Tick Lists

Author: Raven Shadowborne © Nov. 13, 1999

A tick list is something that some people find useful in their relationships, particularly in a newly forming relationship. They can also be considered micro managing by some people. Whether or not to use one, is a personal decision that is up to the participants in the relationship. A tick list is not going to be of benefit to everyone but it can have benefits. Only you can decide if a tick list would be of benefit in your relationship.

A tick list is a list of behaviors and/or tasks that the dominant wants to change, or have completed on a regular basis. If these items are not followed then it incurs a certain number of "ticks". For example: Not wearing the collar to bed: 1 tick. The ticks then correspond to either specific punishments, number of strokes, time the punishment will last, or can be used to incur rewards for good behaviors. How it is used, depends on the people involved.

A tick list can benefit each person by keeping a written record of what is expected, or forbidden and what the penalty or reward would be. This can be helpful to a new submissive who is just beginning training for the first time. They can be used to point out areas where the dominant feels improvement is necessary, or even the submissive feels he/she wants to improve. For example, quitting smoking can be a goal the submissive wants to reach, but requests the dominant's help in sticking to it, so it gets added to a tick list. A tick list, if used properly, can point out and increase the frequency of a desired behavior, until that behavior becomes habit. For example: the dominant wants the submissive to go to bed at a certain time, and the submissive is used to staying up as long as he/she wants to, in this way a tick list can help the submissive break the habit of going to bed late. Some people view a tick list as a kind of contract, in this way it is used to set forth clear lines of behavior and expectations on both the dominant and submissive’s parts. For a person who has difficulty remembering everything (for example, someone who's life is very busy) a tick list can be of benefit by helping them to remember what they are supposed to do. 

A tick list can be overused, or used incorrectly. This can and will cause problems. People can get caught up in "That's not on the list!" and in that manner the relationship is reduced to only what is on the list. This can and will destroy the relationship by retarding the growth of the people involved. A tick list can also cause a lack of energy in both people involved. It can do this by being the only relied upon source of what is expected, so each decides they can't do anything differently or new. 

A tick list is not meant to be an exhaustive , all encompassing thing. It will never cover every little detail of your relationship. It is meant to be used as a tool, like many other things done in a D/s relationship. It is best to only put those things which are of the most importance, or those things which need some serious change, on a tick list. Remember, a tick list should be re-evaluated from time to time and things removed, rearranged, or the list done away with completely as necessary. It is a tool meant to aid in the training of submissives, not to take the place of the dominant's guidance.



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