On Maintenance Discipline

I’ve been trying to write this post coherently for years, but I think I just recently figured it out enough. 

Some of my earliest memories aren’t of real things at all, but of immersive daydreams I had in the backseat of the car, or trying to fall asleep at night, or while swaying on the swingset.

I had a lot of spanking (and related) fantasies, but also no concept that this was something that could be done with consent, for fun, by adults, and all those bits, yet. I understood it only as a punishment, and even then, my understanding of it was largely theoretical (my parents didn’t believe in it/I have no memory of being punished as a child, anyway). 

Still, I had a bit of a conundrum: I was a good kid. I was the good sibling, the teacher’s pet, the rule stickler. In high school, my dad recommended that I might try getting a detention, or a B, for the experience. My mom concurred, and dared me to at least dye my hair purple in teenage rebellion (that one, I did; then again, she did a dip dye with me). 

I had an issue with the punishment part of these daydreams, because I didn’t like doing things wrong. So I made my fantasies heroic—taking someone else’s—the whipping girl fantasy. Or they were arbitrary, unreasonable, done out of emotion. Something to take out that factor where I actually had to do something bad. These fantasies usually took place in some kind of destitute servitude setup (which I’d figure out was also crucial much later). 

Later, I discovered the words for all of these things, but even with the ideas of sex and consent and fun in mind, I still found my mind wandering to the same ole, same ole: the punishment idea, still sans the wrongdoing. Roleplay or funishment didn’t quite do it for me; I wanted real power, real meaning, just not real disobedience, in it. Besides the physical action, there were appealing undertones of that situation that I struggled to turn away from. 

I don’t remember discovering the concept of maintenance discipline. It may have been another thing I found a word for that I’d already independently explored the concept of in my head—though without the word, those fantasies lacked a coherency. But it fascinated me. It had all of those tones of punishment, in a way—the power and discipline and structure and protocol and needing but not necessarily wanting it, helpless to the schedule—without the wrongdoing. 

When I met Mistress, it was one of the very first things we agreed would be a part of our dynamic, within the eight weeks after we met and before we moved in together and went 24/7. Over four and a half years ago now. We both wanted the idea; after that, it was just logistics. 

And the logistics have changed a few times. I’ve already emphasized this as a headspace thing, more than it’s about the action or the pain. (My idea of a nice impact scene can run four hours, so pain wise, the way we do maintenance isn’t actually a big deal for me.) I also don’t view it as preventative, as reminding me of my place or nudging me back in it—I don’t think there’s any significant behavioral changes from it—I don’t need discipline for that—so it just has mental, internal benefits, for both of us, really. So as headspace needs changed—based on life circumstances, our evolving dynamic, so on—the details and benefits of maintenance changed. 

It has almost always been once a week (with a little deviation to every other week), and it has always involved at least a spanking with the discipline wand (an implement we chose to reserve for that purpose early on, for clarity, a short, wooden cane/baton/thing initially purchased by Mistress as a magic wand at a coffeeshop). At other times, maintenance has integrated service tasks, inspections (current), lines, corner time (now a part of our punishment ritual). It has always been done at home, frequently in the bedroom, in private (it’s strange at times, how open we are, yet how many pieces of our dynamic have only really been witnessed by us). It’s always been nonsexual. It’s taken as little as twenty minutes or as long as an hour and a half. 

We have always really tried to commit to it unless it truly needs to be cancelled, and sometimes it does, and that’s okay, too. We also try to not constantly tweak the ritual, doing so only when needed, as an important part of the headspace is consistency. 

At times, it’s had an emphasis on higher protocol than our then usual (when I needed an extra dose of structure and control), on catharsis when I was constantly locking down emotions due to external issues, on extra meditative focus (lines, corner time, counting), on the service tasks we integrated when other parts of our schedule might have been disrupted. 

Currently, it works like this:

Fridays, after brunch. Fridays work best for us right now, though I think it’s been on half of the days of the week at various points as schedules have changed. Anchoring it to something else—brunch, which I serve every day at 9:30 AM, made it easier to integrate than assigning it a random, standalone time. I serve brunch, we eat, I clean up the kitchen as usual. Then, normally I have a bit of time to myself to see to a few extra chores or whatnot before morning inspection. 

But on Fridays, I take the discipline wand from the mantel (where it has always lived, always in sight, vanilla looking enough to never be questioned), and find Mistress, usually in her office, to alert her I’m ready. This involves all of the usual protocol: I wait in the doorway, I don’t speak until I’m spoken to, I say, “Yes, Mistress,” when she gives the order to send me to the bedroom to wait while she inspects my morning tasks, and, that waiving the need to ask if there’s anything else I can do to be of service, or asking for permission to leave, I just curtsy and exit. 

I go to the bedroom, strip out of my daily uniform, then kneel and present the wand in Presenting Position (kneeling, knees apart, big toes crossed in back—right over left—back straight, head and eyes down, the wand resting across both of my palms, turned up on my thighs). I don’t usually wait long, but anticipation builds quickly. At this stage, even knowing the final outcome, I always start to feel a bit of dread, which can feel bad in the moment, but is an important part—an important part to feel and then get over—from that punishment without the disobedience setup. But there is no guilt, at least.

Mistress always tells me how much she likes walking in with me like that; it’s one of her favorite moments in every week, favorite moments in our dynamic. She checks the position, takes the wand from me—I raise both of my hands slightly and tilt it into her hand. She sits on the bed and beckons me, “You may come over my lap,” and I move. Usually, she tells me about the week briefly. Praise, what’s happened of note, what she knows was hard, that she loves me and she appreciates me and she’s proud of me and I’m hers. (On the rare occasion something really didn’t go well that week, that was handled separately before now—we don’t group punishment and maintenance together.) 

Then, without much pause, she gives the same instructions, every week. She’s going to hit me X amount of times (it’s almost always ten, though sometimes it goes up arbitrarily to twelve or fifteen, or, more rarely, down to six), and I’m going to count and thank her and ask for another. Then she’s going to hit me an amount of times of her choosing (usually at least one hundred, maybe up to two hundred—I don’t keep track, I had to ask for this post), and I won’t have to say anything. Then, X more that I’ll have to count. 

“Do you understand?” 

“Yes, Mistress.” 

Then she hits me, and it’s, “One, thank you, Mistress; please may I have another?” through ten, or whatever number she chose. It requires a lot of self control, to just count. 

Usually, she answers, “You may.” After the tenth, she’ll say, “Yes, but you no longer need to count.” 

Then there’s the middle part. I’m almost always relatively still and quiet for this part now, and after some active pain processing, controlling myself, my mind just floats pleasantly. Right now, I think the theme for me is the part where I surrender myself to it entirely, accept it, submit, feel it more than I sometimes do in the rest of the week. 

I still like the idea of catharsis, but we haven’t gotten there in years; my tolerance doesn’t seem to work like that anymore, for now at least, and it’s almost certainly not going to happen with the discipline wand, which my body is so used to, it hasn’t left marks on me for than a few minutes in years, either. 

Then, after that, “Now there’ll be X more, and you’ll have to count and thank me and ask for another. Do you understand?” 

“Yes, Mistress.” 

And we repeat that part. After the last one this time, she answers my please may I have another with, “No; you may not. You’re done now.” 

I might stay there for a minute or two. Then she lets me dress, and get in Inspection Position to complete our normal morning ritual—standing, legs spread, back straight, head and eyes up, hands clasped behind my head. She looks me over, my uniform, checks for my pager and the indent it leaves against my abdomen, runs her hands over me, tells me my morning service tasks were done adequately (ninety-nine percent of the time; if not, that would’ve been handled separately). The tasks include things like making the bed, folding up the blanket on the floor at the foot of the bed that I sleep on, and laying out the leash I sleep bound by neatly, general tidying, preparing coffee, checking on the plants and the cats, handling lights/windows/blinds, so on. 

Then, I get her sunscreen and apply it for her as usual, and then the morning is done. Usually morning inspection is at ten-thirty; on maintenance days, it varies a little, but we’re pretty much always done before eleven, and sometimes earlier than usual.

And we go about our day. The full effect sinks in slowly for me, in a way. I’ll frequently be a little off for a bit, then given new focus. It can be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster at times, but it’s worth it, in the end, leaving me better off than I was, matching what I wanted out of those fantasies, shifting slowly to match headspace needs as time goes on. After most of five years, it’s harder to imagine going without it, far outweighing any momentary dread or pain, and I’m very grateful Mistress has stuck with it, too.

It’s important to me—even though it can be hard to explain why—and I wanted to share it.

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