So much of what’s written about FLR and domestic discipline is about punishment. I’m guilty of focusing on this. The fact is that FLR is much more than that. It’s about a power exchange; the female member of the relationship taking control of her man. It’s also about leading the relationship as a whole; making decisions about what direction the family will take.
The problem with discussing corrective activities, including punishment, is that these are responses to misbehavior. We don’t discuss how to manage positive reinforcement. The reason we tend to overlook this is that the idea of rewards just isn’t very sexually exciting to people who think of control in terms of forcible imposition of one will over another. That’s fine for BDSM scenes, but is far from a useful template for a three-dimensional relationship.
There’s more to it than that. I think Mrs. Lion has a much harder time rewarding me than punishing me. I’m not sure she even realizes it. It’s easy to rationalize spanking and other punishments as fulfilling my request. Mrs. Lion thinks that way. But when she tells me that I am a good boy, I think she feels uncomfortable.
The reason for this is subtle. Rewarding me for good behavior implies that she is in a superior position and is thinking of me almost as a child. You reward an equal with, “Thank you.”, not “Good Boy.” Bigger rewards are even more difficult to provide. Taking me to a restaurant for a lunch or dinner I really want clearly states that I can’t go there on my own. It may seem humiliating to assume that authority. Ordering dinner for me is a similarly difficult action.
I think that positive reinforcement as well as day-to-day control are the most difficult challenges for Mrs. Lion. It isn’t that she has to micromanage me. That is tedious but easily rationalized as a BDSM scene. It’s owning the power that is most difficult. Rewarding me for being good has profound implications. Administering punishment is much easier.
To a large extent, our FLR is based on my fantasies of rules and punishments. I never had a reward scenario fantasy. Maybe it’s because that would be too real. When Mrs. Lion tells me I am good, there is always a flash of discomfort. Generally, she will also ask me if I noticed she did it. I imagine she would have a much harder time offering me a cookie for doing something she liked than spanking me for breaking a rule. Could it be that rewarding good behavior is a more profound expression of power than a spanking for doing something wrong?
We’ve focused on Mrs. Lion observing my lapses and punishing them. Yes, that’s a very important change for her. We may be missing an important point. Perhaps we also need to focus on recognizing and rewarding obedience and good behavior. Perhaps the true power exchange is hiding behind offering me a cookie for being a good boy.
This is a complicated issue! We find that my behaving myself, doing my chores and most importantly showing the utmost respect results in me avoiding a punishment and that in itself is all the reward I expect and deserve.
Punishment should be used to ‘teach a lesson’ and be severe enough to ensure that the perpetrator of the issue which brought about the punishment thinks twice before re-offending. I know that when I receive a punishment I go through a mixture of feelings from remorse, pain (obviously) and sadness that my actions have disappointed my other half so much that her only course of action is to physically reprimand me.
Not punishing me isn’t the same as a reward for good behavior. Not being punished means I didn’t do something to earn negative reinforcement. Rewards, no matter how small, are recognition of good behavior. Punishment is recognition of doing something negative. It’s not the same thing at all.
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