I admit that when we first started our path through D/s and FLR, rewards and punishment weren’t on the top of my mind. Partly, I think because our relationship had history where Snake tends to do what I like and he rarely fights anything with me unless he feels really strongly about it.
Move ahead a few years and yes, it became part of our dynamic. Funishment came first. We acquired a paddle or two, a strap and a cat o’ nine tails that became part of play. There would be marks but rarely anything that would last more than a couple of hours.
We played with the idea of a contract for over a year. It felt like something we “should” do so we tried hard to put one in place. It didn’t really fit us, though, because once we start putting rules and things in place, everything needs to be in there. You can just imagine how quickly it escalated into trying to enumerate everything that ever might happen in the fantastical world of Charmer and Snake.
Rewards have never been an issue. They don’t tend to be tied to a specific activity unless they are part of one of our games. If you haven’t read about those, check out the game tag on the side of the page. Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit and Cards Against Humanity are just a few of the games that I have incorporated into our play. And they usually include rewards or consequences depending on the outcome. But, for the most part, rewards are given by me “just because.”
Punishment was always the harder piece to put in place. We have rules that are the easy ones. Out of the house by 8:15. Garbage gets taken out daily. Snake being naked in the house unless there is company. Keeping things stocked in the bathrooms. These are habits and when they don’t happen, there is usually a good reason. And if not, they are dealt with on a weekly basis. I tend to be flexible on these things because life sometimes just happens.
The bigger ones are the unusual ones and sometimes they are a surprise to both of us. It will be the one extra sarcastic remark that isn’t usually anything but funny that pushes me over because of other things going on. Or plans that get messed up because of an outsider that I think he should know will not be OK but he goes along with it.
The strangest part of this is that I don’t tend to look at DD first when these things happen. I tend to look inward and try to figure out what I did wrong or didn’t communicate well. So, I try to talk them out and I get even more frustrated because I have this disconnect in my head between
- I’m pissed/upset/disappointed, and
- This isn’t a rule that I gave you so you shouldn’t be held accountable.
And so, in our private blog (used with permission), we talk about it and I get back this from Snake…
These. These are the issues. Frankly, I think these are the ones that you’ll actually get the most out of. These are big deals. These are the things that I think, if I’m honest, and not paying attention to the fact that I’m the recipient of the DD, they are the things that let the feelings have an outlet. That change behavior. It’s what we both anticipated when we went into the DD thing.
Yes, it’s different in practice than thinking about it. For both of us. You have to do it. I have to receive it. But it’s kind of the point. Things that are important, that don’t go as you desire or expect. That’s precisely the point. It is NOT the point that you have to declare everything ahead of time. It’s to teach me how to be better. To give you an outlet. To give us resolution.
And he’s right. We can’t come up with rules for everything, but that also doesn’t mean that we don’t resolve them in ways that are appropriate for our dynamic.
So, the answer? We are still a work in progress in the punishment phase. But, maybe that is the point. Learning and growing and changing without hard and fast rules. It works best for us.