Humiliation has no place in the fetish scene. A bold and contentious statement if ever there was one. I’m sure there are Dom/mes and subs alike who would actively disagree with me on this front and argue that humiliation is fine and can be enjoyed. I disagree.
I consider myself a pretty liberal person – my stance for the most part is that as long as it’s legal and consensual, who am I to judge? For me, though, humiliation is one of the exceptions. I fundamentally disagree with it and my heart breaks when I see someone seeking out humiliation/expressing a desire to be humiliated. Why? Because in my experience it never comes from a healthy place.
When I was first starting out and exploring the fetish landscape I had a client who came to me wanting to be humiliated. I indulged him but felt uneasy doing so. After the session we talked and I asked him about his reasons for wanting to be humiliated. He was very gracious and shared openly with me, but his reasons were depressing. In essence growing up he had been regularly humiliated and emotionally abused to the point where the pain had “twisted” into a fetishistic need on his part.
I can already hear you saying “don’t judge a fetish by one person’s experience”, and you’re right. Whilst I have since refused to offer humiliation as a service, I have spoken with people who have had this fetish and every single time the story behind the fetish has been negative. Not once has the fetish evolved from a healthy place. It’s a psychological equivalent in my eyes of seeking out self-harm or validation that you are somehow “less than” or “deserving” of humiliation.
In my mind a Dom/me should be a safe space for a sub. Someone to reinforce positive emotions rather than enforce negative. I do appreciate that the process can encompass areas I may not personally like – e.g. pain – but pain, done properly and professionally has a purpose – it releases endorphins among other things. I may not personally agree with it, but I can see the appeal. To me, humiliation has no upsides. It’s reinforcing negativity which is not healthy/.
I value my boys and encourage them to be the best versions of themselves I can be. I want to lift them up, not drag them down. Yes I sometimes playfully tease some of my boys (the ones I know well and have a good relationship with) but that never strays into humiliation. Yes, I push their boundaries at times (again when I know them well) but it is done with the intention of building my boys up and enhancing the experience without abusing their trust or making them believe that they are somehow “less” than me.
A weak dominant in my experiences often tries to assert their control by putting down the other person – by suggesting that person is weak and needs to be put in their place. In reality the weak dominant needs to do this to try and validate their own precarious position. A strong dominant doesn’t need to humiliate, or constantly verbalise the fact that they claim to be in control. It’s simply assumed and borne out by attitude and body language. I am by no means overly dominant but my boys still know who is in control. They don’t fear me or potential punishment. They serve me because they want to. Because they trust me and because they know that I always have their best interests at heart. I don’t need to threaten or manipulate or put down. I support them and encourage to push their boundaries and limits and because they know me, trust me and are comfortable with my intentions they trust me. That trust earns me far more respect than fear or humiliation ever would.
I don’t want my boys broken and humiliated – I want them to be confident and self-assured, both in themselves and their submission to me. I want them to feel empowered to use their initiative rather than expecting to have every move dictated to them. If I allow you to serve me I become responsible for you and your wellbeing when you are under my control. Deliberately choosing to erode someone’s self worth through humiliation is completely at odds with that.
Leaving aside the effects on the sub, inflicting humiliation on someone doesn’t come from a good place either. If someone pushes me to breaking point I can be exceptionally verbally venomous (I have reduced grown men to tears before simply by using my voice). It’s not something I’m proud of, and it’s not something I would ever employ again as a “service”. When I have done it in the past it has been when I have been pushed to the limit and all my attempts to mitigate/de-escalate the situation have failed. It’s never made me feel good, nor has it it ever helped me. It’s not the type of behaviour I enjoy experiencing or encouraging. I suppose if I were a genuine sadist I may take a different view, but for the vast majority of people there is nothing to be gained by giving or receiving humiliation.
Just my 2 cents on the matter. I appreciate and respect other’s will hold different views and believe that if we all liked the same things then life would be very boring indeed.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.
Okay…this is going to be an interesting one for me to write as I myself do not identify as submissive. But, I already wrote a blog post entitled “What does it mean to be Dominant?” so I felt it was only fair to attempt to address the balance. In view of my non-submissive nature I suspect this blog is going to end up being more of a “what are my expectations of someone who approaches me as a submissive”, but we’ll see. (I don’t pre-write my blog posts – much like writing my scripts I simply let the words flow and see where I end up.
The main problem I have in trying to pin-point what it means to be submissive is that submissiveness covers such a wide range of potential attitudes and behaviors. Googling a dictionary definition for submission tells me that submission is defined as someone who is “ready to conform to the authority or will of others; meekly obedient or passive”. That’s a good start, but off the top of my head I can think of so many different…categories I guess?….of submission:
- Role-play: People who enjoy role-playing submission but are not actually submissive.
- Sexually submissive: enjoy being submissive in the bedroom but not necessarily outside of it.
- Selfish submissives: those who think they are submissive but want to be so on their own terms and attempt to dictate what they want.
- Submit but not serve: typically alpha guys (in my experience) who are looking for a temporary escape from being in control and always wanting to make decisions.
- Lifestyle submissives: people who identify as being submissive as a lifestyle choice. Have a desire to obey and serve.
Now, as I am not really “in” the BDSM scene there may well be other variations I’ve missed out. If so, forgive me.
In my own experience in the world of hypnoDommes and Erotic Hypnosis I have come across all sorts of individuals. I admit I always slightly raise an eyebrow if someone I barely know tells me they want to submit to me/be my slave (if only because I don’t have slaves and if you knew me well enough to offer genuine submission you’d know that. But I digress…). Mentally I always file such individuals as role-players or selfish. That’s not to say my position won’t change – it may transpire they’re new to the scene and figuring everything out, for example – but first impressions do count for a lot.
To my mind making the decision to consciously submit to someone else and hand over control is a big deal. It is a decision that should be borne of mutual understanding and trust, and it is imperative that the Dominant party understands and appreciates the responsibility they are taking on in accepting the gift of submission.
If you genuinely identify as submissive then you possess an innate desire to serve and please, but it is important that you do not allow others to take advantage of your desires. To my mind a healthy balance (to a degree) should also be maintained which is why I do not encourage my boys to obey without question (unless it’s a post-hypnotic trigger…in that case they really don’t have any choice in the matter). I encourage dialogue, and I encourage development and expression of their own thoughts and opinions. Being submissive does not and should not mean that you are not allowed to hold/express your own opinions. Yes, the Dominant party may make the majority of the decisions and may have the final say, but the submissive’s perspective and opinion should always be taken into account. Expressing an opinion does not make you any less submissive. Quite the opposite – it shows a willingness to engage in the relationship (as long as it is done respectfully and constructively).
I know that some Domme’s prefer to take as much control as possible; make as many decisions as possible and generally maximise any potential for control. Some subs also enjoy and appreciate this. But there is a whole range of possibilities. I am more laid back and quietly assertive but my boys do not question that I am the Dominant in the relationship. I encourage them to express themselves and be the best possible version of themselves that they can be as their behavior not only reflects back on me as their Domme, but as their Domme I also have a responsibility to them – to take care of them. It’s a responsibility I take very seriously. I also personally do not want a slave who always does everything I ask. I want my boys to feel confident to challenge me when appropriate – they may be right, they may not but I like knowing that they feel confident enough in our dynamic to do so. I want my submissive boys to feel empowered by their submission, not a slave to it. I know that if I ask or command my boys to do something they will do so because they genuinely enjoy serving me and they know I would never take advantage. Other Dommes prefer a more “traditional” submissive who is very openly submissive in their attitude. There is no right or wrong. I am sure that my attitude horrifies some of a more traditional subbie nature, but those traits are the same that my boys – that have chosen me and I have accepted – happen to find my attitude syncs well with their desires and expectations and when you get that mesh of ideals – that’s when the magic happens!