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Spanking: Punishment Vs. "Funishment"

by Ms. Ryan of

As a lifestyle Mistress (in addition to being a phone Mistress), I quite frequently find myself at events where someone will ask for a spanking. I am certainly not complaining about this turn of events ... far from it, in fact. The application of hand to flesh is something I quite enjoy, but there ARE misconceptions that I think need to be cleared up. And being that this is a request I field quite often, I feel comfortable in sharing what I know with you.

It's not at all unusual for me to hear "Mistress, I've been a bad boy (or girl), and I need to be punished" or some variation thereof. After all, most of our lives, we've been conditioned to believe that a spanking is exclusively punishment. But to me, punishment means something entirely different.

Punishment is not a Reward

A genuine punishment is not meant to be a reward, nor is it something that you necessarily enjoy. Not in my world, at least. Punishments are an aversive stimulus meant to correct a submissive's behavior by reminding him or her that disobedience has unpleasant consequences. Real punishment carries the connotation of disappointment and disapproval from both your Mistress and from your own sense of right and wrong. All in all, a true punishment is something you should hope to avoid at all costs. It's certainly not a thing you'd want to ask for.

Spanking for Fun

On the other hand, however, we have something that people who travel in the same circles that I travel in often dub "funishment." It is, as the name implies, meant to be fun and exciting for both parties. Sometimes, it's even used as a reward for good behavior. It's something that heightens the sexual excitement of a power dynamic ... which is the exact opposite of a "punishment spanking".

When subs come to me and tell me that they've "been bad" and "need to be spanked," it's usually funishment that they're asking for, not a real punishment. They want the sensual enhancement, not the stinging disappointment. Personally I have no problem with helping a spanking enthusiast get what he or she needs, provided that said enthusiast asks me nicely. I just prefer it when they don't call it a "punishment" because it's quite the opposite.

I also don't mind if those subs who want a playtime spanking pretend to be reluctant to receive their just desserts. Roleplay can spice up any scene, even one with a seasoned Femdom like me. And I can be just as strict or as gentle as is necessary during our spanking session. The mere acknowledgement that what we're doing is for fun, rather than a real punishment, doesn't take a single thing away from the scene itself.

The point I'm trying to make is that words are important. No, I won't be terribly upset if you choose to call a spanking funishment a "punishment," but I may correct you if you do so. In my opinion, it's best to keep fun and discipline completely separate from one another, so as not to confuse any of the parties involved ... and to make sure that both retain their respective intensity and meaning.

Now that that's been said, who's up for a nice over-the-knee spanking?