I found out last night that Cute Top keeps an excel scoresheet of the people he's fucked, there are marks for a variety of performance skills and a final total. Not only is this gloriously geeky (anything that combines sex with technology is automatically wonderful) but it means that it is possible to win. I haven't seen Cute Top's chart, yet, but it made me consider how different methods of praise and criticism might affect me.
Reward and punishment is often a very physical in-the-moment thing: behave badly you get beaten, behave well you get to come, or eat, or not be beaten. And that's fine because training is about altering instinct so you need something in place quickly to modify those responses. Whilst the conditioning itself will probably take place over a long time, each individual act of chastisement or generosity is done there and then, based on the level of good or bad behaviour. I now know what he wants and I change what I'm doing accordingly.
Scoring on a chart, against others, is much more of an intellectual exercise and is also abstract and fluctuating. None of these things make it better or worse than on-the-spot correction, but it does make it a distinctly different method. It's both intellectual and abstract because you need to assign numbers to sensations; it's not fixed because with every additonal new partner the scale must neccesarily shift because the scores of all the entrants are based on each other.
Both systems are comparative, but the former concentrates on changing an individual from one state to another, the latter on fixed individuals within changing states. With behavioural training I will change, and hopefully advance. On a scorechart I will always be fixed.
It also got me thinking whether I would rather be judged by my Dom according to how I perform in and of myself or against the other people he's tied up and fucked. Of course, I can't actually control how other people perceive me, but feedback is King and it's good to know how that feedback is contextualised. Now, for my own personal development it's probably best I'm rated against myself to find out whether I'm improving, but would knowing where I stood (knelt) in relation to others inspire me to greatness, make me disappointed in myself or demoralise me - and how would that affect my play?