Tuesday, 20 September 2016

When I whisper "you are a fucked up deviant whore" into a boy's ear, I am talking about myself too

Humiliation and degradation are often thought of as a psychological version of sado-masochism. It might be, brain-wise, but in my experience these are quite separate if often overlapping kinks. Separate from each other, but also separate from (if correlating with) dominance/submission. 

Still, calling someone names, and making them admit "horrible" (and occasionally even horrible) things about themselves can be pretty hot. 

For me - as someone who can't currently feed her sadomasochistic desires in real life, it's logistically easy. Simple to do remotely and a thusly inclined toppy female can, indeed, have a pick of subjects (or objects) for such games. Some of these guys are even serious about developing a richer, longer-term dynamic within limitations of the (mostly) virtual environment. What's not to like, huh?

And yet. And yet. Despite the fact that the person who introduced me to bdsm as a thing was a humiliation slut (this is not a value laden term for me, but a label, like ''masochist'', ''ageplayer'' or ''service-oriented submissive'') and despite the fact that since then I have had a few positive experiences in which humiliation/degradation featured, the ones which pivoted on that fetish never felt quite right

Tools and aims

For me, physical pain of others - even thinking about it, sometimes - is, or can be, arousing in itself. Occasionally, while having vanilla sex with a partner who isn't at all into pain, I long to hurt them, I want them to simply let me do it. Sometimes I fantasize about them letting me hurt them when I am on the very edge of an orgasm. I would gratefully accept them enduring it for me, if offered, although I'd much rather they got off on it too. Add to that the fact that physical pain is also something I have little interest in receiving and it makes it all pretty simple. 

On the other hand, humiliating or degrading acts do nothing for me as such, in themselves. If I ever fantasise about them, it's always with a focus on the state of the bottom/sub. 

How come?

One of the biggest appeals of D/s for me is the effect I can have on the bottom/submissive. The formalised exchange of power which manifests in a very real experience of something I'd call a flow of energy if it didn't sound so insufferably wanky. The way I can take someone to a place -- a place I can't go to myself -- and the way that taking them there allows me to go somewhere too. A different space, but also a very special one. One I am hooked on.

I can't define or clearly describe that place. I have never been there, I can only experience it vicariously and through them.  I think specifics vary by person. I read this post by PainAsPleasure and in combination with an online conversation about ''dismantling'' I overheard, it made me think (again) of some words that denote it: Broken. Dismantled. Pulled apart. Annihilated. Floating. Given. Taken. Owned. Held.

I still get off on their vulnerability ''broken'' state. Some people do seem to get into such states via degradation. Experiencing them like that, even though it happens by doing things that don't arouse me in themselves can be still pretty hot. But it can also run into a paradox to do with the aim of the exchange.

Theoretically, the aim is shared: to make the sub/bottom feel submissive and to make the dom/top feel dominant. And if this aim can be achieved with the same tools, great. But sometimes it can't. Sometimes the things that make my playmate feel submissive don't do much to make me feel dominant, and sometimes they do the opposite.

Sometimes making someone feel submissive makes me feel like a fetish-delivery instrument, makes me feel I am being used. And I don't get off on being used

Script mismatch and the spectre of a Real Submissive

This is, I guess, where I start to complain about do-me bottoms: people (OK, men) with a particular fetish, a fetish that often correlates with dominance/submission, but which doesn't equate it. 

This is, I guess, where I start to complain about men who are incapable or unwilling to see a "female dominant" as anything other than the template onto which their fantasies get projected. 

This is, I guess, where I could quote an eternally surprised ''oh, you are actually DOING IT FOR YOURSELF??" and talk about men who say they will do anything but in fact simply can't imagine a woman wanting them to do something they don't already want. 

But, although these are all valid points (and I could go on), it's not really fair. There is nothing wrong with do-me fetishism, and if the kinks match, a lot of fun and pleasure can be got from such interactions. 

The main reason I am sat here deconstructing this whole thing is simply because my personal degradation script/fantasy doesn't match the typical script/fantasy of a typical degradation seeker.

Obviously, there is a way round it. Two, in fact. 

One involves my going with the sub's script. Like this:  Hellllllo there you disgusting thing *waves a cold superior goddess bitch who would never ever dream of fucking a sub wave*. Nah. Thank you for offering this fabulous costume but I'll pass. Sure, I can go with someone's fantasy now and then, especially if I like them, or if what I get in exchange is good enough to barter. But in 9 out of 10 cases, it's just Not Fun At All. See the end of the previous section. 

The other involves him going with my script. This might mean an adjustment or it might involve shelving it completely. It might be executed as a barter of sorts, a sensible exchange (it's better to get some of what you want than none, no?) or it might involve being sensitive and responsive to my desires. To what I want, how I want it and when I want it. It might involve giving my desires a priority above his. It might involve finding the latter inexplicably (or explicably, even, in a hurrah for self awareness) arousing and wonderful, maybe hotter than any of the fetishistic acts we might or might not carry out. It might involve, y'know, actually submitting. 

The last scenario is lovely. But it is not common among self-designated male subs and in my (limited) experience, it's even less common with degradation/humiliation fetishists I don't know why that might be. Degradation, by playing out a scenario that threatens ego/self in the way comparable to how bondage/pain threaten the body, can be a powerful trigger, and maybe those fantasies become fixed in a way that makes them less amenable to submissive adjustments. Unfortunately, this makes such scripts troublesome for me. 

Getting muddy

Unlike pain, which I enjoy (consensually) administering almost regardless of what it does to my partner and have no desire to take myself, degradation is more complex, more twisted for me. 

Please note that when I talk about degradation, I don't mean embarrassing acts that are fun but I just can't get too worked up about. A guy wearing (my) silk panties under business attire or slurping his cum off my feet is plain dirty hot for me. It's not *degrading*, it's just sexy.

Degradation - questioning some aspect of someone's worth, or goodness - is a different matter. It involves quite a bit of rolling in the psychic mud and sharing of vulnerability. To show one's awfulness to another and to have them recognize it, acknowledge it, accept it, want it - and want you - is a wonderful thing. I wrote about it before. 

From the top's perspective, if physical SM can be described as wanting to break what you desire or love, then the former is, perhaps, admitting to desiring or loving, what is broken.

But for it to work for me, to get anywhere near the intensity and intimacy afforded by giving and receiving physical pain, the vulnerability - and by extension, the degradation - must be mutual.

Giving pleasure to, or getting off on giving pleasure to someone designated as no-good plays out my own no-goodness. Yes, I know that in his fantasy he isn't ''enjoying'' any of it, and in his fantasy my pleasure is unknowable. But that is his fantasy, and although it might work fine for other women, it doesn't work for me.

When I whisper "you are a fucked up deviant whore" into a boy's ear, I'm talking not just about him. I am talking about myself too. 

And he needs to recognise it, acknowledge it in some way, either in-universe or on its aftercare borders, otherwise there is no real connection, no exchange, no flow,  merely an instrumental interaction with a fetish delivery service. And, as I think I mentioned above, I don't get off on being used.

And then there is the recoil

The typical post play, post orgasm, post scene self loathing recoil of men who are into degradation play. This is, of course, the case for aftercare, and it can be sometimes hard enough to deal with as such, even in casual or online play, even from the simple ''top'' position.

But if the degradation is mutual, if it's shared, if it's my awful as well as his awful that gets exposed and acknowledged, then the recoil is not just about self loathing. It's also about rejecting the top. Remember: to want to fuck/pleasure something/someone designated as worthless says that I'm worthless too. If this "worthless" part is taken out of the playbox into the reality for him, then it applies to my reality too.


I find it interesting that most degradation fetishists don't see the above aspects, maybe purposefully refuse to grasp them even. It might be that it interferes with their own fantasy in which the dom has to remain clean. Maybe the standard degradation script is a kinked-up version of a Madonna and Whore image.

Well, I don't do Madonna. However much of a submissive you consider yourself to be, if you can't - or don't want - to be a whore's whore, we are unlikely to make good playfriends.

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