Punishment has always been a strange concept to me within D/s because for a long time I thought of it as unnecessary. I know that’s an unpopular opinion and I get that for many folks punishing/being punished is part of the fun. Punishment gives tangible consequences to the accountability of much desired tasks and structure, but I guess I’m more for talking things through. Or at least I was …

In the beginning of our dynamic, we discussed punishment and we agreed that it was a viable element but that neither of us wanted it to be a common occurrence. I love to be good and do things on time and as He asks for them to be, because I have a massive praise kink. I do so much better with positive reinforcement than I do with the threat of punishment and He is naturally very generous with praise and compliments, so it’s a bit of a match made in heaven. We did agree though, that having a few punishments ‘at the ready’ would be a good idea so that if needed, they could be deployed without too much fuss or focus. Punishment is not something He relishes or wants to give much time to. He’d rather correct things, receive an apology and confirmation that I understand the error, and then move on.

One punishment that we have agreed on is particularly unpleasant to me. I have a lot of sensory issues and I am very, very temperature sensitive so using a shower, or more specifically the temperature of a shower, as a way of driving home a message is perfectly unappealing. He controls if and when I shower, but on the day-to-day he does not specify how long or how hot/cold it should be. Using an unpleasantly hot or cold shower as a punishment and a reminder of His will is a devilish idea and one that absolutely keeps me on my toes.

In order to make communication re: His ‘shower power’, He had me make up a visual scale so that he could easily assign a “number”, knowing it has a corresponding temperature. To make this graphic, I literally stood in my shower, just out of the way of the water, and recorded in my phone what each position of the tap felt like. I then took that info and added it to a photo I took of the tap so he could have a sense of it. Once we were aligned on the information, we discussed and negotiated the viable “punishment zones”. For the sake of safety, the hot end of the scale is a narrower range of temperature with a clear cut off just before 10/”too hot”, while the cold end of the spectrum is open season. I absolutely hate a cold shower and the intensity of a very hot shower can be overwhelming too. In short, I stay on the straight and narrow because I like being His good girl but also because I don’t ever want to endure an uncomfortable shower on top of His disappointment.

Punishment is personal, in terms of what works and what doesn’t as well as what the Dominant is willing to dish out and what the submissive is willing to accept. Our processes are obviously highly collaborative, but at the end of the day, His word is law, and I will take the scalding shower, or the ice cold shower, and I will thank Him for the direction.


Violet Fawkes

Violet Fawkes (she/her) is a freelance writer and sex blogger focusing on pleasure education, erotic fiction, and the intersection of identity, kink and mental health.