I had a very nice exchange with someone on Fetlife over the weekend. I was asked a question about correction and discipline. This person wanted their submissive to do a specific thing, and was very clear about it, but that thing wasn’t getting done. What would I do?
A while back, I wrote about my concepts of “Punishment, correction and absolution” and when I use them, but after this weekend’s discussion, I realized I had missed a good chunk of the discussion – the “why” and the “what type.”
For me, it comes down to two to three simple questions:
- What is the rock bottom thing that I’m wanting, what is the end goal, what is the desired outcome?
- What are the levers/motivations/strengths I can use to make my slave desire to fulfill #1?
- (in the case of coming up with a correction) – What is the blocker causing the issue? The real blocker, not the symptom of just disobedience or displeasing or incorrect behavior?
Now I don’t run through this sort of consideration for each and every correction. No, this is for something that is repeated behavior. Something that clearly needs more thought than a simple “fix XYZ.”
An example is probably a good way to get through this. As a result of slave Angie’s lupus, she needs to take her meds, daily. And for months and months, every day, it was a fight for her to obey me to take her meds in a timely manner. It became a source of great angst for us. Even after 11 years. Even up to this summer.
I was confused because I was convinced this had something to do with her just not wanting to take her meds. Now this is a woman who desires nothing more than to obey. It’s how she’s wired. Of that, I have no doubt. So this nagging forgetfulness was maddening. I could see her frustration, I was frustrated, so I finally started digging.
One of the symptoms of lupus is chronic fatigue, another is called ‘brain fog.’ Combine the two, and you get a potent mix for promoting serious forgetfulness. As we walked through the issue and how a day goes, it became clear to me that the real rock-bottom reason she couldn’t remember… the fog/fatigue. She didn’t want me to think she was whining or making excuses. It was a really good talk and led me to consider:
#1 – I want her to take her meds. She has to in order to be able to function.
#3 – the “blocker” is the fog/fatigue. Although she doesn’t like taking meds, she accepts that they’re important, so that’s not the real reason. No matter how much I may have believed they were.
And #2 – the lever or strength or thing that I can use. Well, the fact that she is close to a computer all day and checks her messages a lot.
So, the Internets to the rescue – an automated messaging/reminder system and along with that, a message as part of the reminder reinforcing how important it was to me that she take the meds. (The site is called FollowUpThen – https://www.followupthen.com/)
It removed the mental block from me that she was being disobedient and that this was just something she could just do. She wanted to, but there were real issues. So, what was my desired outcome? Take the meds. And now she does. Regularly.
So those are the ways I deal with those issues. Things like this do get under the skin, I get that completely. Us Masters, we find some things extremely frustrating. But then, someone is usually in service because of a desire to be pleasing and to be obedient. Usually. So, finding the blockers and ways to get around them is the key, because blockers can be things that the slave can’t always do something about… or may not even realize are a blocker.
Which leads me to the “why” – and that is what those 3 questions answer. “Why” do I want this thing. “Why” should she do it? “Why” doesn’t it happen?
The “why” of things is what reinforces the usefulness of protocols and rituals as well. The “why” is how those things feed our souls and give us a reason to do them, to anchor to them. They speak to our needs within the relationship and the things that give us energy and hope and fulfillment. If the “why” isn’t core, isn’t at the root, then you’re not addressing the need, the dynamic or the real issue.