It’s been a lifetime of domestic discipline and corporal punishment sessions that revolve around being chastised and reformed for bad behaviour, and I have been thoroughly enjoying a move to the alternative dynamic of preventative or maintenance punishment. Some in the BDSM community may be familiar with the maintenance punishment as something that a dominant performs on their submissive on a regular basis to ensure they don’t ever forget their place. However, as I diversify my practice as an older Domme I find the subversive nature of the maintenance punishment as a mode of ensuring good behaviour in society to be very exciting. 

Why is this? 

Firstly, psychological domination is eternally exciting and arousing for me. This is why I don’t have a dungeon per se; I have multiple role-play rooms in my play space. I rarely wear fetish attire (unless it’s requested) and prefer instead the ultra-feminine classic boss-lady look with a blouse, pencil skirt, and fully fashioned stockings and suspenders. To be put in place by a graceful and unsuspecting sadist leaves more to the imagination, I believe, and contemporary femdom relies on this premise as a dismantling of the gender-based system allowing for men (in particular) to transcend deeper into the fantasy realm; deep into submission.

Second, domestic discipline sessions often embody and re-enact historical examples of real corporal punishment. From the 1950’s type school detention scene to the Nanny who has caught the boy in her panty drawer, the scope for earning a punishment through fantasy role-play is limitless. In all scenarios, the miscreant is made to confess to the crime (of which he may or may not depending on the level of thrashing he desires!), the punishment escalating with each confession or kept at a precise number and dished out accordingly either with malice and/or indifference. This is the classic role play and often stems from real-life events witnessed throughout childhood. Using psychology, the desire to replicate these can be explained using Sigmund Freud’s notion of cathexis, the libido’s charge of energy, and anti-cathexis, the ego attempt to block this energy due to it being perceived as socially unacceptable. I believe domestic discipline and corporal punishment role-play sessions to be a liberation of these notions, bringing the player back into themselves and satiation of the ID*. (Perhaps this doesn’t belong here, but it is an interesting concept and one I think many will enjoy exploring- this article here explains Freud’s definitions).

Maintenance punishment within a detention scene requires a fantasy role play situated around ideas of trust and vulnerability. These are always my favourite themes to exploit. In extended detentions, the tone is not accusatory and is overly strict. Humiliation, for me, is served in quiet doses that punctuate and don’t dominate the natural scene. Perhaps we may all recall the deep hurt felt when a person we loved used the line “I am not angry, I am just disappointed.”  My role plays stem from this type of premise. 

Some examples of positive disciplinary practices are deportment — long stints of holding a book on one’s head for a given time, or through punishment — hand strapping and then being made to write lines, or through religious atonement practices — on the church kneeler for long periods of time saying hail Mary’s. 

Maintenance punishment without a detention scene is an extended and escalating punishment that, either in the fantasy role play or in real life, is taken at regular designated intervals – most often monthly, but in a full-time D/s relationship, it would be at least weekly (I would prefer daily). The concept is that to have a sore, red and striped bottom at all times acts as a reminder to behave in society. When thoughts wander to places of sin or self-pleasure, the memory of the punishment deters the individual from action. Having a sore, red bottom all the time prevents bad behavior such as laziness, tardiness, and attempts to implement a moment of reflection before all decision making. Each session begins with a short therapy session regarding how the individual is traveling through the world and if there are any incidents they are concerned about. A confession about an incident adds a more judicial style of punishment, usually caning, to the scene. The subversive nature of the arousal of both participants creates a charged and rather horny dynamic. I enjoy long OTK sessions with prolonged verbal encouragement that culminates in a deeply sadistic and escalating thrashing until the receiver cries for mercy. 

Maintenance punishments also allow for the training of the body and mind to accept the discipline. This is the most important step for any beginner with an interest in BDSM of all types— you cannot fully submit to your dominant until your body and mind permit you to do so, and learning to control both is paramount.  Maintenance punishments are so successful at this because they are escalatory. The heavy hits sneak up without taking your breath away. The slow build is meditative.  For me, the greatest gift a submissive can give me is to cry for me. To take so much punishment for me that they lose control of their emotions but they do not say mercy. They are accepting, willing and present in their pain. This is where the endorphins lie, and to truly experience sub-space I believe this conquering has to happen. In my subjective experience as a submissive, the point at which you allow yourself is cry is an indication that you have transversed the consent of your mind and have fully submitted to your Dominant. From personal experience, this is the point at which the endorphins kick in, and the rest of the scene is played out in sub-space, i.e., in ecstasy. 

I was lucky enough to have this experience throughout my career working as a submissive at Salon Kitty’s in Sydney from 2000 – 2013. I experienced consensual non-consent sessions daily.  I was willing to try everything, and my job required me to facilitate other people’s fantasies outside of my own. With practice and understanding, these sessions came to shape my own desires. I found with regular punishments, I was able to take heavier discipline and more easily control my mind to drop into sub-space. 

Anyway, these are just my thoughts on maintenance punishment sessions— mostly, the maintenance refers to the fantasy, and I do not have any clients currently who present weekly for this. There are obvious considerations to take when committing to scheduled punishments, such as taking care of your body and preventing weak spots – whilst I can offer advice on this, it is best to do your own research as I am not a real medical doctor- just a sexy fake one (haha!). Hopefully, this article has conveyed the sensual and subversive nature of the maintenance discipline session, and it is that dynamic that allows pleasure for corporal punishment enthusiasts no matter where they sit on the pain spectrum. Punishment is not just for naughty boys!!

* This is just one idea that particularly appealed to me when attempting to understand how it came to be that human beings have found pleasure in punishment.

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