“But I raised you to be a nice girl…”
My mother has said this a few times during conversations about the last 16 years of a career in kink. I’ve been lucky to be able to be open with her and while I definitely don’t go into specifics, she knows that humiliation play has been a big part of my kink experience and that I’ve written a book about it.
So my usual response is something along the lines of;
“And no one can say ‘Lick this floor!”‘ as nicely as I can!”
The assumption that someone has to be cruel or mean or insecure to enjoy humiliation play is probably the most common stereotype associated with “enjoying” feelings that most people spend their lives trying to avoid. But the interest in adventuring in the darker side of life doesn’t make you a bad or broken person. Instead, you’re likely to be confident, creative and probably at least a little confused about the meaning of your own desires.
Let’s break it down.
You’re probably pretty confident.
This is one that goes against the stereotype in a major way. One of the most frequent concerns/questions I hear is whether those who enjoy sexual-psychological torment (on both sides of the play) have issues with confidence, including low self-esteem or the need to “bully” others. But in reality, those that want this kind of play tend to be plenty confident, if not more so than others. And that’s true for BOTH sides of the humiliation dynamic.
“The humiliation for me does not come from a lack of confidence or self esteem, but from the interplay between knowing I am strong, smart, capable, and knowing I get turned on from being told I am none of those things and less.” – Em the Sissy
You’re probably pretty creative.
Even if you struggle to come up with specific ideas for humiliation play, you probably have a tendency towards creative fantasy. You’re also probably pretty smart. One common thread I’ve noticed between kinksters is that they’re thinkers, you have to be willing to dream outside of the box to come up with an unorthodox desire like this!
“I like the psychological reading of people. Finding those mental please-pain buttons and trying to find the perfect time to press them.” – EQ
Not all types of erotic humiliation will “work” for you.
Your kink is super personal! You can’t expect to just throw experiences at the wall and hope they stick. Just because you’re turned on by one type of erotic humiliation play (for example being turned into furniture) doesn’t mean you’ll like other types (such as chastity or orgasm control.) I talk all the time about how ‘erotic humiliation’ is a state of mind, not a specific activity. For some, spanking is liberating and for others it inspires (sexually arousing) embarrassment.
“Here is the thing, anything can be humiliation with the right people and the right context. What may be innocent and sweet to me may be devastatingly humiliating to you.” – Kk
You might find your own desires confusing and/or frustrating.
For any number of reasons, you might wish you didn’t have this sexual desire which can be frustrating to fulfill. It can be tough to find partners that are into it, and the lack of educational resources can make it hard to understand desires that are deeply taboo. Even if you find your desires perfectly acceptable, they may not always make sense to you or your partners. And even if you don’t struggle with your desire for humiliation play, that doesn’t mean you don’t sometimes need affirmation. This is especially true the more social taboo your desires are. So I’ll say it again…you’re not weird, bad, broken or gross for wanting to explore things you’re “not supposed to do” as long as you explore consensually.
“I find it somewhat problematic that a large part of my sexuality is associated with shame and humiliation since I don’t actually think there’s anything shameful or wrong about what I’m doing. On the other hand, I’m happy that I do have the fetish to play with, and I find it extremely fulfilling to.” – Ella Notte
There are some tough conversations ahead of you.
As I’ve mentioned, even among kinksters a desire for humiliation can be tough to talk about, and even tougher to implement. There’s plenty of myths to battle and a lack of language to contend with. It can be tough to articulate your desires, limits and fears. Even with someone who’s totally on-board, the execution of psychologically kinky play is much harder to orchestrate than a simple spanking or light bondage. You and your partners will have to be willing to use your words and to bring compassion for each other into your play in order to dance on the edge together safely.
“I sometimes balk at sharing my fantasies of erotic humiliation with my Master for fear that He will judge me (even though this has never happened and He eagerly embraced and allowed me to explore other erotic humiliation fantasies).” – Ashley Rose