This article was written to address MINOR acting out behavior problems such as are fairly routine or typical in many D/s relationships. Part of ALL discipline is simple understanding between the Dominant and submissive and it should be clearly understood that all actions are voluntary. Communicate clearly. Communicate often. Listen!
Passive/non-responsive discipline. From a Dominant's perspective it is often the MOST effective discipline that can be implemented to correct inappropriate behavior actions used by a submissive. It is important to remember that most submissives take action to gain attention or to test the focus and strength of their Dominant. These behaviors are MOST common in less experienced submissives and in submissives who are in the first 2 years of a potentially long term relationship.
Generally a submissive will behave to 'perfection' in the first 3 to 6 months of the relationship. This is quite similar to a vanilla 'honeymoon' phase. Their Dominant/Master/Mistress is perfect. They are SO lucky. The world smells of roses and honey. Life is SO fabulous. They are SO happy. Then small things begin to be noticed. Their Master/Mistress has flaws...
The submissive doesn't really want to focus on these flaws but they can see them very well. And, shouldn't they 'help' their Dominant by pointing these minor things out, especially if their Dominant is rather in-experienced? And, there is this edge of restlessness, the collar they have accepted SO eagerly is getting a bit tighter now that plans are underway to possibly merge households. As the time grows closer their restlessness and sense of impending REAL confinement grows more real. A part of them isn't really sure that they are ready to relinquish control.
Sometimes a submissive just has needs. They have an almost insatiable appetite for attention. To attain this attention they will utilize almost any type of emotional outburst or ploy. Some of the favorites are 'I am not worthy of you..." This is a demand for the Dominant to re-assure them 'AGAIN', that they are SO special. Then there is the guilt..."You promised to call me...I waited for hours..." or something DRAMATIC happens. A personal CRISIS. They are devastated, crying, overwrought, clinging like a noose...
Often a submissive will do something they KNOW is forbidden, plunging the relationship into serious waters, creating a potentially relationship-breaking CRISIS. In the midst of this they will often PLEA for forgiveness, saying that they are a terrible submissive and that their Dominant should get rid of them. All of these are fairly common submissive VOLUNTARY actions.
With a new Dominant such actions can be baffling and very hard to cope with. Talking with their submissive can feel like they are in a small boat being buffeted by HUGE waves of energy or perhaps on the movie set of some overly dramatic story. Fairly quickly the Dominant will realize that the submissive is CREATING scenes. Emotional, distraut, conflictive scenes. Nothing positive is gained during one of these scenes EXCEPT that the submissive gets fed energy. Sometimes hard words are said. In the end the Dominant often feels totally drained, frustrated, irritated, empty and alone. It becomes essential to consider HOW to direct a submissive OUT of what is essentially old-familiar VANILLA habits so that these scenes do NOT destroy the complete relationship, the feelings of trust and respect.
One choice is to be non-responsive to ANY submissive who is improperly ACTING OUT or offering direct challenges to the direction or word of the Dominant. It is important for the Dominant to tell the submissive that there will be only one line of recourse when the submissive VOLUNTARILY decides to posture AT them. Make it simple.
NEVER give the submissive what they want. That is to REWARD this behavior. Many submissives want to DRAW the 'punitive discipline' of the Dominant so it becomes imperative to NOT RESPOND. (Many submissives WANT and ENJOY physical discipline like spanking.) If you address real life behavior problems by using something that the submissive enjoys then you are ENCOURAGING continuing BAD behavior!
If your relationship is occuring in real life (physically together) one of the most effective methods of non-attention control is to create a quiet spot. When the submissive takes actions that 'appear' out of control (they are in truth NOT out of control) then the submissive should be remanded to the quiet spot. A good spot is usually the corner of a closet. In addition the Dominant should place NOTHING in the area of the spot that is of interest EXCEPT an index card that states openly the various steps of discipline.
1: SILENCE....(length of time <20 minutes>)
(Use a common egg timer that ticks rather loudly)
(upon failure to remain in place and silent EACH step is taken progressively)
2: REMOVAL OF CLOTHING (restart timer)
3: INSERTION OF GAG (restart timer) -
This SHOULD be done with a sub who doesn't like gags.
(REMIND the sub that vocalizing is THEIR choice so control of usage of the gag is THEIR choice too!)
4: FORMAL KNEEL POSITION (restart timer)
5: KNEEL ON MAT (restart timer)
6: COLLARED, GAGGED, KNEELING - COLLAR BOUND TO WALL (restart timer)
7: BANISHMENT FROM DOM PRESENCE FOR 2 hours
8: BANISHMENT FROM DOM PRESENCE FOR 24 hours
(requirement to spend entire 24 hour period copying by hand on paper (I will NOT dis-respect my Master) allowing 2 (4 hour sleep periods).
The Dominant should use something like an egg timer and have the submissive sit facing NOTHING but the list for a pre-determined amount of time (20 minutes).
Part of acting out is a desire for attention - even negative attention. And, a part of the submissive does not want to submit. That part is the one fighting the Dominant. The Dominant must nullify the dominant side within the submissive without confronting it directly (such as an argument). Simply put, when the dominant aspect of a submissive manifests the submissive will not be played with, paid attention to or responded to until the submissive acknowledges self control and stops using their dominant side to combat, trigger or incite their Dominant. Believe it or not this works. The dominant side of a submissive is there as a part of the submissive, therefore the submissive DOES control that sides actions. No evasions.
To the submissive:
The idea of passive discipline is to help YOU alter YOUR behavior into actions that are beneficial and pleasing to both you AND your Dominant. Should you continue to vocalize when you are supposed to be quiet - contemplating or THINKING, then your Dominant may have you unclothe, if the acting out continues s/he may use a gag. NOTE: MANY submissives SAY that they cannot handle gags for a variety of reasons. The presence of a gag can be a sincere deterent for LOUD UNCONTROLLED OUTBURSTS. The Dominant should consider taking the submissive to the store JUST to buy the gag together (buy a good leather one - comfortable!) so that the submissive KNOWS that this is part of the discipline regime, something THEIR actions will TOTALLY control the use of!
If the problem continues s/he may place something UNCOMFORTABLE underneath your naked legs (like an upside down office mat). Using simple step by steps s/he will aid you in controlling YOU. EACH step is a voluntary choice on YOUR part. This is CRUCIAL for you the submissive to understand. YOU must decide to behave and OFFER that good behavior to your Dominant as your gift to them.
Should you achieve step 8 and still be acting out then perhaps you are actively trying to destroy the relationship. If you will NOT listen to your Dominant beyond a certain point then s/he should tell you that if you continue then you are demonstrating a voluntary decision not to obey and if you continue s/he will have no alternative but to release you.
SUBMISSION is HARD WORK. It is given in every moment and every breath in the tiny choices you make. NOT in your words. NOT in your thoughts. BUT in the ACTIONS you take with and for your Dominant and yourself. YOU need to convince your inner self that you are not LOSING your strength by submitting. It is harder to kneel than to stand.
S/he should also make you EARN the right to serve them by GOOD behavior. In other words s/he should REWARD you when you do well and virtually IGNORE you when you do poorly (this type of punishment should be CLEARLY discussed in ADVANCE of implementation so that the submissive KNOWS what is occuring and WHY and does not have sudden feelings of abandonment but KNOWS it is standard discipline that THEY have chosen to endure through their FREE WILL actions!). PLAY is a REWARD. IT IS ATTENTION. If you fail during the day then s/he should perhaps create a small mat on the floor of the closet for you to sleep on. Making you earn the right to be in your Dominant's presence, in their bed.
If you TRULY want to surrender to your Dominant - you will. Your defender merely allows your Dominant to carry the sword of protection during the time you are in their presence. At other times your defender will remain solid and strong, keeping you safe till you are with your Dominant again!
To the Dominant:
If you have noted strong dominant language and attitude and wish to reduce or curtail this in your submissive then you need to instruct your submissive that you will not allow or permit that 'aspect' of them to argue with you. There can only be ONE Dominant and ONE submissive in the relationship otherwise you end up in a war for control! When your submissive's DOM or attitude side creeps up or begins to argue you need to consistently withdraw. Do NOT get loud, heated, angry, emotional or upset. This is your way of teaching your submissive that you will not FEED INTO the desire to conflict or argue (which is subtle manipulation). By the same token you need to offer your submissive an opportunity (controlled by you) for free and open speech. Make this when you are physically together if possible. To do this well, use an egg timer. Wind it up to 30 minutes and allow your submissive to speak with TOTAL (uninterrupted by you) freedom during that time period. When the buzzer sounds re-wind the timer for 30 minutes. Your submissive is to remain TOTALLY silent in the second time period or BE PUNISHED (such as I described above). This allows BOTH of you to think about what has been said. AND it prevents a furthering of the commentary when heads are hot. At the end of the second time period I suggest that NEITHER of you talk about it. Explain to your submissive in advance of starting this that you will respond within 24 hours of any request BY your submissive for a 'window of free speech'. If your submissive begins any heated exchange without ASKING for this permissive window first then you should consider it an attempt to manipulate or a desire for negative attention. Your submissive has been GETTING responses from you or forcing you to give them attention. By taking control of that back and REWARDING good behavior by increased attention your submissive will quickly learn that the vanilla habit of infighting is no longer effective. S/he will then be MORE motivated to NOT act out. It would be my choice to respond to any issues brought up in a free speech window after at least 12 hours of calm thought. We most often say the WRONG things in the heat of the moment. Then be certain to address ONLY the issue and not direct ANY commentary at your submissive personally (no accusations) this type of analytical response will NOT feed the desire for an emotional display from you (furthering the ideal of reducing this behavior).
You SHOULD tell your submissive in detail that you have decided to try a new form of long distance discipline based on the same idea. Tell your submissive that if s/he becomes argumentive, manipulative, disagreeable, whiney, overly dramatic, overly emotional or excessively needy online or on the phone that you will forbid them to contact you for incrementally increasing periods of time. In that punishment of withdrawal window s/he is to hand write on PAPER "I will not create problems." OVER and OVER. A beginners window would be one hour...if the attitude and problem continue add another hour etc.. At the end of that time period YOU should make contact in a mutually prior agreed upon way. If S/HE is not there you should have a secondary mode of contact such as email or answering machine where you leave a simple message that you attempted to make contact and the time! S/he is to MAIL these writings to you as SOON as the punishment time period is ended. S/HE needs to KNOW that her BEHAVIOR controls the amount of personal ATTENTION that you give TO them. Bad Behavior - NO ATTENTION. Good Behavior - ATTENTION!
Nothing replaces clear, open communication. Most behavior problems emerge from insecurity issues from past experiences and the true desire is to re-train the responses not further injure or damage the individual. Responding in clear consistent ways will eventually re-assure your submissive and allow them to fully trust you. Keep disciplines simple and easy to understand. Altering of behavior is a voluntary action, a gift given from submissive to Dominant, a demonstration of respect and value.
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