Humiliation is one of those murky areas where the waters get a bit darker isn't it? Because we aren't really talking about the physical things that can induce a psychological state, but the results of those actions--what happens in a person's mind.
And it is an extremely subjective experience--some people are unfazed by it, others are damaged, and a few get off on it.
My trauma might be a cake walk for someone else. My good night might be trauma for another.
I think that it is a lot easier to avoid damaging someones body than it is to avoid damaging their mind.
I don't really have a perspective on humiliation from the inflicting side. I know that the first time, we had a really serious talk afterwards.
He was...Pleased and concerned. And we both believe it was something that could be pushed too far. For both of us. For me to the point of damage, and him to the point where it didn't heighten his feelings for me, but created negative ones.
And humiliation is one of those things where you kind of keep uping the ante. So you have to know your cards and stop before you end up in the hole.
My all time favorite blog post about the positive feelings humiliation can evoke is at A Slave among Drivers. I think she did an absolutely brilliant job expressing how incredible it can be.
Humiliation is about humility--the absence of pride, being in a place where there is no ego or pretension...Only who and what you really are. Humility is about accepting and just...Being.
It's about having all the unnecessary trappings of daily life and who we are stripped away until there is nothing left between us.
Though it is not to be confused with degradation (yes, I'm picky and I like to make these distinctions). Degradation is about tearing someone down and making them less than what they are.
Positive humiliation is about being seen at your absolute lowest, and respected the more for it. It's about what happens after the tears, facing the fears, and crawling out the other side.
There's clearly a huge difference between positive and negative humiliation, and I think that most of us immediately think of the negative connotations when we hear the word. Because, lets face it, humiliation can be an extremely negative thing right? It's those experiences we hated, and that left us feeling like shit, the ones we try not to think about as we look through our memories or face the mirror.
But sometimes, it is a beautiful thing that happens in that place where boundaries fade and we can be closer to another human being than space itself allows.
The way he picks me up and kisses my head, the way he washes my hair and runs his fingers down my back, the words he whispers in my ear as he guides me to bed--it's these things that make the experience what it is. More so perhaps than the humiliation itself. But these things would not be what they are without the events that led to them.
And the way he grins at me on the following day and calls me his twisted little kitty? Well, it is rather endearing.
How does one get off on humiliating another person? I dunno. Perhaps because there is something powerful about seeing the extent to which another person is willing to go for you, in being able to do obscene things to someone that they would likely never admit to let alone do....I think it takes a sadistic streak. So often we think of sadism and masochism being about physical pain. But really? There are many toys in that particular sandbox.
Like most of the incredible experiences in life, humiliation at it's worst can be a terrible thing. At it's best...It can be absolutely amazing.