Author: Marianne (A.K.A BoundLady) © 1999

Some of you probably know me from the mailing lists I subscribe to, or from  discussion rooms on AOL.  My name is Marianne, aka BoundLady, and I have been in a relationship with my Master, ABondager, for almost 4 years now.  We are  24/7, live together, and are both very active in the Washington DC scene.  My  Master is on the board of Black Rose, I myself am very active with the  organisation.  

This article is about my views on humiliation. When I use the term humiliation  I mean one thing:  Safe, Sane, Consensual Humiliation Play.  I am not talking  about denigrating someone to the point where their self respect gets hurt, I  am talking about a part of our lifestyle, where someone gets humbled, put in 
their place, in a SSC manner. 
Now, some people might ask, what makes me the "expert" on humiliation?  Well,  I am not an expert, but humiliation is "our thing".  To me it is one of the  most important aspects of a BDSM relationship, one of the most important tools  a Dominant has, much more important then the whip could ever be.  And I feel 
it is important that others see that humiliation is SSC play, that it is fun,  that it is not there to make someone feel bad about themselves.  

I think you can very easily have a Top/bottom relationship without any  humiliation, but when it comes to D/s it will be there, just because of the  fact that one person is dominant, the other person is submissive .. one is in  a position of power over the other, one has a "higher" position.  I am  humbling myself by being submissive to him, and only to him.  I know I am not  "less" then he is, but I go there because it is what turns us both on. 

This is why I feel that we all are into humiliation to a certain extent ...  some just a little, some of us a lot.  For example:  If your best vanilla  friend, who knows what you are into, would witness an OTK spanking, would she  think "How humiliating, how can she do that?"  Or if she could observe you  kneeling in front of him, or see you kissing his feet, would that look  humiliating to her?  It most likely would, but it feels natural to you because  you probably do it a lot, and it does not feel humiliating to you because you  are used to it.  So yes, we all play with humiliation, we all humble ourselves  for our Masters.  And, I do feel that humiliation is the essence of D/s play.  Boundaries of humiliation are the ones that are stretched the most, with many  participants not even realizing that what they are doing is a humiliation  scene. 

So why does humiliation have such a bad name among participants in this  lifestyle?  Is it because they look at the word humiliation with vanilla eyes?  Why not look at the word beating with the same jaded look?  A beating is a  good thing in a BDSM relationship, it is a bad thing in a vanilla  relationship.  Humiliation is bad from a vanilla standpoint, but it is, at least in my  opinion, an integral part of a BDSM relationship, as long as it is done as  Safe, Sane, Consensual Humiliation PLAY!!!!  Humiliation is not about making  someone feel bad about themselves, it is a tool to humble the submissive, to  make her do things for the Dominant that she would not do for anyone else, to  show her submission.  If it is used to make her feel bad then it is abuse.  Even humiliation for punishment can not be abusive humiliation, just like a  whipping for punishment can not be abusive. 

Humiliation comes in many forms.  Being called names, like slut, whore, little  girl is humiliation.  Being put over someone's knee and spanked is  humiliation. Being tied to a table with your butt up in the air is  
humiliation.  Being watched going to the bathroom or made going to the  bathroom is humiliation.  And they all are a huge turnon for me. 

So how come that some scenes feel like humiliation and others don't, even  though they could be considered humiliation?  I think it is related to the  frequency it is done.  Kneeling, OTK spankings, kissing his feet .. these  things don't make me feel humiliated, humbled, even though in my head I know 
that's exactly what it is.  But we do it all the time .. it doesn't feel  humiliating anymore ... it still puts me into subspace though.  Other things  that are meant to make me feel humiliated he doesn't do very often .. I fetch  my little squeaky toy once in a blue moon, he doesn't make me crawl around and  pick up magnets with my tits every day, and he doesn't stick a  speculum up my  butt to examine my insides on a daily basis.  So when he does it I can feel  the humiliation very clearly.  And I go into a very submissive space when I  feel the humiliation so clearly. 

Some people say "There is nothing that could make me feel humiliated in front  of my Master."  I happen to think that they are talking about embarrassment  when they say that.  I do not get embarrassed in front of my Master, to me  embarrassment is a negative feeling.  But I do feel humiliated, humbled, put  in my place when he does those things to me, and they are good feelings. 

One question always pops up.  Why is it humiliation if I like it.  I think it  is only humiliation if you like it.  If something is done that you don't like  and that you can not deal with then it is not humiliation, it is abuse.  Just  like a spanking is not a spanking when you can not deal with it, it is then  abuse. If someone, even my Master,  were to tell me that I'm a fat pig, I  would not feel humiliated in the SSC way that we use humiliation, I would feel  insulted.  If my Master calls me his slut or his whore I just go into  subspace.  Master has his own theory why that is, I don't want to steal his  theories here <G>. 

Humiliation puts me into subspace like nothing else.  Doing things for my  Master that I would not do for anyone else is an awesome feeling ...  impossible to describe.  It is that "I would do anything for him"  
feeling, that "he truly owns me" feeling ... being truly his and under his  control. When he softly whispers in my ear "Only a real nasty girl would get  that wet from a whipping" I'm just gone, it's over, I'm his.  

One important thing to remember when doing humiliation play is that you cannot  play with heavy humiliation with a casual partner.  Too much is at stake here.  Peoples emotional health is at stake.  Before getting into scenes like that a  lot of communication is necessary, getting to know everything about a partner.  And a safeword has to be in place.  You can ruin a good relationship by not  recognizing triggers.  You can have talked and discussed for hours ... triggers can sneak up on you, they come out of the subconscious and they can ruin it all if not acted upon properly.  Something that might seem like a very simple thing to me, like  being called his slut, can be a trigger for someone else that ends the scene 
or maybe even the relationship immediately. 

Another important aspect is aftercare.  Hugging, cuddling, talking -- the  knowledge that he respects her as a partner.  Humiliation is not there to take  someone down and leave her there.  It is a tool to take someone down and build  them back up, even taller then they were before.  She has to be sure that he  knows who she really is, and that he knows what she is giving him with her  submission.



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