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i kinda have this recurring problem with pets who screw up intentionally to get punished, thus ruining the entire point of training
This is actually a recurring problem for a lot of people in the BDSM community. There isn’t always an easy solution. As with many situations in relationships, it’s very important to pay attention to cycles. Relationships are filled with them, both positive and negative. When there is any kind of systemic problem it can be helpful to understand your own role in this cycle, and try to find a way to interrupt it.
The archetypal brat dynamic often happens as a sort of loop where the s-type wants attention and play and the quickest way to get it is to act out. But then the d-type will have exhausted some of their (finite) dominant energy - because punishments take a lot of it, and start needing to recharge. In the meantime, the s-type starts wanting attention and play again…. and so on. I’m not saying that this is what happens to you - but it’s an example that can help you construct a more relevant sequence for yourself.
The situation I described above can sometimes be remedied by a combined approach on several avenues. First and most important - everyone needs to talk about what is going on, where they want to be, and how you will try to get there. Sometimes simply coming to an understanding of “Hey, here is what is going on, and here is what each of us are doing to make it happen” is a powerfully transformative event in itself. Communication is critical, and a d/s dynamic is built and maintained by all of those involved. It’s very important that everyone is on the same page. Perhaps your pet really enjoys frequent funishments and views them as service and bonding opportunity, while for you having to discipline over and over is perceived as a loss of control. All of this needs to be hashed out, hopefully with an ideal compromise that makes everyone happy.
For example - Snow likes funishments too, as well as pushing limits and being put in her place. But she also knows that there are degrees with these things - and that while sassy backtalk might get her a quick fun spanking, my reaction to her bringing home a C from school would be quite different. We treat a lot of her bratting as a fun outlet for both of us and a form of play - and I don’t take it seriously or expect it to stop, so it doesn’t make me feel ineffective as a dom. She also knows that sometimes I need a little downtime - and I try to be flexible and reactive as well.
One troublesome part of the cycle I described earlier is that play and punishment start to play the same role. It makes sense to take steps to distinguish the two. Punishments are not supposed to be enjoyable or sought out, they are supposed to be avoided. This is tricky, because there are a lot of positive emotions in a serious discipline session - forgiveness, redemption, closeness, etc. After being properly disciplined an s-type often feels protected and loved, not brutalized - and that is very very very important. The nuance of punishment is retaining all of those things while making the experience formidable enough to be avoided rather than sought. It’s a fine line to walk and is something that has to be tailored to the individuals.
The final part, after creating a vision of how you’d like things to work and making punishments appropriately unpleasant (but still caring and loving), is to make sure that the s-type is getting enough attention and play. Perhaps a little bratting will now be expected and treated accordingly, or you guys will have more impromptu training/use sessions, or just play a bit more often. This should be easier when you’re not in a sequence of emotionally heavy and draining punishment scenes, and not feeling in control.
Ok, sorry I rambled here - this is a complex and deep topic that touches a lot of things - and most books on d/s dynamics will devote a chapter (or a few) to it. This isn’t a guide of any kind, just a few examples - but perhaps they will help you think about the situation in a new way.
» Asked by franslair