Humiliation or emotional masochism?
Not long ago the word humiliation really struck me as something negative, but that was before I actually understood the meaning and history of the word. The source of the word humiliation is humble.
Humiliation is the abasement of pride, which creates mortification or leads to a state of being humbled. As we humans are designed by evolution to be social and collaborating animals living peacefully together in small groups, being humble is really something beautiful and probably connected to all sorts of reward systems. Rewards are bodily reactions like dopamine & co but also social rewards that give us a higher social status. Or maybe more important – more mindbogglingly good sex, and hence more offspring which is good with a Darwinistic perspective on life.
So we want to be humble, and therefore we want to feel humiliation. I see humiliation as emotional masochism because just as physical masochism has a physical reward, emotional masochism has an emotional reward. Submission in a BDSM context is a result of humiliation and being humble towards a dominant persona. But why the polarization and power dynamics of a dominant and a submissive role? Why are we so attracted to them?
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