There’s a fine line between humiliation and degradation – but for those who enjoy BDSM, the power-play that’s often so central to this scene can often lead them into this territory. Insults, verbal abuse, mockery, derision and ridicule may seem bizarre practises to the uninitiated – but consider for a moment if you’ve ever, in the throes of ecstasy, enjoyed being given a spank on the backside, or being ordered to submit in some way, or even being called a ‘dirty pig’ or a ’slut’ or by your lover.
Within BDSM, many of these practises and terms can actually be used in a positive way, to bring pleasure. Done correctly, a little humiliation can actually be incredibly hot, for those willing to admit it.
The importance of treading carefully
Yet, there’s a fine balancing act involved here. We may enjoy being insulted in some ways, but hate how other words or actions make us feel. For example, a person may totally get off on being called a slut, but hate being called a ‘pig’.
That’s often because when you remove the culturally negative associations, a slut really is someone who’s sexually free, liberated and open to experimentation. Yet for someone who might be overweight, calling them a pig can be much more damaging. It’s often when a word is used that damages a person’s self-esteem, hits a raw nerve, or is an attack on their person, that humiliation can move into ‘degradation’ territory.
There’s a fine line to navigate when you’re experimenting with erotic humiliation – but done with awareness and sensitivity, it can be an interesting path to follow. Here are a few fascinating examples of erotic humiliation (some of them pretty extreme), courtesy of Wikipedia:
- Verbal humiliation
- Animal play, which describes the submissive as a pet, dog, girl, or bitch. Making the submissive eat and drink from pet food and water bowls.
- Verbal belittlement, with such words as slave, boy, girl, missy, and pet.
- Insults and verbal abuse, such as fat, ugly, stupid, and worthless.
- Degrading names, such as slut, shit, bitch, and whore.
- Racial and ethnic slurs.
- Slighting of body parts and behaviours, such as disparaging or cruel references to breasts, facial appearance, genitalia (including size), buttocks, and slighting of such mannerisms as walking, responsiveness, and standard of self-care.
- Requirement to ask permission for everyday activities, such as going to the toilet, spending money, and eating.
- Scolding of the type commonly reserved for children
- Physical humiliation
- Ejaculating, spitting, or urinating on the submissive’s body, especially the
- Forced sexual degradation, including such acts as erotic massage, cunnilingus, analingus, and fellatio.
- Displays of subservience, such as lighting cigarettes, walking a pace behind the dominant, speaking only when spoken to, kneeling or prostrating oneself in front of the dominant when expecting orders, eating only after others or on the floor, and low-status place to sleep.
- Body worship, including such activities as kissing or licking the dominant’s feet, boots, buttocks, anus, vulva, etc. to express acknowledgment, subservience, shame, and even positive emotions (such as happiness
- Deprivation of privacy, which may include the submissive’s never being able to leave the room in which the dominant is present without permission.
- The dominant watches while the submissive uses the toilet.
- The submissive’s being forbidden to leave the house or ‘dungeon’ in general, for the duration of slavery or servitude, etc.
- Erotic spanking, slapping, whipping, restraint, and other BDSM activities (such as cock-and-ball torture (CBT)).
- Dresscode (BDSM): prescriptions and proscriptions of clothing, even in public. For women, a common example is being mandated to wear only bikinis or lingerie. For men, forced feminizing and cross-dressing. Both sexes may be expected to go completely naked, with decorative objects such as collars, diapers, bands, tiaras, and cuffs as the only exceptions.
- Erotic sexual denial, including the use of a chastity device.
- Wearing of external signs of “ownership”, such as collars.
- Public humiliation, in which the submissive’s friends or family, or strangers, are aware of or even witness the treatment.
- Erotic objectification, in which the submissive is used as human furniture, such as a footstool.
- Forced anal penetration, with dildos, anal plugs, and similar objects.
- Cuckolding, a mostly heterosexual fetish in which the dominant woman has sex with a man outside of the relationship while the submissive man may or may not be present. If the man is not present, he might help her choose what clothes to wear when she meets the other man, or they might get together afterward so she can tell him about it, either while having sex or in addition to withholding sex. If the man is present during the cuckolding, he may or may not be allowed to pleasure himself while watching. The cuckolding may or may not be followed by sex between the couple.
- The submissive’s having to ask permission to orgasm during sex or masturbation.
- The submissive’s being forced to wear a gag or restraints on the body.
- Forced masturbation in a humiliating manner.