Is not! Is too!

A few days ago I wrote a post taking a look at humiliation and how subjective humiliation can be. My brain can’t let go of this subject. Last night I lay awake categorizing things that either are or are not humiliating for me. At first glance, all was black and white: This act is. This act is not. Sometime later, still laying awake, gray areas emerged. Well this isn’t as long as it’s in private but I don’t want anyone else seeing me do it. or That’s ok with family but I don’t want to do that in front of/with strangers.

Note: It can be assumed when I speak of “public”, I’m speaking of those of like mind, not muggle folk. I don’t believe in intentional play, or related activities, in front of those outside the lifestyle.

As a result of a sleepless night, I offer the following:

Humiliating

  • Any of the following being applied to me: cunt, slut, whore, stupid
  • Referring to my orifices as “holes”
  • Being spit at or on
  • Being publicly disciplined (public in this case means anyone present/in ear shot other than myself and the Top)
  • Any play involving the face (slapping, pinching, etc)
  • Being laughed at for any reason – Admittedly the line of laughed at / laughed with is blurry for me. I often cannot tell the difference.
  • Having my TBI disclosed to anyone for any reason
  • Fumbling/forgetting protocol – Interestingly enough, I find this humiliating even if no one else seems to notice. I usually dwell on it for several days.

Not Humiliating

Most forms of play including but not limited to –

  • Impact play: whipped, flogged, paddled, spanked, etc
  • Sense Dep
  • Sleep Sack
  • Kneeling at His feet
  • Bondage
  • Hoods
  • Collar
  • Leash
  • Encasement

Context Dependent

  • Play in hotel hallways
  • Crawling
  • Nudity
  • Penetration
  • Gags
  • Orgasms
  • Failing
  • Exercise
  • Dancing
  • Running
  • Being treated as on object/property – This is a tough one. It is most often highly desirable and can be, though exceedingly rare, humiliating depending on context. Occasionally, I cannot explain, even after the fact, the why of desire vs. humiliation. I do not fully understand this part of who I am, though it is not for lack of introspection.
  • Water sports
  • Anal play
  • Costumes

I’d be very interested in discussion/comments from readers of where these (or things of your own) fall on the list. Are there acts you do happily for your One, privately, that are less than desirable when among others?

 

An examination of humiliation

I had an interesting conversation inspired by the description of an event in my local community, that at first seemed cathartic and, on further reading, went straight to my holy-crap-i-could-never-do-that-to/with-someone place. The topic was humiliation.

I am adamant that I don’t do humiliation. I have struggled with self esteem / self worth my entire life. This has not improved with age, relationships, or significant changes in body type. I simply can’t take humiliation even within the confines of a scene. I cannot watch humiliation play in other’s scenes. I empathize so deeply that just watching affects me for days, at least.

During this discussion about humiliation, we were talking about a scene performed in public that several saw as humiliating – with me being the one who was humiliated. It was argued, with this scene as a case in point, that I find humiliation arousing. The conversation then progressed to who decides what is humiliating and what is not. Is it the people watching the scene? Is it the scene Top? Is it the scene bottom?

I have been contemplating this since my conversation several days ago. I believe the answer to this multiple choice question is all of the above. When people who play are watching a scene, they will inevitably identify with the scene participants in some way. If the watchers empathize with the bottom and feel humiliated, then there is humiliation taking place – for the watcher. This applies to any of the other roles cited above.

I offer this admittedly extreme example for illustration:
Top is urinating on kneeling bottom.

Top sees this as marking his property as his. He is not humiliating her. He is honoring her. For him this is no different than placing a collar on her neck.

Bottom does this for him as an act of complete submission. This is a ritual for her, more symbolic than his collar, as she believes collars have become devalued by the community’s arbitrary use of them. For her, this is the pinnacle of being owned.

This scene, in private, is a ritual bordering on sacred because the two participants understand the meaning and importance of what they are doing. It is a beautiful and intense manifestation of their dynamic.

Move this scene to a dungeon and it suddenly becomes all about humiliation. For the majority of those watching this is not only a hard limit but “disgusting” and “how could he do that to her?” and “he must not respect her at all”.

Would those comments still hold true if the Top was ejaculating on the bottom? I theorize they would not, especially if a blow job was the precursor. Then it would be “hot” or “erotic” or “fucking awesome” for the majority of those observing.

I would also argue that moving this scene into the public eye might change the perspective for a participant. Let’s assume the bottom knows how the regulars in her dungeon feel about water sports. She might then, when watched by those who feel vehemently negative toward this activity, be ashamed that she participates in it, indeed, holds it in high regard. She may find outing herself in this way to be humiliating.

If my thoughts about any of this are accurate, how then does a Top, who is playing with a bottom who has humiliation on her hard limits list, handle all of this? My guess would be a whole lot of in depth communication. I’ve said it before, I’ll doubtless say it again. Tops, I’ve seen your job and I don’t want any part of it.

Kintsugi

The woman stood under the spray of the shower, lost in thought, while steam filled the room. She had planned on having a solo dance party, as she so often did when happy. Alas, a segment of the morning’s conversation looped through her mind, the bump and grind rhythm of Madonna all but unheard in the background.

He had expected her to cry when he said it: the thing about not being a slave, about not being able to be a slave because of who she is, because of her home life. He was correct in this expectation. A short time ago, in the relative timeline of their relationship, she would have cried, insisting that of course she could, that she would try harder, that she could live up to that title – and that is how she had once thought about the word slave, that it was a title. Instead, she lifted her left shoulder in an almost imperceptible shrug, I am not now, nor will I ever be, a slave This is not news … And? she thought, while the conversation moved on to other things.

In the shower, some hours later, she was contemplative. When did this change? When did slave become just another word? When did it lose its title status? When did she decide it is of no importance what she is called? When did this happen? When did she stop torturing herself, trying to live up to that impossible ideal? When?

She stood exploring the possibilities and, just as the water ran cold, she realized it – The day His collar was removed, she heard, and understood, she wasn’t good enough. The crystal clarity and accuracy of this thought was so powerful that it should have stolen her breath, caused her to stand stock still with shock, a hand on the cold tiles while she regained her equilibrium … something … anything. Instead, there was that same lift of the shoulder and Of course. Of course, that’s when it was.

That day destroyed everything she believed she had become, destroyed the idea of what she thought she was to Him, destroyed her identity, destroyed the small amount of confidence she had managed to gather, destroyed the germ of the idea that perhaps she was worthy.

In the aftermath, she was able to pick up the shards of some of those things. She glued them back together imperfectly. Gaps, where slivers that had been completely obliterated should have been, an agonizing illustration of the parts she could not restore. She pretends she is a piece of Kintsugi, though she fears the reality is that she is held together with passed-its-expiration-date white glue that will surely fail under the most insignificant pressure, leaving her in fragments once again. She doesn’t know what she will do if that happens. It took her so very long to reassemble even this admittedly shabby approximation of what she had been.

Many fragments were left on the ground to be crushed underfoot, waiting to be pulverized into unrecognizable powder, as if they had never existed. Being worthy of anything, finding pride in providing the best service of which she is capable, proving unquestionably to her community that she is who she says she is, having her best efforts lauded. She understands that the only place these things ever truly existed was in her mind, no one else’s, hers alone. These are the things that were left to return to dust. She no longer speaks of them, refusing to engage if any one of them comes up in conversation. Fully grasping now that they had never been real, she will not be seduced into believing again.

Slave is just a word. A meaningless arrangement of letters with which some choose to label themselves or, perhaps, their dynamic. It is not something to aspire to. It is not something remotely attainable. She moves through her days applying herself to her service with the same level of dedication that she always has. Serving Him to the best of her ability, knowing she cannot be proud of her service. It is not good enough. It never was. It never will be. It cannot be. She will always forget. She will always need to think things through. It will always take at least twice as long for her as it does everyone else. She will always be horribly inefficient. She will always miss at least a beat when frightened.

She wishes she could become an unthinking being, obeying perfectly, without error, and without thought or hesitation. She knows that, too, is unattainable.

 

Because they really mean as much as everyone says they do.

In the before time, she saw many posts about the power of “good girl”. Each viewpoint she read earned a scornful smirk. Oh come on now? Are there really this many grown women who need their hands held? Who need external validation? What a load of mass hysterical hooey this is. Though she never gave them voice, she had these thoughts in the before, when she could not begin to understand. The thoughts were born of ignorance. She is not proud of this.

In the before time, she could not know how impossibly difficult this life would be. She could not know that one person could become the focus of everything she is. She could not have known the crushing devastation of disappointing Him. She could not have known the brilliant internal illumination set aflame when being introduced as His girl. She knew none of this.

In the now, when she hears the incantation good girl she understands the power. There is a strength of emotion invoked that is belied by the simplicity of the words. For this reason she knows they are magical. They must be. There is no other explanation.

It is not always easy to hear. When she has failed, when she has disappointed, when she has been chastised, the words burn. When she needs to hear them most, they stab. They wound. They rend. She shakes her head in denial, at odds with them being spoken when she feels they cannot be true, while knowing He would not speak them if they were not accurate, authentic, sincere. She wants to be left alone to punish herself for whatever error she has made. Festering in failure, she wants to cover her ears, to tell Him to stop, to tell Him it hurts, to tell Him she is anything but good.

She has never been able to separate failure, the act, from failure, the person. She firmly believes if she fails in a behavior or task then she, the person, is proven once again to be a failure. As if the thing she could not, or did not, correctly do defines her. It is a brutal way to live, to go from one failure to the next, always knowing there will be a next. Each one a tick on the balance sheet of what a horrible person she is, knowing no matter how she tries, no matter how much good she does, it is not something she will ever, can ever, overcome.

And still, with all of this, given the countless times and the innumerable ways she has failed Him, He still says You are a good girl. He makes her say it, each word chipping away at the definition she has for herself, I’m a good girl, Sir.

You are my good girl.
Yes, Sir.
You are my good girl. Say it.
I am Your good girl, Sir.

And every once in a while she believes it.

.