This has always been a fascinating subject for me. Humiliation, for many, is a large – perhaps even important – part of their D/s dynamic. For these people, there can be a very strong desire to be humiliated. But what is humiliation? We’ve all experienced embarrassment from time to time and have a fairly good idea of what that is. How does embarrassment differ from humiliation?
It’s embarrassing when our bodies make an inappropriate noise at an inopportune moment. I find it embarrassing when I use “complementary” when I mean “complimentary”. And yes, if Goddess orders me to bark like a dog, or do any number of things, in front of other people, it’s embarrassing. But because something is embarrassing, does that make it humiliating?
Let’s be technical for a moment. Embarrassment is the state of being made to feel uncomfortable or self-conscious. Humiliation occurs when an act causes a lowering of pride or dignity. Based on these definitions (American Heritage Dictionary), it’s certainly possible for an act to be both embarrassing and humiliating. Of course, what embarrasses (or humiliates) one person may not have the same effect on others.
Simple embarrassment comes with a physiologic response that some of us find pleasurable. There is a blushing response in the skin, heart rate and blood pressure may increase, there may be an instinctive urge to hide or flee. In the same way, a roller coaster may thrill some and terrify others, embarrassment can be craved (under the right circumstances) or eschewed.
But what about humiliation? Clearly, humiliation is a significant part of the fuzzyP through the Submissive Guide Community or email him at email@example.com