June 20, 2008

Humiliation, the good, the bad, the ugly

We’d had this conversation a while ago, but I had forgotten, and I asked:

“Would you think about something for me?”
“Of course.”
“We can talk about it tomorrow.”
“Humiliation, is it good or bad? Not a politically or kink correct answer, but a gut feel. In the sense of ‘I was totally humiliated.’ your attitude about it, not feelings.”
“I think this is a hard question for me to understand, given the limitations, but I'll try and make sense out of it.”
“Okay, then forget the limitations, I did not mean it to be limiting, just the whole range of those things call humiliation; you are right, that is better and a more fair question.”
"'I was totally humiliated' - I'll think about what that statement brings up for me... is that what you mean, more or less?"
"Yes that is what I mean, not to your submission particularly, just as a person."
"Yes, OK."

And the next day:

"I thought about humiliation."
"Oh yes?"
"I should email, I think."
"Okay, I would love to have your feelings on it."

And then the email:

I think you've made a case that humiliating and humbling are the same. I can't say I see it that way.

If I say humiliated, I mean embarrassed and brought down to a point below ones true worth. Where humbled, I see as settling to one's proper place.

Humiliation is an experience of shame.

Does this answer?

Yes, it did, so, there is one perspective on the matter of Humiliation and Humbling/Humility, and on the other hand:

"it was humiliating. But i didn't resist . . . moving my body into a rhythm . . . i felt aroused by the stimulation, and aroused by the humiliation. i felt my little place so acutely... it felt so right that i should be in this space of humility; . . . it felt right that we all acknowledged that it was part of my place to have lower status and higher humility."

A third perspective is:

I feel that some humiliation is necessary to reduce me to that deep submissive state I long to be in. Humiliation, as in wearing a collar or leash, submitting to an inspection, being made to crawl, etc., helps to put my mind into the "powerless" state and allows me to "feel" the authority that my Dom/Dad/Master has over me. I do not, however, much enjoy the more extreme forms of humiliation such as being urinated on......that, to me, is overkill.

So, these three have differing opinions, perhaps a Dominant has it figured out:

Humiliation. "The word itself can cause even hard-core players to recoil. In the BDSM community, where consensual, well-intentioned humiliation games are commonly practiced, players routinely disavow participation. I myself would vehemently declare that if a Sub wanted humiliation, then find another, I simply was not into that. Why would I want to dominate someone I didn't respect?
That was how I saw humiliation. Disrespectful. Degrading. Debasing. Insulting. As abuse, pure and simple. The idea of what I perceived as emotional cruelty. The idea of verbally harming my Submissives nauseated me."

So, then perhaps we turn to the dictionaries and definitions, to get some clarity, to find the essential relationship between Humiliation and Humility.

Definitions of Humiliation:

  • state of disgrace or loss of self-respect
  • chagrin: strong feelings of embarrassment
  • an instance in which you are caused to lose your prestige or self-respect; "he had to undergo one humiliation after another"
  • depriving one of self-esteem
Humiliation is bad . . .

Definitions of humility:

  • a disposition to be humble; a lack of false pride; "not everyone regards humility as a virtue"
  • a humble feeling; "he was filled with humility at the sight of the Pope"
Humility is good, being humble . . .

From Wikipedia: Humiliation is the abasement of pride; mortification. The state of being humbled or reduced to lowliness or submission. It is thus the process of being made humble. It can be brought about through bullying, intimidation, physical or mental mistreatment or trickery and embarrassment.

Humiliation is being humble, humility, which is good . . .

No wonder everyone is confused and afraid.

So, perhaps it is all just semantics, which I would agree with, an unimportant distinction, except I think there are many submissives that miss out on opportunities for growth, arousal, bonding and excitement, a chance to truly move forward because they are afraid of being humiliated and embarrassed, demeaned?

They are afraid of being embarrassed and brought down to a point below ones true worth.

They do not find humiliation as settling to one's proper place.

Clearly humiliation is used for a variety of reasons.

There are those dominants that use humiliation to totally debase a submissive, tear her down, belittle her, strip her of any self esteem or self respect to build her back up "his way".

Others use humiliation to overcome excess pride, to make their submissive more humble, to create a sense of self worth in their submission, subordinate to the dominant, respectful.

There does not seem to be a hard and fast result from humiliation, let alone a common perception of what it really constitutes.

June 4, 2008

Service-oriented Submission/Submissive

This post has been sitting as a Pending post since mid-March; I drag it out and think about it, make some notes, but have never been able to bring it forward into the light of day. Over the weekend a convergence of recent reading and discussions with a girl online seems to have been the lightening bolt that finally helped me focus when she said, "Please don't be confused, I am not a masochist, I was trained as a service-oriented submissive."

Some of that material includes:
In this sector of the blog realm, so often the quality of dominance is tied to the degree of sadism/physicality involved/exhibited, and it is much less common to find discussions of the mental aspects of control, in ways that incorporate all aspects of the submissive’s daily lives. But in fact, the essence of dominance is control; it is not hard, but perhaps not likely, to imagine a D/s relationship where there are no sexual or sadistic components, but pure and straight forward control. This control can be exerted over every aspect of the submissive’s daily life; how she dresses, when she sleeps and awakens, what she eats and when, how she conducts herself in interactions with other people. Clearly, in many relationships, while there are heavy levels of BDSM and S&M, there is also a more broad reaching control, perhaps with the exception of sexual submissives, or bedroom submissives.

In Persephone's recent post about tea party, she talks about her owner wanting “. . . light and enjoyable interactions between us . . . he prefers the twee 'tea party' to describe what he envisions . . . really different because of its absence of most-- if not all-- of the usual bdsm trappings.”

A Google search for “service-oriented submissive” includes a Wikipedia reference:

Service-oriented (sexuality)

In human sexuality, Service-oriented is a term used in the BDSM community to refer relationship dynamic.

In a service-oriented relationship, the focus is on how the submissive can contribute resources to the dominant partner, provide for some of their needs or advance their goals. These relationships may or may not also include romantic feelings.

A common example of such a relationship would be one in which the submissive and dominant were romantically attracted and the submissive is collared to the dominant, indicating that they are "in service" to that dominant. The collar may well be predicated on certain performance levels or the usefulness of that submissive in specific areas. If those things were to change or dissipate the couple may remain romantically linked but often the collar will be removed.

For the submissive in such a relationship, the collar is seen as a status symbol signifying the approval and acknowledgement of a person they wish to serve. They often take great pleasure and pride in their status and relationship.

For the dominant, the benefits are practical as well as emotional. Many take great pleasure in being 'served' in this manner, and of course having the additional resources available is of immense utility.

Categories: Sex stubs BDSM Human sexuality

While this Wikipedia article is titled Service-oriented (sexuality), the content sounds like a domestic arrangement, or an administrator or secretary, perhaps they were not willing to delve into the deeper inter-personal aspects.

It occurs to me that the Daddy dom/little girl dynamic may very well be a clear example of this service-oriented D/s relationship. Another flavor is Domestic Discipline, a special form of dominance and submission. And I am reminded of The Submissive Wife Project that I stumbled across last year. I am sure there are others.

There seems to be so much more depth in the nature of D/s or service-oriented submission than just BDSM, but so often it is all wrapped in the same blanket.

June 2, 2008

Ten Pretty Good Rules

These rules have no specific purpose, but will serve you well as humor, and are not a bad perspective to use when dealing with the vagaries of daily life.
  1. Never wrestle with a pig; you both get dirty and the pig likes it.
  2. Never argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.
  3. Observe everything; admire nothing.
  4. It's easier to obtain forgiveness than it is permission.
  5. Rarely resist the opportunity to keep your mouth shut.
  6. Don't ask the question if you cannot live with the answer.
  7. If you want a new idea, read an old book.
  8. If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there.
  9. Never have a philosophy which supports a lack of courage.
  10. Never look back unless you intend to go that way.