Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Round Table Discussion: The Difference between Punishment and Discipline #SpankingRound

Thank you to Thianna D for proposing today's Spanking Round Table Discussion topic and questions to consider. 

Topic: Discipline vs Punishment: What is the difference to you?

  • In many conversations and in spanking books, the terms discipline and punishment are used often interchangeably. But are they the same thing?
  • What does each word mean to you?
  • At what point do you think discipline/punishment slides into abuse?
  • How do you talk with friends/neighbors/family about discipline/punishment if they find out what you do and ask questions?
  • When it comes to writing vs living it, which word is closer to what you like to use. Or is there another word you prefer?

When Thianna first proposed this topic, I wasn't sure I thought there was a difference between discipline and punishment. As she mentions in her suggested question points, the terms are often used interchangeably in spanking fiction.

And then I came across a passage I'd written in my current work in progress that showed me that I understand the question perfectly.  In it, the main character has already learned her lesson--she made a poor decision which resulted in getting her vampire boyfriend injured. When he tells her he's going to spank her, she argues that she doesn't need the reinforcement and he counters with the question, "Do you want to spend the rest of the night with a pissed off vampire?"  In other words, punishing her will help him feel better. 

There is a difference between teaching a lesson, for the highest good of the bottom, and the top letting off steam (which may be for the highest good of the relationship.)

I remember when I'd first discovered domestic discipline I read a great post linked from Blushing Books, entitled "How My Husband Spanks Me" (I can't find it to share, unfortunately--it was hot and informative).  It was a great intro to DD. In it, she said her husband had told her that since they'd begun their spanking relationship, he no longer got annoyed over all little things that used to bug him because he could take out his minor irritations on her backside! (that's my interpretation). In other words, he didn't sit her down and discipline for each of them as they were more minor annoyances, but maintenance or other punishments worked them out of HIS system.  

Certainly this may sound scary, like it could slide into abuse, but in a consensual spanking relationship, I think many (most?) bottoms would be happy to bend over and take a spanking if it keeps their top from stomping around annoyed at them.  It's probably safe to assume they're in the spanking relationship because they enjoy spanking on some level, even if they don't enjoy punishment, so offering one's butt for the greater good of the relationship isn't that big of a sacrifice. However, it does require a sacrifice of pride. As much as I love a good hard spanking, I can get very sulky if it seems "unfair". Maybe I'm not as much of a true submissive as I like to believe.

In fiction, which do I prefer?  
I keep going back and forth over this. I have a slight leaning toward punishment. It sort of goes with my preference for non-consensual. It ups the risk level, and therefore the heat. I also can get annoyed with the concept of the top always being right and the bottom needing to be corrected.  But really, I like it both ways.  All ways.  I mean--is there spanking involved?  Then I like it!  :)

How about you?

  Are you willing to accept punishment (more for the top) or only discipline (for the bottom's growth/learning).  Have you had experiences in which you accepted punishment you deemed unfair for the good of the relationship?

Read all the Round Table Discussion Posts:


  1. The article in on

  2. I have to have a good reason to spank, and when I do, I share my reason to make sure my wife knows why I am paddling her bottom. We are spankers, and we use much nicer implements when we are spanking for pleasure. I just asked Kathy if she would rather have me just spank her verses my getting upset and she was not sure. I imagine no one would want me wielding a hairbrush when I'm in the midst of a menopausal hormonal rage. I never punish in ager for good reason.

  3. Great post Renee and good question. I'm not sure if I would prefer a spanking or nit. There have been a couple of times I have received a 'surprise' spanking, or one I didn't feel I deserved. However, Rick is always very good at talking through it first and explaining his reasoning.


  4. Good discussion. Even though Ray and I aren't in a DD relationship, I can usually tell how annoyed he's been with me by the intensity of the fun spankings. So I guess, in a way, I am willing to offer up my bottom for the good of the relationship.

  5. Interesting take -- that punishment is more for the top and discipline is more for the bottom. I think that is true on a more global level as well. As a society we punish wrongdoing because we need the closure from knowing that reparation for the crime has been made.

  6. We are very careful to avoid punishment. Discipline is intended to teach. It can simply be talking, grounding or a very sore bottom. It depends mostly on me and where my head is. If I won't listen, red bottom it is.

    In fiction, I look for a well written story. A balanced hoh that keeps his head is part of that.

  7. Interesting topic, Renee, :) I think that Rob has spanked me for both. I am ok with either because I know that he would never really "hurt" me. I trust him to no end. And at the same time, there is still the importance of safe words I think. Just in case. It has to make him feel better sometimes to work those little things out on my butt at times. Maybe that is part of the reason that he seems to have taken to spanking- on some level. I'll have to run this by him to see. Good food for thought. Many hugs,

    <3 Katie

  8. Hmm, I don't think I would be okay with a punishment just because my husband wanted to blow off some steam. I am definitely in the camp of if I think it is unfair then I am going to get sulky. Maybe if I was feeling guilty and it would ease my guilt? Obviously I am a very selfish spankee over here!

    1. I quite agree thata woman should not be spanked just because the man is angry or frustrated. It seems to me that a spanking is best - and most sexy - when the husband spanks his wife for something dangerous like speeding or drunk driving, and the spanking should be a serious one and not stop just because she wants him to. Not until she is sobbing and promising not to andanger herself again, should helet her up and comfort her. And it is important that they make up and make love and promise to love each other in spite of her serious misconduct and his hard spanking.

  9. I found this discussion both interesting and a bit complex. To say punishment is for 'him' or the 'top' and that discipline is for 'her' the 'bottom' is confusing me at best. I have to say, I'm with Casey on the matter of a top punishing a bottom for the sake of blowing off steam. Now if the couple are both agreeable to such terms, I guess that's a different matter, but still. It's leaving me a little unsettled. I'd never want to be used that way because another person just needed an outlet for their frustration. Unless of course I was the source of that frustration.
    I am all for discipline, and punishments so long as they have merit, it encourages positive growth and development within the relationship.

  10. I think that you are absolutely correct in the differences. And I agree with you the fiction too. Great explanation.

  11. If a top ever tried to spank me while they were angry, they would meet with Thianna the unmovable force and the results would be disastrous, including most possibly the destruction of the relationship. If he's annoyed, that's one thing. If he's angry and pissed off? Nuh-uh.

    I love all the different views of the two words we're getting today :D

  12. Good post, Renee, though like others I'd like to think the top is "above" working out his frustrations on his submissive's bottom. Yes, I'm sure she does things that tick him off, and some tops enjoy giving spankings because they like having the bottom submit, even knowing what he/she will receive in return will most likely be unpleasant, if not painful. But I don't think spankings should ever be dispensed in anger. I'm not saying that they aren't, because that wouldn't be realistic. But if a top is truly angry or frustrated over something the bottom has done, I think he should take a walk and cool down before he ever attempts to administer a punishment. And a spanking like that would be a punishment.

  13. I think there is a difference between discipline and punishment though they are definitely intertwined. It's hard to explain but I'll give it a shot. Discipline is a teaching tool. If someone does something the wrong way, you show them or tell them how to do it correctly and have them do it again. Maybe even more than once so they learn the correct way. Punishment is what you get when you purposely misbehave and it can teach the person receiving the punishment to be more disciplined in their future behavior. I could get much deeper into it, but that's a quick summary for what I think the difference is. Here's a quick example: I wish I had the discipline to stop eating Hershey milk chocolate with almonds nuggets. My punishment for that lack of discipline is that the lard is not coming off my ass.

  14. I enjoyed your focus on the top, Renee. Some of your comments combine into my head with my recent vent of "it's about his pleasure"- as I was thinking of The Queen when I wrote that.

    1. oh and others pointed out- I also like the balanced HoH and I agree with your not liking the HoH is always right; I think that's part of where my "the top just wants it" comes from- not right or wrong, good or bad, but the top wants it and it doesn't violate the rules of the relationship

  15. great post, Renee!
    I have a tougher time taking a punishment if I know my husband is disappointed in me.
    I agree with what you described, and find that sometimes we do that.
    I have accepted a spanking a few times, when I didn't feel the matter warranted it. But I'm blessed that even in punishment form, hubby's spankings are not that severe.
    And it helps both of us release , so we can talk about it later.
    So in our case, it actually does help.
    It's hard to explain so non-DD'ers get it.
    But it works for us.

    It helps that my HOH is pretty low key about being the HOH.
    If he was trying to Lord over me, or if he had brought the relationship to me (instead of the other way around), I can't honestly say how I would react.


I love comments!
Please consider signing up for my new release newsletter (on the sidebar). I promise I won't sell your email or spam you and you won't receive more than 12 emails a year!