Getting started with erotic humiliation
Erotic humiliation is a difficult thing to discuss and explain because what humiliates one person erotically, won’t necessarily have an impact on another – what excites us is very personal. The other thing is that some sorts of humiliation are a turn on and some are just upsetting, and that can make it difficult for a partner to judge. Fortunately, in a healthy D/s relationship all of these things are discussed at length, and therefore a Dominant is able to have a good idea of what will, and what won’t, work. With any luck, they will get off on doing the things that you find hot receiving, and so the dance begins.
Humiliation can be a tricky thing to understand as no one likes to be humiliated in real life. Why would they? Then again, most people don’t like to be hurt either, and yet within a BDSM relationship they may enjoy to be caned, paddled or spanked. The same is true of humiliation. Used in the right way, in the right context, and by the right person it can be a powerful tool. It taps into our deepest insecurities in a way which makes us uncomfortable, but also feels safe. It can peel us back and make us vulnerable, while at the same time letting us know that we are loved and accepted for what we are, weaknesses and all. For me it is the ultimate paradox, and therefore hard to explain, but it seems to work none-the-less.
Erotic humiliation and Dominance and submission
Humiliation is such a huge area to explore and it is experienced so differently for everyone. I think there are large elements of erotic humiliation in many aspects of D/s, because it is built around a power exchange, and that lends itself to using language, actions and behaviour which reinforces a person’s position. This doesn’t have to be experienced as humiliation, but often it establishes something which wouldn’t be desirable within a different context, so it does play on those emotions. Some activities that might already form part of your relationship and play are:
- Verbal belittlement, with such words as girl, little one etc.
- Having to ask permission for everyday activities.
- Repetition and being made to ask for certain things to be done.
- Wearing of an anal plug or a tail.
- Being made to carry out specific tasks which involve other people who are not aware that there is a task.
- Specific rituals and displays of subservience.
- Being watched as you use the toilet.
- Discipline including erotic spanking, slapping, whipping, restraint, and other BDSM activities.
- Dress-code prescriptions including the removal of underwear in a public place.
- Being naked, with decorative objects such as collars, cuffs and nipple clamps as the only exceptions.
- Erotic sexual denial, including the use of a chastity device.
- Wearing of external signs of “ownership”, such as collars.
- Erotic objectification – being used as human furniture or ‘displayed’.
- Having to ask permission to orgasm during sex or masturbation.
- Wearing a gag or restraints.
- Crawling on all fours or being lead.
- Intimate inspections of the body.
- Role play scenarios such as medical scenes.
Whether or not you see these things as humiliation is not really the point. Some will experience them in this way, and relate to the reasons behind why they get off on them, and others won’t. That is fine: we are all different, and I am not trying to say that if, or because, you do some of the things above you are into humiliation or have a humiliation kink or fetish. Many subs serve as part of their dynamic, but not all of them will see themselves as service subs or get the same sense of reward or purpose from completing these acts as others do. Likewise, over time, we might change how we perceive things, and something that was previously not erotic may become so in a different context or with a different partner. We grow and we change.
How does erotic humiliation work?
Erotic humiliation is a type of emotional play which explores using situations which will make a submissive feel uncomfortable in an emotional sense. As with anything, it is important to see this play within the context of a safe and caring relationship. This is a kink which should be enjoyed, not abuse which you feel you should endure. With any play which can cause discomfort there are risks, but when done properly, these risks should be minimal. Often the feelings explored during emotional play are negative ones such as fear, humiliation and shame, but the sub is exposed to these in a careful and controlled way, so that the experience is cathartic rather than harmful.
They are able to be carefully pushed past these fears, to a place where they can embrace them, and embrace the person they are without them. This leads to a sense of freedom which arises from the giving up of control. The things which you put in place to keep you safe are slowly prized away and you are at will to respond in a much less inhibited way. It isn’t that those who enjoy erotic humiliation don’t feel the sense of mortification. They do, or it would not be successful. Rather they feel it and they embrace it: it arouses them and they get off on the knowledge of what they have (been made to) become.
So how could anyone enjoy that feeling of twisting and turning in and out on yourself, through the mortification you feel? At the heart of emotional masochism, and the humiliation play that leads you to, lies cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance arises from an inconsistency between our thoughts and beliefs. This inconsistency can lead you to feel uncomfortable, especially if the contradiction is a big part of your sense of self. Wanting to behave in a way which doesn’t fit with your traditionally held self view can trigger the feelings of dissonance, and this will only grow as you make the choice to follow the desire for that behaviour.
Basically, behaving in ways which contradict your values and beliefs can cause intense feelings of discomfort, and this is the sort of pain which an emotional masochist can thrive on. Consciously choosing these behaviours can add to that pain, especially if you are made to acknowledge it. Often during a scene the submissive will sit with the feelings of dissonance, avoiding the inevitable. They will seem to string out the discomfort until they give in, put their beliefs aside, and do whatever the thing is which is causing the unease.
Getting inside someone else’s head
The key to being able to successfully humiliate someone in an erotic way, is by getting into their head. You have to know how they think and how they work. You have to know what they want and need, and when you can push them and when to pull back and pause. An emotional sadist will be looking for signs all the time. They will be very attentive and pick up on the way the submissive responds and reacts, so that they can become part of their internal dialogue when the time is right. They will listen to every word, and likely nod and smile, putting it away for later so they can take you apart with it.
From a submissive’s perspective it can feel like your Dom knows exactly what you are thinking, and because so much of it is psychological, it almost feels that you are one step behind. It is exposure, not only often of your body or your behaviours and reactions, but of your thoughts and feelings. It is a powerful connector and leads you to focus solely on them and what they want you to do. They are the one pushing you, but also the one who will keep you safe and ground you to this new version of yourself. They have to be patient as it can’t be rushed, and will often play the long game as they watch you slowly unravel, drawing your closer to them all the time.
Consider the risks but enjoy the moment
Because of the risk of causing long term emotional hurt, emotional or humiliation play is often considered to be edge play. For this reason it is always important to communicate fully before and during any scene which involves emotional play. It is vital that you are aware of your partner’s boundaries and limits and that you are able to cause the ‘right type’ of pain. Having a safeword and using good aftercare is also an important thing to consider when practicing emotional play. Safety is the responsibility of both parties. Discussion should cover needs, wants and desires, as well as any potential triggers or trauma.
However, erotic humiliation done right can be really powerful. It can lead to an intensely submissive feeling, allowing the sub to access a deeply submissive headspace. There is a feeling of letting go and confronting your inner demons which can be not just compelling, but empowering too. Being exposed in this way, your weaknesses acknowledged, can lead to a feeling of being seen in a way most never would. The vulnerability is beautiful, as is the acceptance that comes from the acknowledgment that your inner self is both worthy and desirable. The connection shared is a huge part, and there is a feeling of having faced deeply hidden desires and broken boundaries together.
It is tricky to articulate what erotic humiliation is and how to do it, so this is definitely not a ‘How To’ guide. We are all so different in terms of what we want and how we experience things, so it is very subjective. And where spanking will vary from person to person in terms of tolerance and what they like, emotional play is far more complex and so it is not possible to write a user’s manual. If this is something that you are into, I would recommend reading what you can and trying to pinpoint the sorts of things that excite you. As I have said, I have taken years of reflection and exploration to be at a point where I feel I am starting to understand how it works for me.
If you would like to read any more, then click on the embarrassed emoji below to go to my other writing about erotic humiliation. Some of these are factual pieces, others are real life scenes, and others are fiction/fantasy so feel free to look around and dip in and out. Erotic humiliation is something I am get quite excited about, so if you want to chat about it at all then please feel free. I am no longer ashamed to say it is one of my kinks (well only a little – I am slowly being made to own it!)
If you haven’t read enough on the topic then click the emoji to find out more over on submissy!
Featured image from Pixabay