One of the most impressive forums for the BDSM Community is Hellfire Caves, a distinct group which I am privileged to belong to. Normally, I don't post non-fiction on my blog. To be honest, Michael Alexander Stories is supposed to be about exactly that: stories. Whether fact or fiction, the threads posted here are intended to titillate and excite. However, recently I came across an incredible little essay by one of the regular contributors at Hellfire Caves: mandy. Considering the wide range of perversions that are found in my stories, not to mention the depraved assignments of our very own nympho humiliation pain slut Breanne, I thought that this exploration of one of those aspects of submission was not only applicable, but perfect for my readers. (I think Breanne will enjoy reading this!) It also helps that mandy has a gift for bringing to mind the various aspects of the issue logically and with a sub's distinct perspective.
"Does Humiliation Turn You On?" Posted with permission from mandy.
Embarrassment ~ the act of causing confusion and shame; of making uncomfortably self-conscious Humiliation ~ the act of causing a painful loss of pride, self-respect, or dignity; to mortify Dehumanize ~ to deprive of human qualities or attributes; to divest of individuality Objectification ~ to present or regard as an object
How do you perceive the differences between embarrassment, humiliation, dehumanation, and objectification from the standpoint of a kinky/bdsm relationship? Do you bring any of these into your relationship and in what way? Has your idea of what is embarrassing or humiliating changed? How does it affect your relationship ~ do you feel differently toward your partner after a scene/playtime involving any one of these activities?
For me I have said I'm not into humiliation, yet 2 years ago the idea of being a doggie in a cage would have been completely humiliating. Now it is a thrill to be called his pet, to be told to bark, and the idea of being caged makes me wet in a minute. I'm not sure when humiliation turned into embarrassment, or even when the idea of what is embarrassing started to turn me on. There are many degrees of humiliation from being pushed to do something outside our comfort zone to face slapping, spitting and being peed on.
While being a "doggiegirl" has me doing some doggie tricks, wearing a collar and leash and even a lovely butt-tail, never have I thought of it as dehumanizing, which to me is a psychological mind fuck, leaving the person feeling worthless. Dehumanization can be dangerous to those who are not confident enough in their own skin.
Objectification can be taken in two different directions ~ 1. I have heard of the sub being a table or piece of furniture for the dominant (something I have never tried as it doesn't interest me atm) or 2. Being a sexual object such as a fuck-toy. Objectification is more of a fantasy idea and can go anywhere the imagination and willingness of both partners enjoy.
Does it make a relationship stronger? ~ I'd have to say each one takes a large degree of trust ~ and knowing your partner well. Communication as always is a key point. For myself, after a scene that is embarrassing/humiliating, I need to be assured that Mac enjoyed it too, that he was happy and proud of his subbie, and in doing so I think it does bring us closer. I will admit that there are times I think back to what we have done and it still causes a full body blush.
How can our partners determine how far to push ~ when the line has been crossed? I think it of course depends on the two people involved and knowing what each other expects and wants out of the play/scene. For me the embarrassment is a sign of submission, wanting him to take me a little further than before. And while I say humiliation/dehumanization/objectification is not for me I can't judge what works for someone else, what fulfills each one of us is about as different as the way we look.