8. Two types of corrections (Punishers)
9.1 The (positive) added correction P+
The positive correction is when something bad is added or continued. Often it contains physical punishment. Usually it is given to minimise or completely prevent unwanted behaviour. In BDSM it is the most used form as it is the most natural form. There is however a danger that the difference between punishment and correction in BDSM is not always recognised. It is therefore advised to always tell just before dishing out: “This is a correction because I do not want you to do this again”.
During a play John and Ella ‘agreed’ that no questions are allowed to be answered with: ‘no’. Using the word no will mean strong pain stimuli will be given. It is the kind of play where bad behaviour should have an immediate consequence and where correction works better than punishment. John will try however to make her fuck up by using trick questions. He could for instance use strong pain stimuli (slapping tits and pussy) and ask Ella if she wants more of that and if she wants it harder.
The first no is often corrected mildly; but Ella knows that every next time will be corrected more severe. If such a play is played regularly the sub tends never to use the word no again even if this specific play is not on.
It is therefore an example of positive conditioned behaviour. (CP+) In 24/7 and TPE relationships one should be aware of the fact that such conditioning may lead to a permanent adjustment of the behaviour, which actually means a permanent change of the sub’s personality.
If Dom and sub are aware of this and have no problems with that, who am I to judge. For me personally it would mean that an unacceptable boundary of BDSM is crossed. It leads to permanent damage (change of characteristic behaviour) of the sub which wouldn’t be acceptable for me.
Remarks with added correction P+
What often is forgotten is: that it is not the slave itself who is corrected (for not being liked by the Dom) but it is the wrong behaviour that is corrected with the purpose of limiting it. The slave is undergoing the correction for she was the one to show the bad behaviour. In BDSM we use the terms punishment and correction for dishing out/ receiving pain stimuli, although it is not always regarded as such by the sub. (A pure masochist would regard receiving pain as something ‘good’.
Added correction is – when carried out properly – in general the most effective method to prevent unwanted behaviour. On the downside we have to realise that it doesn’t teach alternative ‘good’ behaviour at the same time.
Most natural form
In spite of this disadvantage and unwanted side-effects it is - in nature as well as in our modern society as well as in BDSM – the most common and most used form of correction.
A slave reaches with her hand to a cookie on a plate (without asking permission) and is struck on the hand. (Like we would do with a child)
A slave is impolite and is slapped in the face.
A slave tries to run away while her ankles are attached to the ends of a stick and falls over.
Many trainers condition the answer no with correction. Purpose is to form a bridge between using the word no and correction, to limit the use of the word or prevent it altogether. This conditioned correction (CP+) is an important part in the training of conditioned behaviour.
Correction is a form of reward
Behaviour is often motivated by reward. Even when an added corrector is used it is a reward that is used as a motivator. This can be a actual reward or the reward that the correction stops.
Ella is trained in orgasm control; every time she is close to an orgasm she will get pain stimuli on another spot on the body to draw the attention away from the orgasm.
These pain stimuli are very unpleasant but Ella knows that – in the end – she will be rewarded with an orgasm. This orgasm – after being close before orgasm for hours – is usually very intense. This makes up for all the pain she had earlier that day, however painful these were at the time.
Timing and wrong associations
Timing is important again. Besides that association (the right association) is important too. Wrong association is very common in P+ training. Once a month John takes Ella to the movies. On such occasions other people are not aware of the fact that Ella and John are in a D/s relation. It is the occasion for Ella to talk about all kinds of subjects; even ones she can’t talk about on a daily basis. She even uses the opportunity to talk during the movie thus annoying John.
As a form of ‘correction’ they leave the cinema instantly. Every movie night is a big disappointment and for Ella going to the movies means disappointment and disaster. This will make her even more tense on the next occasion and she cannot understand why she cannot succeed.
It would have been wiser for John to correct Ella’s wrong verbal behaviour with verbal correction telling her to: “Shut up for 30 minutes.” After 30 minutes she’s hugged and told ‘good girl’ which would really motivate her to silence even longer.
Linking aversion against correction and the pleasure of behaviour
The aversion against correction must be big enough to stop the unwanted behaviour fast enough and much bigger that the pleasures of the unwanted behaviour. If the sub is very familiar with the positive feeling of the unwanted behaviour the aversion against the punishment needs to be even bigger.
Ella’s caught with her panties down and close to the moment of orgasm. John says that he will crop her ass if she doesn’t stop immediately. Chances are that Ella will tolerate the crop and continues because the reward of an orgasm is bigger than the aversion against the (light) correction.
Getting used to the aversion
Besides a sub can get used to this aversion against correction. Ella is caught with her pants down a few times a week. The first time Ella gets a fierce reprimand and stops. The second time she gets a physical correction of the milder kind. As time goes by she gets used to the fiercer corrections. In the end even the bullwhip cannot prevent her from touching herself without permission.
Association with the person who dishes out the correction
Correction can be associated with the person who dishes out this correction. Ella will continue playing with her cunt, even when others are around.
As soon as John’s around she will stop immediately. John is the one she expects correction of where other people don’t give her that association. Especially in cases where the trainer is not the Dom this can lead to severe problems.
Correction can cause damage
Keep in mind that correction can cause damage. Physical correction leads to physical damage (bruises, marks, broken skin); mental correction leads to mental damage. Beware that there is no situation of constant or excessive correction. Especially in BDSM training it’s important that there is some sort of closure.
Ella has kneeled on rice for 15 minutes and John feels she’s corrected long enough. He helps her up and hugs her for sustaining the correction without whimpering. The use of reinforcement after Ella sustained can help to prevent damage. She now understands that she converted her bad behaviour in good behaviour and that John is no longer cross with her.
Correction suppresses (all) behaviour
Correction suppresses unwanted behaviour but it tends to suppress wanted behaviour as well. Use added correction (P+) just to unlearn unwanted behaviour and not to learn alternative behaviour.
9.2. The (negative) subtracting corrector (P-)
It is a less popular method but could prove to be effective in some situations. Only when the Dom is a pure sadist he will have trouble to unlearn bad behaviour through a reward. He will feel that ‘reward’ would never be the right motivation to prevent bad behaviour. Pure masochists on the contrary would consider ‘pain’ and other forms of correction a reward more than a punisher. Taking away the pain or punishment could therefore have the wrong effect. It somehow looks a bit against the grain if preventing or unlearning bad behaviour is rewarded by not giving or taking away correctional punishment.
Ella knows she has to ask permission before she has an orgasm, but orgasms without permission. John demands an apology that Ella doesn’t give right away. He starts to single tail her telling that he will only stop after she made an apology. He starts off mildly but makes it more intense as time goes by. Eventually Ella gives in, makes an apology and the correction stops.
It’s a situation that could be quite common in training orgasm control. Often it is difficult for a sub to control her self. She has asked permission but wasn’t granted one and is no longer able to hold the orgasm. In that case she wouldn’t see the orgasm as an act of disobedience but as an act of loosing control. That’s what makes apologising not the natural thing to do.
In a play it is common for a sub – who doesn’t want to safe-word and knows that asking for mercy is useless – to apologise for bad behaviour even when there is no bad behaviour. Thanking for punishment – even when not asked for – is such a conditioning response as well.
She has learned in training that apologising or thanking can stop the punishment. If the punisher is not her own Dom this could easily be misinterpreted making months of training go bad. It is therefore essential to always show the sub the difference between correction and punishment.
Remarks for subtracting correctors P-
Subtracting corrector is being used to influence behaviour by taking away or ending something bad. Ella’s conditions improve for she is rewarded for her behaviour, thus showing this behaviour more often, while it improves her conditions.
To be able to take something bad away, the trainer needs to control this bad thing. He cannot state that Ella finishing unwanted behaviour will make the rain stop during an outdoor training. If he was training her under a cold shower he could turn the water tap.
As soon as the sub comes towards her trainer the rope around her neck will loosen up.
As soon as Ella apologises, John will lay down his whip.
As soon as Ella kneels John has no longer need to pull her hair.
Primary, secondary and bridges
The above mentioned forms of reinforcement and correctors can be either primary or secondary.
Primary (R+) reinforcement (1R+) usually contains: food, comfort, sex; all matters that are automatically (naturally) seen as nice.
Secondary (R+) reinforcement (2R+) are things one needs to be taught that they are nice, like: financial rewards, getting an A at school, being promoted on the job.
Often trainers will build bridges from one reward to the other as not all rewards can be given all of the time. Hugging or comforting a sub while telling her she’s a ‘beautiful girl’ or a ‘nice girl’ is not that easy if she’s restrained in a complicated hogtie. After conditioning it will be sufficient just to praise her. A reward (reinforcement) obtained from a bridge through conditioning will be abbreviated as CR+; they can be either primary (1CR+) or secondary. (2CR+)