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Domestic Discipline: How It Works & 29 BSDM Rules and Tips for Beginners

Do you and your partner want to play around with power dynamics in your relationship? If you do, then you can try to add some domestic discipline.

Domestic Discipline

Perhaps you’re simply curious to know what is it or you maybe even consider incorporating domestic discipline into your relationship. 

This used to be a taboo subject, but recently it’s becoming more mainstream, thanks to movies like Fifty Shades of Grey, which is more BDSM, but has a similar vibe.

[Read: BDSM tips and tricks for curious first-timers]

What is domestic discipline? 

Basically, domestic discipline is a relationship between two consenting partners where one is submissive and one is dominant. 

The submissive receives punishment and rewards from their dominant based on whether they follow the rules set out for them. That’s what it is in a nutshell, however, it’s more complex than that.

Okay, maybe you need some more context…

Domestic discipline vs. BDSM

BDM is an umbrella term that includes several different things, so let’s break it down to understand it better.

There is B&D *bondage and discipline*, D&S *dominance and submission*, and S&M *sadism and masochism*. BDSM incorporates a wide range of activities from being lightly bound with rope to receiving severe punishments.

You might already know all of this, but maybe you don’t know what domestic discipline is or how it’s any different from a regular BDSM setup. Domestic discipline relationships vary in nature. However, they typically involve the dominant partner setting rules for the submissive partner to follow.

In the domestic discipline relationship, the dominant partner is usually referred to as the Head of Household *HOH* and the submissive partner as Taken-in-Hand *TIH*. [Read: “Facts” you think you know about BDSM debunked!]

While domestic discipline can include elements of BDSM such as spankings, it’s more about the day-to-day commitment rather than just in the bedroom and sex. 

Domestic discipline for beginners

So, if that whole Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele sexcapade got you hot and bothered, well, why not give domestic discipline a try? You’re going to have to throw out the “hitting is bad” idea and open your mind to this type of lifestyle. [Read: 50 best steamy romance movies to get you both hot, naughty, and in the mood]

Because there’s a lot more to it than you think.

1. Know what you want

Your best friend is in a domestic discipline relationship and now you want to try it out. But what if you try it and don’t like it? Don’t keep going just because you’re in some weird competitive spirit. [Read: From red room to real life – BDSM in your boudoir]

You have to make sure you want to do this because of you, not anyone else. So, before you even sit down with your partner, sit down with yourself and really think about it.

2. Make sure it’s consensual

You can’t just walk up to your partner and start spanking them when they do something that pisses you off. That’s domestic violence, people. There’s a big difference.

So, sit down with your partner and explain to them what domestic discipline is and why you want to try it out. [Read: 31 new things to try in bed at least once with your lover]

Don’t pressure them into anything, let them feel it out on their own.

3. Be ready to answer a lot of questions

Obviously, they want to know what the hell domestic discipline even is and how it works. 

So, make sure you come prepared to answer any questions that they have because they’re going to have them. Have some YouTube clips prepared and show them examples of how it works. [Read: Fiery hot reasons you should date someone with a fetish]

4. Make a strict list of rules

If you don’t make any rules, then it’s basically a free for all, and we don’t want that. Now that your partner is up to try it, you need to make a strict set of rules that you can’t break. And not the sexy rules, but real boundary-setting rules.

These rules help keep the framework of the relationship in place and also help guide you and your partner, especially in the beginning. 

You can always change the rules, but you have to work together at all times. You aren’t the president. [Read: Dogging – what it is, how it works, and 17 public sex rules you MUST follow]

5. Don’t rush into it

If your partner is all in agreement, you probably want to jump right into it. Don’t. If you rush into it, you may miss important steps and overlook rules that need to be examined. Take it easy. It’s not going to be some walk in the park.

In the beginning, you and your partner are going to try to figure out how it works and what method works best for you. Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to spank or get spanked.

6. Punishment must be explained

You just can’t punish people without telling them what they did wrong. It doesn’t work like that in any facet of life, so why would it be the case in a domestic discipline relationship? [Read: Top 50 kinky sex ideas worth trying at least once in your lifetime]

For every punishment, the reasoning must be explained to the submissive. So, if you’re the dominant, when you have your partner bent over your knees with their pants to their ankles, you have to tell them why.

7. Never punish when angry

This is the most important rule to remember for both the submissive and dominant.

If you’re actually feeling anger, do not punish your partner. As a human being, it’s obviously normal to feel anger.

However, you cannot be angry when punishing. So, before punishing, remove yourself and make sure you’re in a collected state before carrying out any punishment.

8. Don’t forget about rewarding

Here we are talking only about punishing, but don’t forget about rewarding. Rewarding is a huge aspect of domestic discipline because that’s what encourages positive behavior. 

You don’t have to buy them a car, it can be as small as saying thank you or making them dinner. [Read: 44 warm ways to say “I appreciate you” and show your appreciation without words]

The point is to encourage positive behavior and show appreciation. Now, don’t overdo it with the reward, you don’t have to reward every single thing that’s done well.

9. The first spank

Listen, if you think the first spank isn’t going to be awkward, it will be. How can it not be? 

It’s the first time you and your partner are trying it out. You should expect to have a variety of emotions, feelings of pressure, apprehension, love, and relief. [Read: Spanking women – 23 sexy spanking secrets to spank a girl and arouse her]

What’s important is that you two talk about your emotions and what it felt like. You want to see how your partner feels about the experience.

10. Spanking essentials

So, you know you have a couple of options when it comes to spanking. You can use your hand, a wooden spoon, a hairbrush, a ping pong paddle, or a wooden paddle. 

You’ll just have to try out which tool works best for you and your partner. Some leave bruising while others easily slip out of your hand. So, you’ll have to shop around.

11. How to spank

You may think there’s some science to it, but there’s not. You can spank over the knee, lean on the armrest of your couch, or kneel on furniture. 

Really, however, you two agree on where and how to spank, that’s where you’ll do it. Don’t worry about it being right, just do what feels the best for you two.

Rules for the submissive

Because the domestic discipline relationship is based on power dynamics, there are very specific rules that need to be followed in several different categories. [Read: Strap in and kink out – your guide to having submissive sex]


The number one thing for the submissive to remember is that they must respect the HOH at all times. 

1. Submissive will not argue with the HOH

Part of being a submissive is keeping your mouth shut and doing what you’re told. So, there is to be no arguing with the HOH. They “know” best, and the submissive should just accept what they say without question.

2. Submissive will not talk badly about the HOH

Part of respect in general is not saying bad things or cutting someone down. [Read: 36 signs of disrespect in a relationship that reveal a lack of love]

So, in the domestic discipline relationship, the submissive must never talk badly about the HOH. They must only say good things about them.

3. Submissive will say “please” and “thank you” for everything the HOH does

While being polite in everyday life is important, it’s even more important in a domestic discipline relationship. Submissives aren’t supposed to be ungrateful or take the HOH for granted. They have to appreciate everything that their HOH does.

4. Submissive will not involve herself with the HOH’s job

Because the HOH is completely in charge, the submissive should keep their nose out of their business. [Read: 26 sexy secrets to be dominant in bed, control your partner, and not hurt them]

It’s only up to the HOH to make all the decisions for both of them. So, the submissive should just sit back and let the HOH do their job.

5. Submissive will be honest to HOH at all times

Lying is not permitted when you are a submissive. Therefore, they are required to be honest and tell the truth to the HOH at all times. If they do lie, then they will probably be punished.

6. Submissive will not keep secrets from the HOH

Since it’s not allowed to lie, the submissive must also not keep anything to themselves. [Read: Daddy kink – what it is, how it works, and what you need in a daddy-dom]

They have to be completely transparent with the HOH and tell them everything that goes on in their lives, even in their heads.

7. Submissive will treat HOH as a superior

Because the whole point of the domestic discipline relationship is the superior-inferior power dynamic, the submissive must always treat the HOH as such. They also must accept their inferior position in the relationship.

8. Submissive will not speak unless spoken to

Because part of the power play in the domestic discipline relationship is to silence and humiliate the submissive, they must never speak unless the HOH speaks to them first. [Read: Top 20 sexual taboos and sex topics most of us love but never talk about]

They are not allowed their own voice.


Sex is another important category where the submissive has to follow rules. The submissive will keep the HOH satisfied.

1. Submissive will submit to any sexual request from the HOH

The submissive doesn’t have the right to say no to any sort of sex act. They are totally at the mercy of the HOH’s desires and must submit at any and all times. [Read: Swinger’s lifestyle – 61 secrets and tips to enter the erotic world of swinging]

2. Submissive will not threaten to withhold sex from the HOH

Because the submissive has no power and the HOH has all the power in the domestic discipline relationship, they are not allowed to withhold sex. Not only can they not withhold it, but they also can’t even threaten to do so.

Questions and concerns 

Submissive will address any questions, concerns, and opinions with the HOH at appropriate times.

1. Submissive will remain calm and not instigate a fight with the HOH

Because starting a fight and getting frustrated is a form of power, the submissive is not allowed to do that. They have to remain calm and docile at all times. [Read: Butterflies in your stomach – 16 steps to control and calm them instantly]

2. Submissive will be patient

The submissive must also suppress all forms of frustration with the HOH. They must sit patiently and wait for the HOH to do things in their own time, not according to how the submissive would like it.

3. Submissive will accept the response of the HOH without question

Just as a child is not allowed to question a parent, the submissive also cannot question their HOH. They just have to accept everything and anything that the HOH says to do.

Requesting permission 

Submissive will request permission from the HOH at all times and use these rules too. [Read: Couples kink list – 52 freaky and weird sexual fetishes many people indulge in]

1. Submissive will use “please” and “thank you”

It is imperative that the submissive be polite to the HOH at all times. They must use “please” and “thank you” whenever they ask for or receive anything. 

2. Submissive will request permission to leave the house without the HOH present

A HOH likes to control when their submissive can leave the house. As a result, a submissive cannot leave without the HOH accompanying them or without their permission to go alone.

3. Submissive will request permission to make any purchases other than groceries and hygiene products

Money can also equal power. So, the HOH controls what the submissive spends money on. Usually, they can only buy food and personal hygiene products. [Read: Kinky sex positions for a wild night every day of the week]

4. Submissive will request permission before talking to any male that the HOH does not know

Since the HOH is frequently a male, the submissive must ask permission to talk to any other man that the HOH doesn’t know. Otherwise, she will get punished.

5. Submissive will accept the HOH’s answer without question

When the submissive asks permission to do or say something, they have to accept the HOH’s answer without question. There is no room for second-guessing the HOH’s rules. Ever.

[Read: The cuckold fantasy – the fetish and what you need to know to try it]

Now that you know about domestic discipline, if you’re still curious, sit down with your partner and have a chat about it. Who knows where that road will take you?

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...