Humiliation is seemingly one of the more visible activities in leathersex (aka BSDM) play. It is a subset of D&S role-play. It is also a form of play which often sparks negative comment from outside observers.

Seemingly trivial (and perhaps canonical) forms of humiliation - e.g. "On your knees you miserable WORM!" - have achieved cliche status. A well known leather educator and practitioner, Midori* has suggested that humiliation can be (mis)used to attack the core values of the bottom or submissive In which case on-target humiliation could do real damage.

Midori also suggests that humiliation can be targeted to get right in amongst the key places where the bottom has fears or esteem issues (s)he wishes to work on. Often on surviving such a confrontation in a loving and consensual context, the effect may be a freedom from something that once was a blockage.

Both practitioners and critics observe that humiliation play is a place fraught with hazards. It is a controversial subject within the leather scene - with good reason - and an arena for powerful exchange.

* Midori discusses her art at

I am so much more than that for which you use me. I am not accustomed to being treated like a pair of socks, worn once (or twice) then set aside for a cleaner pair & chosen again next time through, and I don't much care for it.

You can only do to me that which I allow, I suppose. That doesn't negate your responsibility in the matter. Those things you say to keep me here - that stable you keep, to keep me in my place (at least in your own head) - all of these are losing their lustre, their power to hold me.

That delusion you hold up for me seems less than a balanced pay-off for the price you've placed upon my head. Your shine which used to blind me with its intensity is tarnishing, as time goes by - maybe the blindness is blending your colors to a greenish-black nothingness.

You are not a prize - this is no contest; I will not be relegated to second or third runner up. My time has value - it's short, shorter than you think - shorter than I wish to acknowledge, and yet you waste it. Over, and over you do.

My soul bleeds out until I lap it up myself, like the dog you're training me to be. One day, my tongue will give out & the band-aid box will be empty...and to this, you'll say nothing. My breath will cease, and your eyes will close.

I gave you the benefit of the doubt & ignored flags ablaze with a certain wrongness - you continue to give me nothing of substance to hold onto. There will come a day, mark my word, that I will look upon you as the smallest possible impact one can have on a life - less than the ripple created by a firefly upon my pond.

It's possible that one day soon, with no irritation, I will un-remember the feel of your hands, the softness in your eyes when you call me to you - when you remembered you need me for something other than ...this.

Hu*mil`i*a"tion (?), n. [L. humiliatio: cf. F. humiliation.]


The act of humiliating or humbling; abasement of pride; mortification.

Bp. Hopkins.


The state of being humiliated, humbled, or reduced to lowliness or submission.

The former was a humiliation of Deity; the latter a humiliation of manhood. Hooker.


© Webster 1913.

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