Humiliation

When I first began to recognize my submissive sexual identity, it was still wrapped up in a “safe” set of desires and fantasies. I focused on seduction, not active submission. I was interested in being taken advantage of, I acknowledged, but it wasn’t like I was into whips and chains, or wanted to be beaten down, or wanted to be degraded and humiliated. I wasn’t a pervert. I just happened to prefer it when my partner was a little more dominant and forward; it was relaxing, I reasoned, to give up control once in a while. I liked getting tied up, but I wasn’t into spanking or any of that. Or, maybe spanking is kind of nice after all—but definitely not whips. I mean, it’s not like I’m a masochist or anything.

…and on and on down the list, until I finally started to let more and more of the shameful fantasies come to the surface and to explore new things I hadn’t even thought of. I recognized my desire to be owned, and to submit completely; I discovered that I could, in fact, process pain in an erotic way, and that I absolutely loved to be flogged, spanked, kicked, and beaten. The one thing I couldn’t really think about was humiliation play.

What’s interesting, looking back on my earliest sexual fantasies, is how heavily my “seduction” scenarios were infused with humiliation play. My fantasies about being teased and toyed with until I couldn’t help but allow my seducer to do whatever he wanted with me, I told myself, got me off because I enjoyed giving up my control. But when I think about it, the “teasing” in those fantasies was downright cruel. They always involved me doing my best to not give in to a person I did not want to sleep with, to whom I did not want to give the satisfaction of making me desire him, of making me come. In the end, I always gave in, I always went from pulling away to desperately trying to draw him closer—as he laughed in my face, taunting me, triumphing. In my fantasies, I did not love the person toying with me. I hated him. I cursed him under my breath even as I begged for him. The fact that the pleasure he was giving me was not done out of love or compassion but as a game, as a show of power and control over me, was incredibly hot. He would make me come not because he wanted to give me pleasure but because he wanted to show that he could do it, that just as he could deny me pleasure when I wanted it, he could also force pleasure upon me when I didn’t want it.

It’s shocking, really, that I didn’t recognize it sooner, and it makes me wonder what it is about that fantasy, about being humiliated for my desire, that makes me so uncomfortable. Undoubtedly it’s the fact that it’s just as much of a fear of mine as it is a fantasy, something I’ve had a hard time getting past—the fear that expressing sexual desire in any way will make me a target of ridicule. (Both in the sense that I obviously must be a shameless slut and in the sense that I’m not attractive enough for the object of my desire to reciprocate the feeling.)

Not too long ago, my partner and I began to play with humiliation a little bit. It was incredibly intense, much more than I expected—it sent me reeling out into a headspace in which I felt a range of conflicting emotions and completely out of control. It’s been interesting to see what turns me on, what does nothing for me, and what disgusts me or makes me feel too uncomfortable to go on. Spitting on my face and forcing me to drool are both incredibly hot; spitting in my mouth just makes me want to vomit. Calling me a filthy slut or a worthless piece of trash is hot; calling me a whore makes me want to immediately stop the scene. Being told to masturbate while he simply watches makes me feel self-conscious; him taking my hand and forcing me to masturbate feels amazing.

There seems to be a fine line between domination and humiliation, and what one person finds humiliating another might consider a sign of affection or submission. Being collared, kneeling, boot worship/licking, and obeying commands are all things I find erotic, but not at all humiliating. Another person might think nothing of the fact that being gagged makes him drool a little bit, but for me it has a profound effect. And, of course, what makes me feel humiliated might not synch up with what my partner thinks is humiliating, which affects our play as well.

It’s nice to have a new kink to ponder.

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