The Paradox of Punishments
The Deviant Nerd
Brought to you by Bits ‘n’ Pieces where lingerie is more than just lace; come slip on a whole new you.
So I’m not personally kinky, but I love to read those kinda light, fun BDSM stories. While it’s not something I would ever want to do in real life, I really like the idea of it. The fantasy of it, I guess, is enough for me.
Which is fine. That’s not my question.
My question is, what’s the deal with punishments? In a lot of the stories I read, the characters are often crying and screaming and not seeming to have a whole lot of fun. It sounds painful and scary and is actually kinda a turnoff. Is that really what it’s like? ‘Cause, if it is, I get why Doms would get off on this, but does the sub get anything out of it?
– Cringing Over Crying in Kink
Pip: Hey Cringing,
My favorite advice expert, Dan Savage, has a great definition for kink: “BDSM is cops and robbers with your pants off for adults.”
I love that!
To no end.
Because it’s true.
It is the hardest thing for those on the outside to ever comprehend about kink.
That. It. Is. Fun.
That we enjoy doing this. That no matter the words we use, no matter what the scene may look like, it is the best, most enjoyable, most pleasurable, most ecstatic thing we can imagine doing. For most of us, given the choice between them, we’d rather play than have sex (We’d really rather both, but we’re greedy like that.).
Otherwise why the hell would we do it?
It doesn’t even sound fun. Being hit, hitting someone, burning and being burned, cutting, bondage, rape, these are all things normal people avoid like the plague. A person doesn’t volunteer to have these things done. Doesn’t volunteer for torture and pain. No one does that!
Unless they’re into it. Unless it turns them on. Unless, given a very specific context that exists in a very specific time in a very specific place with very specific people under very specific conditions, this thing that we all instinctively, automatically, without exception avoid is turned into something else. Is spun on its head until it’s no longer anything like what it looks like.
The thing that irritates me—and most kinky readers like yourself—most about the vast majority of kink literature out there is that they lack this very subtle yet very key element. Kinksters call it “play” for a reason. It’s not supposed to be a punishment, even when we call it that. It isn’t supposed to be painful, even when it’s causing pain. It is as much about pleasure as giving and receiving oral sex is. It is as much about orgasms and arousal as foreplay. It is as much about mutual, shared satisfaction as sex.
If you’ve ever seen a real life scene involving punishment, if you watched it from setup to end, you’d know that nothing happening during it wasn’t asked for and wasn’t thoroughly enjoyed by both parties. I know this couple who does age play, where she plays the bratty child-sub who transgresses in order to get—to guarantee—punishment. It’s orchestrated. Obviously. Rather ridiculously, to the outside observer, to be honest. But the punishment is always—ALWAYS—preceded by her purposefully breaking the rules. She’s the one who instigates the punishment. She is—for all intents and purposes—asking for it. And loves every second of it while it’s happening. Can’t wait until the next time she’ll be punished.
One of the most well known—if most forgotten—rules of BDSM is that the bottom rules. The bottom holds all the power in the relationship, no matter what it may look like to someone on the outside looking in. Bottoms decide who they play with. They define how far scenes go, where the limits lie. They call the start and stop of every scene. They decide what a top is allowed to do. And a top, if they ever want to play within the community ever again, must abide by that.
Bottoms hold all the power. Especially when it looks like they don’t.
This also means they hold a heavy amount of responsibility. If they set limits or demands, they have to stick to them. They have to put themselves in situations where, if trouble happens, they have the means to deal with it. Whether that means only playing with people they trust and know well or playing only in public with other members and—more importantly—moderators present to chaperone. It means that they have to use safewords or be able to speak up when things are going sideways.
They have to maintain control, as much—if not more so—than tops. Because whether a scene goes well or wrong is always due to more than one person. We call each other “play partners” for a reason, because both bottoms and tops take part in everything that happen within that scene. In kink, you really only get out of it what you put into it.
– Pip, Your Resident Deviant Nerd
* If you have a sex, kink, love, or life question for The Deviant Nerd, email Pip at PipJones.DeviantNerd@gmail.com.
And read more about Pip’s story in Brought to You By.