What is Humiliation Play?

One of our favorite ways to play in a scene is with a bit of humiliation. The act isn’t as important as how it makes me feel – turned on, shocked, and “put in my place.” For me, John Brownstone’s power crystallizes and (in a kinky, consensual way) I feel lower than him, beneath him. In the context of a kinky scene, it’s hot as fuck.

Not everyone sees it that way, and that’s okay.

So what is it?

We call it “humiliation play” while others refer to it as erotic humiliation, humiliation kink, or a humiliation fetish. But it all adds up to essentially the same thing – some form of humiliation within the context of a BDSM scene or a power exchange relationship.

Types of Humiliation Play

Because what one person finds humiliating, another doesn’t, literally anything can be classified as humiliation play. It can typically be broken down into a few categories.

Verbal: calling a partner names, being made to say things you wouldn’t normally say, mockery, scolding, insults, belittling language.

Physical: Wearing specific clothing, doing certain tasks, public shaming/embarrassment/scolding, being treated like an animal, certain forms of impact play – spankings, face-slapping, etc.

Degradation: human toilet, licking or “cleaning” something dirty with your mouth, extreme forms of other humiliation play

Sexual: Cuckolding, forced* penetration, forced* orgasm, or forced* masturbation

*Consent is still obtained prior to the scene, power exchange, or play.

Our list is not at all comprehensive. A great resource for a huge list of humiliation play to try can be found at Dominant Guide (h/t to them for thinking of it in terms of categories).

Humiliation is Subjective

What gives someone a feeling of humiliation (that they get off on) will be meaningless to another person. One person’s humiliation is another person’s minor annoyance. And something that doesn’t bother one kinkster might crush another. Like all kinks and fetishes, it also exists on a spectrum. You can like one single thing and reject the rest.

Personally, I’m okay being called certain names (slut, whore, cumslut) but not others (fat, pig, cow). I’ll also happily get smacked around during a scene or be “embarrassed” in front of other kinksters but can’t stomach the idea of degradation. Other kinksters can’t handle name-calling but will do almost anything. There’s no one right way.

Safety in Humiliation Play

Humiliation is considered a form of edge play because, if you’re not careful, very real mental and emotional harm can be done to you or a partner. Things we think are okay really aren’t once we experience them. What we thought we could do (physically or otherwise), we can’t once we’re faced with it. Consent, communication, and trust are just as important here as in any other form of play — maybe more.

  • Openly talk about triggers, past experiences, or mental illnesses. Some (all) forms of humiliation may never be okay.
  • Check in constantly. Ask “Are you okay?” or “Can I keep going?”
  • Create a safeword or safe signal but don’t rely just on it.
  • Aftercare, aftercare, aftercare.
  • Make sure your partner knows they’re cherished, cared for, respected.
  • Talk about it later. Sometimes thoughts and feelings don’t really hit until you’re out of the scene.
  • Stop if you need to stop. Don’t do what doesn’t feel good.

Your Kink Isn’t My Kink…

Humiliation play isn’t for everyone. If the idea of it turns you cold, don’t do it. Watching it from the outside looking in bothers some people, and that’s understandable too.

What I can tell you as someone who enjoys it during a BDSM scene is this: It works for us because I know how valued I am in our relationship. If I thought he truly believed I was beneath him, I couldn’t do it. Humiliation play touches something deep inside both of us for our kinky fuckery and our power exchange. Because it occurs as part of a single moment in time, instead of as a constant barrage, my brain accepts it as play, not fact, and I get turned on.

Try humiliation play if it intrigues you, and reject it if it doesn’t. You’re not broken, bad, or wrong if you enjoy it. Just make sure you play safe.

Guess what we’re talking about in episode 121 this week? That’s right – humiliation play. Want more information or to hear a conversation about it? Subscribe to the Loving BDSM podcast on your favorite podcast app and listen every Friday!

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