This article is written by me – Kim Debron – it is owned by me. If you copy it, please give the credit to me, otherwise you are committing an act of plagiarism – you are stealing my work.
Discipline and control are two words that have a huge bearing on a D/s dynamic - the two are the basic elements for the success of the relationship between a Dom and a sub.
If we think about a horse and rider in the dressage arena, executing the beautiful, fluid movements that make up the test, we can see a perfect example of what discipline and control can produce between two living beings.
There has to be complete communication between the horse and rider, which can only be achieved by total discipline and control. The horse must submit to the rider - it must accept the discipline needed to learn the test, and it must be controlled in order to complete the test.
When a dressage test is executed correctly, there should be no obvious movements from the rider - only smooth and co-ordinated changes in gait, as horse and rider move through the test together. Therefore, when discipline and control are used correctly in the dynamics between the horse and rider, they become one entity, one being, and not two separate bodies.
We can see that discipline is very strongly connected to control. Is it possible to have one without the other?
Not really, because the control is needed to enforce the discipline.
In a D/s relationship, discipline and control are essential elements, the control is the basis for the relationship, and the discipline is needed in order for the sub to learn the correct behaviour.
What does “discipline” really mean? The dictionary defines discipline in several different ways:
* To train by instruction and practice,
* Controlled behaviour resulting from disciplinary training.
* Control obtained by enforcing a compliance or order.
* To teach to obey rules or accept authority
* To produce a specific character or pattern of behaviour, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement.
* A state of order based on submission to rules and authority - for example - a teacher who demands discipline in the classroom.
*A punishment intended to correct or train - to enforce obedience.
The word, in simple terms, means to teach or train another being to follow a particular way, and to enforce that training, to ensure obedience.
We know that control means to exert an influence over something or someone, so how do discipline and control fit into a D/s relationship?
The sub needs the discipline and control in her life in order to obey - she needs to know the rules, learn the behaviour and accept that there will be consequences if she is disobedient.
How does a sub learn what is expected? Through discipline and control, and, just like the horse and rider competing in the dressage arena, when the discipline and control given by the Master is accepted by the sub, the relationship between the two runs smoothly. Eventually, the sub knows what is expected of her in any given situation and she will behave accordingly. She has learned her lessons through discipline, and because of the control her Master has, to enforce those lessons.
What does discipline mean to me and how does it affect my relationship with my Master?
To me, discipline can mean punishment, but mostly it is about learning correct behaviour.
When I was a child, discipline always meant punishment. I was a very naughty, rebellious little girl, and spent a lot of time “waiting till my dad came home from work”! He was the disciplinarian in our household – I was always sent to “the naughty room” (which my eldest sister renamed, “kim’s other room”) – it was a small space, like a walk in pantry, and I would sit on the pile of ironing, just waiting for the sound of his car in the driveway, and the back door as my mother went out to tell him of my latest misdemeanor. I was also a rebellious teenager, and was always in trouble at school, and at home.
In my last D/s relationship, discipline was always about punishment, never about learning things - apart from the lesson that if I misbehaved I would be whipped or spanked.
It was a strict relationship in many ways, there were rules that I broke so many times, and I wonder if I did that for the reward of being physically punished – at times I am certain I did.
Things like not sending a text message unless I received one first, would earn me 5 lashes with a whip. Poking out my tongue, or pulling a face, answering back, those things earned me spankings, or the belt – and also gave me a reputation of being a bratty sub.
I realise now, that I was craving his attention, and I learned that I got it, by misbehaving. I like being spanked, the more I misbehaved, the more I got spanked.
My Master does not use that sort of discipline as punishment, He is more likely to set a task such as an essay, or lines, or stand me in a corner for an hour (or more). Even worse, if I was really disobedient, I am aware that punishment could mean not seeing Him for a certain amount of days, or weeks.
So, in this relationship, discipline is definitely more about learning - for example - I have learned that misbehaving will not get me what I want.
I have learned that when I get a drink for Master, I often serve it Gorean style, but if not then I must serve it from His right, and try to place it so that He can pick it up without having to twist the handle around.
I have learned that when I sit at His feet, I must not sit “indian style”(unless I ask permission first) I have learned to “languish” that is, to sit with my feet to one side, and knees together.
I have learned other things too, like when we are out, where I must walk, and stand, in relation to Master, and that can change depending on who is with us at the time.
This then, is discipline, learning the correct behaviour, to please Him and behave in the manner expected.
My relationship with Master is, without question, a dictatorship. He makes the rules, and I obey them without hesitation. He teaches through discipline, the way He wishes me to behave, and reinforces that teaching through the control He has over me.
I want to be disciplined, I want to be controlled, I need those elements in my life.
This is without doubt, the most fulfilling and complete relationship I have ever had. The feeling of being owned, being Master’s property to discipline how and when He wishes, is indescribable. I am totally secure and trust Him to always know what is best for me.
My Master allows me to be myself and have my own personality within the bounds of my submission to Him. He does that through discipline and control.
© Kim Debron 2005