Does Punishment Work?

This article was inspired by dawna’s comment a few days ago. She asked if I could address whether I think punishment spankings work for adults.

I’ll start by simply saying yes to the question. I do think they work but perhaps not for the reason it might work for a child (Disclaimer: I don’t advocate big people hitting little people).

If a child were to be spanked, it could possibly be justified because they are not yet capable of understanding consequences or rational reasons why a person should not do certain things. Spanking is a simple and unpleasant consequence that is completely understandable – it hurts and is humiliating. Nuf said.

An adult, especially one that is in a consensual DD relationship (of whatever degree or variety), is too rational of a person for the simple act of spanking to work in and of itself. Rather, it is more like a bookmark or reminder in their life. The spanking, perhaps something they otherwise enjoy, is just a way for the person being punished to underline for themselves what it is that they are supposed to do/not do in life. It’s a kinky way to tickle the will power and get the person motivated. They’re smart enough to know the consequences of their actions and have entered into an agreement with another person that if they break a promise or go back on their word to do whatever, they will be punished. Unlike a child, it is and must be consensual even if it is played out like it is not – otherwise it is abuse.

I want to mention that using the physical pain as a deterrent without the consensual component of a contract is akin to torture. To punish someone without the underlying agreement is nothing but spousal abuse and serves no other purpose other than to terrorize the individual into obeying against their will. A person who enters into any kind of DD relationship does so because there is something that they want changed in themselves, not because it is being imposed on them from an outside force.

One other thing: If I spank Sandy because of things like being late leaving in the morning or for late bedtimes, then I do so only so far as the thing in question is something that is reasonable for her to accomplish and is something she truly wants. What I do not desire and what will make me stop is the notion that the consequence terrorizes her into doing those things. If I feel that there is genuine fear when that clock approaches a certain hour then I’m stopping what I’m doing. It is not my intention to make people either fear me or fear anything as benign as a clock reaching a certain hour. However, if we can accomplish it together in a way that is not psychologically damaging then I do think it works rather well.

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9 Responses to “Does Punishment Work?”

  1. We signed a contract and Diane choose both the goals and the punishments for falling short of those goals.

  2. *Applauds* I agree and very nicely put.

  3. Great post Rad. Did I mention I didn’t go to bed on time last night?

  4. Barb: Does anyone go to bed on time anymore?

  5. Yes, it works. I am harder on myself than he can imagine regarding my work. I replay things that could have gone better during the shift to the point I can’t sleep or I get anxious about the next day. It’s part of training in a new and challenging job.

    When I’m home and I’m told I left the back door open all night (or worse), I know I have it coming. There’s a some scolding, a spanking, then it’s forgotten. Well, not the spanking. Sometimes I feel that for a while. I do remember to close and lock the doors at night (I’m not in Kansas, anymore). There’s no residual feelings for me and he wasn’t upset about it in the first place. It’s so simple. And on top of that, the experience brings me out of my cranial housing unit and back to Earth.

    It’s one way to deal with a space cadet. Works for me.

  6. BadDog: You’re right. When I spank Sandy for something (or anyone else I have a disciplinary relationship with), once it’s done, it’s done. We move forward from there with a simple “try not to let it happen again” – no residual hard feelings.

  7. Yes, punishing an adult is different to punishing a child. An adult understands the difference between right and wrong but we all make mistakes from time to time which have an adverse effect on someone else so it is just as important we be punished (or reminded of our indiscretion) and a good sharp spanking serves this purpose. One of the main benefits for me is it eases my guilt.

  8. I need to sleep, need to sleep, need some sleep, can’t sleep, why can’t I sleep, how to sleep better, lack of sleep…

    […]Does Punishment Work? « Radspace[…]…

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