Dedita has presented on edge play and emotional BDSM for years, but only recently have we begun teaching together. When discussing what we wanted to present, we went through the several binders filled with class information and notes that she had put together. There was information on emotional play from sadism to masochism, fear play to scening in anger, and everything in between. But one thing was noticeably missing from this repertoire; a class on humiliation.
How was it that this girl, who puts herself in degrading and debasing scenes, who thrives when I objectify her, has classes on all kinds of heart-wrenching topics but has zero research and notes on humiliation, a cornerstone of emotional masochism?
I had to find out more. This was challenging; it is a sensitive subject for Dedita, because she has a deep sense of shame, that, up until our relationship, she refused to discuss with anyone.
Dedita had just come out of a relationship where shame and degradation, especially surrounding her sexuality, had played a key role and left a lasting impression. When I met her, it was far too tender a topic for her to confront personally let alone in front of a class. How can you share your knowledge on humiliation without talking about the things that humiliate you the most?
I am a very sexual creature and find BDSM power dynamics to be a way of accessing sexual gratification, so when we started to explore our relationship, I quickly made it a goal to help her confront these demons of sexual fear and shame. This post isn’t about how I’ve done that; I could write volumes on the techniques I’ve developed to break the barriers surrounding her feelings of sexual inadequacy and shame. This is a post about how far I, and she, have come in facing that shame in six short months.
About a month ago, Dedita and I presented at Winter Wickedness in Ohio. With the above information in mind, I forced her to put a humiliation class into our roundup of potential presentations. Around the same time a large number of compromising and erotic photos of her came into my possession. They were hot and played to one of my earliest kinks, found porn. She was embarrassed and ashamed and generally mortified that I not only had the pictures, but that they had made for such great fodder for me.
It seemed only perfect that these two worlds should come together. I am a writer and love a good story arc. Here I was given two; her sexual humiliation and my found porn fetish. All that was left was to draw them into a scene. The perfect place? A demo in front of seventy-five or so students eager to see the nuts and bolts of humiliation in action.
I present to you:
A Turn of the Screw
A sliding scale. A torture of degrees where each turn makes the agony worse until it is unbearable. The goal is to see the change from pleasure to discomfort to pain to agony. It is like looking for that place where one color of the rainbow changes to another, recognizing the nuances of gradation that connects cool blue to boiling red. It is all one in that greater arc and it is in those moments of acute perception that we see the thin line that connects our public selves to our private selves.
Chapter 1: Embarrassment
She gave a nervous smile and a laugh. She sat upright and still as her friend began to put makeup on her She was self-conscious of the seventy-five people watching her being dolled up and confused about why I was having more makeup applied to her already done face.
There was nothing degrading or humiliating about what was happening, nothing inherently bad about the sliding on of blush or brush of mascara against her eyelashes. Embarrassment came from simply turning the spotlight on to her, making the class focus on her body and face as she had a private function publicly performed.
I showed the makeup artist a picture of Dedita while discussing with the class the stash of photos I’d recently found. The picture was of her at twenty, a head shot with bright eyeliner and straightened hair. When I explained that she looked like a little girl trying to wear big girl make up, she became uneasy. She knew then that the pictures were part of the scene.
I could see her shore up her defenses, refusing to allow this to affect her. She chatted with her makeup artist and they joked about how if I really wanted to humiliate her, I would have gotten a guy to do her hair and eyeshadow. Her comments didn’t worry me. I have patience and know how the slow screw works.
Chapter 2: Humiliation
I pulled out the rest of the pictures. The single head shot was joined by photos of her, at the same age, posing with her new breast implants. I told the crowd about her, about me, about kinks that are personal and private and very sexual while I waved naked photos of her in the air.
Dedita is not a sexual creature in public. Her shame means that she is not a person that wears that part of herself where others can see. She is a strong and smart and funny and creative mind that can crush a cocky but slow-minded “dom” with a word. She knows what she likes and is willing to share her vulnerability with those she loves. But I didn’t want her to share anything, didn’t want her to give me an inch. I wanted to take it like an invading soldier.
In pulling out those pictures, I seized her vulnerability, her shame, and held it up like my war prize. Her smile began to shake, and she was no longer embarrassed. I saw in her face that she realized the control that she had (or thought she had) through her snarky demeanor was no longer (never was) hers.
She was obviously uncomfortable at this point, frantic really, and began to repeat that this is not what we had agreed to while pointing at the pictures.
That’s true. We didn’t agree to me using those pictures, didn’t even agree to me having them. When I found them, Dedita me told me to throw them away. But there is no agreement in our relationship; I decided unilaterally that this is where we were going. I decided that this was something that I was going to have her do. She is my tool, my toy to be used, even if I use her against herself.
She was nervous and starting to get angry, her subconscious knowing what I was about to do, but this stage was only a stop, a half turn of the screw.
Chapter 3: Shame
I pulled my six favorite pictures from the stack and started down the center aisle. I handed the pictures to the crowd and turned back to see Dedita’s expression, the defiance draining from her face. Her makeup finished, Dedita turned and hid behind her newly straightened hair, unable to face me or the crowd. The fight was becoming harder for her to put up.
Her strength, her defiance comes in the form of standing tall and firm. She will look you in the eye, her sharp tongue will cut you down to size. But make her face things she hates about herself, show her that you can see those things, and shame, sweet shame will set in. Shame hides her face, takes her voice, leaves her defenseless.
I made her stand and face the crowd, where she couldn’t hide. I used this moment to demonstrate to them what shame looks like and how to recognize it, the posture, the facial expressions, the body language. I had her stand there like a model, displaying the beauty of this emotion instead of clothing. In her face I could see her thoughts…even feeling shame was more than she deserved.
Shame implies a status that can be taken away. Shame is created when a creature within the social hierarchy is knocked down a notch or two. The fact that I had played her into this corner without her being able to mount even the most meager of counter attacks made her question whether she was worthy of even feeling like she had a hierarchy to descend from.
And the screw turned.
Chapter 4: Degradation
The war was over before it had even begun. No asymmetrical counter offensive, no Viet Cong guerrilla style insurgency would help her now. This was a battle of shock and awe played on the mind and she had been sucker punched, booby trapped and brought down before a single shot was fired.
And I didn’t have to beat her into submission, all I had to do was hand out a few pictures. I walked around her and chatted with the audience showing her that I did not break a mental sweat taking and stripping her of her will, her dignity, her humanity.
The pictures show Dedita lounging in the corner of her bedroom, propped against a piece of furniture, naked and splayed out in different poses. I put a chair in the corner of the room, mocking the photo shoot and forced her to lean against it. She knew then what I was planning.
We were going to recreate those sexualized photos; she was mine to move, to stand and pose.
But this was not where it would stop. Just as there are colors, ultra-violets and infrareds beyond the visible spectrum, there are controls and mental tortures beyond what I had put on her. I was still in control of her, directing her movements, and in my hands she feels a sense of belonging, knows she is safe. In my hands there is a hierarchy, because I appreciate and value her, value who she is.
I could see in her face that she felt like my thing. It was painful to her, but if Master wanted to make her into his sexual thing for his pleasure, that she could handle. We were about to find out what would happen if I took away the safety of me from this equation, and simply showed everyone that she was a sexual thing.
Nuance. It is all in nuance.
Chapter 5: Objectification
As I collected the pictures back up from attendees, I had mentally noted people in the crowd who were convention archetypes. I handed the pictures back out to them: a strong and dominant man, a friendly switch, a loving and long time friend, an embarrassed submissive.
I didn’t just give the pictures to these people, I also gave them her.
I asked them to pose her based on the photos they held. They took turns telling her where to put her arms, her legs, her head. They made her strip and lounge like a doll. They had her make erotic facial expressions. They arranged her with her tits out, legs spread, mouth pursed. She was there for their entertainment, no longer under my control. She was nothing more than a sexual object.
A friend with a camera started to snap pictures and, with the sharp burst of the flash, her soul was finally stolen away completely. Her face closed, she gave in, and became the nameless, faceless, 2 dimensional photographic thing I had made her, displaying the fact that she was a sexual creature to one and all.
This was what I wanted. Not this moment of her losing herself and her humanity alone, but the range. I was watching the slow turn of the screw that changed this sharp tongued teacher of kink into my object to be used and shared as I saw fit. They are one in the same and so completely different.