Today, I had the immense pleasure of sitting in on an overnight slave training with Mistress Michelle Lacy. Out of all the things... many things... we discussed over the course of the evening one thing stood out above the others.
It is imperative to let a slave know you appreciate them.
That it is entirely appropriate to reward a slave when they have performed tasks well or go above and beyond to please you.
It is something, that as a lifestyle Mistress I have a good understanding of but it always makes me elated to hear that advice coming from someone I respect.
It isn't really something one can force, I think it comes from years of experience of training and working with submissives. However, slaves in particular are driven by their desire to please their Mistress.
Submission is truly something that should be cherished. For most men, they may have grown up with vulnerability and submission being discouraged or even punished.
When a man offers that submission to me, I want to respect and honor that part of them that has probably been neglected for far too long.
A simple, "Thank you, slave" or "I appreciate you, and your service, slave" Goes a very long way.
It may not be every Mistress' style but personally, I like to make sure my property is well taken care of and happy- whether its for a few hours or someone who has served me personally.
I will hug them when they are extra sweet, tell them what a good job they did, praise them.
If their behavior is excellent I want to reinforce that positively.
When they are particularly good, I might reward them with the play they have been begging for or buy a new special toy I know they're going to love with them in mind.
The slaves that preemptively meet my needs and truly want to be of service, are met with my respect, love and nurturing of that behavior.
Any negative reinforcement (if at all) is carefully planned according to the person, because I know not every slave wants to be humiliated and punished and to do so might only shame them in a very hurtful way. If its done, it is always done with the intention to help them grow and learn and not simply to hurt them.
I could and probably will write a separate blog on punishments, and how I implement them more safely and sanely. In short, I negotiate punishments with my personal slaves, I make sure we both agree that they are fair, the punishment happens and then it is over. The hatchet is buried. Corporal punishment should be used with slaves who feel a need to physically atone for their mistakes.
Personally, I find impact play enjoyable, or even "funishments" but I never enjoy the actual punishment of a slave.
Most likely the slave already feels terrible, and for some it will help them over that hump if they receive a fair punishment which may or may not be corporal depending upon the person.
The best advice I can end this entry on is to simply listen and get to know your submissives and slaves a little bit better. Take the time to empathize and truly hear them. It may take a little trial and error, but keep your communication clear and honest and your slave will always reward you in return...likely much more that you expected.