Domination vs. Humiliation

I was thinking yesterday about my kinky proclivities, and the reasons why until fairly recently I've hesitated to act on my submissive desires. I've known that I'm into restraint and submission for a very long time, but I never did much about it. I didn't feel ready, somehow, or comfortable with the idea.

I realized yesterday that a lot of what turned me off of the available images of dominance and submission was the way humiliation is often connected to any kind of sexy power play. Very often along with the spankings and bindings and hittings and tossing arounds, there are words and narratives thrown in about how humiliating it all is. About how the sub is naughty and should be ashamed and needs to be punished.

For me, the desire to be dominated is not at all connected to these narratives of shame. I don't feel ashamed of having sexual desires. It's true that I have been shamed by other people for them and sometimes even felt abnormal and freakish. My response to that, however, was more to say "fuck you" and learn to be proud than anything else.

I grew up in a household where, despite some of the usual discomfort about sex, my parents and especially mother always said "whatever you do is fine by us and we love all of you, including your sexuality." This stood up to my coming out as bisexual, my disclosing that I'm a stripper, and some overnight visits from special friends where we made a wee bit more noise than intended.

This is not to say that I begrudge anyone their enjoyment of humiliation, just that it's not for me. I just can't eroticize words that turn sex into shame. I understand the value of reclaiming these narratives and getting off on them, I just don't do it. It makes me too uncomfortable.

What I like about being dominated is simply the loss of control. I'm incredibly, sometimes destructively self possessed in "real" life. I am able to let go of some of that during any kind of sex (which is one reason I like it so much) but being dominated lets me do so even more. I can hand the restraining of me over to someone else. I don't have to do it, at least for a little while. It actually feels freeing.

I also just love to please and it makes me wet to be ordered around and thrown over someone's knee. I can't necessarily explain the physical response, but as it is, I'm just going to enjoy it. Minus the whole "You've been a naughty slut and need a spanking" part.


Unknown said...

I get off on all of those aspects of submission as well, but for me, I also get off on the humiliation and degradation. I'm not really sure why. Perhaps it's taking the loss of control even further? Or the fact that allowing them to call me all these names somehow makes me more of an object and a possession to them, which again, furthers that loss of control and takes the extent to which you are submitting to someone even further?

I'm not really sure and I can't really explain it, but I just know that I get off on being called someone's dirty little slut.

Unknown said...

I can totally see how and why you would get off on those things, just somehow I don't. And I don't mind being called naughty, I think I'm just too used to being called a slut in a way that's meant to hurt me rather than turn me on.

It's something I want to explore, though. Maybe it's just that word that prevents me. I do like most things that mean I'm being even more submissive. And really, I'll try anything with the right partner. :-D

Anonymous said...

Hmm, it might be that the scene is also in that sense different in the USA than in the Netherlands, but I never noticed that there is "always" humiliation going on when people are playing.
Many people I know play because they like the pain, the restraint, the power exchange, but come to think of it, humiliation does not come in. It does in some couples, and in some situations, but the "you're a dirty slut and you need punishment" is really something for a roleplay, and not for an ordinary scene. My vision may be biased of course ;)
What is stretched in "our" community, is that you should do what you like and want, and that nothing is weird. Not wanting to be humiliated strikes me as a very normal request or boundary :)

/Nuclear Rainbow

Unknown said...

I didn't mean always, definitely. I've also seen lots of power play that didn't involve degradation. Humiliation is just a pretty common theme in all kinds of sexual media, even I think in mainstream porn.

I think you're right, though, that it's a perfectly lovely boundary. That's the great thing about the community: it's a place where I can figure out what those are for me and talk about it. Yay.

Myca said...

I don't know if you've ever filled out one of those ridiculously long and vaguely overspecific BDSM new-partner checklists, but I find that this kind of thing is exactly what they're good for.

"YES I want you to hit me, NO, not with a paddle, YES talk dirty, NO don't call me a whore, YES talk about how wet I am, etc, etc."


On living, loving, learning, and fucking with the materials I've got at hand.

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