So, I talked a little bit before about Discipline and how I would handle, in one respect at least, punishments.
I wanted to return to this topic because it is an important aspect of BDSM – it’s even part of the acronym. I certainly did not want to go very long without sharing some of my thoughts on Discipline, since my last discussion had focused on punishment so much.
In BDSM, what is Discipline?
Simply put, it is training. When we talk about training a submissive or training a slave, we are talking about Discipline. It encompasses all the rules that you set in place, the different protocols of your dynamic, and then what you use, positive and negative, to reinforce those protocols.
When I have a submissive, I plan to have a very simple protocol to begin a session.
- When she arrives, I will ask her if she has anything she needs to discuss before we begin.
- If she does not, or once any discussions are complete, I will ask her if she submits to me.
- If she says yes, then she will kneel in a submissive posture. If she has a collar, I will place her collar on her. When I am ready for her to stand, I will bid her to do so, and we will go on to whatever activities will be taking place that day.
And I know right now that I just made someone blink their eyes in confusion, because I said something that may seem a little odd about collaring. I will get back to it in a moment.
First, what is the purpose of the protocol that I have laid out above? What does it do?
- It sets a firm beginning to each session.
- It prioritizes communication. Before anything else takes place, the first thing that I will be doing is asking my submissive if she need to talk to me about anything. This tells her that communication is important, ongoing, and that I value anything that she needs to say to me so much that I will not begin a session until she has had a chance to voice it.
- It reinforces both her submission and my dominance. A submissive chooses to submit each time. Her submission is not assumed when she walked through the door. It is a reminder to her of that, and an affirmation to me that when she submits, it is because I have once more earned her submission.
- It reinforces my place of power over her, the power she has given over to me, when our session begins. By having her kneel and waiting my command to stand, I reinforce what it means for her to hand her power to me. Her act of kneeling to me is also an affirmation of her submission. She is not just saying she submits to me. Her first act is to demonstrate it.
All of this helps to outline and define the dynamic. It sets the tone to my submissive that this is a disciplined dynamic – all D/s dynamics have some amount of discipline. It sets the tone that, within her limits, I am to be obeyed.
In a moment, I am going to talk about why that is important, but first I want to return to the collar. When I discussed this with another Dominant, he found it – odd that I would do this. After all, if I have collared my submissive, why is she removing her collar?
So a collar is something that is earned by both the submissive and, in my own opinion, the Dominant as well. Once I have found a submissive, she will not receive a collar right away. Once our dynamic is formed, and we know that the dynamic will work, I will give her a training collar. This is the first collar we earn. We earn it by being true to our negotiations. What I mean is that in the negotiation process, when we lead up to entering the dynamic, we both discuss and agree to limits and activities. Those first sessions determine whether or not we were both true to ourselves and each other in that process. If we are, then we have earned her training collar. The second collar, her Submissive Collar, is earned once our dynamic reaches a point of strength where she has come through the early training of the discipline and protocol I have set forth for the dynamic. The reason that I say that I earn this as well is because for her to come through the training, I must be a good Dominant to bring her through that training.
As to its removal between sessions, unless my submissive is a 24/7 live in, she will need to remove her collar for her everyday life. I plan to offer something vanilla to take its place when she is away from sessions, but for her Collar, I want something that is special, attractive, and functional. Also, just as she chooses to submit to me each time, I must choose to accept her submission. Placing the Collar upon her when I do represents that acceptance. I am not just saying that I accept it. I am demonstrating it.
And all of this is more protocol. Designed to show and reinforce how I view dominance and submission. It is always a two way street, where both of us have important duties and responsibilities.
So why is all of this rigidity important?
Because it helps to create an atmosphere where your submissive or slave understands his or her role and is more likely to be obedient.
A very common question that I see asked on multiple forums is this: “My submissive/slave has done X in defiance of my orders/wishes. How do I punish him/her?”
The prevalence of this question, that all I have to do is insert anything in place of X tells me that we have a problem with establishing protocols and disciplines in modern D/s dynamics. That is not a good thing at all. A submissive does not merely want you to boss her around, beat him with a whip, or dominate her in bed. She wants you to set up protocols and rules. That is why he or she submits to you in the first place. By laying out these rules and having in place specific protocols that reinforce those rules, you demonstrate to your submissive that his or her submission matters to you, that you know how to use the power being handed to you.
If you lay out clear rules and clear protocols for you and your submissive both to adhere to, you create an atmosphere where your submissive understands that obedience is expected, and he or she learns by following those protocols to obey you.
One common disobedience that I see is about sex. “My submissive masturbated without permission” is a common one.
Okay, so you have a submissive. You have told your submissive that if you are not present, he or she is not allowed to masturbate.
But what have you done to reinforce your ownership of his or her orgasm and sexual pleasure?
Do all of your sessions involve as part of the session itself sexual gratification? Do you demonstrate, or are you training up, orgasm control and denial with him or her?
You very likely are in this situation but … what else are you doing to reinforce this?
What protocols do you have in place that tells your submissive what of his or her body belongs to you? For example, do you only use your submissive’s body when you are wanting sexual gratification and release, or is he or she always available to you, and do you either take advantage of it? When you do not take advantage of it, do you make sure that your submissive is aware of that decision by you, so that it is felt by him or her? Do you require your submissive to ask permission for the bathroom? While this is a request that you should never deny, just the fact that he or she would have to request this is powerful.
Discipline is a powerful thing. When the rules that we as Dominants set forth are followed through with protocol, when our submissive’s need for structure is met, then that discipline leads to obedience. That obedience leads to a happy dynamic.
At the end of the day, that is what matters. Are you and your submissive happy in your dynamic? Are your needs – for a trusted hand to hold power, for structure and discipline, being met?