Objectification is one of the most common and, according to Lee Harrington, one of the most misunderstood kinks out there. In his clip on the subject he explains that it’s often confused with humiliation. In fact, in everyday culture a man who fixates on a woman’s breasts is said to be “objectifying” her. The problem is that statement pre-supposes that the man does not respect those objects. In fact, Lee argues, it announces to the world that the person making the accusation doesn’t respect breasts, either, or see them as powerful representations of the woman.
Lee explains it in less pedantic terms, using the idea of human furniture (“forniphilia”): “If I tell someone ‘You are going to be a piece of furniture’, I have a choice: how do I treat my furniture?”
That can help explain some of the motivations for objectification. Words like “Nothing but” “Merely” or “Just” are certainly plausible: “You are nothing but a sex doll.” “Merely a set of holes for my use.” “Just a floor for me to wipe my shoes on.” There is a kind of freedom there for the bottom, because a sex doll isn’t expected to hold up his end of the conversation; a hole doesn’t have to worry if they’re being a good hole or not; a floor just has to lay there and be floor-like. All of the responsibilities and troubles of being a human are taken away, and that can be a great relief.
However, there’s also an idea of “treasured”, “precious”, and “sacred.” When Mistress Servalan uses Zentai suits to objectify her bottoms she is not necessarily humiliating them – she is customizing them to her preferences and then enjoying using them as “furniture of flesh.”
Even something as “dirty” as using a person as a human ashtray doesn’t necessarily imply humiliation. In his second Cigar Service clip, Graydancer explains that when he deposits ash on her body – hand, mouth, pussy, wherever – it could be looked at as “using” her as a receptacle. However, it could also be taking the object of his ash and elevating it to a sacred status, where she will make sure it is not thrown away but rather kept and treasured in the most intimate parts of her body. On the other hand, using his bottom’s pussy to moisten the cigar not only could objectify her vulva but also take it out of the preferred use and change it into a tool of convenience.
If this all seems rather heady and philosophical, it’s because it can be. Nayland, one of the kinkiest leathermen alive, has a multi-part series talking about the psychological impact of objectification, degradation, and humiliation. He explains that it’s essential that the top and bottom understand the difference and the intent behind each one, because these are games played inside the brain. That means they can require some pretty intense aftercare, as well.
On the other hand, if you just want to get into the physical aspects of it, there are lots of clips on Kink Academy for you. Perhaps looking into Mistress Melissa’s series on kneeling positions can start you out, with the very specific “table position”. These clips are invaluable for objectification play because Mistress Melissa does more than just say “Be a table!” She takes body mechanics, differently-abled physical types, endurance, and other pragmatic considerations into account.
One of the most practical forms of objectification is to turn someone into a pissoir. No special equipment needed – you simply have to decide what kind of piss play you’re going to be into. Princess Kali, while teaching in Jamaica at Kink in the Caribbean, took the time to create several clips talking about that subject so that you can try it out for yourself.
For more of a role-playing kind of objectification, Goddess Helena created a series of videos about playing with her “dolly”. In these clips her bottom comes in and out of doll space to talk about what it’s like being used for the Goddess’ amusement, and the happy giggles between the two of them demonstrate how objectification can be just plain silly fun between consenting adults.
One of the most common forms of objectification kink is often not recognized: the Master/slave dynamic. The act of putting a collar on someone changes their identity, whether that’s for a lifetime commitment or an hour or so of fun. Having rituals to clarify the intent of the collar may be an essential part of preparing for a scene, and if you’re into that it’s worth checking out both Cleo Dubois and Panther Prowls for two very different kinds of collaring.
When it’s done well, objectification has the potential to fulfill and amazing range of fantasies, whether it’s becoming a lamp for the evening or the owned chattel of your Mistress for a lifetime. Best of all, as Lee suggests, it can make you think about your objects and how you treat them both in and out of kink.
Learn more in the upcoming book “Enough To Make You Blush: A Guide to Erotic Humiliation” written by Kink Academy Founder, Princess Kali