Putting the D in D/s

     By whatever means it is applied, discipline can be a very personal choice in the D/s relationship.  A Dominant — even a gentlemanly one   comes to expect certain behavior from the submissive.  However the Dominant has set the protocols, he will expect not mere obedience, but forethought by the submissive and certainly an overall respect that is not just passive, but active.

To speak of discipline for many is to consider punishment for misbehavior.  But punishment is an “after the fact” element.  It is used, in my opinion, too often as a standard “tool” in the Dominant’s kitbox.   Usually this can become such a strong element that it is part and parcel of the relationship dynamic.  The submissive does or does not do something and so the Dominant punishes without really considering the whys and wherefores.  The submissive expects the punishment and may even – in some cases – enjoy the application of the punishment.  In that case, it hardly retains the proper definition of “punishment” and slides into the realm of ritual behavior of the dynamic.  Spanking, flogging, whipping, orgasm denial, and so forth drops from punishment to mere foreplay.  The aspect of discipline is lost.

Imposing discipline and maintaining it ensures the relationship dynamic continues as an exercise in power and submission.  Perhaps some need to re-visit the meaning and structure and even the needs for discipline.

The meaning is simple enough.  Discipline is adhering to a code of ethics and behavior.  It is, in the best case scenarios, made to be inherent and instinctual.  If the submissive has second-thoughts about what is expected of them, if they feel they have too many options, the discipline needs to be reiterated to them.  This does not mean that submissives should not think for themselves.  On the contrary, they must.  But disciplined behavior and response within the given set of codes and behavior should prompt them, when faced with that decision of what to do to think/feel, that “I wouldn’t dream of doing/not doing that.”

The more rigid the code and behavior, the easier it may seem for the submissive to stay within the boundaries.  But — again my opinion only – this feeling of proper behavior should not be based on fear of punishment, but on desire to please and honor.  That is part of the covenant between Dominant and submissive.  The Dominant sets the rules, the submissive adheres to them.  This is why it is so important that the rules be good ones and not based in mere cruelty or egoism.

How is discipline achieved and effected?  Firstly, by direct communication.  Discussion between the Dominant and submissive should include the why for the rule.  It cannot simply be “Because I say so”.  The rules and code of behavior should have specific motivations and therefore a mutually understood connotation.  “I want you to do this” is reenforced by “I want you to do this because…”

One further comment I feel compelled to make.  The submissive’s discipline and behavior will also include the “unspoken” commands of pleasing the Dominant.  His pleasure, desires, and well-being must be paramount — apart from safety factors — and the top priority for the submissive.  That requires forethought not mere obedience.  It is also where the submissive may exercise – given permission and not contrary to established protocols – free thinking and behavior.  Therefore it always behooves the submissive to pay close attention to the Dominant’s actions and reactions.  For example, has he commented that he does not like garter belts?  Then the submissive should never wear them without having to be told not to.  Does he prefer a particular position of submission?  Then, gracefully and naturally, that should be the instinctual position adopted by the submissive.  That is part of the discipline which pleases the Dominant without him having to order “Make it so”.

Too many, it would seem, ascribe an utter passivity to submission.  That is a false conception.  Submissives must also be actively submissive in order to please and demonstrate their own discipline.


2 Responses to “Putting the D in D/s”

  1. TheOthers1 Says:

    This is incredibly informative. Much of the fiction I’ve read has never covered the topic in a way that explains it. I don’t think I have enough of an understanding beyond the feeling or need. I’m not sure I’d ever step into a D/s relationship fully, but it is fascinating.

  2. angelquest Says:

    Again, very well said and thought out.

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