From a vanilla person’s standpoint showing mercy in the event of a punishable offence is laudable, “nice”, etc. To a dominant it feels irresponsible, and to a slave it feels uncaring and neglectful. Because I’m not in a dominant mindset 24/7 (just the reality of any 24/7 relationship – you’re not always in the mode) I made the crucial mistake of being merciful on a number of occasions, and wound up with two very upset, unsatisfied slaves feeling completely neglected and uncared for.
Punishment for punishable offences has to be dealt out fairly, coldly (never in anger), and consistently. It is, really, the only way for the slave to feel that their owner cares and would do anything for them. “Abuse” in a D/s relationship means neglect. Trying to get this across in the vanilla world would likely end me up in jail. But it’s the reality of my life path. “Getting away with it” simply cannot be allowed, because all it means to the slave is neglect..