It would seem that humiliation is a commonly used technique in BDSM and Dominant submissive (D/s) relationships though for every one of us, I suspect, there is a different definition of what this means.
What might well be considered humiliating to me might not work the same way for any other submissive. When thinking about humiliation, I often separate "things" into two categories, that which is erotically humiliating and that which is humiliating in a negative way.
For Me, the erotically humiliating is what is embarrassing and difficult emotionally but, at the same time, makes me aroused and incredibly sexually excited. If something is humiliating but does not make me feel aroused, I consider it to be in the other category.
My understanding of it is that humiliation "games" are designed to create that place where one feels deeply submisive while still feeling sexy and slutty. Sometimes they are verbal "games", sometimes physical acts, and sometimes a combination of the two.
Regardless of what, I think the idea is to make the submissive feel some degree of confusion between what her "good girl" socialization has imprinted on her and what she craves in terms of sluttiness.
Even so, humiliation games require a deep level of trust, a strong positive sense of self, and an intimate understanding, by the Dominant , of where the lines are for the submissive.
Having said all of that, it's important to remember that mistakes can happen and that we all have land mines that we aren't totally aware of until someone trips the wire and the explosion occurs.
Doms aren't infallible. Communication before and after this type of activity is critical to it being a successful, fun, positive experience for both the Dominant and submissive. Personally, sometimes, I love being made to crawl around on the floor and to be "forced" to do various humiliating acts for my Dom's amusement.
Sometimes humiliation gets me to an emotional depth of submission that nothing else can and for that I appreciate its value. I've had experiences where I felt so slutty and embarrassed by what the Dom has had me do and sometimes I'm reduced to a sobbing mess but always I have had the support and reassurance of knowing, after it's all over, that I'm respected me as a person, woman and submissive and that I feel cared for.
If that were not solidly integrated in my understanding and my relationship with the Dom, I could not find the pleasure I do and it would end up being a disaster.
What probably should never happen is anything, in word or de, that would make me question my worth to him, his respect for me, myself esteem nor in any way make me feel bad about myself.
If he accidentally stepped over that invisible line, you can be sure that I would either safe word or if it wasn't serious enough to do that, I would definitely bring it up after. I would expect to be able to talk freely about my feelings after the experience and I would definitely try to help him understand the nuances of where it went wrong for me.
I think that's very important - Dom's may be intuitive but they aren't mind readers <smile> also, I would consider a mistake just that - not something purposefully hurtful but that only comes with knowing each other really well and the understanding and belief that his basic intent to nuture me and my spirit.
I've talked to other submissives and have heard some say that they feel a degree of confusion after humiliation. I'd say that this sometimes happens to me when the situation has been particularly emotional (while still being erotic) but for me it's usually more about my own experience of feeling so aroused by whatever he's said, or had me do or say because tht thing is so in conflict with how I've been socialized to be.
What I'm never confused about is my self worth or his care and respect. If I felt those feelings, it would be a definite sign that something went wrong and talking about it after would be mandatory.
Sounds pretty serious but it doesn't have to be. Humiliation, like everything else in BDSM, should be a positive affirming experience and fun!! Ultimately the sub should come away from it feeling happy and more secure... not less.
May we suggest...
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