Humiliation Play and Tr*mp. The Difference Explained Briefly.

I don’t think she realized what she was asking. I think she got more than what she bargained for. Lots of people have a confused or totally off-the-mark idea of what humiliation play is. It’s not surprising really. I suppose she thought it would be a simple answer. I could tell she had her assumptions… Here’s what happened….

Many weeks ago a writer for The Daily Beast contacted me about humiliation play and the President Elect. As a subject expert educator on Erotic Humiliation play, and the psychological architecture of this, I was happy to help. I love it when I get thoughtful inquiries from writers and journalists. Ok, so I had my assumptions as well.

She wrote….

I’m writing a humorous piece about Donald Trump humiliating his political opponents. I was wondering if, as somebody who specializes in erotic humiliation play, you see overlaps between how he’s treated people like Ted Cruz and Mitt Romney and the sort of treatment that a domme might engage in with a willing partner. What does somebody like Donald Trump have in common with a domme? What’s different? Do you think his opponents kind of enjoy being humiliated, a little bit? Feel free to be as silly or straight laced as possible. Responding via email is fine, but if you’d prefer to chat on the phone over emailing, I’m at

My reply….

Dear xxxxx,
Before I call you, some initial thoughts & quick notes. Pls forgive the brevity as I’m writing while in public transit.
- About me & topic qualification: I’m a sexuality educator, speaker, coach and intensive facilitator with sub genre specialization in what would be called kink and bdsm. Classes listed at Among other topics, I have written and taught about healthy hot erotic Humiliation Play for 15 years
- There are HUGE differences between what The Donald does and what a person engaging in erotic dominance does.
It’s pretty much polar opposite, actually.
The Donald (from here on as TD)
- uses base humiliation to really hurt and harm the other person
The Sexy Lover Dominant (from now as TSLD)
- uses a form of what’s called “humiliation play” as a way to have naughty shared fun
So what’s the difference between these 2 forms of use of the word “humiliation”?
A. “Humiliation” in general use in the world & society = is a conscious or unconscious way to create social discomfort with the target and other people around them, often for the purpose of reducing the target’s social position, hierarchy, caste placement or access to resources and support. This is done through creating doubt about the target’s legitimacy, validity, or “rightness”, often using vague & subjective and non-probable measures.
This usually targets something that is core to the target’s sense of self. Thus could be very hurtful and or damaging.
In some occasions, small acts of in-group humiliation is used in structured ways to create an “ordeal” that bonds the target to the group. (Think frat & sorority pledge week and previous models of military indoctrination)
B. “Humiliation Play” is…
- engaged between consenting adults as temporary play for creating an erotic charge.
- this is done through temporary challenge to, or temporary removal of, arbitrary social construct and performance of the “self” that we adhere to in order to “fit in”. These are done with aspects of the performance of the self that are not deeply core to who we are.
When that happens, we experience momentary emotional and social dissonance which causes blushing squirming and sense of hyper self focus — same physiological response as many sexual responses beyond the genitals.
The play is often hottest and healthy when it’s accompanied by praise or erotic touch for breaking these social norms.
In other words, it a temporary vacation from having to be so grownup/gendered/appropriate/good/strong/whatever
- the people who do this kind of play like each other
- intent is fun, not harm
Pls feel free to call me

These were quick preliminary notes for her. I was planning on giving steamy examples and expanding on it when we spoke directly. Well, she didn’t contact me back. Just crickets. I’ll admit it - I was disappointed to not get at least a quick e mail of “Thanks for the notes. That’s all I needed.” That’s the down side. (If you are a columnist or blogger, please, when someone responds to your request for resource or content, even if you’re not going to use it, give a word of thanks. It’ll help you cultivate your sources and network.)

The upside is that I can now post this here!

I know many of you are curious about this topic.

It’s useful if we first clarify the distinction between general social humiliation, and that which goes on in the bedroom that happens to have the same word assigned to it.

Some of you want to simply academically wrap your head around why others would find this hot.

Some of you want to be able to play this way but not cause harm or hurt. (Yes! You totally can! But you have to pay attention to pre-play conversation and avoid harm to one’s core personhoood.)

Others may want better ways to explain your desires to your sweetie to make that hot play happen. (Tip: If your partner has a strong negative reaction to the word ‘humiliation’, try using other phrases, such as “it makes me squirm in a good way.” Perhaps try sharing this blog with them and talk about the distinctions.)

Wild Side Sex by Midori. Book cover

And perhaps there are some writers and journalists out there who wants some real solid material that goes beyond soundbite clickbaits.

I’ll be happy to write more about this here if you like.

I cover this more deeply in the class if you can make it to one. It’s also in a chapter of my book, Wild Side Sex: The Book of Kink. (Hardcopy and Kindle). It’s a part of the curriculum for ForteFemme Women’s Dominance Intensive as well - we learn about what healthy, hot & constructive humiliation play is. As I work with the individual students in the pre-ForteFemme work, many tell me that they’re not into humiliation play, and yet that’s exactly what they’re already doing — accidentally or using different words. They associate this idea of hate, violence and harm with this word, when it’s something entirely different in consensual joyous erotic play. If you’re already doing this, I want you to play hot, healthy and sustainably!

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