The Degrading Kink: Respectfully Disrespecting 101
We know the porn trope of telling someone they're a bad, bad boy who needs to be punished. And most people would probably assume some kind of kinky bondage scene ensues. But what if we told you degradation itself was the kink?
Degradation kinks are a common counterpart to praise kinks. (Hell, most of us have a little of both.) Although degrading your partner is viewed by many as the darker side of the moon, it can be a sexy and exhilarating way to add something new to the bedroom — provided you're both into it.
If you've ever participated in any variation of dirty talk, you already know how powerful words can be during sex. So, it makes sense that using more intense or graphic terminology is especially activating or stimulating for some.
It might sound intense to be called a “worthless little slut,” but that could be someone's love language. And that's perfectly wonderful, even if it's not personally for you. Still, you never know until you try.
Let's take a deeper look at the degrading kink, how it manifests in our minds, and ways you can explore degradation in a safe and consensual manner.
What is a degrading kink?
A degradation kink is when someone gets sexual pleasure or arousal from being treated with disrespect or disrespecting their partner. The degradation may be physical or emotional. It can be a safe way for a couple to release their inhibitions and feel the rain on their filthy, disgusting skin.
There's a fine line between a humiliation kink and degradation, but it's certainly worth mentioning. Humiliating someone involves putting them in a position that would elicit public shame (whether you actually take your business out of the bedroom is up to you). Degradation is making them feel dirty, wrong, or belittled on a more personal level.
You can probably see why aftercare, consent, and consistent communication are vital for those engaging in degradation. Since it's a kink that can involve everything from objectifying an individual to calling them hurtful names, there's a power dynamic involved that both parties should feel comfortable with.
You can't spontaneously start insulting your partner in bed because they have a degradation kink; it should be agreed upon first (unless the surprise itself was agreed upon first — it'll vary between couples, of course). Like with all forms of sex or erotic play, consent is king, even if all you want is to be treated like a pathetic little jester.
Why are people into it?
Degradation excites people for similar reasons to many other kinks: It's an exercise of differing power dynamics. Many people like to feel dominant over others, whereas others love to cede control and let someone else take over.
Almost everyone engages in this kink to some degree. It might be as small as a slight preference for topping or as intense as a penchant for punishing their significant other. For some, the dynamic makes for a full-blown fetish.
There's also the added sexiness of it feeling "wrong" or "dirty" to engage in either side of the kink. Whether we want to admit it or not, many of our brains get excited when they experience disgust in the same way they do when they sense something erotic. Degradation kink is where these synapses meet, shake hands, and call each other whores until one of them finishes on the other.
Examples of safe degrading kink
So, what does a safe degrading kink or BDSM humiliation practice actually look like? It's a tricky thing to master, so we’ve provided some examples that can help you explore the dynamic.
1. Make them beg
Forcing your partner to beg and beg for something is degrading by itself. But it's also relatively low stakes if you want it to be. You can make them plead for everything from access to their phone to letting them finally orgasm. There's a lot of wiggle room here to get creative or keep things relatively tame if you're new to degradation.
2. Ask for permission
If you really want to exert domination over your partner's reality, make them ask permission for basic things and then shame them for it. Masturbating, using the bathroom, or even eating without getting your approval first can provide opportunities for you to degrade them.
3. Verbal belittlement
Dirty talk is one thing, but verbal belittlement is a whole new can of worms that we can't believe you brought into the house, you little pig.
Truthfully, verbal belittlement is very personal, and that's often the point. Discuss the phrases or terms you think would turn you on and have your partner drop them on you to get you in the mood.
Remember that verbal belittlement can go from sexy to scary pretty quickly if you aren't careful. It doesn't matter how submissive you are; if you have a line, don't be afraid to draw it. Sexual degradation is hot and all, but if you're genuinely feeling unsafe or triggered, you should speak up so your partner can avoid missteps in the future. Safe words to the rescue!
Role-playing might be one of the easiest and safest ways to try a degrading kink on for size. The fact that you're both agreeing upon characters beforehand takes some of the personalization out of it (which may or may not ruin it for you, but that's up to you).
Aim for relationships with strong power dynamics, like a boss and employee, to really drive things home. Can you believe they were late with their numbers again? That good-for-nothing slacker will have to make it up to you somehow.
5. Remove privacy
Tell your sub they don't deserve privacy because they can't be trusted when you aren't watching them. This will make them feel dirty, small, and pathetic, which means you're doing a degradation kink right! Talk to them about how perverted their mind is, and then prove it by riling them up with all this berating.
6. Body worship
Referring back to your partner having a perverted mind, it’s fun to constantly remind them while they indulge in every inch of your body. It's a dual form of arousal where everyone wins, and it can be a bit easier for the dom since all you really need to do is provide commentary for what's happening. "Look at how much you like my nipples, you sick, twisted slut."
Or, you know, something to that effect. We're just spitballing here.
Do you hate it when you're out in public and someone calls you "sport" or "champ?" Or do you hate it and then go jack off? If you're part of the latter group, more power to you. It might be time to insert that energy into your sex life.
Your partner can come up with demeaning titles that feel delightfully humiliating and break them out when you've been naughty. This option is safe because it requires a mutually agreed-upon title, so no one has to worry about saying something out of pocket.
8. Become a human ________
If objectifying is your thing, then maybe you're overthinking it: What if you just became an actual object for your partner to use? Footrests are a popular choice, but more daring or BDSM-oriented folks might opt for something more intense, like an ashtray. Try opening an IKEA catalog and see if you get inspired!
9. Sexual degradation
We're as surprised as you are that it took this long to get here, but sometimes, the best answer is also the most obvious. If there's an act that makes your partner feel particularly dirty, like fellatio or analingus, play around with “making” them do it (with consent, of course). Or maybe you have an especially embarrassing sex toy you can break out.
Just don't forget to make the sub feel bad about doing it, even if it feels fantastic. Bonus points if you convince them it was their idea.
Respectfully disrespecting those you love
If you're starting to feel funny after all this talk about erotic humiliation and degradation, then maybe it's time to incorporate a few more “fuck you’s” into the bedroom. Provided both parties are comfortable with what transpires, nothing is stopping you from letting someone mercilessly bruise your ego until you cum.
Just to piggyback off cum for a hot minute, have you checked out Grindr yet? Find men near you who will give you varying degrees of respect right now!