Friday, July 26, 2013

Let's Talk Punishment in D/s Relationships

Welcome LIV HONEYWELL to Romance Beckons.
When not writing about delicious, hot male dominants and the female subs who love them, Liv is usually doing something craft-like, reading, baking, eating the results of said baking, and attempting to satisfy the demands of His High and Mighty Dominance (the cat!). Her first story, Imagine, was published with Silver Moon Books last year and Coming, Ready or Not is her first solo book. The Journal, co-written with Domitri Xavier, is out now.

You can follow her blog, connect with her on twitter, friend her on facebook, see her books on goodreads or buy her books on Amazon.

Today, Live joins us to discuss Punishment in D/s Relationships.

Writing The Journal and getting some of the feedback we’ve had from readers made me think about the place of punishment in a D/s relationship. Now obviously, not all D/s relationships include punishment as part of their dynamic and even when they do there is no one size fits all way to do it, but as so much of The Journal is about a punishment I thought I’d talk about how it works for me as a sub.

I love the crop and the flogger. Those are my favourite toys but if my Dom told me that he would use the crop to punish me for something I’d done, even though I usually love how it feels, I wouldn’t enjoy it at all because of why he was doing it. When I say that, I do tend to get the reaction from a lot of people that I’m only saying it to get out of really being punished but it is actually true for me because of the different head space.

If I know I’ve done something wrong and I deserve to be punished for it, I wouldn’t want to get out of it. I wouldn’t look forward to it, of course, but I wouldn’t even try to get out of it and certainly not by pretending that I was being punished by something that I was actually enjoying. I’m too honest - I sometimes think I’m too honest for my own good! I’m much more likely to ask for more punishment because I don’t think I’ve been punished enough, just like Livia in The Journal, than I am to make any attempt to wriggle out of it. The whole idea of letting my Dom down and disappointing him is quite bad enough without feeling that I’ve somehow got away with it.

Domitri, my writing partner, does believe that is completely true for me – he doesn’t doubt me or think that I’m trying to get away with anything - but his take on it is that he would still deliberately pick something that he knew couldn’t possibly be enjoyed to make sure it really was a punishment.

When we wrote the book, we knew the punishment aspect might be hard for some people to take and we deliberately included a warning as part of the description on Amazon as we didn’t want people to buy it and be expecting a light, comedic romance!

Livia and her Master have a loving, consensual relationship and it has previously been agreed that punishment would be a part of it. Although Livia was upset at the time because of why he was punishing her, thinking about it much later, once she knew everything was resolved and they were going to be okay, would definitely have turned her on. Because of what he did, because it put her back in her place and also because he is her Master and he had the right to do it, according to the way they live their relationship.

She would actually have felt worse and been more upset and disappointed if he'd done nothing to punish her at all, because it would have felt like he didn't care enough to do it.

Here’s a small snippet from The Journal, when they talk about what happened:
“I did cane you, but I’d at least calmed down enough to do that by then. You know I’d never punish you in anger. I never would. And I didn’t. When I came back this morning I was half minded to leave it, but you said you didn’t think you’d been punished enough, and I knew if I left it there you would carry on beating yourself up.”
He raised her chin and smiled into her eyes.
“Wouldn’t you? I know you too well.”
She gave him a small smile in return.
“I… yes, Sir. I would have.”
I can absolutely see me having that conversation with a Dom because I do the exact same thing. I only remember one incident where I’d done something which upset my Dom at the time a great deal and, until he punished me, I was beating myself up mentally for it far more than he ever could have. The one thing that stopped me doing that to myself was receiving a punishment. It was cathartic, it felt like it had been dealt with properly; that there was an end to it and we could now move on.
So what do you think about punishment in D/s relationships and what would you hate to be punished with?
Back Cover Copy:
“Come to my study at eight o’clock sharp. Dress for dinner. Wear high heels and put on that dress – you know what I expect of you.”

When the order comes Livia is torn between anticipation and dread.

Does he know? How could he possibly know what she has done? And how can she find the words and the courage to tell him?

As eight o’clock edges ever nearer, Livia waits outside the study door, trembling; uncertain of what she will find when she comes face to face with her Master.

If he knows… If he does, there will be consequences. There is no doubt about that.
What will be the price for her moment of disobedience?

The Journal is available from Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Here's a longer Excerpt for your enjoyment:
I knocked on the study door, quietly, almost hesitantly. I knew so well the knots in the wood, the whorls and lines of the grain. How many times had I stood here, gazing at this door; trying to guess what would happen when I opened it?
I wondered how long he would have me wait. I didn't know what to think. Did he somehow know what I'd done? Had he been waiting for me to tell him, giving me the chance to own up? Hoping that I would before he had to make me? I couldn’t imagine how he could know, but... he had sounded distracted earlier. Not like himself.
I'd so wanted to confess. I really had. I'd tried all day yesterday. I'd tried today as well but I couldn’t make myself say it. I didn't want to see the look of disappointment in his eyes, the awful expression on his face that would come from knowing I'd done something absolutely forbidden.
And… and I was scared of the punishment, of how bad it would be. And now I’d made it worse. Not only for me but for him too. For how much more I’d let him down by not telling him the truth.
I hoped I could find the nerve to say it now. Maybe I could find a way to explain, though I wasn't sure I could explain it to myself. What on earth had I done?
I hoped he would allow me to speak, or I wouldn't be able to say a word, not even to confess. What would I do then? Wait until he was done with me and then tell him? Wait until he had used my body, whichever way he chose; wait until he had given me pleasure which I surely didn't deserve?
Then what? If I couldn't find the nerve now, if I hadn't found it earlier, what on earth made me think I would find it then?
I reached out and lightly traced the pattern of the wood with a finger tip. My hand was trembling and I slowed my breathing, doing my best to relax.
Then I heard his voice; such a beautiful deep voice, so calm and gentle. It gave me no clue to what he was thinking, to what he would do this time.
I took a deep breath and pushed open the door, closing it quietly behind me; keeping my eyes lowered the whole time. I clasped my hands behind my back and waited.
"Come to me," he said.
'Always,' I thought. 'Whenever you wish it.' I didn't say it, of course. I knew better than to speak without permission.
I kept my hands behind my back and walked over to him, my high heels clicking on the hard wood floor. I dared not look at him, but I so wanted to. Perhaps for reassurance that he wouldn't hurt me, although I knew he would; perhaps to see if the gentleness in his voice was there in his eyes; perhaps to search for something, anything in his expression to tell me what he was thinking.
He lifted a hand toward my face and I tried not to flinch, but he merely stroked my hair, twining his fingers through the length of it. I began to relax, leaning my head into his hand, until he grabbed a handful of hair close to my scalp and pulled hard, and I couldn't help letting out a small squeak of surprise.
"This is no time for making such noises," he said, still so calmly, so controlled, and I bit back the sound, unable to rid myself of the feeling that this was the calm before the storm.
His fingers gently covered and closed my eyes, and then I stood quietly while he tied my hands behind my back. Now I couldn't even see what was coming, and even if I could, I was helpless to prevent it.
He clamped his hand firmly over my mouth, stopping even the chance to protest, as his other hand explored my body, stroking and caressing - over my breasts, across my hips, between my legs. I blushed as I realised he must know how aroused I was.
He released my mouth and inspected my body with both hands, squeezing my breasts and my bottom, stroking my face, touching between my legs once more. I moaned softly and he covered my mouth again, muffling any noise I might make.
Was I not to be allowed even the slightest sound? To have to keep silent no matter what he might do to me? The thought of his control made me shiver and I swallowed hard, trying to hold back a sudden rush of desire. I tried to still myself, wondering if he had noticed.
Of course. Of course he had. He noticed everything. I wondered if it would make a difference to what he would do. If it pleased him that I couldn't hide my reactions or if I would be punished for moving, however slightly?
He stepped away from me and I waited for what would come...
Tell Us What You Think!
... about Punishment in D/s Relationships. Is it about the head space, the instrument, or is it all in his voice?
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