Four Pillars of BDSM originate from Old Guard teaching. If given time, even if it isn’t exactly your cup of tea, I can’t suggest enough delving into what came before. The Old Guard history is truly a fascinating era in what has brought us to the kinky world we know today.

The first pillar built is one of honesty and before you can be honest with anyone else, you need to first be honest with yourself. What is it you want? Do you have expectations? What is it you need, desire, crave? What are your kinks? Is that all of them? What about that one you left in the dark? Before you can even contemplate working on the next pillar, you have to be able to be honest. While we can all agree expectations tend to be unfair, maintaining an expectation of honesty is not an unjust presupposition. Going forward, extend honesty in all things with your prospective partner. You cannot expect honesty from them if you’re not honest with yourself and them.

As you build communication, you will return to your building blocks of honesty. It is here that vetting will eventually occur. Maintaining open and honest communication is paramount to any vanilla relationship and is even more so important entering the realm of dynamics. Communicating your needs, desires, and fantasies will naturally come, but you need to be able to also communicate your dislikes, soft limits and hard limits. You will need to be able to communicate your state of mind, feelings and thoughts. You will need to <strong>LISTEN </strong>to theirs. Listening is just as important in communication. You can talk to each other all day, but if what they are saying isn’t being heard, you’re just wasting your time. 

I positioned respect as the third pillar because without communication and honesty, in my opinion, you cannot build respect and in order to trust your partner, you must be able to respect one another. Respect in this aspect is multifaceted. As a Dominant, you need to respect your submissive’s limits and consent. As a submissive, you need to respect your Dominant’s authority and limits. How do you build respect though? From a relationship psychological standpoint, this is an involved, active exercise. Talk openly and honestly with each other. Listen to your partner. Value their thoughts, feelings and needs. Compromise. Speak kindly to each other. Be supportive. Keep your promises. When we get into world power exchange, some of these values can change depending on the authority transferred in your dynamic, such as compromise, but many of the same core tenets of building a healthy respectful vanilla relationship remain unchanged as you build your dynamic.

Once the pillars of honesty, communication and respect have been built, trust begins to form. Without trust, you cannot consent, gain consent or submit. Trust is a tender thing. It is carefully cultivated. It is not unlike a sheet of fine glass. Once fractured, it loses its structural integrity. Trust is vital in a submissive being able to freely submit. The submissive has to be able to trust their Dominant to be able to respect her safeword and hard limits. They trust their Dominants to lead and to protect their best interests. Trust is vital to the Dominant in that they are able to trust their submissive to obey within the confines of their structure and rules.

In building the four pillars, we are able to freely give what we have to the other. The submissive yields their power to their Dominant and the Dominant takes that power, adds it to their own, and together they are both able to fly. Without them, the whole structure begins to collapse and we are unable to reach the soaring heights we dream of.

Healing and Prepping for What’s Next

Last two weeks have especially rough for me as we moved through the grief and healing process. I spent a lot of time in isolation, reflection, meditation and depression sleeping. I spent last week socializing more. Working more on both my new FB group and just talking to people like I used to do. Getting back into the saddle, as it were. Bunny and I emailed each other a few dozen times, but I remain resolute in that ending things is what is best for me. All that matters is that I wish her well, I hope she finds what she needs, happiness, and peace.

A lot of this week’s discussions have been centered around vetting, knowing what you want, being comfortable with it, and negotiations. I am still constantly blown away by how little people are vetting. I completely understand following the whimsy of your heart. Trust me. I really do. It has been something I’ve struggled with for a long time. Right? I’m a Sagittarius. Believe me, I understand whimsical. At the end of the day, however, it is still up to you to protect your heart. Nobody else will do it for you.

I do have some more ideas for lifestyle writing in the pipeline and this week I’m hoping to finish The New Topping Book. I’ve not had a lot of desire to read heavily with everything that’s been going on. I have been working on an extensive list of new vetting questions, this time targeted for Daddy Doms and that will be coming out soon.

I hope life is finding you well.

Good Dominant or Bad Dominant? Depends on the Sub’s Needs

This was amazing to read. I don’t care if you’re new or experienced in the lifestyle. I learned something valuable reading this.

In weighing the frequently-asked question whether a Dominant can be considered “good” or “bad,” a submissive can find numerous articles all over the Internet that list desirable characteristics in a Dom, characteristics such as confidence, creativity, consistency, maturity, self-awareness, etc. Certainly, naturally dominant traits are advantages when assessing the quality of a Dominant. But I am going to take a different approach and say that that it is not necessarily a Dom’s character traits that are most important, but his or her motivation. Why does he or she want to control the sub? Or to be more precise, from what stage of development is the Dominant operating from, and does it correspond with the submissive’s stage?

I am going to take a different approach and say that that it is not necessarily a Dom’s character traits that are most important, but his or her motivation.

One helpful model in…

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Alpha sub…

Jen of WCDT

An “alpha sub” is the #1 or head sub in a multi s-type with one D-type in an ethical non-monogamy dynamic. That person helps train, enforce the rules and sometimes helps in a scene. To be an alpha sub, you must first be a sub (by submitting), and then be the alpha in the dynamic. You are alpha to the other subs, NOT the D-type.

Who you are in your vanilla life does not matter in the BDSM lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if you are the boss, have a strong personality, or if you “wear the pants’ ‘ in your vanilla relationships. You are not an alpha sub. There is absolutely no such thing, except the definition above.

The term comes from a few places. One being TNG not understanding the strength of being a submissive. Needing to separate themselves from the actual submissive role bc they view submissives as…

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The Unneeded Hard/Soft Dom Division

Perceptions from a Daddy Dom are essays, instruction pieces, and sometimes rants. I write and even text, like I talk in real life and I’m here today speaking from the heart. I offer my opinions and insight that I have gained from fifteen years of experience and through trial and error. I offer insight from the mindset of my Dominant philosophy, which is primarily that of Daddy Dom. I use the pronouns I am comfortable with, but please swap your pronouns where you feel comfortable. The lifestyle welcomes all of you. Welcome to Wonderland.

To begin with, I am a traditionalist. I am not Old Guard and I don’t consider myself to be New Guard, though I guess I’m closer to that than the alternative. I am definitely not New Generation. I see a lot of value in what the Old Guard laid out for us and value their traditions. It is due to some of these traditions that I find so interesting, you will always catch me with a black handkerchief in my left pocket. If I am at an event, it will be in my back left pocket, proudly displayed. Even if no one else understands, it’s a small thing that makes me smile. In the old days, this would have signified to the community I was a sadist. It is a nod to the old ways.

I see it a lot and you’ll catch me commenting on these posts rarely. “I need a hard Dom.” “Only a soft Dom gets blah blah blah.” I try to avoid these most of the time, but occasionally, someone says something that really grinds the gears and I can’t just leave it alone. Using these TNG terms, I present to you that a good Dom is both hard and soft. I’ve spoken on this before, but haven’t used the terms: A good Dom knows when to use the firm hand and the soft hand. I would argue that even the term soft Dom was created by the brat crowd to emasculate their Doms, but this isn’t a rant on brats. That is a particular fire I wish to steer clear from for this writing.

Let’s explore some of these newer ideas. If you wander over to Reddit, you can find so many interesting definitions. They say that “a soft Dom praises and coddles to get what they want.” “Soft Doms are less likely to punish.” That one I find puzzling, but okay. We’ll get to that later. WiseHarsh, says that soft Doms aren’t sadists or into humiliation and refers to them as the gentlemen of the BDSM realm. One user on Reddit broke this down further:

Soft Dom:

  • asking you to obey rather than making you
  • push your boundaries but in a cumulative way
  • may be more about the play, less about the aggression or ownership
  • when playing hard check-ins are gentle but consistent
  • may be more focused on pleasure without involving pain
  • may give soft commands knowing that you can fulfill them
  • may be more encouragement based

Hard Dom:

  • they want to make you obey
  • may even enjoy making you obey
  • may give harsh commands knowing that you cannot fulfill
  • may use degradation rather than encouragement
  • might be okay with you not being in pleasure the whole time
  • pain may be a big goal for them
  • may do check-ins while staying in dom mode, might focus more on visual and behavioral cues than asking

There were some moments, guys, that I’ve really been scratching my head at the division of the hard/soft Dom split as I researched this more and there’s been more than a few times I’ve been completely dumbfounded and gritted my teeth. I stand by my original assertion that a good Dom exhibits both soft and hard tendencies. The Dominant will have their preferred approach and it will very based on what is negotiated with their submissive. Let’s break it down.

Anyone asking their sub to obey isn’t a Dominant. I do not ask my submissive to obey. I don’t want to make her obey either. She should want to obey. It is expected. Through vetting and negotiation we establish our needs, wants and desires. I gain her submission through the four pillars of BDSM: communication, honesty, trust and respect. When we fully build the pillars around us, through power exchange she is able to submit and I am able to Dominate. They’re referred to as pillars for a reason, they are built upon the foundation built through vetting. They support the dynamic. They’re pillars, they are not fences. Either person can leave if at any point in time they feel like the dynamic isn’t working. Anyone praising and coddling to gain submission isn’t Dominant either. That is plainly manipulation. Do I praise my submissive? Absolutely. A good job deserves recognition. Especially if she has a praise kink.

A good Dominant will know their submissive and how they respond best. If she needs humiliation and degradation over praise, those are the tools that will be used to reinforce the dynamic and structure. If she doesn’t respond to degradation and humiliation, then you use praise. It’s all in what is negotiated and communicated. It’s okay to have either as a limit. It’s okay for a Dominant to have them as limits too. A Dominant gains this insight through vetting, talking to their sub and clear negotiation. We’re not mind-readers, but as I’ve said a lot recently, a Dominant is able to sometimes appear to be a mind-reader because we’ve intimately bonded with our submissive and to the point that we are often able to anticipate needs. Needs that have already been negotiated and discussed.

In regards to pushing limits, this is something that has to be discussed with your submissive or Dominant. What are your hard limits? What are your soft limits? Is it okay to push soft limits? A good Dom will respect your boundaries. As one of my favorite lifestyle memes says: “My relationship with my submissive is like a coloring book: she draws the lines, decides how she wants the picture to look. Within those lines, I can do anything I want. If I want purple skies and red grass, that’s my prerogative, but I ALWAYS have to respect those lines.”

Circling back to punishment. Even as a sadist, I do not want to punish my submissive. If there is a punishment, it is because there has been an infraction to the agreed upon rules. Rules that were negotiated for and agreed to. I don’t want to have to punish because those rules protect the integrity of our dynamic, but I will punish. It’s not something to be reveled in. As a sadist, I do enjoy our scenes, but enjoying an actual punishment isn’t something that we do. It’s something that has to be done because it was again, negotiated and agreed to maintain. A good Dom is consistent and will hold his submissive to the same standards he holds himself.

Implying that a Dom doesn’t do check-ins during play is both harmful and duplicitous. While I am getting to know a new submissive, I will do regular check-ins because I don’t know her responses yet. It is the responsible and correct thing to do. Once we have gained intimate familiarity, check-ins will be less frequent because I am attentive and I know how she responds and how her body will react. You always remain mindful and listen for the safeword to be called, but unless negotiated, once familiarity is established, you don’t need to constantly check-in to see how she’s doing. Want to pull her out of subspace real fast? Keep asking how she’s doing while caning. Can you imagine that? Swish! Thwack! “You doing okay?” Swish! Thwack! “How about now?” Yes, that’s a jest, but you get the idea.

I feel like a lot of this split revolves around sadomasochism. It’s okay for a Dom not to be a sadist. It’s okay for a submissive not to be a masochist. It’s okay for a Dom to switch for a scene, to bottom and to be a masochist. It’s all in the play that the two of you want. There are labels being applied to things that already have labels. Maybe they’re scared of the words? Sadist. Masochist. I don’t find them scary. I may be sadist, but I assure you, I’m one of the biggest teddy bears in real life. Most of the sadists I have the pleasure to meet are the same way.

No Dominant worth their salt is going to give their submissive commands they know they can’t fulfill, unless it’s roleplaying and in a scene. That’s domineering and being a dick. The role of a Dominant is to lead the dynamic, to take initiative, to be self-aware, mindful, respectful, supportive and giving. The Dominant is akin to a benevolent king receiving their power through trusting consent. I’ve not met a single Dom, Daddy Dom or Master that wants to see their submissive fail.

It all comes back to what’s been vetted and then negotiated. Negotiation is just a fancy BDSM term for talking about your needs and meeting common ground. A good Dom will know how to respond to you because he gained that insight through vetting and negotiation. He and you would have communicated how you best respond. If it is a romantic dynamic, love languages would be discussed. Through the insight gleaned from open and honest communication, the perceptive Dom will know when to use the firm hand and the soft hand. Sometimes, we’ll make mistakes too. That’s okay. We’ll own the mistake and make the necessary corrections. We as Dominants are not infallible gods resting on laurels.

Learning from Our Mistakes

For most of us, before we find our forever Dom or forever sub, if that’s what you’re looking for, there will be some trial and error. So when the dynamic ends and your heart begins the process of healing what can you walk away with? Hopefully, how I cope and learn can help you. I spend a lot of time in reflection.

Did I miss something in vetting? Thankfully, this doesn’t happen often anymore. My vetting process is pretty thorough and it weeds out a lot of potential issues early. However, I am human and I do make mistakes. It’s still worth examining to see if I missed covering something that led to a problem.

Was there a red flag I missed? Can I see it now? Did I ignore red flags? This one always gains the benefit of hindsight. Make sure you take time to carefully go through and examine these questions when looking back. Did you learn anything new that you want to add to your red flag list? That’s okay too.

What mistakes did I make? How can I prevent the same mistakes from happening in the future? The answer to some of these questions can sometimes be painful. Self reflection and self improvement isn’t always a clean and tidy thing. Sometimes, it’s messy, sometimes it’s ugly. That’s okay. It’s easy to point all the fingers at your ex, but give yourself the time to consider what things you could have potentially errored with.

I also take time and discuss my previous dynamic with a few trusted friends in the lifestyle. Maybe they saw something I missed. I am lucky in this regard. I have a dear friend not in the lifestyle, but is at least open-minded, and a few close trusted friends who live it. I get outside perspective from both vanilla and kink-minded individuals.

It’s easy to focus on all of the bad when a dynamic ends, but chances are it wasn’t all bad. Take time to note the good things in the relationship too. What were things you liked? What worked well? Was there anything new that you hadn’t experienced before that you liked?

Breakups are hard. Ending a dynamic is harder still. Give yourself time to learn from what went wrong while you’re healing. Be kind to yourself. You’re going to make it through this.

Kind Words from Strangers

This week I have received many affirming words from strangers. Normally, I wouldn’t think too much about this. I would say thank you for it is always good to receive validation that I am on the right path. I would tell them how humbling it is, because honestly, it is. Some of the stories they tell me that led them to this point, this interaction with me, is mind-blowing. Some how, some way, they either found or were directed to this place and my words, my thoughts, helped them. That last part is truly significant.

I suppose it is normal when exiting a dynamic that one plays with self-doubt. There’s not a lot written on the subject and I don’t have many other D-types to lean on. Either their fearful to talk about it or have the same lingering self-doubts. It is rare for the good D-types to even speak publicly anymore and it’s the internet’s fault. I remember once when offering insight on how to get proficient with a skill that self testing was important, that several people claiming to be Old Guard called me fake and a closest submissive. I was floored. How could a good Dom not want to make sure he or she understood the scene they were planning to it’s fullest extent? I am a sadist. I do not have a masochistic bone in my body, but I need to know what my sub will experience over the course of a scene. This is important for a few reasons. One, I need to know how to do it correctly without causing real, serious injury. Two, it aids me in planning aftercare. Three, it gives me practical working knowledge without having to experiment on the person I’m supposed to be protective over. Clearly, those concerns and worries are the hallmark of a fake Dom.

The point is, I have been struggling. I have wondered if I am on the right path and if I will ever find who I’m looking for. I used to say that I was a hopeless romantic and in exploring it more, I am not hopeless, I am hopeful. I know she is out there. Probably as lost as I am right now. The words of thanks, validation and hope I’ve received this week were needed. Thank you A, K and M. While your paths have been burdensome, I am glad my words and thoughts have brought you reassurance and some level of peace. Your kindness did the same for me.

Expect some rants in the near future. I’ve seen some things that have properly raised my ire and I’ve been mulling them over before putting fingers to keyboard. Time to finish my morning coffee, meditation and mindfulness exercises.

New Roads with New and Old Friends

This week has been incredibly rough. I am a creature of habit. In breaking contact with Bunny, outside of the emotional impact, my routine has been shattered. I deleted all of Bunny’s pictures, took her off of Obedience and the last real struggles, was taking her task and medication reminders out of my phone and then removing her as my wallpapers on my phone. It, friends, has been an awful adjustment.

Thankfully, my dearest friend Emma stepped up to the plate immediately. While she doesn’t appreciate fully the lifestyle, she at least tries to understand it and knew of my problems with Bunny well before I made them public here. Her friendship and counsel has been truly invaluable. Her amazing friendship as made the world feel a little less bleak and lonely. While it is purely platonic, I assure you, I love her dearly. She is the best of people, even if she struggles to see it sometimes, and my life is made better by having her in it.

There are some other honorable mentions as well: Cassie, with her no nonsense, matter of factness and undying loyalty; and Joe, with his relaxed, “I’m here for you, man” beer and pizza mentality. These three wonderful people have made sure that I’m actually coping and not holed up in my apartment buried in despair.

There are some new friends I’ve made this week too. I wasn’t ready to announce in group yet, but it came up and was addressed. The actual support was amazing. I didn’t think that many people cared. It definitely made me feel noticed, appreciated and a little uncomfortable. I don’t like the spotlight shined upon my personal life, but I guess when I write what I do, a little bit of recognition in the community is appreciated, if uncomfortable.

I still miss her. It took everything I had not to message her this week. I know me though. At least there’s that. The first time she expressed even perceived remorse, I probably have considered taking her back and after three attempts with the same unresolved issues, I just can’t. I can’t do it and there is a part of me that feels guilty for having to establish that boundary.

I did manage to get out of the house this week for a few hours. Not wanting my usual company for such outings, I did get in some range therapy. The reverberations and smell of gunpowder is intoxicating. Maybe next weekend I’ll hit up the cigar bar and get a good whiskey. We’ll see. One step at a time.