The Spirituality of Corner Time

Ah well... the good part about being separated from my partner (again!) is that I have lots of opportunity to consider what I miss most about DD (Domestic Discipline) when we're not together.

I miss the spankings, of course, as I've written about in prior posts ("Why Spanking Matters"). But interestingly, perhaps even more than spankings, I miss the corner time that follows the spankings.

In our relationship, mandatory corner time follows every spanking. Depending on how much time we have, the seriousness of the offense and my attitude preceding it, corner time generally lasts at least 20 minutes, sometimes an hour, and occasionally longer for a more serious misbehavior.

Corner time is meant as discipline, of course, and it is certainly that. It's embarrassing, particularly since I'm required to "serve my time" with my newly-spanked bottom exposed. It's occasionally frustrating, if I haven't yet had a chance to tell my partner my side of the misbehavior I'm being disciplined for. It's occasionally painful -- depending on the severity of the spanking I've just received.

And yet, despite these unpleasantries, corner time is one of my favorite parts of DD.

Imagine having someone you love tell you, for the next half hour (or more!), your only responsibility is to Be. You have nowhere to go, nothing to do, no emails to answer, no obligations of any kind except to be still and present with yourself and your breath.

A lot of people pay a lot of money to take courses and attend retreats on meditation, yoga and other relaxation techniques. I know, because I used to be one of them. To relieve my stress and quiet my mind and just give myself permission to Be, I've tried yoga, meditation, chanting, deep breathing, mantras, affirmations, prayer, you name it. Some of these worked better than others for me and, of course, all of them can be deeply effective methods for connecting with that calm, still, sacred part deep inside of all of us.

But for me, none of them have the meditative, calming, centering effect that corner time does.

I suspect a big part of the reason corner time works so well to calm, center and relax me is that it's mandatory. All of the other techniques -- meditation, yoga, etc. -- are voluntary. I can stop whenever I want to. And because I have an extremely short attention span and because I have have a very hard time not fidgeting or moving around, I generally stop way before traditional methods like meditation have a chance to work.

But with corner time, I can't "stop." I'm there till my partner tells me I can go, period. (Why? See "Why Do I Obey.") So I can't bail out when I get restless or bored or fidgety. I have to stay and see it through.

There's a certain pattern to corner time, at least for me. And that pattern is virtually identical to the pattern commonly associated with traditional meditation (when it's working). Both are a psychological journey with several stages, from stress to peace.

When I'm first sent to the corner, I'm all good intentions. I stand obediently still, focused largely on the sore bottom I've been sent to the corner with. But it doesn't take long for the fidgeting to set in. I shift weight from one foot to the other. I move my hands from front to back and to the front again. I rock my head back and forth. My eyes shift this way and that. (Should my partner discipline me for excessive fidgeting in the corner? Good question. Perhaps. Would that get me where I need to go faster, or is the fidgeting a necessary part of the process?)

And although my partner always gives me specific instructions as to what I'm to think about during corner time, my thoughts wander everywhere. From the spanking I just got to what I did to deserve it to what I want for dinner to the emails I have to answer to... etc, etc, etc. "Monkey Mind," the Zen teachers call it, climbing out of the corner and roaming everywhere but where it's supposed to be.

But sooner or later, all these random thoughts subside. My breathing slows down. I stop fidgeting. Things get very quiet in my head and heart. I find myself resting my forehead against the corner, taking deep, slow breaths and relaxing my shoulders, my abdomen and my neck (all the places I carry my stress). Time slows down and I lose all sense of how long I've been there. All that matters is my breath and the peace I feel inside.

20 minutes is about the minimum amount of time for me to get to this place and stay there long enough to feel the benefits. As with meditation, though, the longer I stay, the more I feel the benefits (up to a point, I suppose, though I haven't found that point yet). By the time my partner says my corner time is up, I feel like I've just had a really good yoga session. He tells me that when I come to him from the corner, I look especially beautiful and relaxed. And that's how I feel, too.

Corner time for me works particularly well following a spanking because the intense, sharp, external energy of a spanking is a perfect contrast to the peaceful, internalized, calming energy of corner time. For me, the contrast is what brings the transformation. Being taken to an emotional high by the spanking, and then allowed, slowly, to come back down into the peace of corner time is a profound spiritual experience. Corner time without the spanking preceding it doesn't carry the same transformative power.

I've read a lot of comments from women in DD relationships that express their resistance to corner time. Usually the reason given is that it's boring or that they'd get impatient and restless if they had to spend more than a few minutes there. And yes, it's certainly not as glamorous or dramatic or even sexual as a spanking is. The power of corner time is more subtle and nuanced, and it's buried deep in the hidden, personal stillness of our hearts.

We live in a culture that doesn't value stillness, patience or the virtue of just Being. But like many things tossed aside by the frenetic, media-driven culture we live in, stillness is necessary to keep us in balance.

We've all met people who can't stand to live in silence. Who turn the TV on as soon as they get home, take their iPods on a hike rather than just listening to the quiet sounds of nature, or blast their car radio everywhere they go. Or what about those among us who can't live in stillness? They multi-task -- doing two things at once all the time. Reading while they eat, cleaning the kitchen while they're on the phone, heck, even listening to language tapes while they sleep!

Somewhere along the way, we've been taught to fear silence and stillness. Perhaps because it's in the silence and stillness that the truth of our emotions and our authentic selves come out, and some of those emotions are difficult, painful and uncomfortable to face and some parts of our authentic selves may not be parts we want to acknowledge. Easier to drown our feelings and our authenticity out with constant noise and movement.

Easier, but not, ultimately, healthier.

The good news is that as practitioners of DD, we're way ahead of most of the rest of the world (with the possible exception of those Zen teachers...). We've already experienced the amazing benefits of expressing our deepest needs rather than suppressing them. We're learning the joys of living our lives in harmony with who we really are, even when the rest of society doesn't understand or approve of our authentic selves. We're much less likely to fear our inner voice, and thus much less likely to drown it out inner voice out with constant motion and noise. Therefore, in theory at least, we're much more open and available to the peaceful, stress-relieving benefits that corner time can bring to our lives.

So I'd encourage those of you who haven't done so yet to give corner time a chance to work its meditative magic. Yes, those first five or ten minutes can be difficult, but like any meditative practice, there's a payoff if you hang in there long enough. And you might come to find, as I have, that it brings a new level of spirituality and empowerment to your relationship and to your life as a whole.

17 comments:

  1. There is no corner time in our DD relationship simply because the time spent immediately after a spanking is spent "reconnecting".

    For me, all the things you described will happen for me while I'm lying beside him, quietly and meditatively. I'm actually not sure I'd be able to deal with this lifestyle if he wasn't taking me in his arms as soon as I was ready to be there after a spanking was finished. It's part and parcel of how our dynamic works.

    Do you not feel that you miss this reconnective time/emotion?

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  2. For me, I'm much too emotionally stirred up after a spanking to lay quietly or reconnect with anyone!

    Of course, every experience is different (and thanks for sharing yours!), but in my experience, my connection with my partner is deeper, richer and more rewarding if I've had some quiet time to reflect and settle first.

    Perhaps even more important to me, I also find that I get more personal power/insight out of the solitary experience of corner time -- quietly finding my own power and confidence again before sharing with someone else helps me grow as a person, which in turn, helps us grow as a couple.

    Thanks for reading/posting, always.

    -Viv

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  3. I enjoyed reading this. I too struggle with corner time, but that mostly has to do with timing. We have small kids, so the only time we have together is at night, usually kind of late. By the time we're done with the spanking, we just want to make love and go to bed.

    But in a few years, or if there was more time, I can definitely see the benefit of this. I'm DYING for quiet alone time to just be.

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  4. Anonymous07:28

    Thankyou Vivian for an insightful analysis of corner time. Whenever I have read about this in other places it seemed to be imposed, false, like the punishment for a child, but you have elevated it to a useful time for reflection.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I don't expect I'll ever be in any relationship with any element of DD, but I'm keen to understand how others tick and from that, myself.

    opb

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  5. Thanks for reading and commenting, opb!

    I'm always a bit confused when people object to corner time on the basis that it's childlike, but willingly submit to bare-bottom spankings, arguably as or more childlike. Perhaps someday someone will be able to explain the distinction to me?

    And ideally, of course, even children are taught to use time-outs and corner time as opportunities for reflection, rather than just a place to be out of their parents' hair for a few minutes. :-)

    -Viv

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  6. Anonymous08:30

    To answer your question on why some may find cornertime more childlike, or might object to it as harder than punishment by spanking...

    My husband and I have been feeling our way through a DD relationship, and I have always had a very hard time with corner time. I think the reason it's hard for me is that during a spanking I can focus on the pain, in fact I'm compelled to. And so some of the embarrassment factor goes away as soon as the spanking starts. When I'm in the corner I cant focus on anything other than that I'm in trouble, and being punished. And so for coner time the punishment IS, the embarrasment. Where as when I'm spanked, the punishment is the pain of that. So to me corner time does evoke the more child like emotions of being embarassed.

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  7. Spanking and corner time as a path to spiritual development! Bravo!

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  8. Anonymous21:00

    The Zen of corner time. What a lovely, thought-provoking post. Your writing constantly challenges me to see the world differently.

    sweetsub

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  9. Anonymous09:17

    My wife/mistress often uses corner time as punishment. Usually 30-60 minutes. Sometimes when she is in a bad mood, I have to stand there on tip toes with coin pressed against wall. We are in our early 60's and have been doing this for 40 yrs of marriage. I still blush when she says..."CORNER TIME YOUNG MAN"

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  10. Anonymous11:01

    The connection between the practice of corner time and the ostensible benefits of meditation is, I believe, novel and potentially productive of additional insights. It is consistent with the obsevation that practicing DD can enable a woman to break out of emotional and behavioral traps created by the conflict between what is best for them as women, and the increasing threat from what is optimal for their professional behavior.

    I strongly believe that women are badly served by what appears to be the fundamental theorem of feminisms, that personal is political. All progress in the relations between the sexes will be made, I predict, if women instead insist that the world of the personal is supeior to and must be protected from intrustion by the political.

    I hope your blog will remain a resource to independent thinking on this delicate and potentially divisive matter. Best Regards.

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  11. Anonymous11:17

    I am a male who is in a DD realionship she Dom and I am sub.
    I love what you said about cornor time we also use a time out chair.
    While i am not a crossdresser in the true sence panties are used on me for embaressment as well. both the cornor time outs and panties help me. anyhow thanks i do appreciate you sharing about cornor time.

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  12. Anonymous15:35

    Thank you for expressing what I have always felt about Corner Time, but could never quite express. I do come to a place where I am so calm that all of my stress is gone and my ego fades away. I love my wife so for this...

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  13. Kate Taylor08:36

    Wow ... as i, again sit here and marvel at my life long needs and desires on these pages, my heart is both heavy and hopeful. Yes ... this is EXACTLY what cornertime is to me (also when i newly experienced being tied for sleep because i kept getting up all through the night and waking my husband - i had the best night's sleep...ever... well, except when i had to wake him at 4 am to pee... :) --- Yes, it's the ONE time i MUST be still. i am a practicioner of Eastern philosophy as well, but damn if being sent to the corner (before i'm too nervous about when he comes to collect me) afterward isn't where i can reach that one place that recenters and recharges me. ... Thank you, again, Viv. ~xo

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  14. Anonymous21:12

    Thank you for your insight. I've been very standoffish about doing corner time. Me and my husband have recently started looking into DD, my choice. Since he is away right now for military schooling we haven't had a chance to try it out. I have chosen to allow him to take over control in this way because I feel That being treated like a child will help with my tendency to be bratty, especially towards him. This post was a great help to me. Thank you very much.

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  15. This was an interesting read. I have been trying to find what corner time should "be" for our relationship. We are so new to it all that my thoughts are generally, "so, I'm staring at this wall..."

    However we've never done corner-time AFTER a session, so I like the idea of giving that a try. Thanks for sharing. (=

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  16. thank you very much for this explanation of cornertime out of your view. the idea of cornertime as a sort of forced meditation was new for me but i am still thinking about this for many hours. and now i have to admit that my experience as male sub are very similar.
    i have to thank my beloved Mistress for every day of adult education in Her strict but caring hands.

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  17. Anonymous09:37

    I find this article very helpful as I asked for cornertime before a spanking and after it will be tonight practiced corner time I will take into account into slowing down breath and mind I need to do this. we are new at this.i asked for DD relationship as I got tired of the fights and my attitude and behavior. I will keep the spirituality of corner time and spanking in my soul as I know thru my husband God is disciplining me

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