My favourite part of Succession, apart from Kendall Roy’s legendary rap performance was the racy moment between Roman Roy and Gerry. Nope, I’m not talking about that infamous image. Remember when Roman visited Gerri’s room in the second season which resulted in Gerri telling him off for being a disgusting pig and a disappointment while he masturbated in the bathroom? Apart from enjoying humiliating others occasionally, Roman loved being at the receiving end of it too but for a wildly different reason. That’s the humiliation kink for you.
If being berated or humiliated in bed turns you on, there’s no shame in that whatsoever. A study conducted on cis-gendered women who were an active part of the kink community stated almost 43% of women enjoyed being humiliated and almost 26% of women enjoyed doing it to their partner. So it’s safe to say that you’re not alone if the thought of degrading names and actions turns you on.
Humiliation in the context of kink
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The universe of kink is dynamic and pushes the boundaries of pleasure in more ways than one. The humiliation kink is a kink that makes shame sexy. According to Neha Bhat, a clinical art-based sex and trauma therapist, “Erotic humiliation is the consensual use of psychological humiliation in a sexual context.” She believes that in kink dynamics one individual gains arousal from the powerful and mixed emotions of being demeaned and humiliated. Just as a praise kink will have you turning hot with the mention of a compliment, the humiliation kink will have you turning hot with the mention of an insult.
A common factor in consenting submissive/dominant relationships, the humiliation kink has a giver, who is usually referred to as the ‘top’ and the receiver who is referred to as the ‘bottom’. The umbrella of erotic humiliation encompasses verbal humiliation which is essentially calling your partner names, and physical humiliation which involves activities such as crawling on your fours or being tied up.
The psychology behind enjoying it
Desires are often subjective and vary vastly from person to person. However, despite differing kinks and desires, in most cases the underlying psychology behind them as a whole is similar. According to Joy from The Kinky Collective, a safe space for the Indian kink community, “A lot of individuals are under the pressure of putting up an image for themselves due to societal positions and expectations, the desire to let go of this pressure and feel vulnerable is a major reason people inch towards exploring the humiliation kink.”
Every kink uses power dynamics to make partners feel more connected to each other and either give up control or exercise more control in sexual situations. Individuals enjoy the humiliation kink because it allows them to heighten intimacy by shifting power dynamics. For instance, if you happen to be someone who enjoys calling the shots in your professional and social life, you may just enjoy someone ordering you around in your sexual life. Power play is a major factor which decides the amount of control the giver and receiver get to display.
Here are a few tips to get started if you’re looking to explore the humiliation kink.
Discuss boundaries and consent in-depth: Boundaries and consent are required to be discussed before any sexual activity. When it comes to the humiliation kink, more so. Being an intense kink, this one requires transparent communication about the words that will be used or the activities that will be conducted. For instance, you may not have qualms with being referred to as a bitch, but words like slut may not be okay with you. Setting boundaries about the kind of language, terms and activities one would be comfortable with is important.
Place importance on practising aftercare: Individuals who are familiar with kink are no strangers to the concept of aftercare. Checking in with your partner after the humiliation kink has been practised is of utmost importance because it allows you to recuperate after an intense activity. Aftercare can involve acts of intimacy such as cuddling, words of affirmation and even showering together. These activities help one undo any feelings of shame that come along with engaging in this kink.
Always keep a safe word: Safe words are non-sexual words or terms that are utilised in the universe of BDSM and kink for the purpose of letting your partner know when to stop. It signals that your partner has crossed a limit or breached a boundary during a sexual activity. However, you can use a safe word even when something isn’t working well for you emotionally or mentally since a lot of sexual activities in kink require an emotional or mental connection.