Objectification as a kink or fetish is a type of humiliation play which can form part of BDSM activities. For someone who enjoys this type of kink it can be really powerful, but it is something that is often misunderstood and it is frequently treated with caution due to the psychological aspects involved. It is a controversial topic, but then most festishes are controversial and misunderstood in their own way. As someone who enjoys some aspects of objectification, I wanted to shed a bit more light on the topic.
“Sexual objectification is the act of treating a person solely as an object of sexual desire. Objectification more broadly means treating a person as a commodity or an object without regard to their personality or dignity.”
Although sexual objectification need not be determined by gender, it is often is associated with women. It is generally accepted that sexual objectification of girls and women contributes to gender inequality, and a range of physical and mental health risks in women.
I want to point out here that I in no way agree with the objectification of women, or of any other gender for that matter. As a person I believe in equality and would always advocate for that for others. Objectification is a difficult a topic to discuss, and there are some who feel that Dominance and submission has no place in our society for this reason. I would argue that you can be feminist and submissive at the same time, but I know that view would be challenged on some fronts. Whatever, I think it is important to point out that an objectification fetish, or objectification or humiliation play within the context of BDSM, is a very different thing to sexual objectification in general terms.
Objectification as fetish
A desire to be objectified occurs in many men and women’s sexual fantasies. Objectification for fetishistic purposes may for example provide erotic humiliation for the person so regarded, whether male or female. As with most sexual activities, it is generally viewed as abusive if it is not part of a consensual arrangement, such as in BDSM play.Psychology wiki
Any form of BDSM play should always be consensual and it will require full discussion and agreement from both parties. Wants, needs, desires and fantasies should form part of these discussions, as should limits, boundaries, potential triggers and any previous trauma. Hopefully this will give you both a good idea of what to expect and help to keep things safe and enjoyable. Objectification can take many different forms and it is important that you have a good understanding of the sorts of things you are ok with and the things that are just not going to work before you start.
Objectification will take one of several forms, although these are very broad and can be flexible in terms of how they are interpreted. Where you choose to start should link back to the discussion you have had where you establish the sorts of things that you enjoy sexually about objectification as a fetish. Which things excite you and feel dangerous? Which things push your boundaries and encourage you to explore areas you might have wanted to but not felt safe enough to try in another context?
Some examples of objectification
Playing a role
Playing roles such as the bimbo (bimbofication) can be a popular form of objectification. Being a sex slave in some shape of form might be another. For these roles you will put yourself aside and assume a role where you want to be used sexually and are gratified by that. As an owner of you take on a very controlling and caring role – making all of the decisions and taking full responsibility within the play set up.
Being a sex toy
For this type of play, you are to all intents and purposes a toy. You are less human than in the form of objectification above and so don’t have opinions or thoughts, even ones which are dismissed. You might be an AI type of living doll who can react and respond to certain commands and prompts, or you may be a fuck toy or something less animate like a live dildo or part of a doll. Again, the owner will have complete responsibility for directing the play and for the care of their toy.
Being furniture or ornament
This form of objectification leaves the player completely inanimate and you effectively become that object. This could involve you being an ornament, displayed for pleasure, a serving platter with a function, or a household item with a purpose. As an object, the person who owns you will use you not consider the human aspects of you within their interactions.
Some forms of objectification revolve around being degraded to the value of an object. This can involve performing in some way, being on display and available for general use, or being a reward or prize, such as at an auction. This differs to being an inanimate object as you are still seen as a person but have a communal use which will bring pleasure to your owner and those they share you with.
Accessing an alternative headspace
While these roles sound very public, they don’t have to involve a real audience or other people. Using roleplay or narrative to access the headspace required can be just as effective if this is your fetish. The use of props can help and clear instructions and direction throughout will be a must for you both to remain in role. The more the Dominant or ‘Owner’ engages with their submissive or ‘toy’, the more objectified the toy will feel and the further into that headspace they will go. Responding in role is key to letting go and becoming that object.
This does differ to roleplay where are aware that you are acting. Often participants will go quite deep, exploring parts of themselves usually kept in check, so for the time you are playing, you may feel altered and as if you have become the part you have agreed to be. It doesn’t feel like acting as you respond in character because you are that thing. You have one purpose, to be used in this way, and your thoughts, reactions and responses often fall in with that in a subconscious way.
The type of headspace that is accessed during objectification play can be similar in some ways to pet play or age play: it goes beyond being in a role and allows the players to access a part of themselves they would usually hold back. Acknowledging your toy/ornament/object etc, praising it, observing it and commenting on its changes etc will all help to support and maintain this shift. Submissives tend to want to please, so encouragement will further the desire to be what is needed, wanted and expected of them.
Why an objectification fetish?
Like most forms of BDSM play and fetishes, what you get out of it is quite subjective and person dependent. Usually the attraction will be an escape from everyday pressures and the ability to switch off and calm down the noise and chatter in your head. It might also be satisfaction in having a clear purpose and use which brings pleasure to another. In addition, it might allow you to behave in a way which feels dissociated from yourself, and is therefore free of shame and judgment, or even guilt.
Objectification as fetish is about being depersonalised within a context where you feel safe. It leads to a strong sense that the dominant is in complete control and that you are safe just to follow and go with that. Disconnecting from your sense of self and shifting into a headspace where you have no need for thought or fear or any other feeling can be addictive, cathartic and freeing. Your purpose is simply to be and to experience what is given to you.
A word of warning
Some will be attracted to the idea of being able to dissociate from their other self and escape from the pressures and concerns of everyday life, whereas others will find the thought terrifying. If this is something that you would like to explore, then communication at every level will be key. In addition, coming out of any role or alternate headspace will require considerable aftercare and attention, so this should definitely for part of your ‘scene’ or play.
For examples of how we use objectification in our play you might want to check out the following:
- Objectified and on display
- Objectification as a Kink
- Lesson in Objectification – April’s Submissive Training Journal
- Welcome to my workshop, little doll
The header image is from google and shows shows three erotic sculptures created by Allen Jones in 1969. Hatstand, Table and Chair have been described in retrospect as “emblematic of the spirit of the 1960s” but at the time they were met with angry protests and outrage, as an objectification of women.