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Why Humiliation?   

Where is the fun?

Being humiliated is not something that you would consider to be fun, right? It's not something that we want to experience in the company of our family, friends, or coworkers is it? Yet here, in the BDSM world, humiliation is something that's considered to simply go along with the territory.

Consider this. I just had my desk and office dusted. In the cheapest, lowest paying discount store, someone doing cleaning would carry the title, 'House Cleaning Associate', correct? The title makes him feel important, part of a team. Here, under my roof, and if I'm in a good mood, the creature gets called a slave. If I'm in a bad mood, at best, he'll be called maggot and be told how fortunate he is for the privilege to even lick the floor I stand on.

The store janitor probably doesn't like doing the work that his life's lot has handed him and wishes that he could do better. My dungeon creature feels he is honored to be in my presence and would not only lick my floor with his tongue, but would clean in the dirty corners of my office with it.

Sounds kind of crazy doesn't it? Why in the world would someone subject themselves to such distasteful behavior? Well, and I have said this so often, the world of BDSM spins on an axis with it's poles opposite of what we experience in our life as normal. Just try to call a co-worker a slut and see what happens. Or, next time you're looking for a house cleaner, tell them that YOU expect to be paid by them for the

privilege of working for you, and oh yes...if they don't do a good job, you're going to beat them with a cane when they are done. Better prepare to be laughed at as you hear your front door slam!

We do things differently in BDSM. We have an interest in BDSM because we like doing things differently. We are an adventuresome crowd that looks to the exotic for fun. We like the world 'down under' (I'm not talking about Australia either) and we enjoy sitting on top of a world turned upside down.

Outsiders to the BDSM world might peer in at our world and explain away the acceptance of humiliation by a submissive by claiming that he or she has low self-esteem, or a need to be punished because of some feeling of guilt deeply rooted in their subconscious mind.

As is normally the case, those that don't understand a culture try to evaluate everything in terms of how it's done where they come from. In anthropology this is called egocentricity, or, "it's not correct if you don't see things my way". Well, only one element of this explanation is accurate. Those submissive individuals are expressing a need, but for a reason that is diametrically opposed to a need to be punished. I will submit to you that although there are those that seek out BDSM for unhealthy reasons, most of those I have met in the scene are well balanced and potent individuals. They are able to, not only participate in the lifestyle, but thrive emotionally, because they are secure with who they are. They are seeking to expand their experience of life to compliment the success they have achieved in it. BDSM is not a platform for psycho-drama to act out demons haunting people, but rather an existential experience that provides an avenue to what Abraham Moslow coined as the highest human need, self-actualization.

So why does humiliation fit into a game that adults do for fun? Well, there are two reasons; One is simple to understand and the other a bit more complex. BDSM, or Domination and submission (D/s), involves one person giving control to another. It's called a power exchange. The Dominant is loaned the submissive person's power within terms agreed on by both. It sounds so simple, yet there are so many little elements that contribute to the effectiveness of this exchange of power that it's not as fundamental a process as you would think.

Before just about any practice of bondage or discipline begins, the two partners need to position themselves in their respective roles to one another. There is nothing really new and exotic about this concept. It happens all of the time in the real world. A judge is in a position of power, we call him Your Honor. Doctors and college professors are addressed by their titles. Clergy and politicians are as well. It's just another way that society is organized so that it functions smoothly.

So it is in BDSM. A Dominant is called Mistress or Master. A submissive is called slave or any other name the participants recognize as being subordinate to the Dominant. Hence, the names given a submissive are, more than likely, names that represent roles that are less than equal to the Dominant. The names of the Dominant and of the submissive add flavor to the nature of the roles in the relationship. If the Dominant is to be seen as a supernatural being, well then we may be called a Goddess. If we are more erotic in our dominance, we may be called Mistress. If we are more regal, Lady or My lady works.

As a counter role, the submissive may be looked at as a sexual being and called slut, or as a piece of property and called slave, or if the D/s relationship has a nurturing through discipline theme to it, a more parental separation may exist and the submissive could be called my little one, my boy or girl. No matter what the name, the purpose is to set the submissive below the Dominant in terms that are easy to recognize as being beneath or subject to another. The recognition of the separation lies on an intrinsic quality that the label, or name has and is recognized by the culture that the participants are part of. Every name the submissive is given will, by necessity, lower their position to the Dominant and thus be qualified as being a form of humiliation.

Those inside the D/s culture understand that the role a submissive plays will not go beyond the scene that they are involved in no more than the role an actor plays in a movie or television show goes beyond the set. There is a humorous little saying I am reminded of here where an actor on a medical drama says, "I'm not really a doctor, but I play one on TV. ." The same is true for players in D/s. "I'm not really a Goddess, but I play one in my parlor." and "I'm not really a scum sucking worm, but I play one in the dungeon." The whole point of humiliation in D/s is not to tear down the submissive and destroy him literally, but to position him in the context of the scene and remove what stature he has outside of the scene only to make the scene more functional. A mutually rewarding experience for both the Dominant and the submissive is the goal. The Dominant is set in their role on top and the submissive is placed in their role on the bottom. The degree of separation and the means of separation is decided by actor's desires and imagination and is always weighed against a rigid standard. Will the scene foster positive regard for both individuals involved? Will the level of trust between them increase? and will each profit emotionally from the interaction? Will both, the dominant and the submissive, walk away from the scene feeling better than they did when they walked into it? This last measure probably carries more emotional gravity for the submissive than the Dominant, because the submissive has more emotional equity to lose if the scene is fumbled.

Now, it's not that difficult to understand the concept of using humiliation as a role positioning tool in D/s. The logistics of humiliation are fairly evident at a surface level and perform quite well with little thought needed. The dynamics of the Dominant and submissive roles are defined by the labels/titles they assume and the verbal intercourse that is built upon the nuances of those roles. At this level, the interaction has an outward character to it as it is ... (continued next page)

Why Humiliation?(continued)

 

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