Any action taken as a response to the submissive not following the dictates of the dominant. Punishments may be physical or mental. In most situations in life, people wish to avoid punishment. In BDSM, however, punishments are part of the complex sexual dynamic that’s in the heart of all BDSM relationship. Punishment is a consensual activity that is desired by the person being punished.
Physical punishment is meant to cause pain or discomfort. It can come in the form of beating, flogging, whipping, spanking, and nipple clamps, as well as predicament bondage and forms of restraint. Though causing pain is the target, it is important not to cause any permanent damage to the person being punished. For that reason, the buttocks are a popular target for physical punishment since it is a large, sensitive body part that is not near to any important organs and heals relatively quickly. On the other hand, the abdomen is usually avoided, since there are delicate organs under it that are not protected by bone.
Mental forms of punishment can be in forms of humiliation (for example, public exposure), or denying the sub certain activities and treats (for example, locking them in a room or denying orgasm). Power exchange can also allow the dom to set the sub to tasks that they do not like (such as cleaning). Though the psychological nature of this punishment means that it won’t cause injury to the body, overdoing it can still cause damage. Aftercare is important in order to ensure the mental safety of the sub.