The Pleasures of Humiliation
Please note: This piece contains sexually explicit material. If you are under the legal age in your location for reading sexually explicit writing, or if you are offended by sexually explicit writing, please stop here and do not read any further. By continuing to read this piece, you are confirming that you understand that this is adult material and that you are of legal age to read it.
The Pleasures of Humiliation
by Greta Christina
I want to talk about humiliation.
Even writing those words gives me that flush; the one that wells up behind my eyes and my cheeks, the one that rolls into the points of my nipples and down into my belly and between my legs. I'm wondering what sort of a sicko vicious bitch you're going to think I am when you find out that I get off on humiliating people; I'm wondering what sort of a sicko debased slut you're going to think I am when you find out that I get off on being humiliated. And wondering that is... well, it's making me kind of twitchy. Jumpy. Hard for me to stay in my seat. I keep wanting to get up, get something to drink, turn the TV on, get the hell away from the computer and away from this whole embarrassing topic. And I keep wanting to pinch my nipples and pull my pants down and shove my hand between my legs. The act of writing about humiliation, the act of telling several thousand strangers that I find humiliation pleasurable, is in itself something of a humiliation. And it is therefore something of a pleasure as well.
As you may have guessed by now, I'm not talking about your garden variety humiliation. I'm not talking about embarrassing slips of the tongue at the big staff meeting or realizing that you've had spinach on your teeth all evening. I'm talking, very specifically, about sexual humiliation. I'm talking about...
Well, what is it exactly that I'm talking about? What is sexual humiliation exactly, and what makes it such a pleasure?
Well, first of all... yes, yes, consensuality and negotiated and mutually agreed upon and blah blah blah. Let's just take that as a given, okay? I'm going to assume that there aren't any Dworkinites in the audience, I'm going to assume that you don't need the Consensual Sadomasochism 101 talk or the Fantasy vs. Reality talk, and I'm going to get right to the meaty stuff. The fun stuff. The stuff that I'm kind of embarrassed to be writing about.
Okay. Deep breath. Here, specifically, are some of the things I think about; some things I want desperately to do, some things I just like to think about, and some things I've actually done. (And no, I'm not going to tell you which is which. You have to guess.)
I think about being in an office or a hotel room overlooking the city streets, across from office buildings or from other hotel rooms. I think about being made to stand in front of the window, and being made to bend over, arch my back, and pull down my pants. Sometimes I think about being made to spank myself, or to spread my cheeks apart and show my asshole, or to move my ass up and down like I'm getting fucked. But the important part isn't showing off my body to strangers, or even being forced to show off my body to strangers. The important part is being forced to show my body off to strangers in that position, a position of offering, a position of objectification, a position of debasement.
I think about putting a lover in a short tight dress and taking her to a bar or a frat party, full of loud, rowdy, aggressive men. I think about walking her around the room, showing her off, making her stick out her tits and wiggle her ass. And then I think about bending her over a cocktail table, or maybe taking her out in the back alley and bending her over a garbage can, and offering her body up to be used by the crowd. I think about making her beg for it, beg for the cocks to be shoved in her mouth and up her ass. I think about gagging her and tying her hands behind her back and ordering her to wriggle and thrash while she's being fucked; I think about spreading her cunt open with my fingers, showing off how wet and open it is and offering it to the men for them to use; I think about making her stick her tongue out and pant like a dog while one of the men slaps her in the face with his dick. Maybe they stand in a circle around her and I make her crawl on her hands and knees from cock to cock, calling herself a cocksucker slut and begging and grovelling to be fucked and used. Or maybe I put her on her hands and knees, grab her by the hair, and hold her head in place while they take turns fucking her in the mouth. But no matter what, I tell her the whole time what a slut she is and how much pleasure I'm getting from her degradation.
I think about dressing up as a call girl and going to a lover's apartment, and being made to crawl with my face on the floor and pick up hundred-dollar bills with my teeth. I think about being put in awkward, exposed, degrading positions and photographed; I think about having a dildo made of ice inserted into my cunt and left there to melt; I think about being made to lap water from a dog dish. I think about standing in the corner with my dress pulled up and my panties pulled down and being ordered to hold the hundred-dollar bills against the wall with my nose while I get beaten. And I think about being watched by my lover's chilly, detached eyes, and hearing my lover's chilly, detached voice telling me just how debased I look, just how much of a whore I am to let a stranger do these things to me for money, just how far I've lowered myself.
I think about the image of a schoolgirl, in a white shirt and plaid skirt and kneesocks, being bent over the teacher's desk and smacked on the bottom with a ruler in front of the whole class. And I think about her being made to stand in the corner, holding her skirt up around her waist with her panties around her thighs, so the whole class can look at her bright red bottom for the rest of the hour.
I think about bringing a lover home and experimenting with just how far I can carry her degradation. I think about making her get on her knees to suck my cock, and then making her beg and grovel to suck my cock, and then slapping her in the face with my cock and making her beg to suck it some more. I think about spanking her pussy, and then holding her cunt lips open and spanking her pussy, and then making her hold her own cunt lips open while I beat her pussy with a whip. I think about making her walk while I ogle her body, and then making her crawl, and then binding her hands and her feet and making her squirm on her belly. I think about making her kneel and bend over and lick my boots, the soles of my boots, the floor underneath my boots. I think about making her beg for it all, making her plead and grovel for each new step, making her tell me what a slut she is, how much she deserves her debasement, how badly she needs it and wants it. And I think about telling her that she exists for the sole purpose of getting me off, and describing the pleasure I get from telling people to do things that are awkward and difficult and demeaning and watching them obey.
I think about being taken on a collar and leash to a street fair (Gay Day, the Folsom Street/Leather Pride Fair, something of that ilk). I think about being marched down the street, and at every corner, being bent over a car hood or a garbage can or a newspaper rack, having my skirt pulled up and my panties pulled down, and being spanked, in full view of everyone on the street. Not just once; that's very important. It's not enough for it to happen just once. The bulk of the humiliation isn't being bent over and given a bare-bottom spanking in public. It's having to pull my panties back up and my skirt back down and walk on down the street, my bottom burning and my face red, in front of everyone who saw... and then having to do it all over again. And again. And again.
I think about... well, I think you get the idea.
It's an odd thing. When I'm alone in bed thinking about humiliation with my hands wandering over my body, I don't always imagine myself in the scene. It doesn't have to be me in the picture, face down on the floor, pants around my ankles, shirt around my shoulders, on my knees with my ass in the air, licking the floor clean while a plug is shoved into my asshole. And it doesn't have to be me in the picture, standing over my victim with my arms folded across my chest, giving precise instructions as to the exact angle of the back in the bent-over position and the exact height of the pants around the thighs, turning up the heat of the debasement one small degree at a time. It doesn't even have to be me in the picture, sitting in the room and watching the degradation take place with a cool, amused smile. Much of the time, I just imagine the act -- I don't have any place in it, not even as an audience member. Sometimes I imagine being humiliated, and sometimes I imagine inflicting humiliation on another; but sometimes, many times, I simply think about the act of humiliation. Just the act; connected with me, unconnected with me, it almost doesn't matter. The very fact that the act exists, somewhere in the world of possibility, is enough to get me off.
So what, as my high school composition teacher might have asked, are the common themes here? (Other than being bent over, I mean. I mean, being bent over is obviously an important recurring theme here, but I honestly don't think it's the critical one.)
Well... exposure, obviously. The act of being stripped, shown off, having one's body and one's desires revealed. But simple exposure isn't sufficient. It isn't a simple exhibitionism trip. It isn't enough to just be naked or bared; I can't just pull my pants down and bend over in front of the window on my own volition. It doesn't click. There has to be another person. And there has to be an element of debasement. There have to be postures or positions of objectification, of use, of shame and disgrace. One person has to be put beneath the other, not just physically, but symbolically.
And obviously, there has to be an element of power, of making and ordering and control. But it's not just a fetish for simple force or overpowerment, not just a kink for submission. There's this weird paradox; the humiliated one is being ordered or made or told to do the humiliating things... and yet, at the same time, the humiliated one is agreeing to do these things, is actively and willingly participating in their own humiliation, is complicit in their own degradation. It's a crucial part of the imagery that the one being humiliated is lacking both the dignity of choice and the dignity of coercion.
So I think what I'm really talking about here is being stripped of dignity. And being stripped of dignity is, in my weird little mental landscape, an intensely powerful and intimate act. It's as if dignity were a shell or a wall; another defense, another barrier to intimacy and connection. It's as if grace and composure and self-control were distancing devices, used to keep other people at bay. And it's as if relinquishing dignity, relinquishing grace and composure and self-control, relinquishing shelter and concealment and equality and pride, were a means to an end -- the end being human contact. Not the only means, certainly, but a useful and powerful and effective one.
No, it isn't as if. That's what it is. In my weird little mental landscape, anyway.
Copyright 1997 Greta Christina. Previously published on Fishnet.