On the subject of punishment and discipline:
I’m asked about the difference between punishment and discipline. I can see how confusion might arise. In everyday speech discipline is often used as a synonym for punishment. But I think within d/s they are two distinct concepts. Punishment, I take it, is an action that is taken when the submissive has done wrong. She has, deliberately or through negligence, done something she ought not to have done. She has vowed obedience, and then fallen short. Her dom will forgive her, but in the meantime she feels guilty. Punishing her allows her to expiate her guilt. She needs some kind of physical act, which nevertheless has great symbolic significance, which she may submit to as a form of penance. The burden of guilt cannot be shifted unless she feels she has the right to be a good girl again, and that can only be achieved if she pays the price of her disobedience. This is why I think it’s essential that the submissive is never punished unless and until she has admitted her offence, and unless she is fully persuaded that she deserves punishment. If she is not convinced, punishment will do no good. It may even do harm, stoking a resentment which cannot be conducive to willing submission to his wishes.