Locking up

(Redirected from Locked up)
A boy locked up for punishment.
A man locked in a prison cell.
Drawing from Hänsel und Gretel by Wilhelm Busch (1864).

Locking up is a type of punishment similar to imprisonment, but which occurs in a normal home, usually as a form of punishment of children. In many cases, it can be considered abusive today.


The child is either ordered or physically forced into a room and locked up there, alone, for a period of time.

The room can be, for example:

  • the child's room (bedroom)
  • a bathroom
  • a cellar room
  • an attic
  • a woodshed
  • a closet, wardrobe, or large chest

The punishment is related to time-out and grounding, but with the extra technical means of a locked door instead of just verbal instruction.

Often, the child is not told in advance how long the punishment will be, and has to wait helplessly until he or she is released. To make the punishment worse, the room may be dusty, dirty, cold, and/or lacking a comfortable place to sit or lie on, increasing the physical discomfort. Also, the room is often dark and quiet, which increases the feeling of abandonment, loneliness and fear, turning it into a type of psychological punishment.


Today, this form of punishment has fallen out of fashion in most places, but it was very common before the mid-20th century. Many children feared such punishment the same or even more than a spanking. While the ease of such psychological punishments to be turned into abuse isn't shouldn't be overlooked as a factor for this method falling out of favor, however the more pressing factor for this punishment disfavor particular isn't actually related its classification. But rather modernisation of fire codes has brought increased awareness of danger of such confinement in emergency situations.


Many practitioners of BDSM enjoy locking their partner up, or getting locked up by their partner, usually in places/containers specially built for this purpose, such as:

These are often found in BDSM studios and dungeons. Depending on the preferred scenario, the locked-up person is often dressed in fetish clothing, naked or nearly naked, gagged and/or additionally bound, and possibly subjected to other forms of humiliation or punishment before, during, and/or after being locked up.

See alsoEdit