Humiliation and Degradation: an introduction

humiliation degradation introduction

Humiliation and Degradation: an introduction

Why are we so turned on when we call someone our slut, our bitch, our pet, our pig? Why does it turn us on to be called these names? Why do we seek out humiliating experiences in our sexual exchanges? Like with all aspects of sexuality, there is no single answer that is true for everyone, but here are a few basics about humiliation in an erotic context.

Something to keep in mind is that each person is very different, and limits must be negotiated before playing. What one person may find exciting, another won’t enjoy at all. There is no single activity that you can do that will suit every partner and nearly any activity can be humiliating depending on the context.

humiliation degradation introduction
On your knees!

Humiliation vs. Degradation

Humiliation is something that causes embarrassment through verbal or physical means. This can range from the tame, such as wearing an item of clothing that draws attention of those around you, to the more extreme, such as shaving off all body hair, eyebrows included. Generally speaking, one needs an audience in order to feel humiliated: if you are dressed in a way that may cause embarrassment but nobody is there to see you (and to make fun of you), the effect won’t be the same.

Humiliation and degradation are very based in psychology. If my sub doesn’t find wearing a diaper shameful at its’ core, I’m going to become very frustrated if I slap one on him hoping to embarrass him. Cultural context is also important. Being an expatriate, I have learned that there are differences in what (many) French subs find off-putting versus what (many) American subs find humbling.

Some common humiliating activities include SPH (small penis humiliation), boot-licking (which in this context is different than fetishism), eating out of a dog dish, toilet play, or mocking someone while they masturbate, but the list is truly endless. The key is finding something that the submissive feels is humiliating. It could be so simple as making them buy condoms, lube and a cucumber at the grocery store. Each person has things that make them shudder, the fun is finding that soft spot and playing with it.

I love going out to eat with my submissives, who are mostly male-identifying, and making them wear lipstick. I will often choose what they will eat and order for them, and make sly remarks to the server throughout the meal (taking into consideration that other people are not necessarily willing participants). I’ll drop my napkin on the ground several times, making him pick it up (all the better if he has to get up from his seat to do so).

I will pay the bill, saying something like “I don’t let him control the money, he’s completely irresponsible with it.” My partner and I know what’s going on, but I’m not going to violate the limits of someone who isn’t in on our game.

For me, there is a certain playfulness in humiliation, where as with degradation, the stakes are higher. Humiliation tends to be more general and less personal, based on common fears while degradation is more personal.

In the context of BDSM, degradation can be defined as the wearing down of a persons self-esteem to a point where they feel totally exposed and defenseless.

An example of degradation play would be when I’m at the aforementioned meal with a sub and he spills something on himself. I could start calling him names to bring him down. “You don’t deserve to be taken out of the house. I don’t know why I waste my time with you. I know five year-olds that have better manners than you. You’re a filthy pig. Now you’re going to eat like the little pig that you are: on the floor.”

While I wouldn’t make them eat on the floor at the restaurant, if I am at home and this happens, my sub will indeed eat off the floor. I might tell them that they can’t speak, only make grunting piggy noises. They have lost their status as a human.

humiliation degradation
Licking dirty feet is one common form of humiliation.

Why do we like humiliation and degradation?

In general, we are drawn to these practices because they are subversive and destabilizing. The submissive ‘surrenders’ the Dominants insults. As with many BDSM practices, this is extremely liberating for the submissive. When we give control to the other, we feel more free. It also allows us to put aside societal expectations and to embrace things that scare us. We are able to confront and reject the the norms of everyday life. Playing with taboos is exciting, particularly when it’s in a judgment-free and safe setting.

It also requires high levels of trust to ask someone to humiliate or degrade you. As a dominant, we need our submissive to be 100% honest with us. From the submissives standpoint, they put their emotions entirely in the hands of the dominant. This creates a deep connection and profound intimacy between the participants.

There is also a physical aspect that is linked to sexuality. When we are embarrassed, our heart rate increases, we get sweaty and nervous, and we are unable to focus. These are the same physiological responses that we have before having sex with someone for the first time.

From a dominants perspective, humiliation and degradation are exciting as people trust us to take control of their insecurities, to “force” them to confront things that are uncomfortable outside of the framework of BDSM. We are responsible for the well-being of our partners, and these practices allow us to delve deep into the psyche.

Setting limits

When doing humiliation and degradation play, it’s important to set time limits. For example, only allowing your dominant to humiliate you during dinner on Thursday nights. You should also prepare to take enough time to process afterwards. Again, psychology intense play can have some serious negative effects if not managed properly. The marks from a whip or a cane will disappear in a few days. Emotional wounds are often much harder to heal if things go wrong.

As always, communicating with your partner is key. Discuss the words and terms that turn you on and those that turn you off (or have no effect). Don’t make assumptions that your partner will find the same things exciting that you do.

Be safe, have fun, and keep it kinky!

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The greatest orgasms

The greatest orgasms

Let’s be candid: people come to me to please their sexual desires. Generally speaking, that means that they want to have a physical orgasm during our time together. While “traditional” sexual services are not part of my practices, there is often sexual stimulation during sessions. This often includes JOI (jerk off instructions aka ‘forced’ masturbation) and/or CEI (cum eating instructions). This allows us to maintain the D/s dynamic while satisfying the sexual “need” of my partner to cum. I have absolutely no problem with this (and truly love watching you swallow your own spunk), but I think that there is another type of orgasm that is often overlooked: the one that happens between the ears.

greatest orgasms

Sexual satisfaction is not at all about orgasms, it’s about letting go and having a connection with your partner. BDSM sessions are a perfect example of this, even if your only coming to spend a couple of hours with a Pro Domme. A certain amount of trust has already been established between the two of you (assuming you have followed my previous advice on booking and that she has accepted to see you) and you have discussed your expectations of a session including what you would like to explore. That’s already much better communication than in many “vanilla” relationships. It’s through this that you can really let go and possibly reach that magical subspace.

Recently I’ve been pleased to get more and more candidature emails that specifically state that the person does not expect to orgasm during our session, that their pleasure comes strictly from other sources. That could include service, pain play, fetishism, or role play. These tend to be my favorite clients: the ones that understand that what we do in session is much more profound than a simple orgasm. It’s through specific practices that they achieve something much more fulfilling than what happens between their legs.

greatest orgasms bdsm

Going into a session without an expectation of having an orgasm can also help take some of the pressure off, especially if you’re new to BDSM. Let’s not lie to ourselves. There is an incredible amount of pressure regarding sexual performance, especially for men. With a pro Domme, that’s not something you need to worry about. We could care less if you cum, or even if you get hard or wet. What we want is that you have an mind-blowing orgasm that you will remember for a long time to come, and in my opinion, the best ones are in the head and not in the loins.

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The thrill of kidnappings


The thrill of kidnappings

What is it about kidnappings that is so exciting? Why are so many people drawn to the idea of being thrown into the trunk of a car, gagged and blindfolded then hauled off to a secret location to be tortured?

thrill of kidnappings

Part of what makes BDSM scenes so exciting is the unknown. While I ask for certain information prior to organizing a session (be it a kidnapping scene or otherwise), you are essentially giving me complete control of your safety and security for a certain amount of time. Abductions take it to the next level. While you may be aware of what day or week I’m going to nab you, you have little or no other information. Will I be alone or with other people? Where will we go? How long will the torture last? What if something goes wrong? Will I be safe or is my kidnapper truly a little crazy?

Another aspect of kidnapping fantasies is the adrenaline factor. It’s the same reason we go to scary movies, ride motorcycles, roller coasters, or willingly engage in any other number of things that make us jump. We look for this rush in any number of situations, and an abduction is the ultimate adrenaline-provoking experience.

thrill of kidnappings

As with other BDSM scenes, there is also the element of escapism in abduction fantasies. You lose control, it is your captor that makes all the decisions. There is something wonderfully freeing about giving someone else complete control of a situation. You don’t have to think, you just have to be a good boy or girl and follow orders. Isn’t that liberating?

Kidnapping fantasies are some of my favorite sessions to organize. It’s a bit like writing a play. There are so many details to consider, and I love playing out all the possible outcomes in my head long before the scene actually takes place. Like for many of you, for me, the anticipation of a session is sometimes nearly as good as the session itself. While they take much more organization and planning than a traditional BDSM scene, the thrill of seeing you writhe while in captivity makes it so worthwhile.

*As with all of my sessions, I follow strict rules regarding consent. Please read my blog entry on the subject.

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A brief explanation of terms for safer play in BDSM

A brief explanation of terms for safer play in BDSM

If you have been around the BDSM scene for a while, you have likely heard SSC and RACK used. What is the difference? And how about other, less-known acronyms such as PRICK and CCC? What are the variations between them, and what are your expectations when entering into an exchange with a Mistress or other play partner?

This is a very nuanced subject, and I will not go too far into details, but I do want to offer a brief introduction. If you are looking to delve into the specifics, there are endless resources available online and in print.

The four most commonly used acronyms when discussing safer play are:

SSC: Safe, sane, and consensual.

RACK: Risk-aware consensual kink

PRICK: Personal responsibility informed consensual kink

CCC: Committed, compassionate, consensual

One word that appears in all four acronyms is consent, which is the basis for all healthy BDSM (and other) relationships. Merriam-Webster defines it:

  1. to give assent or approval

  2. compliance in or approval of what is done or proposed by another

  3. agreement as to action or opinion

In the context of BDSM, this is the act of both parties agreeing to participation in certain acts (which may or may not be sexual in nature). If both parties are not in agreement, it is not an act of consent, but of abuse. This is one of many reasons that Mistresses have lengthy questionnaires asking for hard and soft limits before engaging in any sort of play: we do not want to cause any lasting damage to your psyche. It should be mentioned that there are legal issues to consider, even if the sub/bottom consents, but that’s a subject for another time.

Now for the nuances between the acronyms.

Safety BDSM
Being aware how to play safer crucial in BDSM scenes.


This terms was introduced in 1983 by David Stein, who wanted “to distinguish the kind of S/M I wanted to do from the criminally abusive or neurotically self-destructive behavior popularly associated with the term ‘sadomasochism’.”

Let’s be real: BDSM is inherently dangerous. Even a so-called soft practice can cause permanent damage when done incorrectly. Not to mention, what one person considers safe, another might consider bonkers. Think of scuba diving. There is no way in hell I’m going to strap on a tank and dive dozens of meters underwater, surrounded by unusual creatures that may eat me. That just doesn’t feel safe to me (and no, you can’t convince me otherwise). But for others, it’s how they spend every weekend. There is no one definition of safe that works for every human on earth.

Sanity is also subjective, and one reason that I lean more towards RACK or PRICK. For example, I have a sub that, when in stressful conditions (which BDSM scenes are by design), has a difficult time expressing himself verbally. He is “sane,” but I have to be on extra alert when playing with him, monitoring his vital signs and non-verbals to avoid sensory overload. Many of us suffer from depression, anxiety, or any other number of disorders that have commonly been viewed as “insane,” despite leading completely normal lives. If I excluded every person that has had a burnout or suffered depression, I would never play again!

Also, if we think that there are non-safe ways to play, what does that mean for those of us who take part in those practices? For the average non-kinky person, even a mild practice like putting a collar on a sub and leading them on a leash may seem insane. I would love to see the look on their faces when I talk about my average Friday night!

In short, I find SSC to be too subjective for my version of BDSM.


RACK was coined in 1999 by Guy Switch, who compared mountain climbing to BDSM. For both activities, the risk makes up a big part of the thrill, but one can minimize danger through proper training, equipment, and technique. Awareness and education are key concepts in RACK, and all participants are expected to be able base their decisions on the information that they have acquired about a certain practice. My partner may be willing to be flogged because I (likely) won’t break the skin on his booty, but a single tail is out of the question as the chance of me drawing blood is much higher. With RACK, there is an expectation that the sub is aware of that prior to consenting to a scene.


This is a fairly new acronym in the BDSM scene, becoming popular in 2009, but one that I appreciate as it emphasizes personal responsibility (and not just awareness of possible dangers) of all participants involved. Each person has the right to accept or reject a particular practice, and must live with the consequences of their decisions. As a Pro Domme, I veer towards this, particularly with subs that want harder practices. As much as it is my responsibility to educate and train myself, my subs also have a role to play. I cannot be responsible if someone doesn’t communicate their needs.

One criticism of PRICK is that we can never be fully prepared for a practice that we have never tried before. Indeed, even if you are with a Mistress that has mastered a particular practice, your body and mind may not be prepared for the experience in real life.


Committed, compassionate, and consensual is another term that is gaining in popularity in some circles. CCC is generally for TPE (total power exchange) or 24/7 relationships and generally not adapted for Professional Dommes or with play partners. With CCC, the sub does not make their desires known, but rather only discloses their hard limits. The Dominant partner decides everything (when, where, what, how, with whom…). Safe words are often not part of CCC agreements, although conversations between the submissive and the dominant partner are had to ensure that the practices remain consensual. While many people believe that they want to enter into a CCC relationship, often the submissive realizes that there are a plethora of risks involved, including potentially life-threatening physical and emotional damage.

As I mentioned earlier, consent is the backbone of all of these acronyms. If you did not agree to something that your partner does to you, it’s abuse. Despite what it looks like to those who are not involved in the BDSM scene, generally speaking Dommes are benevolent and caring people who strive to provide a safe sphere to explore the magical possibilities of power exchange.

In BDSM, we are flirting with danger (and it’s soooo good), but we can prepare ourselves mentally and physically to avoid risks. I invite you to do some deeper reading and see what works for you. Take elements from each of these philosophies. Each have their strengths and weaknesses; it’s up to you to decide what feels the most appropriate for your current situation. Most importantly, talk to your partner! Communication in relationships, be them with a professional Dominatrix or not, is the key to having beautiful and enriching experiences.

*I use the term “sub” frequently. I could easily replace that with fetishist or bottom or masochist or client or slave or any number of words. See my article on the subject. 

If you like the content of my articles, feel free to share the links on social media. You can also follow me on Twitter to stay up-to-date on my BDSM adventures.