Erotic humiliation is the consensual use of psychological humiliation in a sexual context, whereby one person gains arousal or erotic excitement from the mixed and powerful emotions of being humiliated and demeaned. The humiliation need not be sexual in itself, as with many other sexual activities it is the feelings derived from it which are sought, regardless of the nature of the actual activity. It can be verbal or physical humiliation, and can be relatively private or public. Often it can become ritualized, and unlike some sexual variations it can also be easily carried out over a long distance or online. The distinction between humiliation and dominance in an activity such as erotic spanking is that the sought after effect is primarily the humiliation, the activity is just a means to that end.
Whilst mild or moderate humiliation is not an uncommon part of BDSM or other sexual roleplay, humiliation play can be taken to a point where it becomes considered edgeplay by most people, either due to its extreme nature or due to the controversial views on its psychological impact. This is a highly subjective issue, and depends greatly on context.
Extreme humiliation is called degradation. It can involve a wide range of activities, such as human toilet play. The boundary between degradation and humiliation is unclear. It has been suggested that degradation can have a more long-lasting negative affect on a victim's mind than humiliation, and so it is often beyond people's limits of what is acceptable.
Terminology and overview
- It should be noted that all terms in this article should be considered as gender nonspecific.
The person being humiliated is sometimes called a bottom or slave, and the person who humiliates them is sometimes called the top or Master. A professional dominant who specializes in humiliation play is sometimes known as a humiliatrix.
Humiliation is not the same as domination, as the devotee is not necessarily seeking to be ordered about. Humiliation comes into its own as a sexual force when the devotee seeks the humiliation over and above the means, for example when being spanked is primarily valued because of the belittlement involved. As such, it encompasses a range of paraphilia, in particular foot or shoe fetish, body worship, spanking, bondage and most BDSM styles. It can be as basic as the desire to kiss and massage feet as a precursor to sex, or it can be complex, involving roleplay or public displays of subservience. It can also be for a set period of time (a "scene") or as an ongoing facet of a relationship.
Means of humiliation
Sexual humiliation is very open ended. Broadly it can be divided into verbal, and physical aspects. Verbal aspects might include:
- Verbal belittlement, such as "slave", "boy", "boi", "girl", "missy", "pet".
- Insults and verbal abuse, such as "fat", "ugly", "stupid", "worthless".
- Degrading references such as "slut", "tart", "bitch", "faggot" and "whore".
- Slighting of body parts or behaviors, such as disparaging or cruel references to breasts, facial appearance, genitalia or genital size, bottom, and slighting of mannerisms such as walking, responsiveness, standard of self-care.
- Having to ask permission for everyday activities such as toilet, or eating or spending money.
- Small penis humiliation, where scorn is addressed towards the supposed inadequacy of the male's genitals or his inability to please a woman (and by implication his essential worthlessness as a man and his penis becomes an object of play for the woman).
- Forced exhibitionism
- Forced repetition, such as being obliged to repeat back commands to confirm them.
- Mockery and ridicule.
Physical and tangible aspects might include:
- Ejaculating or urinating on the bottom's body or, especially, the face.
- Performance of menial tasks.
- Detailed accountability and control (micro-management) as to time spent or activities done, including list of jobs to do, precise directions as to how the housework is to be performed, exactly how to act and behave, and so on.
- Specific rituals and affectations to be adopted. This includes displays of subservience, such as lighting cigarettes, walking a pace behind the dominant, only speaking when spoken to, kneeling or eating after others, low status place to sleep, etc.
- Roleplaying "lower status" beings such as animals or babies (see human animal roleplay and adult baby play).
- Spanking, restraint or other BDSM activities.
- Prohibitions or restrictions on clothing, or (for men) feminization, cross dressing and/or sissification.
- Use of chastity belts or other means of erotic sexual denial.
- Wearing of external signs of "ownership" such as a collar.
- Having friends, family or strangers aware of or witnessing one's treatment (i.e.: public humiliation).
- Erotic objectification, where the bottom is cast in the role of an object.
- Forced Homosexuality
Some sexual humiliation involves inflicting pain but much of it is far more concerned with ridicule, mocking, degradation and embarrassment.
Sexual roleplaying may or may not involve humiliation. For example, one person might play the part of a dog because they enjoy being mock-forced into it and the top will emphasize the lowness of the bottom's status as an animal, whereas another person might play the role of the dog without any element of humiliation, simply as an expression of their inner animal or playful spirit.
Psychology of humiliation
Humiliation in general touches strong emotional buttons, the more so when it becomes sexualized. Because of this, consent and paradoxically a high degree of awareness and communication is needed, to ensure that the result is desirable rather than abusive. For example, a submissive may enjoy being insulted in some ways, but genuinely crushed and devastated if humiliated or insulted in other ways.
Humiliation play is also connected to sexual fetishism, in that non-sexual activities may become sexualized by association with arousal, and also may be associated with exhibitionism in the sense of wanting others to witness (or being aroused by others witnessing) ones sexual degradation.
For some people, activities such as name-calling are a way of achieving ego reduction or getting over sexual inhibitions. For example, between gay people, terms usually associated with homophobia may be used, such as "faggot".
As with all sexual activities, some people have sexual fantasies about humiliation, and others actually undertake it as a lifestyle or in a scene or session. Sexual fantasies of humiliation are very common, but for most people remain a fantasy - they would have strong reservations about it being public, or engaged in with a partner for real, however erotic the idea may be. Others do explore humiliation with partners, and many people use online humiliation (where the humiliator and others are involved via the internet using chat, email, websites, etc.) as a compromise between exhibitionism and reality on the one hand, and safety and anonymity on the other.
Online humiliation is the desire to be seen in a sexually embarrassing context via the internet and/or telephone. This is generally considered "safe", as the fetishist can control the time and degree of exposure. However, some adherents have overestimated the net's privacy and found themselves in compromising difficulty, in a rather ironic outcome that fulfills the wish for humiliation far more than originally intended.
Online humiliation allows the submissive to seek fetish partners across the world, to send them embarrassing pictures or to submit to their demeaning instructions without it directly affecting their home life (hopefully).
The process can be conducted via chat and webcam, or via email, or via dating and contact websites or even via online auctions where the person publicly bids for items that reveal their fetishes.
- see Slut Training
There is an old joke that goes:
- What is the difference between a slut and a bitch?
- A slut will sleep with anyone. A bitch who will sleep with anyone except you!
The primary idea behind Slut Training or Bitch Training is to teach a submissive to sexually satisfy a Mistress (irregardless of the venue, or the feelings of the submissive), and to physically, emotionally and psychologically want more.
Training techniques might include having the slave:
- practice fellatio on a dildo or strap on
- experience anal sex using a strap-on (see: Pegging
- learn cunnilingus using an anatomically correct, female latex doll or other “sex toy”
The idea is to teach the slave the techniques of sexual pleasure, and to learn that “the enjoyment” is in the giving, even to their own detriment, and that it would probably be better than possible consequences.
Depending on the session, you might wish to praise the submissive for their work, or to continue berate them for not doing the job well enough.
Humiliation in Professional Sessions
Every person has that special 'button' that can you can push to totally humiliate them. While some people can withstand a diatribe about their sexual prowess or lack thereof, they can be totally destroyed by a comment about the fact they are losing their hair.
I know of several people who totally enjoy saying their slave is a "worthless piece of sh.t". Some thoughts:
- As a 'Mistress', why would I spend time with anyone who has so little value.
- If I am paying 'My Mistress' for sessions, I think she should be reinforcing my role as slave.
- If 'My Mistress' spends all of her time humiliating me, won't I eventually lose all of my personal self esteem?
- If I can't NEVER please 'My Mistress', why should I continue to try?
I know that one session I did that was nearly destroyed when I called her 'Baby' as a term of endearment and she read it as I thought she was immature.
If you are going to add a humiliation element to your session, you really need to talk to your partner and negotiate this element before doing a session. Ask if there are any specific areas to avoid like, age, race, creed, gender, weight, and a very long list of other words. A word in your vocabulary set may mean a positive attribute to you, but a totally demeaning in theirs.
- Collar and lead play
- Erotic sexual denial
- Eye contact restriction
- Forced exhibitionism
- Fairy exhibitionism
- Forced feminisation
- Kennel play
- Outdoor bondage
- Shower torment
- Skirt up
- Speedo bondage
- Snake play
- Verbal humiliation
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