Saturday, December 17, 2011

Subject: Humiliation

Last month, Leia-Ann Woods published a very thought-provoking post about the topic of humiliation. Leia-Ann enjoys various forms of humiliation in her kinky play, and she asked herself and her readers why certain activities are considered to be humiliating. Her theory was that the concept of humiliation is linked to social conditioning.

Leia-Ann illustrated her theory in the context of four different forms of humiliation which she finds hot in kinky play: exposure of flesh, public humiliation, sexual acts and positions for punishment. From Leia-Ann's point of view all these things feel humiliating for her because they are contrary to her social conditioning, the code of behaviour she has been raised with. Formulas like: Don't expose yourself (and especially not your intimate parts) in front of others! Or: Don't do anything sexual in front of others! And: Don't participate in any strange sexual practises (like anal sex)!

Leia-Ann's post made me think a lot about my own concept of kinky humiliation and why certain aspects work for me and others don't. I started writing a comment on her post, but it became so long that I decided to publish a whole post about the subject instead. Since I only enjoy humiliation in a very specific context and only with Ludwig, my question goes a bit further than Leia-Ann's original one.

I asked myself: Which things do I find humiliating? Under which circumstances do I find these things humiliating in a sexy, kinky way and under which circumstances do they feel humiliating in an abhorrent, wrong way? And finally: Are there any links to my social conditioning and past experiences?

Although Leia-Ann's fantasies are often very different from mine, I'm definitely with her about positions and different levels of nudity. I find both aspects humiliating in a very hot way! For me, these fantasies are very closely connected to very intimate and explicitly sexual scenes, though, and that is something I only share with my partner Ludwig. In non-sexual scenes, similar acts can be a complete turn-off.

The point is, I guess, that in non-sexual scenes, acts of humiliation often don't have any sexy association for me. Instead, they remind me of real, non-consensual forms of humiliation and my real fears of being humiliated in front of others. That's why even acts which are considered to be only mildly humiliating by many people, like standing bare-bottomed in the corner, can make me feel very uncomfortable (and not in a sexy way). Especially if they happen in front of others, which in my opinion has to do with negative experiences with peer groups which I have made in the past.

The special conditions of very intimate scenes on the other hand allow me to find seemingly strongly humiliating acts hot and sexy. I think two important aspects cause that positive thrill:

First, in order to be hot, the humiliation must concern an aspect I have a positive relationship with. That is definitely true for my sexuality. It wouldn't be true for example for my physical fitness, which is why stress positions don't work for me.

Secondly, there must be a certain form of ambiguity, meaning that a part of me enjoys the act because it fits my fantasies. The activities that are the hottest for me are those which underline my sexuality and point out upcoming spankings or explicitly sexual activities. And these are definitely things I enjoy and am looking forward to! Certain positions or forms of exposure heighten the anticipation of these upcoming events. A second important form of ambiguity concerns the top: While Ludwig might do humiliating things in a scene, I know that he doesn't really want to humiliate me in the sense of making me feel bad. He definitely enjoys challenging me, though, and he loves to fulfil my fantasies as well.

In my opinion, my social conditioning plays an important role in causing that hot feeling of ambiguity: I have never been taught that either nudity or sexuality are in any way bad or wrong. Had I been raised in a prude, anti-carnal way, I might not be able to enjoy sexual kinky play at all. But at the same time I have learned that I am the one who decides about intimate aspects of my body and about my sexuality. And I have been taught to only share intimacy with someone I love and trust. Plus, being self-dependent is very important for me.

So, giving my mate control over my body in our sexual play causes a very special thrill. I give something away to him which is very precious to me and which I wouldn't give to anyone else. But I do it in the trust that he would never hurt me and that he is going to make me feel sexy, womanly and loved instead. That special combination doesn't only feel edgy, at the same time it causes a strong and wonderful erotic thrill and leads me to hot and amazing places.

How about you? Is there any form of humiliation which you find sexy? If yes, under which circumstances? Do you think that there is any connection to your social conditioning and to past experiences? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section!


sixofthebest said...

I have always considered humiliation a very important part of corporal punishment, be it standing in the corner, with bloomers down. Having someone witness your spanking. Being told as a mature person, you are never to old to be caned. These are just three such humiliations, of course there are many other ways, that a naughty woman person can be put through.

Simon said...

Humiliation is a strange thing. It is a important part of my fantasies in which I frequently imagine public nudity and punishment. In real life I would be mortified if it happened. Within a controlled environment I enjoy both the anticipation and the actual humiliation. My Mistress has occasionally punished me in front of others both male and female and I find it embarrassing and exciting at the same time. The most humiliating experience she has put me through was to have me spanked and paddled over the knee of another man. My feelings both during and after were very confused and I think she must have sensed that as she hasn't put me through that again (although she might be keeping it in reserve as the ultimate sanction). I think a little controlled humiliation is an important part of any CP relationship as long as it is done with someone you trust.

Fenris said...

It depends on the type of humiliation. As a switch, I would be comfortable with assuming the position, scolding, standing in a corner, counting strokes, being sent outside for cutting switches as well as making a play partner doing these things when topping her.
On the other hand, yelling or being called stupid or ugly is a no-go in topping as well as in bottoming for me.
By the way, this is my delurk-post. I am really enjoying your writing. Thanks a lot for all your work.

Emma Bishop said...

Humiliation is a big part of things for me. The lecture and putting me in my place verbally, being made to wait, being told I've been a naughty girl and i'm going to be spanked and to get across his knee etc..

I had a session on Friday which reminded me of one of my personal favourites. It is the traditional standing in the corner with my hands on my head and the spanker looking at his handiwork. He also spanked me for fidgeting too and I had to keep my hands on my head and stay straight. Having my spanking topped up like this, even over cane stripes is something that I warm to too :)! xx

Donpascual said...

I am a top and should keep my mouth shut because this looks like a topic for bottoms only.
However, I have been playing with quite a few bottoms and never heard any complaints such as feeling humiliated.
I am also talking about playing partners only, not lovers or married couples.I have never had sex with one of my spanking partners.
In such play between friends, questions about nudity, humiliating positions, or degrading language have never been raised.
Reading your post, I suddenly felt inadequate as a practicing top! Have I missed something? Did I short-change my spanking partners by not challenging them with treatment that would truly humiliate them?
Am I - as we say in Germany - a Weichei?
You see Kaelah, even an issue seemingly concerning bottoms only,
may produce a fissure in the tough hide of a top.

Regards Don

Kaelah said...

@ sixofthebest:
Yes, humiliation also seems to be a big turn-on for many tops. It isn't so much for me when I am topping, but things can become interesting if the bottom is into them.

@ Simon:
I can definitely relate to your description of the difference between fantasy and reality! In reality I also enjoy humiliation in a trusted and controlled environment only, whereas my fantasies sometimes also involve humiliating acts which I wouldn't find sexy at all if they became real.

@ Fenris:
Welcome and thank you very much for joining the discussion! Yelling or being called stupid are definitely no-goes in kinky play for me as well, no matter whether I am the top or the bottom in a scene. These things don't even appear in any of my fantasies.

@ Emma:
I think many bottoms, especially those who like school or domestic settings are exactly into the things which you describe. I assume for me to enjoy these aspects, a scene would either have to be very playful or I would have to be a character that clearly isn't me (preferably a male character). Otherwise I can easily feel like I had really done something awful, and that feeling isn't sexy at all. Even in my fantasies, the bottoms often aren't really naughty, they rather meant well but failed nonetheless. Strange, isn't it?

@ Donpascual:
Don't worry, this definitely isn't a bottom-only topic! I have to admit that I prefer to play with tops who aren't into humiliation because (at least in non-sexual scenes between friends) it isn't my thing either. And if you aren't into humiliation, I don't think that you have to pretend to be. I definitely wouldn't call you a „Weichei“ because of that. Tops who have to show how cool and tough they are at their bottoms' expense are „Weicheier“ in my point of view. If the women you have played with are a bit like me, they won't have missed anything. And if they had wanted to include any aspects they missed, they surely would have told you!

shy guy said...

I am a switch guy, and I think I would enjoy much more humiliation than what I have tried! Like, any verbal abuse. Exposed in any demanding position before and after the CP. Having any number of women I dont know witnessing and enjoying. Any exercise or forced labour, up to the limits of what I can physically do.

Pecan nutjob said...

In our couple, we use a kind of regressive, bittersweet humiliation.

For instance, having to pull down one's jeans and panties, and then walk with everything at half-mast to the place of punishment. Or "childish" and embarassing medical procedures, such as rectal temperatures and suppositories. Or enemas.