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Do Pain and Humiliation Always Play a Role in BDSM?

by Mysterious Witt 10 months ago in taboo

And if so, why?

Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

Whips and chains. Handcuffs and leather paddles. A man down on his knees, licking a dominatrix's boots as she calls him "worm." When many people think of BDSM, they think of pain and verbal humiliation. But does the infliction of such pain and insult always have to factor into every BDSM session?

And if no, when they do, why do they? Why are BDSM enthusiasts into this stuff?

These are the questions I'll attempt to answer below, using my knowledge as a dominatrix with twenty years of experience under my boots, um, belt.

Pain and insult aren't required in every BDSM session.

First off, I wouldn't say that pain and insult are required in every BDSM experience. Many of my subs aren't even into these forms of play.

Take my subs who are only into worshipping my feet, or those who just want to clean my house. Though many men want to be tied up, they don't want to feel pain while they're bound, or to be called names. The bondage may just lead to traditional sex.

That's not humiliation for my sub. That's a gift from his dominant.

I wouldn't call BDSM "violent."

But the fact is, many people do actually seek pain and verbal degradation during their play scenes. However, as a professional dominatrix who's dommed hundreds if not thousands of people, rarely do I ever meet a submissive who will let me do just anything to them -- even those who are into heavier pain and humiliation play.

In fact, I wouldn't even use the word "violent" to describe BDSM play. Violence is chaos. It's a fight breaking out between two people who non-consensually decide to hurt each other.

No one's in control when violence happens. Violence is impulsive. BDSM play is not.

BDSM is careful, curated, and choreographed. And it's always consensual.

Take, for example, when I use a rattan cane on a man's bottom. Canes hurt when they make contact with flesh. Therefore, when I decide to use that thin rod to strike a man's bottom, I'm careful about how I go about this.

I don't just start indiscriminately caning him. I do so in an extremely controlled manner.

I start slowly because I understand just how painful this is for my sub. Warmups are imperative during BDSM play.

I warm up my sub first with a spanking from my hand. Often I'm also doing other things to turn him on while this is happening.

My hand sweeps over his nipples and then over his penis. Only once he's aroused do I even begin to use a leather paddle on him.

And only after he's been warmed up do I begin with the cane. I start softly, striking him once at 20% strength, waiting to see how he handles it. Even once I start to cane him in earnest (at, say, 50% strength) I give him breaks.

I let him recover from each blow. Domming is not about hating your sub. It's about loving them.

Or take when I ball-bust a man. I'm not typically kicking him in the testicles at full strength. Again I start at 20% intensity, then wait and watch for his reaction. I listen to see if he's going to use his safe word. When he doesn't, I give him another kick and then repeat the process.

And this is always consensual when this happens. We talk about this play beforehand. We discuss the limits that I then respect.

Subs like humiliation - -with caveats.

It's also important to understand that humiliation in a BDSM context isn't about just barking names at people. Even if one of my subs does like to be verbally insulted, he may still have his limits about what words he doesn't want used.

Take the man who wants to be called a "dog" but can't handle being called a "bitch." This is because he's not into feminization as an insult. That's a turn-off for him, and his dominant has to respect that.

BDSM is about the exchange of power.

I think the most important thing to understand about BDSM is that, at its core, it's about the exchange of power. Dominants seek to take control and submissives seek to give it up. One very quick and efficient way for this exchange to occur is through torture and verbal humiliation.

When a sub permits another person to inflict pain or emotional torture on them, that's a very effective way to make them feel like they've given up control to another person/s. Take the men who want to hear me verbally humiliate them over the phone or during a cam session. They want to hear me tell them their penises are small and could never satisfy me. They seek this because it makes them feel powerless.

Or take when men let me whip their penises or pierce them with needles. They're offering their manhood for defilement. By letting me torture them this way, submissives feel like they're giving up ownership of themselves.

Submissives view giving up such power to their dominants as an example of their reverence. They may even see it as a form of sacrifice.

One of my subs fantasizes about literally sacrificing himself. He fantasizes about being cooked alive over an open fire and eaten by a tribe of Amazonian women. His fantasy is the ultimate sacrifice. But does he seek this for real? No.

That's why it's called a fantasy. Still, for this sub, being told he's worthless and therefore deserves to be fed to beautiful Amazonian women makes him feel like he's given up power - and that's the turn-on.

Can things go wrong?

Any time two people experiment with giving up and taking power, things can go wrong. That's why it's so important to make sure the play is safe, sane, and consensual.

This is why I always say subs should choose their play partners carefully. It's of the utmost importance to trust who you're playing with. Playstyles must be discussed before the play begins and, of course, limits must be set.

I've had subs tell me horror stories about submitting to inexperienced dommes. One of my subs was tied down by a woman who whipped him for so long and so hard, he was screaming for her to stop. She wouldn't. He couldn't escape because he was tied down.

On my end, I was a terrible dominant when I was first starting working professionally. I didn't understand BDSM and all its nuances. During my first session with a man, he told me he was only into worshipping dirty feet. I didn't care. I just started whipping him, telling him he deserved to suffer.

When his time was up, he left without saying goodbye to me. When he called me a year later, not recognizing me because I had changed my stage name and hair color, I recognized his fantasy description and mentioned we had already sessioned together. He hung up on me. I deserved it. In fact, he was the one who deserved an apology from me.

My own bad experience with a dom.

I have also been the victim of a bad dominant. When I was a younger submissive, experimenting at a fetish party in my personal life, I played with a man who didn't respect my boundaries.

I had gone to the party with a couple. The male partner was a dom. The female partner was his sub. We started a scene where I assented to play with his partner, as her submissive. I was bent over a chair, and she was spanking me. Without asking for my permission, her dom boyfriend got involved. Suddenly, he sat on my head, holding me down, then reached under me to torture my nipples.

He pinched my nipples between his fingers and pulled down on them as hard as he could. The pain was unbearable. I was not into it.

I had consented to let his girlfriend spank me. That didn't mean I'd consented to him to torture my nipples. We had not discussed my limits beforehand. Had he spoken to me, he would have known that though I like my nipples tortured, I only like this when I'm very turned on.

Only then do I like to have my nipples pinched hard. But I wasn't turned on and he was dragging down on my nipples, then painfully letting go of them. There was no build-up. He didn't start at level one and move up in intensity from there. He started at level ten and stayed at level ten, even when I was screaming for him to stop.

He wouldn't. That violence felt chaotic to me.

This is why it's so important to properly vet play partners. You do this by talking beforehand and choosing safewords. If a sub feels uncomfortable for any reason and believes they're unsafe, they should stop the play and get to a safe place as soon as possible.

I ended leaving the party with someone else. I never spoke to the couple again.

I don't play non-consensually with my subs either.

If some doms play unethically and non-consensually, then some subs want to play that way, too. That's why I also say submissives need to be vetted.

I've had subs who want to push my limits farther than I want to go. For example, I've encountered men who want me to destroy their balls - like literally destroy them. They want me to kick them in the testicles until I send them to the hospital with irreparable damage.

No. Never would I permit that.

Many men want to play without safewords. I don't feel good about myself playing that way. I'm not a sadist. I'm a lover. I like playing as a domme but only if my partner is enjoying it.

My playstyle is safe, sane, and consensual -- always.

Power exchange must always be present in my sessions -- or I don't want to play.

And yet, I wouldn't say I'm a "light" domme. When I'm playing dominant, I'm in charge. Trust me, I also encounter "subs" who forget that. That's why I put "sub" in quotations.

Some of my subs have a bad habit of bossing me around. One of my subs liked to tell me I was a bad domme as I tortured him and that I deserved to be beaten by him.

No thanks. I got to a point where I didn't even want to take the guy's money anymore. I stopped seeing him.

My pleasure and comfort should always be first and foremost on my subs' minds. If it's not, then I no longer want to play with them.

In closing.

Though pain and verbal degradation do definitely factor into a lot of BDSM play, when dominants do inflict these acts on their submissives, it has its limits.

The torture and degradation have a purpose: to make a submissive feel like they're giving up power and to make a dominant feel like they're taking it.

But before that can happen, safe boundaries must be discussed. And once boundaries are established, they must be respected -- by both dominant and submissive.

Dominants have to play consensually but so do subs. But when people follow the rules (or break them consensually), BDSM can be an amazing way to expand your sexual repertoire as well as your mind.

taboo

Mysterious Witt

Feminist. Writer. Sex worker. Erotic connoisseur. UCLA alum. MFA. INFP. sexworkerwriter.com

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