What is Erotic Humiliation?
Erotic Humiliation. Does it sound like an oxymoron? Think again. The pleasure center and the pain center in the brain are very closely connected, which is why we often hear sayings like "hurts so good." You may be thinking to yourself, "I understand the physical pleasure/pain line but I just don't get the whole psychological pleasure/pain thing." If so, read on. Maybe you'll change your mind and at least decide to give it a try!
The Psychology of Humiliation
Humiliation is about the abasement of pride; loss of self-respect, shame, and disgrace. Erotic humiliation refers to the heightened sexual arousal derived from these things. These emotions are triggered by different things for different people; for some it's verbal humiliation, for others it is being made to commit humiliating acts or participate in humiliation role play scenes, and for yet others, it's something else entirely. The important thing to remember about erotic humiliation is that every person has a line, that when crossed, takes the humiliation from being erotic to being hurtful.
Humiliation, BDSM Play, and Sexual Fetishism
Humiliation is an underlying theme in much of BDSM play. Spanking, CFNM (clothed female, naked male), coerced bi, cuckolding, strap-on play, cum eating, feminization, and objectification are just a few areas of BDSM play where the underlying theme is humiliation. Being dominated and ordered to do humiliating things can certainly be a form of erotic humiliation, however; being humiliated does not mean the same thing as being dominated.
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Sexual fetishism also tends to have an underlying theme of humiliation. In fetishism, non-sexual objects and activities bring about sexual arousal, such as with the foot and leg fetish, the boot and shoe fetish, spanking, coerced bi, etc. In many of these fetishes, the erotic humiliation stems from a sense of exhibition; wanting others to witness as they are sexually humiliated and degraded. Denying a fetishist the opportunity to practice can also be a form of erotic humiliation; particularly when accompanied by verbal humiliation in the form of taunting.
Physical and Emotional forms of Humiliation
Erotic humiliation can be inflicted purely in the emotional realm, such as with verbal insults, stripped privileges, mockery, ridicule, etc. Erotic humiliation can also be triggered with physical aspects, such as ruined orgasms, bukkake and cum eating, coerced bi, CBT, chastity, CFNM, etc. Both forms of humiliation stem from a part of the brain that recognizes physical pain, which causes emotional awards and punishments to be felt as strongly as their physical counterparts, so as to elicit conditioned responses accordingly.
Aspects of Erotic Humiliation
Erotic humiliation is more prevalent than one might think. Even in seemingly "vanilla" sex, mild erotic humiliation can occur through expectations of one partner or another. This can be in the form of "dirty talk," cunnilingus or fellatio, etc. Almost everybody has experienced mild erotic humiliation at one time or another, sometimes occurring completely unexpectedly, taking one or both parties by surprise. It is also quite common for people to fantasize about situations in which they are being degraded and belittled, which brings about feelings of erotic humiliation, but if these things were to actually occur, there would be no eroticism associated with them at all.
Humiliation is a subjective emotion but all human beings have experienced it at one time or another. It is a universal emotion in the sense that everyone can relate to the feeling of being put down or made to feel inadequate. In some, the feelings of humiliation, whether justified or not, create an anger known as "humiliated fury." This fury turned outward manifests itself as revenge, paranoia, and other sadistic behavior; turned inward, anxiety, depression, and apathy can occur. In the case of erotic stimulation, where the humiliation is being brought about intentionally, both parties must be careful not to cross the fine line from erotic to anger. Erotic humiliation, often called "the nuclear time bomb of emotions," can be turned into a force for either constructive or destructive action; the choice is up to the individual.